Literacy & Numeracy
At Blackburn Primary School all of our teaching and learning is guided by the Victorian Curriculum and our philosophy of developing confident, resilient and independent learners. Our skilled teachers provide high quality instruction and an individualised learning approach, targeting individual student needs. These needs are informed by frequent formal and informal assessment within the classroom which guides dynamic and relevant teaching.
The Literacy curriculum covers Reading, Writing (including Spelling and Grammar) and Speaking and Listening. At BPS, all our Literacy lessons follow the same process from Foundation to Grade 6 to ensure our students have consistency and are able to build on their skills each year in a supportive way. We value creativity and an appreciation for the English language across spoken, written and multimodal texts. Through our Literacy program we aim to develop imaginative thinkers, informed citizens and strong communicators using high quality texts and the provision of several opportunities across the school.
Our Numeracy program is taught with the goal of fostering curious, challenged, engaged and critical thinking mathematicians. We strongly encourage problem solving and collaboration during lessons to build necessary lifelong skills. All of our teaching is evidence-based and we are constantly developing teacher professional knowledge to stay relevant and design engaging programs. Some of the elements included in our Numeracy program are fluency games, meaningful context for tasks, technology, differentiation, support through hands-on materials and valuing different approaches to solving problems.
Blackburn Primary School’s Art program strives to celebrate the wonderful creativity of our individual student’s skills and artworks. Throughout the school year, every class from Foundation to Year six enjoys a weekly lesson in the purpose built Art room. We explore elements of art such as line, shape, colour through a variety of activities such as painting, collage, modelling and construction. In Art classes, we do not have right or wrong but personal creative responses and expression using a foundation of learnt skills. The Art program usually makes links with integrated topics in the classroom as well as links with major exhibitions at the National Gallery.
你好 (Hello), everyone! The Mandarin program here at Blackburn Primary School provides a respectful, interesting and interactive language-learning environment for all students. Our goal is to make the language learning experience engaging and enjoyable. Learning a new language can improve children’s cognitive skills as well as enhance empathy through exposure to different cultures. To facilitate this, we run traditional Chinese dance lunchtime sessions, have links with sister schools in Beijing and Nanjing and celebrate Chinese Day across the whole school annually.
Blackburn Primary School has a rich and strong history of music. Starting from Foundation, students attend weekly music lessons which are based on the Orff Schulwerk and Kodaly approaches to music education. Engaging and structured music activities combine music, movement, drama and speech appropriate to the student’s age. Students are provided with performance opportunities during class, assemblies and school wide events to continue developing their skills. There are several opportunities across the school available for students to develop their musical talents further, such as the BPS band.
The Physical Education program at Blackburn Primary School promotes a healthy and active lifestyle for all students. Fundamental Motor Skills are being developed in the early years (F-2) and then further refined in senior years (3-6). Students are constantly developing physical health as well as an understanding of teamwork, sportsmanship, rules and strategy. Students from Grade 3 onwards have additional opportunities to be actively involved in District Competitions, such as House and Inter School Activities, Elite Sports trials, Tennis, Swimming, Cross Country and Summer & Winter Sports.
To prepare students for an ever-changing world we believe we have the obligation to best equip this generation with 21st century learning skills. We take pride in our efforts to use digital technology as a means of enhancing our curriculum without replacing basic skills.
We have a 1:1 iPad program across Years 1-6. By integrating technology across the curriculum we are able to individualise learning, which we have found increases independence as well as extends student learning beyond the classroom.
iPads are a tool in the classroom that offer students’ an alternative pathway to collaborate, communicate and create. The use of the iPad develops skills in information analysis and evaluation, problem solving and decision-making.
Blackburn Primary School is an eSmart school and we work hard to develop a culture that promotes the safe, smart and responsible use of technology. Our aim is to enable students to develop skills and behaviours reflective of being a responsible digital citizen.
Each classroom is equipped with LCD televisions and Apple TV’s. This technology gives both teachers and students the ability to share and model work. Our robotics include Spheros and Blue-bots which are used to support students’ understanding of coding.
Students lease a school owned iPad for 3 years and are provided with appropriate insurance, protective case and educational apps as part of the lease price. In Foundation, students have access to a classroom pod of 10 iPads.
We have a strong focus and dedicated culture at Blackburn Primary School to focusing on student wellbeing and welfare. We explicitly teach skills to enhance emotional understanding and literacy in order to develop our students into resilient young members of the community. Our values are a core part of our teaching philosophy, complimented with the Respectful Relationships program and the Resilience Project. Gratitude, Empathy, Mindfulness, Resilience and the Growth Mindset are all philosophies we strongly align with.
As part of the Victorian Curriculum, Respectful Relationships is taught from Foundation to Grade 6. We strive for a culture of respect and equality across our entire school community in all aspects of school life, whether it be in classrooms, the staff room, sporting or social events. We believe that by enabling each student to understand their emotions and feel positive emotions will allow them to lead a healthy lifestyle which will positively affect their academic outcomes and relationships with their peers and teachers. Our staff participate in frequent professional development to support these programs.
We also have access to several external support programs for our students such as Student Support Services (Psychology, Social Work & Speech), a non-denominational school chaplain, Kids Hope mentors, Peaceful Kids seminars and links with community programs such as the Men’s Shed and Dementia Cafe.
BPS also strongly believes that students deserve an opportunity to voice their ideas and opinions of what is important at school, and practise these soft skills being taught through our wellbeing program. Our Junior School Council works alongside school captains to voice and action their ideas. Junior School Council works in project teams, focusing on different areas of the school, such as sustainability, lunchtime clubs and fundraising. All initiatives are student driven.