At James Cook Primary School we recognise that language is central to students’ sense of identity, belonging and growth.  We recognise that the three language modes are interdependent:

  • Speaking and Listening – Oral language is fundamental to the development of understanding. We aim to develop increasing confidence and competence in speaking and listening for our students so that they are able to express their ideas and explain their thinking clearly, adapt their speech to a wide range of circumstances using varied and specialised vocabulary, speak for a range of purposes e.g. to narrate, to analyse, to explain, to reflect and evaluate and be able to listen with understanding and respond sensitively and appropriately.
  • Reading and Viewing – Reading should be enjoyable and be able to be used to assist with learning. We aim to develop increasing confidence and competence in reading so that our students are able to read fluently, accurately and with understanding at all levels – literal, applied and inferential, and that our students become independent and critical readers and make informed and appropriate choices
  • Writing – Much of students’ learning includes and depends on written communication. We aim to develop increasing confidence and competence in writing so that our students are able to write in a variety of forms for different purposes, using wide-ranging and technical vocabulary and an effective style, organising and structuring whole texts coherently. Our expectations are set for writing clearly using accurate punctuation, grammar correct spelling and legible handwriting. Should will also be able to apply word processing conventions and understand the principles of multimedia text.



At James Cook Primary School, we place high importance on developing our student’s numeracy skills and number fluency sequentially from Foundation to Year 6, as Mathematics becomes part of our everyday existence. It is common knowledge that almost all future careers will require proficiency in Numeracy. Our Mathematics delivery model is always being reviewed and refined based on recent evidence in effectiveness of teaching to ensure that your child will have the best opportunity to grow in this crucial area. We deliver effective lessons based on a multi-levelled approach to Numeracy to ensure students are working towards their own numeracy goals, in an individualised approach to Mathematics.

Number fluency is developed and practiced daily through our ‘Daily Practice’ program, which aims to identify and attend to areas of need of the individual learner.  This program also fosters the automatic recall of mathematical facts.

At James Cook Primary, we deliver our Mathematics Curriculum in a hands-on and engaging manner with particular emphasis concepts such as place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division as well as fractions, decimals, and financial mathematics. There is a strong focus on problem-solving through real-life application of concepts being taught. Our teachers are consistently analysing through rich data provided from a range of formative assessments to inform targeted lesson planning to address each child’s specific needs, whilst tailoring a comprehensive coverage of the Victorian Curriculum.


Specialist Subjects

Music at James Cook Primary School

Music is highly valued at JCPS. We know and understand the importance of developing students in a holistic way and music is one of the most powerful tools for doing just that. In Years Prep – Two, students learn to love music with experiences in listening, singing, moving, playing and creating. Students develop skills in, and understanding of the musical elements of beat, rhythm, pitch, dynamics, and tempo. Students in Years Three and Four continue to become more familiar with non-tuned and tuned percussion instruments, as well as music of other cultures. ‘Orff-Shulwerk’ based techniques and performance pieces become a major focus for students to work towards. Years Five and Six students participate in ‘Musical Futures,’ an informal, student-centred approach to Music that is fast becoming the most popular music program across the globe. Musical Futures allows students to be learning and collaborating with their peers to present and perform a variety of musical pieces in a number of ways. iPad Technology is utilised in this approach, allowing students to manipulate and compose music in ways that are conducive to 21st century learning.

We also provide students in Years Three to Six the opportunity to be involved in the school choir or ensemble group, as opportunities for students with a passion for music to extend their capabilities. Both groups participate in various performance opportunities throughout the year.

JCPS also offers keyboard and guitar lessons here at school through external companies, ‘Guitar Stars’ and ‘Primary Music Institute’. For any queries about the program please don’t hesitate to contact the school.

Science at James Cook Primary School

Science is gaining momentum with primary school students across the nation. We believe that all students need an understanding of science to make sense of their world. Here at JCPS we provide an inquiry based approach to the four Science strands: Chemical Science, Earth and Space Science, Biology and Physics. Utilising the ‘Primary Connections’ science program allows students to work towards and develop the following learning outcomes:

  • Be interested in and understand the world around them
  • Engage in the discourses of and about science
  • Be sceptical and question claims made by others about scientific matters
  • Be able to identify questions, investigate and draw evidence-based conclusions, and
  • Make informed decisions about the environment and their own health and well being

Lessons are fun, engaging and most of all hands on! Our students love the program and are always excited to be a part of it. Come and take a look to see what all the fuss is about.

Visual Arts at James Cook Primary School

Only some of the students who participate in Art classes will go on to work in Arts-related fields, but all students will need the skills that are developed in the Art room for careers of the future. The Arts develop our skills in areas such as critical thinking, problem solving, risk taking, collaboration, creativity, innovation, flexibility, self-direction and persistence and all of these skills are listed as imperative to the workforce of the 21st century.  For one hour each week every James Cook student has time to explore, experiment and create using a range of Visual Arts techniques, materials, processes and technologies and to view, discuss and analysis their own art work and the art work of others.


Physical Education at James Cook Primary School

At James Cook students participate in a weekly session of Physical Education. Junior school lessons are focused on the Fundamental Movement Skills of run, jump, hop, skip, leap, catch, throw and kick. These skills are incorporated into activities including gymnastics, minor games and skill sessions. Senior school students are using the skills learned in the junior school and putting them into game situations. Learning tactics and game sense in an important part of all games and many of these are transferable to a number of sports.

Year 5/6 students at James Cook Primary School participate in Interschool Sport against other schools in our District on a Friday morning.

James Cook holds an annual Cross Country Event for all students and a House Athletics Carnival for students from Years 3-6. These events allow us to choose students to represent James Cook at District level. We also participate in the District Swimming Carnival.

James Cook knows the importance of all students learning to swim. We offer a two-week intensive swimming program for students from Prep to 6.

School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support

James Cook Primary School has adopted School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS) as a prevention framework, to enhance academic and social behaviour outcomes for all of our students.

SWPBS encompasses practices that provide students with feedback on the accuracy and use of their social skills and behaviours, in the same manner that feedback is provided for successful and accurate academic performance.

The SWPBS framework is implemented to improve academic and social behaviour outcomes for all students. The guiding principles of SWPBS are:

  • Behaviour can be changed / taught.
  • Learning environments can be created / modified to change behaviour.
  • Consistent systems of support are necessary for both students and adults.

SWPBS has demonstrated:

  • Increased academic performance
  • Improved perception of safety
  • Reduced problem behaviour
  • Reduced bullying behaviours
  • Improved social-emotional competence
  • Increased positive school climate and culture

We have created a clearly defined set of expected behaviours based on common language and our vision:

James Cook Primary School Purpose Statement

“Our goal is to build successful and responsible learners, in a safe and respectful environment.”

A ‘Matrix of Expectations’ has been developed and is in the early stages of implementation. 

SWPBS Expectations Matrix 2020

The matrix is based on research around the most effective classroom management strategies ß Engagement – Rules – Routines – Praise and Feedback – Consistent Response to Behaviours of Concern à all of which are most effective when they are part of a school-wide approach built on positive teacher-student relationships across all settings.

A school-wide process for developing and explicitly teaching appropriate and positive behaviours is the next step in our journey.