We run a very strong whole school focussed Literacy and Numeracy program. Individual learning needs are identified and individual learning goals established for all students. We have high expectations for all of our students which means we also set high expectations for our teachers and support staff to provide programs, support and activities which are engaging and meeting the needs of all of our students.
Don Valley offers an excellent and diverse music program. A specialist music teacher takes each grade for music once a week. A lunch time elective program in music is also offered which includes: choir, instrumental or “jam sessions”. At the end of each year we have a whole school concert which every student participates in. This includes singing, instrumental, dancing and dramatic activities. It’s a hilight of our year with both students and parents!
We have a specialist art program, which each grade participates in. Have a look at the image gallery for some of our great student work. We strongly believe that students need to have the opportunity to explore their creativity and should also have the opportunity to be taught the skills to enable this. Our classroom programs also reflect the importance of expression through the arts, developing skills and celebrating the strengths of different learners.
Don Valley runs a specialist LOTE program in Chinese. Each student from Prep-grade 6 learns Chinese once a week with Sandy Walter who manages to make learning a new language a fun and engaging activity.
We run a specialist Physical Education program with each grade participating in an hour’s session once a week. These skill sessions are also complemented by a regular program of classroom PE activities. Our grade 5/6 students play winter sports as part of a team with other schools from the Wollombi Cluster. Our students also participate in athletics, cross country and other sporting activities with the other local schools. Students have the opportunity to participate in an annual whole school swimming program. Through out the year we also offer special clinics and elective activities to students depending on interest. These have included soccer clinics, hockey, and gymnastics. An outdoor education program has also been implemented, with activities including high ropes, caving, canoeing, and bike riding.
The school has a primary welfare teacher and a chaplain. Their roles are to work with all of our students in developing social skills and also to work with individual students and families to provide support and guidance on welfare issues.
For several years now the school has run a Sustainability Program with a vegetable garden, fruit trees and compost heap. Our students also help plantings for native birds and take care of our grounds. An education program based on reduce, reuse and recycle. We are accredited as a Water Smart school and have a large bank of solar panels on the roof to supplement our power supply. As well as producing food in the garden, all students have opportunities to participate in cooking activities with an emphasis on healthy eating.
We purposefully plan a variety of multi-age activities and experiences for our students. Multi-aging enables our students to work in a more natural way as they would within a family according to ability and interest. Multi-aging builds community, responsibility, respect, caring and leadership throughout the school. In these groupings our students engage in a very stimulating and engaging curriculum of inquiry learning and challenge based learning activities.