At Erasmus Primary School we recognise that learning to speak, read and write well are essential aspects of a fine primary education. The literature and texts provided at the primary stage also act as a treasure trove of ideas for the imagination that can be enjoyed and drawn upon in later development.
Our comprehensive literacy program incorporates whole-class teaching, small-group activities and independent learning tasks. Students are challenged to further develop their comprehension skills in order to beome critical, deep thinkers. We use the finest literature and texts available. We believe the works of Shakespeare and other great writers can be accessible to children and offer a unique opportunity to keep company with great ideas and to experience a wide range of human emotion.
Students develop their speaking and listening skills through class discussion, dramatic roleplay and spoken presentations. They learn inspiring works by heart and recite them for small and larger audiences.
At Erasmus, we provide an appreciation of the beauty of mathematics and an introduction to traditional (including ‘sacred’) geometry.
We recognise that, in addition to its important practical uses, the study of mathematics reveals the wonderful order and pattern of the universe. Children naturally delight in the appreciation of simple mathematical laws, numbers and geometric patterns and are encouraged to investigate mathematics in the natural and man-made world.
Our focus is on developing confident, creative communicators of maths who demonstrate fluency and a strong understanding of mathematical ideas and concepts.
Tables and basic number facts are learned by heart in the first few years at school. Concise principles, rules and techniques are practised and revised so that the children can tackle routine problems confidently and without confusion. Understanding of key mathematical concepts is cultivated through hands-on learning activities. Problem-solving skills and strategies are developed so students can learn how to approach and solve problems in unfamiliar situations. A good grasp of these basics in the early years provides a solid foundation for the study of more advanced mathematics in secondary school.
Cross-curricular learning (inquiry-based approach)
At Erasmus Primary School, we endeavour to develop the potential of our students to participate and contribute to their school, community and world around them. It is with this in mind that we utilise an inquiry-based learning approach to incorporate the cross-curricular areas of humanities and social sciences, health and the arts.
Inquiry-based learning encourages students to become investigative learners who have the ability to reflect on what they have learned and how they have been involved in the learning process. The very nature of inquiry-based learning encourages students to extend their own thinking with open-ended questions, scenarios and problems often engaging the use of higher-order thinking skills.
The inquiry-based learning approach offers students a curriculum that is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant. This approach is used to plan and develop units of work in each year level. The inquiry approach follows the set structure of Tuning In, Finding Out, Sorting Out, Going Further, Drawing Conclusions and Reflecting and Acting. This structure leads students to actively pose questions, investigate, solve problems, and draw conclusions about the world around them.
Students inquire into and learn about local and global issues in the context of the units of inquiry, each of which addresses a particular theme. The students make connections and contributions, and deepen their understanding through the perspective of their personal and cultural experiences. The themes of each inquiry identify areas of shared human experience and have meaning for individuals from different cultures and ethnicities. These themes are common ground that unifies learning.
Inquiry themes include:
- who we are
- where we are in place and time
- how we express ourselves
- how the world works
- how we organise ourselves
- how we share the planet.
Through the inquiry approach at Erasmus, we aim for our students to:
- develop natural curiosity
- acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning
- make connections between prior learning
- actively enjoy learning and sustain this throughout their lives
- develop the skills to explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance
- acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines
- exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognise and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions
- understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in a variety of modes of communication
- work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others
- understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and be open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities
- become accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and be willing to grow from the experience
- approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence to explore new roles, ideas and strategies
- develop skills in giving thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience
- take independent action in order to make a difference.
Our library supports the curriculum, information, research and recreational needs of the children. Our librarian carefully selects books to ensure content is congruent with the ethos of Erasmus Primary School.
We endeavour to foster a love of reading and good reading habits. Every class visits the library weekly to learn library and information skills appropriate to their level and the children engage proactively in selecting reading and research material.
Our library is equipped with a bank of Mac computers and iPads and the children are taught to use these devices for research, word processing and presentations. There is a structured information and communications technology (ICT) program.
A constant element of enjoyment must be mingled with our studies, so that we think of learning as a game rather than a form of drudgery, for no activity can be continued for long if it does not to some extent afford pleasure to the participant.