In Foundation, we use the ‘Jollyphonics’ program to teach basic literacy skills. Phonological awareness and phonemic awareness are covered through a multisensory approach, whereby each phoneme (sound) that is taught has an action, story, and song, to assist and engage students in their understanding. Blending and segmenting learnt sounds is a huge focus, as we develop students word reading and writing abilities. Decodable texts are used to ensure students are consistently applying these skills to their reading.
The Jolly Grammar program is used in the Year ½ classrooms. This program explicitly teaches spelling and grammar for one hour per week, all while revising their learnt phonemes at the same time.
All Students in the early years are exposed to infinite reading opportunities to develop oral language and comprehension. Multiple exposures to a range of different texts including picture story books and non fiction texts allows students to explore and find their love for reading.
All students in Foundation to Year 2 engage in the Writers Workshop for 1 hour per day. Each stage of the writing process is explicitly taught to students and writing activities are scaffolded to suit the needs of each individual child.
Literacy is a huge focus of our curriculum and is taught explicitly; approximately 13 hours per week.
In mathematics, students are encouraged to explore mathematical concepts such as counting, place value, addition and subtraction, and multiplication and division, using concrete materials and play based activities. New learning is taught explicitly to ensure students have a strong understanding of the concept before exploring it independently. Mathematical concepts are linked to everyday life and situations to ensure students learning is relatable and engaging.
Mathematical pathways have been created using the Victorian Curriculum, and learning is scaffolded to ensure it is relative to each individual child and their learning needs. Fluency tasks are completed for 10 minutes at the beginning of each Numeracy lesson, whereby students focus on their individualised counting goal. This allows for students to consolidate their counting knowledge and develop their independence.
Mathematics is taught for at least 1 hour each day, normally from 11.30- 12.30.
Years 3 & 4
Learning mathematics involves building upon previous mathematical skills and understandings, making connections between these mathematical ideas and then generalising. In order to maximise their mathematical learning, and experience its usefulness and importance, students in years 3 and 4 are simultaneously developing their numeracy by appropriately choosing and using mathematics to solve everyday situations and mathematically related problems as facilitated by their teacher.
The teaching of numeracy skills is a program of critical importance and is taught for 5 hours per week, with one hour per day allocated from classroom teaching time, normally from 11.30 – 12.30. Mathematics covers the areas of space, number, measurement, reasoning & strategies and chance & data.
All students complete fluency tasks at the beginning of the Numeracy lesson to consolidate any prior learning and encourage self-correcting their work therefore developing their independence. Mini lessons relate to how students can use their Numeracy skills during real life situations. Whole class learning is conducted in a supportive and investigative manner with students working collaboratively.
Years 5 and 6:
Learning mathematics involves building upon previous mathematical skills and understandings, making connections between these mathematical ideas and then generalising. In order to maximise their mathematical learning, and experience its usefulness and importance, students in years 5 and 6 are simultaneously developing their numeracy by appropriately choosing and using mathematics to solve everyday situations and mathematically related problems as facilitated by their teacher.
We encourage and support students to develop a strong understanding of number and how to apply this knowledge to solve problems. The ‘big ideas’ approach to Number is broken into four different ideas; Trusting the Count, Place Value, Multiplicative Thinking and Partitioning.
The structured classroom program includes a daily one-hour numeracy block. The use of evidence-based teaching approaches together with grouping strategies, supports teachers in catering for the needs of all students. There is an emphasis on the use of continuous monitoring and assessment of students. The classroom program takes into account stages of mathematical growth and reflects teachers’ planning and selection of appropriate learning contexts and activities.
In addition, we offer the QuickSmart numeracy intervention program for students to develop their fluency, recall and automaticity of number facts.
At Benalla P-12, we have been focusing on the work of Di Siemans to develop a greater understanding of how these ‘big ideas’ can help students to work more effectively with number. In Years 5 and 6 students will develop their ability in multiplicative thinking through the use of range of different learning opportunities and activities.