Salisbury Downs Primary School Salisbury Downs Primary School

Department for Education

School Initiatives

Salisbury Downs Primary School (SDPS) is currently involved with many programs which aim to integrate the students' curriculum with life skills, enjoyment and best prepare them for life after school.

Play Is The Way Primary Connections Science in Primary Schools
Maths   Play, Learn, Connect
The Little Big Book Club Strong Foundations in Literacy Comprehension

We are committed to working with families to develop pro-social behaviour in all our students and developing their emotional intelligence. We believe children need resilience, perseverance and other life skills if they are to remain optimistic in the face of life’s daily challenges. Too many children come to school with the belief that “I come to school to be better than others”.

If a predominance of children is in the pursuit of being better than others, it’s hard to believe that the classroom could be anything other than tense, hostile and tiring. It is important that we counteract this belief by working to convince children of its dangers and encourage them to see school as a place where they “come to better themselves by being able to work with others”. The focus always must be on pursuing their “personal best”.

As adults, our happiness in life revolves around our relationships, so we instil in children that “the more others I can work with the better person I will become.” If we can create safe classrooms where children are considerate of themselves and others, then they will have every opportunity to reach their potentials. We use The Game Factory (Play Is The Way) program to educate our students to become strong and successful adults.

Play is the way games assist teachers to guide children beyond the simple pleasures of playing games to the character building benefits that can be achieved.

Play is the Way games:



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Primary Connections logo

At Salisbury Downs Primary School we offer our students a deep understanding of science through a program called Primary Connections.

PrimaryConnections focuses on developing students’ knowledge, skills, understanding and capacities in both science and literacy through working cooperatively in teams through a process of engage, explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate.

Primary Connections links science with literacy and is an innovative approach to teaching and learning which aims to enhance primary school teachers’ confidence and competence for teaching science.

Current research highlights that successful science education requires teachers to be supported not only with curriculum resources but also with professional learning to boost their pedagogical content knowledge in the teaching of science and literacy.

The Primary Connections programme provides both components, which have undergone substantial trialling and will support the implementation of the Australian national curriculum.

The students at Salisbury Downs Primary school deepen their learning by sharing units of work with the children from Salisbury Downs Pre-school and the wider community.

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Science in Primary Schools resource website

Connecting science to classrooms.

Science in Primary School thumbnail

Site includes resources, photos, videos, links, message board

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Learning mathematics creates opportunities for and enriches the lives of all Australians. The study of Mathematics provides students with essential mathematical skills and knowledge in Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. Numeracy is a broad area which applies to using mathematics in purposeful ways. Numeracy is a vital component of success in the modern world. Numeracy skills underpin many aspects of our personal, civic and working lives. The development of these skills through the study of mathematics at school is fundamental. Digital technologies facilitate the expansion of ideas and provide access to new tools for continuing mathematical exploration and invention. The curriculum focuses on developing increasingly sophisticated and refined mathematical understanding, fluency, logical reasoning, analytical thought and problem-solving skills. Mathematics plays an important role across the curriculum.

 SDPS staff are committed to meeting the learning needs of our students through a range of strategies, programs and agreements. While different approaches are used across year levels the underlying fundamentals are the same

·         Diagnostic assessment of students and intervention. Primary classes are using Booker diagnostic assessments

·         Development of fluency in number as a fundamental in classroom programs

·         Intervention through QuickSmart for identified students

·         Real life problems to solve  making the study of mathematics relevant to the lives of children

·         The use of strategies that promote understanding

·         Development and confidence in the use of the language of mathematics.

·         The use of standardised testing to track student development and identify performance issues across the school

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Play Learn Connect logo

Every Tuesday morning from 9:15 until 10:00 Ilona Atterton our Teacher Librarian and Cheryl Taylor our School Counsellor will be running Play, Learn, Connect Sessions for Parents with children aged 0-6.

The aim of the sessions will be to assist parents to feel comfortable reading aloud with their children at home and instilling in children from an early age the love of reading and interacting with books. We have created a parent borrowing library with recommended picture books and activity cards developed by The Advertiser’s “The Little Big Book Club” to do at home after reading the book together with your child. The parent library is separated into three age group levels- 0-2, 2-3 and 4-5 year olds. In each session we will read one of the suggested texts and follow up by talking about the book and completing an art and craft activity related to the book.

Parents involved in the sessions will be asked to fill out a registration form so that they are able to borrow resources from the parent library. Once a month we will also look at making connections with the Salisbury West Library and attend the Play, Learn, Connect sessions run from the Library located on Hollywood Boulevard.

If you are interested in joining the Play, Learn, Connect session or if you would like more information please feel free to contact the school and ask for Stephanie Perkins on 8258 5860.

Children of Kindergarten age or younger are most welcome to attend the sessions as they will be run in a similar informal format much like Playgroup.

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The Advertiser: The Little Big Book Club logo

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Strong Foundations in Literacy


Literacy is an integral part of succeeding in life. Research shows that literate adults have a wider access to the many and varied job opportunities which are constantly changing in our 21st century world. In today’s society, a child may end up having five or more different careers or jobs in their lifetime! Literacy learning gives students the knowledge and skills needed to access all other curriculum areas which they will need throughout life beyond school. The Australian Curriculum offers students an English curriculum based around Literacy, Literature and Language. There are literacy demands in all areas of the curriculum and this learning becomes the foundation of all other learning.

Literacy is the application of reading, comprehension and writing which underpin the learning of Literature and Language. The learning of spelling and handwriting allow fluency in writing whilst grammar and punctuation teach the parts of language needed to create literature.

The use of literature to teach language and literacy skills means that students learn what accomplished writers do to create good quality texts. Teaching incorporates the deconstruction and reconstruction of written, digital, oral and visual texts to instill a deeper understanding of the components of text structure.

Salisbury Downs offers quality teaching of all aspects of Literacy, Language and Literature which are integral to the lifelong learning, future financial stability and success of literate students.

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Comprehension - Going from 'Learning to read' to 'Reading to learn'

Comprehension is the understanding of any text being read, viewed or listened to. This includes locating information in tables and graphs, understanding a commercial on television or a street sign as a few examples. It is the key to being able to access information and make sense of the world around us. The comprehension taught in schools includes activating prior knowledge that is gained in our daily life, inferring meaning from a clue, analysing the information presented to us, knowing how and where to locate information and being able to communicate what has been learnt.

At Salisbury Downs, staff have been highly trained in all aspects of comprehension and explicitly teach these skills using the gradual release of responsibility model. This means students are supported in their learning as teachers gradually give more independent control to students as they show evidence of learning.

Good readers utilise a set of highly complex and well developed skills before, during and after reading so they can understand, learn from the text and remember what they have read. These skills include:

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