The primary curriculum is concept-driven and transdisciplinary, where subject areas are taught in connection with one another, retaining the integrity of the disciplines such as English, 

Mathematics, and Science, and focuses on the child as a learner and the processes involved in the development of learning and thinking.

Read our Prep to Year 6 Curriculum Guide

Literacy and Numeracy

Our teaching team has designed a literacy program that focuses on teaching basic skills in the early years, using the Victorian Early Years Literacy structure. It incorporates programs and strategies such as First Steps, THRASS (Teaching Handwriting, Reading and Spelling Skills), CAFÉ Reading and Highlighting Writing. Purposeful reading and writing opportunities come from literacy tasks that are embedded in units of inquiry.

Our approach to Mathematics includes the teaching numeracy skills and problem-solving strategies. We use a combination of teaching methods including online programs and opportunities to apply mathematical skills in practical situations.

Teachers challenge to work to their potential within the classroom program – a differentiated approach promotes enrichment, learning and consolidation in all aspects of schooling. We also provide support for students with additional learning needs – this may be support in literacy or numeracy, or through enrichment and extension. In addition to classroom support, students can be challenged through external programs such as the Science Talent Search, GATEWAYS, EngQuest and more.

Primary Student Leadership Program

Cornish College believes that all students are leaders and all should have the opportunity to take initiatives and act on their beliefs and values. This is evident in the number of students that take action at home, in the classroom and the playground, and when students make suggestions to staff that can be acted upon.

Formally, student leaders are appointed through an application process to positions of leadership such as House Captains, MAD Leaders, Sustainability Leaders, and many others.

Our Primary Student Leadership philosophy is based on our sustainable thinking dispositions and is complemented by the ‘GRIP’ Leadership program.

Generosity Willingness to use what you have been given (time and resources) on behalf of those you seek to influence.
Responsibility We all have a responsibility to develop what we have and help others to live well.
Integrity A commitment to truth and honesty in dealings.
People Every human being is of great significance, and has a purpose to fulfill.

GRIP Leadership

Inquiry-based learning

Our curriculum promotes the use of an experiential, structured inquiry-based approach to learning. The children develop a deep understanding of important concepts and conduct research into local and global issues of significance. Students make connections through learning about life in school, life at home and life in the world.

Class teachers plan units of inquiry by integrating many subject areas, equipping children with deep understandings, knowledge, skills and attitudes while catering for individual differences. Opportunities for enrichment are provided through critical and creative thinking and activities are designed to develop higher-order thinking skills and extend each child’s questioning capacity. Extension and enrichment activities in all curriculum areas take place within the classroom context to allow all children to reach their potential.

The College uses guided inquiry as the vehicle for learning. Students build on prior knowledge and experience, learn to ask questions for deep learning, and are guided through a rigorous inquiry process culminating in a presentation of their summative task for each unit of inquiry of which there are six each year. They use their communication, self-management, social, thinking and research skills to develop their deep understandings of their investigations.

The EcoKids program in Years 3 and 4 provides opportunities for hands-on learning with an emphasis on personal and natural sustainability. They take responsibility for the Kitchen Garden Project where they plan, grow, harvest and prepare meals in the EcoKids kitchen. They are also responsible for a number of classroom animals.

Individual Needs and School Counselling Team

Students and families are supported by a comprehensive Individual Needs and School Counselling Team. The Individual Needs team is comprised of teachers trained in Special Education, Reading Recovery and intervention programs, and literacy and numeracy support teachers. Students are also supported in the classroom by additional assistants. 

Individual Needs support for students is provided in class, as withdrawal and with at home support for parents. It may be in the form of remediation or support with classroom tasks. This may be individual or in a small group. Students requiring additional support will have an Individual Learning Plan where student goals are clear to all involved. This may include enrichment and extension in addition to remediation and support.

Our counselling team comprises two qualified psychologists. They work with teachers and families in referring, conducting and interpreting education psychological assessments and work together with class and individual needs teachers in developing appropriate programs and strategies for students.

The counselling team are also involved in the personal emotional and social needs of our students. They work with teachers and students in social skill development, provide individual counselling to support students’ emotional needs and support families with children at home. The counselling team also organise parenting sessions and guest speakers to provide families with helpful guidance.

Make A Difference Week 

Make A Difference (MAD) Week takes place at the end of Term 2 each year and involves every student and teacher at the College. MAD Week is designed for students to work collaboratively and make connections with a range of age groups, to be immersed in activities and projects that become embedded in the school environment and culture, and to develop a sense of belonging in our school community.

Find out more about Make A Difference Week.


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