At Andersons Creek Primary School, Grade 5 and 6 is a special time for our students. During these years, students develop skills in independent learning and critical thinking to prepare them for secondary school. Our students enjoy Camp, Production, the Prep Buddy Program and Inter-school Sports, just to name a few highlights.
Students in Year 5 and Year 6 build on and deepen basic knowledge and skills related to texts and language that they developed in their early stage of schooling.
The instructional models that we have in place in the upper levels are consistent with the rest of the school. All reading and writing lessons follow the Guided Release of Responsibility Model. A lesson commences with explicit instruction time from the teacher where both the purpose and the task are explained using concrete examples. Students will next commence an independent task to provide them with the opportunity to apply the learning. Less confident students receive small group tuition where required so that they too can be successful. Working one on one with students to set and achieve learning goals is central to our model.
Students learn how to apply a range of comprehension strategies so that they can read increasingly complex texts. Over the school week and term, teachers use a range of techniques to assess and monitor reading. We use the Fountas and Pinnell assessment framework to guide an individual’s reading progress as well as an online program called Essential Assessment. We use techniques such as literacy circles to develop a student’s understanding of how to discuss a shared text with their peers.
Teachers endeavour to foster a love of literacy learning and use a wide range of instructional and authentic texts. Class serial stories are carefully chosen and book clubs are used to develop students’ ability to discuss their ideas together.
In Years 5 and 6, students continue learning to write for a range of purposes: to entertain, inform and persuade. We endeavour to study a writing genre in tandem with what we are learning in reading in order to reinforce what is being learned. In other words, to address literacy as a whole. We use the Writer’s Workshop model to continue to foster an appreciation of writing, beginning with the regular collection of writing seeds to add to students’ journals. Teachers model each stage of the writing process using exemplars and their own work. A portion of the writing lesson, while the majority of the class quietly write, is set aside for the tuition of small groups with shared goals. We use technology to publish and present work: the use of slideshows and the writing of websites are two areas that we develop using technology.
An important component of writing is the explicit instruction of grammar and handwriting with students receiving explicit lessons in these areas.
The SMART spelling program has been in place since 2020. It focuses on using phonemic based lessons combined with the other norms related to learning how to spell, such as: common rules and patterns; and etymology (the study of words and language). This method provides a consistent approach to the tuition of spelling from Foundation to Year 6. The program allows teachers to differentiate the weekly spelling lists provided to students (from Grade 1 onwards) and deliver succinct, explicit lessons.
Numeracy in Grade 5 and 6 focuses on developing students to become confident and proficient problem solvers and mathematicians. Students are supported to apply their mathematical knowledge while solving real-life investigations. They are encouraged and challenged to explain and justify their findings.
The big concept in Grade 5 and 6 is to understand and develop connections between fractions, decimals and percentages. Our Numeracy program in the senior years builds on working towards and extending students beyond the Level 6 benchmark in the three domains in Numeracy (Number and Algebra, Statistics and Probability, and Measurement and Geometry).
Humanities, ICT and Science
The Humanities encompasses Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Business, History, and Geography. We aim to give students choice in the curriculum while covering key ideas. For instance, when learning about Federation, students can choose to research from main themes such as suffrage; the Great Depression and key figures at the time. We run a week of lessons to commemorate the ANZACS which culminates in the ANZAC Day Ceremony and an expo. Other units of Inquiry include the Gold Rush; Asia; Government and Migration.
ICT (Information and Communications Technology)
In Grade 5 and 6, students use iPads and laptops for a range of tasks. We use a range of applications such as ‘Google Classroom’, ‘Tellagami’, ‘Padlet’, ‘Flipagram’ and ‘BookCreator’ to present their understanding in a range of ways. Where appropriate, students have access to ebooks and Audible to help comprehension.
Students develop ICT capability as they learn to use ICT effectively and appropriately to access, create and communicate information and ideas, solve problems and work collaboratively in all learning areas at school and in their lives beyond school. They produce information products that demonstrate their knowledge and skills for all areas of the curriculum.
Students begin to use and become familiar with computer programs such as Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, Prezi and Wix, as well as various iPad applications to support their learning.
We offer a dynamic and engaging Science program in Grade 5 and 6 covering Biological, Physical, Chemical and Earth Sciences. We teach using a hands-on approach and allow students to make their own investigations where appropriate. Topics covered include: Solar Energy; Electricity; Space; Natural Disasters; Chemical Change and Plant and Animal Adaptations.
Grade 5 and 6 students participate in a four day outdoor education camp in Term 3 at Marysville https://www.oeg.edu.au/camps/camp-marysville/
Located just over an hour from our school, Marysville Camp offers a range of activities designed to build resilience and develop confidence and teamwork. Students take part in canoeing, cooking, bike riding, hiking, cross-country skiing and climbing. At night, campfires are lit, stories are told and songs sung.
On returning to school, students design a survey to give feedback to the teachers on what they thought about the camp and whether they would recommend it for future years.
Students in Grade 5 take part in a Bike Education program in Term 4. Held each week, this course develops and promotes road safety. Sessions include a mix of practical and theoretical work culminating with students receiving their Bike Safety Licence at the completion of the unit. Part of this course requires students to undertake a roadworthy certificate on their bike and an extensive bike ride around Warrandyte’s surrounding tracks and quieter roads.