Primary: Pre-Prep to Year 6
Teaching & Learning
The Primary School at Clayfield College is a warm, nurturing and inviting coeducational environment where the staff pride themselves in the implementation of differentiated programs and quality learning experiences. The individual needs of each boy and girl are catered for in a purposeful manner. The integration of technology, including BYOT and inquiry learning, form an important part of the teaching and learning pedagogy in the Primary School.
In Pre-Prep, the students’ learning program is developed around the Working with the Early Years' Learning Framework and The Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guidelines. These documents form the foundation of pedagogy and inform teaching decisions. To assist children with their development of identity, all students wear a uniform to ensure they feel a part of the school. Children are also able to make choices and decisions about their learning and their involvement and participation in the program. The program is influenced by constructivist theory as well as the Reggio Emilio approach and the children are supported by a teacher and teacher-aide.
Prep to Year 6
Students in Prep - Year 6 follow the Australian Curriculum, which outlines curriculum content and the learning expected at points in the students’ schooling through the specification of achievement standards.
We implement the Australian Curriculum general capabilities; literacy, numeracy, information and communication technology competence, critical and creative thinking, ethical understanding, personal and social competence and intercultural understanding, and the three cross-curriculum priorities: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia and Sustainability. These have been embedded, where relevant and appropriate, in each learning area.
The Primary School curriculum is student-centred rather than subject-centred. We recognise that students learn differently from each other, and strategies and programs implemented in classrooms reflect that reality.
Whilst the amount of curriculum time for each subject is nominally allocated, teachers are encouraged to integrate subjects where possible, without losing the integrity or academic rigour of any subject. Literacy and numeracy development are main concerns of the curriculum and taught across all learning areas in Prep - Year 6. An inquiry-based approach is encouraged in subjects. Primary School teachers embrace a number of age relevant pedagogies in their teaching, including inquiry, collaboration, active and experiential learning, differentiation (recognition of learning styles), choice, and authentic and reflective assessment, while embracing a Positive Growth Mindset.
Learning in English
- The Public Speaking Competition is held each year for students in Years 4-6 as part of their classroom English program. Each student is to select a topic of their own choice and prepare a speech for the class. From this, students are selected to compete in the Years 4, 5 and 6 Public Speaking Competitions.
- The Premier's Reading Challenge is an annual state-wide initiative in which Clayfield College participates across Prep to Year 6. The Premier's Reading Challenge is not a competition but aims to improve literacy and is a tool to encourage our students to engage in reading for pleasure and learning.
- Accelerated Reader drives the practice component of our comprehensive reading program in Years 3 to 6. It promotes personalised, independent reading practice whilst providing our teachers with the data they need to move individual students toward reading success. Students read a book, take a quiz, and get immediate feedback. The students get excited and motivated when they see their progress.
- ACER Online Assessments and Reporting are a time-effective test which students in Years 2-6 complete at the start of each academic year. Delivery of the test is online and reporting is available immediately after tests are completed, which enables teachers to identify strengths and weaknesses in Comprehension and Spelling. This data is used by our teachers to inform allocation of Enrichment and Extension opportunities, and focussed teaching activities within the classroom to address individual learning needs.
- Words Their Way is a teacher-directed, student-centred approach to vocabulary growth and spelling development whereby our students engage in a variety of sound, pattern and meaning activities, sorting pictures and words. This approach caters for differentiated learning in the Primary classroom.
- The 6+1 Writing Traits approach to writing across the Primary School has provided the teachers and students with a common, cohesive language when approaching the development of writing.
Learning in STEM
Clayfield College is committed to enhancing student learning by integrating relevant technologies into the teaching and learning programs. Clayfield recognises the importance of equipping students for the skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, The Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) for careers in the twenty first century. In Years 1-6, all Primary students study Mathematics, Science, The Arts, and Digital Technologies. This is broadened in the upper Primary years with the introduction of Food Technology and Robotics
- In the Primary School, National Science Week is celebrated annually. This week is devoted to raising the awareness of Science as an integral part of students learning. A variety of experiences are coordinated, which include presentations from CSIRO, the Bug Lady, Ocean Life, AVA Petpep, Geckoes Wildlife and Secondary Chemistry Teacher Science Demonstrations.
- Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) is an approach now being preferred in schools around the world, in which the technology that students already possess and use in their daily lives can be utilised in their educational environment to enhance their learning. In 2015, our BYOT Program became compulsory in Years 1-6 as our students continue to access, communicate, collaborate, and create using technology in their daily learning experiences.
Learning in Music
The classroom Music program for Pre-Prep - Year 6 is based on the famed Hungarian composer and music educator, Zoltan Kodály. In Pre-Prep and Prep, students engage in daily classroom Music lessons. All year levels have classroom music programs which sequentially develop the students’ aural skills and general musicianship to a high level. Enriching lessons develop musical literacy while extension is possible through numerous choirs, bands, orchestras and ensembles. Many performance opportunities are offered throughout the year.
In Year 3, the students participate in a Strings Program where every child is provided with a stringed instrument: double bass, violin, viola or cello. They participate in compulsory, weekly, introductory, whole class lessons conducted by a qualified specialist string teacher.
Learning in Languages
Languages is taught across the Primary School. In Prep to Year 3, one lesson a week of Spanish or Chinese is taught.
In Years 4-6, the students have two lessons a week of an allocated world language which could be Spanish, Chinese or Japanese. These three Languages operate on a rotation so that students study one language in Year 4 and continue it in Year 5. In Year 6, students have the choice of studying 1 of 2 languages on offer.
Learning in the Humanities
The Humanities and Social Sciences are the study of human behaviour and interaction in social, cultural, environmental, economic and political contexts. The Humanities and Social Sciences have an historical and contemporary focus, from personal to global contexts, and consider challenges for the future. Through studying these subjects our students will develop the ability to question, think critically, solve problems, communicate effectively, make decisions and adapt to change.
As part of the Humanities, Year 6 travel to our Nation’s Capital, Canberra. This experience provides meaningful parliamentary perspectives at Parliament House, Old Parliament House and Government House, voting experiences at the Electoral Commission, an appreciation of our historical background at the Australian War Memorial and the Australian Museum, and deep engagement with scientific understandings at Questacon.
Learning English as an Additional Language or Dialect
Students for whom English is not their first language are provided with specialist curriculum support. Students from varying nationalities in Prep through to Year 6 participate in a comprehensive support program taught by a specialist teacher.
Students who are identified through diagnostic testing, documentary evidence and/or health professional’s referral as having a learning difficulty, disability are supported in their learning through the provision of a Learning Enrichment program. Staff have been trained in Cracking the ABC Code which is a systematic phonics program. This program supports those students with Dyslexia and other literacy learning difficulties.
Clayfield College provides opportunities for students to become involved in specific Gifted and Talented programs, including competitions, workshops, performance opportunities, tours and camps. Other extension opportunities include:
- Brainways –these courses offer stimulating activities across a number of academic fields
- ICAS Science, Maths and English Competitions
- Days of Excellence- workshops across a variety of fields
- Queensland Da Vinci Decathlon
- Premier’s Reading Challenge
- Australian Mathematics Competition
- STEM Horizons Workshop
- White Lego Box
- Write 4 Fun! Short Story Competition
- Interschool Socials with ISCF
- Quest Competition
Learning in the Elite Sporting Program
To support young elite athletes, the College provides flexible timetabling so that each student’s academic and training needs can be met. To be eligible for entry into this program, students need to be at either state or national representation level within their particular sport.
Learning in the Makerspace
As outlined in a position paper written by the Office of the Chief Scientist, a strong Australian economy of the future will be based on the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). It outlines how important it is for primary schools to lead this challenge, “Deliberate action is needed to enhance the capability of our teachers and schools to develop, access and apply world-class STEM education.” The Australian Curriculum has now included resources particular to ensuring STEM is part of the integrated curriculum, and our Makerspace is another opportunity to build upon our strong Technology subject, to arm our students for the skills required in the future and to let our students SHINE: Success Heights Ignite Nourish Excellence
At Clayfield College Primary, this challenge has been undertaken through engaging in a variety of strategies. Firstly, the continued promotion of STEAM (with the inclusion of The Arts), subjects within the curriculum and classroom teaching and learning programs. Secondly, teachers endeavour to inspire and support the children’s natural born curiosity of the world in which they live. Thirdly, the boys and girls are encouraged to take on careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, The Arts and Mathematics.
With all of these strategies and challenges in mind, the Primary School, together with a donation from the Primary Support Group have developed our Makerspace.
What is a Makerspace? A Makerspace is “a place where students can gather to create, invent, tinker, explore and discover using a variety of tools and materials.” (Rendina, 2016) A classroom space has been established where the children can do these things and the teachers can focus the learning programs on the STEM subjects through problem solving, real life inquiry learning and manipulative based creative activities.
Within this classroom, a Lego Wall has been built, as well as a pegboard which stores and displays carpentry tools. All the equipment, apparatus and kits are boxed and clearly labelled for easy access and use by the teachers and students. Specialised technology equipment is also housed in this classroom, including 3D printers, cameras, software, Lego- Wedo Kits, a light box, animation kits, a Laser cutting machine, Google goggles, 3D Doodler Pens, Spheros, Ozobots, touch screen technology and a variety of manipulative hands on construction gear. The traditional craft and simple construction supplies, including paper, split pins, cardboard, paddle pop sticks, straws, rubber bands, PVA glue and matchsticks have all been sourced to enable the children to create innovative products using design and problem-solving processes.
With our Makerspace, we are also able to arm our students with the required future skills:
- Multiliteracies (Multiliteracies are a way of understanding how to read and respond to these new technologies)
- Participatory Learning (Participatory Learning motivates and engages students, by providing opportunity for creativity and collaboration in an environment that is relevant to their interests and makes real connections between their school, community and home)
Useful Primary School Information
Find out more about our Primary School by clicking on the links to our handbooks, below: