SPECIALIST LEARNING AREAS

Specialist Learning areas

Moerlina’s specialist learning areas inlcude:

Visual Arts

“The ways of creativity are infinite: the ways of formal learning are numbered. Restless, curious, playful, contriving, the innovative mind feeds on challenge and makes its home in the province of mystery.” – Robert Grudin

 

Here at Moerlina all students are given regular opportunities to explore the Visual Arts in a way that takes them beyond techniques and aesthetics and into the world of concept and process.

The critical key factors of imagination and curiosity are encouraged from the initial development stages of an art project, which often germinates from student input and ideas. This allows children the space to think for themselves, share their own creative voices, make connections, and experience a real sense of purpose.

Small classes enable a deeper, richer grasp of arts concepts, skills and practices. Children develop artistic flexibility and emotional resilience through careful self-management and the building of a supportive foundation of care, which encompasses peer group interaction as well as student teacher relationships.

Students develop their artistic repertoire and understanding of aesthetic principles, able and confident to apply and adapt these skills in their own art.

Art activities are often project-based, multi-disciplinary and link in with relevant classroom themes, enhancing motivation, enjoyment, purpose and meaningful inquiry.

Chinese

“Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.”  Rita Mae Brown

 

Chinese (Mandarin) is taught through collaboration with the UWA Confucius Institue, and is introduced during the primary years. The main goal of Chinese teaching at the school is to develop a love of learning a language other than English, as well as a connection with a different culture.

The program is adapted to each class group and includes basic Japanese and immersion Japanese. Each week a new lesson is prepared with a variety of skills introduced using games, music and film. Knowledge and appreciation of China is widened by providing opportunities to experience its culture.

The teacher takes a holistic approach to teaching Chinese, often using cross-curricular instruction and working in with class themes.

Physical Education

Physical Education is an essential component of every child’s learning. At Moerlina we prioritise educating our children in personal health, fitness and wellbeing so that they can create healthy habits and participate in an active and fulfilling life.

In the Early Years we focus on teaching the fundamental movement skills which provide an essential platform for future fine and gross motor skill development. Fundamental movement skills can be broken into three categories:

  • body management skills
  • locomotor skills, and
  • object control skills.

The school implements programs developed by Occupational Therapists that address common areas of need for children, such as core strength, muscle tone, hand-eye coordination and working memory, all having a positive benefit on their classroom learning.

As the children move through the primary years they will continue to implement their skills with the introduction of small-sided games focusing on simple rules and boundaries. Team work and cooperation play an important part in this and those values flow into other aspects of the school.

Upper primary sees the children start to develop and become aware of game strategies as they participate in small-sided team games with greater complexity and which hold an element of competition.

The children also benefit from the expertise of specialist coaching from clubs, programs and agencies outside the school. It is a great way to expose the children to a range of sports.

In previous years these sessions have included: Sailing, surfing, tennis, yoga, football, hockey, basketball and martial arts.

Outdoor Education

At Moerlina outdoor active learning opportunities are a regular part of the curriculum. Outdoor Education programs may be based on a sport, or may be cross-curricular, enabling subject-based learning to occur in learning environments outside of the classroom.

Examples of outdoor education held at Moerlina include:

In addition, the children participate in gardening and nature activities on the school grounds. Our upper primary children recently turned our frog pond into a thriving biotope.

Literacy Support

Moerlina engages a Literacy Support Specialist to strengthen our teaching programs and support children experiencing difficulties with aspects of literacy. The Literacy Support Specialist also works within classes to provide enrichment Literature programs for all children, as well as extension opportunities.

Embracing key components of successful early interventions, Moerlina supports students and teachers in the areas of

  • phonemic awareness and instruction;
  • phonics instruction;
  • spelling and writing instruction; and
  • fluency instruction.

The Literacy Support Specialist uses a range of morphographic spelling, phonics and reading programs to target individual student needs. Individual student programs are developed using diagnostic tools and are continuously monitored through standardised assessments.Our specialist has a wealth of experience and keeps abreast of current research on Children’s Literacy, much of which is provided through the Dyslexia-Speld Association.

The Literacy Support Specialist also oversees Moerlina’s highly successful Support a Reader program. The Support-a-Reader program provides reading opportunities for students of all abilities to develop further confidence, vocabulary and comprehension strategies in a nurturing and enjoyable one-to-one situation. This program trains community volunteers to use a standardised intervention strategy, to ensure consistency at home and school. These volunteers come from within the school, such as parents and grandparents, and from the wider community such as past family, retirees and older students.