Phases of Schooling

Early Childhood - Kindegarten to Year 2

Young children have a natural curiosity about their physical, social and technological world. They have a strong desire to make sense of their world and to represent and communicate their experiences and understandings through language and various art forms. They develop their understandings through their relationships and interactions with others, indoor and outdoor environments and the use of their senses. At Ardross Primary School young children learn through a variety of means - including play and experimentation - to observe, manipulate and explore objects and ideas, materials, technologies and other phenomena.

In the early years of schooling, your child will be provided with a holistic curriculum through which they are able to build, design, problem solve, represent and reflect on new learning in ways that are meaningful to them. This learning is supported through intentional teaching in planned and unplanned experiences to extend learning. They need frequent opportunities to develop shared understandings and dispositions as well as content knowledge. The emphasis on literacy and numeracy is encapsulated in a holistic approach to learning where key ideas and concepts in a range of learning areas are presented in phase appropriate ways. They will have opportunities to develop their control and understanding of the symbolic representations associated with written language and mathematics. Social and emotional development is emphasised so that children build strong relationships, can work with others and develop a positive sense of self.

Curriculum experiences will typically integrate knowledge, understandings, skills and values and attitudes across learning areas. Learning programs should be appropriate and connected to the child's current thinking, interests and ways of learning. They should encourage children's autonomy, intellectual risk-taking, responsibility, agency and control of learning. Effective teachers use a variety of strategies, including structured and unstructured play and explicit approaches with whole-class, small-group and individual encounters. It is important that learning experiences build upon each child's current understandings, skills, values and experiences.

Young children are intimately connected to their families so teachers will foster strong relationships with families and communities and draw upon these strong relationships to provide culturally appropriate programs. Learning and teaching programs must be responsive to children's continuing growth and development.

Middle to late childhood - Year 3 - Year 6

As children grow, their sense of themselves and their world expands. They begin to see themselves as members of larger communities. They are interested in, and like to speculate about, other times, places and societies. They begin to understand and appreciate different points of view, develop the ability to think in more abstract terms and undertake sustained activities for longer periods. The ability of students to work collaboratively and to develop their social skills should be fostered by activities that require group planning and decision making, and interaction with people inside and outside their classroom. Children will be given increased responsibility for managing and organising activities, individually and in groups of varying sizes.

In exploring their physical, social, cultural and technological world, students will be encouraged to pose more focused questions and to carry out investigations in which they form predictions, hypotheses or conjectures, test them and reflect their findings. In late childhood, the investigation of their world should become more refined and include relationships, structures, systems and processes. This will include exploration of behaviours, values, language and social practices as well as physical phenomena and a wider range of technologies and forms of communication and representation. Students will experiment with them to investigate the advantages of different representational forms and technologies for different materials, purposes and situations.

The ability of students to draw on a wider range of sources of information will also be enhanced by introducing them to experiences beyond their immediate environment including those of people from other times, places and cultures. These learning experiences should emphasise and lead to an appreciation of both the commonality and diversity of human experience and concerns.

Students develop a sound grasp of written language and numeric conventions and use these in a range of different learning situations in purposeful ways to achieve outcomes across all learning areas. They reflect on their learning and work practices and consider ways in which these might be improved, modified or adapted for different situations.