The Middle Years of Learning Years 5-6
“BUILDING BREADTH & DEPTH”
Year 5 and 6 are the beginning of the Middle Years of schooling. Level 4 VELS describes the curriculum focus and outcomes for Year 5 and 6, and describes that the purpose of these years of schooling is to establish a firm foundation of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary in preparation for secondary school. We endeavour to provide a warm, safe and friendly environment, developing respectful relationships between students and teachers.
Curriculum offerings at Year 5 and 6 aim to further develop independence in learning, in preparation for post-primary education. Weekly contracts, independent inquiry units of work and organisational skills sessions are strategies used to meet these aims.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION AND BIBLICAL STUDIES
Classes throughout the primary school begin each day with a time for “Getting to Know God”, which includes a brief time for sharing and prayer. Pastoral care of students is a high priority with staff, and the values and guidelines that define expected behaviour grow out of biblical teaching that is discussed and modelled by teachers.
The “Themes for Kids” program continues to set a balanced curriculum, and to provide student work books and teacher resources for Year 5. Year 6 students use “Big Questions”, which is designed especially for the final year of primary school.
The CEBS program introduces students to the structure, purpose and major themes of the Bible, and challenges them to respond to the call to be followers of Jesus Christ, whom the Bible reveals to be both Saviour and Lord. Biblical values and principles of behaviour are not just taught objectively, but are presented in a holistic context in all subject areas. These set expectations for the quality of relationships and behaviour within the College community.
The strong emphasis on the key literacy skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening continue in the middle years with increasing use of the computer as a tool in publishing the results of student writing. Guided Reading and Reciprocal Teaching are strategies that expose students to previously unsighted text, and trains them, with the teacher and a small group, in skills of predicting, clarifying, questioning, summarising, decoding, inferential reading with expression and fluency, and in appreciating plot and character development. Students have access to the Library and its wide range of resources with the class once each week, and daily at recess and lunch times.
The LEM Phonics Program is a key component of our literacy program. All students from Prep to Year 6 participate in the program which ensures students have a comprehensive knowledge of the basic building blocks of language and the necessary skills to both spell and read unfamiliar words.
VELS identifies a number of strands in the course – Number; Space, Measurement, Chance and Data, Structure & Working Mathematically The “Signposts” Maths Program is used in Year 5 and 6, and provides a range of activities and practice examples. “Signposts” is used for its close correlation with VELS format, and for its high standard of student workbooks and teacher resources.
Pat Maths standardised testing in Mathematics as well as our internal testing program is given in Years Prep to 6, to establish how students are performing against Australian norms and VELS. The results of these tests are used to help teachers and support staff to adjust programs to the needs of students. Students in Year 3 and 5 also take part in the nation wide National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy, known as NAPLAN tests.