At Woodlands, we recognise the importance of literacy skills being a fundamental part of everyday life. Our goal at Woodlands Primary School is to develop and challenge our students’ understanding through engaging and authentic learning experiences. To help our students build upon their literacy skills we ensure that we deliver a differentiated curriculum consistent language is used throughout the school. At Woodlands Primary School we aim to build on student voice and ownership for their learning. We focus on goal setting, self-reflecting and collaboration.
Here at Woodlands we have implemented CAFÉ Reading strategies within our reading program. This approach develops proficiency in Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency and Vocabulary. Explicit reading strategies are taught through the Daily 5 model, modelled, shared and guided reading. Throughout these sessions students are provided the opportunity to conference with their teacher, assess their reading progress and identify and set their reading goals.
Within our Literacy program we incorporate a range of approaches to writing instruction focusing on whole class, small group and individual needs. Our writing program also incorporates elements of the VCOP and Big Write strategies. These programs bring the fun back into writing and most importantly, challenge students throughout the writing process. VCOP highlights the use of Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation within writing. The Big Write is an opportunity for students to showcase their learning and then reflect and set their own writing goals.
Speaking and Listening
Oral language sets the foundation for the reading and writing skills that students develop as they progress through school. Through the use of games, turn and talk and various oral language activities our students are given the opportunity to practice respectful dialogue and active listening. Our students are encouraged to reason together, collaborate and build their understandings.
At Woodlands Primary School we teach Mathematics through differentiated challenging problem solving, regular fluency practice and skill based learning. We aim to develop independent learners with the capacity for deeper thinking and the confidence to inquire into mathematical concepts. This includes students constructing meaning, thinking mathematically, solving a variety of problems, articulating their thinking and correctly using mathematical language.
As a result of learning mathematics at Woodlands Primary School all students will be encouraged and assisted to:
- develop a positive attitude towards mathematics and an awareness of the relevance of mathematics in the real world
- develop competence and confidence in mathematical knowledge, concepts and skills
- develop an ability to solve problems, to reason, to think logically and to work systematically and accurately
- develop accuracy in computational skills consistent with their age and stages of development
- understand and use mathematical language
- develop an ability to work both independently and in cooperation with others
- develop a range of strategies to become mathematical problem solvers
- be risk-takers, who are happy to make mistakes
- develop knowledge and skills to develop mathematical understanding
- develop skills in presenting and interpreting mathematical data
- articulate their thinking confidently during mathematical tasks
At Woodlands Primary School, a maths lesson begins with a ‘Tune In’, which can include a Number Talk or Mental Maths session. The main mathematical concept is then delivered through individual and collaborative learning opportunities. We also use the Maths300 program during mathematical lessons to assist with differentiating the students, through targeted open-ended investigations.
A Number Talk is a 10 to 15 minute whole group mental maths activity where students find the answer to a maths problem in their heads, then share aloud the strategies they used to find that answer. This strategy helps to develop quality student discourse in a whole class setting as students are encouraged to explain their thinking, justify their reasoning, and make sense of each other’s strategies.
Maths300 lessons reflect happy, healthy, cheerful, productive, inspiring classrooms in which students at all levels are learning to work like a mathematician. By beginning with an open-ended investigation, Maths300 lessons encourage the questioning, reasoning, justifying and communication skills of a professional mathematician.
We use websites such as Mathletics and Essential Assessment to help assist us with our teaching and to provide opportunities for pre and post assessment tasks to determine students understanding of topics and inform our teaching for each unit. Mathletics is also used as a selective homework program.
Students in Years 3-6 can enter the Australian Maths Competition and Year 6 students have the opportunity to enter the Maths Olympiad. Both competitions allow students to experience a variety of problem solving challenges, whilst competing against other Australian students.
At Woodlands Primary School, we believe the best strategy when teaching the humanities subjects such as history and geography, is through an Inquiry-based approach. Students pose questions, research responses and present their findings to an audience. Presentations have included Student Elections, Genius Hour Expos, Excursions and Parent Open Afternoons.
Inquiry-based learning is more than asking a student what he or she wants to know. It’s about triggering curiosity. The focus is on ‘how we know’ rather than ‘what we know’, with students actively involved in the construction of their own knowledge through active involvement. There is a shift away from a content driven approach towards one that provides students with the skills and resources to discover knowledge for themselves. Students are able to pose a question and given the skills and resources to explore, investigate and search for answers. They plan and carry out their research, come to some conclusions and decide how they could make change happen. They convert information and data into useful knowledge. Ultimately, the importance of inquiry learning is that students become lifelong learners and learn how to continue learning.
The aims of our Inquiry Learning Approach are to:
- Nurture and develop the students’ natural inquiring mind, helping them to become lifelong learners who continue to learn how to learn.
- Develop the students’ ability to pose questions and plan, research, investigate and search for answers and solutions.
- Develop the skills needed to convert information and answers into useful knowledge that can be applied to new situations and prompt further learning.
- Provide students with different ways of viewing the world, communicating about it and successfully coping with the questions and issues of daily living.
- Develop an understanding that all knowledge changes over time as people challenge, shape and contribute to it.
- Demonstrate that there are often multiple perspectives for looking at, analysing and understanding things.
- Provide learning opportunities that are more relevant as concepts are learned in context and relate to existing knowledge and experiences.
- Develop thinking processes and strategies that are outlined in the Victorian Curriculum.
- Provide rich learning opportunities that are relevant to the students and cross over all domains eg. English, Mathematics, Civics and Citizenship, Science, Health, Humanities, ICT, Critical and Creative Thinking, Technology and Art.
- Encourage students to become independent, resourceful and responsible learners.
Foundation – Year 1 Level
Physical Education at the Foundation – Year 1 Level occurs weekly for one 30 minute session. The emphasis at this level is on developing fundamental motor skills which includes ball handling. Fundamental motor skills essential for all sports and are; throwing, catching, kicking, running, jumping, bouncing a ball, leaping, dodging and striking. Ball handling sessions develop skills such as throwing, catching, fielding, hitting, kicking and dribbling. Warm up games and other lesson introduction activities focus on all aspects of fitness; the development of endurance, speed/agility, joint flexibility and strength. Simple games are used as a means of teaching the need to follow instructions and drills are used to develop specific skills. Safety and keeping healthy in terms of looking after your body are discussed regularly during lessons.
Year 2 – Year 6 Level
Physical Education at the Year 2 – Year 6 Level occurs weekly for one 60 minute session. A brief outline of physical education at these levels includes:
Ball Skills: Continued development of Fundamental Motor Skills and their application to game situations, including modified versions of traditional major games.
Fitness: Development of endurance, speed/agility, joint mobility/flexibility and strength with an emphasis on cardio/vascular fitness for health.
Athletics: Introduction to athletics events such as sprinting, jumping, throwing, hurdles and relays.
Gymnastics: Continued activities in movement exploration and the introduction of more formal gymnastic movements including rolling, balancing and basic activities on apparatus
Year Level Sport
Foundation – one 30 minute PMP (Perceptual Motor Program) session per week. This is a station based activity where children learn to listen to instructions and develop an understanding of language through movement. The program aims to not only allow time for children to develop co-ordination, but memory and eye tracking skills necessary for reading and spelling. PMP is ran on Tuesday mornings.
Year 1 – weekly one 60 minute session that further enhances Fundamental Motor Skills.
Year 2 – weekly one 60 minute session that further enhances Fundamental Motor Skills.
Year 3 – weekly one 60 minute session that further enhances Fundamental Motor Skills, basic sport specific skills and basic game play.
Year 4 – weekly one 60 minute session that incorporates Fundamental Motor Skills with sport specific skills and game play.
Year 5 – weekly one 90 minute session that supports the development of sport specific skills and the whole health and physical education curriculum.
Year 6 – weekly one 120 minute session where children are involved in Interschool Sport competition playing specific sports against local schools for summer and Winter Sports. Year 6 Sport is on Fridays.
Students are taught Visual Arts in 2 vibrant, fully equipped Art rooms. They are also taken outside to enjoy creating Artworks in the glorious, inspiring grounds of our beautiful school.
Students happily engage in a compilation of Art activities to inspire them to communicate the world as they see it through Visual Arts.
Their development as artists will also assist them in all other areas of the curriculum by encouraging creativity, critical thinking, imagination, collaboration, problem solving, risk-taking and self-direction.
The enriching activities will provide opportunities in the skills of art elements of line, form, texture, shape and colour.
Students from Foundation to Year 4 attend Music and Dance Lessons for an hour per week for half of the year.
Students will be learning a variety of songs and rhymes and having lots of fun with music. They will enjoy playing and experimenting with instruments in the music room such as drums, keyboards, glockenspiels and simple percussion.
Lessons include activities involving singing, playing instruments and moving and responding to various styles of music. Students will investigate through song and dance the aspects of music including beat, rhythm, tempo and dynamics.
Students will participate in various dance styles, learn dance sequences and respond to dance performances as well as having opportunities to choreograph and compose dances of their own
As students progress they will be introduced to simple music notation and will have opportunities to compose and play their own simple music using percussion instruments.
Students begin learning how to play the recorder in Year 2 and this continues on throughout Years 3 and 4. They will learn how to correctly hold and play the instrument as well as learning to play some simple songs. With each new song students will be introduced to more complex music notation developing an understanding of written music.
We run a whole school dance program named ‘Footsteps’ during Term 3 of each year. The dances the students learn are performed at our fabulous end of year concert held in December.
The dynamic theatre company Alpha visits Woodlands annually during Term 2 preforming for our Foundation to Year 4 students. It is a great opportunity for our students to let their imagination run wild and experience real quality theatre.
Choir runs every week at lunch times in the Performing Arts Hall. Students in Years 3-6 are invited to participate in choir.
The science program at Woodlands is based on the Australian Science Curriculum centering on the areas of Science Understanding, Science as a Human endeavour and Science Inquiry Skills.
Each year level from Year 3-6 has a weekly hour-long science session exploring Biological Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Physical Sciences, Earth & Space Sciences and Nature and Development of Science.
The focus of science lessons is largely hands on, to engage students and develop their inquiry and observational skills.
LOTE – Italian
At Woodlands Primary School our Italian program runs for all students in Foundation, Grade 1 and Grade 2. Within that session students apply their learning in Italian in a variety of ways: through speaking and listening, reading and writing, story books, posters, board games, playing language games, participating in interactive experiences such as online games and performances such as role playing using puppets. Students are introduced to many concepts such as counting from 1-20 in Italian, learning the colours, basic greetings, geographical features of Italy, the flag of Italy, learning about special celebrations in Italy and songs.
- Ciao (Hi/Bye)
- Buongiorno (good morning)
- Buonasera (good afternoon/good evening)
- Buonanotte (good night)
- A presto (see you soon)
- Arrivederci (good-bye)
- Grazie (thank-you)
- Prego (you are welcome)
1 – Uno
2 – Due
3 – Tre
4 – Quattro
5 – Cinque
6 – Sei
7 – Sette
8 – Otto
9 – Nove
10 – Dieci
11 – Undici
12 – Dodici
13 – Tredici
14 – Quattordici
15 – Quindici
16 – Sedici
17 – Diciassette
18 – Diciotto
19 – Diciannove
20 – Venti
At Woodlands, Digital Technologies are utilised to provide students with the tools to transform their learning and to enrich their learning environment.
Woodlands is an eSmart school; an initiative of The Alannah and Madeline Foundation. It is a behaviour-change initiative designed to improve cyber safety and deal with cyberbullying and bullying. Since registering with the program, we have introduced many new policies and activities to improve the way our school manages cyber safety, bullying and cyberbullying.
Integrated Into All Learning Areas
Digital Technology is taught as a specialist program for all Foundation and Year 1 students to give them the basic skills and introductions of software programs such as Paint, Word, Excel etc necessary to work on their own.
Digital Technology from Year 2 to 6 is not taught as a stand-alone specialist subject at Woodlands, instead it is utilised as a tool in all learning areas, across the year levels.
Students and staff at Woodlands Primary have had access to both Windows and Apple devices for nearly a decade. In more recent years, this has grown to include iOS iPad devices.
Year 3 – 6 students have essentially transitioned completely into mobile technology (netbooks, laptops and iPads), allowing our students to engage in “anywhere, anytime” learning with Digital Technology.
In The Cloud
Years 5, 6 and staff at Woodlands utilise the Google Apps platform. This allows us to create, collaborate, communicate, connect and contribute using Google’s collection of programs, tools and features.
Along with the mixed platforms stated above, students and staff at Woodlands have access to digital displays (interactive whiteboards and LED TV trolleys), a strong network, Google Apps, digital microscopes, robotic and coding tools.
Focused on the Task, Not the Technology
Our most important Digital Technology focus at Woodlands is enabling our students to focus on the task to be accomplished rather than on the technology they are using to do the work. Particularly when using the iPads, the students and staff know that, “It’s not the app, it’s the activity.”
Woodlands students have a program rich in literature and are able to borrow books from our well-stocked Library.
We focus on enjoyment, imagination and information through stories and non-fiction material.
Students from Foundation – Year 6 receive a weekly Library lesson (30 minutes) taken by their class teacher.
Lessons focus on literature appreciation, how to use the library, as well as borrowing books of interest for students.
Students are encouraged to be responsible for remembering their Library ‘Book Borrowing Day’ – It is vital that children return their book/s so they can borrow a new book. Students will not be able to borrow if they have not returned their book/s.
The Library supports and extends the Units of Inquiry being studied in each year level and provides classrooms with a variety of resources to enrich each Unit.
For borrowing purposes, children are encouraged to have a waterproof library bag, labelled with both their first and last names and grade.
A Library Bag:
- Protects the book
- Ensures the library book is kept separate from household books when not in use, making them easier to find on Library Book Borrowing Day
- Makes it easier for students to carry
- Most importantly protects library books from damage, especially leaking drink bottles
Waterproof Library bags are available from the Bounty Shop, however you may use any waterproof, protective bag, preferably around the size of a pillowcase to accommodate our larger books.
The Library is open, before school from 8.45 – 9.00, recess from 11.00 – 11.15, one lunchtime per week 2.00 – 2.30, and after school 3.30 – 3.45 for quiet reading and borrowing (students need to bring a waterproof library bag to be able borrow).
During the year, the Library hosts two Book Fairs, June and December, as well as supplying brochures for Book Club twice per term.
Media Studies introduces students to a broad range of media texts, developing skills in areas such as photography, filmmaking, radio, scriptwriting, webpage design and marketing. Students work collaboratively, presenting many of their projects to the wider school community.
Woodlands has its own green screen and radio studios. We broadcast a television news program ‘live’ to classrooms during the week with information on what’s happening around the school. Woodlands FM runs radio shows on a weekly basis at lunchtime, providing students with music to listen to along with competitions, interviews and requests. Senior students are trained in television and radio broadcasting and take significant responsibility to see the shows go ‘live to air’
School camps play a vital role in building character and resilience in our students, which we value very highly at Woodlands Primary School. We deliver camps from Year 3 through to Year 6, each with a different location and challenge.
Year 6 Camp (Canberra) 5 days, 4 nights
To begin their last year of primary school with a bang, the Year 6 students set off to Canberra by coach in the early hours of Monday morning, where they will spend the entire week touring around the sites of our capital city. These include visits to:
- National Museum of Australia
- National Capital Exhibition
- Ainslie Lookout
- Australian Institute of Sport
- Royal Australian Mint
- High Court of Australia
- Parliament House
- Telstra Tower
This camp is highly educational, as it ties in with the Year 6 curriculum focus, Civics and Citizenship.
Year 3 Camp (Somers School Camp) 3 days, 2 nights
Our Year 3 students go away on camp for the first time to Somers, only 30 mins drive from Woodlands Primary School. It is here that they are introduced to some challenging activities such as the Giant Swing, Flying Fox and Ropes Course. The camp backs directly onto the shores of the Westernport Bay, with the Coolart Wetlands located just next door. Both of these environments and its local wildlife create fantastic discussions and lead to further research from the students back at school.
Year 5 Camp (Urban Camp) 3 days, 2 nights
The Urban Camp is a fantastic opportunity for our students to visit some of Melbourne’s finest landmarks, whilst also experiencing the hustle and bustle of the inner city. Over 3 days, the students will travel by train, tram and foot to visit various places such as:
- Eureka Skydeck
- Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre
- Melbourne Icehouse
- Queen Victoria Market
Year 4 Camp (Forest Lodge Farm) 4 days, 3 nights
Our Year 4 students have been attending Forest Lodge Farm for almost 20 years, and we’ll continue to go back for many more! A beautiful country setting in Alberton West (South Gippsland), Forest Lodge provides our students with plenty of physically challenging activities such as Canoeing, Hut Building, Mud Run and Low Ropes, whilst also encouraging students to step out of their comfort zones with The Giant Swing and the Flying Fox. The extra day at camp is spent on a day trip to Wilsons Promontory, where the students complete a difficult hike across Squeaky Beach, up and over the hill to Tidal River where they meet for a BBQ lunch and a play at the beach before returning to camp for the evening.