Excellence in Education


Victorian Curriculum 


Students in the garden

At Clifton Hill Primary School we provide students with rich, varied and rigorous experiences that explore the natural and social world in which they live. Where appropriate, we employ an integrated approach to learning, where natural links are made between subjects. Often referred to as 'Integrated Studies', this knowledge and understanding is taken from the Victorian Curriculum Learning Areas of Science, History, Geography, Economics, Civics and Citizenship, Health, Design and Digital Technologies.

Students are encouraged to build knowledge and understanding about a range of fundamental and powerful concepts that underpin each topic of study, such as systems, change, identity, and power. In each unit, students develop responses to significant and essential questions that provoke consideration of the world around them.

In order to provide learning experiences that engage and extend students with a diverse range of interest and abilities, teachers at Clifton Hill Primary strive to differentiate the learning and students are encouraged and supported to investigate areas of interest and share their learning in a variety of ways. We aim to develop collaborative, and critical and creative thinking skills.

Specialist programs

The Performing Arts program focuses on music. The school has an excellent music room equipped with many classroom instruments such as marimbas, xylophones, drum kits, pianos, electric guitars, bass guitars and ukuleles.


The school has an excellent music room equipped with many classroom instruments such as marimbas, xylophones, drum kits, pianos, electric guitars, bass guitars and ukuleles.

Classroom Music Teachers

Jenny Hemphill  - Prep  (integrated music, dance and drama)

Monique Boggia - Grades 1, 2 & 3

Roz Girvan - Grades 4, 5 & 6

 There are many performing arts occasions during our school year including:

  • folk dances for Prep and Grade One
  • end of term music assemblies where grades and music groups perform
  • a school production or concert twice in each student’s primary schooling
  • a Christmas concert at school for Grades Prep and One
  • a graduation concert for grade 6

In addition to these special occasions, Roz leads the school in communal singing at the end of our fortnightly assemblies.

Jenny Hemphill also offers a Performing Arts program involving dance, movement and drama to a variety of grades.

Excursions and Incursions

As part of the performing arts program, all students participate in an excursion or incursion each year. In 2020 students will attend the following:

  • Grade Prep, One and Two students will participate in an OZ Opera incursion.
  • Grade 3 students will be attending a concert by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
  • Grades 5 will be attending a Hip Hop workshop at the Arts Centre

The aim of this part of the curriculum is that the students will be exposed to a range of performing arts experiences.

Extracurricular Music Opportunities

In addition to classroom music there are also a number of extracurricular music opportunities at CHPS. These include:


There are three choirs at CHPS

Polka Dot Choir – grades 2 and 3

Gold Choir – Grades 4 and 5

Grade 6 Choir

There are many staff with excellent choir skills at CHPS and as a result, our choir culture is growing.

String Ensemble

Our string ensemble is open to all students who have been learning violin, viola or cello for 12 months or more. The ensemble is directed by Ross Henderson, our school violin teacher and tackles a varied repertoire. It rehearses on Thursday mornings at 8.00am. There is no fee.

Please contact Ross on 0406 090 338, or by email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Grade 6 Rock Band

Jeb and Roz will be running the Grade 6 Rock Band on Monday lunch times. There is no fee.

African Drumming Ensemble

Guinean master artist Mohamed Camara provides ensemble classes on a term by term basis, from Term 2. Students who participate will perform at special occasions such as school productions, the Fair and special assemblies. The group will rehearse on Monday lunch times.(Cost = $13.00 per class.)

Private Music Tuition

Private lessons are provided onsite at Clifton Hill Primary School with a range of instruments on offer. Please contact teachers directly to ascertain availability.

Visual Arts

Rosy Layout for web

Students create art works during weekly lessons using a wide range of mediums including painting, drawing, ceramics, textiles, print making and modelling. They are encouraged to plan, discuss, experiment, make and share their work. Each lesson challenges students to sequentially develop their knowledge and skills. By viewing and responding to the work of other artists, students expand their arts-based language and further develop their own aesthetic values. We frequently link projects to the study of historical and contemporary artists and to current exhibitions where possible. Throughout the year students participate in a series of relevant incursions and excursions. The Clifton Hill Art Show is held every two years and each child is involved in creating work for this whole school event.

Physical Education

All students participate in regular Physical Education sessions planned and delivered by a specialist Physical Education teacher. The Physical Education Program emphasises skill development and enjoyment focusing on fundamental motor skills, gymnastics, ball skills, fitness, sport education and game sense.

Throughout the year the school conducts trials for swimming, cross-country and athletics. Successful students from Grades 4 to 6 compete in District, Division, Region and State championships.

Languages Other Than English (LOTE)

The school offers two languages programs: Mandarin (Chinese) and French. Both languages are offered from Prep through to Grade 6. Students choose one of these languages to study for the duration of their time at CHPS. Students study their chosen language for 90 minutes per week (2 x 45 minute sessions).


Our program’s main goal is ‘critical fluency’ i.e. getting students to be able to effectively communicate in French. To do this, we use an approach to teaching languages called the AIM (Accelerative Integrated Methodology) which prioritises these key learning and teaching strategies:


Each unit of work that students complete is based on a central story and most activities, oral and written, have the story as their focus. Using music and drama is not a new concept in teaching and certainly not in language teaching but the high use of drama, dance and song in this program is one of the keys to its success.


Almost every word students learn is accompanied by a hand gesture. Words are presented through speech and gesture simultaneously, and contextualised through story and drama so students learn to see (word and visual symbol) and feel the language as well as hear it. Gestures allow the classes to be conducted with minimum use of English and allow the teacher to know the level of a student’s comprehension more accurately. The gestures also allow students to be producing the language constantly throughout each lesson.

PDL: (pared down language):

The words targeted for presentation through gesture and story have been selected through action research in second language classrooms, according to frequency, function and ease of acquisition. This target vocabulary places a high emphasis on verbs but not conjugation. PDL presents vocabulary in a way that parallels first language learning so each part of a verb is learnt as the need arises.

Language Manipulation Activities: (written and oral):

Students complete many scaffolded writing tasks as part of their language learning. They become increasingly confident in reading and writing French. Creativity is encouraged in their writing and editing skills. Analysis of language and grammar are also taught.

Transfer of knowledge into spontaneous interaction and creative writing:

Students are encouraged from the very beginning to use the language they learn in creative ways. As they become more proficient, teacher support can be reduced and students can have more and more control over their written and oral language production.

At Grade 6, students continue to use the AIM, however a focus story is replaced with  French music and film.

French Teachers at CHPS are:

Sophie Gammon ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Penny Webb ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Sophie Robson ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )



Mandarin is taught as an academic program whose aim is to enable children to speak and understand the language for practical, everyday purposes, and learn the basics of reading and writing characters. This prepares our students for further study in high school and their future role as active and engaged citizens with a global outlook, who have deepened knowledge and understanding of Australia’s engagement with Asia.

Mandarin Curriculum and Pedagogy


The overarching approach to Mandarin teaching at CHPS is the widely used Communicative Approach, which is evidence based and current best practice in language teaching (Richards, 2006). It emphasizes fluency in speaking and strong listening skills through the use of practical and relevant teaching materials.  We also progressively introduce literacy skills, starting with drawing Chinese characters as art and proceeding to simple reading and writing.

Our program embraces a child-centred methodology for language learning. Classroom activities include:

·  singing and performing Chinese songs

·  playing language games

·  performing role-plays

·  engaging in real-life tasks

·  making videos / art work

·  working with ICT tools to enhance literacy development

This approach awakens children’s curiosity and inquisitiveness, fostering their desire to learn more about foreign languages and cultures.  

One distinctive feature of our Mandarin pedagogy is the integration of technological tools. Students use apps on iPads for in-class activities, as well as online tools to aid vocabulary learning and practise interaction. This use of technology not only enhances language learning but also builds digital literacy, which is a transferable skill across different academic areas.

Language Immersion Program in Machong (March)



We have established a sister school relationship with Dongguan City Machong Gu Mei Central Primary School (东莞市麻涌古梅中心小学) in Guangzhou, China. Every March, a group of CHPS Mandarin students is offered the opportunity to undertake one week of intensive language immersion in Machong where our students attend an intensive Mandarin class very morning taught by our sister school staff and practise the language with the local students. CHPS students also participate in a wide range of subjects taught entirely in Mandarin, including Science, ICT, PE, Arts, Music, Martial Arts, Calligraphy and Fencing. This program is limited to Grade 5 students learning Mandarin.

Cultural Immersion Program in China (September) 


Every September, CHPS offers students the opportunity to visit China for a two-week cultural immersion. This trip includes visits to Shanghai, Beijing, Xian and to our other sister school, Huaibei Experimental Primary School(安徽淮北市实验小学), where students spend up to four days living in homestay with Chinese families. This trip provides students with first-hand insights into Chinese culture, geography, education, arts, history and daily life in modern China as well as some language development. The program is open to any CHPS student in Grade 6. Students DO NOT need to study Mandarin to participate in this trip.

Sister Schools Visiting CHPS (July and August)

Every year students and teachers from our two sister schools come to visit CHPS to immerse themselves in our school community and experience life in an Australian primary school.

In April, students and teachers from Dongguan City Machong Gu Mei Central Primary School (东莞市麻涌古梅中心小学) come for a five-day language immersion program, which includes participating in regular classes as well as targeted English instruction. 


In August, students and teachers from Huaibei Experimental Primary School (安徽淮北市实验小学) come to CHPS for a five-day homestay experience. They also participate in some of our specialist classes.


Chinese Cultural Day


Every year, CHPS students in Grade 2 and Grade 4 will have the opportunity to experience Chinese cultural through safe, educational and fun incursions. The incursions are run by trained Chinese instructors and offer hands-on and interactive cultural activities on-site at our school. 

Grade 6 students will have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of Chinese history, humanity and crafts in a one-day excursion to the Chinese Museum.  This excursion includes a tour through some key sections of the museum where students learn about Chinese and Chinese-Australian history and culture. Students will also get some hands-on experience with Chinese crafts.