Teachers deliver a balanced Mathematics program whereby all lessons are explicitly modeled using the ‘think aloud’ strategy. Teachers also provide all students with opportunities to practise and consolidate their skills in guided, collaborative and independent settings.
Under the banner of the Multiple Intelligence Theory, students are provided with opportunities to learn in a variety of exciting, challenging and rewarding ways within each lesson and across all school years.
Harrisdale Primary School has adopted a whole school approach to teaching English through the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model. Our ‘Whole School Lesson Design’ is based on the research of John Hattie’s Visible Learning and our ‘Reading and Writing Blocks’ ensure teaching is explicit, learning is inclusive and that concepts, skills and processes are continuously developed upon.
Our teaching and learning programs are balanced and integrate the three strands of the WA English curriculum, Language, Literature and Literacy. All students have the opportunity to consolidate learning through guided, collaborative and independent activities. Learning is differentiated and personalised to ensure all students progress in listening, reading, viewing, writing and creating.
Speaking and Listening is explicitly taught through English Blocks and Talk 4 Writing has been adopted as a whole school approach to teaching these skills. It also provides all students the opportunity to succeed in writing through direct scaffolding and visible feedback. Reading strategies are explicitly taught through Reading Blocks and guided reading allows opportunities for targeted teacher support in small groups.
K-Y2 follow the synthetic phonics program ‘Letters and Sounds’ and Y2-6 follow ‘Words their Way,’ a teacher-directed, student-centred approach to vocabulary growth and spelling development. Students are also encouraged to learn ‘Magic Words’ to support their early reading development and spelling.
Please see the link below for the slides from our most recent parent information session on Magic Words.
Home Reading is highly valued and encouraged through the use of the digital reading platforms, Bug club (PP-Y2) and Oxford Literacy (PP-Y6). Both of these programs provide students with appropriately levelled texts. Developing fluency is promoted through the changing of weekly home readers, which should be read repeatedly. As with all home reading, these texts are not meant to be challenging. They have been set by the teacher to help children consolidate what they have learned in class and to promote the enjoyment of reading. Library books are also available to all students. Students are encouraged to keep track of their home reading through their digital home reading logs.
Science at Harrisdale Primary School is a key learning area taught as a specialist subject for Pre-Primary to Year Two. Years Three to Six have Science delivered by their classroom teacher.
The Science curriculum provides our students with ways to explore and gain a greater understanding of the world. Students are encouraged to think critically and creatively to explore different ideas. They make predictions about the topic they are investigating and learn to express their knowledge and understanding in a variety of ways. Each term, we focus our planning, teaching and assessment on a different area of the Western Australian Curriculum. The strands are Biological Science, Chemical Science, Earth and Space Science and Physical Science. The Australian Curriculum supports students to develop the scientific knowledge, understandings and skills needed to make informed decisions about local, national and global issues and to join science-related careers.
Science lessons at Harrisdale Primary School follow explicit teaching of the Western Australian Curriculum and the Harrisdale Lesson Design. Students are familiar with this approach, starting each lesson with a warm up to revisit key facts, definitions and ideas of content they have learnt during the term. The activities created in Science are hands-on, where students can investigate and inquire about the subject being explored. Where possible, digital technologies such as iPads are utilised as a tool for research and to create/share work.
A Science specialist in the junior years allows opportunities for a hands-on learning environment. Harrisdale Primary School has a consistent, explicit approach to teaching Science Inquiry in the middle and uppers years through the use of Scitech Investigation Planners. An emphasis on Science Inquiry develops the ability of students to use a range of scientific inquiry methods, including questioning; planning and conducting experiments and investigations based on ethical principles; collecting and analysing data; evaluating results; and drawing critical, evidence-based conclusions.
Sustainability is a cross-curricular priority in all learning areas, but especially in Science. To educate our students to develop the knowledge, skills and values that help them contribute to a more sustainable global future we:
- are a Wastewise school
- have installed worm farms to encourage and teach about composting
- set up a Garden Club growing vegetables and other plants
- promote recycling of different materials
All students from Pre-Primary to Year 6 participate in music lessons. Each class attends one sixty-minute music lesson a week in a purpose built, well-resourced music room with an experienced music specialist teacher. At Harrisdale Primary School we endeavour to instil in our students a love for, and appreciation of, music as an art form. The music program is based on the National Curriculum for the Arts (Music) developed by ACARA and encompasses singing, playing, moving and composing in a variety of musical styles using instruments and digital technologies. The school also hosts a senior choir for students in years 4, 5 and 6 who love to sing. This dedicated group of students rehearse after school hours and perform at many school and community-based events, as well as the WA Massed Choir Festival.
Harrisdale Primary School use Apple Technologies to enhance learning, collaboration and opportunity for students and staff. Our vision is to ensure that we prepare students with skills, as well as creative, collaborative and high-order critical thinking and problem solving processes. We strive to holistically develop students to become effective and creative consumers and creators of information and communication technologies. Teachers enhance and redefine learning across the curriculum, alongside a balance of instructional strategies, and use the SAMR model (link) to reflect on their practice. Learning environments support and accelerate academic levels and needs, as well as engage students in creative, collaborative and high-order critical thinking and problem solving processes. Our school is an environment where all students and staff have ready access to a full range of current Apple technology, software tools, and applications.
STEM describes interdisciplinary learning, which combines Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and is a priority in the Focus 2016 document, determined by The Department of Education’s Director General, Sharon O’Neill. Harrisdale Primary School has prioritised and identified STEM in our business plan, with our attention focused around staff collaborating to create opportunity for students to engage in high-order thinking and problem solving, which encourages meaningful and engaging projects that integrate the STEM subject areas. The forefront of our initiative, is toward ensuring success for all students, accelerating student learning and achievement, as well as creating pathways and connections for students with higher-education and a rapidly changing future workforce.
The Harrisdale Primary School Health and Physical Education Program (HPE) enables students to engage in a variety of learning activities to increase their knowledge of healthy lifestyles, wellbeing and physical fitness. As a result of participating in HPE students will have the opportunity to:
- Demonstrate motor and fundamental movement skills to confidently perform a variety of physical activities.
- Understand movement concepts, principles and tactics as they apply to various sports and modified games.
- Understand the importance of and make educated decisions about achieving and maintaining healthy lifestyles.
- Demonstrate responsible personal and social behaviour in physical activity settings
- Participate in extra curricula activities such as running club, fitness club, lunchtime sports and assorted carnivals and competitions.
In accordance with the Australian Curriculum the following Strands will be used in our HPE Program to meet students social, emotional and physical needs to build confident and physically literate learners:
- Personal, social and community health
- Being healthy, safe and active
- Communicating and interacting for health and well being
- Contributing to healthy and active communities
- Moving our body
- Understanding movement
Learning through movement
The Languages Curriculum Area has been implemented at Harrisdale Primary School from the beginning of 2018. This is in alignment with the new Languages WA Curriculum and it will be taught from Years 3-6 once a week for one hour. Students will also have the exciting opportunity to continue learning French at Harrisdale Senior High School.
French at Harrisdale PS is taught through a combination of innovative approaches to language learning following the foundations of the AIM Method (Accelerative Integrative Method) alongside a broad range of communicative approaches.
Our French as a Second Language Program is also delivered through the use of the latest technologies for languages education. Families are encouraged to support their children in the use of Seesaw at home in-between lessons as short video presentations will be shared regularly to support the acquisition of French as a Second Language. This approach follows the Flipped Classroom methodology which allows us to fully utilise our lesson time to practise speaking and writing in French.
Benefits of Learning a Second Language
There are many advantages to learning a second language, these include:
- The development of a multicultural mindset.
- An appreciation for diversity and the development of an intercultural capability.
- Strengthening of students’ intellectual, analytical and reflective capabilities and enhancement of their creative and critical thinking skills.
- Extending students’ literacy repertoires.
- Developing students’ intercultural understanding and sense of identity.
- Understanding of the role of language and culture in human communication.
- Boosting creativity and self-confidence.
- Supporting and improving first-language acquisition and development; and
- Preparing students for life in our current global community, amongst others.