Curriculum & activities
Birrong Public School offers great opportunities for every child:
- Enrichment Programs
- Reading Recovery
- Public Speaking
- Premier's Reading Challenge
- Transition Programs
- Home Reading
- Student Representative Council
- Peer Support
- Environment Club
- School Sport
- PSSA Sport
- Swim Scheme
- Dance groups - Wakakirri and Dance Troupe
- School Choir and Band
Each classroom is equipped with an IWB computer which teachers use to maximise student engagement, improve students achievement and challenge students to be forward thinkers and problem solvers.Students also have access to computers in their rooms as well as trolleys of netbooks. Students work with educational software programs related to their class learning, including Phonics, Spelling, Reading, Writing, Science and COGS.
The school has a fully-equipped Computer Room which all classes K-6 visit during the week. Birrong Public School's library/teaching program is planned, implemented and taught collaboratively with the classroom teacher and the teacher-librarian. Ths main focus is on using technology to support the teaching of information skills, within the context of the classroom program. Students use the computers in the library and computer room to introduce, develop and enhance their ICT and information skills. Kindergarten students use the computer lab with their classroom teacher on Fridays.
Students with special abilities have a capacity for outstanding achievement or accomplishments in one or more areas. These students need challenge and assistance if their capacities are to be extended and their potential realised. Two classes have been established to cater for the educational needs of these students. Students who show special abilities may also be recommended to attend extension programs held outside the school including sport, art, maths and science programs.
Reading Recovery is an early intervention program designed to reduce the number of children with reading and writing difficulties that persist throughout their schooling. It selects young children (Year 1) who have low achievement in reading and writing and, through individual work, the teacher tries to bring them to ‘average levels' of performance for their school year. Only teachers with specific training in Reading Recovery act as the Reading Recovery teacher. Students usually remain on the Reading Recovery Program for 15-20 weeks.
The Learning Assistance Mentoring Program (LAMP) supports children at risk of not making a successful transition from Year 2 to Year 3 at school.
LAMP is based on the Learning Assistance Program (LAP), which originated in South Australia in 1976 (www.lap.asn.au).
The six 'Cs' of LAP outline the roles and responsibilities of mentors. These are:
In Term 4 each year, all students from K-6 participate in a Public Speaking Competition. Students learn the skills of listening and voice projection. Winners are chosen for each stage and receive a trophy at Presentation Day.
Premier's Reading Challenge (PRC)
All students from Kindergarten to Year 6 have the opportunity to participate in the PRC. The challenge involves reading or experiencing between 20 to 30 books.
'Transition' usually refers to the move from one stage of the education process to the next. The school conducts transition programs (Preschool to Kindergarten and Year 6 to Year 7) to minimise any difficulties children may encounter.
Preschool parents are encouraged to talk about school with their child prior to commencement of Kindergarten. Parents should ensure that their child can write their own name and recognise the numbers up to 10, and has basic dressing, eating and toileting skills.
Year 6 parents are advised to begin planning for the choice of high school in the year prior to the final year of primary school. If a non-government school is being considered, the investigation and enrolment needs to occur much earlier. Reading the choice of high school's policy, curriculum statements, newsletters, magazines and booklists will better inform parents.
These are the books children select to take home to practise their reading or to invite parents to read to them. Sometimes teachers may guide children in their selection of these books. At other times children will choose their own reading material, thus encouraging them to develop the skills of selection. Parents should not feel concerned if their child brings home books which might seem to be too easy or too difficult, or have been read before. While children are matched to the correct book level, at times they might also be given books to challenge or consolidate their reading skills. Shared reading with parents is an important part of a home reading program. The opportunity to also select books from the library allows children to develop experimentation with books, which is very important.
Check with the teacher regarding the purpose of home reading books. Parents may be requested to sign a Home Reading Diary each night. Please check with the class teacher.
Students are given the opportunity to sit for the NSW Primary Maths (Years 3-6), NSW Primary English (Years 3-6) and NSW Primary Science (Years 3-6) Competitions. Each student receives a Participation Certificate and a letter explaining their results. Certificates of High Distinction, Distinction, Credit and Achievement are awarded to students based on their test performance.
Student Representative Council (SRC)
The SRC is composed of two student representatives from each class and a teacher representative. The responsibility of the SRC is to actively participate in school activities and engage in decision making processes that reflect the needs and wants of their peers. The SRC meets each fortnight to discuss matters concerning pupils - the playground and activities within and outside the school. Each class' representatives raise matters which have been discussed in their own class council meetings. The SRC consults with the Principal regarding the final decision on ideas that classes have for spending monies raised from SRC initiatives.
Aims of the SRC
- To develop leadership skills.
- To ensure students views are heard in decision-making processes.
- To empower students to contribute towards a positive school culture.
- To strengthen the school community through active participation.
The Peer Support Program is run by Year 6 Peer Leaders who work with 8-10 younger students for 8 sessions. The Peer Support program provides students with a supportive learning environment in which to develop the skills, understandings, attitudes and strategies to make healthy life decisions.
Birrong Public School has a strong committment to continuing the development of a school wide culture of sustainability. All students and teachers participate in the recycling program which reduces waste to landfill. Club members in Years 2-6 demonstrate an ongoin committment to organising and maintaining:
- Worm farm food collection
- Paper and cardboard recycling
- Plastic bottle and drink carton recycling
Club members also participate in a range of lunchtime gardening activities that provide aesthetic and biodiversity improvements to the school grounds.
Sport for Years 3-6 is played on Fridays from 12:30-1:30 p.m. for Years 3 and 4 and from 2:00-3.00p.m. for Years 5 and 6 between grade teams from within the school. K-2 sport is also on Fridays from 10.15-11.00 a.m.
The school has a House system for the organisation of swimming, cross country and athletics carnivals. A House system encourages interest and loyalty without extreme competitiveness in citizenship and sporting areas. Within the classroom children may receive House points for good behaviour or work well done. House points will be tallied each week and at the end of the year a House Shield will be awarded to the winning House. Upon enrolment children are placed in one of four Houses which are named after significant early settlers of the Guildford community. They are as follows:
PSSA - Sport
Interschool sport (Primary Schools Sport Association) is played weekly and includes summer and winter sports, such as cricket, softball, tee ball, newcombe ball, netball, touch football and soccer. The aim of interschool sport is to:
- foster participation in sport;
- develop positive attitudes;
- experience a variety of games;
- encourage sportsmanship; and
- improve physical skills.
Students also have the opportunity to participate, after selection, in swimming, athletics and a wide selection of team sports, at a district, regional and state level.
During the year children from Years 2-6 participate in an intensive swimming program (one lesson per day for two weeks) at Birrong Pool. Swimming tuition involves water safety and survival skills as well as stroke technique.
All children who lack water confidence and are unable to swim should attend, but it should be noted that places in the program are limited so parents need to enrol children early.
Birrong Public School has participated in the Wakakirri Eisteddfod since 1995. This provides an opportunity for development of music, dance and performance within the school. Our school usually takes part in Wakakirri every year, and on several occasions we have been selected to participate in the Grand Final. Preparations commence in Term 1 when an item is chosen to fit into the progam's theme. Students rehearse twice a week during their lunch times under the guidance of several teachers. Costumes and props are the responsibility of Mrs Jordan, Mrs Munro and Mr Vongratsavai. Wakakirri is always a popular event with parents and relatives, and the feedback the school receives is always positive. Parents are amazed at the level of showmanship that the students present on the night.
Dance Troupe is a group open to students from Years 4-6. Every year students in the group learn new choreography to audition for 'Our Spectacular' held at the Sydney Opera House.
Children from Years 3-6 have the opportunity to participate in a choir group. This group meets once a week and prepares a singing program to be performed throughout the year. The choir will perform at special school functions and participates in 'Our Spectacular' held each year at the Sydney Opera House. Children are accepted into the choir on the basis of interest and talent.
Student in Years 3-6 have the opportunity to join the school's training band or main band. Mr Forrester is the band master who has great rapport with students and has achieved outstanding results in the many eisteddfods we have entered. Children remain in the band until they leave school as it takes several years to learn to play an instrument. Instruments are provided by the school and tuition fees are payble at the beginning of each term. Band members play at different functions throughout the year such as Anzac Day, Education Week, Presentation Day and eisteddfods.
Knowing what your child is learning helps you support them throughout their education.
In this section you can find out how public education works and the range of learning opportunities offered for students to challenge their thinking, and make the most of their unique talents.
You can also browse each School Year section to find out more.