Our School - Curriculum

At O'Connor Primary we believe in teaching a variety of learning experiences to ensure children develop the necessary skills to live full, rewarding lives as adults. While we focus heavily on literacy and numeracy, Science also plays a vital role in our learning. Other areas of learning at our school include Humanities and Social Sciences, The Arts and Phys-ed.
 
We all learn differently and the teachers at O'Connor Primary acknowledge and work with this. We all have different talents and skills; at O'Connor we recognise and reward talent in all areas. We also recognise and reward improvement, personal best efforts and perseverance.
 
For more information about the curriculum click on the links below
 
English                                                           Arts
Mathematics                                                 Health and Phys-ed 
Science                                                          Special Programs
 

English

At O’Connor Primary School we aim to foster our students’ knowledge and understanding to support their developing functional and critical literacy skills. Our English program is structured into three correlated strands as outlined in the Western Australian Curriculum:
 
·         Language
·         Literature
·         Literacy
 
These strands target the development of the following fundamental skills:
 
·         Reading
·         Writing
·         Viewing
·         Speaking and Listening
 

Our teachers are supported in working to meet their students’ literacy needs through the utilisation of evidence based whole-school programs and school based planning documents. The use of an English Block Planner, in conjunction with our curriculum aligned Scope and Sequence document, allows our teachers to ensure they are targeting all aspects of the English curriculum.


 
Spelling
At O’Connor Primary School, we use a whole-school spelling program known as Words Their Way.
 
 
In fact, we don’t refer to it as spelling, but rather Word Study. Word Study is important because the journey to becoming literate requires fast and accurate recognition of words and their meaning. We use a word study approach that explicitly teaches students necessary skills and engages their interest and motivation to learn about how words work. The best way to develop fast and accurate knowledge of word features is to engage in meaningful reading and writing and to have multiple opportunities to examine words and word features out of context. Excelling at word recognition, spelling and vocabulary is not just a matter of memorising isolated rules and definitions.
 
 

Word study has evolved over three decades of research exploring developmental aspects of word knowledge with children and adults. Spelling errors made by students as they learn to understand the English language can be categorised into three different clusters:

  • 1.    Errors related to alphabetic match of letters and sounds (‘bad’ for ‘bed’)
  • 2.    Errors related to letter pattern (‘snaik’ for ‘snake’)
  • 3.    Errors related to meaning (‘Invutation’ for ‘invitation’. The student doesn’t know that the base word is invite)
Think of literacy like a braid of interwoven threads. It begins with oral language and stories read to children. As students experiment with putting words onto paper, writing is involved. Then, students move into reading, and the threads of literacy are involved. Students developing knowledge of spelling, or orthography (the correct sequences of letters in words) strengthens that bond. The size of the threads and the braid itself becomes thicker as their knowledge of language grows. This is why it is so important for students to read and be read to every night!
 
 
Reading 
To encourage children to read, O'Connor Primary has introduced a Reading Challenge.
To complete the challenge, children; 
  • Read books, articles, magazines and other materials.
  • Record the information and show your teacher.
  • Your teacher records this on your challenge sheet.
  • Fill the boxes to receive rewards for reading.
 
Reading helps toddlers start school - an article for parents on the benefits of reading to toddlers 
 
 
Ways parents can help with spelling, reading
 
 
Department of Education resources for parents:
Writing and Spelling booklet - Activities and fun ideas that help your children develop writing and spelling.
Writing and Spelling Fact Sheet - What can parents do to help?
Making Sense of Maths booklet - Understanding numbers and how maths is used are essential skills.
Making Sense of Maths Fact Sheet  - What can parents do to help?
Reading Fact Sheet - What can parents do to help?
 
 
 
 
Library
 
eBooks are now available to students in
Years 3 to 6!
Your child will be shown how to borrow books using the App during this week's library lesson. To access this at home, you will need to download the Overdrive App on android or iPad, alternatively log onto the link using your computer. 
Once logged on, ask your children what their Library Card Number and pin is. Feel free to browse the books online and borrow once you have previewed a book and have decided it is for you and your child. Instructions
This is an exciting new way to borrow books, children will still be able to borrow hard cover books.
If you have any questions, please ask Mrs Brown in the Library or Mrs Ryan.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mathematics

At O’Connor Primary School we are committed to helping our students become proficient and determined problem solvers. Our Mathematics program comprises of three content strands as outlined in the Western Australian Curriculum:
 
·         Number and Algebra
·         Measurement and Geometry
·         Statistics and Probability
 
These strands are each underpinned by four key proficiencies that are evident throughout all levels of learning:
 
·         Understanding
·         Fluency
·         Problem solving
·         Reasoning
 
O’Connor’s strong collaborative approach to teaching and learning ensures that each of these content strands and proficiencies are taught consistently throughout the school. With the use of evidence based whole-school programs and our curriculum aligned Scope and Sequence document our students are able to embark on engaging, practical and meaningful learning experiences.
 
Ways parents can help with maths
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

At O’Connor Primary School our aim is to develop students’ interests in science and an appreciation of how science provides a means of exploring and understanding the changing world in which they live. We provide an understanding of scientific inquiry methods, a foundation of knowledge across the disciplines of science; and develop an ability to communicate scientific understanding and use evidence to solve problems and make evidence-based decisions.

We are using the Australian Curriculum to guide the way Science is taught at O’Connor Primary School.
The Australian Curriculum Science learning area is organised in three interrelated strands:
Science understanding – which focuses on the important science concepts from across different areas of science.
Science as a human endeavour – which focuses on the nature and influence of science.
Science inquiry skills –which focuses on skills essential for working scientifically.
Content descriptions are organised into sub-strands to illustrate the development of concepts through and across the year levels. The sub-strands contained in each strand are listed:
 

Humanities and Social Sciences
 
At O’Connor Primary School the Humanities and Social Sciences aims to encourage students to develop a sense of wonder and fascination with the world in which we live.  It provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to develop a broad understanding of our world and how people can participate as active and informed citizens in the 21st century.

As outlined in the Western Australian Curriculum, the Humanities and Social Sciences learning area comprises four subjects: Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Business, Geography and History. 

It is through active participation and engagement in these lessons students will develop the ability to question; think critically; make decisions based on evidence; devise proposals for actions; and communicate effectively.  Humanities and Social Sciences has a historical and contemporary focus, from personal to global contexts, and considers opportunities and challenges for the future.
 

Health and Physical Education
Health and Physical Education at O’Connor Primary School provides opportunities for the students to adopt lifelong, healthy and active living. The content taught through Health and Physical Education provide a foundation for students to enhance their own and others‘ health and wellbeing in varied and changing contexts.
 
In Health and Physical Education students will cover the following focus areas: 
  • Food and nutrition
  • Safety- sun, passenger, medicine
  • Respectful relationships
  • Personal identity and sense of self
  • Mental health promotion
  • Sexuality and reproductive health
  • Physical activity and fitness
  • Cultural and community-based activities
  • Games and sports
  • Drug use
  • Aquatics and water-based activities
  • Resilience and coping strategies
Health and Physical Education offers experiential learning, with a curriculum that is relevant, engaging, contemporary, physically active, enjoyable and developmentally appropriate. At O’Connor Primary School we support students to be resilient, to strengthen their sense of self, to build and maintain satisfying relationships, and to make decisions to enhance their health and physical activity participation. As students mature, they learn about key issues affecting the health and wellbeing of young people and the communities to which they belong, and learn how to apply problem-solving techniques to these issues. This is critical to maintaining and promoting healthy, active living.