LEARNING & TEACHING

LEARNING & TEACHING

Curriculum

The core purpose of our school is to provide an inclusive, rigorous learning environment that challenges and engages young people to grow as passionate learners within a thriving catholic ethos and community. The school seeks to develop motivated, creative and independent learners who demonstrate strong social and catholic values and whose leadership, resilience and self-esteem is evident when interacting with the community.

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The school provides a comprehensive curriculum with a strong focus on the Catholic religion, Literacy and Numeracy. Curriculum initiatives include the Prep to Six Literacy and Numeracy programs and the ‘Bounce Back’ resilience student wellbeing program. In addition to the comprehensive classroom programs offered in Literacy and Numeracy, an integrated classroom curriculum program addresses the domains of Science, Humanities/History, Design and Technology, Civics and Citizenship, and Health. These domains are also cross referenced with the Religion and Literacy/Numeracy programs to ensure sufficient time is allocated to address the content. Specialist teachers provide instruction in Physical Education, Language (Japanese), and Visual and Performing Arts. Interdisciplinary, personal and social learning are addressed within these domains and supported by a range of Outdoor Education camps and excursion initiatives. The school is an active participant in district sport competitions, as well as providing opportunities for students to participate in instrumental music, choir, recorder, guitar, piano and keyboard programs.

Teaching and learning teams across levels ensure scope and sequence and curriculum coverage is monitored across the school. These teaching and learning teams are currently responsible for core curriculum development and delivery in Literacy, Numeracy and integrated studies including History, Design and Technology, Sustainability and ICT. Specialist programs from Prep to Year 6 are delivered for Physical Education, Visual and the Performing Arts, Language (French), Library and Technology. Supportive curriculum initiatives and programs include Literacy, Maths and Extension and Intervention. Reading Recovery is ongoing.

The school has Curriculum and School Improvement teams including curriculum leaders and teacher membership from each level of the school. These teams focus on Religion, Literacy, Numeracy, ICT, Sustainable Schools, Student Wellbeing, Inquiry-based learning, assessment and reporting, and personalised learning.

The leadership group is focused on five year planning cycles and continuous analysis of a range of data around school improvement. At this level there is an integration of long term planning around fiscal management, workforce planning and school structures. There is a high level of professional development and the promotion of professional autonomy in the context of participation in the school improvement and teaching and learning teams, and consultancy support for key initiatives.

The school has developed a structured approach to curriculum planning that ensures a shared vision within the school on curriculum development, common documentation and common understanding of the whole-school curriculum by the staff and parents. The data analysed regularly by teachers, in their curriculum planning, includes a suite of year level assessments including NAPLAN, Pat R testing in Literacy and Numeracy, school-based pre and post testing in Literacy and Numeracy and an analysis of school performance data including student, staff and parent surveys.

The approach to Learning and Teaching is a comprehensive and contemporary implementation of the Victorian Curriculum F-10.

February 2019

LEARNING & TEACHING

Literacy

At St Mary’s students learn to be competent users of English in Reading, Writing and Speaking. They learn to appreciate, enjoy and use language efficiently. This aims to develop the potential of each learner to fully participate as active and engaged citizens. Through the study of English students learn to analyse, understand and communicate with others.

Our school program places emphasis on Literacy learning skills in all areas of the curriculum. The Victorian curriculum is implemented through our English Program including:

  • Two hour daily Literacy Block for Foundation to Year Six
  • Explicit and informed teaching of reading, writing, speaking, thinking and listening
  • Ongoing assessment and reporting
  • English learning that is based on analysis, critical thinking, reflection and responding in all modes of English
  • Early intervention programs such as Reading Recovery, ERIK, LLI
  • Ongoing Literacy coaching of teachers in contemporary approaches to teaching and learning in all areas of English

LEARNING & TEACHING

Numeracy

Competence in mathematics is essential if an individual is to participate fully in society. In a contemporary society, mathematics has fundamental role in enabling cultural, social and technological advances and empowering individuals as critical citizens.

Our numeracy programs involves students counting, calculating, estimating, recognizing patterns, using fractions, decimals and percentages, as well as, learning about spatial reasoning, and interpreting and drawing conclusions from statistical information. Students use measurement when they are recording, and comparing lengths, mass, area, volume, capacity and time. Our aim is to equip each child with the ability to estimate, problem solve, investigate and reflect as they learn independently and collaboratively with others.

Ongoing assessment, monitoring and evaluating are vital to the planning and teaching of our numeracy program and teachers maintain high expectations of all students. We believe in equality for each student, therefore numeracy teaching is personalised to ensure that each student reaches their full potential.

Students are immersed in purposeful investigations and explicit teaching. They use contemporary tools and a variety of ‘hands on’ resources during their mathematics time.

LEARNING & TEACHING

Education in Faith

St Mary’s Mansfield is a Catholic primary school. As part of the Mansfield Parish our Catholic Identity is central to our mission. We are proud to profess that we are a Catholic school and that our practice is embedded in Catholic traditions

Upon entering our school our Catholic identity in which visitors our community receive a welcome based upon Christian and Gospel values. Our children receive a faith education.

As part of the Catholic Tradition the children are invited to continue their Sacramental journeys by making their sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation. At times we also support the journey of parents and other family members celebrate their own Sacraments as the need arises. The Sacramental program is developed in conjunction with the wider Mansfield Parish community.

Our education in Faith is overseen by the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. Our curriculum approach to faith education is supported by our religious education guidelines in Horizons of Hope through programs such as, ‘To Know Worship and Love,’ which are based on current pedagogical practices.

Our students in Foundation to Year Two follow the Good Shepherd program which has a focus of Jesus as our good shepherd. This program helps the students become familiar with Jesus through stories, play, prayer and the Arts. The students in Years 3-6 follow an inquiry-based approach to their faith development and Religious Education and they are introduced the rich traditions of the Catholic Church, our missionary responsibilities, scriptural and liturgical knowledge.

Experiencing education in Faith at St Mary’s will offer our children the opportunity to know God and believe that they are loved by God and welcomed into a relationship with Jesus. They are called to share the ‘Good News’ and act as Christians in their daily lives.

LEARNING & TEACHING

Science

As part of our STEM (Science and Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program Science is an important area of our curriculum in which learners are challenged to understand and critically challenge many concepts in Science.

The Science curriculum provides opportunities for students to develop an understanding of important scientific concepts and processes, the practices used to develop scientific knowledge, the contribution of science to our culture and society, and its applications in our lives. The curriculum supports students to develop the scientific knowledge, understandings and skills to make informed decisions about local, national and global issues and to participate, if they so wish, in science-related careers.

St Mary’s contemporary curriculum endeavors to expand student curiosity and willingness to explore, ask questions about and speculate on the changing world in which they live. Our students will understand the nature of scientific inquiry and the ability to use a range of scientific investigations, to collect and analyse data, evaluate results, and draw critical, evidence-based conclusions in Biological, Chemical, Earth and Space Science and Physical Science.

LEARNING & TEACHING

Health & Physical Education

The St Mary’s Health & Physical Education Program promotes lifelong participation in physical activity through the development of attitudes, skills and movement competence.

The Health & Physical education program aims to develop in children at St.Mary’s:-

  • Experience as a skilled participant in play, games, aquatics, sport and outdoor activities.
  • An understanding of the physical, social and emotional development to promote children’s own health and well-being.
  • An understanding of how relationships develop and change and the knowledge and skills to promote effective relationships.

Children participate in Interschools Sports in swimming, athletics, cross-country and snow sports.

Our School teams are:

STIRLING  BULLER  JAMIESON  TIMBERTOP

LEARNING & TEACHING

Library

At St. Mary’s we believe the Library is an integral part of the overall program offered to our students.

Our Library at St Mary’s is extremely well equipped and provides students and staff with a resource that is invaluable for their continuous learning. Students are encouraged to view the Library as a place that is welcoming and responsive to their needs, both educational and recreational. We aim to produce happy lifelong readers.

Every class has a formal Library lesson each week during which students are introduced to a variety of literature genres and taught basic skills in research, using computer catalogues, borrowing systems and book selection.

LEARNING & TEACHING

Language

The Languages curriculum at St Mary’s Mansfield aims to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to ensure that students:

  • Communicate in the language they are learning
  • Understand the relationship between language, culture and learning
  • Develop intercultural capabilities
  • Understand themselves as communicators

At St Mary’s, all of our students learn French from Prep to Year 6 students.

The Languages Program is aligned with the documentation of Victorian Curriculum.

LEARNING & TEACHING

Visual Arts

Visual Arts includes the fields of art, craft and design. Students create visual art works that communicate, challenge and express their own and others’ ideas visually. At St Mary’s we also offer an Artist in Residence program which provides students with a practical experience based on Art History. Students discuss the artistic styles of significant artists and respond with visual interpretations that reflect these discussions.

Music

Music lessons are implemented weekly in which the children learn to read music, play a variety of musical instruments, complete musical appreciation sessions and perform.  Through drama and dance, and music the children learn to explore, improvise and create moments in all areas of the Arts to communicate with others. Throughout the year, the students have the opportunity to perform for the parish, school and local community at assemblies and various special events.

LEARNING & TEACHING

Information Technology

St. Mary’s Primary School makes use of a range of innovative technologies to assist student learning.

As part of the Digital Technologies Victorian Curriculum, all students participate in lessons relating to Information and Communication Technologies. Our students learn to safely and ethically exploit the capacity of information systems to create digital solutions. These solutions and information are created through the application of computational, design and systems thinking, and technical skills.

  • Teachers use Interactive Whiteboards in each classroom.
  • Grades Prep to 2 use classroom sets of iPads and laptops.
  • Grades 3 and 4 use classroom sets of laptops and a shared set of iPads.
  • Grades 5 and 6 participate in a 1:1 program, with each student having a dedicated laptop.

LEARNING & TEACHING

Inquiry Learning

At St Mary’s we encourage our children to question the world around them and that forms the basis of the process of implementing an inquiry based curriculum. As a curriculum approach, inquiry-based learning builds from a natural process of inquiry in which students experience a ‘need to know’ that motivates and deepens learning – developing student skills in self-direction, research, critical thinking and problem solving, and developing discipline knowledge and skills.

At St Mary’s we believe that inquiry-based learning motivates students to learn and advance their problem solving and critical thinking skills in all areas of the curriculum, including STEM. This approach to learning provides opportunities for the children to be creative, independent, responsible and actively involved in their own learning. This approach also caters for a range of learning styles and helps children to feel confident in taking risks in their learning.

LEARNING & TEACHING

Assessment & Reporting

At St. Mary’s we believe reporting should be a positive, accurate statement of a child’s achievements which is readily available to parents, students and teachers. Reporting acts as a foundation for the future planning of the child’s education.

Formal written reports are sent home mid-year and at the end of the school year.

Assessment and reporting is according to the Victorian Curriculum Standards.

LEARNING & TEACHING

NAPLAN

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is an annual national assessment for all students in Years 3, 5, 7, and 9. All students in these year levels are expected to participate in tests in reading, writing, language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy. All government and non-government education authorities have contributed to the development of NAPLAN materials.

Here at St Mary’s, we are proud of our students and the work they achieve throughout their school journey.  It’s also a credit to our teaching staff who work hard to improve student-learning outcomes. Our 100% sitting rate is a testament to both the students and teachers commitment to their learning.

To view our NAPLAN results, visit:  https://myschool.edu.au/school/45639/naplan/numbers