In their Foundation year, children at Bolinda PS are learning how to be life-long learners including establishing organisational routines, getting along and interacting with others. Their participation in the Prep Transition program the previous year helps them have a seamless transition into school. Also having a Year 3 buddy to show them around the playground assists them to make new friends. Throughout the year they will also participate in classroom activities together.
In grades 1-3, students are working towards establishing organisational routines, showing empathy towards others, developing resilience and respecting themselves and others. Students identified as ‘at risk’ with reading, will be assigned an older student as a ‘Reading Buddy’ who will listen to them read every morning, have the authority to sign their Nightly Reading Book on behalf of the parent, and model reading strategies to their designated buddy.
Our Fountas & Pinnell reading program instils a passion for reading in our students by allowing them to choose books that they are interested in from our well stocked library as well as ‘just right’ books that are specifically for their level.
In Foundation, the children first learn concepts about print to ensure that they understand the front and back of books, directionality of reading, title, author and illustrator as well as features of narrative and informative texts.
They learn to recognise all upper and lower case letters and the most common sounds they represent. They learn to blend sounds together to form words.
Children enjoy using Little Learners Love Literacy and THRASS to explore the common sounds of letters and they are exposed to other sounds that letters represent.
Reading strategy characters are introduced to represent different reading strategies and the children love to use such characters as Eagle Eye, Skippy Frog, Stretchy Snake and Chunky Monkey to become more accurate in their reading. They learn to make connections to text and ask and answer questions. They learn to read at a ‘just right’ rate using appropriate expression and volume. They extend the vocabulary used and incorporate this into their writing.
By providing many hands-on experiences, initially through their play and activities related to their Inquiry topic, the children are immersed in language experience, promoting rich vocabulary and transfer their thoughts to print.
At first they will draw pictures and eventually they will make marks or letters to represent the written word. Then they will discover the relationship between letters and sounds and blend the sounds to write whole words. The children are exposed to fine-motor activities and formal handwriting lessons as well as activities to help them learn about punctuation and spelling.
Speaking and Listening:
Children are exposed to many informal and formal speaking and listening activities. They are encouraged to interact with their peers and adults. They listen to and respond to texts, communicating their ideas. They learn to take turns when speaking and change their voice to suit different situations.
Each class follows the same numeracy lesson structure – a structure designed to get the most out of each day’s session. We begin with introducing the learning intention and co-creating the success criteria for the session with the students. We discuss prior knowledge and practical applications for the skill in the real world. Following this, we explicitly teach and model the current skill, then hand it over to the students through a range of hands on activities and personalised tasks. The students are then given time to practice their own personal goals and if time, demonstrate their learning to the class. Finally, students are given an opportunity to reflect on their learning, with their thoughts catalogued in class numeracy journals. We use a mixture of materials and utilise digital technologies including interactive whiteboards, laptops and iPads to assist with teaching.
Throughout the year ICT is embedded in all programs to consolidate learning by using a different media.
Inquiry topics are based on the Victorian Curriculum and are strongly linked to all other areas.
Below is a list of our topics throughout the year:
- TERM ONE – Managing Emotions
- TERM TWO – My Family History
- TERM THREE – Exploring Places
- TERM FOUR – Dinosaurs