The teachers at Castlemaine Primary School are committed to providing a high quality education that is individualised to meet each child’s learning needs and interests. Our teaching practice is based on current research and supported by a range of teaching and learning initiatives.
At Castlemaine Primary School, we take a research based approach to teaching and learning. Scaffolded instruction, or the gradual release model, is broadly recognised as a successful approach for moving classroom instruction from teacher-centred, whole-group delivery to student-centred collaboration and independent practice. Sometimes referred to as “I do it, we do it, you do it,” this model underpins our planning and is used by our teachers to support each students through the learning cycle.
Castlemaine Primary School has worked in consultation with Michael Ymer and George Booker to develop a school wide approach to mathematics that reflects the needs and diversity of our learners. This approach to mathematics combines both skill and concept based instruction, with hands on activities and investigations. Students in years P-2 are assessed using the Mathematics Online Interview while students in grades 3-6 are assessed using Essential Assessment, an online programme that supports individual goals setting and celebrates achievement.
Our reading approach focusses on comprehension, accuracy, fluency, and expanding vocabulary. Lessons include whole class investigations, individual conferences, and shared reading experiences. All students read for a minimum of 20 minutes daily. The Writing Workshop gives students the opportunity to write daily, with the 6 +1 Traits providing a consistent approach from P-6. SMART Spelling program ensures all students have access to a consistent and sequenced approach to language instruction.
Castlemaine Primary School recognises the importance of providing a range of specialist subjects to support student passions and pathways. The different opportunities offered at Castlemaine Primary School encourage students to explore their world and make links with the community through shared experiences.
Nous aimons le français! Students are immersed in the French language and culture on a weekly basis, with all students from prep to grade 6 receiving 1 hour of French tuition each week. Using the AIM approach, authentic learning is achieved through scaffolding techniques, including the use of storytelling, gestures, active collaboration, and songs. French is also offered at Castlemaine Secondary College, with many students choosing further French studies when they move to high school.
Castlemaine Primary School has a strong appreciation for all areas of the Arts. We offer specialist visual and performing arts lessons to all students, as well as an opportunity to join our Marimba Orchestra , Uke Band or Drumming Circle from grade 3 onwards. These groups perform each term at our community celebrations and travel off site to entertain residents of aged care facilities. School concerts are held every two years, with children enjoying the opportunity to perform at the Capital Theatre in Bendigo.
INQUIRY & SUPER STEM SCIENCE DAYS
Castlemaine Primary School adopted the Kath Murdoch inquiry model three years ago. This model provides a platform for students to investigate subjects such as Indigenous culture, history and geography, civics and citizenship, and science.
To further supplement our Science studies, we devote one day each term to STEM. Students rotate through a variety of exciting hands-on experiments relating to a central topic in multi age groups. This aims to promote STEM as an area for future learning at school and beyond.
HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Just like other school subjects, students need to develop their knowledge and understanding of health, physical fitness, and mental wellbeing through targeted teaching and learning. Castlemaine Primary School participates in a range of school and community based activities aimed at supporting learning in health and physical education
Students in the junior levels are provided with a specialised program called PMP (perceptual motor program) that focuses heavily on hand eye coordination, social interactions, spatial awareness and gross motor skills. This supports physical and cognitive development and encourages students to become involved in sports both at school and in the community. Students also participate in a tabloid sports day located at Castlemaine Secondary College and travel to Harcourt to play kickball with other schools.
Senior grades (3-6) have a significant number of sporting opportunities to choose from. Participation in sports provide students with a great chance to apply team building strategies and practise their skills outside the classroom.
Term 1 AFL 9s, district netball carnival
Term 2 Cross country, swimming, Belvoir Park Golf Tournament
Term 3 Athletics, basketball
Term 4 Tennis Victoria Clinics, bike education, T20 Blast Cricket Clinics
HEALTH IN FOCUS
Prep students are encouraged to participate in health checks at the beginning of each year. All students are given the opportunity to access the visiting dentist and optometrist, who visit on an annual basis. Senior students work through the Preparation for Puberty program, which is delivered by C.H.I.R.P as part of the health and wellbeing curriculum. Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships is our school wide wellbeing program, with teachers incorporating Berry St trauma informed practice into daily routines for all children.
STUDENT VOICE & LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE COUNCIL
Each year our students elect 8 representatives from years 5-6 to form a council that acts upon the ideas and thoughts of the students. They work on portfolios relating to:
- Sustainability & Environment
- Student Activities
- Internal Affairs (school based)
- External Affairs (wider community)
Years P-4 also elect students to represent their grade. Grade representatives are responsible for communicating ideas and opinions to the SRC from the younger year levels.
All prep and grade 1 students have a ‘buddy’ from grade 5 or 6. Throughout the year they engage in shared activities, support one another in their learning, and look out for each other in the yard. During the first weeks of school buddies sit together at the beginning of recess and lunch to make sure the younger students learn the routines of school life. These routines include what to eat from your lunch box, where to sit, and how to find friends to play with.
STUDENT LEADERSHIP ROLES
All students are encouraged to accept responsibilities within our school, and by their senior years help in meaningful roles that support our positive culture. Some of the responsibilities held by senior students include:
- Providing office support before school and during breaks
- Supporting teachers and students through the Student Yard Support program
- Hosting assemblies and making presentations