The Australian Curriculum is the mandated curriculum for all Australian schools and is used to support planning, teaching and assessment at Gulfview Heights Primary School.
‘The Australian Curriculum is designed to teach students what it takes to be confident and creative individuals and become active and informed citizens… wherever they live in Australia and whatever school they attend.’ (Australian Curriculum, 2019)
For further information please visit www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/
‘Numeracy encompasses the knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that students need to use mathematics in a wide range of situations.’ (Australian Curriculum, 2019)
Numeracy learning is prioritised at Gulfview Heights Primary School through our whole school approach which includes a daily, one hour Numeracy Block. Opportunities are provided for students to work mathematically and apply their skills in a variety of contexts with a focus on problem solving, fluency, reasoning and understanding.
Literacy is also a priority at Gulfview Heights Primary School and there is a daily two hour literacy block in each classroom. The learning experiences focus on developing students’ listening, speaking, reading, writing and viewing skills. Teachers work collaboratively to plan, teach and assess The Big 6 (phonics, phonological awareness, vocabulary, comprehension, fluency and oral language) with work tailored to meet the needs of their students.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects require similar skills and thinking, and when taught together provide opportunities for highly engaging activities. Students working in STEM are able to experiment, tinker, test ideas, use new technologies, make and create innovative solutions to real and complex problems through the Engineering Design Process. STEM builds students’ capacities in 21st Century Learning skills including collaboration, creativity, communication and critical thinking.
At Gulfview Heights Primary School we believe Nature Play methodologies complement our Literacy, Numeracy STEM and Student Wellbeing Priorities. Our Nature Play programs embrace inquiry based learning, problem solving, sustainability and student wellbeing including emotional social skill development. It also provides opportunities for sensory and motor skill development, coordination and physical wellbeing and increased academic performance.
Nature Play promotes children as capable learners who can make risk-based judgements while building respectful connections with the environment. It also provided opportunities to increase physical wellbeing and academic performance through play.
“A natural play space is a designated area that emulates a natural setting to provide a place where children can engage in creative, unstructured play with natural elements.” Natural Play Spaces Getting Started, NaturePlaySA.org.au
Science at Gulfview Heights provides exciting ways of fostering student curiosity and answering interesting and important questions about the world through observations, discussions, research and practical experiments.
Students develop scientific knowledge in Biological, Physical, Earth and Space and Chemical Sciences. They explore this content in regular class lessons as well as lessons with a specialist Science teacher. Science content is taught holistically, allowing students to develop their science inquiry skills and have a deep understanding of Science as a human endeavour.
Learning Technologies covers two different but related subjects, Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies. Both of these subjects allow students to work collaboratively and enhance their critical and creative thinking skills.
In Design Technologies students use design-thinking and technologies to generate and produce designed solutions for authentic needs and opportunities. This includes engaging with tools and materials in a responsible and ethical way, considering sustainability now and in the future.
In Digital Technologies students interact with the digital world developing practical skills such as computational thinking and design thinking. They collect and manipulate data about their worlds. They develop their understanding of digital systems and develop coding skills.
Physical Education and Health
Physical Education at Gulfview Heights Primary School is taught by our specialist PE teachers whilst Health is taught by our classroom teachers. Physical Education provides many different opportunities for our students to participate in a range of sports and fitness activities. Students develop an understanding of fair play whilst practising and refining fundamental movement skills in a variety of situations. The PE and Health Curriculum at Gulfview Heights focuses strongly on developing skills in relation to their health, wellbeing, safety and participation in physical activity, in and outside the classroom. We support and encourage students to live an active healthy lifestyle.
We also have a strong presence in the SAPSASA community. (Please refer to Extra Curricular Activities for further information)
Performing Arts is taught by a specialist teacher at Gulfview Heights Primary consisting of 3 main areas: Dance, Drama and Music. Students are given many opportunities to create, perform, compose and view a range of different artworks in the 3 main areas.
In Dance the students explore a range of body movements in space whilst considering timing, tempo, musicality, sequence and overall coordination. We foster learning experiences which enable students to creatively choreograph dance pieces individually or in small groups and develop an appreciation for others’ artworks.
In Drama the students experience creative learning through storytelling and characterisation. Students explore performance quality through voice projection, clarity, body movement and expression to create dramatic pieces of work. Students learn performance skills that foster their creativity and confidence and are given opportunities to display this learning in our School Productions.
In Music students build the confidence to be creative, innovative, thoughtful, skilful and informed musicians. Students learning music, listen, perform and compose. Students are introduced to music notation and a range of different instruments. For students wishing to extend their music learning at Gulfview Heights, we offer individual instrumental lessons. (Please refer to Extra Curricular Activities for further information)
Students also engage in both Visual Arts and Media with their classroom teacher. Visual Arts comprises of opportunities to both create and evaluate art works from different cultures. Students engage with various materials such as paint and clay. Media engages the students with a variety of communication technologies such as television, the radio and the internet. Students have opportunities to both interpret and evaluate the messages and perspectives of others.
‘Chinese is recognised as an important language for young Australians to learn as Australia progresses towards a future of increased trade and engagement with Asia.’ (Australian Curriculum 2019)
Students in Years 1-7 participate in one 45 minute Chinese Mandarin lesson per week. They develop language and communication skills for interpreting, creating and exchanging meaning. They explore the Chinese culture through a variety of activities such as Chinese New Year celebrations, calligraphy, Taiji and role play.
Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) encourages students to develop a range of skills which enable them to make informed decisions and solve problems. ‘Through studying Humanities and Social Sciences, students are given opportunities to develop their ability to question, think critically, solve problems, communicate effectively, make decisions and adapt to change.’ (Australian Curriculum, 2019). Areas within HASS include Geography, Civics and Citizenship, History, Business and Economics.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are celebrated and supported at Gulfview Heights Primary School through various experiences at a classroom and whole school level. This provides ‘opportunities for all students to deepen their knowledge of Australia by engaging with the world’s oldest continuous living cultures.’ (Australian Curriculum, 2019).
Our school employs an Aboriginal Community Education Officer, an Aboriginal Support Worker and an Aboriginal Education Teacher who work collaboratively to ensure that all students are engaged in the Aboriginal Histories and Cultures Cross-Curriculum Priority of the Australian Curriculum.
Our school also implements the Aboriginal Programs Assistance Scheme (APAS) which is an early intervention funding model to target identified ATSI students in Years 1-4 that have not met set criteria from their previous year of schooling. In consultation with our class teachers, our Aboriginal Support Worker tutors these students over the course of the year to provide specific and tailored literacy and numeracy support, in line with their education goals.
We are committed to implementing the Aboriginal Education Strategy and ensuring all Aboriginal students are successful learners who are skilled for their future. This is supported by our site Aboriginal and Reconciliation Action Plans which demonstrate our commitment to working alongside Aboriginal families and ensuring a culturally inclusive school community.
SAPSASA (South Australian Primary School Amateur Sports Association) provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate their skills gained in Physical Education lessons whilst competing against other primary schools in the district. Gulfview Heights Primary School caters for a range of student interests by entering teams in various sports including athletics, soccer, football, cricket, softball, basketball, netball, hockey, tennis and swimming. Students practice as a team prior to the events during break times.
We encourage parent volunteers to be involved in SAPSASA through becoming a team coach, team manager, scoring or transporting students to and from events.
‘The Festival of Music is a school based music education program brought to you by the SA Public Primary Schools’ Music Society and the Department for Education.’ (Festival of Music, 2019) Each year students in Years 5-7 have the opportunity to become a member of our Festival of Music Choir. Under the instruction of a professional choir trainer, students learn a repertoire of choir songs during their weekly rehearsals that are chosen, prepared and arranged specifically for them by the SA Public Primary Schools Music Society. These weekly rehearsals build towards a performance at the Adelaide Festival Centre at the end of Term 3, along with numerous performances at school assemblies and special events. This program is part of The Arts learning area of the Australian Curriculum.
At Gulfview Heights Primary School students from Year 3 may partake in Instrumental Music lessons by learning a string instrument (violin, viola or cello). These lessons are an affordable and rewarding experience allowing students the opportunity to be challenged and gain a new skill.
There are many benefits to learning a musical instrument including language skills and aural perception, as well as strong links to improvement in literacy, reading, psychological wellbeing and prosocial behaviour. Instrumental Music lessons complement class music programs.
Learning Intervention Programs
Reading Tutor- MultiLit
The MultiLit Reading Tutor Program is a research-based intervention program that caters for Years 3-7 students who are yet to develop all skills required to be functional readers. At Gulfview Heights Primary School teachers nominate students that would benefit from building their basic reading skills through this systematic and intensive 1:1 program which is administered by highly experienced School Support Officers. The program of explicit instruction includes 20 minute lessons and is run 3 times per week incorporating word attack skills, sight words and reinforced reading with a comprehension component.
MiniLit is an intervention program that provides targeted reading instruction for young readers who are experiencing difficulties, and who are not reaching expected reading benchmarks. At Gulfview Heights Primary School teachers nominate Year 1-2 students that would benefit from this research-based program. Once selected against specific criteria, students attend 4 x 1 hour MiniLit sessions per week with a highly experienced School Support Officer. The program incorporates explicit teaching of basic letter/sound knowledge, decoding skills for CVC words, and word attack knowledge through commonly used diagraph and longer words over the course of 80 lessons.
The QuickSmart Mathematics program is a research-based, 30 week intervention program for students that are yet to develop automaticity with the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). At Gulfview Heights Primary School, students in year 5 who would benefit from the program, engage in 3 x 30 minute sessions each week with a trained Quicksmart Maths Facilitator and a fellow student. During these sessions, students practice skills for both increased speed and accurate problem solving.
Gross Motor Coordination (Leaping Frogs Program)
At Gulfview Heights Primary School, gross motor skills are assessed for each child who transitions from preschool during their first term at school. Students participating in our Leaping Frogs program develop the skills they require to confidently participate in play and physical learning activities. This occurs through explicit teaching and opportunities for practice of movements such as hopping, jumping, skipping, climbing and ball handling. Leaping Frogs small group sessions (4-5 students) are led by one of our trained School Support Officers.