Specialist Programs


All students at Hawthorndene primary school attend weekly Japanese language lessons with our specialist Japanese teacher, Schmitt Sensei.

Our Japanese program exposes students to the Japanese language and culture in fun and engaging ways. In learning a second language, the emphasis is not only on developing a student’s ability to communicate in the target language, but also on developing their understanding of how language works and understanding different aspects of the county’s culture.

Therefore, the Japanese program at Hawthorndene primary school covers three main areas:
– Communication
– Understanding language, and
– Understanding culture

Performing Arts

The Performing Arts program at Hawthorndene PS is a combination of Music, Movement, Dance and Drama – based on the Australian Curriculum, and the use of the Orff Schulwerk approach in teaching it. This method involves singing; body percussion; playing on a variety of both tuned and untuned instruments; movement and dancing; as well as drama and speech activities to encourage active creating, and responding. It is a hands on experience. It has a strong link with literacy, and critical and creative thinking. The students have the opportunity to learn in blocks – with the focus either an integrated theme, eg Chinese New Year, or an area of specialisation – eg Drama block, focusing on specific developmental skills across the year levels.

Students get to explore ideas, apply concepts, develop skills and techniques, use props, structure it into a form, then create and share as a performance/ presentation. After, this is followed through with analysis and reflection, as well as appreciation of other art works. Cross curricular activities have a strong focus – with links to Aboriginal/ Torres Strait Island histories and culture, Asian studies, and sustainability featuring where relevant.

The Performing Arts successfully has integrated the use of ICT. We have a set of ipads, enabling students to develop skills in using apps such as Garage Band, Madpad, I-movie, Sock Puppets, etc. to create and record music, soundtracks, podcasts…with multiple methods to use, view and assess.

Each class has a 50 minute session of Performing Arts with our specialist teacher – Zita Sankauskas. The Junior Primary classes in year R and 1 have the benefit of having two sessions per week. This fits in with research on the importance of Performing Arts on young developing children, enhancing cognitive, social and physical development.

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Physical Education

Hawthorndene students have the opportunity to participate in quality programs in Sport and Physical activities to prepare them for a healthy, fit lifestyle in the future.

In Physical Education, students have daily fitness lessons and sports skills lessons. In addition to classroom programs, children in R-7 have a Physical Education lesson each week for one semester with a specialist PE teacher.

The PE program is a whole school sequential PE program including all component areas: Fundamental Motor Skills, Athletics, Gymnastics, Ball Handling, Fitness, Basic Movement, Sport, Dance, Games, Outdoor Education and Sport Education. Using the Australian Curriculum, Games Sense and SEPEP as core content, upper primary classes have the opportunity to engage in longer units of work to enhance deeper levels of thinking and learning.

Experts in various sports from outside sporting organisations regularly visit the school to provide special skills workshops in a wide range of sports.

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