Classroom Culture, Management and Routines

Student learning improves when expectations are clear and routines are consistent. Our goal is to establish a warm, positive and respectful culture.

At the commencement of the year, Pastoral Care teachers establish essential agreements with students about the respectful function of the learning community. Time and attention is taken to ensure these agreements are well established and maintained during the year.

A calm, respectful and responsive tone is expected, including prior to and at the end of each lesson. Staff are responsible for maintaining the tone and culture of the College and support one another with a united and collaborative approach.


  • Lessons are to start and finish on time
  • Teachers are responsible for administering consequences for late arrival
  • Teachers welcome students to Pastoral Care at 8.20am each morning

Lesson Times

Lesson Times

Class Placement and Promotion of Students

Placement of students in classes is an extensive process that involves consultation with relevant teachers and other senior staff in order to choose the right mix of students for each cohort. Factors taken into consideration include the size of the class, academic balance, gender balance, friendship groups, learning needs and placement of siblings.

The College supports the view that students should generally progress through the year levels with their age peers.
On occasion, an exception to enable a student to repeat a year level may be made if:

  • They need to improve competence in literacy and numeracy, and/or
  • They need to develop in social maturity, and
  • The parents and Principal are in full agreement

Class placements for the following year may be communicated to parents late in Term 4.  

Classroom Furniture Layout for Learning

Classroom layouts are flexible and are set to maximise learning and a sense of belonging. They are set to enable for collaboration, coaching and for teachers to provide individual attention.

  • Optimal layouts are collaborative table groups, or a U-shape for desks. Research shows students seated in a U-shape layout ask more questions and are more engaged as teachers actively move between students to coach and monitor during lesson times.
  • There should be adequate floor space for circle time and a space where some student may need to be alone for self-regulation. It is good to use circle time often which may need floor space and furniture can be moved to suit the learning need.
  • Primary classroom layouts are established by Pastoral Care Group teachers.
  • Preferred layout for a secondary classroom are collaborative groups or U-shape desks, except for during examinations.
  • Soft furnishings, plants and lamps are suggested for all classroom spaces to provide comfort and choice for students.


Current research shows that homework has some benefits for older students but is of little benefit for younger students.
We encourage primary aged children to spend time playing outside, participating in family conversations and chores, engaging in literature, music and sport, and developing their own gifts and interests. Nightly reading is vital for all primary aged students and we expect all students from Foundation to Year 6 to participate in a formal nightly reading program.

Foundation-Year 2 students may be asked to discover things outside of school as well as completing their reading. No other formal homework will be set at this stage of education.

Year 3-6 students will use homework for consolidating skills such as spelling and multiplication tables, in addition to their nightly reading. There may be times when students are required to complete a short task or seek information from parents or extended family members to meet a particular classroom need.

Year 7-9 students are expected to complete between 45-60 minutes on work tasks outside the classroom. Pastoral Care teachers are responsible for ensuring an appropriate amount of homework is set and are to negotiate with subject teachers if they feel the expectations exceed 60 minutes. Students should plan how to organise time and materials and engage in research and problem solving tasks. They are encouraged to continue nightly reading through the Wider Reading component of the English Curriculum.

Year 10-12 students should expect to complete a minimum of 1-3 hours of independent work each night.

Parents can assist students to successfully complete their homework by:

  • Providing a well-lit, comfortable, quiet place for students to do their homework.
  • Encouraging students to schedule a regular time to do homework each night.
  • Checking with students or SEQTA on homework requiring completion and making sure students understand the tasks set.
  • Keeping track of how long students are taking to do their homework and contact teachers via email if concerned.
  • Encouraging students to speak to their teacher if they are struggling with a homework task.
  • Encouraging older students to take regular breaks.
  • Encourage responsible use of social media – we recommend parents closely monitor their child’s use of devices and that social media is not used during on task time (unless directly used for research). For assistance with managing devices refer to Family Zone for Portside Christian College


Assemblies are an important part of College life, giving a regular opportunity to share information, recognise student achievements, learn more about God and worship together.

  • Primary assembly is held weekly on Monday morning in Lesson 1 (8.55-9.40am) in the Portlife Church auditorium.
  • Secondary assembly is held weekly on Thursday morning in Lesson 3 (10.45-11.30am) in the Portlife Church auditorium.

Unfortunately, due to current COVID restrictions, assemblies may not always take place. Parents will only able to attend College assemblies by invitation at this time.

Assemblies are an important part of College life, providing a regular opportunity to share information, recognise student achievements.