More About Classes in Foundation
Prep students take part in Literacy, Mathematics, Integrated Studies and Developmental Play sessions with their classroom teacher. They also learn many different skills with all the specialist subjects offered. Prep students have a Grade 3/4 buddy that they do special activities with during the year and this helps them form extra connections within the school.
The main focus in Term One is learning the single letter phonograms and their sounds using the ‘Write to Read’ Multisensory approach. Students learn the handwriting basics and begin diary writing and writing simple sentences. Students are introduced to reading through big books and stories. Students participate in Circle Time and Show and Tell.
In Term Two students start the Reading Program where a book at their reading level is sent home each night. Parents assist in listening to students read and in changing their books. Students also begin reading groups, phonogram reviews and formal handwriting lessons. Two-letter phonograms are introduced to students.
In Term Three students start the formal ‘Write to Read’ spelling lesson and begin writing recounts. Spelling words are sent home weekly for the students to learn and practise. Students continue to do lots of reading, writing, speaking and listening.
In Term Four students continue to build on everything they have been doing in literacy as well as being introduced to letter and narrative writing. By the end of the term, students will have been introduced to all seventy phonograms. Speaking and Listening is included as a focused subject and students practise ‘Off the Cuff’ speeches and formal speeches.
Literacy Diary Writing Samples (Term 3)
Prep students use lots of hands on materials in Mathematics as well as doing written work and using the Prep set of iPads. Students focus on a range of different Mathematical areas such as learning the numbers one to twenty, adding and subtracting numbers and recognising common two and three-dimensional shapes. They learn to follow and give simple directions and measure things using informal units such as hands and icy-pole sticks.
Integrated Studies in Prep is a way of exposing the students to a range of different topics and things of interest. In Term One, students focus on school routines and expectations. Other topics throughout the year include Nursery Rhymes, Gardens and Growth, Fire Education, Road Safety, Olympics, Farm and Zoo Animals.
The academic world is rediscovering what children have always known – the act of playing is extremely powerful! This is something our school has long acknowledged and is the reason Developmental Play is a cornerstone of our Prep program. During Developmental Play students have the opportunity to choose the direction of their activities, to share with others, to co-operate and converse, to explore and discover cause and effect, to laugh and joke and make new friends. The benefits to oral language development are enormous, as vocabularies are extended and new ideas articulated. There are also bonuses in the form of greater social skills and better results in writing, as students who talk more can more readily formulate the ideas they wish to express and consequently write them down. It’s a winning formula – the teachers are well aware of how much is being learnt and the students think they’re just happily at play!
Throughout the year the students do different activities with their buddies. Each Prep student is paired with a Level Three buddy. We choose Level Three as this means that Prep students will continue their relationship with their buddy for the next few years as they move up to Level Two. Buddies are a great support to Prep students as they settle in and find their way around the school. Buddy classes meet regularly for activities such as picnics, Easter egg hunts and sporting games.