The original school building on the Midland Highway opened in 1874. On the 30th of November 2010, the school moved to its current site at 2 Stephenson Street, in readiness for the 2011 school year. The old bell was moved across from the original site and is still in use today.
We now enjoy modern facilities established in an attractive rural setting approximately 30km from Geelong and only 10km from Bannockburn. We have shared access with the Lethbridge Recreation Reserve and Lethbridge Tennis Club ensuring maximum space to support our extensive sporting program.
Our learning programs maximize the use of our flexible learning and teaching spaces, and creative outdoor spaces which reflect the philosophies of our school and community – including having the ability to provide for a range of changing needs through the development of quiet zones, artistic zones, natural zones, playground and oval spaces.
Our focus is to teach the students to be independent and lifelong learners. They need to understand themselves as learners and be able to use this understanding to identify their own strengths and weaknesses. They learn to identify and act upon those attributes to constantly improve and develop their own abilities. Knowledge is no longer considered stagnant, therefore at Lethbridge Primary School we aim to provide our students with the skills and insight to become life-long, self-motivated, continual learners. Our programs focus on developing a curiosity in learners, and the ability to be able to investigate, infer, draw conclusions and present information that they are interested in and excited to share.
“Lethbridge Primary School: Community of Learners.”
Who We Are
Lethbridge Primary School has a dedicated and enthusiastic staff with a range of experience levels. In 2016 the school has 1 Principal Class, 8 teachers and 5 Education Support Staff. Additional specialist provision has been provided through the 2016 SRP for Japanese, MARC Van, Levelled Literacy Intervention, Visual Arts, Music and Science. Our 2016 enrolment of 133 students is drawn from the township of Lethbridge and surrounding rural areas. Children from Maude, Meredith, Elaine and the outskirts of Bannockburn are a part of our student population. Family occupations range from employment in local farming and wine growing industries, self-employment and a variety of occupations that involve commuting to Bannockburn, Geelong and beyond.
At Lethbridge we believe students learn best when they are happy, healthy and supported within safe and productive relationships. We are proud of the warm and welcoming atmosphere that is part of our daily experience of school.
At Lethbridge Primary School all children interact across all year levels and all staff know all students. This is a feature of our rural school community and one that we value, encourage and foster.
We take a Restorative approach to student relationships that focuses on Prevention, Early Intervention, Intervention and Restoring Wellbeing. This whole school approach to Student Engagement and Wellbeing is supported by -
• Using Restorative Practices
• Implementing PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies)
• Being a Kidsmatter School and a Health Promoting School
• Being an eSmart accredited school
We have an extensive sporting program. The students mix with local schools regularly and enjoy getting to know other year level peers through camps, sporting events and other joint activities. We also participate in the Bannockburn and District Netball Competition, currently coaching and entering 2 teams per season, and have been very successful over many years.
Some of the annual events held by the school and / or with our local cluster of schools include:
• House Athletics Carnivals
• District Athletics Sports
• MVA organised and District-run cross-country, football, netball, and soccer event days
• Ball games events
• Kanga 8’s cricket
• P-2 Sports Day
• Intensive swimming program at Geelong College swim centre
The school is an active member of the Moorabool Valley Association which includes seven schools. The group organises combined Sports Days and Camps for students and through this association we are able to provide a wide range of events and activities.
The school participates in a combined camping program with Inverleigh, Meredith, Little River, Anakie and Shelford Primary Schools. This promotes social interaction for students with children from other schools.
The 2016 program consists of the following
Year 6 Melbourne - Urban Camp
Year 5 Maldon - Bike Ed
Year 4 Camp Wilkin - Beach
Year 3 Baanya Biami – Bush
What We Do
At Lethbridge Primary School a comprehensive curriculum program is provided by class teachers and through the specialist program, based on the Victorian Curriculum.
Literacy and numeracy intervention and enrichment
Individual learning goals
Learning and teaching blocks are arranged as follows -
Teaching writing at Lethrbidge Primary School encompasses handwriting, spelling, vocabulary, sentence structure and grammar, punctuation, genre knowledge and writer’s voice.
V.C.O.P. is the writing program we use at school. The method is based on fast, fun and lively teaching of the ‘writing voice’ through oral communication. This is followed up with sustained writing and focused editing.
VCOP is the focused teaching of the following:
Vocabulary – teaches a wide range of ‘WOW’ words (more ambitious vocabulary than the children might usually use);
Connectives – teacher a wider range of words and phrases for connecting thoughts, ideas and sentences;
Openers – teaches a wider range of ways of opening sentences, including sequence words, linking words and phrases and the 3 power openers. Power openers are the words that start a sentence with connectives, words ending in –ly and words ending in -ing;
Punctuation – teaches a wide range of punctuation, including power punctuation.
The VCOP Gang is a group of characters that support students to learn each VCOP area.
Talk Homework is an activity we ask students to do with their families the night before the Big Write. Students have been introduced to the topic that they will be writing about. They then go home and talk with their families about their ideas. The concept of Talk Homework is that ‘If you can’t say it, you can’t write it’. We find that students who have had time to verbally develop their ideas, create far more interesting and sustained pieces of writing. The year 3-6 students have been doing Talk Homework and the Big Write this semester while the year Prep to 2s have been learning the characters in preparation for starting Talk Homework and the Big Write next year.
The Big Write is a regular and highly motivating writing session in which students (having completed their ‘Talk Homework”) sit down in a ‘writing atmosphere’ and in silence, create a sustained piece of writing based on the stimulus provided.
The students self-assess this writing against specific criteria in order to be able to set goals for improvement in the following week. Teachers also assess their writing against very specific criteria which provides an accurate ability level. This data then informs planning for the week ahead.
Students draw their writing goals from the V.C.O.P. program and the Big Write.
Literacy and Numeracy are taught explicitly and through the Inquiry program. To teach writing we use the V.C.O.P. Program
Reading skills are taught using a range of strategies including explicit learning of phonics for spelling, with students working on phonemes at their own level. We teach comprehension through the lens of literacy, inferential and evaluative comprehension.
Student work in groups in the Reading Program, that draw from children across different classes that have the same need. These are not ability groups, they are fluid groups that change continually based upon the need of the individual student in each area of reading.
Mathematics is taught through the strands of Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability.
We teach maths through the 4 Proficiencies:
• Fluency - Students develop skills in choosing appropriate procedures, accurately, efficiently and appropriately, and recalling factual knowledge readily.
• Understanding - They develop an understanding of the relationship between the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of mathematics. Students build understanding when they connect related ideas, when they represent concepts in different ways.
• Problem Solving - Students develop the ability to make choices, interpret, formulate, model and investigate problem situations, and communicate solutions effectively.
• Reasoning - Students are reasoning mathematically when they explain their thinking and justify strategies used and conclusions reached.
The way we teach maths has changed significantly from when we are at school. An example is that we use ‘arrays’ to encourage children to see groups of numbers without having to individually count them. We use hands on materials a lot more often, right up to year 6 as evidence says that students need this well after we think they have mastered the concrete concept. Schools have been moving onto abstract thinking before students are ready.
We teach children to understand number patterns and mathematical problem solving strategies so that they know what is happening when we add, subtract, multiply and divide numbers. This deeper understanding is the foundation for mare complex mathematical concepts.
We teach children to explain their thinking, use mathematical language when talking about mathematics, retract their steps to see any mistakes they have made, and use concrete materials to check their work.
We teach children to be strong mathematicians who try different strategies, choose the right tools, persist, make connections, predict, explain their thinking, ask questions, know that faster doesn’t mean better, compare, share ideas, estimate and explore.