INFORMATION ON ENROLLING YOUR CHILD AT ALTONA NORTH PRIMARY SCHOOL:
Altona North Primary School caters to children in Grades PREP to SIX. Enrolments are now being accepted for the 2024 school year and all inquiries should be directed to the school office.
Prep is a magical year! Most students start school not being able to write their name but leave Prep being able to read and write sentences, which is truly incredible. They develop their social skills and make special friendships. Witnessing their confidence grow and skills develop is a wonderful process to be a part of. As their parent/s you also play an integral role in your child’s learning and you will absolutely enjoy seeing your child’s growth over the year.
Altona North Primary School (ANPS) is a small, community school with the motto ‘consider others’. The beauty about being small is that all teachers, staff and students get to know our Preps and their special personalities. We have a Grade 5/6/Prep buddy system, which naturally encourages our older students to be good role models and take care of their Prep buddies. At ANPS we value teaching the ‘whole child’. This means we believe when students feel safe, supported, engaged and challenged they can learn to the best of their ability. All teachers at our school aim to create this environment in classrooms and at a school-wide level (See School-Wide Positive Behaviour). Put simply, we want all our students to feel happy and supported.
Grade 5/6/Prep Buddy Time
Imagine living in a world surrounded by unknown symbols. Written words are fascinating, yet mysterious to our Preps. They are surrounded by letters, words and numbers, not quite sure what they all mean - but extremely curious to find out!
The first concept we need to instil in our Preps is the confidence that they can become good writers. They begin the year with their own Writer’s Notebook, a tool to help them grow into lifelong writers. Once they learn that all they need to do is try their best, they love writing! At the start of the year, this may be initial letter sounds (see Gili's writing) or letter strings (Fay's writing):
Both of these examples are GREAT WRITING for the start of Prep and should be encouraged! As the year progresses students develop more complex decoding strategies. By the middle of the year, they are learning to write sentences that make sense, with accurate letter-sound relationships, spaces between words, full stops and capital letters. See examples of Fay's progress below. She loves writing about her cat!
We aim to instil a love of literature into our Preps. We read a variety of stories, songs, information texts, poetry and read-alongs. Students' current favourite authors include Lyndley Dodd, Aaron Blabely, Pamela Allen, Nick Bland and James Dean. A current favourite book in our classroom library is an information text, 'Shark Factivity'. Our Preps love learning fascinating shark facts!
At the start of the year, students largely participate in guided and shared reading with time for independent reading progressing over the year. Students will bring home levelled books weekly to read with families nightly and we hope you enjoy reading with them. We provide support programs where required and extension groups for students who need an extra challenge. Preps usually leave our classroom having learnt to read short stories.
We plan maths lessons that are engaging, hands-on and relevant. Students learn problem-solving strategies which encourage them to believe in their ability to think mathematically. Often students work collaboratively, and other times independently. In alignment with the Victorian Curriculum, we focus on Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability.
Number and Algebra
In Number and Algebra students learn to connect number names, numerals and quantities (ie. understand 'fourteen' is the numeral 14, $14 etc.). They add and subtract using money or objects, create their own patterns and play lots of maths games!
Measurement and Geometry
In Measurement and Geometry, students compare lengths and weights, measure items around the school - and each other! They learn about time language and connect events to days of the week. They learn about 2D and 3D shapes and create and build their own. Our Preps also learn about location words (over, under, above, between etc.) and represent them in real-life situations.
Statistics and Probability
In Statistics and Probability, our Preps have fun creating graphs by sorting objects into categories. They ask yes or no questions to collect information, such as “Do you have a pet?” They then graph how many students in the class have a pet and interpret their data by answering questions such as, "How many students have/do not have a pet?"
Our Preps get ready for the future via STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths)! They learn STEAM concepts relevant to real-life, and basic coding and logic concepts. Our students have access to specialised LEGO Robotic kits and are introduced to Beebots – programmable, robotic bees. They problem-solve how to code the Beebots, direct them to a specific location, create mazes and develop algorithms to help the Beebots navigate a course.
Inquiry-based learning aims to engage students by giving them the tools (ie. books, facts, ideas) to explore topics for themselves. At ANPS our Preps explore a different Inquiry topic each term, along with some mini-Inquiry units. Topics include Relationships, Our Community, Living Things, Water and Fire Safety. These subjects often lead us to different excursions to ensure students get an engaging and hands-on experience.
Friendships are important to everyone and Prep students are no exception! We encourage healthy, positive friendships at playtime and in the classroom. In Term 1, our Inquiry topic is ‘Relationships’ which leads our students to explore friendships. They brainstorm ways they can be a good friend and role-play how to be a good friend. Students reflect on how to choose a good friend and healthy ways to deal with conflict and negative emotions. They draw pictures of the friends they have already made, and say thank you for being a great friend!