Kurrajong is Pulteney’s Early Learning Centre - Year 2 continuum of early childhood education. All children enrolled have access to programs with strong literacy components that include clear adaptations for children with special or gifted needs. A Values and Ethics program underpins our curriculum to support students to become resilient and socially competent.
The ELC follows the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) to teach their curriculum and Reception-Year 2 use the Australian Curriculum (ACARA).
Early Years Learning Framework
This framework provides principles that ensure that all children are assisted to make progress towards the learning outcomes. A strong emphasis is placed on play-based learning and the importance of communication and language. Early literacy and numeracy are essential components in the support and enhancement of the children’s development.
The Australian Curriculum
The Australian Curriculum makes clear what all young Australians should learn as they progress through schooling. It is the foundation for high quality teaching to meet the needs of all students in order for them to be active participants in the Australian community. The curriculum provides the content and a set of year level achievement standards outlining the expected knowledge, understanding and skills for each learning area.
Together with the curriculum content in each learning area are the general capabilities and the cross-curriculum priorities. These encompass the knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that assist students to live and work successfully in the twenty-first century.
The Australian Curriculum includes seven general capabilities:
- Information and communication technology (ICT) capability
- Critical and creative thinking
- Personal and social capability
- Ethical understanding
- Intercultural understanding
The Cross curriculum priorities are:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
- Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia
The English curriculum is organised into three interrelated strands of language, literacy and literature. These focus on developing the students’ knowledge, understandings and skills in listening, reading, viewing, speaking and writing.
The Reception-Year 2 students participate in a range of experiences to explore and engage with a range of literature and multi-modal texts, with the aim of thinking imaginatively and critically. Students develop strategies that consolidate the foundations for lifelong literacy. Literacy blocks guided by the teachers operate daily, providing each student with small group, intensive support appropriate to their individual needs.
The study of mathematics is organised under three strands: Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability. For each strand students are actively involved in acquiring mathematical understanding and exploring using their own personal experiences and knowledge. Mathematics is taught in relevant, realistic contexts and through a hands-on approach. Manipulatives are used to help students progress from concrete to pictorial and symbolic levels of understanding of mathematical concepts. Students work in cooperative groups, individually and whole class. Students reason and work mathematically as they plan, investigate, think critically, communicate and reflect on mathematical understandings and procedures.
This subject is organised into strands – Science Understanding which consists of Biological sciences, Chemical sciences, Earth and space sciences and Physical sciences, Science as a Human Endeavour, and Science Inquiry Skills. Activities and discussions build on students’ experiences, allowing them to link new information with what they already know. Students learn that Science is an integral part of their daily lives. They are involved in hands-on, inquiry based problem solving activities through which they can develop a scientific view of the world.
Humanities and Social Sciences
The Humanities and Social Sciences learning area includes a study of history, geography, civics and citizenship and economics and business.
Through studying Humanities and Social Sciences, students will develop the ability to question, think critically, solve problems, communicate effectively, make decisions and adapt to change. Thinking about and responding to issues requires an understanding of the key historical, geographical, political, economic and societal factors involved, and how these different factors interrelate.
The Humanities and Social Science subjects in the Australian Curriculum provide a broad understanding of the world in which we live, and how people can participate as active and informed citizens with high-level skills needed for the 21st century.
At Pulteney Grammar School we aim for every student to develop, demonstrate and apply the skills, knowledge, dispositions and attitudes necessary to be an engaged, ethical and global citizen of the twenty first century. Kurrajong students use a range of different web based programs and applications to facilitate their learning through various forms of technology, such as 1:1 iPads and interactive white boards.
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.
Values & Ethics Education
This is a unique Pulteney program, which emphasizes the nine core values for Australian Schooling. These are: care and compassion, doing your best, freedom, fair go, integrity, honesty and trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, and understanding, tolerance and inclusion. These values are embedded in the curriculum and linked with our weekly Chapel services. A class reward system is used to ensure students are working towards demonstrating the values in their communications with others.
Assembly & Chapel
Pulteney is founded on the Christian faith and is affiliated with the Anglican Church. The students attend a Kurrajong assembly and chapel service each week.
The Pulteney children are extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in the school’s specialist programs.
The Arts integrates the areas of dance, drama, media, music and the visual arts. Students learn to develop concepts, conventions, skills and techniques in each of these areas.
Music is an integral part of our program, which includes singing, creative movement, use of percussion instruments and listening for appreciation. The music program for Years Reception to Year 2 is based on the Kodaly Developmental Music Program and Orff Methodologies. Experiencing a variety of song material and percussion instruments develops elements such as beat, rhythm and pitch. It is important for the children to be able to listen carefully, which develops their aural skills, as well as singing ability. Individual instrument tuition is also provided by Pulteney’s Music Department.
The Art curriculum is designed to offer various means of expression, experimentation and the development of a basic set of skills leading to a love of art, a sense of achievement and an ability to interact with the environment in a meaningful manner. Children visit the Art Centre where the students, class teacher and visual arts specialists extend classroom topics through a variety of art activities. The stimulating projects that are undertaken provide an opportunity for students to express their thoughts and ideas in a visual manner. This enables students to further develop their manipulative, expressive and imaginative skills while extending classroom themes and activities.
Indonesian for children in the Reception to Year 2 classes involves a variety of experiences. The activities include opportunities for the children to sing, play language games with picture and word cards, draw pictures, write words, listen to stories, cook and make books. As Indonesian instructions and expressions become familiar, the children respond with words or actions in a natural, spontaneous way. Learning Indonesian is enjoyable and complements their classroom activities. In time, children build up, through language and cultural activities, empathy for the Indonesian people and their customs, and build a foundation for a more intensive language study.
Kurrajong students visit the librarian in the Resource Centre to borrow books and participate in resource based learning related to their current inquiry unit. The curriculum focusses upon library procedures, the enjoyment of reading a wide variety of literature, author studies and research skills that allow them to access information from the Library, which is pertinent to classroom themes and topics. The Information Communication Technology program is designed to give children the opportunity to experiment and experience technology and interactive multi-media. It allows children to access the school’s extensive network and up to date computers and I-pads. Information Communication Technology aims to develop computer literacy, awareness and confidence. Students learn to use software independently, edit, save, format and publish work.
Health and Physical Education
Health and Physical Education encourages the development of physical, mental and social skills by introducing a range of sporting activities. It aims to promote an enjoyment of sport, physical fitness and a positive attitude to a healthy lifestyle.
Gross Motor Skills Program
This is a program of physical activities to assist children to move in a controlled and coordinated manner. The program aims to:
- Encourage the children to gain confidence in their ability to perform physical activities.
- Develop gross motor skills and coordinated body movements.
- Encourage practice and therefore improve the quality, speed and accuracy of motor skills.
- Encourage the child to communicate and work with others.
The activities involved in the program include tumbling, balancing, jumping, landing, throwing, catching, hitting, kicking and climbing.
LEARNING SUPPORT CENTRE
Reception children are assessed during the first and fourth terms at school using the School Entry Assessment. The results from this testing provide starting points for teaching allowing early intervention and strategic tutoring to take place as early as possible with an inclusive approach.
Year 1 and 2 students are formally tested at the beginning of Term 1 and Term 4 in reading comprehension, spelling and mathematics. The Special Education and classroom teachers meet to discuss the results of these formal and informal classroom tests and observations to identify students with special needs.
In collaboration with parents these students may be placed on any of the following programs:
The Reading Recovery Program
This program was developed in New Zealand by Professor Marie Clay and has been successfully implemented in several Australian States, as well as in Ohio, Canada and England. It is an early intervention program for students who at the end of their first year of schooling are experiencing difficulties in literacy. The program helps students become independent readers and writers. Each student is extensively tested and an individual program is written for them. The accredited Reading Recovery Teacher sees the student individually on a daily basis for 30 minutes for approximately 20 weeks. The Reading Recovery Program differs from other literacy programs because the skills in reading, writing and spelling are all addressed in one program.
The Mini-Lit Program is a systematic and explicit model for teaching reading skills based on sound scientific research. Students are taught the basics of letter/sound knowledge and decoding skills to support their reading development.
The Learning Assistance Program (LAP)
This program provides individually structured curriculums for children with special needs in reading, spelling, phonological awareness, story writing, mathematics, fine motor skills and the development of social skills. The programs are written and coordinated by the Special Education teachers. Students work with trained volunteers on a one-to-one basis.
English as a Second Language or Dialect (EALD)
Students who are identified as needing assistance with English as a Second Language are placed on programs, which may include:
- Bilingual support
- A modified classroom program
The Gifted and Talented (GATE) Program
This program encourages children to extend and enrich their special abilities. This is achieved in several ways:
- A modified classroom program using an extensive thinking skills program.
- A specialist teacher works with small groups in the classroom for enrichment and extension.
Acceleration of students within a subject or to a higher class.
Selected children participate in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) opportunity titled The ‘Da Vinci’.
Program, which is designed to extend academically advanced (i.e. gifted) students to challenge them to work to their potential.