Victorian Curriculum

At Barton Primary School we follow the Victorian Curriculum. For more information regarding the Victorian Curriculum please to to the VCAA 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.



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 One Term Two
Prep Ready to Learn All about me Fairytales Then & Now
Grade One Ready to Learn Aesop’s Fables Human Body Our Community
Grade Two Ready to Learn Australia’s Location The Earth’s resources
Grade Three Ready to Learn Zoos The Sun, moon & earth Creation stories History of World exploration
Grade Four Ready to Learn Rules & Laws Heat energy Australian History Australian Geography
Grade Five Ready to Learn Inventions which changed the World Digital Systems Consumer Choices Australian Geography & Natural Disasters
Grade Six Ready to Learn Identity & belonging How people live around the World & Human Rights Design Project Sustainability – Linked to Phillip Island Camp


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: 


    School Wide Positive Behaviour Support

    What is it? (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 Successful & Be Responsible. Through our SWPBS program, we explicitly reteach and model these positive behaviours.

    Our Team is lead by: Katrina van Dam

    Attach: SWPBS Expectations Poster & Vision & Purpose Statement.

    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, health and respectful relationships.

    Our Team is lead by: Rachel Ivin