One of the only activities that activates, stimulates and uses the entire brain is MUSIC. Children at Valkstone Primary School are exposed to an extensive music program which aims at fostering a deep appreciation and love of music. Music lessons are held once a week in the Music classroom.
Grades Prep, 1 and 2 children begin learning with the building blocks of music, such as dynamics, beat, pitch and rhythm. Developing confidence, improving listening skills and expression through movement are prime objectives. Non-tuned and tuned percussion instruments such as triangles, maracas and xylophones are used extensively in the music classroom. During 2023, Ms Darling and Nguyen Sensei will work with grades Prep and 1, sharing these grade levels.
Children from Grade 3 onwards are taught to play ukulele as accompaniment to their singing. The ukulele is a very social instrument with a real happiness factor and it’s wonderful to see the children forming their own groups and jamming together. Ukuleles are very portable, cheap and relatively easy to play, which promotes confidence and enjoyment in music.
A number of other music programs at the school are also in place, to cater for the individual.
All children from grades 3 to 6 learn ukulele as part of the school program.
At the latter part of grade 5 and during grade 6, students are also taught to play guitar in order to capitalise on skills which have developed through their ukulele tuition.
Grade 5 and 6 Senior Choir will commence in Term Two and meet every Monday at lunchtime. Grade 1, 2, 3 and 4 Junior Choir meet every Friday at lunchtime. Both sessions run between 1.00pm. and 1.25pm. Both Choirs learn songs to perform for the school and community, building confidence and presentation skills.
A multi-level ukulele group, consisting of Grades 3, 4, 5 and 6 children rehearse during designated lunch times. This group share ukulele skills and are often heard playing and singing around the playground.
For an additional fee, Musicorp works in conjunction with the school to offer small group lessons for students in Grade 1 and above in keyboard and violin. From Grade 3 onwards, students are given options to explore additional brass, woodwind and percussion instruments.
A school band will re-commence later in the year. Listen out for details.
Valkstone Has Talent
Valkstone runs a very popular whole school talent contest for both junior and senior classes in second semester.
Children at Valkstone are encouraged to share their music skills amongst the school and wider community, building confidence, self-esteem and most of all, having fun!
Jenn Darling and Melissa Nguyen
LOTE / Japanese
At Valkstone, we have a lot of fun in our Japanese program!
All Prep-Grade 6 students have a weekly 50-minute Japanese lesson. Students have topic based Japanese classes each term for their year level. We teach students songs with actions to enhance their learning of topical vocabulary. Students have activities focused on 4 strands of learning – listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Japanese cultural aspects are an important part of our program. We practice Japanese manners and politeness in each lesson. We also incorporate learning of Japanese festivals through craft and origami activities (e.g., Hinamatsuri (Doll’s festival) in March and Children’s Day in May).
iPads have been implemented into our Japanese program for many years. Our students enjoy learning Japanese characters, typing in Japanese, and creating puppet role play shows using iPad Apps.
We have a sister school, Takou Primary School, Osaka and developed an amicable relationship through video conferencing sessions. We also closely work with Kawachinagano Media Centre in Osaka to facilitate video conference opportunities between Valkstone and various schools in Japan and other countries. We have participated in online musical exchange with students from Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, England, Finland and Canada.
Valkstone students learn popular Japanese songs such as anime theme songs to show case for such occasions.
Every second year, a Japanese Cultural Day is organised where we learn about and experience Japanese traditions and uniqueness. We have visitors to show case their speciality such as taiko drumming, shamisen playing and martial arts.
Our Grade 6 students have had an annual battery making activity during their Japanese lesson. This has been running for over a decade since 2012 and was initiated by Panasonic Battery Company in Osaka. It has been a great way to incorporate science in Japanese lessons.
We have the Japanese Word of the Fortnight which is presented by our G5 students at our school assembly. Students who use the particular word for the two weeks obtain tickets and go in for the draw for a prize. The lucky winner is announced at the assembly.
Muldeary Sensei & Nguyen Sensei
マルディーリせんせい & ニューエンせんせい
Phys Ed & Sports
Elements of Physical Education Program
- Basketball, Netball, Newcombe and European Handball.
- Soccer and AFL.
- Tennis, T-ball, Softball, Rounders, Cricket, Hockey, Lacrosse and Badminton.
- Fundamental Motor skills and Movement Skills.
- Strategies and Tactics.
- Examine the benefits of physical activity.
- Teamwork and co-operation and applying fair play.
Elements of the Sport Program
Grade 6 weekly interschool sport program.
Summer sports offered: Softball, rounders, hardball cricket, girls teeball, lawn bowls, kanga cricket, Hot Shots tennis and circleball.
Winter sports offered: Basketball, netball, hockey, volleyball (spikezone), t-ball, football and soccer.
- Weekly level sports training sessions for grade 3 to 6 students.
- Grade 6 summer and winter lightning premiership days.
- House cross country – Junior Prep-Grade 3 and Years 4-6.
- House athletics and swimming and opportunities to further compete at a district level and beyond.
- Intensive year level swimming programs, Prep-6, at GESAC
- Bicycle education program.
- Visits from McKinnon Secondary College students who work one on one with our students, increasing skills.
- Whole school tabloid sports days.
- District girls footy and soccer days
- Hooptime – Grade 6 Basketball competition
- Years 6 cricket blast days.
- Volleyball program.
- Sport Clinics with experts from various institutions, for example AFL Victoria, NRL Victoria etc.
Kate Walker and Kate Savigny
Technology is embedded in all subject areas and classes at Valkstone, with a strong focus on enhancing our students’ learning experience. Our specialist Digital Technologies program is taught at all year levels, Prep to 6, with a weekly 50-minute lesson in the Digital Technologies room. All our students learn about Digital Citizenship and how to be Cyber Safe – safely and effectively navigating the internet.
Students in Prep and Year 1 develop their basic understanding of computers and will be able to identify and use different types of hardware such as iPads, laptops, printers, mice and keyboards. We focus on the development of mouse skills and familiarity with the keyboard is fundamental for our junior students before learning touch typing basics. Through a play-based learning approach, they learn about the basic concepts of coding; including how to break big problems in to smaller parts, the concept of patterns and repetition and how to problem solve. Junior students are introduced to basic robotics through our Beebot robots.
Our students in Years 2 – 6 develop further their skills in the use of laptops and iPads. They are introduced to Spheros and LEGO robots. They are exposed to ideas and concepts around coding, programming, robotics, touch typing and the safe use of devices. Students develop skills in animation, videography and photography, which includes the use of our green screen.
As an integral part of our Digital Technologies program, we involve the skills of problem-solving, creative and critical thinking, developing an understanding of different digital systems and digital solutions, while encouraging student voice, agency and leadership.
Kylie Kidd, Kate Savigny and Zach McMahon
An effective Library information skills program is an essential part of the total education program here at Valkstone Primary. The program reinforces the value of literacy and supports and encourages students’ reading experiences. Our aim in the library is to develop students as life-long readers.
School Libraries provide an alternative space for children to learn. Students are encouraged to read and study in a quiet area. Our Library also provides a place where ALL STUDENTS can access books and gain knowledge.
Students here at Valkstone, will experience and learn a range of skills including:
- How to take care of books
- Parts of a Book
- Fiction vs Non-Fiction
- Dewey Decimal System
- Elements of a Story
- Research Skills
- Author Studies
Students will be attending lessons fortnightly and have the opportunity to borrow books during this time. They are encouraged to choose books that engage them.
Visual Arts at Valkstone is an exciting and dynamic part of the school curriculum. Students experience a range of creative arts technologies and processes including drawing, painting, printmaking, textiles, ceramics and sculpture.
With a strong school emphasis on sustainability, our art program encourages students to use recycled materials and aims to provide opportunities to create art for the outdoors. Students are able to explore the elements of art including line, shape, space, form, colour, texture and value through a wide range of materials and resources.
Exploring the work of both Australian, Indigenous Australian and international artists is also a strong focus of the visual arts program. Students learn to appreciate and respond to artworks by identifying key features and discussing historical and cultural contexts. Visual arts units are linked to the topics and concepts covered within the classroom and offer students the opportunity to express their knowledge and understanding in imaginative and creative ways. The art program supports fine motor development and the acquisition of relevant skills. Students learn to solve problems, think critically and work in collaboration with their peers.
The visual arts program encourages students to be confident, creative and reflective learners.
Jen Kaucic and Chantelle Tranchina