At Heatherton Christian College our teaching and learning is immersed in Christian faith and values, with a strong emphasis on pastoral care. We know that children develop quickly in the primary years and consequently we place an emphasis on providing a high quality learning environment for all of our students from the very start. The Primary College program is carefully tailored to meet the developmental needs of early learners. Our programs are purposeful and appropriate to the child’s current thinking, interests and ways of learning. Activities encourage children’s autonomy, intellectual risk taking and responsibility. Teachers use a range of strategies, including explicit approaches with whole-class, small-group and individual encounters.
Within the context that God created men and women with the gift of language, English explores its use and creates a deeper understanding of the way in which humans have related with each other, over the centuries or communication in a 21st century context.
Literacy development is a key curriculum focus, with all teachers responsible for developing student’s skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing and critical thinking. We engage in online testing to ensure that we aware of strengths and weaknesses. This knowledge informs our planning and enables us to be more deliberate in our delivery of the curriculum. Each year level has a Reading, Writing, Spelling and Grammar program called DIPL, which builds upon the core foundational Literacy Skills. We also incorporate Reading Comprehension activities which are stimulating, contemporary and challenging, and where the individual needs of each student are met.
Through classroom devotional time, students are equipped with language, symbols, metaphors and imagery to interpret the rich inheritance of biblical text, such as Christian writings, literature etc. that help them understand their own political, historical and cultural backgrounds.
When God created the universe, he did so with unity, diversity and mathematical order. Creation itself resides in the same mathematical laws that reflect the character of the One who made it. Therefore, when approaching the subject of Mathematics, a student should be able to explore and appreciate God’s mathematical ingenuity – seeing precise design within a structured approach.
Numeracy and strong fundamentals in Mathematics are evident in the Primary College program. Each year level experiences a range of teaching methods in individual, small group and whole class settings, with time dedicated to investigation of topics using concrete materials to enhance learning. Australian Signpost Maths is currently used to ensure all areas of the Mathematics curriculum are covered. In addition to this, we also utilise online tools (e.g. IXL) to further supplement our student’s learning. Problem solving is a key element of the numeracy program at HCC and diagnostic tools are utilised to identify learning needs and facilitate accurate teaching practice.
Science is the study of God’s creation. When studying Science through this lens, students learn to see God’s amazing authority, the splendour of His creation and His perfect design revealed in every creature. The pursuit of scientific education is to identify and examine God’s creativity through the study of the universe and all that is in it. Students will also learn to appreciate their God-given ability to take care of all He gave us, and discover how to use it wisely. Through exploration, discovery, enquiry and investigation, students will understand how God’s physical laws govern the world and all living things.
Within each of the Victorian Curriculum descriptors: Science Understanding, Science as Human Endeavour and Science Inquiry Skills, students will identify the specific scientific approaches necessary to enhance the world around them. Through these descriptors, students will also explore viable outcomes for creating a sustainable future.
In Integrated Studies (IS), students relate to the world and events that have brought us, as human beings, to this time and place. Through IS, we are shaping the students’ thinking and actions based on our Christian beliefs and ideas. We teach children to learn how to love and serve all people, irrespective of who they are and to have a responsibility to, and in, the world. God creates people to live in relationship with Him and with each other. Through History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Health, students find a way to understand how we can live in harmony with the world. Students will become informed and free thinkers, so that they can impact their own communities and the wider world.
Students are introduced to Australian History which includes: Indigenous Australia, Explorers, First European Australians, Federation and the Gold Rush. Student learning is enhanced through inquiry based projects, excursions and independent and group matrix project work.
Students explore geographical concepts on an ongoing basis through the study of most Integrated topics. Topics included within this field include: Landmarks (man-made and natural), Earth & Space, Landforms, The Australian Environment and an introduction to Asia. These topics are enriched through excursions and outside field trips.
Civics and Citizenship
Through the studies of Civics and Citizenship, students will be equipped with the knowledge on how to become active and informed citizens of the Australian society. Through this subject, students become informed about the three levels of Australian Government and its political affairs. They will learn about Democracy, Federation, Indigenous Australians, Immigration and Migration. Students also become exposed to the concept of taxes, what a safe community is and how to be a responsible citizen.
Economics and Business
In Upper Primary, students participate in an Earn and Learn program. This program introduces students to financial literacy, through a number of activities that are a representation of real-life situations, for example, setting up a business, paying rent, earning an income, penalty fees and earning interest.
An understanding of caring for our God-given bodies underpins our Health studies. The human body (physiological and self-image components), benefits of exercise, composition of a healthy diet and social and emotional well-being are all key concepts covered within our Health curriculum.
SPECIALIST LEARNING AREAS
In addition to these, students also participate in classes in Physical Education, Art, Music, LOTE, ICT and Christian Life.