Our approach
to instruction

Teachers at Docklands Primary School are committed to explicit and responsive instruction. Our approach to instruction across the school is flexible but is underpinned by 3 guiding principles.

  1. We establish the conditions for learning. Every child has the right to learn in a calm and ordered learning environment. We establish clear routines to minimise disruption and maximise instructional time. 
  2. We build knowledge and secure success. We teach a knowledge-rich curriculum, and equip all students with the solid foundations of literacy and numeracy.  
  3. We promote autonomy and self-regulated learning. We encourage students to be active participants in learning, because their learning goals ultimately belong to them. 


We establish the conditions for learning

We minimise disruption and maximise instructional time. 

We build knowledge
& secure success

We teach a knowledge-rich curriculum and adopt a direct instructional approach.

We promote autonomy & self-regulated learning

We encourage autonomy in learning by teaching students to monitor their own progress against models of success.


Learn More


Learn More


Learn More


Learn More

Digital Technology

Learn More

The Arts

Learn More

Physical Education

Learn More




At Docklands Primary School, English is taught in a knowledge-, language-, and text-rich environment. Through the English curriculum, our focus is to develop students’ speaking, listening, reading, writing, and thinking skills.

Because literacy forms an essential foundation for all learning, we place a strong focus in the early years on explicit, systematic instruction in core literacy skills. These include word-level reading, word-level spelling, oral reading fluency, handwriting, sentence-level writing, and academic talk. As students progress through the year levels, they apply, develop and build on these essential skills in increasingly sophisticated ways.

Instructional time in English

At Docklands Primary School, students engage in approximately 10 hours of English instruction per week. Instruction focuses on developing essential literacy skills, knowledge of reading and writing, knowledge for reading and writing, and building a love of learning, language, and literature.



We support all students to achieve a high standard of proficiency in Mathematics. Our comprehensive curriculum is organised by three strands – Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability.

Lessons in Mathematics are carefully planned and based on the Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI) model. This means that teachers explain and model new concepts and skills before guiding students to practise new skills in an interactive and responsive environment.

Instructional time in Mathematics

At Docklands Primary School, students engage in approximately 5 hours of Mathematics instruction per week. The curriculum is designed to develop four interconnected proficiencies.

Physical Education

Our Physical Education program promotes student wellbeing, fitness and physical development while fostering enjoyment of physical activity. We provide an inclusive environment that prioritises high self-esteem, physical confidence, the development of social skills, and support for others.

Instructional time in Physical Education

Students participate in 2 hours of dedicated physical activity each week. They participate in a one hour class with a specialist Physical Education teacher and an additional hour of sport with the classroom teacher.

Digital Technology

Digital technologies are an increasingly prominent feature of daily life. At Docklands Primary School, we provide all students with the knowledge and skills needed to maximise their learning with digital tools. We also support them to meaningfully and safely manage their use of digital resources.

Using digital tools in the classroom

When appropriate for particular learning goals, students at Docklands Primary School use devices including iPads and Chromebooks. Students are taught when and how to use the devices effectively in support of their learning; digital tools are used selectively in the classroom.

Navigating the digital world

We know that navigating the digital world can be difficult for young people; we aim to explicitly teach students not just how to use digital tools, but how to navigate online environments with care and confidence. As it becomes an increasingly important part of students’ lives, we aim to equip students to be competent and responsible users of digital platforms and devices.

At Docklands Primary School, we use the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships program to inform classroom teachers’ approach to teaching safe participation in online environments. We are also partnering with the Alannah and Madeline Foundation to become an accredited eSmart school.

The Arts

At Docklands Primary School, we recognise the value of a strong and vibrant Arts program. Subjects covered are: Music, The Choir, Instrumental Music Lessons, performing Arts, Visual Arts.

Instructional time in The Arts

Students from Prep – Grade 6 enjoy one class a week in our beautiful Arts Centre. Here, they develop knowledge, appreciation and enjoyment for The Arts, with specialist classes in Music, Performing Arts and Visual Arts.

Working with a specialist Arts teacher, students are provided opportunities to develop their interests, skills and passions, and to share these with the community.


LOTE (Auslan)

All students at Docklands Primary School enjoy a dedicated hour per week learning Auslan (Australian Sign Language).

Auslan is a wonderful, and inclusive language! It provides our students with the tools they need to communicate with everyone in the community. Auslan is fun to learn, and can be shared across cultures.

Most signs in Auslan are contextual, so it is a particularly accessible language for students who speak English as an Additional Language. Some linguistic features of Auslan are similar to those found in spoken languages. For example, the 26 fingerspelled letters of the Auslan alphabet are based on the 26 letters of the English alphabet. Like other languages, the study of Auslan supports a broader focus on quality literacy instruction.

In the early years, students learn common handshapes and movements. Students use Auslan for function like greeting, thanking, apologising, asking and responding to questions, expressing wishes, likes or dislikes, following simple directions, and taking turns. Students produce signed phrases independently using modelled language.

In the middle years, students learn a broader number of signs, allowing them to participate in games, and present on topics such as their family, pets, or favourite things. Everyday vocabulary is built upon for thinking and talking about school topics. Through the middle years, the language used in routine activities is reused and reinforced from lesson to lesson, making connections between what has been learnt and what is to be taught.

Learners in the upper years expand their communication repertoire in both English and Auslan. Students use well-known phrases in Auslan to participate in classroom routines, presentations and structured conversations with the teacher and peers. In the later years, there is a larger focus on aspects of their personal worlds and students study broader content in Auslan, including information about disability and the Deaf community.


At Docklands Primary School, we put an emphasis on teaching a core body of knowledge in the Humanities (Geography and History). We believe that strong foundational knowledge is essential to understanding our world, comprehending a wide range of texts, and participating effectively in society.

Based on insights from cognitive science research, our Humanities curriculum supports students to achieve academic excellence through carefully planned and sequenced topics that build cumulatively over time. Topics taught in Prep (e.g. Exploring the Seven Continents) provide a critical foundation for topics taught in later years (e.g. The Ancient Civilisation of Mesopotamia in Grade 1 and Medieval Europe in the upper years).

Organised in this way, we ensure that our broad and ambitious curriculum is coherent across and between year levels.

Through the Humanities curriculum, students engage with rich, engaging content and materials from the Core Knowledge Curriculum and Our Land, Our Stories (developed in collaboration with AIATSIS, the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.)

Our Humanities curriculum broadens students’ horizons, providing equal access to important shared knowledge and language.



At Docklands Primary School, we equip students with the science knowledge and skills needed to participate fully in society. Scientific literacy is important not just for those who may seek further study in Science, but for everyone to think critically about everyday issues like health policy or climate change.

We provide a rigorous Science curriculum in which students develop a solid foundation of knowledge of the biological, chemical, physical, Earth and space sciences. In addition, our curriculum develops understanding of Science as a discipline; students explore its history and the processes used for determining truth through the testing of hypotheses.

At Docklands Primary School, students are engaged in Science through hands-on experiences and observation. Students are encouraged to ask questions, gather data and discuss findings. Students also learn through rich, non-fiction texts that help to bring coherence and order to their scientific knowledge. Topics are presented systematically and clearly so that students can make steady and secure progress in the study of Science.