At Baxter Primary School we see literacy as an essential tool for learning and believe that being literate enables us to fully participate in all aspects of school and life. Our English program aims to develop the skills, behaviours and knowledge required by students to read, view, speak, listen and write with confidence, purpose and enjoyment. We are committed to developing the literacy skills of all students by providing a balanced and personalised program, which addresses their developmental needs and interests.
The Victorian Curriculum identifies the required skills in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening. We use the Victorian Curriculum to plan, teach, assess and report on student progress.
- A structured classroom literacy program which includes whole class, group and independent teaching
- Focused teaching which builds on students’ strengths and developmental needs
- A stimulating classroom that reflects high quality teaching and learning
- Ongoing monitoring and assessment which is integrated into the teaching and learning cycle
- Ongoing professional learning for teachers
- Transfer of literacy skills into all areas of the curriculum
We value the importance of developing close partnerships with our parents in their children’s learning and encourage all parents to be active participants in their child’s literacy education.
At Baxter, Mathematics is recognised as a core area of learning that equips our students with the skills, strategies and knowledge required to function in the world today. We aim to provide a program, based on the Victorian Curriculum, that provides a focus on targeted skill development and practical application of concepts.
Students use a range of computer based programs, such as Mathletics and Essential Assessments, to practice skills, develop understanding and monitor their own learning achievements. Recently we have adopted approaches from Michael Ymer promoting the effective use of game play, team work, problem solving and investigations to develop, explore and extend our student’s practical ability when applying mathematical knowledge.
Health and Physical Education
At Baxter Primary School, the purpose of our Health and Physical Education program is to provide equal opportunities in sport for all children regardless of their gender, body type or physical ability. At Baxter, we develop and promote sporting opportunities for all children and we try to promote an enjoyment of sport, appropriate to the child’s age. Our aim is to teach primary age children the benefits of sport and keeping fit and healthy. It is our ambition to ensure that as many children as possible are involved in sport and to promote a sense of fair play and good sportsmanship.
This is implemented by each grade being allocated a 55 minute physical education lesson each week. Children in Foundation and Year 1 participate in an additional hour long PMP session that takes place one morning a week, led by the grade teachers. Year F/1/2 children also participate in a 6 week intensive swimming and water safety program. Meanwhile the children in Year 3-6 partake in a 60 minute sport education session each week and Year 4-6 children are provided with an additional 2 hours of health per week. year 5 & 6 students participate in winter and summer inter-school sports, competing against other schools within the Murdoch District. Many children in Year 3-6 will also have the opportunity to represent the school in district events such as athletics, cross country and swimming. Some children may then progress to Divisional / Regional / State level competition.
We have a spacious and well stocked visual arts room at Baxter Primary School. The Arts are valued and celebrated at our school because we understand how important it is for children to develop their creativity and imagination. The art room can be a release valve from the busy learning environments of classrooms, science rooms and computer labs. We organise our terms according to the medium we are using. For instance, in term one we usually concentrate on drawing, painting and printing. We use oil and wax pastels, pencils and chalk, pens and paint, water colour and acrylics. The younger students use pastels, pens and paint to learn drawing, building on the skills they have already learnt. We look at how we can use shapes to draw different animals and we learn about colours and mixing them to make new ones.
Each age group learns new skills depending on their ability. They are introduced to different media as they progress through the school and are shown drawing skills to practise and experiment with. The older children are introduced to famous artists and we explore the styles, colours and subjects that they use. This year we have looked at Michelangelo and William Turner. We have attempted our own Mona Lisa and atmospheric stormy sea scapes inspired by the paintings of Turner.
Next term we look forward to playing with paper and card, learning how to use new tools and finding out how we can join shapes together. Stay tuned for an action packed update of our wonderful students making 3 dimensional art.
The Performing Arts are regarded as playing an important role in fostering creativity, encouraging self-expression, nurturing talent, building self-esteem, developing discipline and encouraging team work. The performance experience promotes the value of practice and delivers an immense reward, gained from stepping out of one’s comfort zone, setting personal achievement goals and overcoming performance anxiety. And of course, there is a lot of fun and enjoyment involved in the Performing Arts!
Our students engage in a variety of performance opportunities throughout the year. These include; regular performances at school assemblies, shopping centers, aged care facilities, our annual Christmas concert and the grade 3-4 annual school production. These performances provide opportunities for students to gain experience as artists in practical situations, which allow them to develop artistic skills and experience.
Private instrumental lessons are available in guitar, drums and keyboard, providing one-on-one tuition to students on a fee-paying basis.
All students have the opportunity to perform in our annual Christmas Concert in Term 4.
The music program at Baxter Primary School focuses on students participating in making music together. Students sing, dance, play instruments, listen to and respond to a variety of music genres in the music classroom. During the 60 minute music classes students have the opportunity to learn skills in playing ukulele, keyboards, guitars, drums and other percussion instruments as well as singing and dancing. Music lessons are differentiated for all student’s musical understanding and abilities so that everyone is involved in making music together as we ‘jam’ in groups or as a class.
In 2016 we introduced the Baxter Primary Choir for students from years 3-6 to sing together and perform at assemblies and other public occasions. Students also have access to private/small group tuition in keyboard, drums and guitar through private tutors.
2018 is our debut year for being involved in the Victorian State School Spectacular as part of the choir. A group of our year 5 and 6 students have worked extremely hard rehearsing songs and are excited to perform at HiSense Arena in September.
Information Communication Technology (ICT)
Each class is fitted with an interactive white board, large screen television or a touch screen television enabling classes to explore up-to-date information from around the world. In an increasingly digitalised world it is important that future generations have an understanding of safety and appropriate behaviour. We use online social media sites such as Edmodo and SeeSaw to enhance communication between school and home and implement appropriate online behaviour. Baxter has achieved Esmart status, recognising our efforts and practices in creating a safe and productive learning environment.
At Baxter we believe science is an opportunity for students to roll up their sleeves and get busy investigating the world round them. We have a dedicated science room, where grades can go to investigate a range of scientific concepts using a wide variety of materials and equipment. Our camping program also gives us the opportunity to investigate natural sciences in their settings.
The LOTE (Language Other Than English) that is taught at Baxter Primary School is Bahasa Indonesia, the national language of Indonesia. The LOTE program is an up-coming program at our school. It is currently taught from foundation to year 3 with plans to continue expanding each year. The program focuses on cultural understanding as well as language experiences where students can use the vocabulary learnt in a fun, engaging and authentic way.
- Bahasa Indonesia is an accessible language for beginning learners of a second language.
- It has an uncomplicated system of grammar and vocabulary and uses the same alphabet as English.
- Indonesia is Australia’s largest and closet neighbour so that learning basic conversational skills in Indonesian can open up opportunities for our students in their future.
- Many of the local secondary colleges also offer Indonesian as their LOTE.
- Baxter Primary School has a fully qualified Indonesian teacher.