Specialist Programs


All students at Hawthorndene Primary School attend two weekly Japanese language lessons (or one double lesson) with our specialist Japanese teacher, McArthur Sensei.

Our Japanese program exposes students to Japanese language and culture in fun, engaging and meaningful 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.

Over the course of their learning, students will become familiar in the reading and writing of the Japanese hiragana and katakana character alphabets and some kanji characters. Student learning will involve both oral and aural communication and often include cultural perspectives that make comparisons between Australia and Japan.

The Japanese program at Hawthorndene Primary School is taught in line with the Australian Curriculum with the outcomes primarily relating to:

  • Communicating: Socialising, Informing, Creating, Translating and Reflecting, and
  • Understanding: Systems of Language, Language Variation and Change and
    Role of Language and Culture

Click here to download the Japanese program overview.

Performing Arts

The Performing Arts program at Hawthorndene PS is a combination of Dance, Drama, Media Arts and Music – based on the Australian Curriculum. While each Performing Arts subject has its own language and techniques, there is a strong overlap between the subjects. As such, most of our major projects will incorporate more than one, if not all four Performing Arts areas. Individual activities, however, may focus on just one element of a single subject, such as dynamics in dance or voice in drama.

Students learn to read and write music using a Kodály philosophy – immersing students in the sounds before breaking them down into components, giving those names and symbols and, eventually, being able to look at a sheet of music and hear it in our heads. This is essentially the same process through which students are immersed in language before learning letters and then being able to read a book and hear the story internally.

The Performing Arts curriculum includes not only developing students’ skills as performers, but also being able to discuss and analyse performances, as well as planning and rehearsing original performances.

Each class has a 40 minute session of Performing Arts with our specialist teacher – Lucy Pfeifer. The Junior Primary classes in Years R-3 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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