The Primary Learning Centre incorporates years 1-6 in a student friendly, open plan environment. Parents are encouraged to be involved in their child’s learning through parent-teacher interviews, attending school events and the student communication diary. The aim of the Primary Learning Centre is to motivate and support students through a variety of learning programs and a Christ centred focus on everyday values and behaviours, to prepare them for a successful transition into the next stage of their education.
The Primary Learning Centre program is an integrated program which incorporates both student-directed (A.C.E – Accelerated Christian Education PACE work) and teacher-directed (face to face classes which cover the learning outcomes in the NSW Board of Studies syllabus guidelines) classes. Subjects include all KLA’s (Key Learning Areas):
- English (Literacy)
- History and Geography
- PDHPE – Personal Development, Health and Physical Education / Sport
- Creative Arts
- Music – includes primary choir open to students in years 3-6.
Entry for students who haven’t completed the ABC’s Learning Program begins with a diagnostic test to determine the student’s chronological PACE (Packet of Accelerated Christian Education) level. This ensures that students begin at a level which suits their individual needs. PACE’s are the student-directed component of the primary school curriculum.
The morning session begins with daily devotions and prayer. Throughout the day, students follow a daily timetable, which combines both student-directed (PACE work) and teacher-directed sessions. During PACE time, students work in individual offices and focus on their PACE work. This allows them to work independently at their own pace. Teachers and teacher’s aides monitor the room closely at all times and are available to assist students when needed. One on one student-teacher conferences are employed if students require additional assistance. Students use a system of flags and coloured cubes to signal that they require assistance.
Students are required to complete an assigned number of pages in their PACE’s each day (daily goals). If they do not complete their daily goals, they are then required to complete them as homework. There are a number of activities made available to students once daily goals are finished.
Students are assessed via a PACE test at the completion of each PACE and are unable to progress until they have mastered the concepts covered in each PACE. This allows students to progress confidently to the next level and ensures that no student is moved forward until they are ready. One on one assistance is given to all students who have difficulty mastering any concepts.
Teacher-directed classes are spread throughout the day and are designed to stimulate and engage students through a combination of practical and content based lessons. The Primary Learning Centre includes a library, computer area and Interactive White Boards. Students are encouraged to work both independently and cooperatively and lessons are designed to meet the various learning needs of our diverse student population. Various ICT programs and digital learning activities are incorporated throughout the Primary Department curriculum.
Primary Department Behaviour and Discipline Policy
The Primary Learning Centre reward system is based on a merit system where students receive merits, stickers, stamps and weekly awards for academic achievement, positive behaviours and memorization of the monthly Bible memory passage. This system encourages students in a positive, non-competitive manner to reach their individual potential. Each term, students can strive to be awarded Honour Roll (see Honour Roll requirements). Each student is seen as a valued member of the school community and is encouraged to achieve their best through Christ.
At Sherwood Hills Christian School, we value every person’s right to feel and be safe. We believe that students have a right learn and play in a safe, supportive and friendly environment. However, we also believe that they have a responsibility to ensure that their behaviour is not disruptive to the learning or safety of others and that they demonstrate respect, courtesy and honesty to their peers and teachers.
While the emphasis of our disciplinary policy is always on recognising student achievement and engagement, at times this may mean supporting the student by putting in place consequences to enforce expectations, and to ensure a safe learning environment if poor choices have been made. We believe that consistency is vital and consequences should be appropriate to each individual situation. Our aim is to create a fair, secure and happy learning environment.
Discipline in the Primary learning Centre is based on a combination of natural consequences and a demerit system:
- Students who earn 4 demerits in one day, receive a lunchtime detention.
- Behavioural demerits are only issued after a warning has been given.
- Students may be issued a demerit for infractions such as incomplete homework, disobeying a classroom rule or displaying disrespect.
- All students are eligible to receive one detention mercy per term.
- Students who receive three lunchtime detentions in one week are issued an after-school detention.
- Automatic detentions may be issued for severe misbehaviours.
- Natural consequences may include: time-out, writing a letter of apology or loss of certain privileges.
The staff of the Primary Learning Centre recognises the important role they play in students’ lives and endeavour to act as positive role models at all times. Establishing a positive relationship between teacher and student is seen as an essential component in the development of a student’s attitude to learning. This role is seen by the staff of the Primary Learning Centre as both a privilege and a blessing.