Foundation students at Banyan Fields Primary School exhibit a love of learning and develop into confident and independent learners. We cater to students’ learning needs, ensuring each student is learning at their own level whilst exploring and challenging themselves in a warm and supportive environment. Students are encouraged to identify the characteristics of being an effective learner. We support students to understand that learning from mistakes is an important attribute of being a good learner. Teachers model metacognition by demonstrating their own thinking and scaffold metacognition by asking students to demonstrate their thought process and to explain their own thinking.
We take great pride in providing our students with a wonderful start to their school lives, and we thoroughly enjoy watching them grow, learn and flourish as they move on through the rest of their school years.
Students develop the vocabulary of emotions and identify the ways in which emotions are shown in body language. The Zones of Regulation model gives the students the tools and a bank of strategies enabling them to develop their ability to self-regulate their emotions.
At Banyan Fields Primary we are partnering with The Resilience Project to deliver an engaging and evidence based program designed to support the emotional literacy and wellbeing of all students. Each week students participate in a 50 minute lesson with their classroom teacher. This learning is then complimented with an at home activity for families.
Within the classroom we conduct daily circle time sessions. This gives students the opportunity to discuss any issues which have occurred in the yard and we work together to problem solve these. This is an important component of the students development of skills around friendship and play.
We promote school wide positive behaviour through clear expectations that are outlined in our school matrices. These are aligned with our school values of Belonging, Reiliences, Ambition and Integrity. We celebrate positive behaviour through our school wide rewards system - Banyan Bucks. Children are awarded a Banyan Buck when they display our school values and are then able to spend their bucks at the Banyan Trolley which has a large variety of tangible rewards on offer.
Play Based Learning
Our play based learning program is a context for learning through which children organise and make sense of their social worlds, as they engage actively with people, objects and representations.
At least three mornings a week various play based learning centres are set up for students to build their literacy, numeracy and social skills. Students have the freedom to choose where they would like to learn, to communicate with any of their peers, and to access resources.
Key Learning Areas in Foundation by Term
In reading, students begin by developing knowledge of the concepts about print through understanding the directionality of text, identifying the difference between letters and words, and connecting spoken words of reading to the print on a page by finger pointing and using one to one correspondence. Students learn that there are three ways to read a book - read the pictures, read the words and retell the story. In Semester one, students learn accuracy strategies of ‘eagle eye’ and ‘lips to fish’ and ‘stretchy snake’ to support reading of unknown words. Students gain an understanding of text through applying comprehension skills of retelling events, making connections, and visualising. Later in the year students increase their repertoire of accuracy strategies to support them to read unknown words and learn to apply the skill of inferring and predicting texts listened to and read.
Through daily phonemic opportunities, students have the opportunity to hear sounds in words through isolating the first, middle and ending sounds in consonant - vowel - consonant words. Through listening to words and paying special attention to the ending sounds, students gain confidence to identify pairs of words that rhyme or do not rhyme. Students are explicitly taught to articulate the common sounds that letters make and to then connect the sounds by using the skill of blending. A Synthetic Phonics approach is used to support students to link letters to speech sounds and then blend these sounds together to read words. They also learn to separate (segment) words into their sounds and link these sounds to letters in order to spell them.
In writing, students develop the ability to write simple sentences. The writing genre of recounts and narrative texts are the focus. When writing, students learn that words, phrases and images convey meaning. The pre-writing skills such as, writing from top to bottom, left to write and using letters of the alphabet to convey meaning. Students are taught to use resources such as words lists, and sound charts to support them when writing. Through daily modelled lessons, students are exposed to the skill of applying letter sound knowledge to their writing. Teaching of correct body posture, pencil grip and letter formation lessons are embedded throughout daily teaching as well as a weekly explicit handwriting session.
Students have the opportunity to listen to and respond orally to texts and have the opportunity to communicate with others in informal and structured classroom situations, applying interaction skills, including listening, while others speak. Oral presentations are embedded throughout the year with a focus on speaking in a clear loud voice, standing still and staying on topic.
In Numeracy, students practise counting objects accurately by using one to one correspondence. They have opportunities to count in sequence both forwards and backwards and to learn the number names for the digits zero to twenty. Students compare and order numbers, and have had the opportunity to use the language of ordinal numbers in meaningful contexts, such as in races. Students learn the concepts of addition and subtraction through verbal action stories. They developed the ability to use the language of ‘and’ and ‘altogether’ when describing addition stories, ‘take away’ and ‘left over’ when describing subtraction stories. Students use hands-on materials, such as, concrete materials, tens frames, drawing and number lines to support their development of a range of practical strategies.
Some key concepts explored in the topic of Measurement and Geometry include an exploration of 2D shapes, where students name, sort and identify their properties. Sequencing events, the days of the week and using specific language of yesterday and today are integrated into daily morning processes. Students develop an understanding of length, capacity and mass through comparing and ordering objects.
Some key concepts students explore in Statistics and Probability included answering and posing yes and no questions, collecting data using simple displays, and discussing what the data shows.
Perceptual Motor Program (PMP)
In Foundation students participate in the Perceptual Motor Program (PMP). This program develops the child’s perception of time and space and the limitations of the human body. Above all, it aims to give children the confidence to manipulate themselves through experiences with music, fitness, dance and movement.
Humanities, Design and Technology, Digital Technologies, Music, Dance and Drama are integrated into Literacy and Numeracy programs.