In terms of delivering the school's teaching and learning goals, the school uses the Australian Curriculum and Victorian Essential Learning Standards (AusVELS) as its key resource.
Foundation – Level 2 students undertake Digital Technologies tasks as part of their weekly programs. As part of the Digital Technologies curriculum, students undertake a range of tasks to develop their skills in the basic use of computers, word processing, introduction to coding, problem solving and engaging in the safe use of technology. In addition to weekly scheduled Digital Technology sessions, technology is also integrated into other curriculum areas including Literacy and Mathematics within junior classrooms. Foundation, Level 1 and Level 2 students enjoy access to;
-Foundation - Pod of iPads and access to the computer lab
-Level 1- Pod of iPads, classroom computers and access to the computer lab
-Level 2 - Pod of laptops and access to the computer lab
All students from Levels 3-4 have a bank of notebook computers in their classrooms which are integrated into learning tasks. Alongside these students have access to iPads and the computer lab. This technology enables students to develop essential skills implemented from the Victorian Curriculum such as understanding the concept of coding. They also use computers on a regular basis to publish and present work through data representation. Each student is allocated a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) account which allows them to collaborate, communicate and explore their creativity in a safe and monitored setting.
Levels 5 & 6
Level 5 & 6 students enjoy one to one laptops. These are kept in their classrooms for easy everyday access. They also have access to the computer lab on a weekly basis. All of our students are part of the GAFE (Google Apps for Education) program. This gives them access to their own Google Drive and the Google programs. This means students can save and access their work from any computer or iPad in the school. Level 5 & 6 students participate in an Integrated Digital Technologies program. This means subjects such as coding, Digital systems, data presentation and the rest of the Digital Technologies curriculum, are incorporated into every day studies.
It is Hughesdale Primary School’s policy that homework is given at each year level of schooling. Homework provides opportunities for students to practice skills learnt in class and develop organisational skills. The Homework Policy is included in the Info Hub section.
By the end of Level 6, students will have developed a very good understanding of important concepts relating to local and global environments, Australian society and their place as citizens in our democratic society.
Each unit of work is related to a broad ‘Essential Question’, which allows students’ learning to be focused yet flexible. Our Term 1 whole-school essential question was “What makes Australia a great place?” with all levels investigating different topics under this all-encompassing banner. This provides a unified approach and allows children to see links between each others’ studies.
As well as completing investigations, projects, homework tasks, Literacy and Numeracy-based activities related to their area of study, each year level also participates in various excursions and incursions relating to their Humanities topics. These provide exciting, real-life ways to engage students and stimulate their thinking and learning.
Junior Action Group (JAG)
Each Level 2-6 class elects a male and female student to represent their class and form the school’s Junior Action Group. These students survey their class and discuss things they would like to improve in the school in an open forum. These ideas are then forwarded to staff and school council for consideration.
JAG is a fantastic way for students to have their opinions heard. As well as this consultative role, JAG also organises fundraisers throughout the year, lunchtime sporting competitions for different year levels and events such as a disco. Their role is a valued part within our school community.
Languages - Mandarin
Hughesdale Primary School’s Languages program is available for all students from F-6. Children learn the basics of Mandarin and explore some of the cultural aspects of our Asian neighbour. This develops students’ awareness and respect for cultures other than their own.
Hughesdale Primary School Library is a welcoming space which provides students with opportunities for wide reading, personal growth and enjoyment.
The collection contains picture books, chapter books for the junior school and novels of all genres. Non-fiction books are available on a wide range of topics and are used in the classrooms to support the curriculum and extend the students’ knowledge.
The Library is open three lunchtimes for drawing, games and quiet reading to provide an alternative to outdoor play.
Students have a weekly scheduled 50 min library session with an opportunity to borrow books for home and school.
The library also hosts special events such as:
• Book Character Literacy Parade & Activity Day (biennial)
• Famous Author visits
• Scholastic Book Fair
Mathematics is taught consistently throughout the school in focused one-hour sessions, guided by the Victorian Curriculum and Hughesdale’s Instructional Model. This approach includes:
- A hook to engage students
- Lesson focus made explicit through learning intentions
- Whole class direct instruction and modelling
- Time for independent deliberate practice, focused teaching groups, partner and group work.
- Feedback provided through one-to-one conferencing
- Whole class reflection and opportunities to discuss successful strategies and misconceptions.
During a mathematics session students will participate in a range of learning situations covering Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability. Activities include:
- The use of manipulatives to develop an understanding of mathematical concepts
- Open-ended, problem solving style learning activities
- A variety of digital technologies to enhance learning e.g. computers, interactive white boards and mathematical software such as Mathletics.
Teachers use a range of ongoing assessment tools to monitor and assess student learning and plan for future teaching.
Physical Education and Sport
Each week, students continue to formally develop fundamental motor skills, a sense of teamwork, enjoyment in physical activity and a respect for umpires and officials during specialist Physical Education sessions. In Foundation, this is known as the Perceptual Motor Program (PMP).
The sequential program from Foundation to Level 6 includes ball handling skills, gymnastics, a comprehensive two-week swimming program at the GESAC indoor-heated pool, athletics, major and minor games.
In Levels 3/4, students engage in an extra hour of organised sport, which teaches children the rules and skills involved in major games such as touch football, baseball, circle-ball, netball, basketball and volleyball. This prepares students for Level 5/6 where the students participate in an Inter-school sport competition.
Bike Education is engaged in during Term 4 by Levels 4 & 5 students, which focuses on safety and the skills required when handling a bike in different situations and conditions. Athletics and swimming competitions/trials are held each year, with children proudly representing the school, district and zone at different levels of the competition.
School camps are often the highlight of the children’s year. A structured camp program is in place across the school that gradually increases in length and complexity. The following shows this progression:
- Foundation - early start
- Level 1 - late stay
- Level 2 - sleep-over at school
- Level 3 & 4 - 3 day / 2 night camp
- Level 5 - 4 day/3 night camp
- Level 6 - 5 day/4 night camp
The camps offer a range of outdoor activities that challenge students and develop excellent team-building skills. All camp sites attended are approved and accredited in terms of health and safety.
Science and Technology
Students are encouraged to approach science and technology by asking questions and trying to problem-solve the world around them. Hands-on activities that stimulate children’s curiosity, wonder and questioning are a feature of science sessions across the school. Systematic and creative solutions to technological problems are encouraged, with the safe use of equipment always being a priority. As students progress through the school, they learn the satisfaction involved in collaboratively planning, conducting and reporting on their own investigations.
Each year in Levels 5 and 6, students compete in the Engquest competition against other students in the state. Students cooperatively complete fun and engaging projects that require considerable scientific and technological thought and application.
These documents are created over the duration of the year and are sent home each term. They show parents samples of their children’s work in all areas of the curriculum and are another way we foster children’s pride with their work.
Hughesdale Primary School values children’s creativity and imagination and as such, offers a sequential and well-resourced arts program. The following are components of our developed Arts curriculum:
- The all-encompassing Performing Arts program enhances all aspects of students’ development. Stimulating music, drama and dance activities develop students’ confidence, expression, rhythm, speaking and listening skills. Children gain experience performing publicly at Assemblies, Class Concerts and in Musical Productions.
- The annual school production is a highlight of Hughesdale Primary School. All students in Level 6 have a role in the impressive full-stage production. Level 3/4 students perform a medley of songs prior to the main performance.
- Students have the opportunity to participate either the junior or senior choir. The choirs perform numerous times throughout the year and are enjoyed by the wider school community.
- This well-resourced program allows children to represent what they see, think, feel, value and imagine through making and responding to the Visual Arts. Students explore drawing, construction, threads and textiles, painting, print-making, art using computers, modelling and appreciation of the Visual Arts. Students investigate other cultures and there is a strong focus on reducing, reusing and recycling.
Choir and optional music lessons
- Hughesdale Primary School offers weekly optional guitar and piano lessons for students who are interested in these pursuits.
Level 6 - Level 7 Transition
Students in Level 6 are involved in a supportive and effective program that enables their transition from Primary School to Secondary College to be as stress-free as possible. The transition program, supported by the ‘Hit the Ground Running’ program, includes:
- Numerous visits to different secondary colleges
- Level 7 student visits and talks to the students
Feedback from past students has indicated that this transition program has been extremely helpful in allowing students to settle at Secondary School quicker and easier.
Whole School Transition
Hughesdale Primary School has a whole school transition program to ensure smooth pathways for students when they progress through the school This involves 3 sessions where they will move to their new year level in new classrooms, and one time where they will meet with their teacher for the following year. There are also opportunities for students to have Q&A sessions with older students, giving them a chance to get advice straight from the students themselves.
In 2006, the school officially became a Waste Wise School that values reducing, reusing and recycling. We show our commitment to the care of our environment through the following measures:
- worm bins
- paper, cardboard, cork, compost materials and can recycling
- weekly ‘Rubbish Free Lunch Days’
You Can Do It Values
Each week at Monday assembly, chosen students are formally recognised for their hard work and efforts in class through our You Can Do It, Student of the Week and Best Work of the Week awards. Due to our pride in our students’ work, this work is always displayed out the front of the office. It’s a great way to welcome guests to the school.
In addition to this, an ‘Aussie of the Month’ is chosen which recognises a student who is particularly caring, positive, responsible or a good ambassador for the school. At the end of the year, a ‘Dux of the School’ is also chosen.
You Can Do It is our official values/social skills program that specifically teaches students resilience, confidence, persistence, getting along and organisational skills. As these skills encompass everyday learning and living, it is taught by the whole-school immediately following assembly on a Monday morning. This sets a positive tone for the week.
Hughesdale Primary School uses Restorative Practises program that complements our You Can Do It program. This focuses on giving children the tools they need to resolve conflicts themselves and develop empathy and awareness of others around them.