Sunrise seeks to provide an excellent educational environment for Christian parents desiring a Biblical Christian education for their children. Another of our distinctives is that the criteria for every curriculum area, is evaluated in the light of Biblical teaching.
Sunrise approaches the eight areas of learning, as articulated by the Commonwealth Government, with the aim to successfully educate each student to achieve personal excellence and the attributes of a quality leader to help fulfil their God given destiny. They will be provided with the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary for the transition to secondary and tertiary education and eventually the workforce.
At Sunrise, we believe that faith is for all of life. We do not teach ‘Bible’ or ‘Christian Studies’ as a separate subject. To do so is to imply that faith is separate to the rest of life. Each school day starts with a class devotion or an assembly of praise and encouragement. Each day presents moments to pray with the children. Every subject brings opportunities to draw attention to the character of God, or to expound the intricacies of his creation. Each day concludes with a reflection time and opportunities for thanksgiving. We encourage our teachers to be an extension of the home to make the most of those ‘teachable moments’ to train and reinforce right behaviour, to honour and glorify God, and to instil a healthy and rounded world view.
Sunrise recognises that a formal, consistent, teacher directed and cyclic programme, which incorporates the student’s individual creativity and learning style, should be followed for teaching to be effective. This also enables the keeping of objective and accurate records using standardised tests. Teachers adhere to a lesson allocation guide to ensure a well-rounded curriculum is presented and that all subject areas are allocated appropriate time.
At Sunrise the learning area of English is divided into seven categories – reading, literature, spelling, writing, listening, speaking and drama. Each category is a tool in which to learn about and appreciate the creative attributes of God.
The School has developed a language syllabus which provides the staff with expectations and ideas in the teaching of each language area.
Sunrise uses an intensive phonic approach to teach spelling, reading and comprehension. Our data indicates that there are a far greater proportion of students becoming fluent readers and confident spellers using this phonetic approach. Sight words and high frequency words are also included in the programme. In Junior Primary classes English is taught both as a whole class and in small groups.
Upper Primary spelling classes use the S.R.A. Spelling Mastery Programme while the S.R.A. Reading laboratories are used as a basis for teaching reading. The teaching of grammar is also intensive and focuses on the mechanics of the English language. It is a goal of our programme that the education offered at Sunrise is balanced; therefore, we use a variety of text both classic and contemporary.
Testing and assessing occurs through formal and informal means. The formal assessment includes standardised tests in Week 7 of Terms 2and 4, the International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) at the Grade 4 and 6 Level and the Western Australian Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (WALNA) in Grades 3, 5 and 7. The informal assessments are conducted as part of the requirements in the individual syllabuses in all grades.
Our English Programme includes support for children who have English as a second language. Care is taken to integrate these children into the classroom with some use of a specialist teacher and Learning Assistance Programme helpers to give one to one aid on a regular basis.
Sunrise curriculum is based on the belief that studying Mathematics is learning about one aspect of the order of the world and indirectly learning more about the God who created it. We believe that Mathematics is part of the truth and order that God has built into reality.
The early years of schooling are the foundation on which the later years will build; therefore, Sunrise has adopted a policy of a systematic and careful instruction for each student covering the areas of – problem solving, number, measurement and space.
Careful directed teaching means that students learn to go from the concrete to abstract, from the particular to the general, from content to concept, see relationships between one fact and another, be precise and exact in their thinking and learn to apply Mathematics in order to function in daily life.
Each junior primary grade level teacher follows a precise curriculum designed to cover all mathematical concepts appropriate for their age. The methodology takes a variety of styles:
• Investigating, manipulating and experimenting with materials in order to learn new concepts
• Practice of learned skills
• Testing formally and informally
• Rote Learning
These expectations are clearly spelled out with appropriate activities and worksheets for each student. The activities and support worksheets are designed to cater for three levels in the classroom; the student coming to terms with the content, the student coping with the work satisfactorily and the student who is in need of extension. The system does not lock a student into a group but allows the student to move between the groupings depending on the concept.
The primary years of school are the "gathering and application of facts" years. They provide the time for gaining the tools and facts that the student needs to move into the social and business world as well as more abstract maths concepts.
Grades 3 – 7 at Sunrise use a variety of resources to ensure that cyclic and well rounded topics are presented. The basis for the programme is the Addison-Wesley Mathematics text supplied with teacher guide, extension and review work. Testing and assessing occurs through formal and informal means and includes the International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) at the Grade 4 and 6 level and the Western Australian Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (WALNA) in Grade 3, 5 and 7 and the Math Olympiad at Grade 7.
Although introduced at the Grade 4 level, the use of calculators is not common until Grades 6 and 7, as it is important that each of the students understands the processes well, before using the calculator. Ready recall of number facts and tables is expected and encouraged to aid students to be fast and accurate in their thinking.
Problem solving is incorporated into the mathematics syllabus; however, the school has also developed a problem solving syllabus including De Bono’s Thinking Hats with an awareness of Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences and other relevant learning theories. This syllabus obviously encompasses more than Mathematics.
Students at Sunrise will also have the opportunity to participate in competitions such as the State and National Primary School Mathematics Challenge organised by the Primary Mathematics Association.
Languages Other Than English (L.O.T.E.)
Sunrise recognises the value of teaching children a language other than English. The school has implemented a policy of formal, graded teaching of French, German, Indonesian or Italian (depending on the campus that the student is attending). Emphasis is placed on conversational language rather than focusing on grammar and care is taken to incorporate social, cultural, and historical aspects of the language.
A specialist teacher is employed to teach the L.O.T.E. curriculum at each campus.
Sunrise appreciates that students in the new millennium live with advanced and ever changing technology. The technology curriculum is designed to help the children appreciate, understand and explore technologies that they use in everyday life. Technology develops out of scientific principles, mathematical concepts and students will gain confidence in new situations as their foundations are reinforced. The technology curriculum, aims to help children understand the very nature of technology and how it relates to them.
Computers and related technology have become indispensable in our society and it is vital that students are confident to use these tools.
The school has adopted a policy of locating two ‘stand alone’ computers in each upper primary classroom for easy access on a rostered timetable. These computers can provide a means to help students learn in a range of curriculum areas. The school also provides a fleet of laptops that are used by classes on a rotational basis to integrate the use of computers into their lessons.
Studies of Society and Environment
Sunrise Christian School is committed to educating students about their world and how it relates to God, with particular reference to Australia, its heritage and its future. Students often commence formal education with a very limited understanding of the wider community. Sunrise curriculum systematically exposes the student to new information and new concepts through Social Studies, Australian Studies, Geography and History.
The SOSE Curriculum comprises of a Reception – Grade 5 syllabus that focuses on
• Australia, its history and geography
• our South East Asian and Pacific neighbours
The Grade 6 and 7 syllabus use A Beka textbooks as a core, with the addition of many other books and resources as appropriate.
Old World History and Geography (Grade 6)
The Grade 6 students focus on
• ancient world politics, history and geography
• Australian early history and geography
New World History and Geography (Grade 7)
The Grade 7 students focus on
• world politics, history and geography
• Aboriginal Studies
• Australian Government
Goals of the curriculum range from helping the student to understanding God’s plan for families in Reception, to helping the student develop a Biblical world view by the end of Grade 7.
Environmental issues are given careful coverage. Genesis 1:28 gives mankind the stewardship of God’s creation. Godly stewardship understands that the earth is the Lords and we are charged to care, nurture and conserve it.
Sunrise is committed to giving students a hope for the future and promoting an attitude of serving. Students are encouraged to participate in community projects and special research so that they become independent learners and thoughtful community members.
Creative Arts are an imitation and an expression of our observation of God’s handiwork.
Sunrise provides for instruction and practice in music and dance, through specialist teachers and classroom teacher input using a set curriculum. Emphasis is not only placed on instruction and performance but also on appreciation and pleasure.
Sunrise aims to teach each child skills of drawing, painting, printing and modelling and to give them opportunities to practise and refine these skills using a variety of media.
Music is an important aspect of the school’s life. The children have the opportunity to sing and play instruments in devotions each morning and during weekly assemblies.
The school has a music programme that is taught in each grade level by a music specialist using the Upbeat, LEM and Music Room programmes.
Specialist music tutors are available to teach musical instruments throughout the day.
Health – Physical Education and Personal Development
At Sunrise Physical Education includes the teaching and training of children in the area of their physical development encompassing
• games and skills
• social, physical and emotional health
• co-ordination and balance
• rhythm and movement to music
• general enjoyment of participation in games and sport
We follow the biblical principles of
• whole-hearted effort for God (Col. 3:23)
• the truth that our bodies are "temples of the Holy Spirit (1Cor. 3:16) and as such, need careful attention to be healthy
• God wants us to co-operate with others, and "bear with each other" (Romans 12:10, 16-18, Romans 15:1)
Sunrise uses the Daily Physical Education Programme as a resource. The school aims to systematically teach skills, improve fitness and enable each student to leave school with an excellent attitude and foundation for future personal fitness.
The whole school has a daily fitness time as well as a weekly physical education lesson.
Extra curricular sports follow a specific policy, which encourages qualified parents and teachers to take responsibility for organising competitive basketball, netball, cricket, football and soccer in local competitions.
Sunrise also participates in the South Australian Primary Schools Amateur Sports Association (SAPSASA) and South Australian Christian Schools Association (SACSA) sporting competitions.
Science is taught in a similar way to all other curriculum areas. A firm foundation is laid in the Junior Primary years. This is built on in the later years effectively becoming a cyclic pattern with year by year reinforcement.
The foundation for our teaching of science is Creation. Students are directed to Genesis, not as a scientific textbook but as a book of beginnings.
The use of a Junior Primary Science Curriculum and the A Beka science text form the foundation for Grades 3-7 and provide a logical and orderly approach to the teaching of science at Sunrise.
Students are taught to explore, discover, question, predict, evaluate, review, examine and learn.
Individual interests of students are fostered and encouraged while the set curriculum is consistently taught.
Areas explored in Science include the Solar System, Space and Travel, The Atmosphere, Weather, The Ocean and its Creatures, Chemistry, Geology, Volcanoes, Rocks, Minerals, Weathering and Fossils, Waves and Sounds, Light and Colour, Magnetism, Electricity, Vertebrates and Invertebrates and Dinosaurs.