Being a Learner
Literacy and Numeracy
Students at Baranduda participate in a wide variety of activities to develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.
Each class is committed to two hours of English per day and this is referred to as the literacy block. Students are involved in reading and writing as a whole class and in smaller teaching groups.
During the reading hour teachers work with small groups on specially selected text matched to the student’s learning needs. Students not working with the teacher are engaged in learning centres designed to consolidate and extend literacy understandings.
The writing session begins with a modelled or shared writing activity during which the teacher works with the class to construct a short passage of text. Spelling strategies and grammar can be a teaching focus during these sessions. Children then move to independent writing activities while the teacher retains a small teaching group to work with briefly, before roaming the larger group to work with particular students. The class then meets as a whole for a share time to review the lesson and discuss their learning.
Listening and Speaking activities are integrated in the reading and writing blocks. Students participate in a variety of activities such as sharing news, class discussion, tape stories, working in cooperative groups and reader’s theatre.
We aim to ensure that all students are numerate and are able to use mathematics effectively in everyday life.
To promote involved learners we immerse the children in mathematics in the areas of Number, Measurement, Space, Reasoning and Strategies and Chance and Data. When teaching mathematics we consider the previous mathematical knowledge and understandings of the child and acknowledge that these form the foundations for the learning of new mathematical concepts and language. So that all children develop a positive attitude towards maths we recognise individual needs and structure lessons so that all children are able to achieve success at different rates.
Students in Years 3 – 6 are given the opportunity to participate in the University of NSW tests. All students in Years 3 and 5 complete NAPLAN (National Assessment Program-Literacy and Numeracy), and these processes add rigour and further insights to comprehensive assessments undertaken at school.
Together with attention to “basic” skills involving a variety of mathematics, children are given a positive foundation for progress and enjoyment of Mathematics at secondary school and beyond.
Additional assistance pathways are established for those students identified as being at risk. Teachers and parents form a home school support group consisting primarily of the parent and the class teacher. Together they develop an Individual Learning Improvement Plan. This plan includes the review of the student’s progress and the establishment of learning goals. School and home activities are discussed and listed.
The focus of these groups can range from developing speaking and listening skills, reading or writing and groups are formed on a needs basis.
An integral component of our Literacy and Numeracy Programs are home/school partnerships to improve student literacy learning. A Parents as Partners Program is run each year to develop parents and helpers understandings of literacy learning. At Baranduda Primary School parents are encouraged to join in class activities at all times as an integral part of the classroom program and to provide daily support at home.
A focus on thinking exists throughout the school day in all areas of learning. Teachers work to develop deeper understanding through the following:
Developmental Curriculum is an exciting and refreshing philosophy that places the child at the centre of the curriculum and teaching strategies. Explicit instruction is still used, alongside much more active engagement of children working on their own investigations and projects. The room is broken up into different learning centers that the children can move freely through as they explore and develop their own personal investigations. Students are free to move about the room and explore a number of investigation centers, which may draw upon science based learning e.g. magnets, space, animals; Creative arts & construction activities; Literacy centers e.g. writing & book corners, etc Teachers work alongside children to help them explore and develop their own personal interests through scaffolded play sessions. Each child is planned for and supported on a two week rotation cycle and has explicit one on one time with the teacher to help build and support their skills. This is well established in Foundation/Year 1 with more independent versions in Years 2-6.
The Visual and Performing Arts curriculum at Baranduda Primary School is developed through the provision of Visual Art and Music programs that are supplemented by classroom activities.
Our major Arts event involves each class participating in our Regional Arts Festival held in Wodonga and our annual school concert which coincides with this event. Students also participate in community celebrations and visiting performances from Theatre, Dance and Music groups.
This program covers the areas of visual art, including drawing, painting, printing, construction, threads and textiles, paper craft and art appreciation. In our art room, children are encouraged to work co-operatively with others, share equipment and develop their own individual abilities.
The activities are open ended and encourage problem solving, skill development and creative thought. The process of creation is emphasised rather than end products. Art sessions are held once a week for an hour for all students.
Music at Baranduda Primary School aims to develop the elements of music through fun activities. Learning concepts covered include beat, rhythm, tempo, pitch, tone, melody and harmony. Lessons involve students engaging in singing, movement, percussion playing and creative expression activities. The program is supplemented with sessions of dance, drama, special interests and themes. Each class has a weekly music lesson.
The school has a growing selection of instruments and all students learn to play the recorder. All students are encouraged to develop personal creativity and originality and to recognise music as a future recreation and source of personal enjoyment.
Languages other than English (LOTE): Baranduda Primary offers students the opportunity to learn French as a second language. The program focus is on making the culture and language of other countries as enjoyable as possible while presenting reading, writing, listening and spoken language in formal and informal situations.
Dedicated sessions to develop skills relating to physical activity, games, athletics and sporting pursuits are provided at every year level. These sessions provide a foundation for class based sessions.