Victorian Curriculum

At Barton Primary School we follow the Victorian Curriculum. For more information regarding the Victorian Curriculum please visit the VCAA website or the Victorian Curriculum Website.

Student Learning At Our School

 We believe that all students can learn with the right support. This means that we believe that every student is capable of learning and that it is our responsibility as educators to provide the necessary support to help them achieve their full potential. In order to meet the learning needs of all students we use Explicit Direct Instruction and the Gradual Release of Responsibility.

Explicit Direct Instruction
EDI is a highly structured approach to teaching that involves clear and explicit instruction of new concepts, followed by opportunities for guided and independent practice. This approach focuses on breaking down complex concepts into smaller, more manageable steps, providing students with the support and guidance they need to develop their understanding.

Gradual Release of Responsibility
GRR is an instructional approach that involves gradually shifting the responsibility for learning from the teacher to the student. This approach recognises that learning is a collaborative process, and that students need support and guidance to develop their skills and understanding.

At Barton Primary School, teachers will use GRR to support the development of students’ independent learning skills. This will involve providing clear and explicit instruction, modelling thinking processes, and gradually releasing responsibility to the student through guided and independent practice.

For more information, please refer to our Curriculum Framework Policy 2023.



At Barton Primary School, we understand reading is a complex process and that many elements need to be explicitly taught and practiced regularly for students to become accurate, fluent and confident readers who understand what they read. Scarborough’s Reading Rope outlines the complexities involved in learning to read as well as the interdependence and interconnectedness of all components.

In the early years of schooling the focus is on building the foundational skills students need to be confident readers who can comprehend increasingly complex texts as they continue through school and into adulthood.

Reading in Prep to Grade Two

As students are beginning to read and learn the sounds in words, we have a greater focus on word recognition strands of the Reading Rope in early primary school years. Students are explicitly taught and given opportunities to practice the parts of words.

Classes read a range of fiction genres and non-fiction text types including multi-modal texts.

A typical reading lesson is structured as below and follows the Gradual Release of Responsibility model:

  How often? What does it look like?
Phonological awareness
10 mins
Daily Teachers model and student echo different parts of a word; onset and rhyme, sounds, syllables, and segmentation.
Phonics/ Fluency
25 mins
1 wordlist and 1 passage per week, practised daily.

Modelled Phonics
Students are explicitly taught new sounds each week.
Teachers model the pronunciation of the sound in words.

Echo Phonics
The students echo the sound, segment, and blend in words.

Fluency Pairs
The students segment and blend their wordlist to a partner. They continue to practise their learnt sounds and fluency with a decodable text.


15 mins

1 text fortnightly

(usually related to our Knowledge and Inquiry units)

Guided/Modelled Reading. 

Think Alouds- Teachers model their thoughts when engaging in literacy areas of; making predictions, questioning, vocabulary, making connections and summarising.

Questions of the text- Teachers ask literal and inferred questions for students to answer independently or with a partner.

Reading Responses- Students summarise and independently answer questions of the text in written forms.



How can you support students reading at home?

  • Participate in shared reading as often as possible. This can be reading together, parents reading to students, parents listening to students read or students reading to other family members. Reading aloud improves fluency and promotes a love of reading.
  • Practise the sound and actions with the Jolly Phonics songs
  • Practise phonological awareness with students by playing games such as ‘I Spy’ with sounds or rhyming (I spy with my little eye something that begins with the sound /k/ or rhymes with the word mat), reading rhyming books and asking students to orally blend or segment sentences or words.
  • Ask questions about what they are reading and talk about new or interesting words and what they mean.
  • Support your student reading decodable words and texts by encouraging them to use the strategies below if they get stuck.

Reading in Grade Three – Grade Six

As students become more proficient in reading, we have a greater focus on the Language Comprehension strands of the Reading Rope in the middle and upper primary school years. Students are explicitly taught and given opportunities to practice reading and comprehending complex texts.

Classes read a range of fiction genres and non-fiction text types including multi-modal texts.

A typical reading lesson is structured as below and follows the Gradual Release of Responsibility model:

How often? What does it look like?
10 mins
2-3 words per week, practised daily. Students are explicitly taught new, challenging words and given opportunities to practise using these words orally and in writing.
10 mins
1 passage per week, practised daily.

Modelled Reading
The teacher models reading a short passage aloud and highlights a particular aspect of reading fluently.

Echo Reading
The teacher read small sections of text at a time and students “echo” the teacher’s reading rate and expression.

Fluency Pairs
With a partner, students read the same short passage of text 3 times. Their partner checks for accuracy.


30 mins

Fiction – 3 days per week (class novel or picture book)

Non-Fiction – 2 days per week (related to Knowledge & Inquiry units>)

Stop and Jot: students stop during reading at strategic pre-planned points that are deemed to be important or potentially confusing. Students jot down their thoughts in response to a comprehension question. The teacher checks student comprehension and responds to any partial understandings or misconceptions. Multiple students share their thoughts with the class.

Annotation: Students highlight or underline important passages or words as they read. They write questions, predictions and/or observations in the margins to document their thinking while reading.

Analysis: Teachers support students to understand and evaluate the choices that authors and illustrators make.


Literacy Skills: Students are taught to effectively navigate texts such as websites, newspaper articles and other non-fiction texts. They are explicitly taught how to use texts for different purposes such as skimming the text to work out the gist or scanning for key words to locate specific information. Students also develop research and note-taking skills.

Close Reading: Students read challenging non-fiction texts closely. They interpret the use of grammar and vocabulary to comprehend accurately.



This term we are reading the following novels:


Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 6

Knowledge Building & Inquiry Units

Our knowledge & inquiry units cover the Science, Humanities & Technologies curriculum as well as give students the essential knowledge needed for comprehension of complex texts and a deep understanding of the world around them.

These are the units we are learning about in Semester One.


  Term 3 Term 4
Prep Water Life A year on the farm
Grade One Light & sound History of transport Ancient Egypt Forces & motion Design project
Grade Two Cultures & celebrations of the world History of the world – geology Plants Design Project
Grade Three Food webs & chains Protecting the ocean World geography Design project
Grade Four Australian flora & fauna Ancient civilizations Forces in sport Design Project Australian Geography
Grade Five Chemical Science Becoming a Nation Australian Government Inspirational people & Grade 6 leadership
Grade Six Sustainability – Linked to Phillip Island Camp Space Science Becoming a nation Business & entrepreneurship Transition & Graduation


Updated soon… 


At Barton Primary School, we have a whole school approach to delivering a comprehensive numeracy program designed to foster and promote a positive experience for Mathematics. We have a shared belief that all students can achieve high standards with high expectations and support and early intervention.

Teachers use the Gradual Release of Responsibility model to deliver five hours of mathematics each week based on the Victorian Curriculum. Students explore Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability concepts using evidence-based teaching practices. Teachers analyse student data when designing units of learning to ensure that learning is differentiated and that all students are challenged at their point of need (Zone of Proximal Development – Lev Vygotsky). 

Gradual Release of Responsibility model 

Barton Primary School’s focus on Professor Dianne Siemon’s ‘Big Ideas’ in Number assists teachers in targeting individual learners and creating engaging, practical lessons that develop conceptual understanding. Students engage with the ‘Big Ideas’ through authentic contexts using the proficiencies of Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving and Reasoning, which are fundamental to learning mathematics and working mathematically. The Strands of Mathematical Proficiency model (Kilpatrick et al., 2001) represents the interconnected relationship between each strand of the proficiencies rope.

The Victorian Curriculum outlines the four mathematical proficiencies as follows: 

  • Students develop understanding when they build their knowledge of mathematical concepts and explore the relationship between the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of mathematics.
  • Students become fluent when they can recall mathematical facts, choose appropriate strategies and calculate answers accurately and efficiently.
  • Students learn to problem solve when they conduct investigations and use mathematics to represent unfamiliar or meaningful situations.
  • Students build their reasoning skills when they explore patterns and related ideas, evaluate strategies, justify answers and explain their thinking. 
  • Productive disposition is often referred to as the fifth proficiency. It refers to the belief that mathematics is useful and worthwhile and that students can achieve success in mathematics through effort and persistence.

    Additional Information: 


    Visual Art

    At Barton Primary School, all students from Foundation to year 6 experience a weekly Visual Arts program filled with highly creative tasks that support innovation, explore new meaning and foster expressions of self. The Art teachers are always striving to develop the Visual Arts program, which allows students to be creative, motivated and excited about their art making. All students have an opportunity to further develop their skills and build knowledge as they learn about:

    •   Effective art techniques and finding new ways of expressing themselves in a comfortable and supportive environment.
    •   Reflecting on the lives and inspirations of famous Artists from all around the world and their artwork.
    •   Interpreting and responding to their own artwork and the artwork of others.
    •   The history of Art making and how it can be used in modern, real-world creativity and design.

    The Visual Arts Program at Barton Primary combines all the elements of visual art and creative thinking to help students work collaboratively and with an understanding of being an effective global citizen. Visual Arts supports learners socially by strengthening their confidence as well as their ability to work with other students. Students participate in many hands-on lessons that aim to refine their fine motor skills, build understanding and support their growth. These are vital skills that can be effectively applied to other curriculum areas.

    At Barton Primary school, the Visual Arts program is a positive and enriching part of the Australian curriculum. It allows each student the opportunity to express themselves with boundless ideas through the ‘Elements of Art’ which are covered throughout the year and for all year levels.

    Check out our Art Policy 2023 for additional information. 

    Performing Arts

    At Barton Primary School, Performing Arts is centred on the ability of each child to create musical works through song, instrumentation and technology. From the Foundation year onwards, students are engaged in an ever-expanding repertoire of songs and activities that prepare them to appreciate, create and perform musical pieces. Over their time at Barton, students will sing, dance, play percussion instruments, compose and explore music technology on iPads, learn the ukulele and guitar, and much more!

    Recently we have embedded drama into our Performing Arts program, where students have the opportunity to explore and learn about how they can make drama to communicate ideas and stories. Students develop confidence by sharing their drama with peers and experiencing it as an audience. Over their time at Barton, students will extend their understanding of roles and situations as they offset, accept and extend their ideas in improvisation and process drama. They learn about tension, space and time in drama through dramatic play, role-play, movement and mime activities. Students are also provided with the chance to learn about drama from a range of cultures, times and locations.

    Check out our Performing Arts Policy 2023 for further information.

    Physical Education

    Discover the joy of movement and the importance of a healthy lifestyle with our engaging Physical Education (PE) program at Barton Primary School. Aligned with the Victorian Curriculum, our PE curriculum is designed to nurture not only physical skills but also teamwork, confidence, and a lifelong appreciation for staying active.

    Through the many different activities, games, and exercises, students will develop their motor skills, coordination, and understanding of fundamental movement concepts. Our dedicated Physical Education teachers create a supportive environment where every child can thrive, building their skills and knowledge while having fun and fostering a positive attitude toward health and fitness.

    View our Curriculum Physical Education Policy 2023 for more information.


    Bienvenidos a todos! At Barton Primary school, our students learn Spanish through a communicative and cultural approach to learning. From Prep to Year 6, students  experience a range of tasks relating to speaking, reading, responding and writing in Spanish, with an emphasis on cultural influences from both Spain and Spanish speaking countries. Our method is ideal for meeting the needs of both upper and lower primary students from varying cultural backgrounds, language abilities and experience. Barton Primary School is proud of its multilingual community and fosters student development in all aspects of language learning. 

    Our school council chose Spanish as the whole school language as we recognise its important global influence. Our students are encouraged to contribute during their language learning, incorporating our school values to succeed. By working together in this way, our students thrive as a community of learners.

    Although they are not expected to leave primary school fluently speaking the language, we believe our program assists students to fully appreciate other cultures around the world and our role as global citizens.

    Check out our Spanish Policy 2023 for more information. 


    School Wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS)

    What is School Wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS)?
    A consistent school wide approach to reinforcing and teaching behaviour in a positive and preventative manner. Students are regularly exposed to our expectations: Be Safe, Be a Learner, Be Respectful & Be Kind. Through our SWPBS program, we explicitly reteach and model these positive behaviours.

    Our Team is led by: Katrina van Dam


    Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships (RRRR)

    What is it Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships (RRRR)?
    Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships is a whole school approach towards Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) which aims to tackle family violence through education. It supports school communities in promoting and modelling respect and gender equality. In the classroom, students learn problem-solving skills, to develop empathy, support their own wellbeing and build healthy relationships with others. At Barton, we use age appropriate and evidence based materials from the Department of Education to develop students social and emotional capabilities to promote positive, healthy and respectful relationships.

    Our Team is led by: Rachel Ivin

    For additional information, please use the following links –

    Prep: Foundation Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships 
    Grades 1 and 2: Level 1-2 Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships
    Grades 3 and 4: Level 3-4 Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships
    Grades 5 and 6: Level 5-6 Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships