Dapto school students will get a nine-month head start on the national science curriculum thanks to an innovative partnership between high school and primary school teachers in the area.
Teachers from Dapto community of schools – made up of Kanahooka and Dapto high schools and Dapto, Hayes Park, Koonawarra, Mt Brown and Lakelands public schools – won a grant from the Education Department allowing them to work together to develop ways of teaching the new science course.
The national curriculum will be introduced to all schools in 2014.
Dapto High School head science teacher Patricia Morgan, who is leading the project, said the schools were developing a program that would put students ahead and improve the way science was taught.
‘‘There’s a much greater emphasis in the new curriculum on working scientifically – using science methodology and testing hypotheses,’’ she said.
‘‘The high school teachers will be able to help the primary school teachers with those aspects and I’m really looking forward to learning a lot from them as well.
‘‘Hopefully it will make our kids better science students and it’s also giving us a head start before we have to teach the new course officially next year.’’
As part of the project, all year 5 and 6 students at the Dapto schools will study the same science topic for the first time next term.
The course will meet the requirements of both the old and new curriculums and is designed to give students common ground at the start of high school.
‘‘The new syllabus is a continuum of science learning – so when the kids get into high school they will build on the things they’ve already been taught much more than they do now,’’ Ms Morgan said.
She said there was potential to expand the program into other subject areas.
‘‘It means primary schools in our area are now having a dialogue about the new curriculum and if this can work in science then maybe it will work in English or maths as well,’’ she said.