At Blackburn Lake Primary School our goal is to make your child feel welcome in our caring and nurturing environment.
To ensure a smooth transition to your child’s start to primary school, our transition program begins in Term 3 with our ‘Launchpad’ sessions. These sessions which run over three separate dates and engage students in Literacy, Numeracy and Science activities. In Term 4 our ‘Orientation’ sessions further provide students with the opportunity to experience school life, participating in fun and engaging ‘Specialist’ sessions of Visual Arts, Music, Physical Education and Italian. Both our ‘Lauchpad’ and ‘Orientation’ sessions provide a relaxed and friendly opportunity for children and their parents to interact with the school and our staff.
Our transition programs aim to create a supportive environment for your child and a happy and positive beginning to school life. In addition to our Foundation‘Launchpad’ and ‘Orientation’ programs, Blackburn Lake Primary School provides additional introductory activities including:
- Education Week Introduction to the school and Foundation Information Night
- Visits by our Foundation teachers to our neighbourhood kindergartens
- Parent information sessions held in terms three and four during our Launchpad and Orientation activities
- A Foundation transition story is provided to all new students at the beginning of their first school year
- Welcome to Foundation Showbag
- Individual interview and School Entry Assessment at the beginning of your child’s first school year
- Foundation children are paired with a Year four buddy in term one as part of our school’s Better Buddies program
- Preps begin the year with alternative play times. Teachers oversee these break times and ‘Foundation Friends’ lend a hand. Foundation Friends
- will help your child find a friend to play with, play games and make your child feel a part of our school community
- Additional staff on duty to support your child in the playground during the first month of school
- All communication will be shared with you through the Foundation and school wide newsletters
At the Foundation level, our primary curriculum focus is to ensure your child is given every opportunity to have a successful start in English and Mathematics. At Blackburn Lake Primary School, students participate in a two hour English block and a one hour Mathematics block each day.
Reading begins at home. A child’s ability to read is influenced greatly by literate experiences they enjoy at home before commencing school. Some children will be able to read when they start school, others will need more than a year at school before they begin to read fluently. Whatever their stage, share their joy when they bring home their first books.
Reading is the process of getting meaning from print. Your child will be encouraged to make sense of print by:
- Drawing on personal experiences
- Looking at the pictures
- Looking at print eg: known letters or words
- Listening to the ‘flow’ of language to help predict what would sound right
- Applying their knowledge of letter sounds.
In Reading, the following scaffolds are used to teach comprehension skills, grammar, text structures and how reading should sound.
- Modelled Reading – Teacher reads aloud to students
- Shared Reading – Teacher reads and students join in
- Guided Reading – Teacher supports a group of students of similar competency to read an appropriate levelled text
- Independent Reading
The children aim to develop:
- Fine motor control
- Correct pencil grip and posture
- Correct letter formation
Writing and Spelling
Most children come to school wanting to write. Children can only learn to write by writing. Your child is encouraged to compose little statements or stories even before they can write words. Children often commence writing by scribbling or placing random letters on the page. They then move on to using initial sounds and then conventional words.
All students will be exposed to a variety of text types throughout their first year of schooling. These include:
- Report writing
As well as teaching spelling in context, the teaching of spelling is also supported by a home/school high frequency ‘Word Ring’ program.
At Blackburn Lake Primary School our Foundation students will be taught the following in Writing:
- Word study every day – Identification, articulation and learning of phonological, visual morphemic and meaning strategies
- Encourage be-brave-have-a-go-spelling
- Identify the parts of words spelled correctly. Use spelling errors to guide instruction
- High frequency words – ‘Word Rings’
- Phonological awareness
- Cued articulation
- Home Writing Program – Classroom Mascot
Numeracy is a very important area in the curriculum. The Victorian Curriculum in Mathematics includes:
- Number and Algebra
- Measurement and Geometry
- Statistics and Probability
Children develop concepts through the manipulation of concrete materials and discussion. Understanding, problem solving and reasoning are an integral part of our school’s mathematics content.
Students will be exposed to problem solving strategies through hands on exploration and will be encouraged to use higher order thinking skills to solve mathematical problems.
In addition, during the Foundation year, your child will focus on building the problem solving strategies:
- ‘Act it out’
- ‘Make it!’
- ‘Draw a Picture’
Students will gain an understanding of their world through the big concepts of:
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is an integral part of our school. All children have access to a variety of computers, iPads, software and multimedia. Teachers use a variety of media, including interactive whiteboards to present information to students in a meaningful and stimulating way.
Our Foundation students participate in a perceptual motor program during terms 1-3. The students rotate around a series activities designed to improve their perceptual awareness through motor skills. Language development is an integral part of the program.
Throughout the year Foundation Students participate in a variety of engaging and entertaining experiences to support the curriculum teachings in addition to the many whole school celebrations. These include:
- Mother’s Day Afternoon
- 100 Days of School Celebration
- Father’s Day Afternoon
- MFB visit
- Responsible Pet Ownership Program
- Incursions and Excursions