Find out more about the curriculum here at Pakenham Hills
At Pakenham Hills Primary School we work within the AusVELS framework based on our National Curriculum. The AusVELS 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 recognized and feedback is provided by the teacher.
The core subjects of English and Mathematics are a major focus, with Specialist subjects offered being Science, Physical Education and Performing Arts.
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 (walking, talking) at different times, we identify students’ next steps of learning.
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.
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!
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.
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!!!
Learning any second language is good for children’s mental development. Research shows that when it comes to learning languages, the earlier you start, the better and easier it is.
During Spanish lessons, students will immerse themselves in the rich text of the Spanish language and culture through rhyme, songs, chants, games and short stories. The focus in their first contact with a new language is developing oral skills: they listen and speak Spanish with the teacher and their classmates. In higher levels the students will start reading short stories and writing Spanish words and basic sentences.
During Term 1, the students from Prep to Grade 6, have been learning how to greet one another in Spanish, use emotive words, count numbers to 10, say the days of the week and learn the words for family members. They have practised the words that they’ve learned through songs, games and dialogues.
Each student at Pakenham Hills attends Science as a specialist subject. In science we cover a range of topics including Animal and Plant Biology, Geology, Chemistry and Physics. In Science, students conduct a range of experiments, make predictions, investigate ideas, solve problems and process and analyse data. Our Science room is well-equipped with professional science equipment.
This year in Science the 3/4 students have been studying animal life cycles. Students have enjoyed watching our fertile chicken eggs hatch into chicks, and are also enjoying watching our meal worms pupate and get ready to become darkling beetles! Our 5/6 students have been studying plant life cycles, and have watched their seeds germinate into seedlings by giving them the right conditions for life. We are now building terrariums to help us observe the four stages of the water cycle.
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.
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.