The Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2 classes are situated in the William Hunt building, which they have been since the beginning of 2011. The building is a well resourced open plan space which involves students in a communal learning environment, where they are encouraged to work and play together.
The core subjects of English; Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening and Maths are taught in the students’ separate classes. The class sizes are very small, with 15 students in each class. Both classes have Support Staff members who work with the students to present them with individually tailored programs.
This program is a natural addition to the children’s learning development. Students are provided with choices for their learning and they can investigate their big questions, by utilising their teachers’ support and the appropriate curriculum materials and digital technologies. The Developmental Curriculum (DC) program also supports the students’ speech development and confidence; as they are encouraged to share their designs, products and their new learnings with others. Students take part in this program for three hours per week.
Each week children in each grade have expert tuition from a team of specialist teachers. These specialist classes include: Digital Technologies, ART, Japanese and Physical Education. These are all enjoyed by students in each grade.
The children are encouraged to access educational websites both at school and at home. These include: Mathletics, Spellodrome, Study Ladder, Skoolboo, Reading Eggs and Sunshine Online. These websites are part of our whole school program.
Once a week we do a Perceptual Motor Program (PMP). Children complete jumping, rolling, catching and balancing activities that help to improve hand-eye coordination, balance, fine motor and gross motor skills. Research shows that this helps to improve learning in the classroom.
On whole school special event days all students are put in multi-age groups (Foundation-6) to foster care, compassions, cooperative learning and teamwork. The children also participate in ‘Robotics’ as part of our school Technology program.
Foundation-2 Sports Day
This is a favourite day on the calendar that allows students to display their athletic ability. Events include long jump, sprints, bean bag throw and many more.
An oral language support program is offered to children in the Foundation-2 area. This is a small supported group which targets oral, language, listening and phonemic awareness.
For each term the children have an ‘Individual Learning Improvement Plan’ (ILIP). This is based on the children’s’ learning needs. It addresses the goals and strategies that they need to use in order to reach their next learning level in Reading, Writing and Maths. The children develop these each term with their teacher. They also reflect on their progress with their teacher during each week.
Numeracy and Literacy Intervention
Intervention is offered to children in the Foundation-2 area to further extend all areas of their learning. The children work in a small group with a teacher to reach the average levels of their peers.
Children with special needs and those with English as an additional language (EAL) are catered for by a range of professionals. Cultural backgrounds are acknowledged and celebrated. We currently have an Outpost where EAL students who qualify can access a program which is designed for their English Learning needs at the beginning of their schooling. The running of the Outpost is based on EAL (who qualify)student numbers.
Each term at Bell Park North the Foundation-2 students have an incursion or excursion. These are based on the Inquiry topic for the term. An incursion that we have is the ‘Baby Chicks/Eggs’. This focuses on Life Cycles. Excursions include things such as going to our local shops. The trip to the Melbourne Zoo for Foundation students and their Grade 5 buddies is also a highlight.
The Foundation students represent the school each year at the Geelong Schools’ Music Festival. The musical experience on the stage at the GPAC creates a lasting memory.
We celebrate ‘Education Week’ with things such as a guest author visit.
We welcome and encourage parental and community support with hearing children read, changing reading books, special events, helping with PMP and excursions. These adults require a volunteers ‘Working With Children Card’ (this is free to apply for).
Throughout the school year we share our experiences and skills learnt whilst at school. Children have an opportunity to share their learning with their parents and families and demonstrate their new skills. We foster a love of learning by encouraging parents and special adults to attend our highly successful and enjoyable Family Fun Nights, Important Women’s/Men’s nights and Grandparent’s Day.
A Buddies Program operates between Foundation and Grade 5 students on a weekly basis offering support in the classroom, the school yard and on some excursions.
Kids Matter Framework
We are a Kids Matter school. As part of this framework we run school wide programs such as ‘Peer Support’ which runs once a week during term 1. We also run the ‘Bounce Back’ program from term 2 to term 4.Our students are also encouraged to use ‘Pause, Plan and Proceed’ to help them to manage a range of different situations.
Each year children across all stages have the opportunity to participate in an intensive swimming program. For two weeks, children swim each day, travelling by bus to a local pool. The aim of the program is for the children to experience tuition and build their skills and confidence in the water.