Curriculum

A high quality program for children in the academic areas of learning.

21st Century Learning

To fully participate in today’s global community, we support our students to develop creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration and believe that technology is a perfect vehicle for facilitating this.  We expose our students  to a range of learning technologies and software programs and help them  develop skills to enable them to choose and use the most appropriate tool to support and enhance their learning across all areas.

Hillcrest Primary School has a well-resourced computer network. Every classroom has computers for student use and a teacher’s computer which is connected to a SMART BOARD. Smart Boards are interactive whiteboards which allow students and teachers to be involved in innovative teaching and learning programs within a digital global environment.  We have iPads available for students to use and we run a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program with an Upper Primary class.

There is a dedicated IT room with 25 computers and computers for student use in the library. Every computer in the school is networked, has Wi-Fi access and carries a common suite of programs.  An extensive range of peripherals supports the use of information technologies e.g. digital cameras, scanners and printers.  An ICT technician manages the network and an ICT committee oversees resources and organises training and development for staff.

English

The Australian Curriculum: English is organised into three interrelated strands that support students’ growing understanding and use of Standard Australian English. Together the three strands focus on developing students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in listening, reading, viewing, speaking and writing.

The three strands are:

  • Language: knowing about the English language
  • Literature: understanding, appreciating, responding to, analysing and creating literature.
  • Literacy: expanding the repertoire of English usage

At Hillcrest Primary every class has a daily committed literacy block, regular assessment (formative and summative) of student progress in English and ongoing teacher training in innovative literacy practices.

Mathematics

The Australian Curriculum: Mathematics is organised around three content strands and four proficiency strands and they interact with each other. The content strands are Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. The content strands describe the mathematical knowledge to be taught and learnt at each year level.

The proficiency strands are Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving, and Reasoning and they describe the thinking and doing of mathematics.

At Hillcrest Primary, each class has a dedicated, daily block of mathematics supported by a team of teachers who have undertaken training in Natural Maths and the iMaths teaching resource. Both approaches focus on explicit teaching of concepts and collaborative investigations that enable students to apply their knowledge in real life situations or contexts.

Science

The Australian Curriculum: Science has three interrelated strands:

  • Science Understanding (Earth and Space, Biological, Chemical and Physical Sciences),
  • Science as a Human Endeavour (Nature and development of science; use and influence of science)
  • Science Inquiry Skills (identifying and posing questions; planning, conducting and reflecting on investigations; processing, analysing and interpreting evidence; and communicating findings)

Together, the three strands of the science curriculum provide students with understanding, knowledge and skills through which they can develop a scientific view of the world.

At Hillcrest Primary, many of our teachers use the Primary Connections resource developed by the Australian Academy of Science which promotes students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in both science and literacy, through an inquiry-based approach.

The Arts

The Australian Curriculum: The Arts is a learning area that draws together related but distinct art forms – Music, Dance, Drama, Media Arts and Visual Arts.

In Music, students listen to, compose and perform music from a diverse range of styles, traditions and contexts. They create, shape and share sounds in time and space and critically analyse music. Music practice is aurally based and focuses on acquiring and using knowledge, understanding and skills about music and musicians.

In Dance, students use the body to communicate and express meaning through purposeful movement. Dance practice integrates choreography, performance, and appreciation of and responses to dance and dance making.

In Drama, students explore and depict real and fictional worlds through use of body language, gesture and space to make meaning as performers and audience. They create, rehearse, perform and respond to drama.

In Media Arts, students use communications technologies to creatively explore, make and interpret stories about people, ideas and the world around them. They engage their senses, imagination and intellect through media artworks that respond to diverse cultural, social and organisational influences on communications practices today.

In Visual Arts, students experience and explore the concepts of artists, artworks, world and audience. Students learn in, through and about visual arts practices, including the fields of art, craft and design. Students develop practical skills and critical thinking which inform their work as artists and audience.

At Hillcrest Primary, Louise Kates is our specialist Performing Arts (Music, Drama and Dance) teacher and all students from Reception to Year 7 receive tuition in these subjects. Classroom teachers instruct their students in Media and Visual Arts.

Humanities and Social Sciences

History
The Australian Curriculum: History is organised into two interrelated strands: Historical Knowledge and Understanding and Historical Skills. The first strand includes personal, family, local, state or territory, national, regional and world history. Historical Skills promotes skills used in the process of historical inquiry such as terms and concepts, analysis, questions, research and communication.

At Hillcrest Primary, History is taught as a specialist subject by Cam Grigg. There is a strong emphasis on Indigenous perspectives and Australian history within the global context in the lessons Cam provides to students from Reception to Year 7.

Geography
The Australian Curriculum: Geography is organised in two related strands: Geographical Knowledge and Understanding, and Geographical Inquiry and Skills. The first strand refers to the facts, generalisations, principles, theories and models developed in geography. Geographical Inquiry and Skills refers to the processes, investigations, research and thinking skills students learn about and use to deepen their understanding of geography.

Civics and Citizenship
Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship is organised into two interrelated strands: Civics and Citizenship Knowledge and Understanding, and Civics and Citizenship Skills. This area of the curriculum is taught from Years 3 to 10.

Economics and Business
The Australian Curriculum: Economics and Business is organised in two related strands: Economics and Business Knowledge and Understanding, and Economics and Business Skills. It is taught in primary school from Year 5 to Year 7.

Health & Physical Education

The curriculum is organised into two content strands — Personal, social and community health and Movement and physical activity.

In the content strand of Personal, Social and Community Health, students investigate three topics:

  • Being healthy, safe and active,
  • Communicating and interacting for health and wellbeing
  • Contributing to healthy and active communities

In Movement and Physical Activity, students investigate:

  • Moving our body
  • Understanding movement
  • Learning through movement

At Hillcrest Primary, Cam Grigg takes the Movement and Physical Activity strand for all classes – Reception to Year 7.  Classroom teachers teach the Personal, Social and Community Health strand and as part of this, all students are taught the Keeping Safe Child Protection Curriculum. Growth and Development is taught bi-annually to all students in Years 5, 6 and 7.

Design & Technology

The Australian Curriculum: Technologies describes two distinct but related subjects;

  • Design and Technologies, in which students use design thinking and technologies to generate and produce designed solutions for authentic needs and opportunities.
  • Digital Technologies, in which students use computational thinking and information systems to define, design and implement digital solutions

At Hillcrest Primary, class teachers plan units of work that involve planning and reviewing processes,  experimentation, problem-solving, prototyping and evaluation in order for students to realise their ideas.

Keeping Safe Child Protection Curriculum

The Child Protection curriculum teaches all children from a young age, in an age appropriate way, to:

  • understand ways of keeping themselves safe,
  • understand what is appropriate and inappropriate touching
  • recognise abuse and neglect and tell a trusted adult about it

Some strategies used with students are:

  • networks: a list of 4 or 5 trusted adults that the student can seek help from
  • one-step removed: students are given `What if….’ scenarios e.g. `What if someone went home after school and found that he or she had lost their key and nobody was home?’ These situations are discussed and a number of strategies that might help to keep the children safe are developed
  • persistence expectation: students are taught to continue to tell people or take action until they are safe
  • protective interrupting: teachers interrupt a student to prevent a disclosure in a group that may lead to further feelings of being unsafe – discussion time with these students is arranged in privacy after the lesson.

All teachers undergo training to teach the Child Protection curriculum and parents/caregivers are informed when the Child Protection curriculum is to be taught and what will be taught.

Curriculum Downloads and Resources

Australian Curriculum Website