Learning & Curriculum


At Hawthorn West PS, students have the opportunity to experience success through a varied and challenging curriculum, with a particular emphasis placed on literacy and numeracy.

Hawthorn West PS also features specialist programs in Music, Visual Arts, STEM, Physical Education & Sport, and LOTE (Japanese). Additional assistance programs are provided to students with special needs. 

Our comprehensive and integrated curriculum programs are based on the Victorian Curriculum, supplemented by a wide variety of additional resources.


The wellbeing of our students, teachers and families is extremely important to us. HWPS has been working with internationally acclaimed psychology researcher, Professor Lea Waters, with Visible Wellbeing™ (VWB). VWB combines the science of wellbeing with the science of learning and teaching to make wellbeing visible in all classrooms throughout the school. The VWB techniques help teachers to use the learning process itself as a delivery mechanism to build student wellbeing. VWB is not a set curriculum, it is a flexible approach which can be applied across any subject matter, and in all contexts – early learning, primary, secondary, and in the staff room.

Students and teachers work within the SEARCH Framework:

Strengths – strengths can be thought of as personal characteristics and allows students to perform at their best.

Emotional Management – Being present with our emotions and being able to identify, understand and manage our emotions.

Attention and Awareness – Ability to focus on the inner aspects of self and to be aware of the stimulus as this occurs.

Relationships – Social skills play an important role with building relationships with others.

Coping – Having the resilience to cope with adversity and being able to bounce back when thrown off balance.

Habits & Goals – Identifying habits that are automatic and knowing how to break bad habits and create good habits.

Professional Learning Communities

At HWPS our major emphasis is to ensure our focus at all times is on improving student learning. To ensure this focus, HWPS prides itself as a Professional Learning Community (PLC). A PLC is a community where teachers are committed to working collaboratively in an ongoing process of inquiry and action research to achieve better results for students. Teachers at HWPS meet weekly to work through a cycle of inquiry to drive improvement in their practice and student learning outcomes. At HWPS we are structured into five Professional Learning Communities across the school – Foundation, Grade 1/2, Grade 3/4, Grade 5/6 and Specialist PLC. Teachers consistently use student data to support them to plan a differentiated and targeted curriculum, and to meet the learning needs of all students to ensure progress for every student.

Specialist Program

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Minasan Yokoso (みんなさんようこそ). Welcome everyone to Japanese at Hawthorn West. All students have fifty minutes of Japanese every week. The aim of the Japanese environment is to immerse and engage students in the language and culture of Japan. Students are introduced to the hiragana, katakana and kanji (character) writing scripts and develop their knowledge through various activities such as role plays, IPad apps and interactive games. Our Japanese language program is real-life experienced based and students also learn culture including shodo (Japanese calligraphy), bento box craft and traditional festivals.

Music plays an important role in developing every student’s wellbeing and confidence. In the weekly lessons, students sing, play pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments, ukuleles and recorders, and learn about the musical world here in Australia and around the world. We follow a Kodály based curriculum, particularly in F-2, where students learn to perform, create, audiate, improvise – and, first and foremost, enjoy music. In later years we explore Music Technology, creating backing tracks for raps and commercials. We have a Concert Band and two choirs, one of which is involved in the Victorian State School Spectacular Mass Choir every year. Students regularly perform in the weekly assemblies.

Physical Education & Sport

The Physical Education program at Hawthorn West Primary school aims to build the foundations of healthy and active lifestyles and give an opportunity for each student to enjoy, succeed and be challenged in a range of different sports and skills. The program is taught in accordance with the Victorian Curriculum with its main focus to develop and refine key fundamental motor and movement skills. As the students’ progress their skill set they apply complex motor skills and game concepts such as game knowledge, strategising and working in teams to achieve goals in a range of sports. Extra-curricular activities are an integral part of the Physical Education program at Hawthorn West Primary School. Students in Foundation participate in the Perceptual Motor Program which aims to develop skills relating to balance, hand-eye and eye-foot co-ordination, locomotion and fitness. Students from Grade 3-6 participate in house sporting carnivals such as Swimming, Cross Country and Athletics which provides a platform to progress to interschool competition. Grade 5-6 students also compete in weekly Kew District interschool sport competition in a variety of team sports.


STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The STEM program at Hawthorn West Primary school aims to inspire students to think creatively and scientifically whilst developing a love for discovery. Lessons are adapted from the Victorian Curriculum in Science, Design and Technology and Digital Technologies with an underlying focus on sustainability. Students may be coding with a Dash Robot or Sphero Bolt one week, then be investigating chemical reactions in Science in another. Lessons are hands on, engaging and fun. Students are encouraged to be critical thinkers, ask lots of questions and to be open to challenges and new ideas. A collaborative approach to learning is modelled and encouraged to enable the next generation of innovators!

Visual Art

The students are given many opportunities to be curious learners through the exploration of different media and development of their skills in manipulating it to achieve their creative expression. Students gain confidence by experimenting with construction, paint, textiles, pencils and markers, mixed media etc. Investigating and comparing artists as well as different styles of art are a regular part of the visual arts program. They also learn about the importance of the elements and principals of art in order to achieve their best. Students use these understandings as a spring board for their own ideas to create 2D and 3D art. Presentation of work is a skill in itself and the students are given opportunities to work on how best to display their work and give it the finishing touch.