Christmas Hills Primary School
Where learning is an adventure
Quip Quip and Bunjil students come together for our enriching program of specialist subjects and bush school program. Our specialist subjects are designed to inspire creativity, curiosity and physical activity; appreciation of our natural environment; and a sense of connectedness to Aboriginal Australia and world cultures.
We recognise that each child learns differently and our small school environment allows us to tailor approaches to the needs and strengths of each child. Our teachers are flexible and draw on a range of literacy learning modes including phonics, language experience and the development of literacy skills linked to subject matters of keen interest to our children. Our children pick the books they wish to use as part of their home reading which engenders genuine enthusiasm for learning to read.
Numeracy is brought to life at Christmas Hills Primary School in a fun and hands on way. For example, our children love becoming familiar with compasses and develop their own orienteering courses. We learn about types of trees on our grounds and then measure their circumference to determine tree age; and we often explore numbers through movement based activities. This is in addition to our numeracy focused lessons, that the children find fun and engaging.
We highly value Science for its wonderful ability to help our children develop their inquiry skills as well as providing them with invaluable understandings of our planet and the forces that shape it. We run the 'Primary Connections' science program developed by the Australian Academy of Science. The children have a one-hour session each week and over the course of the year, explore content from each of the key science domains: Earth and Space, Biological, Chemical and Physical.
Bush school is based on the international philosophy of Forest School and provides students with the opportunity to engage all their senses in their learning experience. They experiment, discover and explore the real world around them. These engaging, open-ended experiences support creative learning Children are encouraged to solve problems and to engage in teamwork, as they play and learn outdoors.
Learning Adventures is a trademark of our school. We designed the program to hold us to our motto 'Where Learning is an Adventure'. The program consists of outdoor activities, drama, craft and many other fun experiences. The children determine the content of the sessions. They also frequently act as 'teachers,' running the sessions with our support. All children from Foundation to Year 6 are encouraged to see themselves as teachers and leaders in our school through this and other programs.
Spinning a yarn
At CHPS we don't practice 'tolerance', we celebrate and delight in Australia's many wonderful cultures. We are extremely proud of the work we do to engage our children with the world around them. Appreciation and understanding of other traditions, festivals and ways of life are fundamental to the values we cherish at our school. Throughout the year, we work with the children to develop their understanding of our Indigenous Australian heritage as well as many others from around the world. These values and activities are embedded across all our lessons and curriculum.
Art and creativity are an integral part of our classroom teaching. In addition, the children attend a one-hour Art specialist program each week. In this they learn specific skills and techniques around the Visual Arts. They explore Art through sculpture, drawing, painting, collage, print making and many other interesting and exciting mediums.
The Christmas Hills township and community is well recognised for its rich artistic heritage that carries on today, including at our school. Our performing arts program inspires joy and creativity among our children. In the second half of the year our older children lead the development of our end of year performance. This is always a wonderful way to end our school year and to wish our graduating students well in their onward learning and creative journey.
We teach our children Australian Sign Language every week. Auslan has enormous benefits for the children's social and emotional skills and improves their understanding of the world. As an added bonus, it is great for their spelling! We use 'finger spelling' to sign names.
Each of our grades have a set of laptops. In all things, our focus on ICT is around integration with other learning areas and on ICT being a tool for creativity, rather than just a resource for finding information.
Our teachers run our PE program, offering the children lively and fun sessions for one hour each week. The children learn about health and fitness as well as developing their cooperation and team skills throughout.
Weekly instrumental lessons are a highlight of our school week. Our popular music program is delivered by 2 Dream Music & Wellbeing, a wonderful program that focuses on self-confidence, empowerment and wellbeing.
Our school community has demonstrated incredible care and support to each other through periods of lockdown and home learning. When home-learning is required, we use Google Classroom to provide rich and individualised learning programs for each student. To stay connected we are having daily Webex (video conferencing) meetings either individually, small groups or whole class.
We understand that students benefit from having a variety of learning experiences, so our online learning is complemented with fortnightly home learning packs which include games, manipulative materials, craft supplies, readers and other learning resources which complement the online program and cater to each child's individual stage of learning.