Foundation is such an exciting year at Jells Park. The students begin their first year of primary school learning all of the school routines and expectations. The Foundation students build up to completing full days and weeks at school throughout Term 1 and become familiar with all of the teachers, the school groups and members of the Jells Park school community. Each day we gather as a year level and count how many days we have been at school. On our 100th day of school the Foundation students have a celebration day where they dress up like 100 year old people.

Literacy in Foundation is focused on learning letter sounds and how these can be applied to decode and create words. We use a variety of different learning platforms to support reading and writing. Students will take home a reader each night and they are encouraged to share this with their families.

Numeracy in Foundation focuses on building strong number skills. Students engage in a variety of games and hands-on activities to support their learning and make maths enjoyable. We expose the students to different areas of Measurement and Geometry and apply this learning to everyday situations.

During the first semester for Inquiry Studies, Foundation students focus on understanding and following school expectations and our six Golden Values. In the second semester we investigate areas of Science and Civics and Citizenship and we look into what things are made of and why. We will also discover the different ways objects can move. At the end of the year we will explore all of the community helpers and the different ways that they assist us. We go on a local walking excursion as well as visiting the local shopping centre.

Overall Foundation is an exciting time for students and families as they transition from “little school” to “big school”.

Levels 1 & 2

A year of Foundation has prepared the students for a lifetime of learning and they continue down that path in Level 1. It is an exciting year filled with a whole slew of brand new experiences. We focus on the VCOP writing program and the kids continue to grow in their ability to break down their writing into vocabulary, connectives, openers and punctuation, exploring these ideas more deeply. The CAFE reading program is also continued and, as students begin to read with more fluency and confidence, the strategies in this program allow them to grow as readers.

In Term 4 we hold our Outdoor Education Night when students come to the school in the evening for a barbecue dinner, games on the oval and a visiting program takes place (previous years has seen ‘Zoo Comes to You’ visit us). It is a great way for students to develop their independence and is a fantastic lead into being away from home for a short period and a good introduction to things such as camps in future years of their schooling.

Another focus of Level 1 is increasing students’ independence and developing their ability to manage their own daily tasks, such as looking after their property, tidying up, swapping over readers, etc. Overall, it is a year of major growth and development.

Year 2 students begin to participate in the Jells Park Outdoor Program with the Year 2 Adventure Day. The students head off for a day that goes beyond the normal school hours with a trip to the Dandenong Ranges, riding from Belgrave on Puffing Billy to an outdoor adventure venue. The students participate in healthy outdoor activities and eat a healthy lunch and dinner before returning to school in the evening.

In Year 2 our inquiry units focus on identifying where Australia is in the world and students locate states, cities and Australian landmarks. They investigate Indigenous connects to the land and learn how some areas are important. Chemical Science is studied and students describe changes to materials and investigate how they can be mixed and recycled into different products. Students get to study how to be healthy. They identify how exercise and healthy eating is good for your body. They explore how their actions contribute to making environments healthy. Students recognise common needs and features of living things. They get to describe how living things grow and change.

Levels 3 & 4

Level 3 and 4 are exciting years at Jells Park. The students begin their first overnight camps as part of the Jells Park Camps Program. The Level 3 students head on an overnight camp to Soveriegn Hill in Ballarat, learning all about the Gold Rush and hoping to strike it rich panning for gold. The Level 4 students head to Phillip Island for a 2 nights, 3 day camp. Highlights always include the giant swing and a visit to the Penguin Parade.

In Level 3 our inquiry units focus on Australia and its neighbours, looking at our Asian neighbours and what we have in common and what makes us different in our multicultural society. Solids, liquids and gases are explored and how we can use heating and cooling to change materials between their states of matter. Endangered animals is also another favourite as students explore human impact on animal habitats and investigating many different types of animals from Australia and abroad. Finally, we look at the First Fleet’s Journey to Australia in 1788.

In Level 4 our inquiry units look at the characteristics of countries in the Southern Hemisphere, in particular African and South American countries. Additionally we study Earth and Space Science looking at the Earth’s rotations and its effect on the seasons, how the sun effects the Earth and changes to the Earth’s surface over time. Next up is the exploration of everyday inventions that have changed our lives. Students will design, test and modify their own inventions as well. Finally, we look at the impact of British settlement on Indigenous lives.

Level 3 students sit NAPLAN for the first time in May, sitting tests in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and Numeracy.

Overall Levels 3 and 4 are fun years as student transition from the junior school into the senior school.

Levels 5 & 6

Levels 5 and 6 continue to build on the work of the previous years. We increase the length of our outdoor education program, become involved in interschool sport and start our leadership roles.

During Level 5 our inquiry units focus on the Earth and its place in space. This topic includes natural disasters and how they effect Australia and the world. In our unit on Australia we focus on how the cultures from the Northern Hemisphere have changed our country from white settlement through to modern day migration. Biological science involves studying how animals and plants have adapted to their environment. Finally, we look at the changes to materials and how scientists have helped influence peoples lives.

Level 6 is a year like no other at Jells Park. Many students have the opportunity to participate in our Student Leadership program whilst everyone is a member of a School Action Team and is seen as a role model. Interschool sport is a popular addition to the timetable as we compete in both Summer and Winter Sports events along with Athletics, Swimming and Cross Country at District level. Students have access to many extra-curricular activities that are available throughout the year.

Level 6 currently heads to Canberra for a week long camp in Term 2 for an exciting time that links effectively with our learning about the Government, making laws and global citizenship.

Wakakirri and State School Spectacular occur on alternative years and are a major attraction, particularly for those into creative arts. Most of our Level 6 students choose to be involved in our Wakakirri performances which have resulted in both State and National awards over the past few years.

JP racing is our recumbent bike team which performs in the Energy Breakthrough Challenge in Maryborough each November. Level 6 students participate in a range of selection tests and processes before undergoing a year of fitness and bike training. Teams also compete in other events along the way but the main focus is on the 4 day event in Maryborough which for many past students remains one of the highlights of their Primary years.

Our Inquiry units focus on Design and Construction in Term 1 as we investigate the design and construction process and how to measure success and communicate ideas. This culminates in the Egg Drop project at the completion of Term 1. In Term 2, we investigate the 3 levels of government, types of government, making laws and global citizenship. Australian heroes and events is the focus for Term 3, with an emphasis on Federation and significant events throughout the twentieth century that have shaped Australian identity. Term 4 is always a busy term with Graduation and Concert preparation and we focus on understanding our bodies and mind as students prepare for Secondary School.