Derinya Primary School offers a comprehensive curriculum that follows the Victorian Curriculum and has a key focus in English and Mathematics for all Foundation to Year Six students. Within this, a Specialist Program runs that includes Physical Education, Science, Visual Arts, Japanese and Performing Arts, all of which students are taught from day one of Foundation.

We plan and teach a rich, comprehensive curriculum that:

  • Fosters student voice and agency
  • Is engaging
  • Develops deep levels of knowledge and skills in all curriculum areas
  • Supports and challenges all students
  • Promotes metacognition and collaboration
  • Is student centred

A range of pedagogies are implemented to ensure all students can access learning in every classroom. In all classrooms you will see many of the following strategies utilised to maximise learning:

  • Explicit instruction
  • Gradual Release of Responsibility (I Do, We Do, You Do it Together, You Do it
  • Small group work
  • Conferencing
  • Independent work

Staff at Derinya Primary School work collaboratively to plan, implement, monitor and analyse student learning, working towards a continuous cycle of learning for all students and staff. Through regular professional development, our staff are continuously developing and sharing their knowledge and expertise to enhance student learning opportunities.


At Derinya, we promote knowledgeable, analytical, worldly citizens that love learning. Students at Derinya explore content and skills through a blend of Integrated and Inquiry Learning approaches.

Our Whole School Scope and Sequence is structured around Throughlines and Big Ideas.

Our four Throughlines are:

  • The World Around Us,
  • Changing Communities,
  • Health and Wellbeing,
  • People and Places.

For most year levels, one Throughline guides students’ Inquiry Learning each term and supports the delivery of the Victorian Curriculum areas such as History, Geography, Science, Economics, Civics and Citizenship. The three overarching priorities (Learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Learning about Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia and Learning about Sustainability) are also woven through these learning experiences. Derinya’s specialist programs including Science, Visual and Performing Arts, Health and Physical Education, Japanese Language and Culture and Kitchen Garden also supports and extends on the classroom learning and skills.

Each year level’s Inquiry is directed by an age-appropriate ‘Big Idea’ which stimulates a cycle of inquiry involving; learning engagement, questioning, exploration, research, action and reflection. Cross curricular skills including problem solving, design, communication, intrapersonal and interpersonal development are explicitly modelled and practiced.


At Derinya Primary School our aim is to create lifelong learners, fostering a love of literacy, with the aim to develop and nurture positive and proficient readers, writers and speakers.


At Derinya Primary School, students are engaged in a range of teaching practices that provide varying levels of support for different points of need.

These include:

  • modelled reading (including thinking aloud)
  • shared reading
  • independent reading
  • guided reading
  • reciprocal reading
  • literature circles
  • reading conferences

Each student has their own book box and access to a rich classroom library.

Students are taught using explicit instruction that is guided in a mini lesson using the gradual release model. These practices provide the opportunity to maximise engaged reading and deep thinking about texts. Students are exposed to a range of genres, that are rich and authentic. Students at Derinya Primary school are also engaged in explicit instruction about foundational early literacy skills, such as phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency and vocabulary.
Author studies are also a large component of the reading curriculum at Derinya Primary. Author studies engage students in different literary voices and styles and are easily integrated across the curriculum. Author studies help students develop their reading, writing, research, and critical thinking skills as well as establish a stronger community of readers.


Writing takes place daily. Lessons commence with shared or modelled writing followed by students working either independently or with support from the teacher. We use the 6 + 1 traits of writing to support our planning and lesson development with a focus on voice, organisation, word choice, ideas, sentence fluency, conventions and presentation.

Speaking and Listening

At Derinya Primary School we believe in giving children authentic opportunities to learn and improve their skills in Speaking and Listening not only through Literacy sessions but in all areas of the curriculum. Speaking and listening play a crucial role inside and outside of school, therefore oral language should be planned for across the curriculum and explicitly taught.


Mathematics provides students with access to important mathematical ideas, knowledge and skills that they will draw on in their personal and work lives. At Derinya Primary School our focus is to develop confident, numerate learners who are able to investigate, reason and solve mathematical problems.

Maths Learning at Derinya

We believe in students actively participating in mathematics in the classroom. Lessons include games, real-life investigations and rich conversation about mathematical observations. Students are engaged with concrete materials and visual representation and progress to abstract recording using Mathematical symbols. Open- ended investigations requiring deep exploration are also a feature of Maths Learning. Students participate in activities at their level, supporting students to make individual progress by varying the pace of instruction or modifying the task to consolidate and/or extend learning.

Growth Mindset in Maths

At Derinya, we know that there is no such thing as a Non-Maths Person and everyone can do Maths to high levels. By learning and practicing a growth mindset and specifically growth mindset mathematics, we encourage our brains to grow and achieve math success. We encourage analyzing and discussion of maths, including how mistakes and confusion help us to learn and we provide differentiated maths tasks to support individual investigation and growth.

Mathematical Skills

The Mathematics curriculum focuses on developing increasingly sophisticated and refined mathematical understanding, fluency, reasoning, modelling and problem-solving. These capabilities enable students to respond to familiar and unfamiliar situations by employing mathematics to make informed decisions and solve problems efficiently.

Understanding: Students develop an understanding of the relationship between the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of mathematics. They will able to make connections between mathematical aspects and use existing knowledge to develop new ideas.

Fluency: Fluency describes students developing skills in choosing and efficiently carrying out appropriate procedures. They will be able to recall factual knowledge and concepts readily.

Problem-solving: Students will make choices, interpret, formulate, model and investigate problem situations and communicate solutions effectively.

Reasoning: Students will develop an increasingly sophisticated capacity for logical, statistical and probabilistic thinking and actions.

Mathematical Content

The Victorian Mathematics Curriculum is divided into 3 content strands: Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability. At Derinya, the Number and Algebra strand is a focus in Term 1 and these number learnings continue to be implemented and revised throughout the year.

Number and Algebra: Place Value, Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, Fractions, Decimals, Money, Financial Maths, Real Numbers, Patterns, Number Relationships.

Measurement and Geometry: Units of Measurement, Shape, Geometric Reasoning, Angles, Location, Position, Transformation, Pythagoras and Trigonometry

Statistics and Probability: Chance, Data Representation, Data Interpretation.


Blank for CSS (don't delete)
Performing Arts

Excellence in Performing Arts

Performing Arts at Derinya is a wonderful aspect of the schools culture. Each term there is a different focus subject including Music, Dance, Drama and the School Production. Our Performing Arts teachers have a passion and drive that makes lessons, learning and performances fun, engaging and exciting for everyone involved. In Performing Arts, we teach how to be a respectful audience, providing the students with a safe environment to learn the art of performing and gain the confidence to stand in front of their peers, friends and families.


Playing a musical instrument is the brain’s equivalent of a full-body workout. Unlike other brain-training activities like chess and sudoku, playing an instrument recruits almost every part of the brain, including regions that process vision, sound, movement, and memory.

Every student across the different year levels gets the opportunity to play an instrument. Through this experimentation students learn skills in the elements of music and music theory and develop a passion for music to enjoy as they develop.
Some of the instruments include;

  • Keyboards,
  • Ukuleles,
  • Glockenspiels,
  • Percussion Instruments,
  • Recorders,
  • Drums.




Dance has become a big part of the performing arts culture at Derinya with many opportunities to perform to a live audience. In the Performing Arts classroom, the dance workshops run by our expert staff, involve using the elements of dance and choreographic devices to create a dance.

The students work on innovation, technical skills and creativity while improving their coordination, confidence and performance qualities. Current research proves that dance is important for the mind and body as the students gain spatial awareness, strengthen muscles, improve balance, increase flexibility and work collaboratively with their peers to create and inspire.


Drama is a favourite amongst the students as they develop key skills such as expression, creativity, teamwork, communication, focus, self-esteem, language, emotional awareness and social regulation.

Through Drama some of the units studied include improvisation, mime, melodrama, script work, puppetry, circus skills and voice and character-building activities.


Visual Arts

The Visual Arts Program is designed to immerse our students in rich and creative learning experiences, where they are encouraged to communicate, challenge and express their ideas. Time in the Art Room allows students to develop their creativity, critical thinking, imagination and problem solving skills.

Students from Foundation to Year 6 visit the Art Room fortnightly, where they are engaged in activities that link to and enrich learning in the classroom. Our program includes elements of line, shape, colour, texture and form.

The Visual Arts Program includes:

  • Pottery
  • Sewing and Textiles
  • Painting
  • Collage
  • Drawing
  • Weaving
  • Dry felting
  • Paper Mache
  • Design

Our dedicated space is a fun, happy, engaging and bright place to learn and create.


The Science program is designed to develop students’ science understanding and science inquiry skills. Within their fortnightly sessions, students are engaged in hands on learning which covers the content strands of Science as a Human Endeavour; Biological Sciences; Chemical Sciences, Earth and Space Sciences and Physical Sciences.

Our junior students develop their awareness of self and their local world, while the focus for our senior students is on recognising questions that can be investigated scientifically and undertaking investigations. Underpinning all learning, is the development of key scientific skills, including:

  • Observing
  • Classifying
  • Quantifying
  • Predicting
  • Controlling variables
  • Interpreting
  • Communicating
  • Forming Conclusions

Sessions link to and enrich classroom learning and take place in our dedicated, well resourced science lab and around the school grounds.

Physical Education

In Physical Education, students develop the skills and knowledge to support and encourage them to be physically active now and for the rest of their life. All classes have weekly 45 minute Physical Education lessons with passionate PE teachers who provide a safe, engaging, inclusive and fun environment.


Students in Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2 explore many Fundamental Movement Skills and apply these in fun activities and games. We aim to build confidence and competence in their skills, to give them the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities.


Students in Years 3-6 continue to improve their skills and knowledge through modified games and activities, and begin to add tactical thinking to further improve their performances. Students learn about the physical, social and emotional health benefits that come with lifelong physical activity.
Years 3-6 students also participate in water safety activities at Mount Martha Life Saving Club each year.


The Japanese Program immerses all students from Foundation to Year 6 in engaging weekly lessons covering Japanese language and culture. Communicative ability is built through opportunities to speak Japanese in every lesson, to discover Japanese script and to apply learnt skills in meaningful ways. Derinya students become confident Japanese communicators, experience Japanese cultural activities and have opportunities to take their learning beyond the classroom.

Junior students embrace the weekly routine of singing, speaking, hands-on and worksheet tasks, in addition to discovering Japanese celebrations and customs. They are also introduced to Kanji script, calligraphy, traditional toys and games.

Senior students are challenged to expand their Japanese language and cultural knowledge through role play skits, comparisons of daily life and opportunities to directly interact and share with Japanese students. They learn the Hiragana and Katakana scripts and work independently to complete tasks and achieve their learning goals in Japanese.

Highlights of our Japanese Program include:

  • Incoming and outgoing student delegation visits between Derinya and Japan
  • Live Chats, Penpal Letters and Teddy Exchanges with Japan
  • Palaygo Email Exchange Program
  • Immersion lessons to create traditional Japanese dishes
  • Annual Japanese Speech Contest
  • Studies of Japanese scripts, calligraphy and typing
  • Celebration of Japanese Special Days
  • Lunchtime Japanese Club
  • Japanese Style Learning Space

In 2015, we built a dedicated Japanese style garden and classroom which has become a welcoming and peaceful hub for our Japanese learning and exchange activities with Japan. We provide exciting opportunities for our whole school community to actively participate in our Japanese Program, to embrace our strong links with Japan and to celebrate Japanese language and intercultural learning.

Connect with Japan

Derinya has built a strong connection with Frankston’s sister city, Susono and enjoys various exchange activities with the school communities of this beautiful city. Susono West Elementary School is our unofficial ‘sister school’ and hosts Derinya’s student delegations on our trips to Japan. These Derinya students experience Japanese culture and lifestyle firsthand through short homestays with Susono families, school visits and cultural excursions to student-researched places of interest.

Our school also welcomes many student groups from Japan, organises live chats, handwritten letters, artwork and even teddy bear exchanges to ensure that all students understand our connections with Japan, apply learnt skills and knowledge and form friendships with Japanese children. Our visitors come from all areas of Japan, including Susono and Tokyo.

Tutor Learning

The Tutor Learning Initiative (TLI) was designed to support students whose learning has been disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Initiative commenced in 2021 and has continued to grow supporting many children in the areas of literacy and numeracy.

The TLI is staffed by teachers at Derinya PS who work with small groups of students across multiple year levels to support their individual learning needs. Within these sessions, tutors utilise formative assessment data to guide their planning and employ a range of teaching strategies whilst working with the students. The current model sees students work in small groups outside of their classroom in a designated area that provides a welcoming learning space just like the classroom. Students receive instant feedback during their sessions and work towards a personalised goal.

Classroom teachers work collaboratively with tutors to ensure continuity between to the two and adjust the program as needed for students to thrive.

High Ability

Derinya takes a varied approach to teaching students with higher abilities. All teachers plan a differentiated curriculum, covering the full variety of needs of their students. In addition to this, a number of our students are working at levels significantly higher than expected and often require instruction beyond the regular differentiated classroom in their particular areas of strength.

Opportunities at Derinya for students who find themselves working well above expected levels include:

  • Select entry into the Victorian High Ability Program (VHAP). Available for students in Year 5/6 in
    Maths and English. Students are selected by DET based on a combination of their performance in NAPLAN and annual reporting and assessment. Students complete a short course over the period of a term with a remote learning teacher from Virtual Schools Victoria.
  • Participation in the Victorian Challenge and Enrichment Series (VCES). Intermittent virtual sessions with experts in a variety of fields including Writing, Maths, Science and Art (Year 3-6)
  • Participation in various competitions including:
    • ICAS testing in Maths, English, Computer Studies and Science (Year 3-6)
    • Premier’s Spelling Bee (Year 3-6)
    • APSMO Maths Olympiad (Year 5/6)
  • Engineers in Schools program, allowing students in Year 5/6 the opportunity to work with an undergraduate engineer in small group sessions to learn about all things STEM.

Personal and Social Capabilities

The Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships (RRRR) teaching and learning resources have been developed to support schools to develop student knowledge, understanding and skills to build and manage safe and respectful relationships. In the Personal and Social Capability curriculum, students learn to recognise and regulate emotions, develop empathy for others and establish and build a framework for positive relationships.

The RRRR learning materials use a range of collaborative learning strategies which in themselves, provide opportunities to develop social skills. The activities also explicitly engage with the key content areas of:

  • Emotional literacy
  • Decision making
  • Problem solving
  • Positive self-regard
  • Stress management
  • Positive coping
  • Help-seeking and peer support
  • Gender and identity
  • Positive gender relationships.

The teaching and learning activities use a range of collaborative learning activities such as paired sharing, small group problem solving, scenario-based discussions, skill development exercises, role plays, storytelling, games, experiential activities and class discussions.

Schools are places where children learn how to interact with others and work together in a respectful way. Respectful Relationships is a whole-school approach, recognising that schools are a place of learning, a workplace and a key part of local communities. It embeds a culture of respect and equality across our entire school community, from our classrooms to staffrooms, sporting fields and social events. This approach leads to positive impacts on students’ academic outcomes, their mental health, class behaviour, and relationships between teachers and students.