Learning

Overview

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 Parent Handbook, which you can download below.

Wellbeing

The school’s Wellbeing Program is underpinned by the evidence-based Positive Education framework that is comprised of the domains of Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Purpose, Health and Accomplishment. 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

 

Malvern Valley Academy

The Malvern Valley Academy is an initiative that provides an opportunity for every one of our Grade 3-6 students to develop their talents in a range of learning areas, with a particular focus on STEM. In weekly Academy sessions students work with like-minded students, industry professionals and use specialised equipment to develop knowledge specific to their chosen field and foster critical and creative thinking skills. Students work together to innovate, create and design solutions to real-world problems, using a Design Thinking approach. Student Voice is an integral part of the Academy, with students electing their program of choice and driving the direction of their investigations throughout the year. The Academy is supported by cutting edge resources and spaces such as our STEM Lab and STEM Studio. The Current Academy Programs are:

 

Science Academy

Students will aim to make sense of our world by investigating, making predictions and solving problems. They will identify questions about the world around them that can be investigated scientifically and predict what might happen based on prior knowledge. Students use a variety of tools, materials, equipment and technologies to develop explanations of events and wonderings.

 

Coding Academy

Students will be given the opportunity to learn a variety of code languages and will move from ‘unplugged’ coding experiences to using various programs to design, create and market animations and video games. They will develop creativity, problem-solving and persistence skills and use mathematical reasoning and trial and error to sequence code.

 

Robotics Academy

Students will learn to use block code as well as writing simple code to program robotic equipment to perform simple movements. They will design pathways and program robots to move along these courses. Students will learn to build robots using bricks, motors and sensors. They will develop creativity, problem-solving and persistence skills and use mathematical reasoning and trial and error to sequence code.

 

Engineering Academy

Students will work in the STEM lab and around the school to tinker, design, create and build using a range of material and technology. They will also have the opportunity to work collaboratively with their peers to create new and exciting solutions to real-world problems. Students will develop creativity, problem-solving and persistence skills and use mathematical reasoning and trial and error to produce and market their designs.

 

Entrepreneur Academy

Students will learn the skills of entrepreneurship to establish their very own businesses. This program will be based on the $20 Boss Program, which is a nationwide in-school entrepreneurship program for primary and secondary school students. The program aims to elevate and foster enterprise skills and their transferability, through the experience of building and running an enterprise. Students borrow $20 of start-up capital, launch and operate a business venture over the course of the Academy Program. The enterprises that are established are the students own and they will be encouraged to identify how they can use profits for community benefit.

 

Sustainability Academy

Students will learn about horticulture and the environment in order to design and build a sustainable school garden perfectly suited to MVPS’s location and clientele. This hands on, rich investigation, will provide students with a range of authentic learning opportunities including researching, landscape design, planning, budgeting, building, gardening, planting and possible sculpting. All the whilst fostering problem solving, critical and creative thinking and ‘real life’ mathematics, to create a lasting legacy on the footprint of the school, to be enjoyed by students for years to come.

 

Sports and Health Academy

Students will learn what it means to be fit and healthy. They will investigate the factors that help fuel optimal performance and learn the science behind how the body moves. Students will have the opportunity to delve deeper into specific sports through research and participation. They will work collaboratively to trial fitness techniques as well as developing a greater understanding of nutrition. Students will also have the opportunity to develop tutorials that teach others about sport and fitness.

Program of Inquiry 

The school’s Program of Inquiry emphasises the importance of learning and practicing transferable, 21st century skills and understandings in a transdisciplinary way. That is, students learn about key understandings from Inquiry Units in all connected subjects they engage with throughout the term, such as using English to research, Mathematics to conduct data analysis or Science to test hypothesis. 

The Design Thinking approach is followed in all inquiry units to ensure there is authenticity in what is being learnt as well as to empower students to have a positive impact in their own and others’ lives.

The Foundation (Prep) Inquiry Units for even years are:

Term 1

All About Me

Every day we learn more about who we are and what we can do.

Key Questions:

  • What are my Character Strengths?
  • How do I identify others’ strengths?
  • How does a Growth Mindset help me learn?
  • * (Wellbeing reinforce)
Term 2

In Motion

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?
Term 3

Sharing the Planet

Our world is made up of many different livimng things.

Key Questions:

  • What are living things?
  • Why do living things have different features? 
  • How do living things survive in different habitats?
Term 4

People & Places

Our world is made up of many different places and cultures.

Key Questions:

  • What is a country and where are they within our world?
  • How are countries similar and different?
  • Why are cultures around the world similar and different? 

The Foundation (Prep) Inquiry Units for odd years are:

Term 1

All About Me

Every day we learn more about who we are and what we can do.

Key Questions:

  • What are my Character Strengths?
  • How do I identify others’ strengths?
  • How does a Growth Mindset help me learn?
  • * (Wellbeing reinforce)
Term 2

In Motion

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?
Term 3

Sharing the Planet

Our world is made up of many different livimng things.

Key Questions:

  • What are living things?
  • Why do living things have different features? 
  • How do living things survive in different habitats?
Term 4

People & Places

Our world is made up of many different places and cultures.

Key Questions:

  • What is a country and where are they within our world?
  • How are countries similar and different?
  • Why are cultures around the world similar and different? 

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

Term 1

Being Balanced

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

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

Key Questions:

  • What is a balanced life?
  • Why do I need to lead a balanced life?
  • What choices can I make to lead a balanced life?
Term 2

Amazing Machines

An inquiry into the scientific world and its laws, humans’ understanding of scientific principles, the impact of scientific and technological advances and changes over time.

Central Idea:
Machines allow humans to be more efficient.

Key Questions:

  • What forces make machines work?
  • What materials are machines made of and why?
  • How are machines made?
Term 3

MVPS On Location!

An inquiry into cultural awareness, Geographical Characteristics, Interconnection.

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

Key Questions:

  • Who are Australia’s Indigenous People?
  • How do ATSI people tell stories?
  • How do stories pass down history and traditions?
  • What can we learn about Australia’s history from viewing art, songs, stories and dance?
  • Why do people tell stories differently
Term 4

Chain Reaction

An inquiry into the natural world, living things and finite and infinite resources.

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

Key Questions:

  • Where do livings 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 1/2’s Inquiry Units for odd years are:

Term 1

I Am

Many different influences help make us who we are

Key Questions:

  • What are the things that make me who I am?
  • Who helps shape the things that I like?
  • How do my interests connect to my daily life?
  • How do my interests compare to others?
Term 2

Wild About Weather

Our world and our lives are affected by the weather

Key Questions:

  • What are the different elements of weather?
  • Why does weather change (eg. night / day, seasons)?
  • How is weather different around the world
  • How does the weather affects our daily lives?
Term 3

Wominjeka

Songs, art, dance and storytelling help us understand the ATSI history and traditions

Key Questions:

  • Who are Australia’s Indigenous People?
  • How do ATSI people tell stories?
  • How do stories pass down history and traditions?
  • What can we learn about Australia’s history from viewing art, songs, stories and dance?
  • Why do people tell stories differently
Term 4

Sustainability

How humans use and dispose of materials has an impact on living things and our environment.

Key Questions:

  • What natural and manmade resources do we use in our community?
  • How do humans share resources with other people and living things?
  • How do our actions impact our world?
  • How can we be more sustainable

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

Term 1

Beliefs & Values

An inquiry into beliefs and values and how they shape and influence peoples’ lives.

Central Idea:
My beliefs, values and the influences of others shape the choices we make.

Key Questions:

  • What are my beliefs and values and where do they come from?
  • How do the beliefs, values and choices of others influence the way I live my life?
  • How do my beliefs and values evolve?
Term 2

Spinning in Space

An inquiry into the impact of scientific & technological advances, changes over time, technology & space

Central Idea:
Our understanding of Earth and 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?
Term 3

Location, Location!

An inquiry into local and global geography.

Central Idea:
The Earth’s physical geography has an impact on settlement and 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? 
Term 4

Healthy Ocean, Healthy Planet!

An inquiry into the natural world, living things, humans’ rights & responsibilities, finite & infinite resources & sustainable practises

Central Idea:
Human activities impact on aquatic environments.

Key Questions:

  • What is an aquatic environment? 
  • What is a healthy ecosystem? 
  • How do common products or materials impact on an ecosystem?
  • How do my choices impact aquatic environments?

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

Term 1

Community

Communities develop according to the needs, ideals and common interests of their inhabitants.

Key Questions:

  • How do communities function?
  • What drives communities to change? 
  • What is my place in the community? 
  • How do groups and individuals respond to the needs, ideals and common interests of the community?
Term 2

Forces & Materials

Scientific processes and understandings have enabled developments throughout history.

Key Questions:

  • What is the scientific process?
  • How have materials and their uses changed over time?
  • What are the impacts of scientific discoveries?
Term 3

First Contact

First contact between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples shape the past, present & future

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

Key Questions:

  • What prompted different cultural groups to explore the world? 
  • What were Indigenous peoples’ first experiences with explorers and colonisers? 
  • What are/were the impacts of settlement?
Term 4

Environmental Change

The natural world is fundamentally altered by both natural processes and human actions

Key Questions:

  • What natural processes shaped the Australian environment before humans? 
  • How have humans altered the Australian environment? 
  • How do we respond to environmental change? 

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

Term 1

Invention Convention

An inquiry into humans’ understanding of scientific principles, the impact of scientific & technological advances, changes over time & technology 

Central Idea:
Needs and wants are the basis for 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?
Term 2

Natural Disasters


An inquiry into weather & environmental change

Central Idea:
Earth and 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 and other living things?
Term 3

Pack Your Bags

An inquiry into explorations, migrations, Indigenous Australian history, Australian history & homes & journeys 

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?
Term 4

Earn and Learn.

An inquiry into community engagement, how communities function & relationships.

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?

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

Term 1

Power of One

Our identity and well-being is influenced by choices we make.

Key Questions:

  • How do we define our own identity?
  • What aspects of our identity and well-being do we have control over?
  • How do choices we make define us?
Term 2

Scientists R Us

Through observation and experimentation people make sense of the world around them

Key Questions:

  • What is the scientific process?
  • How do humans manipulate scientific principles?
  • How have our understandings of scientific principles impacted our everyday lives?
Term 3

Geography


People in a community design and build structures to meet their needs

Central Idea:
Migration has a significant impact on communities.

Key Questions:

  • How are man-made structures similar / different around the world?

  • How have natural geographical features and resources impact various structures?

  • How have natural resources impacted constructions?
Term 4

Live & Let Live


Humans use natural resources which have an impact on the environment

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

Key Questions:

  • What natural resources are renewable and non-renewable?
  • What practices help conserve natural resources?
  • How can we become more sustainable?

Specialist Subjects

Digital Communications

Digital Communications provides students from Foundation – Grade 6, with the opportunity to develop their skills and understandings within the areas of graphic design, photography, videography, animation, and social media. In Digital Communications, students create visual representations that communicate, challenge, and express their own and others’ ideas, as both an artist and an audience. It ties in closely with Inquiry Units by providing a skill set to enhance students’ ability to communicate their understandings digitally. With communication representing one of the most high-yield 21st-century skills, and an increasing majority of our communication being digital, this subject gives our students the skills they will need to have an edge in their future studies and professions.

Students use a range of Digital Technologies, Digital Applications, and web-based programs to design, capture and create media art works for a variety of purposes and audiences. Digital Communications creates opportunities for students to transfer and broaden their English skill sets in a different context that results in the deepening of students learning and understanding.

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.

Physical Education

All classes take part in a comprehensive Physical Education program.

Our school has a strong focus on being active and promotes being healthy and fit. The Physical Education program consists of:

  • Weekly P.E. sessions focusing on health, fitness and skill development.
  • A swimming program which takes place in Term 4 at Ashburton YMCA for all grades.
  • An Athletics, Swimming and Cross Country Carnival.
  • Inter-school Sport for Grade 5 & 6 students.
  • Bike Education for Grade 4 students.
  • Perceptual Motor Program for Foundation students.
  • Annual Twilight Sports Evening.
  • Premier’s Active April Program.
  • An Active Travel Program encouraging students to walk or ride to school
  • The Sporting Schools Program

Japanese (LOTE)

At Malvern Valley Primary School, students engage in weekly lessons to learn about the culture, both modern and traditional, and language of Japan.  Children follow a development path from learning to speak in Prep – Grade 2 to reading and writing in Grades 3-6. Lessons are engaging with children learning through music, stories, games, crafts, mindfulness, acting, ICT, videos, books and other appropriate resources.  An understanding and appreciation of Japanese culture is an important component of our language program as children expand their thinking by viewing the world from a different cultural perspective. We encourage our students to be global citizens with open minds and this is the underlying goal of our Japanese language program.

Library

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 two days a week at lunch.  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. 

Learning Support:

The Levelled Literacy Intervention Program is conducted by our Education Support Staff and overseen by our Literacy Learning Specialist for all students from Grade 1 – 6 who require additional support to become proficient readers.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

School Band

Grade 4 to 6 students can choose to be in the Malvern Valley Brass Band which is run in partnership with the City of Stonnington Brass Band. The students get free tuition and hire of instruments. Band members come to the school to teach the students.

Excursions & Camps

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

Excursions/Incursions occur at all levels and provide opportunities for authentic learning experiences

Annual Camps occur once students are in Grades 3/4 and 5/6. Camps are developmentally appropriate, yet challenging for the students. A rotation of camps is used to ensure students have a new experience each time.

Ski Camp

Students in Grades 3 – 6 have the opportunity to attend an annual Ski Camp to Mount Buller. This camp, over three days provides students with the opportunity to develop their skills, build cross-grade relationships and for some, be challenged by a new experience.

Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program

Our Foundation students participate in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program each week, using our well-established garden to understand more about fresh produce, preparing food and how to grow and care for plants. 

The Garden is also utilised by our Sustainability Academy and supplies fresh herbs and produce for our Canteen.

Bike Education

Bike Education, which is part of the Road Traffic Safety Program, is offered for all Grade 4 Students at the beginning of the year. The program is a sequenced set of safe and controlled riding activities which are regarded as the minimum necessary to teach children how to ride competently and safely on the roads.

Learning At Home

A constructive partnership between parents are teachers strengthens the learning experiences of our students and enables the application of learning in the real-world.

Nightly home reading for all students forms an essential part of the Home Learning Program. All students also are provided a Mathletics subscription to support the development of fluency and proficiency in all areas of Mathematics.

From Grade 3 onwards students are also required to complete other Home Learning tasks supporting and extending what happens in classrooms.

In links provided here you will find supplementary ideas of Home Learning that all students can engage with, including a list of recommended Apps.