At Mornington Primary School we believe that the study of English should create confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens who are able to understand, analyse, communicate, and build relationships with others and the world around them. We understand how vital literacy skills are to support all areas of learning and use evidence-based methods to ensure all students succeed and thrive in this area.
We offer a differentiated program that promotes skill development in reading and viewing, writing, speaking, and listening in a supportive and stimulating environment. Planning is based on the Victorian Curriculum and is evidence-based, supported by best practices around literacy acquisition. We believe that strong literacy skills are crucial for future academic success, while reading for pleasure is also extremely important. We want children to love reading for enjoyment as this can improve social skills, mental health, and learning outcomes.
Learning to read is not a natural process like learning to walk. Our brains are not hard-wired to read. Reading is a complex skill and what is termed biologically secondary. The Science of Reading (SOR) refers to an enormous body of research and an emerging consensus that converges into how the brain learns to read and how educators should teach reading to ensure the best outcomes for all students.
Our early year’s educators have therefore adopted the Science of Reading approach and use structured literacy when teaching students to read. We engage all students in Prep to Year 2 with daily Phonological & Phonemic Awareness activities. We use the Little Learners Love Literacy Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) program. SSP instruction is very structured and teaches children the 44 letter sounds and how we blend sounds to read and spell. Decoding, and phonological awareness are crucial skills for early reading and spelling success. Spelling and reading are taught at the same time in our classrooms, with students being taught to spell (encode) words using the same grapheme/phoneme knowledge that they have learnt during reading sessions. We have recently invested in new sets of decodable readers for our beginning readers. Our children use these decodable readers to practise the sound-spelling relationships and use the decoding skills they have been taught during phonics lessons.
We believe that reading for enjoyment is important for children. We provide students with authentic texts for adults to read aloud until children can decode well enough to tackle the books themselves. Our students borrow library books each week. Teachers also share rich mentor texts with their children daily. We challenge children to read for 15 minutes a day in class, and nightly reading is encouraged as well. In normal circumstances (non-Covid times), parent/carer involvement is welcomed in the classroom, once the children are familiar with their classroom routines.
There are six fundamental components of reading instruction, which we integrate throughout out our reading program at Mornington Primary School.
- Oral language development
- Phonological awareness
All our literacy sessions are differentiated so that the students can work at their point of need.
At Mornington Primary School we aim to develop skilled, passionate, adventurous writers who have an unshakable belief in their own ability to transform thinking into writing worth sharing with others.
The teachers at MPS use what we call the four W’s of writing: Writing forms (genres), the Writing Process, Writing Traits (the Six Plus One Writing Traits) and the Writers Workshop Model.
The Six Traits +1 is a set of characteristics commonly featured in pieces of high-quality writing. Knowing and recognising the traits assists MPS teachers to identify the skills and content our students must acquire to develop proficiency as writers.
Teachers work collaboratively in teaching teams to plan how and when different forms of writing will be taught and explicitly teach and use the same writing processes. Reading and writing skills are closely linked with students being made aware of the special relationship between readers and the writers. Teachers provide students with authentic reasons to write and use high quality mentor texts to generate ideas for student writing, and to provide exemplars for the students to emulate. Our students are generally highly engaged in our writing sessions and love any opportunity to share their work during our ‘Author’s Chair’ sessions.
At Mornington Primary School we teach Mathematics through differentiated challenging problem solving, regular fluency practice and skill based learning. We aim to develop independent learners with the capacity for deeper thinking and the confidence to inquire into mathematical concepts. This includes constructing meaning, thinking mathematically, solving a variety of problems, articulating their thinking and correctly using mathematical language.
The proficiencies of Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving and Reasoning are fundamental to learning mathematics and working mathematically and are applied across all three strands Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability.
The Mathematics curriculum aims to ensure that students:
- develop useful mathematical and numeracy skills for everyday life, work and as active and critical citizens in a technological world
- see connections and apply mathematical concepts, skills and processes to pose and solve problems in mathematics and in other disciplines and contexts
- acquire specialist knowledge and skills in mathematics that provide for further study in the discipline
- appreciate mathematics as a discipline – its history, ideas, problems and applications, aesthetics and philosophy.
How can you assist your child?
Please find below a document produced by the Victorian Department of Education to assist parents and caregivers to support their children at home with Literacy and Mathematics.
International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program
In September 2012, Mornington Primary School became an International Baccalaureate World School – offering the Primary Years Program (PYP). This program works to develop the whole child and instill a passion for learning in all students. By following a PYP model of student learning, we are supporting the philosophy that believes student learning is best done when it is authentic, related to the “real world” and is supported and enriched by all subject areas. The Learner Profile is an integral part of the PYP program at Mornington Primary School as it outlines the attributes of an internationally minded student. According to the IB “It is set of ideals that can inspire, motivate and focus the work of schools and teachers, uniting them in a common purpose.” (IB Learner Profile Booklet, 2009) The attributes we encourage our students to understand and work towards becoming are:
Inquirers – L’Investigateur
Knowledgeable – L’Instruit
Thinkers – Le Penseur
Communicators – Le Communicateur
Principled – Intègre
Open-minded – L’Ouvert-d’esprit
Caring – L’Altruiste
Risk-takers – L’Audacieux
Balanced – L’Équilibré and
Reflective – Le Réfléchi
The PYP also acknowledges that it is vital that there is also a focus on the development of personal attitudes towards people, the environment and towards learning, attitudes that contribute to the well-being of the individual and of the group. The attitudes we encourage are:
- Respect and
In order to see what each area of the school is inquiring into this term, please see the “Visit Our Classrooms” section on this website.
LOTE | French
Bonjour. Je m’appelle Joseph Ramsey and I started at Mornington Primary School in 2020 as the French teacher. I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of this wonderful school community.
I hold degrees in linguistics as well as primary education and I am passionate about language and language learning. I speak 10 languages and am currently working on my 11th, Japanese.
Through the French language program, students will not only improve their ability in French, they will develop the attributes necessary to become successful language learners. They will develop strategies and skills that will help them further their study of French or whichever other language they may decide to pursue in the future.
We will focus on reviewing everyday expressions, pronunciation and grammar rules. French culture from around the world will be explored in conjunction with language lessons.
Students will apply their learner agency to guide their own language learning. In a supportive environment, they will explore topics of interest to them and begin to use their French language skills in more authentic and meaningful ways.
Hoping to meet many of you this year.
Monsieur Joseph Ramsey
Science Technology Engineering Art & Maths
As the Art / STEAM coordinator I am in the privileged position where I am able to foster and generate creativity and encourage your children to express themselves in a free and uninhibited way.
Visual Arts lessons provide an environment where imagination, experimentation, creativity and self-expression can flourish. Students will explore personal interests and develop skills whilst working with a range of materials. During lessons your children will experience the seven areas of Art… painting, drawing, printmaking, threads and textiles, construction, modeling and collage.
I will encourage creativity, provide guidance in a safe and stimulating environment, where students can express themselves and have fun.
STEAM is about allowing students to learn through experimenting, building and researching, and then identifying and making connections with science, technology, engineering, art and maths (STEAM). During STEAM sessions students will be encouraged to be problem solvers, use critical thinking skills and communicate and collaborate with their peers. An example of some of the activities your children will be engaging in are…
Star and Mod 1 students will make connections with engineering, art and technology through using a variety of materials to create and construct sculpted forms.
Mod 2 students will make connections between science, art and technology by experimenting with salt and sugar playdoh circuit boards to create 3D crazy critters.
Mod 3 students will use block coding to move and manipulate their Lego constructions.
Mod 4 students will combine the areas of science, engineering and art to construct a marble run in small groups.
If you have any questions or would like to touch base, please pop in and see me in the art room before or after school.
Mrs Anna Hennessey
Students will learn ways to explore skills using their singing voices, play percussion instruments, ukulele, drum kit, keyboard, bass guitar and guitar. They will use technology as a tool for learning and creating. They will develop song writing techniques and how to express themselves using these different tools and skills. They will rehearse and perform in small and large groups for their peers and occasionally assemblies or school events. We will look at arranging and composing to communicate ideas using musical elements. We will inquire into how to choreograph movement to songs whilst performing on instruments. Students will develop ways to transfer skills between different curriculum areas to share their knowledge using performing arts and media technology skills.
Other events and programs that students have opportunities to explore are:
Instrumental/Vocal Music Lessons
Students can sign up through the office to have one-on-one or group lessons for a fee. Instrumental teachers teach during school time for 20 or 30min lessons on a range of different instruments including drum kit, bass guitar, electric/acoustic guitar, ukulele, keyboard/piano, vocals, saxophone and clarinet. Students perform in a biennial Soirée to showcase skills they are learning on instruments or dance and drama outside of school.
Soundtrap (Mods 3 & 4)
Students in years 3-6 can use their subscription to Soundtrap for creating and collaborating with music, instruments or voice. Past activities using this platform have helped students rehearse their production songs, remix a song, and create their own Christmas Concert commercial advertisement.
Senior Choir (Mods 3 & 4)
Students in years 3-6 can develop group singing skills in the senior choir. There are performance opportunities with the choir at assemblies, education week, soirée, whole school production, the Peninsula Choral Festival, Mornington Main Street Festival and Christmas carolling.
Students can develop group performance skills on instruments and voices. We have an ensemble that uses drum kit, bass guitar, guitar, keyboard, ukulele, percussion and vocals (both main and backing). Students have performance opportunities at assemblies, education week, soirée, whole school production, Mornington Main Street Festival and the Christmas Concert. Music camp can also give selected students an opportunity to further develop their instrument/vocal skills in a larger setting whilst making friends with like-minded musicians from other schools around the peninsula region.
Mr Shane Harland
Health, PE & Sport
Why is Physical Education Important?
Physical Education promotes opportunities for students to be creative, co-operative and develop confidence when engaging in different movement challenges both as individuals and in groups. Students learn to develop the notion of fair play, honest competition, good sportsmanship and dealing with both success and defeat. Helping to build their resilience by learning to cope and respond positively when challenged.
Students are encouraged to improve their fitness levels during PE lessons, including muscular and cardiovascular endurance, strength and flexibility. Many activities taught in PE require students to work in groups to solve problems or as a team. These opportunities are excellent for developing both leadership and cooperation skills. Students can learn valuable lessons about accepting responsibility for their personal development leading to greater self-discipline.
At MPS our Health and Physical Education curriculum cover the strands of:
- Personal, Social and Community Health
- Movement and Physical Activity
Students will be provided with several opportunities to make connections between their classroom units of inquiry and physical education through engaging in learning experiences that promote cross-curricular thinking.
The curriculum in Prep to Grade 2 builds on students learning and supports students to make decisions to enhance their health, safety and participation in physical activity.
Students learn through movement where they will be encouraged to develop and strengthen their fundamental movement skills (locomotor, manipulative and stability skills)
They will develop the ability to transfer and apply these skills through simple movement sequences and game play.
The curriculum in grades 3-6 encourages students to develop their knowledge, understanding and skills to take action to enhance their own and others’ health, wellbeing, safety and physical activity participation. They also apply their understanding of movement strategies and concepts when composing and creating movement sequences and participating in games and sport. Students will further develop their understanding about movement as they learn to monitor how their body responds to different types of physical activity. In addition, they continue to learn to apply rules fairly and behave ethically when participating in different physical activities. Students also learn to communicate and problem-solve in teams or groups in movement settings.
Sports Events & Programs
House Swimming, Athletics and Cross Country where successful students have the opportunity to proceed to District/Regional/State levels
Summer Lightning Premiership (G5/6)
Winter Lightning Premiership (G5/6)
AFLW Gala Day (G5/6)
Senior Sport (G5/6)
Beach Water Safety Program (G3-6)
AFL 9’s Gala Day (G5)
Lunchtime Sports Clubs
…, , or perform atIn order to educate the “whole child” Mornington Primary School offers many extra curricula opportunities in which students can participate.
Twice weekly running club occurs before school for any interested children and their families. There are also many lunchtime clubs and activities for students – some of these are initiated by passionate students and some by staff members. An example of the clubs and activities which are generally offered include – Library Club, Lego Club, Junior Singing Club, Senior Choir and Gardening Club. Our indoor atrium area is also open every lunchtime for students who would like to read, play a board game, chat to an adult or do something creative.
We also offer pay per use opportunities for students to participate in instrumental music lessons.
Students in each class also have the opportunity to participate in our Student Representative Council, be POD rangers at our two play pods and assist at, or perform at, our weekly assemblies.
Advances in technology continue to have a significant impact on our society in the way we work and interact. It is difficult for today’s teenagers to comprehend that when we were their age we were not in constant communication with our friends. Today’s children are ‘connected’ via technology to their friends and the world. The impact of technology will surely increase. The future world of our children will be one of continuing change and on-going technological advances. Our role, as parents and educators, is to ensure our children are prepared for the challenges of their current and future world. Technology, with its increasing influence, will play an important role.
As a result of the above, Mornington Primary School has introduced of a student-owned notebook program for grades 3 – 6. These notebooks are funded by parents and provide students with their own notebook that they utilise both at school and at home. Students are able to utilise their notebooks across the curriculum, including in specialist subjects. They are also able to continue learning and creating at home using one of the many free educational software programs which come with their device through the Victorian Department of Education and Training.
Each year the school holds a parent information evening about our Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program, which covers how and why we have the program as well as the specifics of the different devices and options which are on offer. We understand that the cost of providing a laptop can be challenging for some families so our suppliers offer fortnightly payment options, making the program much more manageable for our families.
Further details about our BYOD program can be provided by our front office.