Developments in curriculum across Australia are having an impact at Gowrie Primary. The National Statements are being used to write Curriculum Frameworks for ACT schools and National Profiles are being introduced to ACT schools. At Gowrie, we will use ACT Curriculum Frameworks as the basis for our curriculum documents and Profiles will be used to assist with teaching, assessment, evaluation and planning.
The English curriculum is designed to develop pupils' communication skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking and viewing. We use meaningful whole language to achieve this and to foster a love of literature in the children. The classrooms and the library are well-resourced with materials as we devote a significant amount from the annual budget to this key learning area.
Technology is the purposeful, practical application of knowledge, experience and resources to develop, make and use products and processes to meet human needs. It has the following strands: designing, making, appraising; information; materials; systems. Technology is that part of the curriculum in which students: investigate and manipulate materials, information and systems; apply an innovative, design-based, problem-solving approach to the development of practical outcomes; utilise knowledge and experience to make practical products and processes; critically appraise the function and impact of products in order to meet sustainable human need.
We aim to provide children with the skills necessary to enable them to communicate in a language other than English and to gain an understanding of other Asian cultures. Our Gowrie program teaches Bahasa Indonesian predominantly. Children from Kindergarten to Year 6 participate in the program and attend classes regularly. The Access Asia program provides skills and understandings in these language areas: speaking, reading, writing, listening, cultural awareness. We have extended the program to offer students specific cultural awareness and activities such as Balinese dancing and Indonesian music. Our program is closely linked to the continuing program offered at our local high school, Caroline Chisholm. Our students have the opportunity to work with older, more experienced students.
The Arts includes music, drama, dance, media and visual design. Each of these areas is a unique form of expression with specific concepts, skills and knowledge to be learned. Our sequential program uses a wide range of resources and activities to stimulate children's natural creativity and develop their appreciation and self-expression. Gowrie Primary School offers students in year 5 the opportunity to be selected for the year 5 and 6 woodwind band. This is part of the ACT Instrumental Music Program.
Health and PE
The Health program at the school is split into the following areas: relationships, physical growth and body care, sexuality, nutrition, drug use and misuse, environmental and societal health and safety including the Protective Behaviours Program and the Life Education Program.
Protective Behaviours This program provides children with strategies and behaviours to cope with difficult and/or frightening situations which make them feel insecure.
The key statements are: Everyone has the right to feel safe at all times. Nothing is so bad you can't talk about it.
Physical Education A daily physical education program is implemented throughout the school. This includes the development of physical fitness and the acquisition of basic games skills as well as aspects of gross-motor development, movement and dance.
The school has adapted the ACT Mathematics Frameworks to compile a document reflecting the special features of Gowrie Primary School. Mathematical activities are chosen to promote active participation and co-operative learning principles, and to focus on the nature and application of mathematics in the world around us. The curriculum is designed to engage students in well-structured and varied activities which afford them the opportunity to acquire and develop the desired mathematical knowledge, understandings, attitudes and processes.
The Gowrie Primary School Science Curriculum includes five basic elements: Process skills and Integrated Process Skills - observing, communicating, inferring, classifying, measuring, predicting, interpreting data, hypothesising and experimenting. Manipulative Skills - use materials carefully, sketch specimens Positive Attitudes Concepts, in the five main areas - Life, Energy, Matter, Earth and Space. Hands-On Activities - to develop process skills, to discover concepts. The child's development is considered in terms of skills, concepts and attitudes. Practical activities are carefully sequenced.
Studies of Society and Environment
The school has adopted a program which focuses on the development of critical thinking, reasoning and social skills. These skills will equip children for problem-solving in our rapidly changing and highly technical world. As the children move through the program they will experience at different levels all the major disciplines of Social Science - History, Geography, Economics, Sociology, Anthropology, Political Science and Environmental Education.
In the first few years of schooling the emphasis is on the individual and the issues which affect children at a personal level. This is extended in the middle years to include the wider community and Australia in general. By year 6 the children are looking at more complicated and broadly-based issues with historical, political and international perspectives.
Within this broad framework, other areas such as consumer education, leisure education, and outdoor education are treated at an appropriate level of understanding. Enquiry learning is the basis of the teaching approach. The children develop a variety of skills in both class and small group lessons which encourage responsibility and independence in present and future learning experiences.