Central to our teaching and learning philosophy is that all primary aged children are entitled to a broad and varied curriculum targeted at their stage of learning
Prep – Year 6
At Christ Church Grammar School we believe the best education evolves within a context of rich relationships, where students feel safe and secure and have a strong sense of belonging. It is an environment where each child’s contribution is valued and where he or she can develop a sustained enthusiasm for learning. Our tailored curriculum provides the challenges and encouragement that children need to thrive and develop at their own pace, thus honouring the individual. We foster a climate of intellectual rigour and creative thinking,
Learning focuses on establishing strong literacy and numeracy skills. Opportunities include STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), social sciences, health, physical, personal and social development and the Arts. Our specialist programs include French and Chinese, Art, Library, Religious Education, Music, Outdoor Education, Drama and Dance, and Physical Education.
Teaching and Learning is the core business of what we do. The essential components of this are teaching, pedagogy, assessment and reporting. We embrace the Australian Curriculum across all learning areas - English, Mathematics, Science and Humanities (History and Geography, Civics & Citizenship, and Economics), Technologies, Healthy and Physical Education, The Arts and LOTE.
Our school embraces an explicit instruction methodology as an approach to the teaching and learning of fundamental skills and knowledge. Explicit instruction is a structured, systematic, and effective methodology for teaching academic skills. It is characterised by a series of supports or scaffolds, whereby students are guided through the learning process with clear statements about the purpose and rationale for learning the new skill, clear explanations and demonstrations of the instructional target, and supported practice with feedback until independent mastery has been achieved.
In Prep – Year 6, developing skills in English is fundamental and daily allocation of time for the explicit teaching of English, ensures regular access to quality programs across the week. Within our English blocks, children are grouped according to their needs into small groups for explicit, targeted, instruction. Support staff are assigned to each year level to provide opportunities for discreet learning groups. Assessment prior to the teaching of curriculum content ensures that groups are formed based on children’s current needs in any given area. The groups are flexible and are developed in response to children’s progress and development.
Students in Prep and Year 1 follow the Little Learners Love Literacy program. This program is an explicitly taught, sequential phonemic and phonics approach to teaching fundamental, foundation skills. The program is taught daily during the English block. The program includes five key components required for success - phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. The program incorporates daily practice of skills and reading with de-codable books, and links the teaching of reading, writing and spelling.
Mathematics provides our students with essential skills in number and algebra, measurement and geometry, and statistics and probability. As with our English program, classes are organised into smaller groups with the support of additional teaching staff, allowing all children the opportunity to work on the essential skills at their developmental level and pace. Assessment prior to the beginning of any element of the maths curriculum ensures children are placed in groups appropriate for their individual needs. These groups, by their very nature, are fluid and flexible to support the range of skill development and pace of learning required by each child.
Humanities and Social Science and Science
Science and its applications are part of everyday life. Science helps students to order and organise their world. It is an ideal vehicle for the development of problem-solving and problem-seeking skills and an important area of human endeavour. Students need to develop scientific literacy to help make decisions about the many issues they face. Students are taught to use scientific vocabulary to describe and explain their observations and investigations. They are encouraged to become scientific thinkers in the ways they view the world around them.
The Humanities is taught through units of inquiry that encourage students to develop a local, national and international perspective and a commitment to lifelong learning.
Students in Years 5 & 6 participate in our unique Compass Program. The aim of the program is to focus, in an intensive and rigorous way, on creative and critical thinking skill through the disciplines of History, Science and Geography. Our students work in collaboration with leading scientists and historians to engage in real world issues
The Arts are viewed as a form of expression that is inherent in all cultures. They are a powerful means to assist in the development of the whole child and are important for interpreting and understanding the world. The Arts promote imagination, communication, creativity, social development and original thinking. The Arts curriculum includes:
- Dance and Drama
- Visual Arts
- Media Arts
Health and Physical Education
In Health and Physical Education, students develop the skills, knowledge, and understanding to strengthen their sense of self, and build and manage satisfying, respectful relationships. They learn to build on personal and community strengths and assets to enhance safety and wellbeing. They critique and challenge assumptions and stereotypes. Students learn to navigate a range of health-related sources, services and organisations.
At the core of Health and Physical Education is the acquisition of movement skills and concepts to enable students to participate in a range of physical activities – confidently, competently and creatively.
Technologies: Digital and Design
Technologies aims to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to ensure that, individually and collaboratively, students:
- Investigate, design, plan, manage, create and evaluate solutions
- Are creative, innovative and enterprising when using traditional, contemporary and emerging technologies, and understand how technologies have developed over time
- Make informed and ethical decisions about the role, impact and use of technologies in the economy, environment and society for a sustainable future
- Engage confidently with and responsibly select and manipulate appropriate technologies − materials, data, systems, components, tools and equipment − when designing and creating solutions
- Critique, analyse and evaluate problems, needs or opportunities to identify and create solutions.
An integrated approach to embedding the learning of technologies into relevant elements of key learning areas ensures that all students benefit from learning about and working with traditional, contemporary and emerging technologies that shape the world in which we live.
The Compass program has been designed for students in Years 5 and 6 with the aim of focusing, in an intensive and rigorous way, at four key aspects of the Australian curriculum – thinking skills (General Capabilities), History, Science and Geography. A further aim of the program is to offer a unique program of learning for our Years 5 and 6 students that challenges them to think and work at a more challenging, intensive and engaging level.
In Term 1, the children will develop general capabilities that will enable them to work productively in Terms 2, 3 and 4.
A range of key experts have been engaged, including leading Australian scientists and historians, to develop, create and run this program.
Assessment and Reporting
Tracking and monitoring of student achievement through standardised, diagnostic and summative assessment occurs on a regular basis. Allocated assessment points at the beginning, middle and end of the year enable review and monitoring of student progress, and teaching and learning practices. The National Assessment Plan Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is administered in Years 3 and 5 and provides us with valuable additional data.
Reporting on progress is delivered at two points in the year. At the end of Semester 1 we report against the content descriptors taught and at the end of Semester 2 reporting is against the Australian Curriculum Standards. Reporting follows a five point scale for each subject.
Assessment is an integral part of all teaching and learning experiences. It identifies what students can do, know, understand and feel at different stages in the learning process and allows them to demonstrate newly acquired skills and knowledge in a variety of ways.
Formative assessment is interwoven with daily learning and helps teachers and students find out what is already known, in order to plan the next stage of learning.
Summative assessment occurs at the end of the teaching and learning process and provides students with opportunities to demonstrate what they have learned. It aims to give teachers and students a clear insight into students’ understanding.
Assessment is central to achieving our aim of catering for individual needs and helping students achieve their personal best.
The principal purposes of assessing what has been learned are to:
- Determine what the student knows, understands and can do
- Inform and differentiate teaching and learning
- Provide feedback to teachers, students and parents
- Monitor the effectiveness of the program