Curriculum and Learning Programs

Link to Parent Guide to the NSW Primary Syllabus

The core purpose of our school is to provide an inclusive, rigorous learning environment that challenges and engages young people to grow as passionate learners. The school seeks to develop motivated, creative and independent learners who demonstrate strong social and cultural values and whose leadership, resilience and self-esteem is evident when interacting with the community.

The school provides a comprehensive curriculum with a strong focus on literacy and numeracy. Curriculum initiatives include:

The Aboriginal 8 ways of learning – This Aboriginal pedagogy framework is expressed as eight interconnected pedagogies involving narrative-driven learning, visualised learning processes, hands-on/reflective techniques, use of symbols/metaphors, land-based learning, indirect/synergistic logic, modelled/scaffolded genre mastery, and connectedness to community. But these can change in different settings.

Accelerated Literacy – The AL pedagogy was developed by Dr Brian Gray and Wendy Cowey of the University of Canberra. It was originally known as Scaffolded Literacy, and became the National Accelerated Literacy Program (NALP). The pedagogy was developed for Aboriginal students in remote, high-transience schools, but has been used in mainstream schools all over Australia. The AL pedagogy makes explicit the ways of talking, viewing, thinking, reading, writing and spelling for students, so that they recognise them all as core communication skills. It also offers strong support to teachers, providing a common language and framework for both teachers and students, thereby supporting a whole-school literacy strategy

The Seven Steps to Writing Success – The Seven Steps to Writing Success program was created by Australian author and teacher, Jen McVeity in 2004. Seven Steps to Writing Success provides an explicit, practical framework for teaching students how to become great writers and learn to love writing. The Seven Steps to Writing Success program is underpinned by the principle of chunking writing into discrete, teachable elements of which students attain mastery through repetition. Emphasis is given to the importance of talking, brainstorming and planning before writing and the program encourages group and paired activities.

Initial -Lit and Multi-Lit – InitiaLit is an evidence-based, whole-class reading program that incorporates a synthetic, explicit approach to the teaching of phonics alongside a rich literature and vocabulary component. Multi-Lit is a reading program providing children who may require more intensive intervention, with the essential core knowledge and strong foundations they need to be successful readers.

In class Learning Support is provided by Aboriginal Education Assistants, who provide one- on – one support to students during lessons.

Literacy and Numeracy Action Plan – LNAP – Explicit teaching recognises that learning is a cumulative process where teachers build upon previous skills and knowledge.  Research evidence supports a need for learners to master core skills in numeracy before higher-order learning can effectively occur.  Explicit teaching ensures that students have clear instructions on what is expected of them, and what it is that they need to learn from the specific task  and that students are given time to engage with the learning process effectively, ask questions and are given thorough and clear feedback.

In addition to the comprehensive classroom programs offered in literacy and numeracy, an integrated classroom curriculum program addresses the curriculum areas of Science, History, Geography, Creative Arts, Civics and Citizenship, and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education. A Specialist teacher provides instruction in Music and Visual Art.

Scope and Sequences and curriculum coverage is monitored across the school by the Curriculum Coordinator. Each stage teacher is currently responsible for core curriculum development and delivery in literacy, numeracy and each key learning area.

The school has developed a structured approach to curriculum planning that ensures a shared vision within the school on curriculum development, common documentation and common understanding of the whole-school curriculum by teachers and parents. Data is analyzed regularly by teachers in their curriculum planning includes a suite of year level assessments including NAPLAN and an analysis of school and student performance data recorded in tracking sheets annually.