Curriculum Overview

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At Eltham North we take great pride in our curriculum. Our Learning and Teaching Programs are designed to encourage and promote a love of life long learning. The Victorian Curriculum forms the basis of the school's comprehensive and integrated curriculum programs. Whilst a wide variety of additional resources materials and texts are used by teachers, the school's curriculum structure and focus is based on these documents.

The Victorian Curriculum

The Victorian Curriculum is the basis for curriculum planning and development in Victorian schools and as such, it is our core resource in teaching and curriculum at Eltham North Primary School.

The Victorian Curriculum provides a stable foundation for whole schooling curriculum and assessment planning. It incorporates the Australian Curriculum and reflects Victorian standards and priorities. The curriculum includes a strong focus on the foundational skills of literacy and numeracy and on personal and social skills, thinking skills and new areas of learning such as computational thinking. The Victorian Curriculum gives students the skills they need for work and life: literacy, numeracy, scientific knowledge and skills, resilience, respectful relationships, the use of digital technologies and the capacity for critical and creative thinking and expression.

Key features of the Victorian Curriculum

  • Structured as a learning continuum, that is, developmental levels that enable teachers to identify current levels of achievement and readiness to learn and then plan to enable students to achieve expected levels.
  • Incorporates all key content in the Australian Curriculum.
  • Capabilities represented as sets of knowledge and skills that are distinct from any single learning area but that students develop and apply across the curriculum.
  • Cross-curriculum priorities (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and culture, Asia and Australian's engagement with Asia and Sustainability) are embedded and included in the learning areas and capabilities, not represented as additional or separate components of the curriculum.
  • Four rather than seven capabilities are included in the Victorian curriculum. the additional three capabilities in the Australian Curriculum are Literacy, Numeracy and ICT. Teachers will develop students' learning of Literacy, Numeracy and ICT across the curriculum.  In Victorian Curriculum these capabilities are incorporated in the learning areas and do not require separate treatment.

Features that are new to the Victorian Curriculum

  • Reference to phonics and phonemic awareness have been strengthened in the English curriculum.
  • The Digital Technologies curriculum includes new learning for F-10 students, including computational thinking, developing and evaluating digital solutions and data collection, representation and interpretation. Learning about coding is included in both Digital technologies and Mathematics curriculum.
  • Reference to respectful relationships and safety in the home have been strengthened and made more explicit.
  • The Victorian Curriculum includes, for the first time, Learning about World Views and religions.  

Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships (RRRR) program

We incorporate this whole school approach through eight topics at our school.
Here is a brief description.

Topic 1: Emotional Literacy 
We utilise the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships (RRRR) program. This whole school approach incorporates eight topics. Here is a brief description.Emotional literacy can be defined as the ability to understand  ourselves and other people. It includes the ability to understand, express  and manage our own emotions, build empathy, and to respond appropriately to  the emotions of others. Building a large vocabulary for emotions helps to  increase emotional literacy and build self-awareness and empathy for others.
Talking about how we feel helps us to understand ourselves and other  people better. We learn how to understand our emotions   express how we feel, see things from someone else’s perspective to understand how they feel, respond appropriately to someone else’s emotion.  

Topic 2: Personal Strengths Children and young people need a vocabulary to help them recognise and understand strengths and positive qualities in  themselves and others. This topic provides learning activities to build this vocabulary and to use it when discussing personal, social and ethical  challenges.Research in the field of positive psychology emphasises the importance of identifying and using individual  strengths. Social and emotional learning programs which use strength-based  approaches promote student wellbeing, positive behaviour and academic achievement.
What are my strengths and positive qualities? What are yours? Focusing on strengths helps to improve students’ wellbeing, behaviour and academic achievement. We need to be able to talk about our strengths and positive qualities  in order to understand them. We learn how to:   talk about strengths and positive qualities recognise our own strengths and positive qualities recognise other peoples’ strengths and positive qualities; focus on strengths when discussing personal, social and ethical challenges.  

Topic 3: Positive Coping
 Learning activities in this topic provide opportunities for students  to identify and discuss different types of coping strategies. When children  and young people develop a language around coping, they are more likely to be  able to understand and deliberately utilise a range of productive coping strategies and diminish their use of  unproductive coping strategies. Students learn to extend their repertoire of  coping strategies and benefit from critically reflecting on their own choices  and being exposed to alternative options. Activities introduce students to the concept of self-talk and practice  using positive self-talk to approach and manage challenging situations.  Positive self-talk is a key strategy for coping with negative thoughts,  emotions and events. It is associated with greater persistence in the face of  challenge, and can be learnt or strengthened through practice. What do we do when life gets challenging? Some behaviours help us deal with  challenges successfully. Other behaviours are not helpful. Talking about different ways of coping helps us to understand good  strategies and unhelpful strategies. When we learn about different ways of coping, we get better at  choosing successful coping strategies. We learn about different types of coping strategies how to reflect on our own choices, how to practise positive self-talk – a key strategy to cope with negative thoughts, emotions and events.  

Topic 4: Problem Solving
 Problem-solving skills are an important part of the coping repertoire.  The classroom program provides a number of learning activities to develop  students’ problem-solving skills. The activities in the program assist  students to develop their critical and creative thinking skills, and to apply  them to scenarios exploring personal, social and ethical dilemmas. Problem solving is a positive coping strategy: being able to solve problems helps us to cope with challenges.We use learning activities to practise thinking critically and  creatively to solve problems.We explore personal dilemmas as well as social and ethical  issues.  

Topic 5: Stress Management
 Children and young people experience a range of personal, social and  work-related stressors in their everyday lives. Activities within this topic  have an explicit focus on teaching positive approaches to stress management.  Assisting students to recognise their personal signs and symptoms of stress,  and to develop strategies that will help them to deal with stress  effectively, will help students cope with future challenges. The activities  focus on the ways in which self-calming strategies can be used to manage  stressful situations. All kinds of things can make us feel stressed. If we learn how to manage the stress, we can deal with challenges more  easily.We learn how to recognise when we are stressed, work out strategies to deal with stress effectively calm ourselves in stressful situations.  

Topic 6: Help-Seeking
 Learning activities in this topic area are designed to help students  discuss the importance of seeking help and providing peer support when  dealing with problems that are too big to solve alone. This helps to normalise and destigmatise, help-seeking behaviour. Scenario-based activities help students identify situations in which help should be sought, identify trusted sources of help, and practice seeking help from peers and adults. Some problems are too big to solve alone. It’s ok to ask for help. We explore different situations where we look at:  when to seek help, who we can trust to ask for help.  We practise seeking help from peers and adults.

Topic 7: Gender and Identity
 Learning activities within this topic assist students to challenge  stereotypes and critique the influence of gender stereotypes on attitudes and  behaviour. They learn about key issues relating to human rights, gender,  identity and focus on the importance of respect within relationships. The  activities promote respect for diversity and difference. Exploring stereotypes helps us understand how they influence our  attitudes and behaviour. We learn about: gender stereotypes:  how gender stereotypes can influence our attitudes and behaviour issues relating to human rights, gender and       identity the importance of respect within relationships diversity and difference.  

Topic 8: Positive Gender Relations
 Learning activities within this topic focus on  building an understanding of the effects of family violence and focus on the standards associated with respectful relationships. Students develop the skills needed to solve problems, set boundaries within relationships, and  play an active role within the prevention of family violence. They develop  peer support and help-seeking skills that can be applied in response to situations involving gender-based violence in family, peer, community or on-line relationships. Respectful relationships are key to preventing family violence. We learn: about the effects of family violence; what we should expect in a respectful relationship.  We develop skills to help prevent family violence, including how to solve problems, set boundaries within relationships.  We practice peer support and seeking help when gender-based violence  occurs:  in families, among peers, in the community,  online.    

Parent Resources


(Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority)

Visit the Department of Educations official curriculum resource site to learn about the Victorian Curriculum

Victorian Curriculum