Westminster Primary School

Curriculum

Westminster Primary School

Curriculum Westminster Primary School has adopted a whole school approach to teaching English and Mathematics through using the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model. There is a strong focus on the development of explicit teaching and learning targets and an emphasis on evidence-based strategies that have been developed in response to system-level (e.g. On-Entry, NAPLAN) and school-based data (e.g. BrightPath, PM Benchmark). Programs have been designed and structured to meet the learning needs of our students. At Westminster Primary School we set a culture of high expectations, so all students learn, grow and achieve to the very best of their ability.

Curriculum delivery is supported through coaching and mentoring by highly qualified lead teachers, ensuring high standards in instructional practices are being met. Teachers receive high quality professional learning to keep them up to date on current education research, which supports school improvement planning and school operations guidelines.

English

Our teaching and learning programs are balanced and integrate the three strands of the WA English curriculum, Language, Literature and Literacy. Literacy blocks are used to provide a balanced program in literacy instruction. Learning is differentiated and personalised to ensure all students progress in listening, reading, viewing, writing and creating.

Talk4Writing has been adopted as a whole school approach to teaching and developing writing skills. This evidenced based program has had worldwide success with all students especially those from EAL/D backgrounds.

Guided reading allows opportunities for targeted teacher support in small groups. Lesson objectives are clear, and teaching follows a gradual release model of an I-Do, We-Do, You -Do approach. Our teaching is data-driven and focused on essential reading and comprehension skills. All students receive high-quality, evidence-aligned instruction in this important area of their learning.

Kindy- Year 2 follow a synthetic phonics approach, including Heggerty phonics instruction, and tailored to specifically meet our student’s needs. Years 3-6 follow ‘Words Their Way’ a teacher-directed, student-centred approach to vocabulary growth and spelling development. Early Intervention programs provide extra instruction to those students who require early intensive support.

Mathematics

Westminster Primary School has adopted a whole school approach to teaching Mathematics through using the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model. There is a strong focus on the development of explicit teaching and learning targets and an emphasis on evidence-based strategies that have been developed in response to system-level and school-based data. Teachers deliver a balanced Mathematics program whereby all lessons are explicitly modelled using the ‘think aloud’ strategy. Teachers ensure all students are provided with opportunities to practise and consolidate their skills in guided, collaborative and independent settings.

Our teaching and learning programs incorporate the four Mathematics proficiency stands of; Fluency, Understanding, Problem Solving and Reasoning, to ensure students can think flexibly and in-depth about Mathematics concepts.

Within our daily lessons, students are explicitly taught Mathematics Mental Strategies, to ensure they can confidently and efficiently calculate sums in their heads. Students are encouraged to share and explain their mental computations.

Our partnership with the Mathematics Association of Western Australia helps to drive important professional learning for all staff.

At Westminster Primary School we set a culture of high expectations, so all students learn, grow and achieve to the very best of their ability.

Science

Science at Westminster Primary School is a key learning area taught as a specialist subject for all students from Year 1-6. The Science curriculum recognises that children are naturally curious about the world around them. We believe science at primary school should nurture this curiosity, allowing students to ask questions and develop the skills they need to answer those questions. Each term, we focus our planning, teaching and assessment on a different area of the Western Australian Curriculum. The strands are Biological Science, Chemical Science, Earth and Space Science and Physical Science.  We provide students with a hands-on approach to inquire, test hypothesis’s and carry out exciting experiments within the 4 science strands. Our state-of-the-art science laboratory provides a creative space for students to develop their science skills.

Sustainability is a cross-curricular priority in all learning areas, but especially in Science. To educate our students to develop the knowledge, skills and values that help them contribute to a more sustainable global future we:

  • are a Waterwise school
  • have installed worm farms to encourage and teach about composting
  • promote recycling of different containers

Technologies

Technologies ensures that all our students benefit from learning about and working with traditional, contemporary and emerging technologies that shape the world in which they live. By applying their knowledge and practical skills and processes when using technologies and other resources to create innovative solutions, independently and collaboratively, they develop knowledge, understanding and skills to respond creatively to current and future needs.

The Technologies Curriculum is explicitly taught in classes across two areas including Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies. Students are taught essential STEAM skills (Science, Technologies, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) which are integrated throughout different learning areas. Through a developed sequence of skills students are taught how to become global citizens of the future.

Students learn about key understanding and skills involved in design, development and use of technologies and apply this to ideate new solutions through a design process. Students have access to some of the latest robotics equipment, including Lego “We Do”, Osmo, Dash and Dot robots, LittleBits, Sphero and Makey Makey,

Classrooms are equipped with sets of iPads per room from Kindergarten to Year 3, and a class collection of laptops for years 4-6.  Teachers strive to integrate the teaching and use of technology to ensure students are provided opportunities to engage in deeper learning through creation, collaboration and critical thinking skills.

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