Teaching & Learning


At Trentham District Primary School we follow the Simple View of Reading to inform our whole school literacy instruction approach.


The simple view of reading is that learning to read requires two abilities – correctly identifying words (decoding) and understanding their meaning (comprehension). Acquisition of these two broad abilities requires the development of more specific skills.


An extensive body of research on reading instruction shows that there are six essential skills for reading and that a high-quality literacy program should include all six components. The six components are:

  • Phonological awareness
  • Phonics
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension
  • Oral language

Reading and literacy are perhaps the most researched aspects of education. Thousands of studies of the teaching of reading, and how children learn to read, have been published in scientific and academic journals and there are many hundreds of reviews of the research literature. Not all studies use rigorous scientific methodologies that provide robust, valid findings, however, there are many studies that do.


Evidence from scientific studies has accumulated over the past several decades to provide strong guidance to teachers about the most effective teaching strategies.


The link below provide information about the evidence-based five keys to reading, as well as oral language: https://fivefromfive.com.au/parent-resources/.


Our Approach to Literacy

Synthetic Phonics teaches these sound letter correspondences in a systematic and ordered way, following a defined sequence. Once children have mastered the alphabetic code we support students to extend their vocabulary and extend their exposure to a range of text types through a gradual release model. Along with synthetic phonics we also teach morphology, etymology, vocabulary, syntax, and develop background knowledge for comprehension through a knowledge-rich curriculum.


Explicitly teach

We incorporate direct or explicit teacher instruction which is matched to the student’s developmental level and clearly outlines the lesson goals. Students are given clear, explicit models of how to complete activities. Explicit teaching is vital and leads to greater improvements in literacy development and decoding than practice alone.




The proficiencies of Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving and Reasoning are fundamental to learning mathematics and working mathematically, and are applied across all three strands Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability.
The Mathematics curriculum aims to ensure that students:

  • develop useful mathematical and numeracy skills for everyday life, work and as active and critical citizens in a technological world
  • see connections and apply mathematical concepts, skills and processes to pose and solve problems in mathematics and in other disciplines and contexts
  • acquire specialist knowledge and skills in mathematics that provide for further study in the discipline
  • appreciate mathematics as a discipline – its history, ideas, problems and applications, aesthetics and philosophy



A specialist Art program is conducted in the Art room, with weekly classes for all grades. Students are given opportunities to develop skills, techniques and processes whilst expressing themselves with assorted media. In addition, students are given time to reflect on, respond to and understand, various art styles and works. 

A whole-school art show is conducted to coincide with Presentation Night in the second last week of the school year and showcase the students work from throughout the year.



Learning languages in addition to English extends student’s literacy repertoires and their capacity to communicate. It strengthens students’ understanding of the nature of language, culture, and the processes of communication.



The Health and Physical Education curriculum plays a significant role in building the knowledge, skills and understandings that apply to a range of health, wellbeing, safety and movement contexts.



Our comprehensive and well-resourced music program enables students to develop their creative and expressive capacities by learning about the different practices, disciplines and traditions that have shaped the expression of culture locally, nationally and globally. Students are both artist and audience during Music sessions, and may choose to participate in a range of extra-curricular activities to further enhance their musicianship skills.


Classroom Music

All students from Prep to Grade 6 participate in the classroom program, comprising a one-hour lesson each week. The lessons are sequential and age-appropriate. Students learn about the elements of music, how to read music and transfer that knowledge to playing a range of musical instruments. They sing, dance and create compositions of their own, whilst exploring their creativity.


School Band

The Band features students from Grade 1 to Grade 6. It comprises a wide range of instruments and skill levels, including saxophones, clarinets, bass clarinet, flute, trumpets, trombone, guitar, bass, cello, congas, drum kits, keyboard, marimba and voice. The band rehearses weekly on Fridays after lunch at school, playing in a variety of styles. We enjoy performing at various events throughout the year, some of which include: Trentham Spudfest, Moorabool Kids Day Out, Daylesford Rotary Concert, our School Concert, and the Trentham Carols by Candlelight.


Drum Corps

The Drum Corps rehearses once a week during lunchtime and is led by Mr Sandy Hood, who is an Australian Defence Force Master Drummer. Mr Hood’s drumming program, which exists in three schools, incorporates rudiments, rhythms and rolls, combined with elements of rock, swing and parade drum corps marching. This program has won many awards including a Victorian State Government Excellence in Education award. The program offers unique opportunities for students to perform outside the school environment, particularly at festivals and parades all over Victoria.

Some of their local performances this year have included:

  • Leading the Trentham ANZAC Day Parade
  • Performing in the Kyneton Daffodil Festival Grand Parade


Students may choose to participate in the School Choir, which is led by Allison Walsh. Most recently, the Senior Choir has been involved in the Mission Songs Program this year in collaboration with the Boîte World Music Program. The students have learnt and performed traditional songs written and sung by the stolen generation and collected from Aboriginal missions around Australia as far north as Cape York and down to Cape Barren Island in the south. The children performed these songs in a 300 strong choir at the Melbourne Town Hall in August this year.


Instrumental Music

Students are able to undertake individual or small group lessons with our Instrumental Music tutors. We are able to offer instruction in piano, keyboard, guitar, bass, drums, clarinet, flute, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, violin, Irish flute and harp.