The strong emphasis on literacy at Yarra Road can be seen throughout the school.
The English curriculum comprises reading, writing, speaking and listening. In the Junior school the Early Years Literacy Program offers daily activities of guided reading, discussions and related comprehension activities are a daily focus.
The Premiers Reading Challenge which encourages all children to read and record their progress is an annual activity throughout the school.
Our Literacy Co-ordinator leads the staff in professional learning programs to constantly improve outcomes for students in reading, writing, speaking and listening.
The coordinated work of Parents, Aides, Mentors and Peer Tutors support children at all levels with their literacy learning.
To support literacy learning, the school is committed to providing a support program and maintaining an up to date Library / Resource Centre.
The Mathematics program at Yarra Road Primary School aims to develop fully the numeracy skills, language and conceptual understandings of the students allowing them to confidently take their place in a numerate world.
The program is delivered through daily lessons where children experience learning Mathematics through Early Years Numeracy Program and the principles as outlined in AusVELS. These experiences incorporate as many practical and problem solving experiences as possible to enable the students to see the connection with real-life.
As children move through the school, they are given the opportunity to extend the already strong numeracy foundations that have been established by being involved in Mathematic competitions.
The mathematics program follows the Discipline-based Learning Domains as stated in AusVELs. These subdomains include Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. An understanding and application of mathematical ideas are developed through practical and problem solving activities using a wide range of concrete materials.
Our Early Years Numeracy program allows teachers to assess the fundamental understandings of children from Prep to 2 in a one-to-one interview which forms the basis for future teaching directions.
Music, Dance & Drama
All students attend a 45-minute Performing Arts session each week in our large and inspiring Performing Arts room. We have many zones in our room, including:
- Main floor area for dancing and movement, playing instruments, and drama games and activities.
- Custom-built stage area for all kinds of performances, which also doubles as an extra learning space for music theory and media creation using our green screen.
- ‘Chill zone’ for students to create their own musical compositions and collaborate with each other.
- Our new recording studio that is set up with a variety of recording equipment.
- ‘Backstage’ area with costumes and props to inspire creative drama play.
We have a huge variety of instruments to create music, including sets of:
Keyboards, pianos, acoustic guitars, drum kits, ukuleles, bass and electric guitars, violins and a variety of other instruments including xylophones, metallophones, glockenspiels, boomwhackers, bongos and djembes, and untuned percussion instruments.
We use all of these instruments regularly in class as the students enjoy making music, exploring sound and learning how to play the songs they love. We follow the principals of Musical Futures, which encourages students to learn about music by getting them straight onto the instruments and making music.
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Annual Whole School Production
Our students love performing on stage, so we provide them with the opportunity to do so every year. Our whole school production occurs annually over two nights at the George Wood Theatre at Yarra Valley Grammar.
In the term leading up to the production, we create and rehearse in Performing Arts classes, incorporating songs and dances intertwined with very humorous storylines and characters.
The students enjoy learning about how to put a large-scale production together, being involved in costume design, prop and set creation, program design, choreography and direction. They enjoy workshopping their ideas of how to make the story come to life on stage.
We facilitate weekly individual private lessons for guitar, bass, piano, drums, singing and violin, provided by Mae Collard’s School of Music and as well as independent music teachers. We have three dedicated learning spaces that facilitate focused and intensive music learning for students at all levels. Our teachers are extremely skilful and knowledgeable musicians with many years of teaching experience, who work hard to build great rapport with their students, and target their teaching at the students’ individual interests and abilities.
Students have regular opportunities to perform in front of their classmates, at assemblies, at special events, and at the end-of-year Performance Soiree and mid-year concert.
We currently have over 30 students enrolled in instrumental music lessons, across all year levels.
Our school choir meets every Monday lunchtime in the Performing Arts room. All students with a love of singing are welcome to come along and sing together for enjoyment. We sing a variety of songs from current pop songs to musical theatre favourites.
Our Samba group is made up of 16 students from Grades 4 and 5 who love drumming and rhythm. We learn about South American culture while composing our own rhythms on traditional Brazilian percussion instruments – timbale, repinique, caixa, agogo, tamborim, surdo and ganza. We meet every Wednesday afternoon to make a whole lot of festive noise!
Our Rock Band is comprised of students, teachers and parents who like to get together at a Wednesday lunchtime for a jam session. We meet in the Performing Arts room play popular songs from a variety of decades.
“Television didn’t transform education. Neither will the internet. But it will be another tool for teachers to use in their effort to reach students in the classroom. It will also be a means by which students learn outside the classroom”
– John Palfrey, educator and academic.
At Yarra Road Primary, we see the incredible value in 21st-century learning. Utilising digital technologies prepares students for the world they will grow up to be a part of and will allow them to become independent learners and critical thinkers.
Our school program makes use of Google g-suite for education, a revolutionary series of apps which promote collaborative learning and innovative thinking. All students are provided with a safe and secure user account, which they can access on any device at home. At school, students are provided with managed Chromebooks free of charge, which they have responsibility for and take care of. As a Google school, we pride ourselves on the fact that these devices are tools for learning and have spent a great deal of time preparing and resourcing the best software to support student learning with programs such as Studyladder, Typingclub, Libby etc. as well as the Google suite of word processing (Docs), spreadsheet (sheets) and presentation (Slides) apps.
Our program also allows us to take great care in providing education on the appropriate use of technology. We are an eSmart school, that has developed a program of; Device User Agreements, building awareness by taking part in eSmart events (with an alien named Irl), students in Grade 5 & 6 also complete the eSmart digital licence. We also provide support for students and families through informative seminars. Our School Policy outlines our commitment to student safety and runs alongside our Student Well-being program.
Physical Education is interwoven into the culture at Yarra Road Primary School. We believe that introducing students to a positive and active lifestyle can help develop a love of physical activity throughout life.
They learn how developing physical capacity in areas such as strength, flexibility and endurance is related to both fitness and physical performance.
Students undertake a variety of roles when participating in sports such as umpire, coach, player and administrator and assume responsibility for the organisation of aspects of a sporting competition. Students participate in grade 3/4 sport on a weekly basis. This is a house team based competition where they compete in structured games developing sportsmanship, resilience and teamwork. Skills that are crucial in the growth of successful athletes. As grade 5 and 6 students, they move in to inter school competitions, competing against local schools, and if successful, progressing on to wider competitions including, Division, Region and State Championships.
Engaging in physical activity, games, sport and outdoor recreation contributes to a sense of community and social connectedness.
Students develop an understanding of the right to be safe and explore the concepts of challenge, risk and safety. They identify the harms associated with particular situations and behaviours and how to take action to minimise these harms.
The Health and Physical Education domain provides students with the knowledge, skills and behaviours necessary for the pursuit of lifelong involvement in physical activity, health and wellbeing.
Sporting Programs on offer at Yarra Road Primary School:
- Whole School Athletics and Cross Country Events, and Swimming Program
- Prep PMP, Grade 1 and 2 Sport (Extended PMP) and Grade 3 / 4 Sport
- School Sport Victoria (SSV) Inter School Sport for grade 5 and 6
- Grade 1 – 6 After School Basketball Program
- Grade 1 and 2 Hoop Time Minis, Grade 3 – 6 Hoop Time Competitions
- Grade 3 – 6 T20 Cricket, Grade 5 / 6 AFL Girls Football
- SSV State Team Pathways
Class lessons include a wide variety of teaching strategies to enable the children to communicate in Indonesian through Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing activities. There is also an intercultural dimension comparing and contrasting similarities and differences between Indonesian and Australian.
There is a strong parental support for Indonesian with many parents taking holidays in Bali. A large proportion of our students continue their Indonesian studies at secondary level.
Sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint, we believe are important at Yarra Road Primary School. Our school participates in a number of environmental programs, lunchtime activities, and special days to celebrate the importance of caring for our environment, recycling and reducing waste. The school has Science Captains that have been elected by their teachers and peers as well as representatives from Junior School Council that are involved in these.
We have an outdoor and creative play area in our sanctuary, a school vegie patch, frog bog and an outdoor learning area with garden beds for planting.
Yarra Road Primary School is working towards a sustainable future and environment for our whole school community by taking a collective responsibility for our actions.
Environmental Programs include:
- Participating in the Planet Ark Tree Planting Day
- Winner of the City Of Maroondah Nude Food Challenge
- Fostering connections and partnerships with local business
- Coastal Ambassadors Leadership Program
- Maroondah Council Environmental Leaders
- Melbourne Zoo-They’re Calling on You Campaign
- Schools Water Efficiency Program-Water Wise School
- Walk to School Program
- National Solar Schools program
- Landcare Grants
- Communities for Nature Grant
Classroom Activities include:
- Paper Recycling in each class
- Cardboard Recycling
- Reducing Waste
- Guest Speakers
- Linking Sustainability in our curriculum through Mappen
- Whole School Events
- Nude Food Days
- A strong emphasis on Sustainability throughout the curriculum
Lunchtime Activities include:
- Environmental Club
- Vegie Patch/Frog Bog/Worm Farm
The Mateship Program was launched during Education Week 2013, with a good deal of enthusiasm and anticipation. Every student has been put into a ‘team’ with its own coloured bandanas and has made their own shield and team name. Every team has students from every grade in it. Some of the comments overheard during the process were: “I feel safe and happy”, “I’m glad to be in this team”, “I’ve made lots of new friends today” and “I’ve had lots of fun”. How great is that!
We have created twenty ‘Mateship’ Groups that that include students from Prep to Grade 6. Each group has chosen a name e.g. ‘Best Mates” and shield that identifies their group’s likes, talents, values, interests and the qualities they admire most.
Each group is individualized by their name, colour of their bandana and even the way they choose to wear their bandana. The staff are also a ‘Mateship’ group and have a bandana that has a purple –(school colour) background with multi-coloured spots (to connect with all the other groups) and chose the name “Spot-On Mates.” The Parent’s Association are in the process of deciding whether they too can be a Mateship Group with their own coloured bandana.
Mateship Groups meet once a fortnight and participate in a range of fun and engaging activities.
At Yarra Road we have a full time Student Wellbeing Coordinator available to both parents and students. Andrew’s role involves supporting the welfare of all students by working with parents and staff to support the indiviudual needs of the child.
Andrew is also responsible for coordinating the Program for Students with Disabilities, which includes liaising with parents, psychologists and speech pathologists in order to support learning and arrange student funding.
The Mateship program at Yarra Road helps to build connectedness throughout our school. Each student is assigned a group with a Mateship teacher who will stay with them htroughout their schooling. Each group consists of children from Prep to 6, which helps to build relationships across age groups, which ties in with our buddy program. Prep students are teamed up with their Year 5 buddies and attend Mateship sessions together.
Mateship sessions often contain a strong emphasis on our school values; Confidence, Respect, Responsibility, Excellence and Resilience. Activities can also include cooking, team skills and Circle Time games.
Rights, Resilience & Respectful Relationships
At Yarra Road we teach Rights, Resilience & Respectful Relationships as a way to promote and model respect, positive attitudes and behaviors. This program teaches our children how to build healthy relationships, resilience and confidence.
Our Student Wellbeing teacher takes classes from grades 1 – 6 to explicitly teach these important life skills through role plays, Circle Time discussions and interactive games.
Other ways Yarra Road supports Wellbeing
- National Anti-Bullying Days
- Dogs 4 Life Program
- Working with outside agencies to support families in need
- Implementing Positive Education as part of our school network initiative
- Better Buddies program
- Education around online safety
- Kagan Cooperative learning
- Mateship & Circle Time
Working Against Bullying
Yarra Road Primary values a school culture of mutual respect, the appreciation of individual differences and the positive resolution of conflict. We recognise that bullying exists in many forms within schools and the wider community. We are therefor dedicated to creating a happy, caring environment through intervention and preventative strategies and programs, in order to create a supportive setting where children can thrive and be happy.