The ACT Department of Education and Training has responsibility for the development and maintenance of curriculum policies and frameworks. These assist school communities in decision making for each of the eight key learning areas:
These have common elements and incorporate the Across Curriculum Perspectives. Across Curriculum Perspectives encompass those educational and societal issues that are of such significance that they cross all curriculum boundaries. We endeavour to embed them in all sections of curriculum documentation and include them in daily classroom practice.
The Across Curriculum Perspectives are:
- Aboriginal Education and Torres Strait Islander Education
- Gender Equity
- Australian Education
- Information Access
- Language for Understanding
- Multicultural Education
- Special Needs
- Work Education
Red Hill School has a program of review and renewal for all areas of the curriculum, so that it can encompass changing contexts and expectations and be a creative force in achieving goals.
Evaluation is an integral part of the development and implementation of curriculum. It is an ongoing process in which the school reviews:
- knowledge and processes
- use of time
- appropriateness of strategies, resources and organisation
- the learning environment
- the teacher's role
- equality of access to learning
- the quality of learning outcomes
The Key Learning Areas In Brief:
Recognising that all aspects of language are interrelated, the English curriculum reflects a whole language approach. Further, as language is central to learning in all areas of the curriculum, widely varied language activities, approaches and resources are employed in order to meet individual needs and to foster sequential development of skills. Meaningful and enjoyable experiences are planned for the application of skills attained in realistic, practical situations.
The curriculum aims to encourage effective communication through the use of all language forms, both verbal and non-verbal, by fostering the development of listening, speaking, reading, viewing and writing skills in each child to a stage appropriate to age and ability level.
The enjoyment and appreciation of the language and literature of the child's own culture and the cultures of others is implicit in the curriculum.
Explicit teaching is given in the three Strands of mathematics; Number, Space and Measurement and Chance and Data, as well as providing a learning and teaching environment in which students problem solve and work mathematically.
Cognitive psychologists have described the stages through which children learn mathematics. The Primary Years Program scope and sequence document uses and identifies these stages as follows:
- Constructing meaning – teachers plan activities, through which students construct meaning from direct experience, by using manipulatives and conversation. The Count Me In Too (CMIT) Program forms the basis of these learning experiences in number.
- Transferring meaning into signs and symbols – teachers connect the notation system with the concrete objects and associated mathematical processes. The teacher provides the symbols for the students. Students begin to design their understanding using signs and symbols.
- Understanding and applying – teachers plan authentic activities in which students independently select and use appropriate symbolic notation to process and record their thinking.
Red Hill Primary School recognizes the need to reflect this reality to prepare children for the world in which they live and work, and so offers students an exciting face to face learning experience in the French language.
The programme emphasis is on oral communication and cultural understandings through experiences which suit the age, social maturity, interests and language background of the children. Students will gradually learn to interact in a simple, natural way with their teacher, their classmates and other members of the community. At the same time, they can gain an insight into how societies beyond their own are similar and different. Through this practical approach to language, students can enrich personal growth and develop skills that benefit the Australian community and facilitate internationalism.
Studies of Society and Environment
The curriculum provides the opportunity for children to develop knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes, values and beliefs about themselves and others, their place in society and in the environment. Units of study are based on an inquiry and problem-solving approach and are planned so that children are given an interesting balance of different topics that are complemented, and extended, in other year levels. Excursions and guest speakers are often features of these units.
The basic concepts of rhythm, melody, harmony, form, dynamics and tone are developed through singing, movement and performance on tuned and untuned percussion instruments. Recorder and choral work is incorporated into the music program each year. Children in years 5 and 6 have the opportunity to play woodwind instruments in the School Band.
The Art strand of the curriculum aims to give children experience in using a variety of different media including paint, paper and collage. Children are given the opportunity to appreciate art in many forms. Use is made of special programs offered by local facilities such as the Australian National Gallery. The craft section recognises that both design and skill technology are equally important. Art and craft work created by the children is on display throughout the school.
Attendance at performances offered both within and outside complements the curriculum offered by the school. The skills of members of our school community are also used extensively. Drama, dance and media also form part of the Arts curriculum.
Technology involves exploring the design, make and appraise process. It includes the study of systems, problem solving and investigating how tools and machines work.
Each year the children are encouraged to participate in the Canberra-wide Science Fair and other science/technology based activities and competitions.
All areas of the school are networked and have supervised access to the Internet. Computer use is integrated into all curriculum areas.
Physical Education and Health
The International Bacculaureate Primary Years Program used throughout the school provides a sequential program which aims to extend knowledge of health issues and to develop skills, values and behaviours which will enhance students' lives.
Physical Education also incorporates: