BPS Mathematics Vision
At Balnarring Primary School, we believe all children can be curious and creative mathematicians who are able to approach challenging tasks with confidence.
Our maths norms are discussed and displayed in each classroom. They assist our students to view themselves as mathematicians, see maths as creative and fun and encourage student agency.
- We are all mathematicians – the best mathematicians think slowly & deeply
- Mistakes are valuable – let’s celebrate them!
- We love questions about maths – ask yourself, your teacher and your class mates.
- We always think creatively and find interesting patterns.
- Collaboration is the key – it’s important to listen, learn from others and share our reasoning
- We are self-assessors, goal setters and goal getters
We view Mathematics as a global language through which we make sense of the world. Our student centred approach supports children to become independent learners who are able to apply critical, creative thinking and understand the importance of maths in their daily lives. Our mathematics program is based on the Victorian Curriculum with a focus on the proficiencies of Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving and Reasoning. Students explore mathematics through hands on, challenging, open ended tasks that encourage creative, collaborative thinking. We teach students to solve problems using a range of strategies and to explain their reasoning using appropriate mathematical language.
At Balnarring Primary School, we recognise literacy as an integral part of daily life. We aim to develop student’s thinking, speaking, listening, spelling, reading and writing skills, which are important in all curriculum areas. The home-school partnership is vital to the success of the literacy program. Students with lots of support and encouragement from home consistently benefit from these efforts.
When teaching reading, we focus on explicit, systematic instruction of core literacy skills. Comprehension, fluency, vocabulary development, phonics knowledge, phonological knowledge and oral language development are all crucial elements in the teaching of reading. Using a variety of rich texts all of these components are modelled and explicitly taught.
Students work in various structures, including whole class, small groups, pairs and independently. As students’ progress through the school, a stronger emphasis is placed on developing student’s understanding of text and genre at a deeper level through higher-order questioning and greater vocabulary development.
To further enhance their reading skills students practise through real-life situations. For example, mentoring younger students in reading, presenting at assembly or visiting the library to find books that are of interest to them, all give students a sense of empowerment to take an active role in their learning.
Students are given daily opportunities to practise their writing skills. They are taught how to write in a number of different genres, using the skills they have been developing and then expanding them further. In addition, there is a focus on students being able to express their own views or research a particular topic to support their writing with known facts.
Writing for real-life purposes such writing a newsletter article, an assembly item, lists, cards, emails and letters are all incorporated into student’s writing experiences.
Teaching students to spell correctly is a vital part of writing. Through our systematic phonics and phonological awareness programs, students are taught that English is a coded language. They systematically work with letters and sounds to encode unfamiliar words.
Extra support programs are offered to selected students who may require them.
Students work with our “Catch-up” program which aims to further develop literacy skills in students who need support. They work intensively in small group or individual situations.
Our “Level Up Program” aims to extend students who have been identified as working well above their peers in literacy and maths.
At Balnarring Primary School, we are constantly enhancing our learning environment and curriculum delivery through the integration of technology. Students actively engage with technology to create, innovate, and enhance their learning across many subject areas. At BPS we are an eSmart school. Through our connection with eSmart and in conjunction with our Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships program (4Rs), students are part of regular, consistent conversations about safe, responsible ways to work on devices both on and offline.
Physical Education & Health
In Physical Education and Health at Balnarring Primary School, students develop the knowledge, understanding and skills:
- to support them to be resilient,
- to develop a strong sense of self,
- to build and maintain satisfying relationships,
- to make health-enhancing decisions in relation to their health and physical activity participation,
- to participate in physical activity with efficient movement patterns as they run, vertical jump, leap and dodge, as well as improve their manipulative skills as they kick, catch, overhand throw, ball-bounce, punt and forehand strike.
PMP (Perceptual Motor Program)
The Perceptual Motor Program (PMP) operates in our Foundation years, once a week, during Terms 2 and 3. It assists the development of children’s gross and fine motor skills, hand/eye co-ordination, balance, spatial awareness, eye-tracking, sequencing of tasks and problem-solving. It also gives the children a positive sense of what their body can achieve and it provides a very enjoyable source of exercise!
The senior students take part in a comprehensive sports program where they can compete in a number of sports against other schools in the district. This is where they experience being a team member, the feelings of winning and losing and the lessons both teach about doing your best and appreciating the contest. Participation in these sports gives the children the confidence to become involved in community teams and clubs.
Balnarring Primary School has strong links to many local sporting clubs which include netball, football, cricket, tennis, basketball, dance and karate.
At Balnarring Primary School, we recognise the important role of Performing Arts in the development of the whole child.
The Performing Arts program helps build student voice, creative awareness, and self-esteem. Students explore their own creativity through music, movement and drama while investigating important local and global music styles and famous preforming artists throughout history.
Across all year levels, the program is designed around four key pillars:
SING – we sing songs by significant artists, songs from different cultures and songs that we write ourselves.
PLAY – throughout our time at BPS we experiment with a range of instruments such as percussion, recorders, ukuleles, guitars, keyboards and digital instruments. We learn to play famous songs and have opportunities to compose, record and perform our own musical creations.
ACT – we learn different ways to express ourselves through facial expressions, body movement, sound effects and voice. We develop short plays and skits and use our technological skills to photograph and film our performances.
KNOW – we learn about important musical artists and styles from around the world. We improve our understanding of the Elements of Music (melody, rhythm etc.) and take part in activities and games that help us to read and talk about music.
The Arts Building is a creative hub within the school. It houses a wide variety of music, media and art equipment that allow students to collaborate in a range of musical or dramatic projects that show their growing passion and knowledge in the field of Performing Arts.
Play based Investigations is a pedagogical approach to learning. It is developmentally appropriate practice for children from Prep to grade 2. Investigations occur when students inquire using their imagination to explore, experiment, discover, collaborate, improvise and create through play. They have the opportunity to engage in authentic personalised learning based on their interests and to deepen their understanding of the world around them. Investigations have a positive influence on the whole child; their social, physical, emotional and cognitive development.
Our Investigation sessions occur 3 times per week in the mornings. Research has found that active hands on learning in the morning increases the brain chemicals (endorphins and dopamine) which sets the students’ brains up for optimal learning in the more formal sessions in Literacy and Numeracy that occur later in the day. It has also shown that students who engage in Investigations have 4 times the amount of oral language opportunities, and double the exposure to literacy and numeracy than in a traditional classroom.
There is a rigorous structure to our Investigation sessions. We spend time tuning students in to the learning of the day which prompts them to investigate further concepts or explore new learning in their natural environment. The children are enthusiastic about being the ‘Focus Friend’ whereby they have the opportunity to work one on one with the teacher on an investigation of their choice and then share it with the rest of the grade.
We also have a Reporter who also works closely with the teacher on a more intentioned task related to the learning that is occurring in class. For example, if the class is learning about procedural writing, they may be asked and supported in writing a procedural text. They would then share this with the grade.
Finally, the Photographer is a highly regarded role whereby the students are asked to take photos or clips of a variety of things that are linked to the learning later in the day. Again, these tasks are deliberately set by the teacher and linked to the learning.
We love Investigations!
First Nations Studies
Sustainability – BEAT Bags
To help our students care for our environment, we provide them with a B.E.A.T bag. These are very kindly created by the Boomerang Bag Sewing Group. B.E.A.T stands for Balnarring Environmental Action Team. Through our science program, students are taught the importance of recycling and are provided with an extensive list of recyclable items. Our students take great pride in collecting these from home and sorting these items out knowing that they are doing their part in looking after our environment.