Middle School (Years 3 & 4)
In the Middle School, we aim to develop a love of literature and deeper levels of comprehension. The reading comprehension strategies we focus on are: Predicting/Using prior knowledge, Questioning, Summarising, Using Text Structures and Text Features, Using Graphic organisers/Envisaging and Thinking Aloud. The Middle School has a range of literature sets, which children use in their classrooms and at home. In addition, children have the opportunity to borrow books from the school’s Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) on a weekly basis. They are encouraged to supplement this reading with library books or other books, newspapers or magazines. Independent Reading is also a focus in the reading curriculum. Independent Reading is a time where students select their own Just Right reading books or the teacher may guide the selection. During the classroom’s reading hour, our teachers work with small groups of students and conduct individual reading conferences to monitor reading comprehension. Individual Reading Conferences allow for a teacher and a student to set personalised reading goals.
Students are exposed to a range of writing genres, and learn to write narratives, recounts, explanations, arguments, reports, stories, poems and instructions with increasing complexity. Students publish their writing by hand and on the computer, and have opportunities to create posters and slide shows. Students develop deeper levels of skills to plan, draft and review their own writing. Extending understandings of digital literacies and critical literacies is a focus in the Middle School. As part of our writing program, students have a Writer’s Notebook. The notebook is used to record personal thoughts, ideas and writing topics that develops and extends thinking. It also supports students to shape their writing into different topics and writing genres. The teaching of spelling and grammar is a critical component of our writing program.
Mathematics in the Middle School focuses on addition and subtraction using 3 to 4 digit numbers, all the times-tables, multiplication & division using 3 digit numbers, place value, general counting as well as recognising and writing figures and words. Measurement activities involve working with weight, length and capacity, and telling the time to 5-minute intervals using a digital or analogue clock. Students develop an understanding of space involving map reading and directions, 2 and 3-D shapes, and rotations of shapes. They study chance and data, and adding money and calculating change. Students learn to perform calculations with numbers through to the thousands, and discuss with numbers to ten thousand and beyond. Automatic responses of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts is developed. Students learn to use mathematical processes with increasing complexity and use mathematically understandings to solve real life problems.
The inquiry curriculum at Essendon North Primary School is one that transcends the boundaries imposed by traditional subject boundaries. It involves the integration of content with skills and learning processes. Our approach to learning supports students to make meaningful connections across the curriculum so that their learning is relevant, and develops knowledge, understandings, skills, feelings, values and attitudes. Inquiry Learning incorporates Humanities (History, Geography and Economics), Science, Design Creativity and Technology, ICT and Civics and Citizenship.
Beyond The Bell
In the Middle School, students complete Beyond the Bell (Homework) on a weekly basis and are expected to complete 30 minutes of home study per day. The homework program for students aims to extend understandings of key learning concepts, and develop learning habits, routines and personal organisational skills. The weekly homework includes a range of tasks in language, mathematics and integrated studies. Students are expected to read independently every night.