What to Expect at Grace Primary for Prep
Our Prep facility has three classrooms, each providing for 25 students. Each classroom has its own teaching space, extra activity area and verandah. Classes share art areas, dedicated outdoor activity areas and Prep play spaces. Toilets for Prep students are located in the facility or very near to the facility.
The Prep facility has been designed to reflect early childhood teaching philosophies and to maximise the number of learning environments.
Each Prep class has its own qualified and suitably trained classroom teacher and full time teacher assistant to ensure students’ needs are met and well catered for.
The classroom teacher’s role is to provide and oversee the educational environment of the students. He or she will monitor and guide student development and be responsible for student welfare and behaviour management. The teacher will plan the curriculum, activity programs and oversee the work of the teacher assistant.
The role of the teacher aide is to assist and implement teaching programs as designed by the classroom teacher. He or she will help facilitate and supervise student activity, monitor progress, prepare resources and materials, take small group activities and interact with the students to encourage cognitive, social, emotional, physical and spiritual development.
The curriculum followed in Prep is the Foundation strand of the National Curriculum (www.australiancurriculum.com.au).
Speaking and Listening
Students will be listening and responding in situations that are familiar to them. They will be learning to speak and listen appropriately in classrooms, taking turns in discussions and using spoken language to establish social relationships with their peers and teachers. They will learn to identify various types of speaking and listening, for example: conversation, oral presentation, reading aloud, questioning meaning and rephrasing their own language.
As children begin to develop their reading skills, books will be sent home. This will occur in stages over a period of time as children exhibit understanding of some basic concepts of print and are able to recognize some words. As the children’s skills increase, reading from as many sources as possible is encouraged to develop positive attitudes and refine skills.
Tips for Parents
Home reading is essential. Once home borrowing commences your child should be reading with, and for, another person for at least ten minutes outside school hours. Before reading starts, it is a good idea to begin with a brief discussion about the book, or ‘talk through’ the book, to familiarise the reader with the setting and characters. When listening to your child read please encourage concentration on their expression and fluency and occasionally close the book and ask for a prediction of what may happen next, or ask questions exploring their understanding of the text.
It is important that reading is done with your child, to your child and by your child.
Students will be encouraged to write freely on a variety of topics and to “have a go” at unknown words. At this stage correct spelling is not expected for all words and the emphasis is upon writing to express ideas. Gradually students are introduced to different reasons for writing, such as narrative, report and recount.
Students will become thoroughly familiar with the letters of the alphabet by name and sounds, and with this knowledge will begin to approximate spelling of words, thus building and developing a recognition vocabulary. They will be:
- introduced to an extended list of commonly used words and acquire competence in spelling them
- encouraged to attempt unknown words.
- introduced to strategies to spell three-letter words correctly.
Tips for Parents
Ask your child to read his or her ‘story’ if you cannot decipher it. Over-correction of spelling errors may discourage the free flow of writing. Offer to ‘help’ with spelling rather than ‘correct’ after the event. Make genuinely positive comments whenever possible.
The approach to teaching and learning Mathematics throughout the Prep Year involves:
- learning by activity-developing links between everyday language and mathematical activity
- teaching from a base of concrete experience from which students build mathematical ideas
- providing a variety of classroom learning experiences and using a variety of resources
- catering for individual differences by providing open-ended tasks
- allowing time for growth.
- making, counting, recording and estimating the size of small collections from 0-20. Ordering and comparing these
- relating numbers using part-whole imagery up to 10 and beyond when possible including basic addition and subtraction. For example, 3 is 2 and 1
- copying, continuing and devising repeating and counting patterns
- representing number stories using materials and drawings.
- drawing, building and describing shapes and objects including triangles, circles and squares
- noting simple similarities and differences between two items
- recognising symmetry and matching similar shapes
- following and giving directions using the language of position and movement.
Measurement, chance and data
- using everyday language to describe order and compare length, mass and capacity of familiar objects including the days of the week
- understanding the purpose of clocks and relating time to familiar recurring events, for example, weekends
- linking days of the week and months of the year to events in their own lives, for example, birthdays.
- recognising, communicating and discussing mathematical ideas in everyday language
- using materials, or acting out situations, to represent problems that may arise
- beginning to detect and correct inconsistencies in simple patterns
- Children and the teacher work together, engaging in mathematically rich ideas, sharing and reflecting on, recording and recounting their work in simple ways.
Christian Studies is delivered according to the Christian Studies Framework developed by Lutheran Education in Australia. During Christian Studies, children explore a range of perspectives to equip them to make informed choices in their lives.
During the year children inquire, discuss and reflect about:
- Who am I?
- Thinking about God
- Mystery and Wonder in the Natural World
You Can Do It
Children at Grace Primary engage in a social-emotional program called You Can Do It. It focuses on Getting Along, Persistence, Confidence and Organisation. This is underpinned by the fostering of Resilience.
Classrooms increasingly contain groups of children with a wide range of individual differences. It is increasingly recognised that children have a much wider range of capabilities than they have usually been permitted to show in the regular classroom. Research also shows that children achieve at a higher level in school if they are interested in what they are doing and interests can vary considerably within an average class group. In investigating, children are expected to work cooperatively on complex and open-ended tasks as well as follow instructions in step by step learning. The investigations come from their own ideas and, in small groups, they work to find our answers to their questions.
Other Key Learning Areas
Prep students are also exposed to concepts based on the History, Science and Geography strands. In 2015 areas such as Health, The Arts, and Technology will be trialed ready for implementation based on recommendations from the Australian Curriculum Authorities.
Fine Motor and Gross Motor Program
Prep children are involved in a variety of fine motor activities throughout the week. These are often carried out in small group rotations. Each class may vary their program dependent upon the needs of the students.
Twice a week the Prep children are engaged in a Gross Motor Program which is carried out across the grade. Children are involved in a variety of activities and games designed to build and develop their gross motor and social skills.
During class and PE students are exposed to the Perceptual Motor Program to enhance their skills in this area. Parents are encourage to assist.
Children in Prep at Grace Primary participate in specialist lessons in the key areas of music, Japanese and PE.
They are also introduced to whole of school activities gradually throughout the year such as assembly, chapel, cross country and athletics carnivals.