Learning and Teaching at St Mary’s centres on supporting each student to access knowledge, understanding and skills that provide a foundation for successful and lifelong learning and participation in the community.
We believe at St. Mary’s Parish School that learning is a meaningful lifelong process and that children need to be active participants in their own learning in order to gain the necessary life skills for their future.
We believe in providing a learning environment where parents are seen as the prime educators of their children, the school staff are the learning facilitators and Christ is the guiding light in the life-long process of learning and loving.
Literacy and numeracy programs are given priority at St. Mary’s as they are the core to learning so many other skills and understandings of our world. But it is our shared faith in Christ that permeates all that happens at St. Mary’s.
At St. Mary’s our curriculum planning, delivery, assessment and reporting is guided by our belief that children learn best when:
- Each individual is treated as unique and worthy of love and understanding.
- Each individual is given equitable access to education.
- Respect and trust is valued.
- There is a sense of community among students, staff and families.
- The learning is safe and secure.
- Students and staff are encouraged to strive for excellence.
- Self-esteem and self-confidence are nurtured.
- There is a focus on individual needs.
“Personalisation is about connecting learning to children’s lives and the ways they learn best. Children are taught to think about how they learn and what makes a good learner.” (Performance beyond expectation Hargreaves and Harris, 2011)
Inquiry-based learning is an approach to teaching and learning that places students’ questions, ideas and observations at the centre of the learning experience.
Educators play an active role throughout the process by establishing a culture where ideas are respectfully challenged, tested, re-defined and viewed as improvable, moving children from a position of wondering to a position of enacted understanding and further questioning.
Underlying this approach is the idea that both educators and students share responsibility for learning.
The curriculum is taught in an integrated way, using the planning tools developed by staff. All curriculum areas will be taught using inquiry learning.
As parents you may ask “why is this style of learning different from the way I was taught?” “Why are students of today not taught facts to remember?” The reality is that facts and information change over time. What is more important is an understanding of how to access and make sense of masses of information and data and how to extract what is the most important elements of the mass of information that is available to us. In the contemporary workplace we are readily and regularly asked to do exactly this, thus the importance for young people to commence this skill attainment from a young age.
The Victorian Curriculum
St Mary’s School uses The Victorian Curriculum to plan for students from Foundation to Year 6.
Each Standard describes what students are expected to know and be able to do at that level, and how well they should know and be able to do it. We aim to give students the life skills to manage themselves as individuals and in relation to others, understand the world in which they live, and act effectively in it.
The Standards focus on the knowledge and skills of the student. Student behaviour is observed by teachers and included in student reports.