Learning & Teaching
The Victorian Curriculum is the prescribed curriculum for all Victorian Schools (Foundation – Year 10).
“The curriculum is the common set of knowledge and skills required by students for life-long learning, social development and active and informed citizenship.” (http://victoriancurriculum.vcaa.vic.edu.au/)
There are eight Learning Areas in the Victorian Curriculum: Literacy and Numeracy have a high priority in the early years and form the basis for all learning. Children who are literate and numerate are able to transfer those skills to other curriculum areas.
A school-wide assessment schedule carefully tracks each student’s progress. The results of these assessments provide invaluable information to teachers, who use this data to plan rich learning experiences that are geared to each student’s point of need. It gives teachers opportunities to monitor, assess and confidently report on the learning achievement of every student.
The Victorian Curriculum is implemented at St Paul’s from Prep (Foundation) to Grade 6. It incorporates the Australian Curriculum and reflects Victorian standards and priorities. It will provide all students with a sequential curriculum framework that guides their learning, as well as providing measures of learning achievement that allow students, teachers and parents the opportunity to assess student performance against expected achievement standards.
At St Paul’s we are committed to delivering a rich English curriculum that ensures children gain vital literacy skills whilst developing their love of literature. Using the Victorian curriculum aligned with the Catholic Education Melbourne’s Horizons of Hope Framework, the following areas are taught:
- Reading and Viewing,
- Speaking and Listening
English is taught through a whole/small/whole group model for learning. Teachers differentiate their teaching through focus groups ensuring student’s learning is personalised and individual needs are catered for.
A range of intervention takes place at St Paul’s including, in the junior years, the use of reading recovery strategies in small focus groups for both reading and writing and, in the middle and senior areas, the use of the ERIK program. Students with additional needs are supported through a variety of tailored programs offered by our Literacy and Wellbeing Leaders, CEO school advisors, speech pathologists and Learning Support Officers.
At St. Paul’s, we aim to enhance and promote the importance of literature and literacy, both within the school and in the local and wider community. We participate in numerous activities and events such as Book Week (a favourite!), weekly assemblies prepared and hosted by different classes, National Simultaneous Reading Day, the Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge, the YABBA Young Authors Awards, author and illustrator visits, visits to our local library, an annual Book Fair, participation in the ICAS reading, spelling and writing competitions (biennially) and cross-aged literacy activities.
Mathematics is a powerful means of communication, which helps us represent, explain and predict events in our world. It is a means to prepare for and enhance work skills which are fundamental to everyday living.
Our mathematics program aims to provide students with the confidence and competency to deal with maths in their daily life. Student’s individual abilities are assessed and learning opportunities are catered to their needs. This includes using technology and other activities to further support their learning.
Jesus is our leader
At St.Paul’s Catholic Primary School, we acknowledge Jesus as our leader and are inspired to continue this journey in the spirit of St. Paul and the sisters of Mercy. All teachings underpin the Gospel values, whilst incorporating God’s presence into our daily lives through sacramentality.
Religion at St Paul’s brings together the essential components of Knowledge and Understanding, Responding and Reasoning, and Personal and Communal Engagement. We aspire to educate and to challenge our students to recognise injustices and help others to rise above them Children address the needs of people in the parish and wider community through school initiatives including “The Mini Vinnies Group”. Interwoven into this is sacramentality, whereby students can identify God’s presence as a real experience, enhancing children’s understanding that God is present in everything around us.
Using the text To Know, Worship and Love, and the Gospel, children are provided with the opportunity to engage and celebrate the Good News through reflection, prayer and action. The curriculum complements the work of the parish and parents to strengthen student’s relationship and belief in Christ as a person in their daily lives.
Sacraments at St Paul’s are offered to children at the following year levels:
Penance- Year 3
Eucharist- Year 4
Confirmation- Year 6
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
At St. Paul’s we aim to give our students all the necessary skills they will need in our contemporary world. STEM, the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, learning provides students with important skills for their everyday life and well into the future.
Computational thinking; breaking problems into small parts, using pattern recognition, determining and prioritizing important information and using algorithms to solve simple problems is taught from Prep. Children of this age group have a natural and innate curiosity about the world they live in, which makes this the perfect time to begin!
Junior students can look forward to using our robot BeeBots, writing scripts of code using Scratch Jr. and unplugged activities like solving maze problems, reading algorithms and following flow charts. These activities promote essential learning skills, including; critical thinking, creativity, resilience and persistence.
As students move through year levels, we strive to deepen their understanding of the world and expand their thinking skills. They will use a range of processes to scaffold their learning, working towards applying these skills independently by the time they reach Year 6. These processes include; design process, research process, scientific process, field study process and problem-solving process. Seniors use a variety of tools, including Lego WeDO 2.0, to utilize engineering principles and create models to solve problems. Using a range of programs, students develop coding-specific skills that can be transferred to most real word scenarios. These include;
We hold an annual STEM-based competition ‘St. Paul’s Young Designer Award’ to coincide with National Science Week. This event encourages families to join the fun and work together to develop and apply their STEM knowledge. Students are given options to cultivate their passions in this area such as STEM clubs, Lego clubs and coding clubs.
Science education at St Paul’s School is designed to develop in students the ability to ask questions and to find answers about the physical and biological world. The Science curriculum is based on the Victorian Curriculum (2016). It focuses on two main Dimensions:
- SCIENCE UNDERSTANDINGS
- SCIENCE INQUIRY SKILLS
A variety of teaching styles are employed to cater for student’s learning styles. These include teacher directed activities to conducting experiments, attending excursions, and conducting mini campaigns in the local community, to name a few.
Our students are encouraged to develop critical and creative thinking skills and challenge themselves to identify questions, apply new knowledge, explain science phenomena and draw evidence-based conclusions using scientific methods.
Technology, when used effectively provides a unique and powerful opportunity to enhance student learning across the curriculum.
At St. Paul’s we believe that the use of ICT is an integral and necessary part of our student’s education. We aim to make this a positive experience so students feel a sense of achievement and confidence. All students have access to various digital technologies at school and this is used to enhance their learning.
St Paul’s provides a Performing Arts program for all students, that enables them to gain skills and competencies in Dance, Drama, and Music.
Children participate in a Performing Arts lesson once a week.
Students are able to explore the Performing Arts in an energetic, exciting and encouraging environment and are given opportunities to learn about various instruments; dance styles and cultures; drama elements and forms. Children are encouraged to use their imagination and creativity as they build and present performances across the areas of Performing Arts.
The Performing Arts program also includes an annual Christmas performance which allows the children to draw on the knowledge and skills developed throughout the year. This is a highlight for the school community as the students can perform in front of their peers, family and teachers. Each class performs their own musical or acting arrangement. Students also have the opportunity to present their work at weekly school assemblies.
Students also have the opportunity to undertake private music tuition through
ABC Music Group which offers an instrumental music program at St Paul’s. Children have the opportunity to attend these lessons on a weekly basis. Additional tuition fees apply.
The Visual Arts program at St Paul’s Primary School is designed to encourage and challenge students to achieve their artistic potential in an enjoyable and supportive environment. Students develop their creativity and imagination as well as refine their practical and fine motor skills. They learn to make choices when experimenting with materials, tools and techniques. Students attend visual art lessons once a week.
During their time at St Paul’s the students will explore a wide variety art mediums such as drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, clay, sculpture, construction, textiles and photography. Students will learn to communicate through their art, respond to the artworks of others and gain appreciation of well known artists.
The artworks produced by our talented students are celebrated and displayed around the school, as well as featured in our newsletter. school website and social media.
All children at St. Paul’s are given the opportunity to study a Language other than English (LOTE).
Every week, all students from Foundation to Year 6 engage in weekly Italian lessons. We are fortunate enough to have a specialist LOTE room, which is well equipped with resources that include an interactive board, games, printed materials, Italian picture books and English/Italian dictionaries that are readily available for student use. Students also regularly access research material and language learning apps and activities via the school’s tablets and laptops.
During LOTE classes, students actively participate in interactive dialogue using simple language to talk about themselves, their family, friends, hobbies, interests, school life and routines. Using familiar language and structures, students create short written texts and role-plays related to the topics being studied. All students are encouraged to use as much Italian as possible when sharing ideas and thoughts with each other. Incursions and cultural immersion activities such as cooking lessons, Italian performances and Italian days are also part of the curriculum.
Through their immersion in the Italian language students increasingly notice the many similarities and differences that exist between Italian and Australian cultural practices. Students also notice similarities and differences in the patterns of the Italian language compared to English and other familiar languages. Together they learn to recognise, appreciate and respect these cultural differences as they grow in their understanding of each other.
At St. Paul’s, our Physical Education and Sport Program is all about active participation and skill development in a positive and encouraging environment. The children participate in weekly Physical Education sessions, that focus on skill development and cooperation, All children are supported and encouraged to display sportspersonship and to be their best in all that they do in these areas. In our program the children are exposed to a wide range of games and sports that encompass strategies, team work, personal well being and thinking skills.
Some of the programs are:
- Perceptual Motor Program (PMP): this program encourages
the younger children to learn about their bodies and how to move in a variety of ways;
- Interschool Sport: Senior year levels play other primary schools in our district though State School Victoria (SSV)
e.g. netball, soccer, and football, basketball.
- Interschool sports and carnivals: Our students from year 3-6 compete in sports carnivals in athletics and marathon
- Invitation to trial in SSV sports teams.