AusVELS provides a single curriculum for levels F-10 that incorporates the Australian Curriculum as it is progressively developed within a framework that reflects particular Victorian priorities and approaches to teaching and learning (F is the abbreviation for ‘Foundation’ which is now the common term agreed to by all States and Territories to refer to the first level of school for curriculum design purposes). AusVELS has been designed to ensure that schools and teachers are not required to manage two different curriculum and reporting frameworks during the development of the Australian Curriculum.
It provides a single, coherent and comprehensive set of prescribed content and common achievement standards, which schools use to plan student learning programs, assess student progress and report to parents.
AusVELS incorporates the Australian Curriculum F-10 for English, Mathematics, History and Science within the curriculum framework first developed for the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS). AusVELS uses an eleven level structure to reflect the design of the new Australian Curriculum whilst retaining Victorian priorities and approaches to teaching and learning.
AusVELS is based on the VELS triple-helix structure of three interconnected areas of learning called strands.
The three strands are as follows:
- Physical, Personal and Social Learning: Students learn about themselves and their place in society. They learn how to stay healthy and active. Students develop skills in building social relationships and working with others. They take responsibility for their learning, and learn about their rights and responsibilities as global citizens.
- Discipline Based Learning: Students learn the knowledge, skills and behaviours in the arts, English, humanities, mathematics, science and other languages.
- Interdisciplinary Learning: Students explore different ways of thinking, solving problems and communicating. They learn to use a range of technologies to plan, analyse, evaluate and present their work. Students learn about creativity, design principles and processes.
Domains are distinct bodies of knowledge, skills and behaviours within each strand.
The domains within AusVELS that are drawn from the Australian Curriculum learning areas (English, Mathematics, Science and History) are organised into Content Descriptions and Achievement Standards.
Content descriptions specify what teachers are expected to teach while Achievement standards describe the quality of learning.
Physical, Personal and Social Learning
- Civics and Citizenship
Civic knowledge and understanding
- Health and Physical Education
Movement and physical activity
Health knowledge and promotion
- Interpersonal Development
Building social relationships
Working in teams
- Personal Learning
The individual learner
Managing personal learning
- The Arts
Creating and making
Exploring and responding
Reading and viewing
Speaking and listening
- The Humanities
Humanities knowledge and understanding
- The Humanities - Economics
Economic knowledge and understanding
Economic reasoning and interpretation
- The Humanities - Geography
Geographic knowledge and understanding
- The Humanities - History
Historical Knowledge and Understanding
Communicating in a language other than English
Intercultural knowledge and language awareness
Number and Algebra
Measurement and Geometry
Statistics and Probability
Science as a Human Endeavour
Science Inquiry Skills
Listening, viewing and responding
- Design, Creativity and Technology
Investigating and designing
Analysing and evaluating
- Information and Communications Technology
ICT for visual thinking
ICT for creating
ICT for communicating
- Thinking Processes
Reasoning, processing and inquiry
Reflection, evaluation and metacognition
Each of the AusVELS domains is structured by eleven levels associated broadly with the years of schooling, from Foundation (Prep) to Level 10. The levels represent typical progress of students at key points within the stages of learning. It is recognised that students progress at individual rates and may demonstrate achievement at a particular level earlier or later than typical.While the VELS encouraged flexibility across two levels, the AusVELS structure will encourage teachers to go further and use the curriculum to appropriately target the learning level of each individual student in a class. This reflects the considerable body of research that shows that in any typical mixed ability class, students will demonstrate a range of abilities that spans approximately five school levels.
Stonnington Primary School has supported this practice for some time in order to offer multiple points of entry to learning for all students along with learning directed to the individual student need.
Assessment is an ongoing process and takes many forms both formal and informal.
Assessment for learning includes utilises of formal and diagnostic assessments to determine student progress during a unit of instruction. Teachers adjust classroom instruction based upon the needs of the students and students are provided valuable feedback on their own learning.
Assessment of learning is the use of a task or an activity to measure, record and report on a student's level of achievement in regards to specific learning expectations.
Assessment as learning is the use of a task or an activity to allow students the opportunity to use assessment to further their own learning. Self and peer assessments enable self- reflection and the opportunity to identify areas of strength and need. These tasks offer students the chance to set their own personal goals and advocate for their own learning.
Stonnington Primary School provides a high quality, comprehensive curriculum where children experience learning in a broad range of learning areas.
The curriculum is complemented by programs which reflect local needs and expectations. Programs offered at Stonnington Primary School aim to maximize every child’s potential through academic, sporting, musical, artistic, performing and leadership opportunities.
Educational Programs are delivered in a combination of classroom and specialist sessions and include and incorporate all aspects of AusVels as described above. In addition students participate in the specialist activities of:
- The Arts - visual and performing
- Health and Physical Education
- Library (development of skills involved in research, inquiry and access to knowledge)
- Languages - Greek
Inquiry Units have been developed at SPS to incorporate global concepts to increase higher order thinking, deep questioning and curiosity.
Science focus: Everything around us is science.
History focus: All events have an impact on the world.
Cultural focus: Culture is something with which we can connect or identify.
Commonwealth/Olympic games: The games are events that bring people together.
Sustainability: Earths ongoing capacity to sustain life.
Art: Art can take many forms.
In order to explore these deeply a slightly altered learning focus is introduced at each stage as students move through a rotational timetable occurring across a three year span.
The essential features of the Victorian Early Years Literacy Program are:
- a daily two hour literacy session incorporating reading, writing, speaking and listening
- strategically planned home-school relationship
- whole school commitment
A reading recovery teacher is employed to work individually with year one children who have not yet reached the expected level for year one. She also coordinates literacy support programs that for students in Prep-Year2.
The love of reading is fostered through our ‘Buddy Reading’ program where older students are matched with a younger ‘buddy’ to enjoy reading sessions together. Readers’ Workshop, literacy circles and guided reading sessions all address the student’s point of need learning fostering an interest in and love of reading.
Research and access to knowledge and information are crucial elements of all school programs. It is essential that students develop library and research skills as well as a love of books and reading. All students P-6 receive a weekly lesson. It is expected that each student will have a book bag available from the Administration Office. The Library was re-established in 2011-2012 through generous donations from Bendigo Community Bank, Windsor.
English as an Additional Language (EAL)
Stonnington offers a comprehensive program for both non-English speaking children and children who speak a language other than English at home.
Mathematics can often receive less attention and exposure in schools than the literacy program. In order to continue to highlight the importance of mathematics SPS ensures mathematics occurs first thing in the day at least twice a week, provides learning opportunities that have multiple points of entry to cater for all needs and when explicit and specific teaching and learning occurs there is connection to the real world of mathematics creating a sense of authenticity.Extra - Curricula Activities
SPS offers a range of additonal activities to students in order to compliment and extend academic learning. These include but not limited to:
- Gala sport days
- Active after school program
- Dance and drama
- Instrumental Music
P-2 children experience a sleepover as preparation for the Camping Program which is offered, as part of the Physical Education Program, to students, in years 3 to 6. Alternate arrangements for payment can be organised where necessary; please contact the Principal, Assistant Principal or Finance Manager.
To enrich class programs, teachers may plan excursions or incursions to provide all children with opportunities for first-hand learning experiences. This adds depth to the students' understanding and knowledge of particular topics. To assist with budgeting for these events, parents are notified as soon as possible.
Notices will be sent home informing parents of the intended excursion/incursion details and associated costs. It is vital that the permission slip section of the notice is returned promptly to the school. Without the return of a signed permission slip, a child is unable to participate in an excursion. Payment for the excursion/incursion must also be made prior to participation. Alternate arrangements for payment can be arranged, please contact the Principal, Assistant Principal or Finance Manager. (For further information refer to School Funding section.)
Note: School uniform is compulsory and must be worn at all times on excursions, including sporting events.
At Stonnington, homework is viewed as a shared responsibility between parents, teachers and students. All students from Prep to Year 6 are encouraged to do homework. Homework is of an informal nature in years Prep – 1 and is more formal in years 2 – 6. Expectations of homework requirements will be provided to parents in Term 1.