Our Learning

“Tell me and I forget,
show me and I remember,
involve me and I understand.”
Inquiry is a problem-based, student centred way of teaching that incorporates Health, History, Geography, Economics, Civics, Science and Creative and Critical Thinking. Learning through an inquiry approach encourages students to develop their abilities to ask questions, design investigations, interpret evidence, form explanations and arguments, and communicate findings.
Before students begin each new inquiry cycle teachers consider:
  • What is the key idea?
  • What big questions will we explore?
  • Why is it important to know this?
  • What skills, strategies, qualities and values will we learn along the way?
the process of inquiry
Tuning In > Finding Out & Sorting Out > Action
we offer specialty programs in science, technology, engineering, art and math

specialty programs


Numeracy lessons follow a similar model to our literacy lessons with a mix of targeted teaching to the point of need, independent learning to practise concepts and small group or partner work. Targeted teaching is flexible in nature meaning that students may be working in different groups and at different levels depending on the concept that is being taught.

More traditional approaches are supplemented with the 5E’s inquiry model. This approach encourages students to question, surmise, generalise and form meaningful links and connections to other skills and concepts.

5 E's Inquiry model
  • Engage -tuning in
  • Explore- going deeper
  • Explain- explicit teaching
  • Elaborate -applying concepts
  • Evaluate-Assessing Knowledge


The teaching of high quality literacy programs creates students that are confidently able to understand, communicate and interact with others and with the world around them. Writing and reading are intricately linked and are often taught alongside each other for the best outcomes.

Teachers in classes F/1 and 2/3 are trained in the Multisensory Structured Language (MSL) approach for teaching reading and spelling. It is a systematic and cumulative approach simultaneously involving the use of visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic-tactile pathways to enhance memory and learning of written language.

Writing is a skill that grows with practice and at Parkhill practice is plentiful with daily writing sessions across all year levels. Incorporating elements of orthography, phonology, morphology and etymology. Students are explicitly taught writer’s technique at the word level, sentence level, paragraph level and whole text level. Individual goal setting, conferences and the use of common programs, such as 7 Steps to Writing Success allows students to fine tune their skills and adapt and apply them across multiple genres, such as narrative, recount and persuasive writing. Photo of 7 Steps, writing goals and students writing

At all levels of the school Parkhill uses the CAFE model, which focuses on the four main elements of reading:

  • Comprehension
  • Accuracy
  • Fluency
  • Expanding Vocabulary

This approach allows students to work on at their own level by choosing books to read that are ‘good fit’ for them individually.

During readers’ workshops teachers will run ‘mini lessons’ for a small group of students that target specific skills no matter what level the students are reading at. These groups are flexible and change often to meet the needs of each student.

This approach also allows teachers to conference with individual students and to set, work towards and reassess individual reading goals and targets.

Using a common approach and language around reading ensures that the students are able to understand their reading development and expand on it as they move through the levels of their schooling.

additional programs
At Parkhill we offer rich and engaging programs on top of our quality classroom experiences. These programs aim to foster curiosity and develop creative and critical thinking skills through hands-on and real life experiences.

junior school

Using Choosing Time our students develop communication and social skills, through exploratory play activities that are hands on and creative.

senior school

Our Parkhill TV program develops multi-media such as journalism, acting, directing, and screenwriting.

The Socratic Discussions teach critical thinking through the preparation of robust discussions about important issues.

We have a Leadership program to grow our leaders of the future.


optional programs

  • Private music lessons
  • Choir
  • Solar car
  • Robo cup
  • Games Club
  • Gateways
  • Sporting Schools
  • Camps
  • Interschool Sport

The Tutor Learning  Initiative will continue with individual and small group targeted intervention provided to identified students. Students needing support are identified through data analysis and ongoing assessment. Targeted teaching intervention to improve student outcomes further supports classroom programs.

QuickSmart is an intervention program designed for students who experience persistent difficulties in numeracy. The program provides a framework with short and targeted lessons for educators to work through with students. The aim of the program is to enable students to become automatic (quick) in their basic skills in order to move onto more complex problem-solving skills. As their competence increases their ability to self-learn improves.
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