At Rosanna Golf Links Primary School our belief in providing your children with a broad and practical learning experience has resulted in a comprehensive curriculum incorporating:
- a strong emphasis on numeracy and literacy
- science and technology studies
- environmental studies
- art studies
- computer skills
- Auslan (Australian sign language)
- a comprehensive music program
- physical education and interschool sport
- art/craft program
- assistance for children with special needs
School is not only a time for gaining academic knowledge, but also for learning life skills, including how to work with and relate to other people. To help achieve this, our basic curriculum is supplemented with a range of options for your children, including activities such as Student Council, Fitness Club, Art Club, Environment Club, Garden Club, Choir, Concert Band and School Camps.
Rosanna Golf Links Primary School believes in the importance of developing essential literacy skills and strategies which aim to develop a love of literature, a sense of confidence and an ability to develop multi-literacy skills so they can actively participate in our ever changing world.
Rosanna Golf Links is committed to:
- Identifying best teaching and learning practice which is based on research and theory and is delivered to students consistently across the school.
- Planners are developed as a team and are used and, if required, adapted by individual teachers to cater for their class’s needs.
- Differentiated curriculum in classrooms, so all children are catered for based on their individual needs.
- Involving students in whole school celebrations of literacy through events like Book Week and the Premier’s Reading Challenge.
- Linking learning to ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), where possible, to ensure students are using computers to develop literacy skills.
- Using meaningful assessment across the school to ensure teachers know their students and how to teach them.
- Providing students with additional assessment and extension programs such as ICAS, Tournament of the Minds and Gateways.
Reading and Viewing
At Rosanna Golf Links Primary School, we believe that effective reading draws upon a repertoire of practices and resources that allow learners, as they engage in reading and writing activities, to:
Break the code of texts, by:
- Understanding concepts of print and building phonics and vocabulary knowledge,
- Reading texts with a progressing range of sentence structures,
- Understanding that texts can be organised differently,
- Identifying the language features used to describe characters, settings and events,
- Re-reading and cross checking when reading,
- Explaining how images and vocabulary are used to influence the reader.
Participate in the meaning of texts, by:
- Identifying that images support meaning,
- Recalling literal and implied meaning and identifying the main idea,
- Drawing on personal experiences and prior knowledge to make connections,
- Rehearsing phrasing and fluency,
- Comparing and analysing information in texts.
Use texts functionally, by:
- Identifying differences between information and imaginative texts,
- Recognising similar texts via the common language features and text organisation,
- Using knowledge of different texts to respond and justify individual responses.
Critically analyse texts, by:
- Identifying the author’s targeted audience,
- Discussing character stereotypes,
- Thinking about how different authors represent similar stories,
- Expressing individual preferences for certain text types,
- Presenting a range of viewpoints from those presented by the author.
(All resources can be read further on the Department of Education Victoria’s ‘Literacy Teaching Toolkit’ 2019)
In order to achieve these important skills in Reading and Viewing, students are taught a range of vital comprehension strategies in order to ACQUIRE and USE knowledge.
Our teachers utilise the following comprehension strategies daily (Harvey & Goudvis, 2017), while instructing using the Gradual Release of Responsibility model during our dedicated Literacy block;
- Monitoring Comprehension – Listening to our Inner Conversation,
- Activating and Connecting to Background Knowledge,
- Asking Questions,
- Visualising and Inferring,
- Determining Importance, and
- Summarising and Synthesizing
“Our students need to be able to use knowledge, not just know about things. Understanding is about making connections among and between things, about deep and not surface knowledge and about great complexity, not simplicity”. Vito Perrone
(More resources available regarding the Teaching of Comprehension can be found here).
At Rosanna Golf Links Primary School, we utilise a range of Core Practices to teach literacy.
Follow these links to the Literacy Teaching Toolkit to learn more;
- Modelled Reading
- Shared Reading
- Guided Reading
- Independent Reading
- Reciprocal Teaching
- Literature Circles
- Close Reading, and
- Reading Conferences
Fountas and Pinnell
All classroom teachers use the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System as a form of assessment to identify reading levels for students across the school. We document student progress and develop differentiated classroom reading instruction which is based around this assessment.
Fountas and Pinnell directs students’ comprehension and fluency abilities, as well as thinking, talking and writing skills. Teachers plan effectively for different learners using the Fountas and Pinnell guidelines. This assessment also assists teachers in identifying students who require additional support or extension and how to direct teaching and learning for these children.
Writing involves scaffolding students to become articulate thinkers and speakers, who will then become articulate writers. A focus on rich vocabulary is emphasised to enrich writing and encourage students to stretch themselves as writers. Teachers model writing and a variety of powerful writing strategies; as well as different writing skills that include paragraphing, sentence openers, punctuation and grammar. Handwriting is important and explicitly taught throughout the school. Learning the correct formation of letters and sizing is modelled and practiced regularly.
Rosanna Golf Links Primary School has adopted Ann Angelopoulos’ holistic approach to writing. The program focusses on teachers directing students in the writing process, whilst maximising their performance as a writer. This model is hands-on, systematic and practical, involves explicit teaching and encourages students to use powerful writing strategies (similes, metaphors, personification, the power of three) in their writing.
We successfully implement SMART Spelling to support our systematic and explicit teaching practices from years Prep to Six.
Our focus is on teaching student’s strategies for spelling instead of memorising lists of words. Our aim is for students to become familiar with spelling choices and be able to articulate why they have made a particular choice. We also utilise our THRASS resources to support and enhance our teaching of spelling throughout all year levels.
English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EALD)
Teachers at Rosanna Golf Links Primary School are dedicated to catering for EALD students in the classroom. We design learning plans which focus on building phonemic awareness and vocabulary. Teachers teach specific grammar skills to students based on their point of need.
Furthermore, teachers use Tools for Enhancing Assessment Literacy (TEAL) to place children on a continuum based on their language level. They assess students using the TEAL assessment tools and rubrics. They report to parents using the EALD continuum.
Speaking and Listening
Speaking and Listening is deeply embedded in everything we do. It is integrated into our units of work, reading and writing, homework and leadership roles.
At Rosanna Golf Links Primary School we believe effective communication skills are needed to develop positive relationships with others and for productive team building to achieve set goals within the classroom and in life. In the Foundation year, students participate in ‘Show and Tell’ whereby opportunities are provided for students to tell their class about a special toy, an event or even something they have learnt. Through these experiences and the explicit teaching of communication skills, such as making eye contact and speaking clearly, students learn to communicate effectively and appropriately in a range of settings.
From Grade One onwards, students begin to plan and present a range of formal and informal presentations to their teachers, peers and the school. Depending on the child’s level, presentations may take the form of a debate, a speech or an oral presentation (Rich Assessment Tasks and ‘Show and Teach’) where they are sharing their work with the class.
Student leaders are also responsible for running our Whole School Assembly each Monday morning.
Response to Intervention Model
Rosanna Golf Links Primary School has implemented a Response to Intervention model to literacy teaching.
To start, we provide the best possible, evidence-based teaching to all children at the school.
However, for some children, classroom teaching is not enough. They need a smaller group setting, and more intensive lessons to be able to learn the critical foundations for reading and writing. Continuous assessment and regular screeners allow us to identify these children quickly and ‘catch them before they fall’.
Children who need more support receive this in and out of the classroom. Teachers and volunteers provide children with support they need in their Learning to Read journey. Children can also receive small group support from highly trained learning support staff. At Rosanna Golf Links Primary School, this support is provided by a Speech Pathologist with a specialisation in literacy.
For some children, literacy difficulties extend beyond the junior years. Most of these children will have specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia. At Rosanna Golf Links Primary School, children can receive intensive support through Learning Support using best practice techniques, including Orton-Gillingham, through a trained provider, and multi-sensory learning. We also ensure all children can participate in classrooms and learning intentions. All children with specific learning difficulties receive an accommodation plan explaining ways in which their disability is accommodated in the classroom. We also have a social group for children with learning difficulties to help build vitally important social-emotional skills and coping strategies.
Rosanna Golf Links Primary School provides the MiniLit program to children in Prep to Year Two who are finding it difficult to learn the foundations of literacy. MiniLit is a scientific, evidence-based, best-practice program. As well as supporting children at risk of falling behind with their literacy, it provides a vital, evidence-based start for children who have specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia. Children attend MiniLit sessions in groups of three or four, between three and four times a week.
At Rosanna Golf Links Primary School, we believe it is important to develop mathematics learners who are curious, take risks and drive their own learning. In order to do this, our teachers aim to develop comprehensive and consistent programs across the school that link learning to the real world, provide opportunities for open-ended tasks and allow learners to show their understandings in multiple ways.
A Collaborative, Informed Approach to Planning
Each of our teaching teams receives two hours of scheduled release time every week to plan collaboratively for upcoming units of work in all areas. When planning for Mathematics, teachers plan for differentiated learning within each unit. Teachers refer to the Victorian Curriculum, shared professional knowledge and experience, the “Teaching Primary Mathematics” textbook, learning from ongoing professional development and knowledge of their current learners to ensure lessons are relevant and meaningful. Teachers try to integrate technology within lessons, where possible, to extend student learning in Mathematics.
Our Mathematics Strategic Team incorporates members from all year levels and meets regularly to evaluate and improve the teaching of mathematics.
Mathematics classes at Rosanna Golf Links follow a consistent lesson structure. This structure involves a whole class number fluency warm up, lesson launch (explicit instruction), an opportunity to explore the concept (students working independently or in collaborative groupings) and a chance to summarise the learning or new strategies (in order to consolidate and share new learning).
Differentiated Curriculum based on ongoing Assessment
Teachers use a range of teaching strategies to ensure the learning needs for all students are catered for. This includes (but is certainly not limited to) fluid, flexible groupings of mixed or like ability, a range of games, activities and investigations that use a variety of resources (hands on materials, ICT tools) and linking of new concepts to existing understandings.
This process takes into account the developmental stage of students through ongoing assessment and monitoring. Assessment may include pre/post testing, observations, checklists, portfolio tasks and work samples. Now that the school has moved to continuous reporting in Mathematics and Literacy, students are automatically enrolled in curriculum at their working level. Parents will receive updates on Compass and Seesaw regarding their child’s achievement and progress.
Opportunities for Open-ended and Real Life Maths
“Open-ended questions are questions that require more than just remembering a fact or reproducing a skill. They are questions that allow students to learn throughout the process of discovering one or more of the many acceptable answers. Observing this process also gives the teachers an opportunity to gather rich information about the capabilities of each student.”
Source: Sullivan, P. & Lilburn, P (2004) Open-ended Maths Activities. Oxford University Press Australia
At RGLPS, we connect open-ended problems to real world situations by posing worded questions and providing a narrative to accompany problems. Providing this context and encouraging children to see maths in authentic situations can engage the disengaged, provide motivation and promotes a positive attitude towards problem solving.
For more information: https://www.teachermagazine.com.au/article/mathematical-concepts-context-is-key
How can you support learning at home?
Research shows that families have the first and most significant influence on their children’s learning, development, health, safety and wellbeing. Your family can play a key role in helping your child succeed at school. Children need lots of experiences in making, counting, drawing and talking about numbers. Make connections for your child by explaining how numbers and counting are a part of everyday life. You may feel that the maths your child is doing at school is different from how you were taught, but you will still be able to support your child in many ways.
Source: (201 Literacy and Maths Tips to Help Your Child, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, 2011)
There are many ways you can support your child’s learning at home, including many of the ideas that can be found by visiting the link above. These ideas include:
- Counting items around the house
- Measuring when cooking
- Giving change and managing money
- Telling the time
- Using a yearly calendar
- Playing board games incorporating maths strategies (such as snap, go fish, chess, monopoly, checkers, sudoku)
- Asking your child to assist with giving directions and using maps
Extra-curricular Mathematics Opportunities
Opportunities are available for extra-curricular participation in the following programs:
G.A.T.E.WAYS programs are offered in a range of discipline areas for students whose are achieving at more than 12 months ahead of their expected level in Reading, Writing or Mathematics. These programs are run externally and at parent expense and convenience. G.A.T.E.WAYS programs are made available for students in Year 1 – Year 6.
Maths Olympiad (Senior School)
The Maths Olympiad is a series of five Olympiads of problem solving challenges aimed at high achieving students in mathematics. Olympiads run across Term 2 and 3 each year and participating students attend weekly Maths Olympiad problem solving sessions. Students achieving at more 12 months ahead in mathematics are invited to participate in the Maths Olympiad.
ICAS (Year 2 – 6)
ICAS assessments are open to students in Digital Technologies, Science, Writing, Spelling, English and Mathematics. Participating students sit a test and their results are standardised against other students across Australia. All students involved will receive either a Certificate of Participation or Achievement, depending on their results. These opt in tests are at parent expense and choice.
Tournament of the Minds (Senior School)
TOM offers teams of students the opportunity to solve authentic, open-ended challenges that foster creative, divergent thinking whilst developing collaborative enterprise, excellence and teamwork. Teams complete a set challenge in either The Arts, Language Literature, Social Sciences and STEM. The TOM team participates in a full day project at LaTrobe University and have to present their learning to an audience.
Mathematics in the Victorian Curriculum
In the Victorian Curriculum, Mathematics is divided into three areas:
- Number and Algebra
- Measurement and Geometry
- Statistics and Probability
This curriculum focuses on developing increasingly sophisticated and refined mathematical understanding, fluency, reasoning, modelling and problem-solving. These capabilities enable students to respond to familiar and unfamiliar situations by employing mathematics to make informed decisions and solve problems efficiently.
The Mathematics curriculum aims to ensure that students:
- develop useful mathematical and numeracy skills for everyday life, work and as active and critical citizens in a technological world
- see connections and apply mathematical concepts, skills and processes to pose and solve problems in mathematics and in other disciplines and contexts
- acquire specialist knowledge and skills in mathematics that provide for further study in the discipline
- appreciate mathematics as a discipline – its history, ideas, problems and applications, aesthetics and philosophy.
Please see the following link for information about Maths in the Victorian Curriculum. http://victoriancurriculum.vcaa.vic.edu.au/mathematics/introduction/rationale-and-aims
At Rosanna Golf Links Primary School, we are committed to developing the emotional, social, physical and academic needs of every child. We aim to assist all students to become resilient, accepting and mindful individuals who possess the positive attitude required to persist through life’s challenges and reach their full potential in learning and life.
At R.G.L.P.S we believe that students learn best when they feel happy, safe and valued. Through creating and fostering positive, secure and inclusive learning environments, we are able to help our students feel confident and better connected to those around them. Such an approach, allows them to develop positive attitudes towards their learning, which in turn maximises student engagement and performance.
We believe that it is vital for students to be explicitly taught social and emotional intelligence skills. This will support them in identifying their feelings and self-regulate their behaviours in a positive way.
We pride ourselves on encouraging students to have a voice and share their ideas, suggestions and concerns. This allows students to feel valued and inspires them to initiate positive changes within and beyond the school community.
We believe that it is vital to build a strong connection between both home to allow students to make meaningful links between the skills and concepts taught at school and their life-worlds, facilitating their social, emotional, physical and academic development.
Wellbeing Programs & Initiatives in place at R.G.L.P.S
Student wellbeing is a high priority at R.G.L.P.S, where a range of school wide programs/initiatives have been put in place to improve student’s social, emotional and academic welfare.
A number of student-led initiatives have been introduced to empower students to bring about positive change to the school environment and allow them to be valued contributors to the Golf Links community.
Through these programs we hope to help our students to understand the importance of their social, emotional, physical and academic growth and equip them with skills that they can be easily transferred and applied to real life situations.
Some of the programs/initiatives offered at RGLPS include:
Whole School Start-up Program:
At the beginning of each year, a significant emphasis is placed on setting expectations and establishing a positive, supportive and safe classroom culture. To achieve this, a ‘start-up program’ is implemented in every classroom, in which students spend time getting to know themselves, their teachers and classmates. They also explore emotional intelligence and social skills through a range of fun, engaging and purposeful tasks. This program aims to help students transition smoothly into their new class, form equitable and respectful relationships with their peers and feel happy, safe and confident in their new classroom.
Wellbeing Strategic Team:
An active team consisting of members from leadership as well as staff from all areas. This dynamic group works together to identify ways to improve student welfare: creating and driving initiatives within school programs to enhance students’ emotional and social wellbeing.
Our school values of Kindness, Persistence and Responsibility are embedded in the everyday language of students, staff and parents. They are explicitly modelled to students by all within the school community.
Student Leadership Opportunities:
Many student leadership opportunities are provided at R.G.L.P.S. for students in years one to six. Students are empowered to strive for greater responsibility. They work towards ensuring that our school is safe, equitable and respectful. Many responsibilities of student leaders include organising and leading weekly assemblies, organising special events, assisting with school tours, leading special ceremonies and driving positive change through attendance and participation in peer meetings.
Student Representative Council (S.R.C):
Student representatives from years one to six are given opportunities to participate in the Student Representative Council (S.R.C.). The role of this body is to listen to the ideas, suggestions, issues and concerns of their peers and meet as a sub-committee with leadership to discuss what resources, programs, tools and strategies can be used to initiate change within the school community.
A range of clubs and activities are available to students to promote self-confidence and collaboration skills. These take place during lunch time, cater for a variety of interests and are supervised by staff.
Engaging with the community:
Students are engaged in units of work that encourage students to actively participate in their local communities, including: students volunteering at aged care facilities and local kindergarten, cross age tutoring (involving working with students within the school). This provides students with opportunities to develop a range of social and communication skills to interact with a range of different people. This also allows aims to increase student engagement
Student Action Teams:
These students identify and review playground concerns and seek opportunities for further improvements by proposing actions which demonstrate their capacity as leaders of our school community. Students are elected by their peers and attend regular meetings
Playground Leaders Program:
Grade 5/6 students work alongside yard duty teachers to resolve minor student issues in the yard. These students wear a high visibility vest during lunch time and seek to assist younger students with any problems that they may be having. All 5/6 playground leaders participate in training before undertaking the role and work with teachers to learn how to approach and resolve student issues peacefully.
Student wellbeing policies including; Anti-Bullying, Cyber Safety and Student Engagement and Wellbeing policies are in place to ensure that the welfare of all students is carefully considered and reflected in school processes, programs and learning environments.
Staff within the school use the restorative justice approach to help students resolve conflict positively and strengthen the relationships amongst students.
Student and class achievements are celebrated at both the classroom and whole school level. Weekly ‘Student of the Week Awards’, ‘Environment Awards’, ‘Tidy Classroom Awards’ and ‘Nude Food Award’ aim to recognise the efforts of students and provide positive reinforcement.
Links Club for students with Special Needs:
Links Club provides a structured and quiet environment for students at lunch times. In this club, students are given opportunities to develop social skills by completing tasks in small groups using a range of sensory materials. Staff facilitate and model positive, safe and respectful relationships.
At R.G.L.P.S, students participate in ‘Mindfulness’ tasks, in which students are explicitly taught emotional intelligence, emotion labelling, calming strategies, breathing techniques and meditation. Such tasks allow students to practise identifying their feelings, acknowledging triggers and self-regulating their emotions, to help them deal with life’s challenges in a calm, reasonable and productive way.
At R.G.L.P.S. we place a strong emphasis on ensuring that there are clear processes throughout transition, as students enter school from kinder, move to new grade levels (and teachers) and then progress from upper primary to secondary schooling. We believe that upholding solid transition processes help to ensure that students and parents are prepared for and feel confident with the forthcoming changes. Within this we aim to provide a smooth and efficient transition from the students’ current grade to their new grade with additional support provided to those who require it.
This curiosity is what motivates learning…
Children become knowledgeable through both a desire, and the necessity, to discover things about the world they live in.
We provide strong programs in all areas of the curriculum and achieve exemplary results. However, as effective as our design for learning is as teachers, we highly value our students’ own voice and curiosity. As such, we aspire to develop self-motivated learners with a thirst for knowledge who direct their own learning both in school and in their post school life.
Curiosity is a fundamental motivation which enables students and teachers to learn deeply. To develop curious learners, we provide students with a wide range of experiences and the emotional rewards which come from risk taking and knowledge building.
Some examples of tools and structures that enable curiosity at RGLPS are:
Interactive Whiteboards provide a highly engaging learning experience for students. In 24 classrooms we have Promethean Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) data projectors and sound field systems. All teachers have opportunities to be trained in the use of the IWB’s and link the system from their own notebook laptops. Our IWB systems provide highly engaging learning experiences for students and are used on a daily basis within classrooms.
Sound Field Systems
Rosanna Golf Links Primary School is fortunate enough to have all classrooms equipped with sound field systems. A sound field system is a sound system for schools that improves the learning environment for the entire class by improving the sound environment in the classroom. Designed specifically for speech sounds, these systems greatly enhance speech understanding.
The classroom teacher wears a microphone that projects their voice throughout the classroom. As part of this system, each room has their own hand held microphone for students to use when speaking to their class.
Rosanna Golf Links Primary School demonstrates an ongoing commitment to the use of technological programs and equipment. Children are exposed to a wide range of multimedia developments on a daily basis, with access to interactive whiteboards, iPads and laptops.
Our aim is for students to confidently use an expansive range of programs and digital literacies and to continue developing an understanding of cyber safety throughout their time at school. They use educational software and sites including Microsoft Office tools, varying iPad applications, typing programs, stop motion programs and coding programs. Students are also provided the opportunity to share their work in classrooms through movie making, student developed websites and PowerPoint presentations.
As part of our Extra-Curricular Activity program, we offer a coding and computer club each week for those students who are passionate about technology.
In Foundation, ICT is incorporated into the curriculum in many ways. The students are involved in a weekly ICT session in the school library where explicit computer skills are taught, ranging from turning a computer on and off to creating a basic word document. Our Prep area is equipped with a set of iPads that are used within the classroom to support learning in Literacy, Mathematics and Integrated Studies.
Within the Literacy block, Preps use software and technology to develop literacy understandings. The students also read online storybooks, play literacy-based games and explore images and video clips to assist with their learning. Within the Mathematics block, the whole class focus is often introduced using the Interactive Whiteboard, and iPads are used to reinforce concepts taught in the classroom.
In Level Two, ICT is integrated into the curriculum in a variety of ways. At this level, each grade is equipped with an interactive whiteboard and 1:1 laptop computers.
Students use technology in all areas of the curriculum including Literacy, Numeracy and ICT sessions. These sessions are usually introduced with an interactive whiteboard, which provides for the needs of the differing learning styles within a classroom.
Students are involved in a weekly ICT session where they are coached in a variety of ongoing skills, including touch typing, click and dragging objects using the track pad, inserting images into documents, creating and editing pieces of work, saving and loading documents and locating websites on the intranet and internet. During these sessions the students have explored programs such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, iStopMotion and Paint. These programs are often used within Literacy and Mathematics sessions to show the students understanding of key concepts that have been taught. The students also use online resources, which engage them in interactive stories, reading comprehension games and writing activities.
In 3/4 students consolidate their understanding and use of technology and begin to incorporate its use in their daily learning. During weekly ICT sessions students continue to develop their understanding of a variety of programs and applications.
Teachers use their interactive whiteboard to deliver content to their students. It is used on a daily basis for such things as; modeling writing, projecting images and texts relating to reading and/or mathematics and viewing students work. It is an effective tool allowing students to actively participate in their learning.
In 5/6, ICT is used in many different ways. All students have access to a dedicated laptop and this is used on a daily basis. In Literacy students use computers to research information on a given topic and they use different search engines to help gather information. In Numeracy the students regularly use websites that compliment the topic modelled e.g. fractions.
By 5/6, students are expected to be efficient in their use of PowerPoint and Microsoft Word, creating tables, managing their student folder, trouble shooting basic computer issues, using spell check to correctly edit writing, print accurately and complete independent research.
The whiteboards are used by all teachers on a daily basis for tasks such as, viewing images and texts, modelling writing, reading and/or numeracy, displaying work samples.
As technology is embedded into the daily teaching and learning at Rosanna Golf Links Primary School, cyber safety is a major focus during our ICT program. This ensures students are aware of their roles and responsibilities as a digital citizen, including awareness of dangers and managing their online identities. At the beginning of each year, classroom teachers and students will spend time unpacking the eSmart and Cyber Safety policies and expectations of the school, as well as having a continuous focus throughout the year. Students will not be permitted to use school ICT equipment unless they are familiar with Rosanna Golf Links Primary School cyber safety practices.
Inquiry units of work are studied at every level of primary school at Rosanna Golf Links Primary School. The topics encompass a wide range of disciplines and skills. The topics may contain elements of literacy, numeracy, science, history and geography, thinking skills, cooperative learning and communication. The aim of these units is to allow students to self-direct their learning around the topic being investigated and present their learning through a rich assessment task, designed by the teachers at their level.
Each term, year levels study the same concept with the aim to build knowledge and skills from one level to the next, build on prior knowledge, deepening understanding of the unit topic and strengthen skills throughout by scaffolding their learning. Teachers design a program incorporating activities that develop the variety of learning styles exhibited by the students. The topics will seek to introduce the students to new concepts and allow them to apply their understandings in a variety of contexts. Students will take part in research activities, science experiments and investigations, whole school festivals and role-playing; just to name a few.
The major concepts covered over a two-year period are: Identity, Survival, Creativity, Change, Communication, Sustainability, Community and Knowledge.
As part of our Inquiry program, the whole school participates in a Life Education incursion that focuses on specific health concepts related to the developmental stage at each year level.
Production and School Social
As part of our Inquiry program, we hold an exciting school social and school production on alternative years. The experiences from these events develop skills in performance, drama, instrumental playing, singing and dancing. Both of these events are highlights for the school community each year.
Tournaments of Minds
Tournament of Minds is a problem-solving program for teams of students who are required to solve demanding, open-ended challenges from one of the following disciplines:
- Applied Technology (Animation)
- Language Literature
- Maths Engineering
- Social Sciences
A team consisting of seven Year 5 and 6 students, with the flexibility of the addition of grade 3/4 students, is entered each year. The team is required to work together on along-term challenge for six weeks without assistance from teachers, parents or peers.
As a team, students are encouraged to explore possibilities and experiment with ideas as they endeavor to produce their best possible solution. They then develop a creative and original way to communicate this solution to others, working within predefined parameters such as limited materials, complex challenge criteria and the deadline of Tournament Day.
GateWays Programs (Gifted and Talented Education, Extension and Enrichment):
GateWays Is an independent organisation, which offers challenging, enriching activities and experiences to develop and extend highly able children. These programs provide opportunities for like-minded children to participate in programs that will challenge them intellectually and develop their individual talents.
Sustainability has long been an integral part of the school culture at Rosanna Golf Links Primary School. The students are taught to respect and care for their environment from an early age and to carry those values with them through their primary years and into their lives beyond.
A 5-Star Sustainable School
In 2016, RGLPS was the fourth school to be recognised as a ‘5-Star Sustainable School’ in Victoria. We achieved this recognition by meeting set benchmarks and completing modules in the areas of Waste, Biodiversity, Energy and Water through the ResourceSmart Schools Program offered by Sustainability Victoria and facilitated by CERES. We have worked hard to maintain our 5-Star rating by embedding sustainable practices into our school’s culture and taking every opportunity to work with our local community on exciting projects that extend beyond the school gates. We remain one of only 50 schools in Victoria to hold this esteemed title and are proud of the way our students challenge their thinking and ideas around what it means to be a ‘Sustainable School’ and are always pushing to improve. See the Resource Smart Schools Snapshot below for a summary of the resources we have saved as a community since the beginning of our journey.
The Frog Pond
The RGLPS Frog Pond was first designed and constructed by a team of 3/4 teachers, students and parents as part of study on ‘Ecosystems’ in 2012. It was a labour of love that took many months to construct! After digging our hole, filling it with sand and then lining it with a heavy duty pond liner, we placed hundreds of river rocks in and around the edge of the pond and planted numerous indigenous aquatic and water-loving plants in the vicinity. The extremely rewarding outcome of all this hard work has been that we now have a variety of water bugs living in the water and our very first tadpoles appeared in August, 2013!
Over time, water levels and heat impacted the habitat. However, in 2019 we undertook a renewal project to bring life back to the Frog Pond. With involvement from Facilities, a community working bee, the Sustainability Team and students the Frog Pond is now refreshed and rejuvenated. Students enjoy spending time around the frog pond at recess and lunch, looking out for new tadpoles and other signs of life. Students have also had the opportunity to visit the frog pond in science lessons, with our Grade 1/2 students most recently exploring life cycles. As a five star sustainable school, we are very proud to develop and maintain such a biodiverse learning environment.
Every two years at Golf Links we celebrate everything sustainable with the ‘Sustainability Festival’ an action-packed mixture of good fun and life-long learning. Some of our past highlights were the ‘Dream Puppet’ performance, the solar car rides, tree planting, student-run recycled produce stalls, nature trail, eco-house tours and sustainable art. Students are always excited by the kids-teaching-kids session and class performances in our official opening or closing ceremony. We have been able to build strong relationships with different organisations that have supported us and provided us with incursions at our festival. These organisations include Banyule City Council, Edendale Farm, CSIRO and the Marine Mammal Foundation. Students at RGLPS have been particularly motivated by the fact that proceeds from our market stalls have been donated to organisations that support wildlife and conservation. We raised a significant amount of money at most recent Sustainability Festival in 2019, from which we donated $800 to the Marine Mammal Foundation towards conservation and research regarding the Burrunan Dolphin and Port Phillip Bay Fur Seals, and $200 was donated to Melbourne Zoo for another threatened species local to Victoria, the Mountain Pygmy Possum. The focus and wonderful work of these organisation can be found here: https://marinemammal.org.au/ and https://www.zoo.org.au/fighting-extinction/. We are thrilled to be able to support them in their ongoing efforts and are proud of the strong partnerships we have created with these organisations. Further funds will be distributed to enhance our Butterfly Garden to attract the very local Eltham Copper Butterfly and to enhance other areas of the school to promote further biodiversity. Watch this space!
Every alternate year our school community recognises the importance of improving biodiversity in our local community by holding the ‘GREEN day’; a time to celebrate and support the indigenous plant and animal species of Banyule. Rosanna Golf Links has been passionately pursuing the growth of biodiversity in its school grounds over many years now with the school indigenous planting program maintaining its strength from the support of the Banyule City Council and the school Facilities Committee. To date, we have created several indigenous gardens specific to local animal species, such as a butterfly garden and a frog pond. Our ongoing efforts are recognised by Sustainability Victoria with certification as a Five-Star Sustainable School.
This year, we’re looking at further promoting water conservation within our school and wider community and are busy planning a ‘BLUE day’ with support from Yarra Valley Water. We look forward to sharing more information about this day with you shortly!
Mentoring and Leadership in Sustainability
As a 5-Star Sustainable School we are interested in working with other schools and organisations to create strong relationships around sustainability. We are passionate about sharing our successes and are continually working to improve further. If you are associated with another school working through the Resource Smart Schools program and are interested in working with us, please contact us via our school email address firstname.lastname@example.org
The Chicken Coop
In 2016, RGLPS hatched five chickens to much excitement in our Science specialist lessons. The 5/6 students then designed and built the chicken coop with help from teachers and our maintenance man. Student monitors now ensure that the chickens are cared for by changing their water, topping up their food, and locking them up each night. The monitors also collect the eggs which are laid each day. Having chickens has been a fantastic way to develop empathy and nurturing skills in our students. We also appreciate the help we receive from the parent community who assist in caring for our chickens during weekends and the school holidays.
The Vegetable Patch
Having a school vegetable patch provides a wonderful context for understanding seasonality and life cycles. It provides students with an opportunity to understand the role of food in life, especially how we can improve nutrition and identify healthy foods. At different stages of the year, classes will care for the vegetable garden by planting, watering, caring, and harvesting. Our lunch time Garden Club also runs once a week and all students in the school are welcome to come along and spend time in the veggie patch!
Renewing and Maintaining our 5-Star Sustainable School status
There are five ResourceSmart Schools modules: Core and the four resource modules of Biodiversity, Energy, Waste and Water. All modules focus on building a whole-school approach through daily operations, learning and teaching, and school community engagement.
Each module requires a school to complete a minimum number of actions. As a 5-Star Sustainable School, Rosanna Golf Links Primary School has to regularly renew these modules in order to maintain our status. Renewing and maintaining this is no small feat and requires a great deal of work by many people in the school community.
In 2019 and 2020 our Sustainability Strategic Team, our students, teachers and parents have been working hard to renew our four resource modules. In the process, we have learned a great deal and acted to make change within our school in each of these areas.
In September 2020 a group of RGLPS students and staff worked together to complete a Water audit of our school grounds. The purpose of this audit was to assess areas in which we are successfully reducing our water usage throughout the school and identify areas for improvement. Students and staff looked closely at our facilities such as drinking fountains, toilets, taps and water tanks, as well as the way in which we use water in our everyday routines at Golf Links. They noted positives from the audit as having multiple well used water tanks throughout our school, dual flush toilets and timed drinking bubblers as efficient strategies to help reduce our water usage. Throughout their audit they discovered a couple of dripping / leaking taps, suggested that further automatic taps be installed throughout the school and discussed plans to return containers to under the taps at drinking troughs. In 2019 our Environment Captains ran a successful campaign to collect empty used containers and placed them under the taps to collect overflow water which was then used to water our gardens. This was a fantastic project that resulted in a great deal of awareness around water usage throughout the school however, due to Covid-19 safety restrictions in 2020 we unfortunately had to temporarily remove these containers.
The results and suggestions from this audit were presented to our staff Sustainability Strategic Team who have since worked alongside students to put actions in place to further improve our water management and increase awareness throughout the school community. Following the audit, our facilities staff have fixed all leaking taps and continue to check these regularly to ensure little to no water is wasted in this way. We have included the action of returning containers to drinking troughs as soon as possible in 2021 when Covid-19 restrictions allow us to do so and have worked hard to promote water conservation in other ways throughout our school community. We have done this by posting the CERES At Home Water Audit in our school newsletter and on our school Facebook page so that students and parents can engage in this at home, encouraging them to assess their own water usage and make a difference beyond the school gates. In addition we ran a competition via our school newsletter asking students to create signs and posters to be displayed throughout the school to remind everyone within our school community to reduce their water usage. Students submitted their own slogans and designs which have been posted in our school newsletter and will be displayed throughout the school near taps in 2021.
Overall the process of completing this Water Audit was very successful as it allowed us the opportunity to celebrate what we are doing well as a school community in the area of water conservation, and has given us new goals to look at moving forward so that we can continually improve and work hard to make a difference!
In September, 2019 our grade 3/4 Environment Leaders and our 5/6 Environment Captain completed a Waste audit with the support of CERES. Students were surprised by their findings and motivated to encourage our school community to improve in this area. Student leaders wrote an article for the school newsletter and developed a presentation which they gave at school council, sharing their findings and suggestions for improvement. They included pictures of the audit, a tally of their findings and the following speech:
‘On the 18th of September the 3 / 4 environment leaders were called upon to audit our school’s waste; with the help of some ambassadors from CERES. We took 2 recycling bins and 2 landfill bins from out in our yard and tipped them out on the ground. The results of our audit showed that there was heaps of general waste in the recycling bin, in fact, it was the biggest category. There was also lots of canteen bags. There was a shocking 6.765kg of compost in the recycle and landfill bins. There was also 2.365kg of general waste. The findings of the audit caught us off guard. We were quite shocked at how much landfill our school was producing; so, the Sustainability Strategic Team have come up with the ‘Rubbish Reduction Policy’. Our hope is that this policy will increase awareness about how to minimize landfill and get many new bins for our school. We believe that this policy will help our school keep its 5-star rating and encourage students and staff to think about their actions and to continue being sustainable. Thankyou. Ben and Lola’
In addition to this, a group of Grade 5/6 students completed a litter audit in September, 2019. For this audit students assessed the school grounds and tallied up the different types of litter they found and determined which areas of the school had the most litter. They discussed possible reasons for the areas with higher litter and shared their results with the Sustainability Strategic Team, made up of teachers from across different areas of the school.
Based on the findings of these audits and student suggestions, the Sustainability Strategic Team completed the following actions with an aim of trying to decrease the amount of waste and litter at RGLPS:
- Student leaders presented the findings of the waste and litter audit to school council along with their recommendations for decreasing the amount of rubbish at the school
- Developed a Rubbish Reduction Policy and had this ratified by school council and shared with our school community, resulting in an increase in students bringing ‘Nude Food / Rubbish Free lunches’ and a decrease in rubbish in the yard
- Placed signs on our outside bins with pictures and a clear list of what should go in each bin
- Student environment leaders make an announcement at the end of every lunch time reminding students to pick up rubbish before they go inside
- Published the findings of the audits in the school newsletter to raise awareness of the issue within our community
- Purchased new sets of bins for each classroom and communal areas across the school. Each classroom and area now have a landfill bin, an organic waste bin, a soft plastic recycling bin, a paper recycling bin and a paper reuse bin
- Developed and implemented age appropriate lessons for every classroom in the school from Prep to Grade 6, teaching students about the new bins, what goes in each bin and the importance of using them correctly
- Implemented a soft plastic recycling scheme at our school and worked with parents to support us in taking the soft plastic to our local RedCycle drop off point
- Introduced bottle cap, bread tag and battery recycling
- Encouraged all parents and students across the school to bring a rubbish free / nude food lunch to school every day. Continued to monitor and track each classes results every day and provide an award for the class with the most rubbish free lunches each term.
- Presented to all parents and students who attended our 2020 Meet the Teacher evening about the importance of rubbish reduction and nude food lunches at school
- Implemented an Educational Environment program in which grade 3/4 students visit each classroom and assess how the grade is going with their bins – as well as other areas of sustainability – and provide feedback and support to improve where needed
Completing the waste and litter audit has been a big learning experience for our school and we have worked hard to implement changes that we feel have been effective within our school. So far, we have noted an improvement in our students, staff and families understanding of waste and where it should go. Teachers have noted that students are more aware in the classroom in regard to which bins rubbish should go in and are actively seeking advice from the teacher or their classroom environment leaders if they are unsure. Overall, we are using our new bin systems well and feel that the Rubbish Reduction Policy has been well received by our school community. We can see a decrease in litter around the school and have noted an increase in ‘Nude Food’ / ‘Rubbish Free Lunches’ in each class. We look forward to completing another formal waste and litter audit over the coming year to see if this shows a direct improvement from the major implementations we have made in order to update our Waste module within the Resource Smart Schools program.
In Term 1, 2020 we have been working on renewing our Energy Module. This has included taking a closer look at the way we use energy at RGLPS and implementing strategies to reduce how much energy we use where possible. We have begun this process by having a group of students from Grade 5/6 completed an energy audit with staff from CERES in February. Our Environment Captain wrote the following summary of the experience which was published in our school newsletter:
‘Last Monday, an audit was taken in the hope that our school can reduce our use of electricity. 12 students attended, led by an environmentalist from an organisation called Ceres. 78% of electricity used in our everyday lives comes from coal, but there is also sustainable energy. Sustainable energy is energy that is good for our planet. It can be sourced from the sun, wind, or water. At RGLPS we have solar panels, but we still need to make sure that we don’t overuse electricity.
We surveyed the lighting in the classrooms. The recommended light level of a regular classroom is 320 Lux. All classrooms surveyed except for two were too bright. We found that most classrooms needed to turn off their lights and open their blinds.
We also surveyed the temperature of the classrooms and checked the set point of the air-conditioners and fans. In summer, the recommended set point of an air-conditioner is 24-27⁰C and in winter it’s 18-20⁰C. All the classrooms with their air-conditioner on had it set too low.
We are a 5-star sustainability school but there’s always room for improvement, hopefully we will start using less energy.
Olivia Oates, Environment Captain’
The findings of the audit have been shared with our staff and school community, with classroom Environment Leaders being asked to become ‘energy experts’ in their classroom.
Based on the findings of these audits and student suggestions, the Sustainability Strategic Team have revised and updated our school Environment and Sustainability Policy. This policy outlines the expectations of staff, students and members of our school community and lists actions to decrease our energy usage. This policy is currently waiting to be ratified by our Education Sub Committee and school council, with student leaders ready to present the findings of our energy audit alongside the new policy. Other actions completed or in progress include:
- Student Environment Captains and Leaders currently designing a ‘switch off’ campaign that includes slogans and posters, to be put up in each classroom, reminding students and teachers to turn off devices when not in use.
- Student leaders have been around to all classrooms, offices and communal spaces and set the heaters and air conditioners to within Sustainability Victoria’s recommended temperatures
- Grade 3/4 students complete Educational Environment program, regularly visiting classrooms and assessing their energy usage – as well as other areas of sustainability – and provide feedback and support to improve where needed
- Staff and students are asked to open blinds instead of turning lights on and open windows or use fans when possible to decrease energy usage
- Computer monitors, laptops, interactive whiteboards and iPads within the school have been set to automatically go into sleep mode after a few minutes of inactivity to decrease the amount of energy wasted
- A proposal has been put in to complete de-lamping throughout the school to decrease the energy used and ensure our classrooms and spaces are not considered ‘too bright’ as per the energy audit completed
- A proposal to purchase green energy has been put in place and will be reviewed when school returns
- Movement sensors are in place to indicate when heating or cooling is set too high and alerts the office staff, who then ensure staff alter these settings straight away
We have already noticed an improvement in the way our students and staff are making a huge effort to decrease energy usage. We believe that when we return to school and complete the actions and projects that are still underway, we will see even greater results. Since our last energy audit in 2015 we have made significant changes and improvements across our school and ensured that when our recent building works were underway, sustainability was at the forefront of planning. Our classrooms now all have blinds, fans, sensors, multiple light switches so that only the areas in the room that need to be lit can be, windows that are easily opened and closed as well as skylights to improve natural light that gets into our buildings. We have solar panels installed and have planted many trees to act as externa shade to keep the sun off building windows. We are pleased with the progress and changes we have made as a school over the last couple of years to reduce our energy usage and believe that the initiatives we are working on over semester 1, 2020 will decrease our energy usage even further.
The support of parents has been vital in maintaining our school grounds and the implementation of many sustainability initiatives.
The Garden Club could not function as it currently does without parental support. Each week parent and community volunteers support our lunchtime Garden club where fruit and vegetables are planted, tended to and harvested for our students to take home.
The grounds are maintained to a high standard through the tireless efforts of the Facilities Committee and parent attendance at school working bees.
In 2020 we have been able to implement a school wide soft plastic recycling scheme. This has only been made possible thanks to parent volunteers who regularly pick up classroom soft plastic and drop it into RedCycle locations.
If you are looking to support us with our sustainability initiatives or maintaining our beautiful school grounds, please contact the school office for further information.
Our classroom Environment Leaders are also encouraged to take an active role in the maintenance and continual improvement of our school grounds. They play an important role in the promotion of sustainability in our school community and meet regularly to discuss environmental issues around the school. Some successful recent initiatives implemented by our student leaders have been an upgrade of our outdoor bins to provide options for co-mingled recycling as well as landfill, and water saving at our outdoor taps and drinking fountains by placing containers underneath, and using the collected water on our plants. This year our Environment Captains plan to participate in the Kids Teaching Kids conference at Edendale Farm and are exploring options for their passion project.
The support of parents has been vital in maintaining our school grounds. The Garden Club could not function as it currently does without parental support. In the past, fruit and vegetable produce has been harvested, cooked and the surplus crop sold to the school community to raise money to purchase more seeds and seedlings.
The grounds are maintained to a high standard through the tireless efforts of the Facilities Committee and parent attendance at school working bees.
Our classroom Environment Leaders are also encouraged to take an active role in the maintenance and continual improvement of our school grounds. They play an important role in the promotion of sustainability in our school community and so meet regularly to discuss environmental issues around the school. One such initiative was an upgrade of the playground bins. Where we previously had only the one option of placing all waste into landfill, we have now installed fixed recycling/landfill stations with accompanying compost bins as we do in all our classrooms. This initiative sprung from the results of the 5/6 Biodiversity audit, conducted every two years to check the environmental health of our school grounds.
Looking to the future…
RGLPS continues to strive to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions through the installation of solar panels, the purchasing of ‘green’ products, energy-saving initiatives in the classroom and by encouraging our school population to choose active transport options such as walking or riding to school.
We collect ‘Ride to School’ data every month and have recently received an award for our outstanding results. We also encourage students to bring “rubbish-free lunches” in order to minimise the waste generated by RGLPS students. Our environment leaders collect data to measure the impact of the rubbish-free lunch initiative. With such great support from the students, staff and parents, we hope that our Environmental Education program will continue to grow over the coming years, teaching our students about the rewards of thinking and living sustainably and the importance of doing so for our collective global future.
RGLPS continues to recognise that developing global citizens who are sustainability aware is an important part of our role as educators.
Resource Smart Schools Snapshot
Since beginning our journey with Resource Smart Schools program in 2009 we have made great strides in our efforts to become more sustainable. A summary of our progress indicates that so far, we have saved almost $200,000 by reducing our waste, water and energy usage therefore, reducing our bills. We have saved:
- 642 Tonnes of CO2 – equal to flying Melbourne to Sydney 28 times
- 44, 299 Litres of water – equal to 0.06 swimming pools of water
- 1, 555 M3 of waste – equal to 71 garbage trucks of rubbish
- 409, 780 kWh of electricity – equal to 803 fridges running for a year
- 1, 642 reams of paper – you would need 82 trees to make this much paper
Foundation – Prep
Foundation, or Prep, is an exciting year that focuses on developing the foundations of our students’ learning. A memorable part of the Foundation year is the many interactive excursions and incursions that support our daily learning in the classroom. These include a visit from the RACV during our Road Safety unit, followed by an excursion to the Traffic School. This enables the children to apply the knowledge they have developed throughout the unit to real life situations and experiences.
Activity-Based Learning (ABL) is a valuable program that encourages children to develop many skills through exploration. Our ABL program promotes learning through play-based activities and assists in developing our students’:
- Social/emotional skills
- Cognitive skills
- Independence for their own learning
- Writing skills
ABL Program at RGLPS
- Two 2-hour sessions a week (1 hour activities, 1 hour writing)
- Each classroom has a different theme for the week and themes are changed weekly.
- Themes are based on Literacy, Numeracy, Science and Inquiry units.
- Classrooms are set up with a variety of activities and cater for all learning styles and interests.
- Children are free to walk between the Prep classrooms, choosing activities to explore and complete.
- At the end of each session, children are asked to write about their experiences.
- Writing is first modelled by the teacher. Children will then write independently in their books.
- Writing through experience helps develop and improve writing skills.
Grade 1/2 – Junior School
As students move through Grades 1 and 2, our main learning goals are to promote independent learning and encourage individual responsibility.
In order to build independence and confidence, Grades 1 and 2 students are expected to take part in regular school routines. Students are engaged in small group and class activities to aid in developing positive social relationships in order to achieve goals collaboratively. They make mistakes and learn from them; experience opportunities to solve conflicts for themselves; and develop problem-solving skills to become independent and, most importantly, resilient. Students are encouraged to demonstrate the school values – kindness, responsibility, and persistence – in all aspects of their learning.
Parents can assist in encouraging student independence by following the motto ‘Never do for children what they can do for themselves!’. Such activities can include:
- packing and unpacking their own school bags;
- returning and changing home readers every day;
- assuming class roles and responsibilities;
- accepting and taking responsibility for practising spelling words and completing nightly reading;
- taking care of their own belongings; and
- passing on important notes and information to teachers and parents.
Highlights of Grades 1 and 2
- Swimming Program
- Grade 2 Sleepover
- Excursions and incursions
- Celebration Days related to Inquiry Units
- Parent helpers for reading and spelling
Grade 3/4 – Middle School
As students move through Grades 1 and 2, our main learning goals are to promote independent learning and encourage individual responsibility.
Grades 3 and 4 are wonderful years for further developing independent learning and introducing new concepts in literacy and numeracy. Numeracy and Literacy lessons aim to engage and extend them as young learners. In the Middle School, teachers deliver a curriculum which caters for each child’s specific learning needs. Inquiry Units set the platform for learning and always include creative, hands-on “Rich Assessment Tasks”. Some of the units are described below.
The Game of Life
“The Game of Life” unit involves students living and working to balance their health, happiness and money. In the game, students earn money through their “occupation” and use that money to buy clothing, housing and food. Through this unit, they learn how members of a community work together to support one another. This is often a highlight of the year for many students as it is fun, exciting and very practical.
Our “Ecosystems” unit involves an educational excursion where we learn about biodiversity in our natural environment. Once a solidified understanding of ecosystems and biodiversity is established, students create 3D models of their favourite ecosystem. These are then showcased at our “Eco Expo”.
During our “Sustainable Homes” unit, we learn about ways we can make our homes more environmentally friendly. We visit the CERES Eco House and learn about the different initiatives people are taking to “go green” around their house. After learning about these topics, the Middle School teachers work with the children to transform their classrooms into their own sustainable house. Each student works in a group to transform a room into an eco-conscious space. In order to further reiterate the importance of sustainability, the houses are made entirely out of recycled materials.
We also learn about the Indigenous Community before 1788; Australian Ocean and Inland Explorers; and the Earth, the Sun and the Moon.
All units are designed to ignite passion and to increase each student’s knowledge, creativity and curiosity.
Camp in the Middle School
During your children’s two years in the Middle School, they will experience two camps. Both camps are adventure camps which push children to step outside their comfort zones and undertake activities which are new and exciting in a safe and controlled environment. These occur later in the year.
Sustainability in the Middle School
The children in Years 3 and 4 have always helped RGLPS run smoothly by assisting in the maintenance of a healthy school environment. In particular, the Middle School children:
- supervise school-yard rubbish bins each day;
- organise paper and cardboard collection for pick-up once a fortnight;
- organise recyclable plastic and metal collection for Banyule Council;
- run the weekly ‘Tidy Classroom’ and ‘Class Environment’ awards;
- oversee school composting.
Grade 5/6 – Senior School
Grades 5 and 6 are the years in which students become independent learners. Students work closely with their teachers to set individualised learning goals and take charge of their learning; Numeracy and Literacy lessons aim to engage and extend them as learners.
Inquiry Units set the platform for learning and always include creative, hands-on ‘Rich Assessment Tasks’. Some of the units are described below.
Microeconomics: Bazaar, Bazaar
The unit, ‘Microeconomics: Bazaar, Bazaar’, provides an opportunity for students to investigate their understandings of ‘enterprise and innovation’. The unit provides students with the opportunity to view themselves as world citizens, investigating the value of money and the positive difference they can make to their peers and others less fortunate than themselves. The unit culminates with a Bazaar Day where students use the understandings and skills they have gained to market goods or services to the RGLPS Community. All money raised from this day will be lent to a poorer community or individual with an entrepreneurial idea that will be life changing.
The unit, ‘Gold’, follows our camp to Maldon, where the students explore by bike the once gold-rich area. The students learn about the impact the Gold Rush had on Australia’s economy, immigration and democracy. The unit culminates with the students delving back in time and exploring what life was like in Australia in the 1850s. ‘A Night at the Goldfields’ is the opportunity for students to showcase their learning by educating and entertaining friends and family as characters from the past.
Grades 5 and 6 are the years of primary school set aside to ensure that our students are ready for the change and challenges of secondary school. To support our students, we keep close links with our local secondary colleges. We enjoy visiting local colleges, as well as having some of our other local colleges visit us at school. The visits provide an opportunity for our students to ask questions and learn a little more about Year 7.
Leadership in the Senior School
RGLPS encourages student leadership and provides opportunities to take on roles such as: School Captains, Junior School Council Leaders and Representatives, Deaf Facility Captains, House Captains and Environment Leaders. These keenly-contested opportunities for leadership allow our students to practise the skills of leadership by being role models; representing the greater student voice; running assemblies; meeting visitors; and ensuring our school grounds are respected.
The students attend two different camps over their two years in the Senior School.
Students in the Senior School have the opportunity to participate in Interschool Sport. Sports are divided into summer and winter seasons. Students have the opportunity to play tee-ball, softball, bat tennis and football, soccer and netball respectively.
Many important programs that enrich our daily learning are provided by our specialist teachers. Your children will have the opportunity to learn in the areas of the arts, language, music, physical education, science and technology.
Special Religious Instruction is offered to all students as a lunch time activity.
The use of Information and Communication Technology is integral to student learning. Students have ready access to computers through classroom laptops, class sets of iPads and a set of laptops in the Library.
- The Prep team have a small working group of iPads, with a second class set available for grades 1 to 4.
- Our children in grades 1 to 6 operate within a one-to-one laptop program.
- Prep to grade 4 have a timetabled class session in the library with laptop computers with specialist ICT support.
- All computers have access to the Internet and educational and word processing programs supplied by the Education Department through the Edustar image.
LOTE – AUSLAN
AUSLAN was the LOTE chosen by the school community in 2010 and has been taught since that time by a qualified specialist teacher to all grades at Rosanna Golf Links Primary School. The AUSLAN LOTE program compliments and supports the Deaf Facility that is hosted by our school, as well as acknowledging cultural diversity in our community.
Students from Prep to Year 6 access our Language Other Than English (LOTE) Program. AUSLAN (Australian Sign Language) is offered at our school to both students and parents. Each week, Prep-Grade 2 is timetabled for a half-hour session each and Grades 3-6 have lessons lasting for an hour. Lessons are also offered to parents and the community once a week.
As an inclusive school that welcomes and caters for all children, students are taught to communicate through this rich, visual language. Using AUSLAN, students are able to demonstrate single signs and simple signed sequences on a multiplicity of topics, recognise signs to obtain meaning in a short conversation or signed text, follow instructions, simple dialogue and participate in games and activities. Importantly, students recognise, demonstrate and respect some of the differences between AUSLAN and spoken languages.
Within AUSLAN lessons, students typically practice:
- signing vocabulary on the allocated topic
- reading back signs connected to the fingerspelling alphabet, numbers and greetings
- learning strategies for getting the attention of a Deaf person using demonstrated tactics
- tips for communicating with a Deaf person
- using classifiers or description and location for following directions.
Students are able to practise their skills in using and understanding AUSLAN in a variety of ways throughout the school year and in the curriculum. Guest (AUSLAN) speakers visit the school to talk to students on Sustainability, through the Arts program with AusOpera and when Deaf or Hearing Impaired pre-service teachers complete teaching rounds in classes at school.
Our well-resourced library, with over 20,000 items including picture books, children’s fiction and information and reference works, is used by all levels of the school.
- Children are taken for weekly library lessons and are able to come to the library two lunchtimes a week for reading, borrowing and playing quiet games.
- We celebrate Book Week each year with special library activities focusing on the Children’s Book Council of Australia Award short listed books and culminate this with our annual House Literature Quiz.
- Visits by local authors and illustrators are often arranged throughout the year.
Physical Education is taught by a specialist teacher to all grades at Rosanna Golf Links PS.
- RGLPS offers a comprehensive Physical Education and Sporting experience for all children. Students engage in a one hour PE lesson every week utilising the expansive, well maintained grounds and an indoor venue for a wide variety of activities.
- All grade six students participate in Term two and three Inter School Sports. These sports include Softball, Tee Ball, Bat Tennis, Australian Rules Football, Soccer, and Netball.
- Students in grade five participate in the Macleod College Sport Program run by high school students while the Inter School Sport season is on.
- Grade 3-6 students are given the opportunity to compete for the school at the District Swimming, Athletics and Cross Country carnivals. Progression from these carnivals lead to Division, Region, State and National levels of competition.
- Students in grade 3-6 participate in House events, including Athletics, Cross Country and House Sports. At the end of each event the winning house is presented with an engraved shield that is displayed in the school office.
- Grade 3/4 and 5/6 students are given the opportunity to participate in junior and senior Hoop Time Basketball competitions, with different teams available for students who play or don’t play basketball outside of school.
- All students participate in the RGLPS Running Club. Kilometres are accumulated by running courses around the school with badges and certificates being awarded for reaching particular distances.
- Every other year the school participates in the Heart Foundation ‘Jump Rope for Heart’ skipping program to raise money for the Heart Foundation. Skipping skills are taught and refined during PE classes, with students demonstrating their skills at the whole school ‘Jump Off Day’.
- The Twilight Sports Evening is a fun event run by the Grade six house captains. The school community comes together for a night of exciting and entertaining events with a bbq and plenty of picnic room for everyone.
Each week students across the school are timetabled for a one hour science lesson. Our science room is well equipped giving the students the opportunity to participate in many hands-on activities including: building electric circuits, using microscopes, cooking experiences, modeling science concepts, etc.
- In the science program students experience Biological, Chemical, Physical and Earth and Space Sciences each year.
- The science program has a strong focus on Sustainability and integrates our veggie garden and frog pond as students develop a sense of respect and responsibility for the environment.
- Each year we celebrate Science Week with special science activities during class time and at lunch times.
- Our science room has recently been fitted with an interactive whiteboard allowing students to engage in a range of interactive activities and view some of the more unusual sights which science offers.
Students attend visual arts lessons for an hour each week.
Art programs are generally coordinated with classroom integration themes or special events such as the Banyule Festival.
Visual arts lessons cover a range of art forms and over the year students will explore and experiment with painting and drawing, construction and modelling, textiles and collage and print making.
The art room is equipped with a kiln and the students enjoy the opportunity to work with clay.
The arts program generally starts with preparations for participation in the Banyule Festival Street Parade held annually at the end of Term 1. The students eagerly await the announcement of the theme for the parade and enjoy planning and creating art works suitable for display to a community audience.
The Whole School Production is held biannually and is a wonderful celebration of the planning, writing and preparation contributed by the students, staff and parents of the school.
Whole School Events
Through our diverse range of academic programs and activities we will encourage your children not only to learn, but to shine.
ANZAC Day is the anniversary of the landing of troops from Australia and New Zealand on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey, in World War I on April 25, 1915.
At Rosanna Golf Links Primary School, we gather for a special assembly prior to ANZAC Day so that the school community can pay tribute to and remember all of the brave men and women who lost their lives in all military conflicts. Students are encouraged to bring a floral tribute and/or memorabilia on the day. Service personnel – past and currently serving – have been asked to speak at our assemblies. An ANZAC display is set up inside the Library and a wealth of books on this topic is available for borrowing.
The Children’s Book Council of Australia dedicates one week a year to promote children’s books.
This annual event highlights the importance of reading and draws on the joy of stories and creativity of Australian Books, authors and illustrators.
The school celebrates this by inviting authors or illustrators to come and talk to the students, having dress up days or having special book-related activities.
A dance program is held at the school every second year during which time students at all levels learn dance techniques under the guidance of a qualified dance instructor.
The program is conducted during school hours for all classes at set times, for one hour each week during Term 3.
The dance program culminates in a school social evening, where the students display their skills. Families of students are invited to attend the social evening, which has proved to be a fun-filled event for one and all.
When joining the school, students are allocated to a House:
Students from the same family are always put into the same House.
House activities are held throughout the year, including sporting competitions and the annual Book Week Literature Quiz.
Students can earn additional points for their House when a positive behaviour or action is recognised.
Rosanna Golf Links Primary School recognises that a student’s educational pathway is marked by key transitions. We ensure the effectiveness of these transitions by planning, preparing and facilitating a whole-school approach to Transition at every year level. We work towards our children’s being socially, emotionally and cognitively prepared for the next stage of their educational pathway.
An important feature of RGLPS is the well-established and successful Transition programs. One of our priorities is that all children new to our school feel happy and secure as quickly as possible. This is achieved through explicit programs and a nurturing and caring staff. We provide new Prep children with a Grade 5/6 buddy to help them familiarise themselves to our school and to settle in.
A structured approach to build happy, positive relationships with our upcoming Prep children starts early. It involves a series of interactions with the school, both for the individual children and their parents.
Before school starts:
• Invitations to whole school events.
• Open Library sessions in Term 3 for families to come into the school in an informal atmosphere.
• A parent evening in May, facilitated by Dot Deviny, an expert in school readiness.
• A parent information session held to discuss the Prep transition process and expectations for the following year.
• A formal program for enrolled students which takes place in Term 4 with a series of half-day visits with classroom teachers and specialists.
• A welcome letter to each child, introducing your family to your child’s teacher.
Now you’re a Prep!
• Individual interview and testing times for all students are provided in Term 1.
• Our prep children have well-matched Grade 5/6 buddies to help them settle happily into school life.
Our well-developed and effective relationships with our main neighbourhood secondary colleges are very important in ensuring a smooth transition to secondary education. Our students attend a wide range of local government and independent secondary colleges.
Our secondary transition program focuses on excellent communication among our local secondary colleges, parents and our Grade 5/6 teachers.
Each year, local secondary colleges visit RGLPS and our Grade 5/6 team takes advantage of invitations to visit them. Secondary college information nights for parents are promoted and parents are encouraged to visit a range of secondary colleges.
During Term 1, former RGLPS students are invited to speak to the current Grade 6 students, focusing on transition and timetabling. This is felt to be an invaluable initiative.
In Term 4 all children across the school are involved in ‘Step Up’ sessions. These short sessions allow the children to ‘graduate’ into the next grade to spend some time doing fun activities with different teachers, different children and in different rooms.
Children are introduced to their following year’s teacher late in Term 4. The children spend an extended session with their new teacher and fellow classmates in their new classroom.
Children from Grades 1 to 6 who are new to the school are also invited to attend this session. They are paired with a buddy to help them settle in and learn their way around. Our students are well-known for their friendly, inviting approach to including new children into their class.
Those who move see more of the world than those who stay in the same place. Change brings new experiences, new learnings and new challenges to master. Every challenge can be a plank in building a child’s confidence so that he or she can survive and thrive in a world that will always change. Resilience is laid down partly by overcoming stress and meeting challenge. A resilient child will, by and large, have a go at new things more readily, persist when things get tough, survive and achieve (Hotton et al. 2004a, p.12).
School is not only a time for gaining academic knowledge, but for allowing your children to flourish in their individual way. RGLPS provides many opportunities for your children to discover new talents through our extra-curricular activities. Current extra-curricular activities on offer include:
Students from grades 3 – 6 are invited to participate in the Art Club program during lunch time once a week.
There is considerable research around the educational benefits of chess, with remarkable studies showing improved memory, processing, thinking and analytical skills.
A popular program with many students, the Chess Club provides students with lessons to learn the strategies and tactics of the game.
All levels catered for
Chess Club is run as a supervised lunch-time activity throughout the year. The coaching program provides tuition from beginner to advanced skill levels. For the successful running of the club, a firm commitment and payment of fees are required from each student.
The Rosanna Golf Links Primary School choir is available to all interested students from grades 1 to 6; preps may join at the start of term 3.
Choir practice is held once a week during lunchtime.
The choir performs at local nursing homes, kindergartens, shopping centres, at the school Christmas carols evening and at assemblies.
We encourage all students to have fun singing, to learn about music and to “reach for the stars”!
The Rosanna Golf Links vegetable garden – ‘The Golf Links Green Patch’ – is located adjacent to the science room. Our aim is to provide a valuable teaching resource for the school and a site of daily discovery and learning for the students. We hope a sustainable vegetable garden will also teach our children to be good managers of their local environment and produce a new generation of enthusiastic gardeners who are happy to get their hands dirty!
The garden is maintained by students through a student garden group. This is run by interested parents at lunchtime once a week. All students are welcome to attend. Tasks include weeding, mulching, planting and, of course, harvesting! Students grow produce that is used either in school cooking sessions or sold to fund future plantings.
Interested parents form the Veggie Garden Group and have been instrumental in applying for grants, carrying out construction tasks and connecting with community resources. We welcome new members and encourage any interested parents to contact us via the school office.
About the Olympiads
Each year, RGLPS registers one team of 30 students from years 5 and 6.
The annual APSMO Olympiads consist of 5 separate contests, 1 per month from May to September.
Students compete on an individual basis and must complete each of the 5 contest papers to be eligible for awards.
Team scores are calculated after the 5th contest by the sum of the top 10 overall student scores within the team.
Aims of the APSMO Olympiads
• To introduce students to important mathematical concepts
• To teach major strategies and develop flexibility for problem-solving
• To foster creativity and ingenuity and strengthen intuition
• To stimulate enthusiasm and enjoyment for mathematics
• To provide for the satisfaction, joy, and thrill of meeting challenges