- Creative & Performing Arts Programs
- Kitchen Garden Program
- English as an Additional Language (EAL) Program
- Excursion, Performance & Camp Program
- Gifted & Talented Programs
- Home Reading Program
- Learning Difficulties Programs
- Music Ensembles Program
- Peer Support Program
- Special Needs
- Student Leadership
1. Creative & Performing Arts Programs
Stanmore provides Creative and Performing Arts programs staffed by specialist teachers in music, drama and visual arts. These programs have been in place for several years and, as a result, the school is developing a fine tradition of music and drama performances and visual arts displays. All students have the opportunity to participate in these activities and experience success. The programs are part funded by a parent contribution.As a part of these programs, many students have the opportunity to perform in school ensembles for music, dance and drama and also in regional and state ensembles and festivals. These include performances at the Opera House, the Town Hall and the Entertainment Centre. Each year, the school holds the performing arts “Showcase” at a local theatre where all of our students perform and “A Night of Music” when all our music groups perform.
2. Kitchen Garden Program
The school provides the opportunity for all students, over time, to participate in the Kitchen Garden Program. Following a grant from the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation in 2012, the school created a kitchen garden and converted the old school library into a stunning kitchen with five cooking bays. Year 3–6 students have a weekly lesson in both the garden, with a garden specialist, and the kitchen, with a kitchen specialist, giving them the experience of growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing nutritious food. The gardening program includes composting and worm farming, as well as chickens for eggs. A number of other curriculum areas are integrated into the kitchen garden program.
Stanmore Public School has developed a strong debating program. Each year the school enters teams in a local inter‐school competition and the Premier’s Debating Challenge. In the Premier’s Debating Challenge, the senior team were the Sydney Champions in 2005 and runners‐up in 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. The school also runs an in‐school debating competition, the Principal’s Debating Challenge, which is held each year.
4. English as an Additional Language (EAL) Program
The EAL program provides support to students from non‐English speaking backgrounds across all grades in the school. It assists these students to develop their skills in the English language and learn about life in Australia. The priority for EAL support is in the areas of English and Literacy. The EAL teacher works with students individually, in small withdrawal groups or through team‐teaching classroom support. EAL teacher support continues for extended periods until students are coping successfully and independently with their classroom learning. When students start school with no or little English, they receive intensive EAL support for their first six to twelve months of schooling in Australia.
5. Excursion, Performance & Camp Program
Excursions, incursions (including visiting performances) and camps (overnight excursions) are a feature of the learning program at Stanmore. They enrich classroom learning and provide students with vivid, real life experiences that make learning more powerful and therefore more likely to be understood and remembered. These activities are planned carefully to ensure quality educational benefits and reasonable cost. Typically, there is one excursion and one performance each term. Students enjoy excursions, performances and camps and learn a great deal from them. Ideally all students will participate in them. Generally, there is one excursion or incursion each term linked to a unit of work. Incursions involve activities coming to the school, while excursions involve students and supervising teachers leaving the school to participate in an experience. Excursions include walking excursions in the local community or trips further afield with bus or train travel. Typical incursions focus on music, drama, science, mathematics, anti‐bullying and leadership.
Camps are overnight excursions that have the same curriculum focus as other excursions, plus a social focus of building school cohesion, cooperation and teamwork. There are camps for Year 2 up to Year 6 and they are planned to ensure a range of different experiences over five years. All are within one to two hours travel from school, except trips to Canberra and the goldfields for Years 5 and 6. Camps include:
Year 2 – bushland camp at Arcadia
Years 3 & 4 – Port Hacking and Royal National Park experience alternating with a farm experience at Picton
Years 5 & 6 – Canberra and government experience alternating with the Narrabeen Sport and Recreation Camp
The school notifies parents of upcoming excursions at the beginning of each term and requires a signed permission note for attendance at each one. All school excursions require the approval of the Principal. These activities are organised on a cost recovery basis. The school books the activities and pays for transport, entry fees and accommodation costs, where applicable. The total cost is divided between the students and this cost is then passed on to families. If families are experiencing financial difficulties they should contact the school regarding financial assistance.
6. Gifted & Talented Programs
Stanmore provides special programs to encourage students to explore and develop their particular talents. Programs in English and Mathematics are designed to enrich very capable students and allow flexible progression to meet their needs. The core units provide scope for highly capable students to research broadly and extend their knowledge of their world, its society, environment and science. Teachers are given assistance to identify highly capable students and plan educational activities for them. In addition, the school provides a range of other programs to cater for the development of higher order thinking skills and creative and sporting talents in students. These include:
- Public Speaking, Debating and philosophy
- English and Mathematics competitions
- Dance, Drama and Music ensembles
- Sporting competitions at school district, regional and state level
7. Home Reading Program
A Home Reading Program operates in all classes across the school. This program is designed to develop a love of reading and provide regular reading practice on books that students can read. Every day younger students take home a book at their instructional reading level and the school expects that they will spend 10 to 15 minutes reading aloud to a parent or older member of the family. Students have a card for parents to sign and return to school to show the reading task has been completed. Students then read their book at school to a teacher or volunteer. Older and/or more capable readers, who are borrowing novels, will not change their book every day and may also prefer to read quietly to themselves.
This daily independent reading is a valuable part of developing and enhancing literacy skills and is an integral part of the school’s successful Literacy Program. The school appreciates parents’ support in encouraging their children to read a little every day.
8. Learning Difficulties Programs
Stanmore has an extensive range of programs to assist students with learning difficulties. These include:
Reading Recovery Program – individual literacy support for students in Year 1
Targeted Literacy Program – individual support for older students who are well below target levels and experiencing significant difficulty with literacy
Learning Difficulties Program – small group support in literacy and numeracy for students who are below target levels
Literacy Support Program – additional class time spent on literacy for students who are not yet secure at target levels
Students are targeted for the programs on the basis of assessment and demonstrated need. Once included in a program, students may continue to receive support for several months or several years, depending on their progress. When students are targeted for these programs, parents are notified.
9. Music Ensembles
The school provides the opportunity for students to participate in many Music Ensembles. These include Bands, String Ensembles, Percussion Ensembles, Ukulele Club, Recorder Ensemble and Choirs. Rehearsals of the ensembles usually occur at lunchtime or before school. Comprehensive information about the Music Program is detailed in the Stanmore Music Program Handbook. It lists information about each ensemble including descriptions, skill levels, costs, any audition requirements and expectations of being in an Ensemble.
10. Peer Support
Stanmore runs a highly successful Peer Support Program to develop leadership skills for all Year 6 students and to develop caring and respectful relationships between students of all ages. In Term 1 each year, Year 6 students are trained as Peer Support Leaders. Following training at the beginning of each year, there is a 10 week Peer Support Program that involves all students. This consists of a 40 minute Peer Support session on consecutive Fridays, except Gala Days, for the remainder of Term 1 and for part of Term 2. All students are placed in small groups ranging from Kindergarten to Year 5 and the leaders take their group for self‐esteem, communication and social skill activities. Peer Support develops friendships and promotes positive student interaction. The Year 6 students develop leadership skills, responsibility and confidence.
11. Special Needs
Stanmore Public School has a proud record of catering for the learning needs of students with special needs, including those with physical, intellectual and mental health disabilities. These students are integrated into mainstream classrooms and participate as fully as possible in all school programs. The staff has developed considerable knowledge about catering for the learning and social needs of students with many disabilities and the Stanmore students provide a supportive and inclusive environment for all students.
12. Student Leadership
The Student Leadership Group provides a forum for students to have a say in the decision making of the school. This group consists of the school captains and prefects. Its role is growing as students gain experience and understandings about the ways in which they can help improve school life. All Year 5 students undergo leadership skills training to develop their skills and understandings before they enter Year 6.
The use of computers and related technologies is an area of growing importance in primary schools. Stanmore has at least three computers in each classroom and the school library has a mini‐lab to ensure using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is an integral part of learning. We are connected to the internet and our teachers are continuing their training so they are able to ensure effective development of all students’ technology skills. The school also has a computer lab for ICT lessons and each classroom is fitted with an interactive whiteboard. Other technologies are explored as part of the Science and Technology curriculum.