Teaching and Learning - Prep (Foundation)/1

Australian Animals 

This term, the students in P/1 are learning about animals native to Australia.  As part of their investigations, students will identify the variety of external features of these animals and the places that they live to meet their basic needs, including food, water and shelter.  They will also explore how living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves. 

An early highlight of this inquiry will be our excursion, on Friday 27th October, to the Royal Melbourne Zoo, where students will get to observe some Australian (and other) birds and animals first hand.  Prior to our visit, students will plan animals they would like to see and map possible routes to follow.  After the visit, students will undertake a personal investigation and represent their findings e.g. through art, puppetry, drama, models, reports, posters, music. 

If you have any books, posters or artefacts about Australian animals that would enrich our learning we would love to borrow them at school.  We also welcome anyone with an interest or expertise in this area who would like to give a short presentation to share this with the students.


Each day the students read independently from their box of ‘just right’ books just as all students across the school do.  We are learning to consistently sustain our reading for 10 minutes!  Sometimes we read to a partner or with the teacher in a small guided reading group, and every day we share texts together as a whole class.  Our focus during big book shared reading over the week shifts from predicting what the text will be about and listening to the story, to looking at ‘wow’ (interesting, rich words), focussing on spelling or other text features such as bold words, and acting out a retell of the story. 

This term our English focus is on reading and writing information reports and narratives. Students will learn to identify the features of factual/information texts (title, contents, photograph or diagram illustrations and captions) and to distinguish between factual and fiction texts.  We will write factual pieces about animals and commence a data chart showing the features, habitats, diet etc. of different animals.  We will look at how Australian animals are represented in narratives, such as, Possum Magic, Koala Lou and Wombat Stew.  Students will write simple narratives, using a beginning, middle and end, and explore different characters and settings.

When spelling, students are encouraged to stretch out and chunk words to help recall segments and phonemes (sounds) they can hear in words e.g. sh … o … p or, sh … op.  The prep students are learning to write three letter words, such as, ‘bed’, ‘sit’ and ‘pan’ as well as common words, such as ‘the’, ‘was’ and ‘and’.  The year one students are continuing their personal spelling (common misspelt words in their own writing) and are learning strategies to help learn words e.g. Look, say, cover, visualise, write, check, using magnetic letters or writing on whiteboards, in colour etc.  Common Oxford word lists and THRASS charts are provided to support writing.  All students are learning to generate rhyming words and to use onset and rime to build word families e.g. and, band, land, sand, grand.

In handwriting, the prep students are practising correct formation of letters and the year ones will continue develop to handwriting skills using the dotted thirds.    


In Mathematics, our number focus place value and money.  Students will be pre-tested to determine their developmental stage and teaching will focus on moving students to the next growth point using practical situations. 

The prep students are learning to match numerals to quantities and words 0-20.  Even though prep students naturally experience numbers up to twenty in their daily lives, research has shown that the teens are especially difficult for students to grasp because the oral names for these numbers are not consistent with the oral names for other numbers (when you say fourteen, the sound of the word suggests that a 4 should be written first).  Also because the word three and five are not heard in the spoken names for 13 and 15, they tend to be especially problematic for some students.

The year one focus is on consolidating an understanding of two-digit numbers. Students will work towards, reading, writing, ordering and representing numbers to 100 in a variety of ways e.g. bundling icypole sticks to show tens and ones e.g. 36 = 3tens + 6 ones, and using diagrams, such a number lines and tens frames.

Year one students will learn to recognise, describe and order Australian coins according to their value and the prep students will use coins in role play.

Our Geometry focus is on identifying and locating two and three dimensional shapes in the environment.  Students will also explore location. Preps will describe position and movement and year ones will learn to give and follow directions to familiar locations.


Italian classes continue for the P/1 students each Tuesday. We are very excited to be involved in a Flipped Virtual Classroom with our Italian teacher, Mrs. Renita Michielin.  This term we will be revising meal times (bon apetito!), the weather (Che tempo fa?) and days of the week.  After that, students will learn number names to 100, La famiglia (all about me and my family), months of the year, and birthdays and La Befana (Christmas) with presents. 

Families may access the flipped classroom resources via the following link: http://lancefielditalian.global2.vic.edu.au  This site is still a work in progress and the content will continue to be added and refined over the course of the term.  It still contains just the basics.

Perceptual Motor Program (PMP)

On Wednesday mornings, students participate in 25 minutes of our PMP.  This involves students rotating through five activities to develop coordination and gross motor skills.  Thank you to the parents and grandparents who help us during the sessions.  We appreciate any assistance, even on a casual basis.  Toddlers are welcome.