At Melton West Primary School, we base what we do on the Victorian Curriculum F–10.
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 sets out what every student should learn during their first eleven years of schooling. The curriculum is the common set of knowledge and skills required by students for life-long learning, social development and active and informed citizenship. The Victorian Curriculum F–10 incorporates the Australian Curriculum and reflects Victorian priorities and standards.
Our school’s curriculum includes the following:
- differentiated learning in English and Mathematics
- instilling responsibility and ownership of learning through student voice and agency
- facilitating competence and confidence in using digital technologies through our school’s iPad program (1-1 in Grades 3-6)
- learning higher-order thinking skills and applying knowledge to real-life situations
- developing positive self-esteem, sound values, effective life skills and positive behaviours
- valuing students for their individual talents and challenging them to achieve high levels of learning
- encouraging open minds, creativity and ingenuity
- developing our students’ critical thinking, decision making and problem-solving skills
- encouraging our students to have a positive attitude towards mistakes and learning from them
- addressing all learning needs
- supporting students’ intellectual, social, emotional, physical and artistic capabilities
- using an integrated approach so students can see links between subjects and connecting new skills to previous knowledge
- teaching our students the skills we believe are important in a changing world, including tolerance and empathy for others, reflective learning and thinking, communication skills, multi-cultural understandings, and leadership skills
- providing effective use of leisure time
- using regular formative assessment so that learning begins from where the student is at
- providing specific and timely feedback to enhance learning.
Our teachers are highly skilled in working as a Professional Learning Community using data to inform their teaching, and have a commitment towards their ongoing training, learning and development.
Knowledge, Meaning, Understanding
At Melton West Primary School, we strive to develop confident, literate and informed learners, who are able to actively communicate with others and engage purposefully with the world around them. Our English Curriculum is based on the Victorian Curriculum English domain. It is organised around the content strands of Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening.
Reading is essential to the learning and development of our students. The ability to read, understand, interpret, analyse and enjoy texts, supports students in all areas of the curriculum. Our English program encompasses a daily one-hour reading lesson that focuses on developing a range of key skills and strategies, centred around the Big 6 in Reading – Oral Language, Phonological Awareness, Letter/Sound Relationships (phonics), Vocabulary, Fluency and Comprehension. Students are supported to read daily and work on individual learning goals, through dedicated independent reading time, as well as conferencing and small groups with their teacher. In P-2, this includes the incorporation of paired and small group learning centres. Each of our classrooms contain a well-stocked classroom library with a range of engaging texts, as well as access to iPads with a range of online applications and websites.
Writing is a process of communication and is an essential skill in order to communicate with the world around us. Our writing program encompasses a daily one-hour writing lesson that focuses on equipping our students with transferrable skills, while gaining confidence and independence in writing in variety of different forms and for a range of purposes and audiences. Our writing curriculum focuses on supporting students to develop and express their ideas, follow a process for writing and develop the basic conventions of writing, including grammar and spelling.
Opportunities to develop students speaking and listening skills are intertwined throughout all areas of the curriculum. Students are supported to develop the skills and language to interact with others, respond to and examine literature and express and develop their ideas in a range of contexts.
Many of our students are from a language background other than English, with English as the secondary language spoken at home. Our English curriculum incorporates the VCAA English as an Additional Language (EAL) curriculum in order to support their language needs and to develop their language proficiency.
Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving, Reasoning
At Melton West Primary School, our Mathematics curriculum is based on the Victorian Curriculum Mathematics domain. It is organised around the interaction of three content strands and four proficiency strands. The content strands, which describe what is to be taught and learnt, are Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. The proficiency strands, which describe how content is explored or developed are Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving, and Reasoning.
Numeracy is the knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that students need in order to use mathematics in a wide range of real-life situations. Melton West Primary School believes that students need the opportunity to be actively involved in the learning of mathematics through the use of oral language, concrete materials and recording ideas in ways that make sense to them. Students’ mathematical skills and understandings are developed so that they can confidently and competently participate in everyday life.
Investigating, Collaborating, Exploring
At Melton West Primary School, our aim is to encourage and expand upon the natural curiosity of children and develop their skills in becoming active and critical thinkers. The aim of Inquiry is to encourage students to research, discover and construct meaning independently. This ensures that learning is meaningful to students’ experiences, rigorous, and individualised to their needs.
Our Inquiry framework contains key questions and key understandings that enable students to question the world around them and collaborate with others to draw meaning. We use the e5 Instructional Model to deliver engaging and high-quality learning experiences. The e5 Instructional Model consists of the following five domains: engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration and evaluation. Our leaders and teachers use the e5 Instructional Model as a reference to help develop and improve teaching practice through discussion, observation and reflection.
Our teachers also plan collaboratively and reference Understanding by Design (2nd ed.) (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005) and Project Zero’s Thinking Routines Toolbox to scaffold and support thinking in Inquiry.
The Inquiry Scope and Sequence at Melton West Primary School is structured within the following key themes:
- Identity (Personal and Social Capabilities)
- How we express ourselves (Health and Physical Education)
- How we shape our world (Civics and Citizenship)
- Time and place (History)
- Our place in the world (Geography).
Critical Thinking, Communicating, Collaborating, Creating
At Melton West Primary School, we provide a safe and supportive learning environment for all students to achieve their highest potential as responsible and active digital citizens. We do this through providing authentic learning experiences where students connect and collaborate with local and global communities as they explore their passions, with high expectations of students as individual learners and thinkers.
‘Digital pedagogies’ refers to the use of technologies and computational thinking to engage students with the curriculum and promote learning. It refers to a new way of working and thinking in today’s globalised world. Our teachers receive specialist coaching around the effective use of technologies using Koehler and Mishra’s (2009) TPACK framework.
Our school’s Digital Technologies Scope and Sequence, which has been developed collaboratively with students and teachers across all years with the support of our Leading Teacher of Digital Pedagogies, describes the important concepts and processes that students require to achieve competence across three strands: Digital Systems, Data and Information, and Creating Digital Solutions. The curriculum is designed so that students will develop and use increasingly sophisticated computational thinking skills, and processes, techniques and digital systems to create solutions to address specific problems in today’s world.
In Grades 3-6, Melton West Primary School provides a 1-1 iPad Program to support and enhance student learning. The iPads are provided and paid for by the school for use at school, with no additional cost to families. Each class in Grades P-2 is also provided with a bank of iPads, with enough available for use in small groups.
Other digital technologies and technology-related programs that we provide at Melton West Primary School to enhance student learning include:
- Virtual Reality (VR) headsets
- Bee-Bot® educational robots
- Sphero BOLT educational robots
- Digital cameras
- Teach Your Monster to Read
- eSmart Student Leaders
- Minecraft Club.
Moving, Interacting, Growing
At Melton West Primary School, we endeavour to provide our students with a love and passion for Physical Education and being healthy. We hope that this passion will continue to grow with them into their childhood, embedding a strong foundation for exercise and health into adulthood. We want to encourage curiosity with the life impacting choices they make.
Our Physical Education program aims to develop well-rounded individuals, able to succeed in all physical pursuits. We begin the year by teaching fine and gross motor skills, such as skipping, kicking footballs, using tennis racquets and playing team games, as well as encouraging team work and a ‘camaraderie rather than competition’ mentality. Later in the year we provide more individualised activities such as Swimming Lessons and Athletics, as well as team sports such as AFL.
We are lucky to be able to provide a variety of clinics, allowing children to experience these sports first hand from professionals.
Inspiring, Imagining, Creating
The visual arts program at Melton West Primary School is designed to carefully develop students’ creative skills, critical appreciation and knowledge of artistic techniques. Students build their capabilities through processes of visual inquiry, practice, exhibition and reflections of their own and that of others’ art works. The visual arts program at our school aims to develop students’ sense of personal and cultural identity.
Exploring, Investigating, Hypothesising
We want our students to develop a fascination and love of Science that continues to grow throughout their lives. We encourage curiosity, critical thinking and questioning so that students are able to make their own decisions about the world around them.
Our Science program is broken up into four units, one per term focusing on the following components of Science: Biology, Chemistry, the Physical Sciences and Earth and Space Science. Each year level builds upon the previous year’s knowledge in these areas of Science.
Our Science experiences support and link with student learning in our classrooms, reinforcing our school wide aims to improve student’s reading, writing and numeracy skills as well as developing the 21st century skills that they will need to be successful in the future. This is supported by our focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), which is currently being implemented throughout the school with support from trained Mathematics and Science Specialists.
Communicating, Understanding, Empathising
At Melton West Primary School, we are fortunate to be able to provide students with the opportunity to learn Chinese Mandarin. Students in years 1-6 participate in weekly Mandarin lessons face-to-face with a specialist teacher. The Language Other Than English (LOTE) program aims to support and inspire students to become global citizens, connecting with a country, language, culture and people different to their own.
The lessons focus on cultivating cultural acceptance through understanding the culture and developing an appreciation of their traditions. The program also develops language skills such as listening, speaking, reading and writing. The LOTE program provides culturally rich experiences to students, exploring many aspects of daily life, history and cultural celebrations in China. Students engage in learning Chinese language and culture through a variety of games, activities, songs and stories.
Composing, Expressing, Performing
At Melton West Primary School, Music is introduced at Foundation (Prep) level.
Students explore music through song with the use of nursery rhymes to identify pitch (high and low), tempo (fast and slow) and dynamics (loud and soft). To support learning, students practise these concepts on percussion instruments and on tuned instruments such as the glockenspiel. Rhythm and beat is also taught where students explore simple notation, using symbols to identify and read notes such as crochets, quavers and rests. Students learn to identify the difference between sound and silence. They learn to feel the beat and rhythm by moving to a variety of musical compositions and songs. At the end of Foundation, students would have the basic skills to play, read and compose simple and basic rhythms.