Mathematics focuses on the development of mathematical vocabulary. In Foundation we use concrete materials before moving into an abstract phase. Differentiation occurs through the use of open ended tasks and groups being provided with different activities around a similar learning focus.
● Students complete 5 hours of Mathematics per week. We assess students prior to commencing a topic and group students according to their point of need. Mathematics and numeracy concepts are also incorporated into our weekly play based Discovery Time sessions.
Aligning with the Victorian Curriculum, Mathematics is split into the following strands:-
Number and Algebra - The focus is on developingawareness of number and its important role in the environment and the world around them.
● Distinguishing numbers from letters.
● Number order, position and formation.
● Connecting number names and numerals.
● Sequencing numbers from 0 to 20.
● Developing counting strategies to enable children to combine and separate numbers.
Measurement and Geometry - The learning focus is on developing awareness of measuring the world around them in a way that is relevant to their everyday lives. Students have many opportunities to apply their knowledge in a real world sense through :-
● Experimenting and exploring with liquids and solids through sand, rice and water play.
● Measuring using informal measurement techniques in and outside the classroom (unifix cubes,
counters, hands, feet).
● Participating in cooking activities.
● Learning Days of the Week and Months of the Year and the passage of time through games, learning
activities and songs.
● Understanding their own environment in relation to location and position, 2D and 3D shapes.
- When learning about Statistics and Probability, we collect information from students, such as favourite food, eye colour etc, to develop whole class graphs to enable students to see information represented in meaningful ways. We discuss the likelihood of occurrences and possibility of what could happen, using language such as impossible, possible, likely and unlikely.
Reading and Writing - Mentone Primary engages the literacy program ‘Read Write Inc’ (RWI)
Read Write Inc. Phonics is a systematic synthetic phonics programme with a whole school approach to teaching early reading and writing, designed to ensure progress for every child. It is a complete literacy program for students learning to read.
This connects word reading, comprehension, writing and spelling together seamlessly. Children also learn how to form letters using mnemonics to help them. They learn to spell correctly using their Fred fingers, and they learn to compose their own writing - drawing upon ideas from the story they’ve just read.
Everything knits together: The phonics supports the reading and writing; The reading supports the writing, the writing supports the reading. RWI is taught 4 days a week to small groups of students, with specialist teachers providing one-to-one support for students who require it.
Students read books that have been written using the sounds they have learnt in class (and a small number of separately taught ‘tricky words’). This gives children opportunities to experience success and builds up their reading confidence, fluency and comprehension.
We also utilise the benefits of a visual signing system when students are introduced to new sounds, known as Cued Articulation. This enables children to use physical hand cues to
visualise how the sound is produced, complimenting our RWI program.
Speaking and Listening
In Foundation we provide open-ended opportunities for all students to develop their confidence when speaking – in both formal and informal classroom situations. Students are encouraged to listen attentively, ask appropriate questions and respond to questions using language in a variety of ways.
● English Curriculum - we integrate diverse experiences to support students to develop skills to identify rhyme, letter patterns, and sounds in words. This includes contexts for learners to retell and describe experiences. When students can express their thoughts and ideas orally they find writing down their ideas much easier.
● Daily Show and Tell opportunities foster children’s confidence, agency, and active voice.
● Daily Circle Time activities are not only an integral element to build children’s speaking and listening skills, but also crucial in supporting cross curriculum learning in the context of Wellbeing, social and emotional learning.
We begin each year with a Developmental Play program, whereby every morning students are invited to begin their day participating in a range of different hands-on, collaborative experiences that promote the development of children’s fine motor skills, critical and creative thinking, and problem solving skills. Acknowledging the social and emotional challenges children can experience transitioning from kindergarten on into primary school, we celebrate this as an opportunity to support children’s development of prosocial skills, support their wellbeing and foster a sense of connectedness and belonging.
A key element/feature of our Prep Learning Curriculum is grounded within our play-based Discovery Time Program. We intentionally engage our holistic understanding of every child's interests and strengths to guide and our planning and implementation of open-ended, tactile, collaborative learning experiences.
By utilising our professional knowledgeof environments that promote optimal learning, wellbeing, and developmental outcomes, we are able to teach to every child’s point of need, integrating explicit teaching of literacy, numeracy and cross curriculum learning areas in exciting and engaging ways.
The play-based Discovery Time experiences promote and nurture children’s innate curiosity, creativity, imagination, self initiation, deeper thinking, problem solving, effective communication skills and teamwork. These are foundational attributes and skills that will support children in their journey as lifelong learners. Children are challenged to extend themselves, take measured risks, and become intrinsically motivated learners who take ownership in their own learning. In this context children not only receive the benefit of accelerating their independent growth as learners, they are also afforded the unlimited strengths of collaborative learning. This supports their
development of resilience and positively supports children’s holistic wellbeing – which research identifies is key to promoting children’s academic development.
The Prep Learning Team intentionally scaffolds student’s learning, supporting children’s agency to uncover new understanding, knowledge and skills. Students get hands on to actively engage in collaborative learning, ask questions, challenge their thinking and extend their exploration of new ideas and concepts. Discovery Time includes a diverse range of experiences, including craft, large scale construction, real-world literacy and numeracy stations, science experiments and inquiries, gardening and cooking. Children have the opportunity to share and reflect on their learning with their peers at the end of each session, going on to explore and extend on this new
understanding and experience as a stimulus for writing in English lessons.
Areas of inquiry for Foundation Students
Term 1 - All about me /understanding emotions / building positive relationships
Term 2 - Our Community
Term 3 - Living and non-living things
Term 4 - Fairytales