Curriculum

Art

At Blackburn Primary School, we celebrate the wonderful creativity of our individual student’s skills and artworks in the art room. Throughout the school year, every class from Foundation to Year six enjoys a fifty-minute lesson in the purpose built Art room. This room is part of our lovely old original schoolhouse building. The Art program aims to provide a broad range of learning experiences that incorporate a skill based program along with a lot of scope for individual creativity and expression. We all come to Art with different backgrounds, interests and skills. Originality, individual ideas and creative responses to visual challenges enables each student to be unique in their Artwork. In Art classes, we do not have right or wrong but personal creative responses and expression using a foundation of learnt skills.

In Art, we explore the elements of art: line, shape, colour, pattern and texture… through the activities of drawing, painting, printing, collage, modelling, construction, threads, textiles and iPad artwork. Units of study often include a link with National Gallery major exhibitions, relevant to different levels of the school. Art history, periods of Art and famous Artist’s work are incorporated in the Art program at a comprehensive level throughout the year.

The themes we work with in Art often make links with the integrated units in the classrooms; sometimes these are whole school Art themes/units, at other times a special event or occasion is our focus across different levels of the school. The portrayal of Seasons and symbolism in Artworks is a focus too.

Every activity aims to develop children’s skills, while developing an understanding and knowledge of materials and techniques. Throughout the year, we will be referring to a range of styles and artworks from ancient to modern times. Developing a working knowledge of multicultural and indigenous design is a feature in the children’s units of artwork. As a multicultural school, we have many cultural backgrounds, each with their own unique traditions and creative styles in Artworks. In Art classes, we celebrate and share these traditions.

As the children continue to develop their skills in Chinese Mandarin, so too in Art, we focus on developing our knowledge of Chinese artworks incorporating elements of Chinese techniques and styles in Art. Through these cross-curricular links, the children will be introduced to art and design work from Chinese Art and many cultures from around the world. This builds a broad knowledge of the many rich and varied wonderful influences in Art that we enjoy in our Art world today.

Art is about having fun and working with our friends to share our ideas and learn from each other too. Art can be an individual creative activity and a collaborative activity using shared skills and talents. At Blackburn Primary School, we take great pride and pleasure in sharing and celebrating the children’s beautiful and unique Artworks as they develop their skills and individual creativity. Art is an ongoing creative journey, for every student, as we learn about our world and respond to it creatively.

Through Art, we develop a lifelong interest in appreciating the beauty and excitement of being expressive and creative. Students learn the application of many skills and visual elements involved in creating, making and designing our individual artworks.

I look forward to sharing your children’s creative journey this year.

Mrs. Dixon
Art

A few housekeeping matters:

Smocks: Art is messy! It helps if all children have a good quality long-sleeved art smock to protect their school clothing. Paint can come through if the fabric of the smock is too thin. Children will be encouraged to participate in lots of art activities which are often pretty messy but lots of fun. Most of the paints and inks used do not stain but every now and again a blue or purple paint may stain. (‘Sards’ sticks or ‘Vanish’ and soak in cold water usually help remove these.)

Thank you…….. to all the parents and especially Foundation students Mum’s and Dad’s, (and Grannies) who have supplied a wonderful selection of smocks. Each class is a rainbow of lovely colours and designs. It is great to see most children in all classes have now brought along a smock.

Art materials: It’s great when you bring us wonderful things to make art with. Unfortunately, the art room has limited storage space. Keep an eye out for notes in the newsletter when we are looking for specific items for our art units and activities.

I look forward to sharing your children’s creative journey this year in Art.

eLearning

 

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 and self-initiated learning in students as well as extend their 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, 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.

English

Blackburn Primary School follows the Australian Curriculum to ensure that English standards are met across all levels. Following these guidelines we plan lessons with an emphasis on real literature at the core, to explicitly teach concepts involved in Reading & Viewing, Speaking & Listening and Writing. The way we approach teaching the English curriculum enables our students to:

  • be confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens who learn to analyse, understand, communicate with and build relationships with others and with the world around them.
  • read, view, speak, write, create and reflect on increasingly complex and sophisticated spoken, written and multimodal texts across a growing range of context with accuracy, fluency and purpose.
  • learn to appreciate, enjoy and use the English language in all its variations and develop a sense of its richness and power to evoke feelings, convey information from ideas, facilitate interaction with others, entertain, persuade and argue.

The Early Years & Beyond

In order to ensure that we can cater for your child’s individual capabilities in English, teachers at Blackburn Primary School spend one-on-one time with each of their students at the beginning of the year. At this time administer a number of common assessment tasks, which aim to pinpoint your child’s abilities in all areas of the English curriculum. Following these assessments, each child is catered for in the classroom at their individual level through a combination of individual, small group and whole class work that will aim to build skill levels in all areas of the English curriculum.

Teachers at Blackburn Primary School value the use of real literature as a basis to teach skills in Reading, Writing and Speaking & Listening. We understand that encouraging children to love books is the best way to get them to be life-long and enthusiastic learners and we approach the teaching of English with this in mind.

Skilled & Knowledgable Teachers

Staff at Blackburn Primary School regularly partake in Professional Development in English. Over the past few years we have learned from experts in their field about new and exciting initiatives in teaching students Spelling, Writing and Grammar and how they align with the Australian Curriculum. Blackburn Primary School is a member of ALEA and PETAA, which are literacy affiliations that regularly publish research in the field of English.

Resourcing & Technology

Each classroom at Blackburn Primary School is well resourced with Literacy games and reference materials that aim to build the student’s English skills in a fun and creative way. Games are encouraged as a way to consolidate formal learning in the classroom.

Technology is an important element in our English lessons. We use iPods to access many apps which aim to inspire thinking, are fun, and enable students to explore the world beyond the classroom. All students at BPS have access to Spellodrome, Reading Eggs, and Sunshine Online and they are also encouraged to use laptops to research, read and view information online as well as create their own texts.

Engaging with English

We encourage students to explore their own skills and talents in English at Blackburn Primary School. We invite each child to take part in the Short Story Competition, we hold debates, make movies, we are enthusiastic about engaging children through our Book Club Program, treasure books through our first class Library, enter Speaking Competitions, foster Student Run Assemblies, celebrate our English program by dressing up and celebrating authors and offer support to students through or Reading Recovery Program and EAL Program.

中文 Mandarin

你好 (Hello), everyone! Learning a new language at any age offers enormous opportunities and enjoyment. Children have the most to gain from this brilliant experience. The primary years are the best in which to learn a second language. Children know intuitively that language is an open invitation for exploration, a playground and a pleasure. Learning a new language can make their brain grow, improve their cognitive skills and develop native-like accent and pronunciation. It also gives children access to two cultures and makes them more tolerant and open to others. Our Mandarin program here at Blackburn Primary School provides a respectful, interesting and interactive language-learning environment. Our goal is to make our language learning experience much more FUN!

Foundation

Main topics: Greeting, Numbers (0-10), Body parts and Family members
Chinese songs: 《新年好》(Happy New Year), 《有魔力的话》(The Magic Words), 《数字歌》(Numbers), 《我的身体》(My body), 《我爱我的家》(I Love My Family).

Year 1

Main topics: Colours, 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals, Two-digit numbers (0-99) and Like & Dislike
Chinese songs: 《彩虹》(Rainbow), 《两只老虎》(Two Tigers)

Year 2

Main topics: Who are you? (Introduce people), How much is it? (Three-digit and four-digit Numbers), Supermarket War (Money game) and Me (Describe a person)
Chinese songs: 《找朋友》(Making friends),《铃儿响叮当》(Jingle Bells)

Year 3

Main topics: Western foods, Chinese foods and My Restaurant Rules (Money game)
Chinese culture study” Terracotta Warriors

Year4

Main topics: Ball sports, Olympic sports and Pump Up (Money game)
Chinese culture study: The Forbidden City

Year 5

Main topics: 21 Countries, country project and Around the World (Money game)
Chinese culture study: The Giant Panda

Year 6

Main topics: School staff, Subjects, Facilities, How to ask questions in Mandarin and School Tycoon (Money game)
Chinese culture study: The Great Wall of China

Important School Events

  • Chinese Day
  • China Study Tour (Biennial)
  • Sister school visit

Our sister schools

  • Beijing FCD International Yuanyang Primary School
  • Nanjing Fuxing Primary School

 

Classroom Activities

Chinese games: ‘筷子’(Chopstick), ‘扔沙包’ (Catch me if you can), ‘踢毽子’ (Shuttlecock kicking), ‘太极球’ (Taichi ball), ‘数字游戏’ (Chinese Bingo Game), ‘心脏病’ (Number game: Heart Attack), ’数字圈’ (The Number Circle) and etc.

Chinese stories:《年》(Year),《元宵节》(The Lantern Festival),《屈原》(Qu Yuan),《嫦娥的故事》(The story of the lady living on the moon), 《三个和尚》(Three monks),《中国十二生肖》(12 Chinese Zodiac Animals) and etc.

Chinese craft: Chinese paper cutting, origami, drawing and etc.

Chinese festival celebration: Chinese New Year, the Lantern Festival, Qingming Festival (Tomb Sweeping Day), the Dragon Boat Festival, the Mid-autumn Festival and etc.

Others: Cooking lesson, films, competitions and etc.

Extracurricular

Chinese dance club: Every Friday lunch time

If you have any questions regarding our Mandarin program at BPS, please do not hesitate to come and see me or email me on zhang.yi.y@edumail.vic.gov.au. Thank you for your support of the BPS Mandarin program. Enjoy!

Yi Zhang
LOTE Co-ordinator
Blackburn Primary School

Maths

At Blackburn Primary School our Mathematics program reflects our commitment to using evidence-based best practice to:

  • understand the needs of our students
  • design engaging programs that target students at their point of need
  • support and challenge students to achieve to their full potential
  • continually develop teacher professional knowledge
  • engage with families about the learning of mathematics to enhance students’ success

Developing Great Maths Learners

At BPS we know that the best mathematicians are not the fastest or those who never make mistakes. Rather, they are those who:

  • Are curious
  • Solve problems in more than one way
  • Clearly communicate their thinking
  • See mistakes as opportunities for learning
  • Accept challenges
  • Collaborate with others
  • Recognise and use their own strengths and weaknesses

Our teachers nurture a classroom culture that promotes this “growth mindset” approach to the learning of mathematics.

Our Mathematics Classroom

In every classroom from Foundation to Year 6, BPS teachers consistently present a mathematics program with these common elements:

  • Use of fun games to build fluency with basic maths facts
  • Meaningful context for mathematics
  • Open ended problems that provide opportunity for challenge for all learners
  • Explicit teaching of new concepts
  • Differentiation of tasks to address individual needs
  • Use of supportive hands on materials and visuals
  • Creative use of technology as a context for learning and communicating maths thinking
  • Valuing of the many different approaches to solving a problem
  • Small teacher focus groups for students with a like need
  • Continuous assessment of student learning

Curriculum

Our classroom maths programs align with the Victorian Curriculum and address the 3 strands of Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability. Throughout every mathematics topic undertaken teachers plan for the development of the 4 proficiencies, these being:

  • Understanding
  • Fluency
  • Problem solving
  • Reasoning

Parents as Partners

We are proud of our mathematics program and invite parents to actively participate in their child’s learning through:

  • Classroom help – “Parents as Helpers” evening run in Term 1 supports parents to be hands on in the classroom as parent helpers a well as learn strategies for helping their child learn maths at home.
  • Family Maths Night – held annually, a fun and relaxed evening for families to play maths games and take part in maths challenges together to showcase the type of maths activities experienced by students on a daily basis.
  • Footy Maths Day – students are encouraged to dress in their favourite team’s colours, raise money for a good cause and participate in a range of classroom and whole school footy-related maths activities.

Music

Recent research illustrates how learning music can help students improve in other academic and social areas of their lives. It contributes to social and personal growth and engage all aspects of a person-cognitive, emotional, sensory and physical level.

Students from Foundation to Level 2 receive a 40 minute weekly music lesson. Lessons are based on the Orff Schulwerk and Kodályapproaches to music education. These philosophies combine music, movement, drama and speech into lessons that are similar to a child’s world of play. Skills are introduced in accordance with the capabilities of the child.

The following musical elements are taught through enjoyable and structured music activities:

  • Melody
  • Texture
  • Dynamics
  • Tempo
  • Rhythm
  • Form
  • Harmony
  • Timbre

What We Do

Students sing, chant, dance, perform, listen to and analyse various styles of music. They learn about orchestral instruments and the great composers. They acquire a mastery of skills such as reading and writing music, singing in parts and as a group. They improvise and compose, using their own musical vocabulary at each development level. Students play tuned and untuned instruments in the music classroom, including the fabulously fun Boomwhackers!

Performances

Students keen to share their creative talents are encouraged to perform to their class during their weekly music lesson. All Foundation to Grade 6 students have the opportunity to perform at school assemblies, either with their year level, class, in groups or individually. We love hearing our students progress.

Voice Production

Voice production and microphone techniques are frequently explored within the Foundation to Grade 2 music classroom. By providing opportunities to use our Elvis Presley microphone (cleverly disguised as a dishwashing brush) or our Sparkly Microphone, students learn to use their instruments (i.e.: their voices) to speak and sing clearly so as to be heard (and understood) by an audience. This is an acquired and important life long skill.

Physical Education

The Physical Education and Sporting program here at Blackburn Primary School is a holistic program which aims to encourage every child to be actively involved and educated through fun, engaging movement experiences that encourage personal growth and learning as an individual, in small groups and team play. Physical Education is unique to the curriculum at Blackburn Primary School as it is the only program that focuses on students developing their fundamental motor skills, tactical games sense thinking, fitness and an understanding about the importance of teamwork, fair play and lifelong physical activity.

Physical Education across the Curriculum

In the early years, Foundation to Garde 2, students will be involved in weekly 50 minute PE sessions and developing their Fundamental Motor Skills (e.g. running, throwing, catching, dodging ball, ball bouncing, kicking, strike,ing, forehand hitting) in both skill development sessions and application to modified games. Students will also be involved in basic movement activities and gymnastics.

At levels 3 & 4 (Grades 3-6) students are refining their Fundamental Motor Skills and working from a Game Sense teaching approach, which involves greater focus on tactics and strategy in games and sport.Students work over a two year cycle in various fitness and minor and games units, including fitness challenges, cross country training, teamwork and cooperative games, athletics, Invasion, Net/Wall Games and Striking/Fielding Games. Students at Levels 3&4 also have the opportunity 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.

BPS Sports Committee – It’s all about “TEAM”!

We believe in a team focus here at Blackburn Primary School! We have a terrific group of volunteers who work together to plan major events and share about how to provide valuable learning experiences for our students. Our volunteers also help out with special event days, like House Cross Country, House Athletics Sports and Olympic/Commonwealth Day. Anyone is welcome to visit or come along to our meetings and join our team.

Student Welbeing

At Blackburn PS, we explicitly teach skills that help to promote positive emotions and encourage a healthy lifestyle, in order to help our students develop into resilient young members of the community. Here at Blackburn PS we focus on the Positive Pathways, these pillars include Empathy, Resilience, Mindfulness, Growth Mindset and Gratitude. We endeavour to provide a supportive environment that supports students to develop the knowledge and skills to manage their own health and wellbeing.

As part of the Victorian Curriculum, Respectful Relationships is taught across Foundation-Level 6. We have a whole school approach to teaching students Respectful Relationships. Our school is a place of learning, a workplace and part of the local community. We believe that by enabling each student to feel positive and lead a healthy lifestyle that this will in turn lead to a positive change in students’ academic outcomes, their wellbeing, and the relationship between students and teachers. These positive attitudes and behaviours are lived across the whole school community. 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, staff room or sporting and social events.

Blackburn PS employ a Junior School Council to give all students an opportunity to voice their ideas and opinions of what is important at school. It also provides all students the opportunity to share what they would like to see happening around the school. Our JSC is made up of grade 4 and 5 students, who work alongside the school captains to voice and action the ideas of the whole school.

Welfare

At Blackburn Primary School we encourage independent and resilient students who follow the ethos that everyone has a right to learn and flourish in a safe and respectful environment. Our frameworks around developing student voice and student leadership support an encouraging and positive environment where student input is valued and sought.

Find out more about Student Leadership & JSC

Our school values are

  • Responsibility
  • Co-operation
  • Celebrate Diversity
  • Manners and Respect
  • Fairness and Honesty
  • Friendship

And we live and breathe these values in all aspects of school life. Our in-class credit system celebrates students who follow our values and our strong anti-bullying policy has in-built pathways which support students to make the right choice in class and in the playground. We are proud of creating a culture of students at Blackburn Primary School who truly know how to encourage each other, demonstrate empathy and value community.

There are a number of ways that Blackburn Primary School also assists families and students who require extra well-being and welfare support

  • Student Support Services – Psychology, Social Work and Speech support
  • Opportunities to engage with a counsellor via Yarra Valley Psychology
  • School Chaplain – Is non-denominational and supports both families and students in our community.
  • Kids Hope Program – a student mentoring service, provides students with support networks and community outside of the classroom.
  • Chin-Up Program – A senior student initiative to build resilience in young people
  • Peaceful Kids Seminars – run by our staff in their own time to train and teach students how to be calm, ease anxiety and practise mindfulness.
  • A fully stocked sensory room – a calm and inviting space for students to engage, create and be mindful.
  • Staff who have sought training in ASD, trauma awareness, student disability services, and sleep hygiene.
  • Men’s Shed – an extra curricula event for father and men in our community to build friendships and share interests (run by our school chaplain).