Student Learning

We are proud of the:

  • Broad range of exciting learning opportunities that are provided for all children at Malvern Valley Primary School.
  • High standard of achievement by the children.

Learning at Malvern Valley Primary School is characterised by a Rich, Rigorous and Relevant Curriculum. We have a consistent approach across our school to our teaching and learning, and as a result, can have high expectations of our staff and students. Our strategic goals focus heavily on ensuring we are providing a curriculum that challenges all learners, particularly those who are highly able, and is rich in feedback to enable student growth.

Being based on the Victorian Curriculum, it encompasses eight Learning Areas and four Capabilities. Learning Areas and Capabilities are both explicitly taught and have connections made between them when appropriate.

These Learning areas are: English, Mathematics, The Arts, Health and Physical Education, Science, Technologies, Languages and The Humanities (Civics & Citizenship, Economics & Business, Geography & History).

The four Capabilities are: Critical and Creative Thinking, Intercultural Capability, Ethical Capability and Personal and Social Capability.

Extra Curricula Programs

Extra Curricula Programs enhance the curriculum and add breadth and depth to student learning. Some programs the school currently provided include:

  • Passion Clubs: an array of activities run by teachers at lunchtime
  • Canteen Garden
  • Perceptual Motor Program (Foundation)
  • Swimming: All students
  • Bike Education (Grade 4)
  • Inter-School and District Sport: Grades 3-6
  • Brass Band: Grades 3-6
  • Private music lessons
  • Annual 3/4 & 5/6 Camps & Snow Camp (Grades 3-6)
  • Excursions

More information

More information on the curriculum is available on the following pages and in the 2018 Parent Handbook, which you can download below.


The school’s Wellbeing Program is underpinned by the proven Positive Education framework and encompasses Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment, as well as Growth Mindset and Character Strengths. It is taught explicitly throughout the week and habits of positive wellbeing are practised at the beginning of every session, every day in every class.

Our Values underpin all expectations of behaviours and actions as a community. They are espoused every day by everyone. They are:

  • Resilience: Being able to bounce back and make the most of a situation when unexpected things happen
  • Respect:  Having regard for yourself, other and property
  • Cooperation: Working together for the good of everyone
  • Confidence: Having faith and trust in yourself


The Foundation (Prep) Inquiry Units for 2018 are:

All About Me

An inquiry into relationships.

Central Idea:
Having a growth mindset helps me to learn.

Key Questions:

  • What have I had to learn to do?
  • What are some different ways we can learn?
  • What helps us to learn?

In Motion

An inquiry into technology; the scientific process, laws, principles & advances.

Central Idea:
Everyday items move in a range of different ways.

Key Questions:

  • What is movement?
  • Why do objects move in different ways?
  • How can I control the movement of objects?

Sharing the Planet

An inquiry into the natural & living world.

Central Idea:
Living things have features that are necessary for survival.

Key Questions:

  • What are living things & why are they important?
  • What features allow living things to survive?
  • What is our responsibility toward the living world?
  • What is our responsibility in ensuring the survival of all living things?


An inquiry into geographical characteristics.

Central Idea:
Living things make their homes depending on their needs & environment.

Key Questions:

  • What are some different types of homes?
  • Why do living things need different kinds of homes?
  • How have homes changed over time?
  • How does location affect the type of home?

The Grade 1/2’s Inquiry Units for 2018 are:

Being Balanced

An inquiry into personal health & wellbeing, beliefs & values & relationships.

Central Idea:
I can make choices to lead a balanced life.

Key Questions:

  • What is a balanced life?
  • What choices can I make to look after my health?
  • How can I improve my health?

Amazing Machines

An inquiry into the scientific process, laws, principles & advances, technology & form & function

Central Idea:
Machines allow humans to be more efficient.

Key Questions:

  • What forces make machines work?
  • What materials are machines made of & why?
  • How are machines made?

MVPS On Location!

An inquiry into cultural awareness, geographical characteristics & interconnection

Central Idea:
Places are influenced by their location & can be important to particular people.

Key Questions:

  • What are some important places in our local area?
  • What significance do local places have for people both now & in the past?
  • Are there similarities between local & global landmarks?
  • What places are significant to me & how can I show this?

Chain Reaction

An inquiry into the natural world & living world & finite & infinite resources.

Central Idea:
Living things rely on their habitat & each other to survive.

Key Questions:

  • Where do living things live?
  • How are living things interdependent?
  • What happens when the things we need aren’t there?
  • How can I have a positive impact on habitats?

The Grade 3 & 4’s Inquiry Units for 2018 are:

Beliefs & Values

An inquiry into beliefs & values & rights & responsibilities.

Central Idea:
People’s beliefs, values, cultures & religions influence the choices they make.

Key Questions:

  • What are my beliefs, values, culture & religion & how do they evolve?
  • How do my beliefs, values, culture & religion influence my life?
  • How do other people’s beliefs, values, culture & religion influence their life & how does this affect me?

Spinning In Space

An inquiry into scientific process, laws, principles & advances; changes over time; technology.

Central Idea:
Our understanding of Earth & its place in the universe has led to many advances in our society.

Key Questions:

  • How have our understandings changed over time?
  • What is Earth’s place in space?
  • How has space exploration contributed to our daily lives?

Location, Location!

An inquiry into local & global geography.

Central Idea:
The Earth’s physical geography has an impact on settlement & people’s way of life.

Key Questions:

  • How does the world’s geography vary?
  • How does the physical environment impact upon humans?
  • How do people alter the physical environment to support their way of life?

Healthy Ocean, Healthy Planet!

An inquiry into sustainability; the natural & living world; environmental change; human rights & responsibilities; finite & infinite resources.

Central Idea:
Human activities impact on aquatic environments.

Key Questions:

  • What is an aquatic environment?
  • What is a healthy ecosystem?
  • How do products & materials impact ecosystems?
  • How do my choices impact aquatic environments?

The Grades 5 & 6’s Inquiry Units for 2018 are:

The Grade 5/6’s Inquiry Units for 2017 are:

Earn & Learn

An inquiry into community engagement & function.

Central Idea:
Communities are interdependent in the way they operate.

Key Questions:

  • What is a community?
  • What are roles within a community?
  • How do different members within a community work together?

Invention Convention

An inquiry into changes over time; technology; form & function.

Central Idea:
Needs & wants are the basis for all inventions.

Key Questions:

  • How are inventions created?
  • What is the process of making an invention?
  • How have Australians made a contribution to advancing technology through inventions?

Pack Your Bags!

An inquiry into cultural awareness; migrations.

Central Idea:
Migration has a significant impact on communities.

Key Questions:

  • Why do people move to Australia?
  • What experiences do different migrants have?
  • How are societies influenced by migrants?
  • How does my migration story connect to others?

Rock, Rattle & Roll

An inquiry into environmental change; cause & effect.

Central Idea:
Earth & its changes impact us in many ways

Key Questions:

  • How do geological changes affect the Earth’s surface?
  • How does extreme weather change the Earth’s environment?
  • How do natural disasters impact on humans & other living things?


All Students engage in weekly science lessons in a dedicated space to foster both a love of all aspects of science and an understanding of the scientific process of hypothesising, experimenting and analysing.

Students develop strong understandings of a range of transdisciplinary skills in science, and thoroughly enjoy the chance to immerse themselves in exciting experiments.


Students are taught to use a variety of programs to extend their personal skills and to use the Internet as part of the regular programs.

They have access to an array of technology in their classroom including iPads, netbooks & laptops. They are linked to the intranet and internet as a many of the tasks that teachers ask the students to do on them are on the web. Interactive whiteboards are in every classroom.

The School is also currently in the trial phase of the Google Apps for Education (GAFE) suite of resources, enabling the setting and assessing of work online, collaboration and co-construction.

Visual Art

At Malvern Valley, our aim is to deliver an exciting and engaging Arts Program that enables students to develop skills, techniques and processes in the following discipline areas:

  • drawing, painting and printmaking
  • construction and clay modelling
  • collage and textiles

All students participate in a session each week, focusing on skill development in particular or combined areas, in accordance with their developmental stage.

By enabling students to experiment with a broad range of materials and styles, we endeavour to nurture individual expression and creativity, cultivate aesthetic awareness and develop an understanding of the elements and principles of art and design.

Performing Arts

Performing Arts aims to increase student confidence and improve skills in areas such as Public Speaking, Drama and Music in a fun and supportive environment.

Some examples of what the students have been doing include:

  • Exploring the qualities of successful versus unsuccessful speakers and performers; such as using a clear voice, projecting your voice, using appropriate body language and facial expressions and facing and maintaining eye-contact with the audience.
  • Experimenting with voices and sounds.
  • Acting out scripted skits and plays.
  • Improvising, rehearsing, presenting to the class and providing feedback to peers.
  • Performing in response to a stimulus such as music or a picture book.
  • Creating accompanying music using percussion instruments.
  • Learning increasingly complex dance steps and working in small groups and as a whole class to create their own unique dance moves.

Health and Physical Education


A specialist Physical Education teacher takes all children for a one hour session each week. Classroom teachers also provide physical education lessons covering fundamental motor skills and sports to complement the Physical Education Program.

All classes take part in the Physical Education Program..

Our school has a strong focus on being active and promotes being healthy and fit. Our comprehensive program includes:

  • Weekly P.E. sessions which are skills and games based and taught by a specialist P.E. teacher.
  • A swimming program which takes place in term 4 at Ashburton Pool for all grades.
  • An Athletics, Swimming and Country Carnival.
  • Interschool sport for the grade 5 & 6 students.
  • Bike Education for the grade 4 students.
  • Perceptual Motor Program (Prep)
  • Clinics for a range of sports.
  • Annual Twilight Sports Evening.
  • Premier’s Active April Program
  • School grounds that promote being active and fit.
  • Active Travel Program – encouraging students to walk or ride to school (in March, 2014 the number of children walking/riding to school on any given day has been as high as 85% of the student body!)
  • Sporting Schools Program – students are able to try a range of sports (at no cost) by participating in this exciting during and after school initiative. Sports introduced to date include Basketball, Lacrosse, Yoga, Ice Sports, Table Tennis, Hockey, Basketball and Circus Skills.

A Swimming Program is conducted at each level of the school in term 4 at Ashburton Pool and Recreation Centre. All children are involved in the program provided by qualified swimming instructors supported by the class teachers. This culminates in our school swimming carnival.

Japanese (LOTE)

At Malvern Valley we learn to speak Japanese. In Prep, Grade 1 and Grade 2 the students learn to speak Japanese through music. In Grade 3 to Grade 6, the students continue to learn to speak Japanese plus they learn to read and write it as well.

Sensei comes from Japan and her passion in teaching the children about the country, language and songs is evident in the concerts where the children perform.

Sensei organises for the students to write to other students in a school in Kyushu. The students love to get letters back from them.


All children are involved in the library program, which covers both literature, and research skills. Children are encouraged to borrow material. When borrowing these materials, children have a responsibility for the care of them and for returning them on time.

We regularly use the Phoenix Park library so we encourage all children to be registered at the library by their parents. The teachers take the children over the library each week and they are able to borrow using their card.

We also have a library which the children use with their class and it is open at lunchtime on a Monday and Friday. Students are welcome to visit during these times to browse and borrow. Borrowing is generally for a fortnight except over the holiday period.

Individual Needs

At Malvern Valley we pride ourselves on developing each child’s potential. As well as teachers ensuring all students are challenged, a number of individual programs support our ability to tailor learning and ensure each child’s growth is enhanced. These include the following.


  • Participation in the Australian Primary Schools Mathematics Olympiad
  • Participation in the Mathematics Talent Quest
  • Opportunities to attend GATEWAYS enrichment programs

Learning Support:

Reading Recovery: Students in Grade 1 requiring such support receive a series of individual, 30-minute Reading Recovery lessons daily from a specially trained teacher. The program is an excellent way to assist those students that need some extra help to get back on track to being confident with their reading and writing.

Literacy Enhancement Activity Program (LEAP): This program is delivered by our Literacy Support Teacher and supports students between Prep and Grade 6 who are experiencing difficulties with literacy development. Each LEAP program has been designed to target specific literacy and language skills that are essential for learning in the classroom. The LEAP programs lead students sequentially through skills, with students required to reach a specific skill level before moving to the next skill.

Excursions and Camps

Our school is proud to include incursions, excursions and a school camp as part of our learning program.


  • Link the student learning to the real world through excursion and incursions.
  • Enrich the student learning by giving them opportunities to hear, see and do learning outside the classroom with other people.

Permission slips are obtained prior to events and parent helpers are welcomed. Parents will receive payment information and permissions at the beginning of each school term, for the whole term.

Children in Grades 3/4 and 5/6 are each involved in a school camp annually. Students and staff attend the camps, with the camp chosen being developmentally appropriate, yet challenging for the students. A rotation of camps are used to ensure students have a new experience each time.

  1. Camp Jungai – With an Indigenous focus located near Healesville.
  2. Cave Hill Creek – near Beaufort and includes a visit to Sovereign Hill
  3. Philip Island Adventure Resort
  4. Anglesea YMCA Camp – With a strong coastal and environmental focus.