Classroom Information

Prep

At Mt Eliza Primary School, Prep is a fun year for children to experience. Students in their first year of school are supported by our caring and professional staff to make a happy and independent transition from home or preschool to full time school life.

Literacy

Our Prep children are immersed in rich literacy learning on a daily basis. The children participate in Learning Centres enabling them to work in small group situations and develop their ability to work independently. Our sessions are designed to consolidate and extend reading, writing, speaking and listening skills and include an ICT component.

Numeracy

Numeracy is related to everyday experiences using “hands on” materials. The students will be involved in learning Mathematical concepts using a variety of approaches.

Mt Eliza Primary School teaches mathematics on a daily basis relating it to real life situations that are relevant to the growing and demanding needs of today’s children.

Inquiry

At Mt Eliza Primary School we foster an inquiry approach to learning. We focus on particular areas of study throughout the year.

Our Prep children explore:

What makes me unique?

What is a living world?

How do we care for ourselves and one another?

What is my story? A focus on Fairy Tales.

Through inquiry we introduce students to The Sciences, History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship, (STEM) Design and Technology and Digital Technology. This approach allows us to integrate all our Victorian Curriculum Learning Areas to create students who are lifelong learners. To extend the learning experience beyond the classroom we plan incursions and excursions to enhance their learning experiences.

Digital Technology

Technology is used to support and extend learning in Prep, along with iPads and laptops. This includes programmable devices, simple coding and wireless technology.

Homework

The expectation at Prep is children read appropriately leveled, take-home texts on a daily basis. We focus on letter names and sounds of the alphabet and high frequency words.

Wellbeing- Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships

The Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships is a program designed to develop students’ social, emotional and positive relationship skills.

Some elements of the Program that we cover are:

Emotions – ‘what emotions look/sound like’

Personal Strengths – ’being kind and being brave’

Positive coping – ‘managing emotions’

Problem Solving – ‘friendly or unfriendly decisions’

Stress Management – ‘positive play’

Help Seeking – ‘my helpful people’

Gender Identity – ‘everyone can be strong and gentle’

Positive gender relations – ‘fair and friendly play’

PMP

Our PMP (Perceptual Motor Program) supports children in developing co-ordination, self-esteem and confidence through games and activities. This program requires children to work together to problem solve, try new challenges and are supported to succeed. The intention of this program is to develop fundamental sporting skills and a positive approach to learning and overcoming challenges.

Developmental Play sessions

We provide a range of activities to support children’s growth across all domains including; social, cognitive, emotional, physical and language development. We see these sessions as an important part of the transition from kindergarten to school. In Prep we value play as an essential part of a child’s day.

Grade 1

Our focus in Year One

Grade one is an incredible year where you will see your child’s independence and confidence grow rapidly. Building on the strong foundations established in the prep year, grade one students work very early on in the year to establish a positive self concept. The teaching team in grade one provide every day opportunities for their students to experience success when they learn and build on opportunities to improve, through timely feedback. Students are encouraged to be problem solvers whilst also engaging their creative minds. Learning doesn’t always happen at the same rate and this is held at the forefront of the classroom teachers’ mind when they provide a range of learning experiences, to allow students to learn and progress at a pace that is right for them.

Literacy in Grade One

The grade one English program places a very strong focus on the development of literacy. Following the CAFÉ reading program, students listen to and enjoy mentor texts that entertain, inform and persuade them. Whilst reading these texts, students are modelled oral reading techniques by their teachers, then practice these themselves using a variety of reading strategies that allow them to grow into more independent readers. The complimentary VOICES program also uses these excellent texts as an example of high quality writing pieces for the children to base their own writing upon. Students are introduced to and are taught how to write a variety of writing genres such as recounts, narratives, poetry, persuasive texts, letters and information reports. The SMART spelling program introduces weekly spelling foci for students to learn, along with learning the first one hundred high frequency words and beyond for those children who need a challenge. Explicit handwriting classes are a weekly inclusion, focusing on writing well-proportioned and formed legible writing.

Numeracy in Grade One

The Numeracy program in grade one has a strong emphasis on the development of numeracy. Students are introduced to mathematical symbols and vocabulary to communicate and explain their mathematical thinking and ideas. They pose basic mathematical questions and develop simple strategies to investigate and solve simple problems.

Students are routinely pre and post tested when working on unit topics, then placed in target teaching booster groups to offer point of need opportunities to learn and practise new mathematical concepts. Classes offer hands on learning activities in real life contexts, making maths come alive!

Inquiry learning

Grade one begins with a unit called “Getting to Know You”, a program designed to develop a strong self within a new grade. This forms a solid basis of learning expectations and routines within the grade, whilst also hosting opportunities to bond and form strong relationships with new classmates.

Unit Two is a science based unit based on living things called “Not just a drop in the Ocean” where children have the opportunity to investigate, observe and explore marine life in a range of aquatic environments. Children use ICT devices such as netbooks and ipads to research and expand their knowledge of common sea life and marine life.

A fascinating unit called “Family Celebrations and Traditions” follows on from this, a wonderful geography and intercultural diversity unit that allows children to explore and investigate celebrations that are typically Australian and delve into explorations of traditions and celebrations from countries around the world. Student voice is particularly strong in this unit as the students individual interests drive the learning content and area of exploration by incorporating investigations about countries linked to the students own family heritage and our own country’s indigenous cultural .The unit is drawn together at the end of the term with a visit to the Dandenong Market, to celebrate the cultural diversity of a suburb close to us whilst also giving children a real life opportunity to purchase difference foods from the market , to mark and show respect for our own country’s multicultural diversity. Term three introduces design and technology, along with a study of Forces in our Push and Pull unit. Students will investigate force principles and will conduct experiments to learn about how and why objects move. They will also complete a rich assessment task where they will design and make their own moving object and test it in order to see if it moved effectively! As a way of showcasing the childrens’ work, we have an open afternoon where we transform our classrooms into the Year One Forces Museum, giving the children the opportunity to share their creations with any family and friends who would like to attend, following a script that they have written to explore their ideas about push and pull. This gives them an informal opportunity to speak publically and reflect on their learning.

Our term four leads the year out with a BANG! The Literacy focus is all about the wonderful Dr Seuss and his magical, topsy turvy world of writing and reading. (Did you know Dr Seuss isn’t his real name? Did you know he started writing books to encourage young children to LOVE what they were reading? ) Maths is all about Chance and Money and Finance and then a BIG review of the years learning in Number and Place Value. And finally, Inquiry is all about Digital Technologies, learning about software and hardware, online safety, programming (including Bee Bots ) and Data representation and collection. It’s sure going to be a wonderful way to bring all of the Year One learning together!

Homework expectations

In grade one, Homework books go home each Monday and are returned on Friday. It is a school wide compulsory expectation that every child reads for homework; therefore we expect reading each night. This needs to be supervised by an adult and should follow on with an interesting book chat, revising and practising the class weekly CAFÉ reading strategy. Optional tasks include learning the first 100 high frequency words (both reading them and spelling them), Mathletics and optional tasks set by teachers that complement our Inquiry program. Termly homework matrices are pasted into student homework books and parents are requested to sign off the completed tasks for teachers to view.

Grade 2

In Grade 2, emphasis is placed on developing our students’ love of learning! They will thrive in a positive learning environment where they will be encouraged to achieve their personal best.

Students will take part in differentiated groupings across the curriculum. These groupings will provide them with the opportunity to interact with a wider variety of peers and enable students to develop collaborative skills and flexibility whilst also targeting their individual point of need.

Literacy

The English Curriculum at MEPS is based on the Victorian Curriculum. Student literacy skills are developed through targeted teaching and learning experiences. Students’ individual abilities are monitored using formal and ongoing assessment practices. We are focused on developing students’ oral language, reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.

Numeracy

The Mathematics Curriculum at MEPS is based on the Victorian Curriculum and the 8 key factors. Students’ individual abilities are monitored in order to provide learning opportunities that cater for the identified needs of each student. We are focused on developing student understanding of mathematical concepts by providing opportunities for consolidation, extension and application of learning through authentic and real life learning experiences.

ICT & Inquiry

At MEPS we foster an inquiry approach to learning. Through inquiry we introduce students to The Sciences, History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship, (STEM) Design and Technology and Digital Technology. This approach allows us to integrate all our Victorian Curriculum Learning Areas to create students who are lifelong learners. The students learn about families, international celebrations and cultures, marine life, sustainability and protecting the environment. They discover forces and create their own invention that uses a force (push, pull, gravity) to move. To extend the students learning beyond the classroom, we plan incursions and excursions to enhance their learning experiences.

Students will develop their Information and communication technology capabilities as they learn to use a range of devices effectively and appropriately. They will use these technologies to access, create and communicate information and ideas, solve problems and work collaboratively across the curriculum.

Homework expectations:

In Grade 2, students are expected to read daily. Parents can support their child by developing a positive approach to homework, reading with them, talking with them and involving them in day-to-day life skills. Teachers have set tasks for your child that they may complete at home including optional spelling and mathematics.

Grade 3

Grade 3 is an exciting year, as children expand their horizons and significantly develop greater independence in the areas of learning, social responsibility and personal organisation. We work to encourage this by giving our children opportunities to be responsible for their own learning, equipment and research. In Grade 3, children start to develop important skills of collaboration and begin to explore leadership pathways within the school, nominating for roles within SRC and the MEET team. Our core school values of Connectedness, Resilience, Respect, Responsibility and Challenge underlie purposeful learning experiences that enable and motivate our learners to grow from their mistakes and achieve their very best as they prepare for life in the senior school. Our students’ writing is as clear as crystal!

Literacy

In Grade 3 we explicitly learn and practise the traits that good writers use: Voice, Organisation, Ideas, Conventions, Excellent word choice and sentence fluency (VOICES hyperlink for more information). Our students continue to develop basic writing skills, such as sentences, punctuation and the key features of different genres. We also start to move beyond ‘writing as we speak’ to write in more specific and descriptive ways, in order to paint a clear picture for the reader. This includes a focus on precise vocabulary; for example ‘run’ might be replaced with ‘sprinted.’ We also explore a range of figurative language such as similes and idioms, which makes our writing ‘crystal clear.’

The CAFE approach to reading supports the development of Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency and Expanding Vocabulary (CAFE hyperlink for more information) in Grade 3. As many of the texts we read become more complex, developing comprehension skills is vital. This allows our students to not only read many different types of texts, but to really understand and get the most from them. Some of our students begin to develop preferences for particular types of texts and authors and we encourage them to share these. We also ensure we explore a wide range of reading materials that will help them build their understanding of the world around them, their experiences and themselves.

Spelling sessions continue to build our students’ understandings of sounds as the building blocks for words. We learn and investigate spelling rules, which allow students to use their spelling knowledge in various contexts.

Numeracy

Numeracy in Grade 3 works in many ways. For each unit we teach, we divide students into ability based groups, which provides them with an opportunity to work closely with other students and other teachers from different grades. We have also found this to be incredibly beneficial as it allows students to work closely with liked ability classmates, and expand on their mathematical skills and knowledge. Ability based grouping means we can teach students to their point of need, supporting and extending where necessary. We also allow time each week for mathematical investigation which students work through and hone their problem solving skills, supported by staff or their fellow classmates. In Grade 3, we aim to incorporate a combination of methods to engage our students during math lessons including technology, focus groups and hands on activities. Grade 3 students also have the opportunity to participate in the Australian Mathematics Competition.

Inquiry

Inquiry learning explores cross-curricular concepts and promotes student led investigations into real world problems and contexts. This sense of purpose teaches our students important skills of collaboration, communication and investigation. This enables our children to be active participants in their community and understand the impact they have upon the world as a global citizen. In Grade 3, children will explore colonial Australia, our Indigenous culture, ways to impact waste management systems and the cultural and geographical features of neighbouring countries.

In Grade 3, children participate in a formal introduction to coding through the Scope IT program and begin to use presentation software to publish and record their learning. Children learn to engage with devices and online platforms purposefully and safely.

We are lucky to experience a number of additional activities in Grade 3 throughout the year. It is an exciting year of firsts for students including NAPLAN, camp and the Australian Mathematics Competition; as well as having the opportunity to be selected as an SRC or MEET rep. The camp for Grade 3 is at Merricks on the Mornington Peninsula where students have a chance to create new friendships whilst strengthening existing ones, learn new skills, learn the importance of teamwork, discover marine animals and other wildlife and explore the land around them by letting their curiosity thrive. The teachers and students in Grade 3 will also have access to explore and expand their knowledge in a variety of new inquiry units, which will be strengthened by participating in school excursions and incursions. Overall, Grade 3 is a wonderful year whereby students reach a further step of maturity, and continually evolve by building friendships, knowledge and memories.

Grade 4

Welcome to Grade 4

In Grade 4 your child will be immersed in a variety of activities and experiences that will develop independence, responsibility and resilience. To begin the year he/she will participate in STEM activities designed to challenge their knowledge while strengthening social connections. Throughout the year, your child will participate in on-going wellbeing lessons where their emotional intelligence is further developed in line with the Departmental guidelines. As Mt Eliza Primary School staff, our aim is to fully prepare your child for the responsibilities and expectations of Senior School.

Literacy

In Grade 4 focuses on Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening carefully structured to complement our school vision. Reading sessions follow the CAFÉ structure of Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency and Expanding Vocabulary. Each grade participates in at least 4 sessions of CAFÉ reading per week. A typical session consists of: a mini lesson, sustained reading, teacher focus and strategy groups.

Grade 4 Writing sessions utilise the VOICES (Voice, Organisation, Ideas, Conventions, Excellent Word Choice and Sentence Fluency) program to scaffold students learning. Text types studied in Grade 4 include: Recount, Narrative, Poetry, Exposition, Procedural and Information Reports. We incorporate Fast Writes into our weekly program to build writing stamina and develop the joy of writing. In Grade 4, our study of spelling follows the SMART spelling program. Vocabulary is extended upon through our study of Greek and Latin root words. Elements of grammar are incorporated into our weekly VOICES lesson.

Throughout Grade 4, students participate in weekly handwriting lessons where they master Victorian Modern Cursive Script in order to gain their pen licence.

The students are offered multiple opportunities to enhance their speaking and listening skills across all areas of the curriculum.

Numeracy

Grade 4 students participate in five x 1 hour Mathematics lessons per week. Included lessons are:

  • 3 hours of Booster Maths Groups – grouping is determined through pretesting using the Essential Assessment program and targeted to the specific learning needs of individual students.
  • Targeted Problem Solving Lessons
  • Maths Investigations
  • Automatic Response including Mental Maths, timetables, Blitz Masters
  • Grade 4 students also have the opportunity to participate in the Australian Maths competition and the Maths Olympiad.

Inquiry

In Grade 4, students are introduced to new and exciting Inquiry based learnings. The Inquiry Topics we have covered are:

  • Getting to Know you.
  • Our Place Indigenous Australians.
  • How does where we live affect how we live?
  • Why is it important that we live on our planet in a way that is environmentally sustainable?
  • Stuck in Antarctica.
  • Digital Technology-iPad, laptop, multi media.
  • Ground Control to Major Tom.

In preparation for the Senior BYOD program, Grade 4 focus on developing ICT safe usage practices, coding, research and touch typing skills.

In line with the Mt Eliza Primary School Homework Policy, Grade 4 students are given weekly homework tasks including: one hour reading, spelling practise, Mathletics and a range of optional tasks relating to the Inquiry or wellbeing focus.

Grade 4 students are fortunate to have a number of opportunities throughout the year to participate in out of school experiences, enhancing classroom learning. Across the year students will have visited CERES, Werribee Zoo, Moondah Beach, local walks, an end of year celebration and Phillip Island Adventure Resort (2 night camp).

In addition to this very full curriculum your child will participate in:

  • Weekly Grade 4 sport
  • Kitchen Garden Program conducted in term 1
  • Indonesian
  • Added responsibility as a Buddy mentor
  • Leadership opportunity through the MEET and SRC
  • Opportunity to compete at district level in swimming, athletics and cross country

We welcome parent participation in your child’s learning at Mt Eliza Primary School.

Grade 5

Welcome to Grade 5!

Grade 5 will offer a broad range of opportunities for your child to develop academic, social and life skills. We equip children with the experiences and exposures necessary to transition from Middle to Senior school, with a view to becoming next year’s school leaders.

Students are exposed to a variety of curricula such as; Kitchen Garden, Science as well as extra-curricular activities including HPV, Whole School Production, Wakakirri (Every 2nd year), Camp, Beach Program and I sea I care program.

 

Literacy

Literacy within Grade 5, focuses on a variety of domains including, but not limited to: our CAFÉ Reading Program (Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, Expanding Vocabulary), VOICES Writing Structure (Voice, Organisation, Ideas, Conventions, Excellent Word Choice, Sentence Structure), year level oral presentations and weekly word study complemented with dictation, editing and grammar.

Our Inquiry topics are integrated throughout our literacy sessions to immerse and engage students. A popular activity amongst our students in Term 4 is the Literacy Circle rotations (Book Club), which is designed to prepare students for Grade 6 as it is exposing them to a deeper analysis of text.

 

Numeracy

Numeracy in Grade 5 is structured to allow students to gain a variety of learning opportunities. Over a standard week students participate in three ‘booster maths’ session which are streamed according to their specific mathematical level or needs. This means we can teach students to their point of need, supporting and extending where necessary, however these grades are fluid and students may move between these during a unit. For one session a week, students participate in a problem-solving or investigation session with their class, in which they work collaboratively, with support from staff, on all aspects of mathematics. Selected Grade 5 students also have the opportunity to participate in the Australian Maths Competition and the Maths Olympiad.

 

ICT

In Grade 5 we introduce a BYOD 1:1 iPad program. This enables our students to research and develop their ICT skills in typing and understanding about trusted resources of information. Students are educated in cyber safety to promote safe online behaviours.

 

Inquiry

We have an overarching unit covered in each term in which the students research and investigate. They develop their own line of inquiry based on critical questions and areas of interest, formed around our inquiry topics. This year we have investigated the making of an effective team, the differing cultures of the Asian continent, the development of the 1850’s Australian Gold Rush and the creation of a music band.

 

Homework

In Grade 5 we expect students to be reading for 2 hours every week, daily spelling practice, Mathletics homework and encourage two family orientated wellbeing activities a week.

Grade 6

Welcome to Grade 6

Grade 6 is an exciting time as we celebrate the culmination of our students’ primary school years and the emerging leaders they have become. As we prepare for the transition to secondary school we guide and support students by creating opportunities to promote direction for their own learning and a passion to enquire further. Students are exposed to a variety of curricula such as: Kitchen Garden, Science specialist, Interschool sport, student led Market Day and Ev3 Robotics. As well as extra-curricular activities including HPV, Whole School Production, Wakakirri, Canberra Camp, Beach Program and GRIP Leadership Conference.

 

Literacy

Literacy within Grade 6, focuses on a variety of domains including, but not limited to: our CAFÉ Reading Program (Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, Expanding Vocabulary), VOICES Writing Structure (Voice, Organisation, Ideas, Conventions, Excellent Word Choice, Sentence Structure), Debating, year level presentations and weekly word study complimented with dictation, editing and grammar. Our Inquiry topics are integrated throughout our literacy sessions to immerse and engage students. A popular activity amongst our students is the Literacy Circle rotations (Book Club), which is designed to prepare students for secondary school as it is exposing them to a deeper analysis of text.

 

Numeracy

Numeracy in Grade 6 works in many ways. Each week students participate in a mathematical problem-solving session in which students work collaboratively, with support from staff, to answer questions on all aspects of mathematics. The students participate in pre-tests on their iPads before we conduct a unit to assist us in grouping students. We use student groupings across all classes that is based on their understandings and pre-test results. This means we can teach students to their point of need, supporting and extending where necessary, however these grades are fluid and students may move between these during a unit. Grade 6 students also have the opportunity to participate in the Australian Maths Competition and the Maths Olympiad.

 

Inquiry

In Grade 6 we use a BYOD 1:1 iPad program. This enables our students to research and develop their ICT skills in coding, typing and understanding about trusted resources of information. Students are educated in cyber safety to promote safe online behaviours. 2019 has the Grade 6’s covering the following areas for their inquiry topics; Australian Government, Economics, Australian Immigration and Natural Disasters.

 

Homework

In Grade 6 we expect students to be reading for 2 hours every week, daily spelling practice, Maths Mate homework sheet and encourage two family orientated wellbeing activities. We collect and correct homework every Monday. We recommend restricting technology time in the evenings to promote healthy lifestyle choices for a successful bedtime/sleep routine, which will aid in their development and overall wellbeing.

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