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Teaching & Learning @ Penbank

At the heart of a Woodleigh education is our commitment to the holistic development of every student within our school. We provide a nurturing and challenging environment that supports students in developing the knowledge, skills, and dispositions they will need to thrive at and beyond school. We aim to develop independent, resilient, creative and compassionate individuals who can find personal success in life while making a positive contribution to the communities in which they live.

Woodleigh is an IB candidate school and uses the IB Primary Years Programme as a framework for teaching and learning at our Junior Campuses.

The IB Primary Years Programme

The IB PYP is an internationally accredited framework for learning specifically designed for students aged 3 to 12 and caters to their particular learning needs during this stage of life. It provides a design structure through which the content areas of the Victorian Curriculum are taught while enriching the learning and empowering students. The PYP is inclusive in nature, providing opportunities for all students, including gifted and talented and those needing support. At Woodleigh School, the PYP is undertaken by all students in ECC to Year 6 and leads into the IB Middle Years Programme offered at our secondary campus.

The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) is a holistic curriculum framework focused on supporting all aspects of student development. Informed by research into how students learn, how educators teach, and the principles and practice of effective assessment, the programme places emphasis on inquiry-based learning. The framework builds from a central focus upon the student to include rich learning within and across traditional subject areas, the integration of real-world contexts and the development of deep conceptual understandings by students. The curriculum structure replicates the key learning areas set out in the Victorian Curriculum, with the traditional subject areas of English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Arts, Science, Physical, Social and Personal Education all retaining their relevance.

Significantly, the PYP offers opportunities for a transdisciplinary approach, with students provided with opportunities to engage with learning that has relevance across subject areas and connects with the real world. The key aspects of the PYP include:

Approaches to learning, helping students learn how to learn by developing skills for research, critical and creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and self-management

Key and related concepts, helping students explore big ideas that matter

Transdisciplinary themes, helping students understand the relevance and importance of their study for their own development and in the real world

Inquiry-based learning, a focus on structured, purposeful inquiry that engages students in their own learning by drawing on their prior knowledge, providing provocations through new experiences, and offering opportunities for reflection, and the consolidation of knowledge, skills and understandings.

Importantly, the introduction of the Primary Years Programme provides a shared framework for planning, assessment and reporting across the junior campuses of Woodleigh School. There is also a strong alignment between the structures and language used in the IB Primary Years Programme and the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP), providing a common curriculum framework to support students through their learning journey at the school.

Transdisciplinary Programme of Inquiry

Learning and teaching in the PYP is organised within a programme of inquiry that provides students with a broad, balanced, and connected learning experience from 3-year-olds to Year 6. The programme of inquiry is structured around six transdisciplinary themes that capture ideas, concepts and issues that are relevant to understanding and appreciating the world in which we live. At each year level, students explore units of inquiry in each theme which incorporate knowledge, understandings and skills from age-appropriate learning and subject areas aligned to the Victorian Early Years Learning & Development Framework and the Victorian Curriculum. The following overview outlines the key understanding and concepts explored at each year level.

Primary Homesteads

The important role of building capabilities for living and learning through social and emotional development is reflected in our Year 5 and 6 learning environments, the Primary Homesteads. The term ‘Homestead’ reflects our vision of the classroom as a home in which our students feel safe, known and engaged, as part of a vibrant learning community involving their peers and teachers. Our Year 5 and 6 Homesteads include a communal kitchen and gathering spaces, as well as open-plan classroom spaces that allow for flexibility in the way the areas are used. The teachers and students across the 2-year levels also collaborate on many elements of learning. The use of a Homestead structure is a central feature of a Woodleigh Education that is shared across all three campuses of the school.

Woodleigh School is a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate Primary Years and Middle Years Programmes. The school is pursuing authorisation as an IB World School. Only schools authorised by the IB Organization can offer any of its academic programmes.

Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorisation will be granted.

Download our Primary Years Curriculum Document