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 Music lessons which include activities in listening, singing, playing, improvising, creating and moving to music. Dance is incorporated into both Music and PE lessons. Students are given the opportunity to learn to play recorders, guitars, ukuleles and a variety of percussion instruments over the course of their primary school years.
Each year we produce a whole-school concert in which all students are involved in creating, choreographing and performing class items. Students also have the opportunity to audition for and perform in individual roles, as well as taking backstage roles.

Our school offers extra-curricular activities throughout the year such as Junior and Senior Dance Groups and a school choir.

At Christmas time we hold an outdoor Christmas concert at the school. This is a lot of fun and a terrific way to celebrate the year’s achievements.



Pakenham Hills Primary School runs two dance programs. The Junior Dance group (P-2) practises each Wednesday lunchtime in the Junior Gallery. The Junior group focuses on learning to use our bodies to dance in rhythm, dance individually and with partners or small groups. Our Senior Dance Group is open to all children in Grades 3 – 6. Senior students learn a range of dance styles including Ballet, Hip Hop, Jazz, Contemporary and Funk. These students perform annually at the School Concert, the PHPS Christmas Concert and at the Pakenham Carols by Candlelight at Cardinia Lake.

Some of our Grade 5 and 6 students are also given the opportunity to participate weekly in a Dance Program where they learn a number of progressive dances throughout the year.  

​All students are encouraged to join us for dancing!



Children love to sing. Our choir is open to all children in Grades 3 – 6. Rehearsals are held weekly. The choir performs annually at the School Concert, Christmas Concert and Pakenham Carols by Candlelight.

A major highlight for the children involved in choir is performing at other community facilities including shopping centres, kindergartens and elderly citizen venues. 

Physical Education

Pakenham Hills focuses on providing a variety of activities for children with an emphasis on fitness, skill development, sportsmanship and enjoyment.

Our younger students have been working towards developing their gross motor skills and coordination involved in basic movements such as walking, running, tumbling, skipping, hopping and jumping.

Our older students have been learning about athletic and team sports such as shot put, discus, t-ball, football and volley ball.  

The new gymnasium is a state-of-the-art facility. We have a running track with a range of interesting and challenging fitness stations for all students to use, as well as a cricket pitch, indoor and outdoor basketball courts, a soccer pitch and a variety of concreted ball play areas.

Our sports classes are filled with fun, engaging and challenging gross motor activities which the students thoroughly enjoy. Our senior year levels have been fortunate enough to represent the school at the inter-school sports carnivals held each Friday morning. We look forward to competing in the Lightning Premiership at the end of the semester. Go Pakky Hills!!!


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