FAITH & LEARNING
Our school is a place of teaching and learning where approaches are designed to build the capacities required to meet the demands of the present and their future. We constantly challenge ourselves to ensure relevance and to read the signs of the times integrating faith, life and culture.
The development and use of technology continues to impact significantly. We seek to enable our children to engage in new ways of belonging, have access to a world of ideas and knowledge and be discerning in the use of technologies.
St Vincent’s places a strong emphasis on the social and emotional well-being of students, teaching fundamental skills necessary for wellbeing and life preparedness. We aim to improve the quality of learning and life for all children and the community in which they learn and grow.
The needs of all learners are central to how curriculum is delivered at St Vincent’s.
In order to cater for the various strengths, challenges and abilities of all students we endeavour to provide broad teaching and learning opportunities that:
- Immerse children in a supportive environment where they feel safe, affirmed and valued
- Expose children to worthy individual, small group and whole class experiences
- Provides a sense of challenge
- Builds on past experiences through discussion and reflection
- Encourages risk taking, decision making and problem solving
- Involves accurate and thoughtful modelling and feedback
- Empower students to believe in their own abilities
- Celebrate, value and build on children’s understanding and ideas
- Embrace positive teacher-student and student-student relationships
- Are planned efficiently and have a clear focus
- Communicate high expectations
Curriculum is based on the solid foundation provided by both the Archdiocesan Religious Education Curriculum and the West Australian Curriculum. We teach using an inquiry-based approach which has the potential to develop the skills and characteristics required for lifelong learning including resilience, independence, confidence, creativity, problem solving, decision making, collaboration, cooperative learning and other important life skills. An Inquiry approach integrates different learning areas with information technology and connects learning to real world issues.
The staff at St Vincent’s School believe in providing a wide range of learning opportunities for our students to assist in their development of literacy skills. These skills include the ability to listen, communicate both orally and through the written word, read for meaning and the effective use of technologies.
This pathway to literacy is developmental and individual for each child. Teachers seek to extend and challenge those who have demonstrated higher ability in literacy and support those that need assistance to achieve their own literacy goals. Differentiated literacy programs, a variety of resources and encouragement from teachers and support staff help in creating a learning environment in which children can thrive.
Students progress is continually monitored and analysed through a range of assessment resources and teacher observation. Students and school data is used to create new and innovative learning opportunities that will both challenge and support our students.
Students at St Vincent’s are motivated to develop ongoing skills and a life-long passion for literacy. This is achieved through:
- A daily 90 minute literacy block.
- Instructional, individual and shared reading.
- Viewing and writing of a range of written texts.
- Explicit teaching in the understanding and use of grammar, punctuation, spelling and sentence structure.
- Interaction with a range of technologies including iPads.
All subject areas at St Vincent’s are viewed as opportunities to develop sound literacy skills and the creation of contemporary teaching and learning programs ensures that all elements of the new Australian Curriculum are developed.
Mathematics is beautiful! Mathematics is far more than textbook exercises. These are important – they give us the tools of the trade, the techniques for doing mathematics but mathematics is much more than that. Learners need to have opportunities to engage in the richness of mathematics through a broad study of the discipline and opportunities to solve problems.
Mathematics underpins numeracy. Numeracy is about using mathematics. This implies you must know mathematics before you can use it. The use must also be effective. Numeracy is also much more than number work. It includes geometry, statistics, algebra, indeed, the more mathematics you know and are able to call on in whatever situation, the more numerate you will be.
R. Faragher (PHD)
Senior Lecturer, Mathematics Education, Faculty of Education, ACU
Students at St Vincent’s are motivated to develop ongoing skills and a life-long passion for numeracy. This is achieved through:
- The use of worthy mathematical experiences to enable students to investigate concepts
- Providing students with opportunities to consolidate their skills and understanding through practice
- A 60 minute Numeracy Block which is incorporated into classrooms timetables daily
- Encouraging students to discuss and communicate mathematical ideas and concepts
- Using assessment to guide teaching.
- Understanding that evidence of learning is what students MAKE, SAY, DO and WRITE. As this is true accountability of learning.
- Having a deep knowledge of the Mathematics Curriculum and deep understanding of mathematical concepts, skills, language and symbols
- Familiarity with contemporary research and evidence-based programs and strategies
- Using a range of strategies to provide a balanced learning and assessment program.
- Creating tasks that have multiple entry and exit points and understand that students will enter the task at different points.
- Using waittime to allow all students to think before answering.
Ultimately, we aim to nurture children who, as adults, will still love maths.
The Catholic nature of St Vincent’s emphasises the nurturing of a family spirit, which is experienced in the welcoming, inclusive and supportive school community. This family and community spirit is a defining characteristic of St Vincent’s. Our approach to Pastoral Care, permeates all aspects of school life. All members of the school community accept they have a responsibility to ensure others feel safe, welcome, appreciated, proud and happy. In accordance with the CEWA Wellbeing Framework which informs our focus on Education and Wellbeing, we believe that child safety and wellbeing are enhanced when students feel connected to their school, have positive and respectful relationships with their peers and teachers, feel confident about their social and emotional skills and satisfied with their learning experiences at school.
All staff are committed towards the building of a school community where the wellbeing of all students and staff is given the same priority as academic achievement. The management of children’s behaviour forms part of effective pastoral care at St Vincent’s and is articulated in our Behaviour Management Policy. It encourages children to learn from their mistakes, be aware of the consequences of their actions and consider the needs and rights of others. The school takes a firm, but fair stance on behaviour management, working in close partnership with families. Children are encouraged to exercise self-discipline, respect and courtesy, and take pride in themselves, their work and their school.
Sometimes students find it challenging to live up to these expectations and we have a system of responses to challenging behaviour that helps students to participate more positively as a member of the St Vincent’s Community. We work closely with families to support these students. Where student behaviour has impacted on others and their relationships, we implement a response that promotes empathy and healing.