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 Dalcroze Developmental Music Program with integration of Kodaly 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.
Children in early childhood, as they develop, are eager explorers with an intense desire to make sense of their world. Much of the Kurrajong Visual Arts program is centered around an understanding of children’s need for physical knowledge experiences because they find the tactile / sensorial aspects of art engrossing. The arts provide a fundamental means through which children can explain things to themselves. While using various mediums, like drawing, painting, printing and clay, to make images, they explore feelings and ideas, and communicate thoughts to others as well as themselves. Learning to see or observe is spontaneous and comes naturally to many younger students, and this is an important part of being able to express themselves through Visual Arts.
The Kurrajong Visual Art program integrates, where possible with class curriculum themes and links to individual child development. Students are given opportunities to use the arts through guided, spontaneous and directed play using various art props and materials. They are encouraged within each art lesson to develop as inquirers, communicators, thinkers and risk takers as well as becoming knowledgeable, caring, reflective and open minded. Children look at art, have fun with art, learn about the different styles of the painting masters and become immersed in artistic expression. They are always honoured for their artistic endeavors. The significance of each child’s work is appreciated as an important achievement.
Learning Mandarin at Pulteney provides the opportunity for students to engage with linguistic and cultural diversity of the world and its people. Mandarin for children in the Reception to Year 2 classes focuses on their family, home, school, friends and neighbourhood. Learners are immersed in listening to, viewing, reading and writing Chinese. Through learning Mandarin, students develop an intercultural capability and an understanding of the role of language and culture in communication and become more accepting of difference and diversity. Students engage with a variety of activities such as singing songs, sing songs, playing games play hands on games, drawing draw pictures, write writing Chinese characters, listening to stories and creating make story books.
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.
LEARNING SUPPORT CENTRE
Learning Support is provided to R-12 students with identified learning needs through a Response To Intervention model. Learning support is provided to all students in class through differentiated teaching strategies and extra assistance from Education Support Officers in Kurrajong and Prep.
For students with identified needs, there is extra support offered in class from a Learning Support Teacher. The Learning Support Centre also invites identified students to participate in small group and individual intervention programs that target Literacy and Language development.
Intervention programs currently offered include:
- The Reading Doctor
- Individualised Literacy Intervention
- Dyslexia Tutoring Program
Students with identified learning needs will also have an Individual Learning Plan that is established in consultation with the family, classroom teacher and any specialist agencies to provide necessary adjustments to learning delivery to allow the student to access the Australian Curriculum on the same basis as their peers.
The Challenge Program
The school has a Gifted and Talented Coordinator and Teacher who coordinates events and challenges for identified students from Reception to Year 12. In the early years the Challenge Program encourages children to extend and enrich their special abilities with a specific focus on mathematics. The Gifted and Talented Coordinator works with small groups in the classroom for enrichment and extension in Mathematics. Selection for this is based on the students’ ability to produce at a high level mathematically.
For students who are gifted in an identified area they are supported and encouraged to develop their gifts and talents. Open ended tasks are encouraged within the classroom program so that students can work at a level that is commensurate with their ability. Teachers are supported by the Gifted and Talented Coordinator with how to best cater for students’ needs, whilst always valuing early childhood principles and approaches to teaching and learning.