Good Shepherd’s Prep classes use the Australian National Curriculum.
The focus of the curricula is a play-based, experiential program which builds on the knowledge children bring with them to school to nurture them academically, spiritually, physically, emotionally and socially. In Prep, the focus is on the individual child and his or herstage of development. Each child is encouraged to be actively involved in the learning process, to experience a variety of developmentally and age appropriate activities and materials, and to pursue their own interests.
At Good Shepherd, we use the Speech Sound Pics (SSP) approach as our reading, writing and spelling program and this continues into Year 1. SSP is a method for teaching reading and writing by developing learners’ phonemic awareness – the ability to hear, identify and manipulate phonemes – in order to teach the correspondence between these sounds and the spelling patterns (graphemes) that represent them (phonics). SSP goes to a far deeper level than phonics as every word in the English language (except one and once) is coded, including all words traditionally taught using the whole language approach of ‘Look, Cover, Say’ as a way to memorise whole words, or as ‘tricky words’ or ‘sight words’.
Additional Programs Embedded in Prep:
- Perceptual Motor Program (PMP) – Physical program that assists in developing children’s muscle tone, balance and strength through fine and gross motor skills.
- Music – formal music tuition that teaches solfa, rhythm, beat and intonation, experiences with percussion instruments, singing, movement and music appreciation.
- Physical Education – formal physical education lessons that include gymnastics, swimming, fitness, ball skills and athletics.
- Japanese – Japanese is taught from Prep to Year 5. In Prep, the program consists of learning the language through stories, games, songs and finger plays.
Year 1 – Year 5
The Junior Years curriculum at Good Shepherd conforms to the Australian National Curriculum.
This gives students a solid grounding in the foundations of education such as English, Maths and Science, as well as exposure to many other diversified areas of learning, experiences and challenges. Of special note is the inclusion of and introduction to Digital Technologies, Arts, Humanities and Social Studies, Health and Physical Education, Music and Japanese from Prep onwards.
As a Christian school in the Lutheran tradition, we add a further curriculum area – Christian Studies. We use the Christian Studies Curriculum Framework set out by Lutheran Education Australia as the basis of what we teach.
Gifted and Talented
At Good Shepherd, we understand and acknowledge the importance of supporting our gifted and talented students. Junior Years offers a Gifted and Talented Program with weekly extension classes of around four to five students, with extra literacy and numeracy lessons as well as a ‘Thinking Skills Program’. Students are selected by their classroom teacher, and extension classes are prepared and taught by the Head of Junior Years.