Find out more about the curriculum at Pakenham Hills

At Pakenham Hills Primary School we work within the Victorian Curriculum, this informs all of our curriculum planning and delivery.

Teams of teachers plan together to deliver a comprehensive curriculum to engage and prepare students to manage themselves so they have the opportunity of becoming active participants in their world. Teachers report against this content and the set of achievement standards twice a year and meet with parents to discuss progress and plan for success.

A team of support staff work closely with classroom teachers to cater for individual differences. They collaborate to plan targeted programs that ensure student learning is improved and optimised.

We aim to engage our students by planning meaningful and enriching learning experiences so students can experience success.

Teachers make the learning goals very clear to students and identify what success looks like. The next steps for learning are recognised and feedback is provided by the teacher.

The core subjects of English and Mathematics are a major focus. We also offer the following Specialist subjects – Physical Education, Performing Arts, Visual Arts and AUSLAN.

We continually monitor, assess and identify the needs of all students in order to cater for them in a targeted manner. Just as young children attain various milestones at different times, we identify students’ next steps of learning.

Learning Support

Some children need support with their learning for a variety of reasons. Let’s work together!

Learning Support at Our School

Learning Support incorporates the expertise of staff and the wider resources of the Department of Education and Early Chilhood Development to assess, develop, implement and evaluate individual and small group programs which address the individual needs of children.

Education Support Staff (ESS)

Our Education Support Staff work closely with classroom teachers to support students with learning differences.

Language Support Program (LSP)

Our Language Support Program aims to achieve “age appropriate speech and language development,” assisting students both individually and in small group settings.

Corrective Reading

Students requiring additional reading assistance as they prepare for the transition from primary to secondary schooling participate in our intensive corrective reading program. Students work one-on-one with a fully qualified teacher in a supportive learning environment.

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

Children need confidence and support to reach their full potential. The EAL program is designed for children with individual needs associated with learning English as an additional language, including speaking and listening, vocabulary building, reading, writing, grammar and spelling.


The Visual Arts

At PHPS students experiment with a range of mediums and techniques.  These include drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture and multimedia.
They learn about artists and their practices from various times and cultures. Through this process students develop understanding about the world they live in and the part they play in that world. Engaging with the visual arts, students at PHPS have a safe place to explore their world, take risks, and face challenges, a space for their curiosity and imagination.

We also have fun!


School Concert

Our annual School Concert is a performing arts event incorporating dance, drama and design. It gives our students an opportunity to express their creativity through music and dance by performing in front of a live audience at a professional theatre. Our whole school community work together helping to prepare the school’s performance, reflecting the personalities, concerns, hopes and dreams of those who create it.

The School Concert provides an opportunity for students to develop social skills and self-confidence by working collaboratively with their peers, teachers and parents. It is very entertaining and most importantly FUN for the students involved! Participants go away with the feeling that they accomplished a goal and learn how important it is to work together as a team.



PHPS Performing Arts Program

Here at Pakenham Hills we take great pride in our students’ learning in the Performing Arts. The students participate in weekly Performing Arts lessons which include activities in listening, singing, playing, improvising, creating and moving to music. Students are given the opportunity to learn to explore the elements of music, drama and dance using a range of instruments, props and prompts.

Each year we produce a whole-school concert in which all students are involved in creating, choreographing and performing class items. Senior students also have the opportunity to audition for and perform in individual roles, as well as taking on backstage and creative roles.



Dance is a regular part of weekly Performing Arts classes, and ranges from free movement to more structured pieces, planned and taught by a qualified dance teacher.

Our school supports 16 dedicated students to participate in the Victorian State Schools Spectacular each year. These students practice multiple time per week leading up to their performance at John Cain Arena.

Other dance group and performance opportunities agree also offered throughout the year. 



Students learn a range of dramatic and performance skills including how to use the voice, body and facial expressions to represent a range of emotions and characters. Students are encouraged to create and perform their own skits as well as using more formal scripts. Students also learn the importance of costuming, makeup, lighting, music, sets and props. 

Physical Education

The Physical Education program at Pakenham Hills provides students with opportunities to develop and improve the necessary skills to be able to successfully participate in a range of sports and physical activities, both within the school and the wider community.

In the Junior School (grade K-2) the emphasis in on developing the correct technique for a range of basic physical movements and fundamental skills that are required for a variety of sports and physical activities. These include, but are not limited to: throwing, catching, kicking and striking balls, running, jumping, skipping, hopping and dodging.

For those in the Senior School (grades 3-6) the emphasis is on further consolidation of the same skills as those being taught in the junior school, though with a greater focus on technique correction and applying the skills into a game situation. Students at this level also begin to explore strategies and develop their team work skills.

The skills developed over the student’s time during Physical Education classes from K to grade 4, culminates in the opportunities at the grade 5 and 6 level to participate in a range of sports in our interschool sport program. Students are also able to further showcase their skills in our Lightning Premiership sports days, where we compete against  all the schools from the interschool sport competition.

In addition to the Physical Education program, the lower ends of the senior cohort (grades 3 and 4) have a dedicated sport session, where they come together and play a round robin against each other. These sports/games are changed every three weeks and emphasize the skills being taught during their Physical Education class. This also prepares students to take part in interschool sport competition when they are in grade 5 and 6.

As Physical Education classes are only held once a week, participation is highly encouraged, so please remember to support your child to give it their best when they come to their weekly Physical Education lesson.


At Pakenham Hills we are excited to be offering Auslan as a language other than English (LOTE). The students learn to understand the important role language has in culture and notice differences between Auslan and spoken languages. The children will achieve this through games, interacting and sharing stories.

Children will use familiar signs to present information about themselves, family, people, places and things. They will express imaginative experiences through creative games and role-play.  Auslan will see students participate in group learning activities that involve taking turns, playing action games, making choices or swapping and classifying items.

Students will learn to communicate their emotions with the use of Non Manual Features and understand how to enhance meaning in their signing. They will also translate words used everyday from English to Auslan and vice versa.

We are looking forward to implementing Auslan at Pakenham Hills as another means of communication for our diverse range of students.

Jolly Phonics
Jolly Phonics is a fun and child centered approach to teaching literacy through synthetic phonics. With actions for each of the 42 letter sounds, the multi-sensory method is very motivating for children and teachers, who can see their students achieve. The letter sounds are split into seven groups:
1. s, a, t, i, p, n
2. c k, e, h, r, m, d
3. g, o, u, l, f, b
4. ai, j, oa, ie, ee, or
5. z, w, ng, v, oo (as in book), oo (as in moon)
6. y, x, ch, sh, th (as in think), th (as in there)
7. qu, ou, oi, ue, er, ar
The  sounds are taught in a specific order (not alphabetically). This enables children to begin building words as early as possible. Using a synthetic phonics approach, Jolly Phonics teaches children the five key skills for reading and writing. The programme continues through school enabling the teaching of essential grammar, spelling and punctuation skills.
We can already see how this amazing program is helping our students learn and use the letter sounds. Students are excited for Jolly Phonics lessons and love learning a new sound each day. Students particularly like the songs and actions.
The five skills taught in Jolly Phonics
1. Learning the letter sounds
Children are taught the 42 main letter sounds. This includes alphabet sounds as well as digraphs such as sh, th, ai and ue.
2. Learning letter formation
Using different multi-sensory methods, children learn how to form and write the letters.
3. Blending
Children are taught how to blend the sounds together to read and write new words.
4. Identifying the sounds in words (Segmenting)
Listening for the sounds in words gives children the best start for improving spelling.
5. Tricky words
Tricky words have irregular spellings and children learn these separately.
Pakenham Hills Primary School - Curriculum - Performing Arts
Pakenham Hills Primary School - Curriculum - Physical Education
Pakenham Hills Primary School - Curriculum