School Life

Literacy at Wattleview

At Wattleview Primary School, we believe that Literacy is a key pillar in the development of our students. Through the teaching of Reading, Writing and Speaking & Listening, we aim to develop critical and creative learners that are able to think, analyse and communicate effectively.

At Wattleview, we use the Jolly Phonics program in Foundation and Jolly Grammar in years 1-6. These are engaging, evidence-based, multi-sensory synthetic phonics programs which flow seamlessly and have children reading and writing from an early age.

In Foundation, letter sounds are taught explicitly and are accompanied by actions to cater for a diverse range of learning styles. The program also places an emphasis on the immediate teaching of the skills of blending sounds into words and segmenting words into sounds. These are two critically important skills for children learning to read and spell. Letter formation and the teaching of tricky words (words that cannot be ‘sounded out’ such as ‘said’) are also a part of the program. Jolly Grammar from Grade1-6 provides a systematic approach to the teaching of grammar, spelling, punctuation and vocabulary.

We have adopted the philosophy of the 6+1 Traits of Writing to develop the essential qualities of writing in our students. At Wattleview, we believe the key traits of ideas, organisation, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions and presentation are the foundations of good writing. We explicitly teach these traits alongside the required text types, whilst encouraging every child to discover their own writing process.

Our reading program progresses from ‘learning to read,’ with students learning to decode texts, before they begin ‘reading to learn,’ where students develop high-level comprehension skills across a wide range of text types. Each student has an individual book box where they can store a variety of books for regular use in the classroom.

Our approach to Literacy at Wattleview is highly differentiated and engaging to ensure that students’ individual needs, interests, and abilities are catered for.

Andrew Reardon
Literacy Learning Specialist

Mathematics at Wattleview

Across the school, students will be working with concepts at their level, completing tasks and assessments on their own learning pathway. We pride ourselves on using a wide range of curriculum resources, digital technologies, and hands on materials. Our staff have specially designed ‘Maths Websites’ using Google Sites. Each site focuses on a misconception and has targeted activities to build confidence in each student’s understanding of the concept.

By using rich and authentic tasks we guarantee student engagement and learning that reflects real world experiences.

Students are assessed using Essential Assessment to determine their entry level and are catered for according to their Zone of Proximal Development. This ensures all students are aligned as close as possible with their optimal learning path.

As students engage with the curriculum at their point of need, they are able to develop an understanding of concepts at their own pace. We commit to providing new and relevant learning experiences for all students.

Flexible Learning Groups are a feature of our Mathematics sessions and are designed based on student’s prior knowledge, gained from assessment data. Students are able to progress through these groups as they develop concepts at a steady pace, in a dedicated setting. 

This year, our Foundation to Grade 2 students will be accessing the Top Ten Mathematics program. A program that structures, supports and extends student capabilities in an active and safe environment.

From Grade 3 onwards students will be participating in a multi-age program that is designed to target student’s specific point of learning, regarding the 4 Processes (Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division). We call these our ‘3-6 Workshops’. Each student enters the workshop based on their understanding of each targeted concept. Each week they will focus on one concept to embed, and developing fluency and understanding in each area, appropriate to their level. 

Sandra Dovey
Numeracy Learning Specialist

ICT at Wattleview

In recent years, Wattleview has strengthened its ICT position with numerous hardware and software enhancements throughout the school. We have moved to the Google for Education collaborative cloud computing platform and use it school wide to plan and deliver content.

Using Google for Education, teachers have created software portals and digital classrooms for both staff and student use. These portals allow teachers to deliver customised content at each individual student’s point of need as well as provide staff with a central location to access school specific digital content.

Classroom and casual relief teachers enjoy access to flat panel televisions in every classroom, providing instant access to Wattleview’s custom software portals as well as filtered access to the wider Internet.

Students access their digital classrooms via more than ninety touchscreen Chromebook computers which are shared amongst Grade 1-6 students. Fifteen iPads are also available for our Foundation students as they take their first steps into an ever more digital world. Supporting these technologies are three state of the art digital scanners which allow students to quickly digitise their bookwork for use online in collaborative projects and digital portfolios.

Like their teachers, students at Wattleview enhance their learning by using digital technology to work together to collaboratively and actively create content for the twenty-first century.

Paul Moons
ICT Learning Specialist

Chaplaincy Program

At Wattleview we are very proud of our innovative Chaplaincy Program – established as the first primary school Chaplaincy in Knox and one of the first in Victoria.
Our Chaplain provides our students, parents and staff with one on one support where required and also offers a number of valuable programs to both students and staff. The Chaplain works with students, parents and teachers to assist in meeting the needs that arise in their daily lives. Life is not always easy. But knowing there is someone there just for you, to talk to, to listen, to encourage and to walk with you can be very comforting. Children today have to deal with some very ‘grown up’ issues such as family break-up, grief, addictions. These can be traumatic for them and affect their ability to learn the necessary skills to survive in this world.

This is a pastoral care program only and does not have any particular religious focus. Access to the program is through self, parent, or teacher referral. The Chaplain is available as a support to both students and parents and is at the school two days a week.
Please feel free to call in to school or ring the Chaplain if you would like to have a chat.

What does a Chaplain Do?

The role of the Chaplain is to care for the child/family when he/she needs someone to listen to them.

A Chaplain can:

  • Listen to a child when they want to talk
  • Provide Pastoral Care (encouragement and support)
  • Run support groups/short courses (e.g. anger management, grief support)
  • Help sort out a problem or issue with a child when they are disruptive or not coping in class
  • Refer a child to other professionals
  • Support teachers in class, helping out as needed
  • Listen to and help with teachers’ concerns
  • Connect with parents when the family is really struggling
  • Be available to talk with parents when they have concerns about their children
  • Matters of faith are only pursued when the child (or parent) wishes to talk about them

Respectful Relationships

Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships Program

In 2016 Respectful Relationships (RR) education became a core component of the Victorian curriculum. The program was developed after the Royal Commission into the tragic death of Luke Batty in 2014. It was a recommendation from the Royal Commission that all schools use Respectful Relationships to support students to recognise and regulate emotions, develop empathy for others and establish and build a framework for positive relationships. 

The Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships teaching and learning materials have been developed to support schools to deliver the curriculum and are mandated to be taught in all Victorian government schools by 2021. 
At Wattleview Primary School we want our children to have an education that gives them the best start to a happy, healthy and prosperous life. This approach leads to positive change in students’ academic outcomes, their wellbeing, classroom behaviour, and relationships between teachers and students. We know that changes in attitudes and behaviours can be achieved when positive attitudes, behaviours and gender equality are lived across the school community. Together, we can lead the way in creating genuine and lasting change so every child has the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

The classroom program will focus on 8 key areas:

  • Emotional Literacy: This helps students develop the ability to be aware of, understand and use vocabulary about the emotional states of themselves and others with competence.
  • Personal Strengths: Students develop a vocabulary to help them recognise and understand various strengths and positive qualities in themselves and others. They identify the strengths they admire in others and those they need to draw on to engage with the challenges and opportunities that life presents.
  • Positive Coping: Students develop language around coping, critically reflect on their coping strategies and extend their repertoire of positive coping strategies.
  • Problem-solving: Students learn a range of problem-solving techniques that can be applied when confronting personal, social and ethical dilemmas. They engage in applied learning tasks in which they apply their problem-solving skills to be realistic.
  • Stress management: This teaches students to learn a range of problem-solving skills through applied learning tasks, so that they are able to cope with challenges as they arise.
  • Help-seeking: Help seeking is a coping strategy that involves seeking technical, instrumental, social or emotional support from other people.
  • Gender and identity: These are age-appropriate learning activities that assist students to understand and critique the influence of gender norms on attitudes and behaviours (see clip linked below for an example of a discussion prompt).
  • Positive gender relationships: This teaches students to build positive gender relationships and the importance of acceptance of difference and diversity.

Respectful Relationships takes a whole-school approach, recognising that schools are a place of learning, a workplace and a key part of local communities. It embeds a culture of respect and equality across our entire school community, from our classrooms to staffrooms, sporting fields, fetes and social events.
Our students will be participating in RR lessons on a weekly or fortnightly basis within their classrooms or across their level.