In Level 3 and 4 we strongly believe in the importance of developing a home / school partnership. By working together,parents and teachers help assist individual students to reach their full potential.
One of our aims in the Level 3 and 4 area is to provide a classroom environment that is differential, stimulating, relevant and caters for diverse learning styles. To do this, a range of Creative and Critical Thinking Tools are used to enhance the curriculum. On offer are intervention programs for students needing extra assistance in English (Toe-by-Toe Reading Intervention) and Mathematics (Quick Smart).
The classrooms are constantly ‘a work in progress’ and each teacher in the area brings their own unique perspective to the team and the atmosphere in which the children work.
A very strong focus is placed on English in Level 3 and 4, with a comprehensive program undertaken throughout the year. Students are provided with a host of learning opportunities to refine and build their skills which were introduced and developed through the Early Years Literacy Program. Ongoing monitoring and assessment assists the classroom teacher to plan a program that meets the needs of every student. The English program provides meaningful opportunities for students to become confident and competent readers, writers, speakers and listeners. A designated English block is undertaken by all classes with further opportunities to develop literacy skills evident throughout all areas of the curriculum.
Students are explicitly taught strategies that further develop their reading and comprehension skills. They explore a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts independently, in small focus groups and as a class. They are encouraged to ask questions about text, make predictions and inferences about what they read.
Students are formally introduced to the different writing genres and are provided with a host of opportunities to create meaningful and purposeful writing experiences. Students are encouraged to: explore the writing process, study and produce a variety of text types and develop their grammar, proof reading and drafting skills. Daily word study further explores language conventions and builds spelling skills.
Students are encouraged to develop their public speaking skills through a variety of formal and informal experiences. Such opportunities include Circle Time discussions, Show and Tell, sharing of work, learning reflections and conversations, oral presentations and presentations at whole school assemblies.
Level 3 and 4 Mathematics introduces, promotes and reinforces understanding of a range of concepts according to the following disciplines: Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, Statistics and Probability and Problem Solving. Skills and strategies are explicitly taught to students during daily sessions in order to lay the foundations. A range of activities are then implemented which allow students to practise these skills in a context which fosters connections between student learning and real life situations.
Students have access to a range of resources which assist their learning, including concrete materials such as counting aides and problem solving kits. Technology is an integral part of the Mathematics program. Student engagement and learning is maximised with the use of interactive whiteboards, student computers and iPads. These resources extend student understanding by providing a range of additional and alternative learning activities. Our web based computer resource, Mathletics, provides students with the opportunity to practise their mathematical skills both at home and school.
Mastery of times tables and other number facts are an integral part of Level 3 and 4 Mathematics and provides a strong foundation for student learning in future years.
Open-ended tasks and problem solving opportunities cater to the full range of students within the classroom, enabling extension of gifted students through to additional support for those needing extra assistance. Students develop a range of strategies whilst working with these activities which can then be applied to other situations.
The Integrated Studies program at Blackburn Lake Primary School breaks down barriers between subjects and makes learning more meaningful to students. The idea is to teach around themes, or ‘central ideas’ that students can identify with.
In Level 3 and 4, our team operates on a two year cycle of themes to cover all subjects such as Science, History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship, Design and Technology and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and incorporates them into our traditional English and Mathematics subjects.
Level 4 students attend a 3 day, 2 night camp during Term 3. The school camping program is an important and integral part of our educational program at Blackburn Lake Primary School. Our school camping outdoor education provides:
- A bushland / country environment
- Outdoor education activities
- Sporting facilities
- Cabins, all with ensuites.
- Separate male & female courtyards.
- Large hall & dining room.
In Level 3 and 4 we take great pride in providing a rich and diverse curriculum for our students. Our research based teaching and learning practices are extremely well complimented by a myriad of extra-curricular opportunities that help develop the whole child. In addition to a rich historical culture of artistic pursuits we are also extremely proud of our very successful Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) program.
Cre-8-ing STEAM is an initiative of Blackburn Lake Primary School that introduces the following educational foci into the Level 3 and 4 area: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. The ‘8’ in the title pertains to the 8 interrelated course elements that make up the STEAM curriculum. The word: ‘Cre-8-ing’, aptly underpins the philosophy of the entire program as it intends to allow students the opportunity to make, craft, construct, design, problem solve, test, and think in critical and creative ways. The elements of the Blackburn Lake Cre-8-ing STEAM program are:
- Tournament of the Minds – Enhancing problem solving skills.
- Coding from SCRATCH - Learning computer programming.
- Drums Up - Creating music with drums to improve relationships.
- Experimental Science – Understanding scientific thinking.
- Engineering 101 – Creating simple machines using motors and technic Lego ©
- Chess – Learning strategic game play.
- Technology Design – Exploring digital literacy
- Critical and Creative Thinking – Fostering creative thinking patterns.