The provision of the school’s curriculum is arranged so that each class has a two-hour Literacy block and a one-hour Numeracy block each day. The other learning domains such as Science, the Humanities, Technology and Health are taught using an Inquiry Approach, where a focus is selected from one of these areas each term.
By using an Inquiry Approach, we are able to provide learning experiences for our children that are not only engaging but also allow for the development of skills such as: problem solving, creative thinking, critical thinking, the generation of new ideas, the ability to analyse and evaluate information and to plan for the future. All these skills will be required by your child in the future, for life in the 21st century.
St Patrick’s works in partnership with parents to nurture the faith of the students. The teaching of Religious Education at St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School will deepen students’ relationship with God, develop strong relationships with others, and broaden their knowledge to create a just world. At St. Patrick’s students are invited to explore and celebrate the Catholic story in all its richness and diversity through reflection, prayer and action for the good of others and their world.
The Sacramental program enables students to explore, and be initiated into, the Catholic faith and its traditions. We prepare our students for the healing and initiation sacraments of First Reconciliation in Year 3, First Eucharist in Year 4 and Confirmation in Year 6.
At St. Patrick’s our Mathematics program is designed to;
– Develop confident and curious mathematicians
– Deepen students’ mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding
– Encourage students to problem solve and communicate their mathematical thinking
Our Mathematics program is underpinned by the three areas of the Victorian Mathematics Curriculum: Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. Our rigorous assessment strategies assist in identifying every child’s point of need, in order to enable targeted planning and teaching.
The daily one-hour Mathematics Block consists of whole-class, group and individual tasks that are differentiated to cater for different levels of understanding in mathematics. At the beginning of each lesson the students participate in a short ‘Tool Time’ session, focused on building number fluency skills, such as counting and times tables. Explicit Instruction is used alongside open-ended tasks, which are designed to enable students to extend themselves beyond their current understandings or be supported and scaffolded in their learning where required.
We believe that students learn best in Mathematics when they are engaged in real-life mathematical situations and able to work collaboratively to problem solve and learn from each other. Ongoing assessments are used throughout mathematical topics to inform teaching and to target learning needs.
St Patrick’s promotes the consistent use of explicit instruction in every classroom. This involves directly teaching students content and skills to be learned, using clear and intentional language. Teacher modelling and guidance are followed by repeated opportunities for practice and ensure that student-teacher interaction and student engagement are high.
Our Literacy lessons focus on teaching students the essential skills of reading, writing and spelling as well as developing equally important speaking and listening skills. We know from carefully researched and proven evidence that explicit teaching has a powerful influence on student attainment. Our knowledge stems from the growing body of evidence referred to as ‘The Science of Reading,’ which is a vast, interdisciplinary body of scientifically-based research about reading and issues related to reading and writing.
In the Junior School, we use the evidenced-based program ‘Little Learners Love Literacy’ which is a Structured Synthetic Phonics program. It provides children with repeated opportunities to develop their knowledge of phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension when learning to read. Children develop their knowledge of sounds within the English language in an ordered manner through explicit instruction. As students progress through our school, we use rich text-based units of study which focus on building background and vocabulary knowledge. We teach morphology and etymology to strengthen spelling knowledge and further enhance vocabulary and writing skills.
Each term, we have a whole-school unit, through which students engage in an inquiry-based approach to learning. The units cover the Curriculum areas of History, Geography, Sciences, Health and, in the upper years, Civics and Citizenship, and Economics and Business. Each unit commences with explicit teaching, which immerses students in the topic and provides them with the understandings required to explore it further.
Project-based learning encourages motivation, deeper engagement and passion, while also developing research skills and pride through ownership. Where appropriate and meaningful, the unit is linked closely with the four capabilities of the Victorian Curriculum: Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability, Intercultural Understanding and Ethical Understanding
At St Patrick’s, we understand the importance of sport in developing teamwork skills, strength, personal and community health, and promoting overall wellbeing. Our students remain active throughout the day also, with regular ‘brain breaks’ and movement, keeping their minds fresh and ready to learn.
In addition to these practices, all students from Prep to Year 4 participate in an annual, intensive swimming program. Each year in December, our students in Years 5 and 6 participate in an open water safety program at a local surf life saving club. As students reach middle and senior school, there are further opportunities to participate in extracurricular or interschool sport events. Morning ‘Run Club’ training is a particular highlight of our students, earning points for their House team for every lap they complete. Terms 2 and 3 provides opportunities for the senior students to participate in weekly, friendly games of netball and football with students from nearby schools. Other extracurricular sporting events include:
Athletics, Cross Country, Swimming, Lightning Premierships (AFL, Netball and Softball) and Round Robins (mixed teams of Soccer, Newcomb and Basketball).
At St. Patrick’s Primary School, we believe that camping and outdoor education play an important role in the development of our students. That’s why we offer a range of camp programs that provide students with the opportunity to experience new adventures, challenge themselves, and develop their independence and social skills.
Our camp programs offer students the chance to explore new environments, learn new skills, and form lifelong memories. Whether it’s a local camp or a more adventurous excursion further afield, our camps are designed to provide students with a fun, challenging, and enriching experience.
Our Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 students attend camp annually.
Experience the joy of music at our primary school with guitar, keyboard, and piano lessons. Cultivate your child’s musical talents in a supportive and enriching environment.
For all Music Tuition enquiries, please contact our Office staff.
Our Sacramental Program
The school works in partnership with St. Michael’s Parish to support children to prepare for and receive three, key Sacraments of our Catholic tradition:
First Reconciliation (generally received in Year 3)
First Eucharist (generally received in Year 4)
Confirmation (generally received in Year 6)
To be part of these important faith events, your child needs to have received the sacrament of Baptism.
Our Prayer Culture
Prayer is an essential and highly valued element of our faith culture and Catholic identity.
Our prayer routines include:
*Participating in daily classroom prayer
*Practising daily Christian Meditation
*Learning the traditional prayers of our Church
*Weekly communal prayer at Assemblies
*Regular liturgical celebrations as a faith community.
Support and Intervention Programs
We are deeply committed to supporting safe and inclusive learning for all children in our care, including any child who may have additional learning needs. Programs are offered to support students’ academic learning as well as social and emotional wellbeing needs.
Learning support teams including teachers, learning leaders and learning support officers work together to tailor adjustments to provide the best possible learning outcomes for each child.
If needed, this support may include the establishment of a ‘program support group’ that will meet regularly to monitor wellbeing and learning. Individualised adjustments and learning goals are then documented on a ‘personalised learning plan.’
Our school’s specialist program includes Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Italian, Digital Learning and Physical Education. Our students love the opportunity to work with each of our dedicated and talented specialist teachers once a week an hour.
We offer an engaging Visual Arts program that allows students to display their creativity and imagination whilst appreciating our world. Students are given a wealth of knowledge in visual arts skills, techniques and processes. They explore a range of materials and styles and are given the opportunity to reflect critically on their learning and give context to all pieces of artwork.
The Performing Arts Specialist program covers the areas of music, drama, dance and media. Each class attends a weekly session. Every second year, the school hosts an ‘Extravaganza’ that showcases the skills and talents of our students in the area of Performing Arts. The other year focuses on building students’ confidence and awareness in all four areas of the performing arts. Students experience; playing the ukuleles, djembes, boomwhackers, etc in music; role plays and improvisation in drama; learning and creating small dances; and using various apps and websites to create songs and music notation, in the area of media.
Students participate in weekly Italian lessons. The students are immersed in the culture and customs of Italy, with further emphasis on language acquisition as they move through to Year Six.
Our Digital Learning specialist program aims to ensure that students can:
– Navigate the internet and digital life safely
– Become confident users of technology through the creation of digital solutions
– Acquire a deep knowledge and understanding of digital systems, data and information
– Use computational thinking strategies with coding and programming
Classroom iPads are made available to our students in Years Foundation -Year 2, with students accessing 1:1 Chromebooks in Years 3-6.
Physical Education is a high priority at St. Patrick’s. The school emphasizes the importance of Physical Education in the total education of the child. Each week the students participate in a Physical Education lesson. The Physical Education lesson deals primarily with the development of gross motor skills, fundamental movement skills, hand-eye coordination, sportspersonship and learning and developing their understanding of gameplay.
Extra Curricular Activities
In addition to the specialist subjects we offer at St. Patrick’s, we provide opportunities for students to be involved in lunchtime clubs. These include Choir, Boogie Club and Drawing Club. These are all initiatives that have been introduced by our Year 6 Student Leaders.