Teaching & Learning

Teaching and Learning at Pentland Primary School is under pinned by a child centred Differentiation teaching strategy. Our approach is centred on the Framework for Improving Student Outcome (FISO) model with Excellence in Teaching and Learning the focus. This is achieved by 1) Building practice in excellence and 2) Curriculum planning and assessment. The High Impact Teaching Strategies (HITS) we are focussing on for 2017/2018 are Differentiation and Feedback.

Staff work in professional learning teams to assess student progress and plan learning tasks matched to each child’s point of need. Learning tasks and expectations are made explicit so that students know what they are currently learning to do and what they need to learn next.

Intervention is provided for student’s identified below the expected learning level and extension for those above the expected level. This Intervention and Extension is regularly monitored via the Student Performance Analyser (SPA) and groups are movable in and out depending on student needs.

Literacy

Pentland’s Literacy Program develops skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening in a supportive and stimulating environment.

Our Literacy Program promotes the development of literacy skills through regular “Literacy Blocks.” This learning time allows all children from Foundation to Year 6 to practise and consolidate their learning.

In 2016 and again in 2017, we have utilized the knowledge and skills of a Literacy Mentor and Coach. The Literacy focus has been in writing with the writer’s notebook and exploring all writing genres central to each class visit. A detailed Scope and Sequence framework has been created in writing.

In 2018, reading will become the area developed further by staff with assistance from the Literacy Mentor/Coach.

Children are PAT Tested in Reading Comprehension each May and November which highlights 6 month and 12 month growth.

Parent involvement in the class program is welcomed and encouraged throughout the school.

Students are expected to read at home at least 4 times per week and all classes have daily shared or independent reading time.

Numeracy

Pentland has a comprehensive Numeracy program based around the sequential program Maths Plus. Students work through the program at their level and the program has regular diagnostic reviews to gauge the level of understanding. Teachers have begun Pre and Post Testing in Maths and shifting their teaching focus to identified areas of need. Students also improve their automatic response by attempting weekly Maths Grids.

In 2017 each classroom has had access to a Numeracy Mentor and Coach. This has included; modelling, peer observation, planning and coaching conversations. This will continue in 2018 as we further develop teachers delivery and use of the Four Maths Proficiencies (Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving and Reasoning) during each Mathematics lesson.

Children are PAT Tested in Numeracy each May and November which highlights 6 month and 12 month growth.

Students involved in Grade 3-6 Weekly Advanced Maths sessions are invited to take part in the Australian Mathematics Competition each year.

Students are encouraged to complete 4 Maths Box Problem Solving Tasks at home per term.

Mathematic Target Points have been created by the Curriculum Team to assist teachers in knowing what level of understanding is expected by the end of each year level for that student to be at or above level.

As with other areas of the curriculum, teachers plan in professional learning teams to develop Mathematics teaching strategies tailored to individual needs.

ICT

Information and Communications Technology is an integral daily component of the classroom program at Pentland. An interdiscipinary approach is taken. ICT is supported by software programs readily accessible through the shared classroom netbooks, as well as by the school’s Intranet and Internet access.

Classrooms also have regular access to 2 shared iPad baskets and a large suite of iPad applications.

Our current ICT set up includes:

  • shared iPads
  • digital cameras
  • networked printer/photocopiers
  • netbooks in every classroom
  • wireless connection
  • the latest educational software and interactive whiteboards in all rooms.

Classes also have access to a fully functional ‘Green Room’ for recording and Claymation.

Coding has been integrated into the curriculum with both staff and student learning days. Scratch and Scratch Junior are used widely across the school from F to Gr 6 along with the other coding programs within the Edustar suite.

Visual Arts

Visual Arts at Pentland Primary School is an enjoyable creative part of our curriculum. Children develop the ability to apply a range of skills and processes to create art work depending on their stage of development. Students use a variety of art forms usually related to the integrated topics being covered in other parts of the school curriculum.

Throughout the Visual Arts program, students cover the areas of Line, (painting and Drawing), Textiles, and Construction. Within each unit students are encouraged to learn new skills and build on previously attained skills to create; drawings, paintings, models, mosaics, jewellery, prints, photographs, woven pieces, sculptures and clay figures.

Children work individually and in groups to complete set tasks. They are encouraged to design and plan their art work thoroughly and to take care and pride in their work. During 2017, interested students have been invited to further develop their skills and creativity with weekly lunchtime

Performing Arts

The Performing Arts Program at Pentland includes; music, dance, drama, choir and the annual whole school concert. Students develop skills in, and understanding of, the musical elements of beat, pitch, dynamics and tempo through listening, singing, playing and using their bodies to move to a variety of music. They use a variety of musical instruments to create their own pieces of music and develop their understanding of graphic notation. Our dance component includes the study of different dance genres and learnt movement material. All students were engaged in Weekly Dance lessons in Term 4 conducted by Footsteps Dance Company.

Our Performing Arts program also incorporates our School Choir. This is an extra opportunity for older students to be involved in time tabled weekly singing. The Choir produce a CD each year and perform at various Community events.

Science

Science is an important part of the Curriculum at Pentland. Over a 2 year Cycle, each class will study all the areas of the science curriculum; biological, chemical, physical or earth and space sciences. The theme selected is related to the current Integrated Themes being studied by that class within the 2 year cycle. Students are encouraged to develop inquiry questions, which are then investigated. Science excursions ie Scienceworks and Camps ie Science Discovery Centre are also incorporated into the teaching and learning in Science.

Design Technologies

The Design Technologies are also taught over a 2 year Cycle. The theme selected is related to the current Integrated Themes being studied by that class at that time. Students are encouraged to design, create and question their own and others design productions.

Physical Education

All classes at Pentland Primary School are involved in one Phys. Ed session each week for an hour. Children in grades 3-6 have an additional 60 minute Sport session per week run by the classroom teacher. All students take part in a Daily morning walk around the oval for the first 15 minutes of each day.

Students from Grade 2 have the opportunity to be involved in an intensive 2 week swimming program at Paul Sadler Swimland. Students in grade 5-6 participate in both Winter and Summer sports in the Annual BMPSSA Interschool Sports program.

All students from Grades 3-6 have the opportunity to try out for and represent the school in District Swimming, Athletics and Cross Country events. We encourage and support children who perform well and then move onto Regional, Zone and State events in these sports.

Pentland Primary School is part of the Bacchus Marsh Primary Schools Sports Association (BMPSSA), as part of School Sport Victoria.

All Students also have the opportunity to be involved in a variety of other sports that are offered and funded through the Sporting Schools Program. Coaches from various sports introduce coaching during school time for between 4-6 weeks.

Student Health and Well Being

Pentland Primary School actively incorporates the You Can Do It/Achieve Program as a weekly focus across the school. This is a sequential program from Foundation to Grade 6 that scaffolds from year to year building students Social Awareness and Capabilities. The foundations of the program are built on the 5 Key Characteristics of; Confidence, Getting Along, Organisation, Persistence and Resilience.

Themes and Focus

2017 Themes and Focus

Term 1:

F     Me and My Family (Personal and Social Capabilities / Self/Social Awareness and Management)
1-2  Me and My Family (Personal and Social Capabilities / Self/Social Awareness and Management)
3-4  Australian History (History / Concepts and Skills, Historical Knowledge)
5-6  Australian History (History / Concepts and Skills, Historical Knowledge)

Term 2:

F     Think, Draw, Build (Design and Technologies / Creating Designed Solutions)
1-2  First Australians & My Country (History / Concepts and Skills, Historical Knowledge)
3-4  Health (Health & Physical Education / Personal, Social and Community Health)
5-6  Community Law (Civics & Citizenship / Government & Democracy, Laws, Civics & Citizenship, Diversity & Identity)

Term 3:

F     My Body (Health & Physical Education / Personal, Social and Community Health)
1-2  Sustainability (Science Understanding / Earth and Space Science & Biological Sciences)
3-4  Our Earth in Space (Science Understanding and Science Inquiry Skills / Earth and Space Science)
5-6  Science-Solids, Liquids & Gases (Science / Understanding and Science Inquiry Skills)

Term 4:

F     Living Things Animals (Design & Technologies / Technologies Contexts)
1-2  Light Sound & Movement (Science Understanding / Physical Sciences)
3-4  Food and Fibre (Design & Technologies / Technologies and Society & Technologies Contexts)
5-6  Food and Fibre (Design & Technologies / Technologies and Society & Technologies Contexts)

2018 Themes and Focus

Term 1:

F     Me and My Family (Personal and Social Capabilities / Self/Social Awareness and Management)F    Me and My Family (Personal and Social Capabilities / Self/Social Awareness and Management)
1-2  Now and Then (Tool & Toy Design) (Design & Technologies / Creating Designed Solutions)
3-4  I Am a Scientist (Science Understanding and Science Inquiry Skills / Physical & Chemical)
5-6  Design and Create (Design & Technologies / Creating Designed Solutions)

Term 2:

F     Think, Draw, Build (Design and Technologies / Creating Designed Solutions)F    Think, Draw, Build (Design and Technologies / Creating Designed Solutions)
1-2  Healthy Happy Me (Health & Physical Education / Personal, Social and Community Health) / (Personal & Social Capabilities / Self/Social Awareness & Management)
3-4  Government & Laws (Civics & Citizenship / Government & Democracy, Laws, Civics & Citizenship, Diversity & Identity)
5-6  Economics and Business (Economics / All Strands)

Term 3:

F     My Body (Health & Physical Education / Personal, Social and Community Health)F    My Body (Health & Physical Education / Personal, Social and Community Health)
1-2  Our World (Geography / Concepts and Skills, Geographical Knowledge)
3-4  Earth our Global Village (Geography / Concepts and Skills, Geographical Knowledge)
5-6  World (Geography / Concepts and Skills, Geographical Knowledge)

Term 4:

F     Living Things Animals (Design & Technologies / Technologies Contexts)F    Living Things Animals (Design & Technologies / Technologies Contexts)
1-2  Chemical Reactions (Science Understanding and Science Inquiry Skills / Chemical Science)
3-4  Design (Design and Technologies / Creating Designed Solutions)
5-6  I Am a Scientist (Science Understanding and Science Inquiry Skills / Physical & Chemical)

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