STEAM LEARNING (Science and Technology – Sustainability; Design & technology; Digital technologies; the Arts; and Mathematics)
The Yarra PS Science curriculum provides opportunities for students to develop an understanding of important scientific concepts and processes, the practices used to develop scientific knowledge, the contribution of science to our culture and society, and its applications in our lives.
Students explore scientific discovery and nurture their natural curiosity about the world around them. In doing this, they develop critical and creative thinking skills and challenge themselves to identify questions, apply new knowledge, explain science phenomena and draw evidence-based conclusions using scientific methods. The wider benefits of this ‘scientific literacy’ are well established, including giving students the capability to investigate the world around them and the way it has changed and changes as a result of human activity.
The Science curriculum aims to ensure that students develop:
- an interest in science as a means of expanding their curiosity and willingness to explore, ask questions about and speculate on the changing world in which they live
- an understanding of historical and cultural contributions to science as well as contemporary science issues and activities and an understanding of the diversity of careers related to science
- a solid foundation of knowledge of the biological, chemical, physical, Earth and space sciences, including being able to select and integrate the scientific knowledge and methods needed to explain and predict phenomena, to apply that understanding to new situations and events, and to appreciate the dynamic nature of science knowledge
A sustainable society is based on a set of values, including:
- respect, care and compassion for ourselves, others and our environment
- responsibility for our actions
- integrity of all life on earth
- understanding and inclusion of all peoples and perspectives.
We base our decisions and our practice on the principles for sustainability, including:
- protecting biological diversity and ecological processes
- taking a precautionary and anticipatory approach to decisions and actions
- striving for social and inter-generational equity
- encouraging and providing for community participation
- understanding the real, overall costs of development
- encouraging wise use of resources
- promoting participation as an active and informed citizen through life long learning for a sustainable world
- embracing creative and innovative approaches to environmental problems.
Yarra PS approach to sustainability is through:
- governance that supports sustainability policies, procedures and programs
- curriculum that is developed and delivered on the principles of environmental education for sustainability
- responsive resource management and innovation, including utilities, facilities and environs
- partnerships, alliances and networks with government, communities and business
- implementation and evaluation of strategies and actions to reduce the school’s ecological footprint
Design & Technology
In an increasingly technological and complex world, it is important students develop knowledge and confidence to critically analyse and respond creatively to design challenges. Technologies can play a crucial role in both enriching and transforming societies, and in the management of natural and constructed environments.
In the Design and Technologies curriculum, students create quality designed solutions across a range of technologies contexts. Students consider the economic, environmental and social impacts of technological change and how the choice and use of technologies may contribute to a sustainable future. Students also take into account the ethical, legal, aesthetic and functional factors that inform the design processes.
Through Design and Technologies, students plan and manage projects from conception to realisation. They apply design and systems thinking and design processes to investigate ideas, generate and refine ideas, plan and manage, produce and evaluate designed solutions. They develop a sense of pride, satisfaction and enjoyment from their ability to create innovative designed solutions.
Through the practical application of technologies, students develop dexterity and coordination. This curriculum offers students a broad range of learning experiences, readily transferable to their home, life, leisure activities, the wider community, and to work.
At Yarra PS Design and Technologies aims to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to ensure that students:
- become critical users of technologies, and designers and producers of designed solutions
- can investigate, generate and critique designed solutions for sustainable futures
- use design and systems thinking to generate innovative and ethical design ideas, and communicate these to a range of audiences
- create designed solutions suitable for a range of contexts by creatively selecting and safely manipulating a range of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment
- learn how to transfer the knowledge and skills from design and technologies to new situations
- understand the roles and responsibilities of people in design and technologies occupations, and how they contribute to society.
We live in a technological world where information and communication technologies (ICT) are fundamental to most activities. Digital literacies are integral tools in the learning process, and have the potential to extend student learning capabilities, engaging them in understanding concepts and processes in areas of learning and facilitating change in learning, thinking and teaching.
The Digital Technologies curriculum enables students to become confident and creative developers of digital solutions through the application of information systems and specific ways of thinking about problem solving.
At Yarra PS using digital literacies as tools for learning enables students to:
- efficiently and effectively access digital information to assist with investigating issues, solving problems and decision making
- produce creative solutions to support learning and develop new understandings in areas of learning
- communicate, share and work collaboratively in local and global environments
- understand the legal, ethical and health and safety implications of using digital literacies and their responsibilities as users and developers
- develop new thinking and learning skills to support learning
The development of mathematical understandings requires that students gain confidence and experience using their mathematical knowledge in everyday situations and in all areas of study. At Yarra PS mathematical thinking is an integral component to learning and critical thinking across several curriculum areas. We assist students to develop the ability and disposition to use and interpret mathematical concepts, skills and representations fluently and critically, so that they can operate successfully and purposefully in diverse contexts.
Mathematics practices at Yarra PS include:
- Explicitly planning for and teaching the mathematics required to engage with numeracy in many contexts across the curriculum
- Giving students time and opportunities to work things out for themselves and with peers
- Developing students’ strategic and critical thinking by assisting them to reflect and communicate about the way they approach and solve problems and perform tasks
- Engaging students in purposeful tasks
- Enabling students to explore mathematics in different contexts
- Developing teaching repertoires that include: demonstrating, modelling, thinking aloud, sharing (eliciting student contribution), and facilitating independent group and individual task completion and problem solving
Visual and Performing Arts
Through Visual Arts, students make and respond using visual arts knowledge, understanding and skills to express meanings associated with personal views, intrinsic and extrinsic worlds. Visual Arts engages students in a journey of discovery, experimentation and problem-solving relevant to visual perception and visual language, utilising visual techniques, technologies, practices and processes. Learning in the Visual Arts leads students to become increasingly confident and proficient in achieving their personal visual aesthetic, appreciating and valuing that of others.
At Yarra PS teaching practice in the visual arts is explicit and purposeful. Learning in the arts is underpinned by the belief that all students can learn the skills, knowledge and understandings from the content and outcomes of the curriculum. Our well-equipped and resourced art room provides multiple opportunities for students to experience a range of visual arts options.
The curriculum is carefully scaffolded across year levels and aligns to other curriculum areas where possible. Our teaching programs allow students to build on previous experiences, to practise skills and to apply knowledge in different contexts. Students have opportunities to revisit skills and areas of knowledge so that they can expand their repertoire and increase the complexity of their understanding. Our well regarded Art Show every second year is testament to the quality of our Arts program.
The performing arts is the expression and exploration of personal, cultural and social worlds through role and situation that engages, entertains and challenges. At Yarra PS through performing arts, students express, question and celebrate human experience, using the body as the instrument and movement as the medium for personal, social, emotional, spiritual and physical communication. Students create meaning as drama makers, performers and audiences as they enjoy and analyse their own and others’ stories and points of view. Like all art forms, drama has the capacity to engage, inspire and enrich all students, excite the imagination and encourage students to reach their creative and expressive potential.
The performing arts curriculum at Yarra PS aims to develop students’:
- confidence and self-esteem to explore, depict and celebrate human experience, take risks and challenge their own creativity through performing arts
- knowledge and understanding in controlling, applying and analysing the elements, skills, processes, forms, styles and techniques of performing arts to engage audiences and create meaning
- sense of curiosity, aesthetic knowledge, enjoyment and achievement through exploring and playing roles, and imagining situations, actions and ideas as drama makers and audiences
- knowledge and understanding of traditional and contemporary drama as critical and active participants and audiences.
- respect for and knowledge of the diverse purposes, traditions, histories and cultures of dance by making and responding as active participants and informed audiences.