The Australian Curriculum
There are eight learning areas:
- Humanities and Social Science
- The Arts (including Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music, Visual Arts)
- Health and Physical Education
- Technologies (including Design and Technology, Digital Technologies).
The Western Australian Minister for Education approved the implementa.
Parnngurr Community School is implementing The Australian Curriculum stage 1 in English, Mathematics, History and Science. The school uses several innovative approaches to teaching English and Mathematics, these being responses to identified learning obstacles, however outcomes are progressively mapped against the Australian Curriculum progress maps. The scope and sequence from the old Curriculum Frameworks is also used as a guide.
Given the phased development of the Australian Curriculum, schools will be teaching-learning areas that are a combination of the Australian Curriculum and the learning areas described in the former Western Australian Curriculum Framework. As the Australian Curriculum is developed it will replace the Curriculum Framework in Western Australia.
Our Teaching Values
We support a commitment to achieving equal outcomes with other Australian schools through an appropriate curriculum and teaching practices that work in our unique context. We prioritise:
- Fostering respect for cultural differences
- Using proven evidence-based programs to provide relevant and effective education for all students
- A school culture that incorporates continuous improvement
- Using outcome results to provide feedback to develop and improve the learning process
- Clear reporting progress to parents and working hand in hand with the community
- Catering for individual needs and aspirations
- Using the latest technology effectively
- Providing a caring, and enjoyable learning and teaching environment
English & Literacy
This scope and sequence is based around the EAL/D Progress Maps, with the Fitzroy Readers Series as the key resource for literacy. Red Rocket Readers are a supplementary graded resource. Each classroom is also well equipped with age-appropriate fiction and non-fiction reading material, as well as access to internet literacy. In addition, the entire Fitzroy series has been loaded on the school iPads for students to independently read along with.
Literacy, especially writing, is also a significant component of the Science Pathways resources.
Teachers encourage students to use SAE in their responses, and in practicing this prior to writing.
The age-appropriate English ‘Skills and Strategies’ framework (see Appendix) outlines the essential skills, activities and experiences necessary for students’ literacy competence. These are mapped out by each teacher in their Literacy Block using examples developed by Associate Professor Konza from Edith Cowan University.
Pre-certificate Secondary Curriculum
Incorporated into the Two-way Science learning for secondary students is the Junior Ranger Program (JRP). This program is a natural extension of Learning on Country pedagogy and is based on the nationally accredited Indigenous Ranger Skills Guide (Caring for Our Country). It is a combination of Work Experience and VET working towards employment with the Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa (KJ) organisation which is the biggest employer of Martu through the federal government Working on Country strategy.
The JRP is organised into 40 Competencies, using some from the Skills Guide, some from the KJ Healthy Country Plan and some from specific Mathematics and Science content descriptors. This program is designed to develop the skills and understanding of students in their work-related learning and being able to track their own progress.
Currently, we have no students who have completed these Competencies. When students are ready, they will be introduced to Certificate 1, Conservation and Land Management.
The school has also organised for students to engage in work experience with a variety of tradespeople when work is done in the Parnngurr community.
HASS, Arts, Technologies & Health
Content descriptors for HASS are closely aligned with the Science Pathways activities and tasks. For example, the resources suggest many activities where students are being taught the recent history of the local area and the cultural responses to the environment. Science Pathways is matching a set of selected HASS content descriptors to sit parallel with those of Science.
Many Arts and Technologies activities are described in the Science Pathways resources, such as building class murals and using motion-sensor cameras. Health is also a focus of the Science Pathways resources with units across all age levels for water health, bush medicine and first aid for example.
Using the project-based learning as an integrated curriculum pedagogy, teachers can either forward plan using the content descriptors they want to focus on, or engage in the Two-way Science topics and units as provided and backwards plan and assess their student learning from this unifying theme.
Each of the learning areas are tracked using the WA Curriculum and assessed according to the Achievement Standards for each student. These results are reported to parents twice per year.
Mathematics & Numeracy
Our school’s mathematics curriculum is based on the use of the AICS Numeracy Strategy which incorporates the online Numeracy Portal and the support of the Numeracy Consultant. All teachers assess, plan and teach using the AICS Portal for number, calculate and fractions In order to ensure students also have financial and work-ready mathematics, the following WA Mathematics Curriculum strands are also taught P-7, as appropriate;
- Money and financial mathematics
- Using units of measurement
- Location and transformation
- Geometric reasoning
- Data representation
The ORIGO Go Maths resources, aligned with ACARA and the WA Curriculum, provide a developmentally appropriate sequence for teaching these maths skills and are the basis for the Numeracy block.
The identified strands are required in the Science Pathways resources and are critical for employment pathways and are also required for achieving Competencies in the Junior Ranger Program outlined below.
Health & Physical Education
Health is extensively covered in the integrated curriculum as suggested above. Physical Education is delivered through 15 minutes of daily fitness for each class, and weekly PE lessons planned from the WA Curriculum.
Health and PE are reported on separately.
Integrated Curriculum / Project-Based Learning
This recently developed CSIRO project is not a new pedagogy but one that has gained some new favour recently in working to engage students in learning that is holistic and linked to real life. This is especially important for students whose language and cultural background has meant that school learning has a disconnect with their real lives. The CSIRO Science Pathways project aims to address this disconnect.