Learning Areas

The Policy of the ACT Department of Education and Training is for each school to develop and implement its own curriculum within frameworks formulated by the Department. The School Board examines and approves the curricula of the school. There is a cyclical program of curriculum review and renewal. Copies of the various curriculum documents are available in the Library should parents wish to peruse them.

The eight learning areas, although described separately, are not taught in isolation. Links are established so that students can discover the relationships between them and apply skills across the learning areas. Literacy and Numeracy Plans ensure these key skills are embedded across all subjects and that resources and teaching methods are inclusive of all students. The ACT Education Department paper ‘Every Chance To Learn Curriculum For ACT School’ Preschool to Year 10 is leading the next stage in curriculum renewal in schools.

Aranda School is committed to:

  • ensuring a high quality education for all learners;
  • establishing a partnership between teachers, parents and students;
  • planning curriculum development consistent with ACT and National goals and guidelines;
  • reviewing and renewing curricula on a regular basis;
  • designing and implementing curricula that are accessible to all students;
  • providing and maximising opportunities for students to develop as independent learners with skills in self-evaluation, negotiation, goal-setting and decision-making;
  • ensuring that learning is inclusive;
  • promoting the contributions of diverse groups in our multicultural society; and
  • encouraging a commitment to lifelong learning.
  • thinking skills being explicitly taught in all year levels.

Kindergarten students plant bean seeds and then observe and record in their 'Bean Diaries' the changes as the seed sprouts and grows

English

Literacy teaching and learning endeavours to integrate all aspects of English - listening, speaking, viewing, reading and writing - across as many curriculum areas as possible. In this way, students learn to use English in meaningful contexts. Studies in English will provide opportunities to develop an enjoyment and appreciation of English, as well as develop the skills to use English competently in a range of situations. A Literacy Plan which covers all Key Learning Areas accompanies our English Curriculum.

Math at Aranda is taught using many different approaches.

Mathematics

Emphasis is focused on the understanding of numeracy concepts and on competency in basic mathematical operations using practical materials. Students will develop skills, attitudes and understandings of Mathematics that will enable them to cope effectively in society. Practical experiences which involve the use of concrete materials and the use of approximations are used to enable pupils to grasp these principles. This is often achieved through a problem-solving approach. The Kindergarten to Year 2 students use the Count Me In Too program as a major component of mathematic learning. A Numeracy Plan which covers all key learning areas accompanies the Mathematics Curriculum.

As part of the PE program, students practise discrete skills, such as overarm throwing that can be applied to such activities as a game of cricket.

Health and Physical Education

Health and Physical Education provides opportunities for students to develop positive self concepts, satisfying relationships and responsibility for personal attitudes, decisions and behaviours. Life Education and Protective Behaviour programs are integrated to assist students to become aware of current social health issues and to develop knowledge, values, skills and behaviour that promote a healthy and safe lifestyle. Participation in regular physical activity makes a positive contribution to students’ mental and physical well-being and students are encouraged to develop physical fitness and team membership skills. The extensively equipped gymnasium, Dance program, fitness and sports clinics are all valued components of the PE program. The You Can Do It! Program was introduced in 2003. All students study the four foundations of Organisation, Persistence, Confidence and Getting Along.

Integrated Studies

From 2004 Aranda Primary has adopted an integrated studies approach to Science, Studies of Society and Environment and Technology. This allows for students to develop deeper understandings of the concepts, skills and knowledge in the topic they are studying. Bloom’s Taxonomy is used extensively and allows students to develop and demonstrate knowledge, levels of understanding and their applications. Below are descriptions of the curriculum areas that make up our Integrated Studies.

Science

Through the study of Science concepts students are encouraged to construct their understanding of the world. Hands-on experiences foster positive attitudes and an active interest in Science. Interesting, investigative and interactive learning activities that are integrated into other curriculum areas, provide meaningful learning experiences for students.

Students have opportunities for hands-on science. This might include such messy and uncertain projects as these Year 5/6 students growing crystals

Studies of Society and the Environment

In this area of learning students investigate the historical, cultural, social and environmental factors that shape their identity and that of society. The curriculum has a strong emphasis on students developing an understanding about Australia and Australians. The Study of Society and the Environment is concerned with:

  • the relationship between people, groups of people and the environment in local, national and global settings;
  • the impact of change of a social and ecological nature on individuals and society; and
  • learning from the past, investigating the present and shaping the future.

Technology

Technology studies provide opportunities for students to develop the ability to solve practical problems by applying scientific and technological knowledge processes and skills. Technology programs equip students with knowledge and experience of the made world and with the ability to participate in its construction and reconstruction. Students learn to manipulate three dimensional products to meet their needs and the needs of others. Programs are of a practical nature and are integrated where possible with other areas of the curriculum.

Students explore the arts with a wide ranging curriculum

The Arts

The Arts program develops intellectual, social, physical and aesthetic understandings and skills that assist students to create, explore and communicate ideas and appreciate a variety of art forms. The creative arts of visual art and design, dance, music and drama, form an essential part of the curriculum. Studies in the Arts will provide opportunities for students:

  • to appreciate and participate in the Arts;
  • to become familiar with and confident in the use of a wide range of media;
  • to use the Arts as a vehicle for learning and creating;
  • to appreciate Art as a form of communication; and
  • to use the Arts to better understand the world and one’s place in it.

The EAL/D Program

The EAL/D Program aims to provide children who have English as an Additional Language or Dialect with the opportunity and support to develop fluency and confidence in all areas of English.

Children may be eligible for the program if at least one parent was born overseas in a country that does not speak English and the child speaks or is exposed to another language other than English in the home.

The EAL/D program assists children to cope with educational requirements and emotional situations in their new environment. Trained specialist teachers support children from Kindergarten to Year 6 within their classrooms. All classroom teachers play a vital role in the EAL/D program. The EAL/D teachers are a resource working alongside classroom teachers to plan and meet the specific needs of students. We also utilise the Belconnen Primary Introductory English Centre located at Charnwood-Dunlop Primary for those students newly exposed to English.

In addition to academic support, the Aranda Primary EAL/D program also offers students and their families social support and an opportunity to engage with other EAL/D families and the Aranda community. Two highly anticipated events we offer are the EAL/D breakfast for families in Term 1 and the end of year EAL/D Christmas party for students.

Aside from formal events, the EAL/D staff are always available to support families and students with navigating general school life in Australia, including volunteering in the classroom, filling in notes, preparation for excursions and camps and accessing basic school requirements such as book packs and uniforms.

The Directorate's EAL/D policy is available here: English as an Additional Language or Dialect pdf icon (237 KB)

Language other than English (LOTE) (French Language)

Language studies provide opportunities for students to develop positive attitudes towards the learning of another language as well as increasing the students’ knowledge and appreciation of their own language. As it is highly desirable to start language learning early, French is offered to students from Kindergarten. The main objective of the course is to give the students some basic knowledge of the French Language and an insight into French culture.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Aranda Primary School strives for 'best practice' in teaching and learning which includes the integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). To live, learn and work successfully in an increasingly complex and information-rich society, students must be able to use technology effectively. At Aranda we aim to produce technology capable students. To this end we have a fully integrated network, which students and staff use to access all forms of electronic information (Office documents, scanned documents, email, Internet, encyclopedias, Alice, etc) from their classrooms. Computers are available in classrooms and as a cluster in the library. From 2006 Interactive Whiteboards are being introduced into the classroooms

To improve outcomes to students it is equally important to support staff using and integrating ICT by providing quality professional development. This has led to improved ICT standards for teachers and the use of ICT for teaching and learning and administration.