Curriculum at Macquarie Primary
Our curriculum is mapped across year levels (Kindergarten, years 1/2, years 3/4 and years 5/6) and in a two-year cycle ensuring all Australian Curriculum content is explicitly taught. The learning inquiries are adapted based on the needs of our students, our school community, current local, national, and global events.
Teachers use their knowledge of students, the community and global events to co-plan engaging content aligned to the achievement standards of the Australian Curriculum. When planning, teachers consider the 8 learning areas, general capabilities and cross curriculum priorities to ensure the 3-dimensions of the Australian Curriculum are addressed. Teachers at Macquarie draw from curriculum and pedagogical experts, including Christine Topfer, Kath Murdoch and Helen Timperley, to support delivery of a curriculum that allows our students to develop as life-long learners.
Macquarie Primary School prides itself on our school values of persistence, integrity and excellence. These core values are the foundation of our teaching and learning practices, supporting students to build successful relationships with peers, teachers and the community.
Creativity and curiosity are nurtured at Macquarie Primary School, and guided inquiry is the basis of our learning approach. We aim to build our students as researchers, communicators, self-managers, collaborators and thinkers. These learning assets are embedded throughout all aspects of the curriculum.
As part of our inquiry approach, we have created a curriculum map that allows us to organise learning areas into guided Inquiries that develop knowledge, skills and understanding of content. These inquiries are framed by compelling questions and big understandings through conceptual lenses that support students to understand the world around them. We use the inquiry cycle of tuning in, finding out, sorting out, going further, reflecting and taking action to guide students in their learning and discovery to become lifelong learners, build strong communities, and build a future that is innovative and sustainable.
The four conceptual lenses, adapted from Kath Murdoch, which umbrella our curriculum are:
- Environmental Sustainability
- Social Responsibility
- Identity, Creativity, Wellbeing
- The Physical World
Literacy is the ability to read, write, speak and listen to language in a way that allows people to communicate with each other and to make sense of the world. To be literate, students also need to be able to think critically in order to understand written, visual and technology based information.
It involves teaching all students in the strands of:
At Macquarie, our teachers develop literacy experiences which involve explicit instruction and ample opportunities to apply strategies in reading, writing, speaking, listening and viewing. Our work with Christine Topfer is supporting our teachers to incorporate the 10 essential literacy practices across all learning areas.
Numeracy helps us use mathematics effectively to meet the general demands of day-to-day life. It also helps us to learn and make sense of the world.
This involves teaching all students in the areas of
- Number and Algebra
- Measurement and Geometry
- Statistics and Probability
Mathematics teaching is targeted towards the specific needs of the students. Our programs are aligned with the Australian Curriculum and teachers use a variety of resources to support student learning, such as Stepping Stones - an interactive numeracy program which supports our planning and developing mathematical concepts to ensure vertical alignment of learning from year to year.
Health and Physical Education
At Macquarie refer to our physical education sessions as movement. This is to foster a positive view of being physical and draws on the disciplines of fundamental movement skills, modified games and dynamic and core movement. Children are encouraged to be reflective about how they move independently, within small groups and within their environment.
As a school we also support our students through our social and emotional learning program (SEL) and through the delivery of a whole-school Relationships, Human Body Development and Protective Behaviours program.
At Macquarie Primary School, a specialist language teacher delivers a weekly hour-long French language session to students in years 3-6. This program consists of learning vocabulary to build basic communication in French with peers, understanding the language, culture and developing an intercultural capability of the world around them. Learning French supports our students’ understanding of English as French is closely related to English due to the shared influence of Latin. French was the official language of the English court, administration and culture for 300 years after the Norman Conquest in the eleventh century and this has resulted in many similarities including our grammatical systems and alphabet. This involvement with French contributed significantly to developing the English language. There exists around 7,000 French words in the English language at present (for example: chauffeur, menu, omelette, boutique, danger, chic, saint, magazine, tact). In this sense, French is already partly familiar to English-speaking learners.
The Instrumental Music Program
The ACT Instrumental Music Program offers a band program for students in years 5 and 6 and private tutoring is available at the school for students interested in learning string instruments. In 2021, students will also have the opportunity to participate in a school choir.
Students at Macquarie Primary School also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities: such as Limelight, Rostrum speaking, Education Perfect World Championship competitions (Languages, Maths and Science), UNSW Global ICAS assessments, E2 Science enrichment and extension program at the UC Senior Secondary College, Tournament of the Minds and many sporting events.