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Our Learning




At Gardenvale Primary School, we believe that in order to empower our students to be independent, innovative and engage with the world, we must provide transdisciplinary learning environments that foster creativity, conceptual understandings and an inquiry approach to learning. We provide a curriculum, across our school that is relevant, significant, challenging and engaging. It is collaboratively planned, assessed and reflected upon by all teachers, delivered through the Programme of Inquiry, and aligned with the expectations of the Victorian Curriculum F-10.

 ‘Onward and Upward' is our school motto and at Gardenvale Primary School, our educational program is comprehensive, innovative and well-resourced. The Victorian Curriculum provides a single curriculum for levels Prep–6. The Curriculum is made up of: English, Mathematics, Integrated Studies (History, Geography & Science) and we also include Languages:Japanese, PE, Visual and Performing Arts.

The Victorian Curriculum is used as the curriculum framework to plan and monitor the developmental learning of individuals and small groups of students with similar learning needs from Foundation to Year Six, in accordance with DET policy and guidelines. Alongside the core Victorian Curriculum learning areas are the four capabilities of Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Capability, Personal and Social Capability and Technologies. 

The Victorian Curriculum sets consistent national standards to improve learning outcomes for all young Australians. It sets out, through content descriptions and achievement standards, what students should be taught and achieve, as they progress through school. It is the base for future learning, growth and active participation in the Australian community.

At Gardenvale Primary School we provide a differentiated curriculum that recognises and responds to diverse student needs, addressing the specific requirements of students in relation to gender, special learning needs, disabilities and impairments, giftedness and students from language backgrounds other than English. When developing our units of inquiry, we identify and cater for the differing needs of individuals and particular cohorts of students.


For more information on the Victorian Curriculum click here.


Gardenvale Primary School has a commitment to structured, purposeful inquiry that engages students actively in their own learning and allows students to gain new and deeper levels of understanding.

Inquiry learning supports students to make meaning from the world around them by drawing on prior knowledge, providing new experiences, reflecting on and applying new learning. Students pose questions whilst being provided with the skills and resources necessary to explore, investigate and search for answers.


The school has developed an Inquiry Model based on the four areas of:

• Personal Identify and Wellbeing - How can I be the best version of me?

• Environmental Sustainability – How can we care for our world?

• The Physical World – How does the world work?

• Social Responsibility – How do we learn from and live with others?


These concepts are covered in a sequential scope and sequence across the school.



Literacy is a core subject essential to all learning domains. Students experience daily literacy sessions that encompass Reading, Writing, Spelling and Speaking and Listening.


When teaching students to read at Gardenvale Primary School, we apply a balanced method of synthetic phonics and a whole language approach. Synthetic phonics teaches students the relationship between letters and the sounds they represent. Students are taught to blend these sounds together to read words. Where words cannot be decoded, structure and context cues are used to create meaning from the text. 

Gardenvale Primary School has developed a sequential Instructional Model that uses consistent language and is explicitly taught across the whole school. Teachers assess, instruct, and monitor student progress. They construct fluid groups that provide explicit instruction, ensuring that all students reach their potential.

Reading instruction is based around the CAFE Reading components of:

  • Comprehension: I understand what I read

  • Accuracy: I can read the words

  • Fluency: I can read accurately, with expression, and understand what I read

  • Expanding Vocabulary: I know, find, and use interesting words.


The best practice teaching methods used in our reading program are:


  • Modelled Reading: teachers model correct reading strategies.


  • Guided Reading/Reciprocal Reading/Book Club: teachers work with a group of students at their instructional level. These groups are formed using data provided by standardised assessments.

  • Shared Reading: students and teacher read together.


  • Independent/Collaborative Tasks: allowing students time to practise and apply the new strategies and skills.


  • Reading Conferences: these take place between the teacher and individual students. These enable the teacher to have a genuine conversation with the student about their reading.




Gardenvale Primary School provides a range or rich learning practices to engage students in authentic writing tasks. Modelled or shared writing begins the writing session. Teachers demonstrate and explicitly teach the text type being studied, with associated text features, grammatical structures and vocabulary. Students are given the opportunity to practise what has been modelled, apply their learning and publish or share with different audiences.


VCOP and Seven Steps are used within the school as frameworks to enhance the teaching of writing and to engage students in a variety of ways.


Text Types


The text types we teach and integrate across the curriculum are:

  • Narrative

  • Recount

  • Procedure

  • Information report

  • Explanation

  • Persuasion


SMART Spelling (Say, Meaning, Analyse, Remember, Teach), is our whole school model that incorporates both the explicit and systematic teaching of spelling each day. A clear scope and sequence is implemented across the school. The program is based around whole words with an emphasis on meaning and vocabulary development. Spelling rules are taught in the context of words in a way that builds on prior knowledge.


Speaking & Listening

Speaking and Listening refers to the various formal and informal ways oral language is used to convey and receive meaning. It involves the development of appropriate oral language for particular audiences and occasions, including body language and voice. It also involves the development of active listening strategies and an understanding of the conventions of different spoken texts. At Gardenvale Primary School students participate in authentic oral language activities that are integrated across all curriculum areas.




At Gardenvale Primary School, it is essential that our students build a strong foundation in all areas of the mathematics. This equips them with the skills, knowledge and behaviours upon which further learning and application of mathematics is built.


Our rich mathematics program consists of dedicated numeracy lessons each week. This enables explicit instruction of skills and the opportunity to apply these in authentic ways to deepen learning. We use hands on materials, games, open-ended tasks, problem solving, investigations, rich tasks, collaboration and discussion of strategies to develop understanding of mathematical concepts.


The Mathematics Curriculum is organised by the three strands of Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability.

  • Number and Algebra:  focuses on developing number sense and an understanding of counting, patterns, place value, fractions and decimals and the connections between operations. Students develop and apply a range of strategies for computation and conducting investigations, solving problems and communicating their reasoning.


  • Measurement and Geometry: focuses on developing an understanding of size, shape, relative position and movement of two and three-dimensional objects. Students make meaningful measurements choosing appropriate formal and informal units to measure length, area, perimeter, time, volume and capacity.


  • Statistics and Probability:  focuses on building understandings about how to create, display and interpret data and developing an understanding of chance and how it can influence the outcome of events.

At Gardenvale Primary School teachers assess, instruct, and monitor student progress. They construct fluid groups within classrooms and across cohorts to provide explicit instruction, ensuring that all students reach their potential.



We understand that every student has his or her own strengths, challenges and rate of development. It is within this context, that individual learning plans and goals are developed inclusive of the teacher, student and parent. We aim to provide targeted short-term literacy/numeracy support to students to support their ongoing development. This is organised on a needs basis and provided by our support teachers.



At Gardenvale Primary we are fortunate enough to have a dedicated space for our library. Classes visit the library weekly for a fifty minute session in which they are able to borrow, browse, research and read for pleasure.

Library Events Include:-

Book Fair:  Held biannually – students have the opportunity to browse and purchase from a selection of the latest titles available.

Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge:  Students set reading goals and are recognised for their efforts.

National Simultaneous Story Time:  students across the nation read the same story at the same time!

Book Week: A celebration of the annual shortlisted books that receive awards from the Children's Book Council of Australia 


Our library shelves are constantly being stocked with the latest most popular resources.  Student input is a valued part of this selection process!

The Library is open during lunchtime on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and after school every day from 3:30pm until 4:00pm.





The Music program focuses on developing a passion for music, as well as the confidence to perform. Students practise singing in every music lesson to help develop pitch, rhythm, and the ability to sing with others. They also explore a range of musical instruments, musical genres and performance styles from around the world.

Outside the music class, our students are offered a range of performance opportunities, in the form of school musicals, choirs, performances groups, film & recording, assembly presentations, and evening concerts.


From Prep to Year 6, the Gardenvale Drama program focuses on developing our students' confidence, team work and social skills, as well as their performing techniques and abilities. The program is based on the expressive skills of voice, movement, gesture and facial expression, and teaches students about presenting character and emotion, play building, theatre styles, and design elements.


Starting in Year 3, students explore the style, content and application of different media through the creation of advertisements, news reports, film trailers, infomercials, music videos, children's TV shows. They also use a range of film and music recording technology, software and techniques to help develop their abilities in producing different media and communicate meaning to an audience.


Please refer to the SPECIALIST PROGRAMS tab to view further information.


The Japanese program at Gardenvale Primary School introduces students to Japanese language and culture through a range of topics and activities from Prep to Year 6. In the early years, the focus is on oral communication and recognising high frequency Japanese characters. As students progress through the school, they learn to read and write Japanese hiragana and kanji characters in both traditional and modern multimodal texts.


The goals of our Japanese language program include:

  • To communicate with others in oral, aural and written Japanese;

  • To enhance critical thinking and problem solving skills;

  • To develop an understanding of different cultures and practices, with a strong focus on respecting and valuing differences;

  • To further develop self-awareness and a sense of personal and cultural identity;

  • To acquire cognitive, affective and sociocultural skills that may be transferrable to other areas of learning;

  • To instil within students a love of language learning.


Within the language program, we cater for a variety of individual learning styles through a range of authentic, traditional and modern resources such as crafts, toys, books, and digital technologies. Students enjoy singing, dancing, creating, and communicating in both planned and spontaneous language.


They are introduced to a range of digital technologies both within the Japanese classroom and through the Year 4 – 6 BYOD program. Digital resources include a variety of contemporary language learning games, and students are encouraged to learn 21st-century skills such as collaboration and communication through the Classcraft learning platform.

Students at Years 5 and 6 have an opportunity to participate in an Educational Tour to Japan, where students travel to Japan and experience many unique cultural experiences. In past tours, these experiences have included:

  • Travelling around Japan on ‘shinkansen’ (bullet trains)

  • Spending a day at Tokushima Elementary School in Shikoku

  • Experiencing a sumo tournament in Osaka

  • Visiting an authentic ninja village in Koka

  • Hand-feeding deer at Nara Deer Park

  • Seeing ancient temples in Kyoto

  • Exploring the Japanese 17th Century Movieworld

  • Entering the Arashiyama Monkey Park and seeing Japanese macaque monkeys

  • Walking through the famous Sagano Bamboo Forest 

  • Experiencing the bustle of Tokyo, including pet cafes and the famous scramble intersection

  • Seeing the Peace Park and the Bomb Dome in Hiroshima

  • Traveling to the famous floating Tori Gate in Miyajima

  • Exploring the ancient town of Koya-san


Students have the opportunity to experience a range of extension activities through participation in the Victorian Japanese Speech Competition, Calligraphy Competition, and Poster Competitions, as well as whole school activities such as Japanese Day, Haiku competitions and lunchtime club activities. They also have the chance experience leadership by becoming Junior Japanese Captains in Year 2 and whole school Japanese Captains in Year 6.

Please refer to the SPECIALIST PROGRAMS tab to view further information.



Physical Education at Gardenvale Primary School is an important component of the school’s curriculum. Students are encouraged to participate in all types of sport whether it is within their own class, Physical Education lessons or through our many other sporting programs. This time is critical for students as it adds to their confidence, co-operation and sportsmanship and keeps the balance between work and play.


Each child from Foundation through to Year Six participates in weekly Physical Education lessons. In addition, upper primary students have the opportunity to participate in a Swimming Carnival, Cross Country, Athletics Day, Ski Camp, Interschool Sport and Footy Day.

We also offer a wide range of different sporting clinics such as AFL, Basketball, Tennis, Soccer, Rugby, Cricket, Taekwondo and many others that run throughout the year. 

Please refer to the SPECIALIST PROGRAMS tab to view further information.



The Visual Arts program focuses on developing expressive, creative and communicative forms that engage students in critical and creative thinking and help them to understand themselves and the world.  The Visual Arts program plays a pivotal role socially and culturally. It encourage the development of skills and the exploration of technologies, forms and processes through single and multimodal forms. Visual Arts fuel the exploration of ideas that cross the gamut of human emotions and moods through holistic learning using cognitive, emotional, sensory, aesthetic, kinaesthetic and physical fields.

The Visual Arts Program at Gardenvale Primary School aims to:

  • Encourage students to create and critically explore visual culture. Provide a vehicle for confronting and exploring new ideas and inspire passionate exploration of ideas and the resultant products.

  • Provide learning opportunities that allows students to communicate their perceptions, observations and understanding of structures, functions and concepts drawn from other areas of the curriculum.

  • Promote a program that reflects cultural diversity and the vast growth in information and communications technology that has made arts forms increasingly visual. 

  • Foster the importance of imagination and creativity.

  • Promote Art as essential to our wellbeing. 

  • Use Art as a medium to create and enhance our experiences in the creating, making, presenting and responding process.

  • Provide each student with a positive experience with all mediums that we use

  • Support students to work individually or collaboratively on projects for display in the school and the wider community or for them to take home.


Our Visual Arts captains present the "Artist of the Week" awards at the assembly each week and support a variety of art clubs, competitions and events on the Senior Campus.

Each class has one 50 minute session per week and each class from P- 6 has the opportunity and be exposed to the Art Areas of Drawing, Painting, Construction, Printing, Threads & Textiles, Media and Modelling, using a variety of materials and techniques.

Throughout the year, the students participate in a range of Visual Arts projects, including Mother's Day gifts and cards, environmental causes and numerous competitions and community ventures. Student art samples and achievements can be viewed by clicking on the Specialist Program tab on the home page.


Please refer to the SPECIALIST PROGRAMS tab to view art samples from Year Prep – Year 6 as well as all the other accomplishments and Visual Arts events.



Our students compete on a global stage and they need new skills to prepare them for further study and jobs – many of which have not yet been created. They need skills we call the 4Cs: creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking. The rate of change in technology and in society is so rapid that to prepare young people to live, work and be successful in the 21st century, they will need the ability to think both creatively and critically, problem-solve and work collaboratively.


At Gardenvale Primary School, our students are always at the centre of every decision we make about their education. Our challenge, as educators, is to constantly adapt teaching and learning to new technologies and the demands of a global environment where knowledge and skills are the new global currency.

Technology has opened up new forms of learning and creative expression for students. It has allowed them to take greater control of their learning. Students can have a real-time lesson with NASA astronauts, take a virtual tour of the world’s great museums and galleries, contact students in other countries and other parts of Australia and rehearse for performances via video-conference. Technology is breaking down barriers of geography and time zones. 

In today’s high-tech world, access to high quality and well managed technological learning tools is an essential component in providing effective and equitable use of technology within the school.


As part of this Gardenvale Primary School endeavours to provide:

  • A fully managed BYOD laptop program for all students in Years 4 - 6

  • A fully managed classroom laptop program for all students in Years Prep - Year 3 for classroom programs

  • Sets of  iPads for general and project use in Year Prep - Year 2

  • Japanese language / cultural program has a ratio of 1:1 student iPad / Samsung tablet devices

  • Anytime access to mail, data and applications using cloud based services

  • Access to a range of robotic and coding experiences

  • Experiences and learning opportunities with a STEM focus

  • Dedicated onsite IT support staff

  • Interactive televisions in all Year Prep – Year 6 classrooms

  • Green screen technology in the Performing Arts Centre

  • Go Pro and Osmo cameras for video experiences

  • Gaming devices such as Osmos that are designed with reflective artificial intelligence

  • Afterhours robotic classes for students with an interest in these latest technologies


For more information about our BYOD Program click here...

Wellbing Program



Gardenvale Primary School is committed to promoting an engaging, inclusive learning environment. Every member of the school community has a right to fully participate in an educational environment that is safe, supportive and inclusive and the right to be treated with respect and dignity. 

Our school implements a range of measures to promote engagement, positive behaviour and respectful relationships for all students in the school. Our staff work collaboratively with students and parents/carers to establish fair and respectful behaviour policies and practices, expected social competencies, a growth mindset and positive peer relationships.  We implement a range of universal, targeted group and individual strategies - inclusive of learning, safe at school and behaviour support plans.

Gardenvale Primary School has a "no tolerance to bullying" approach. We adopt a whole school approach when responding to issues and continually review our Student Wellbeing and Engagement Guidelines, Essential Agreements and Bullying Prevention Policy so that our school delivers a safe, secure and stimulating learning environment for all students. We follow the guidelines and policies of the Victorian Department of Education and Training and we promote the establishment and maintenance of healthy relationships, managing conflict with kindness and developing increased resilience.

At Gardenvale Primary School we have a mascot called HERRRBY,who assists in delivering, instilling and promoting the Gardenvale Primary School 'Values' which are; Honesty, Empathy, Respect, Resilience, Responsibility and Be Yourself.

In the past, HERRRBY has lead the way in fighting "Cyber Bullying" and encouraging everyone to "Go Green" and each year there will be a different focus for the school to be involved in.


In 2021, as a result of the current global pandemic, HERRRBY is focussing on "Supporting Everyone" at Gardelvale Primary School.

Herrrby also makes several appearances throughout the year at different school events, to encourage our value system and support our students. Recently Herrrby attended the Big Blue Bush Bash dance event on the Senior Campus, as well as our fundraising Walkathon event at Landcox Park. See more of Herrrby by visiting the "Our School Events" tab on the home page.

Each letter of Herrrby's name stands for the following:



Being truthful to yourself and others


A sincere attempt to understand someone else’s feelings


Treat everyone as you would like to be treated


The ability to bounce back


Taking appropriate action when required


"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken"

- Oscar Wilde

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Our school maintains a strong focus on a diverse curriculum. Our additional programs exist both within the school day, as well as after hours and include: 































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