Teaching & Learning - Primary
The Primary School has 460 students enrolled from Kindergarten to Year 6. The Primary School uses the NSW Board of Studies curriculum for all key learning areas.
The Junior Primary Coordinator (Kindergarten -Year 2), and the Senior Primary Coordinator (Years 3 - 6) are available to support students, parents and teachers in the Primary School. The Director of Pastoral Care supports all members of our community to ensure the social and emotional needs of our students are well met. The Head of Primary is ultimately responsible for all academic, social, behavioural and pastoral care programs in the Primary School.
In addition to the classroom teachers, specialist teachers are employed for library, Christian studies, French, Japanese, gifted and talented, learning support and music. The college employs counsellors for primary families to access. The Primary School has an occupational therapist and a speech therapist as associates.
Staff are drawn from diverse backgrounds and have a variety of educational philosophies. We recognise that quality teaching is the most important school-based factor affecting student achievement and in the Primary School we are committed to supporting the teachers through whole staff and individualised professional development initiatives.
Teachers have high levels of collegiality in teaching and programming. Release from classroom teaching is provided at the same time for grade teachers to facilitate this collegiality. Team teaching operates widely throughout the Primary School.
Our full-time Primary Librarian provides weekly lessons to all grades. The lessons are planned and team-taught with the class teacher to ensure that the library lesson is an extension of the classroom program. The librarian resources all class programs and ensures that the library supports the curriculum and students' interests.
The Premier's Reading Challenge, class novel studies and an annual book fair are also co-ordinated by the Primary Librarian.
The Learning Resource Centre is responsible for the provision of education programs for students identified with learning difficulties or special needs. The programs take the form of individual education plans, small group programs and in-class support. The Learning Resource staff includes one full-time learning support teacher and four trained classroom aides.
The Learning Resource Centre staff work closely with teachers and parents of students, meeting regularly with teachers to discuss progress of and provision for identified students.
Students entering the school at points other than Kindergarten undertake a range of diagnostic testing to determine the appropriate level of academic support. Existing students' progress is monitored continually.
Selected students who have demonstrated high ability and who are performing at a consistently high level in English and Mathematics work in small groups with the Talent Development Teacher. Students who have demonstrated ability but who are not performing consistently are considered for inclusion in the Creative Thinkers program, which is designed to support these students to perform to their ability. See more information about our Talent Development Program.
All primary students are involved in the study of a language. In Junior Primary the language is Japanese, which is taught by a native speaking Japanese teacher. The focus of this program is to broaden the students' understanding of cultural differences and expose them to a new language. In Senior Primary the students are taught French by a French Canadian teacher who begins to deliver a more academically focused program of language instruction.
The college has a deep commitment to the creative arts. Visual arts, dance and drama are taught by class teachers within an integrated program. Visiting artists and dance instructors enhance the delivery of these programs. The Primary School participates in the annual IPSHA Travelling Art Show, which allows our students' artwork to be displayed at participating schools across the state.
Overseen by the K-12 Head of Music, our music program is exceptional. A comprehensive classroom, instrumental and vocal program is delivered to all students by highly qualified and committed staff. All students in Year 3 learn a strings instrument. Specialist tuition in a variety of musical instruments is available through the School of Music and students can join a number of ensembles, bands and other musical groups.
EYE stands for “Express Yourself Everyone", the motto for the week long creative and performing arts festival held each year in the Primary School. The EYE Festival includes daily performances by students, staff and visiting artists. It also includes daily sessions with visiting artists from a range of backgrounds including cartooning, drama, drumming, ceramics, circus skills and a variety of dance and crafts. Other features include visits to art galleries, a student film festival and a final concert.
Pastoral care is delivered through a multi-faceted program overseen by the Director of Pastoral Care and supported by class teachers, Primary coordinators, chaplaincy and the school counsellors. The SEAL program (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) is taught throughout the school and compliments our behaviour management plan, which has the motto “Respect for ALL". The Seasons program, which is designed to assist children deal with grief and loss, has operated in the school since 2003. The Playground Skills program and Art Group have been developed for students who are experiencing social difficulties.
A comprehensive program for transition to the Secondary School includes orientation days and 'shadowing' days to assist students' adjustment to high school life.
Christian Studies is taught by a specialist teacher who delivers a program supportive of the college's Anglican foundation. The Bible's message is delivered in a meaningful way through storytelling, song and more than a little fun.
Clubs are offered to primary students at lunchtime and after school. They are voluntary, but do enjoy a high degree of popularity. Cultural clubs include dance, chess, gardening, computer animation and drama. The sporting clubs include rugby, soccer, basketball and netball. The Learning Resource Centre staff provides the Homework Club.
The Primary School sponsors a number of children through the World Vision scheme. Money raised by the SRC also goes towards supporting local charities.
A staff funded scholarship for Aboriginal students has been in place for a number of years.
The program runs from Year 1 to Year 11 with increasing difficulty and challenge. In Year 1 the students are led by an experienced outdoor education tutor through a series of activities at the school for a day. In Year 3 the students stay overnight at an off-site venue and are involved in activities for two days. In Year 5 the students travel to an outdoor education facility for a three-night stay with specific activities provided.
The Primary School elects two school captains and two vice captains. These students are joined by another eight Year 6 students to form the Student Representative Council. The SRC meets weekly and has developed and implemented a range of activities for the students including dances, movie nights, mufti days and other fund raising events. The SRC uses the funds raised by these events to purchase a Year 6 gift for the school and to support selected charities.
The college operates the Out of School Hours Care facility and program for parents requiring this service. OSH Care runs the After School Care service from 3.15pm to 5.45pm each school day. OSH also operates our vacation care program through the school holidays.
Parents are a regular presence in the Primary School, assisting with literacy and numeracy activities as well as attending excursions. Other parents take roles coaching sports teams, particularly rugby and basketball. Parents are involved in the College Canteen and the Parents and Friends Association.
At the beginning of each year parents are invited to an orientation evening to meet teachers and receive an outline of the year ahead. Parents enrolling children in Kindergarten are invited to an information evening and orientation afternoons for the children in Term 4, prior to their child starting at the school.
Parents are invited to a conference with teachers at the end of Term 1 and are encouraged to meet with teachers at any other time if the need arises. A student assessment portfolio is provided at the end of each semester.
The Primary School has initiated and implemented a range of parent education courses including ICT, THRASS (Teaching handwriting, reading and spelling skills), writing, reading, numeracy, parenting skills and cyber-safety.
Bishop Druitt College Primary School has excellent ICT facilities. This includes over one hundred laptops on mobile trolleys that are available for classroom work, a fully wireless environment and the provision of a laptop to all teaching staff. The Primary School has developed the Computer Studies K-6 plan to provide for the development of students skills and knowledge in ICT, which is overseen by the Primary ICT Facilitator.
All primary classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards. These interactive whiteboards provide extraordinary tools and applications for the teachers and students. These include direct internet access on a full size screen, DVD player, interactive screen and a suite of teaching tools. The ICT Manager and technical staff oversee the operation of the equipment.