Teaching & Learning
Huntingdale is a vibrant place that encourages learning, laughter and play in a friendly and warm environment. Come and see for yourself how Huntingdale is equipping every student for a bright future:
- Our school is growing, yet class sizes remain small to ensure individual attention
- Pleasant and extensive grounds are well resourced for learning, sport and play
- Our Transition Program and Buddy System ensure that each child makes a smooth and confident transition to school life
- Our Japanese Bilingual Immersion Program includes an optional biennial trip to Japan for senior students
- Our talented and dedicated teams of teachers are the strength behind the success of our curriculum and our Extension and Enrichment Programs.
Innovation & Excellence Award
In 2011, Huntingdale was awarded the Curriculum Innovation Award as part of the Victorian Education Excellence Awards for our work on Inward Reflection – Outward Connection.
The Award recognised the work done by all staff across our school. The focus of the Award was:
‘The highly innovative and reflective Bilingual teaching and learning at Huntingdale showcases best practice in second language learning. It provides students with skills, knowledge and understandings of learning in and through two languages. With a focus on English and Japanese bilingualism, the school is dedicated to support children to become global citizens, by instilling a deep understanding of culture and fostering an international perspective in which children see similarities before they see difference. This Award will enable us to further research Bilingual school systems and the underpinning teaching and learning and school organisation that optimise learning outcomes in two languages.’
The award enabled us to explore effective literacy practice in bilingual and multilingual settings and participate in the Intercultural Understanding Field Trial. The whole school now has a shared understanding of intercultural understanding and awareness and how to cater for this at developmentally appropriate levels across the school.
Our school has featured three times in the Education Supplement of the Age – in 2002 (July 31), 2006 (June 12) and 2007(November 12), where it was described as “an ordinary school achieving extraordinary outcomes”.
Our Curriculum & Teaching
Our Instructional Model
At Huntingdale Primary School we teach using our instructional model. The teachers provide a warm up activity to ‘tune in’ students to learning. The move to whole class instruction where they explicitly teach a concept and share the learning intentions and success criteria for the activity. Students then move to differentiated activities which can include working with the teacher individually or in a small group, working independently, working in pairs or accessing digital technologies platforms related to their learning. During conferences with the teacher, students gain feedback on their work and they set learning goals. To round off the lesson, students have a share time and reflection.
Literacy and Numeracy Teaching
At Huntingdale our Literacy and Numeracy Programs are based on extensive research underpinned by our beliefs that:
- All children can succeed given sufficient time and support
- All children have the right to be challenged and supported to achieve their potential
- Early literacy success has a positive and significant effect on success in all areas of learning
A comprehensive whole school approach has been developed providing:
- Highly differentiated Literacy and Numeracy Programs
- A daily two hour Literacy block and one hour Numeracy block
- Highly effective school-wide assessment processes to identify and monitor the progress of every student
- Weekly team meetings to plan strategies to continually challenge and support each and every student
- Infusion of thinking skills and technology tools to provide further challenges and stimulate learning
- Provision of individual Literacy intervention support through our Bridges and Mid Literacy Support Programs
- Extensive additional English as an Additional Language (EAL) support through our Head Start Program for children entering school whose first language is not English
- Specialist trained Maths /Science teachers to extend mathematical thinking in Years 2 to 6
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Innovative and effective use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) will support our challenging and dynamic learning environment that equips students with the skills to be active and successful members of the 21st century global society. Technology is embraced by the school community and the school educates students and families in regard to cyber safety. We have developed a whole-school understanding of responsible and safe online interactions in accordance with the eSmart Framework. Huntingdale Primary School achieved the status of an eSmart School in 2017.
We aim to cater for different learning styles through the integration of technologies. All of our teaching and learning programs infuse some form of technology with all classrooms being equipped with computers, netbooks and iPads, which are provided as a tool to create, collaborate and communicate.
All students in the school have a See-Saw account so they can share work with their parents. Year 5-6 students use the Google Classroom suite to support their learning. Other programs we use to support student learning include Essential Assessment, Mangahigh and Epic Reading.
Huntingdale Primary School recognises that the environment is important to our student’s lives. We endeavour to reduce our ecological footprint through creating and maintaining sustainable practises both within the school and promote issues to the wider community.
We are part of the Resource Smart Program, consisting of 5 modules including the core, biodiversity, energy, water and waste. The school is working towards completing these modules to become an environmental 5 star accredited school.
At Huntingdale Primary School we have Environment Captains who help lead environment initiative in the school such as recycling, composting and promoting environmental events.
Extension & Enrichment
Gifted and Talented Programs: Maths/ Science Extension
Our differentiated classroom program is the ideal model for consistently extending and challenging children. Talented children also benefit from opportunities to meet and work with likeminded children on specific programs. We offer an extension program in Mathematics and Science. Through our extension program, students are withdrawn from regular classes to work on individual projects of mathematical and scientific inquiry.
EAL (English as an Additional Language) New Arrivals Program
Our EAL Program for new arrivals is designed to boost English language skills which enable students to participate more fully in classroom activities. Students entering the school with little or no English participate in an individual program that is developed for them and the students are withdrawn from the class for intensive English sessions.
Literacy Intervention & Support Programs
Our Literacy Intervention Programs are based on the belief that all children can succeed given sufficient time and support. Even with a highly differentiated program, at times individual children require an intensive skills based program to accelerate their learning. The Literacy Support Programs are based on Reading Recovery and provide targeted individual support for students in Foundation to Year 6.
Visual Art provides children with an opportunity to portray their thoughts, feelings and perceptions through many different media. It fosters imagination and individual expression. Children experience and develop skills in a range of art forms and media including drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, modelling, construction, threads and textiles.
Foundation to Year 2: In the first years of school, the emphasis is on experimenting with a wide variety of materials and techniques to create individual expression. Children are encouraged to talk about their work, that of their classmates and other artists as well as draw upon play and imagination.
Years 3 to 6: As children move through the school, there is an increased focus on developing and using skills, techniques and processes to communicate their thoughts and feelings in a wide variety of Visual Art forms. They observe and discuss artworks created by their peers, by other artists and cultures and develop an understanding of art in society.
Celebrating Diversity Week
Music is fundamental to the creative, intellectual and emotional development of all children, particularly young children. Music engages imagination, fosters flexible ways of thinking, develops memory and enhances personal and interpersonal development. All students participate in a one hour music lesson conducted in Japanese. The Program includes singing, moving and the playing of instruments leading to more complex activities such as composing music and performing in role plays and productions. The Music Program is enhanced by a range of school performances, in-school visits, Taiko Japanese drums and Choir Programs and our Instrumental Music Program.
Year 1 and 2: Students explore Keyboard, Harmonica and various percussions
Year 3 and 4: Students explore Recorder, Xylophone and percussions
Year 5 and 6: Students explore Taiko drumming
Optional Instrumental Music Program
Huntingdale is one of very few schools in Victoria that operates a Suzuki Violin Instrumental Music Program. In our Program, all students attend weekly private lessons. Parents also attend these lessons as well as parent classes and lectures. All families are encouraged to join our local Suzuki organisation, Suzuki Music, which hosts workshops and conferences throughout the year.
Huntingdale also has a well established keyboard music and guitar program. We also offer percussion and vocal lessons.
Taiko Performance Group
Our highly successful Taiko Group are invited to play at a range of cultural events in Melbourne. All students have the opportunity to learn Taiko in Years 5 and 6. Our current Taiko Group has 15 students from across years 4, 5 and 6 and practice weekly.
In recent years the Group has performed at many auspicious occasions including:
- School Sports Victoria Awards at MCG
- Pacific School Games Opening Ceremony at SNHC
- Multicultural Festival of Creative Arts
- Box Hill Japan Festival
- Department of Education and Training – Mother Language Event
We have two Bilingual Choirs: a Junior Choir (Foundation to Year 3) and a Senior Choir (Year 4 to Year 6). Our Choirs perform at many of our local celebrations and can be heard at assembly sharing their newly acquired skills and song repertoire with the school. Our Choirs present to the broader community at events such as Carols in the Park and the Box Hill Japan Festival.
Sport & Physical Education
The Sport and Physical Education Program at Huntingdale promotes early success, participation and engagement in a range of physical activities that lead to continued physical activity throughout the years of schooling and beyond.
Foundation to Year 2 focuses on the development of the fundamental motor skills such as catching, throwing, kicking, dodging as well as playing games, athletics, ball handling, physical fitness.
Years 3 to 6 further develop the fundamental motor skills through a greater focus on team sports. All students participate in a two hour per week team sport session. Years 3/4 and 5/6 sport is based on small sided games to increase participation. Years 3/4 and 5/6 sport is one of the main ways in which our Student Wellbeing Program is brought to life at Huntingdale PS with post game reflections focusing on our school values and norms.
Whole school events include our swimming program, gala days, annual adventure camp for Years 3 to 6 and community events such as district athletics, cross country, swimming and our traditional Japanese sports family evening.
Bilingual Adventure Camp
Every year our Year 3 to 6 students attend a three day adventure camp alternating between Camp Rumbug and Waratah Bay. Activities are conducted in English and Japanese with both English speaking and Japanese speaking staff attending. It is a time to develop strong team building activities and many activities are led by our student leaders.
Year 6 Leaders
Each year, year 4-6 students and staff select School Captains, House Captains, Multimedia Captains, Environment Captains and Community Captains. These students participate in a targeted leadership program. All Year 6 students have a type of leadership role within the school.
Student Leadership Council
Students in Years 2 to 6 are nominated by their class to be part of the Students Leadership Council (SLC). SLC meets on a fortnightly basis to assess areas of need from a student perspective and create action plans to drive improvement in these areas. SLC fundraises twice a year to support the improvement areas they have identified. Our Community Captains, along with a designated support teacher, chair the meetings and turn the proposals into action.
At Huntingdale Primary School Student Wellbeing (SWB) is a priority. Research shows that students who feel safe and secure learn best and there is a strong link between wellbeing and academic success.
We aim to have happy and engaged students who want to learn. They will be independent, self-regulating and self-motivated and be able to get along with others. They will have high-level personal and interpersonal skills and build connectedness that will enable them to aptly deal with difficult situations in their lives both now and in the future.
At Huntingdale Primary School we believe it is the teacher’s role to facilitate SWB in conjunction with parents, other stakeholders and the students themselves.
We aim to build and promote respectful relationships with everyone in our school community and build a sense of belonging and inclusion. We do this by explicitly teaching social and emotional learning using ‘Play as Way’ as a platform. We also offer a range of support mechanisms for SWB for students who may be experiencing difficulties both socially, emotionally and academically.
Play is the Way has five virtues that we explicitly teach, both in English and Japanese:
“The 3R’s method is behaviour education methodology that builds self-awareness and self-management skills. It strengthens relationships, develops empathy, addresses bystander behaviour and makes a genuinely safe school achievable” (Wilson McCaskill)
Our aim is to assist students in:
- Understanding their behaviour
- How it affects everyone in our school community.
What we understand
Consequence: The effect that my behaviour has on myself and other people
Our focus is on educating students how their behaviour can affect themselves and others and reflect on the possible outcomes before deciding how to act.
Consequences and punishments are not one and the same.
What we do
Restitution: A means to undo the damage and reconnect with your community. A means to rebuild trust
When a student behaves inappropriately, they are given the opportunity to reflect upon their decisions and how those decisions affected themselves and others. They are provided with an opportunity to make amends and/or restore the damage.
Our focus is on educating students to change their behaviour based on the understanding of how it affects others, rather than on the fear of punishment. We are here to help children, not hurt them.
For more information on ‘Play is the Way’, please visit https://www.playistheway.com.au/