FAITH & LEARNING
SPECIALIST LEARNING AREAS
Curriculum at St Vincent’s encompasses everything our students experience from the time they enter the school grounds in the morning until they exit the school at the end of the school day.
Whilst learning is mainly facilitated within the classroom and cluster settings, the following subjects are taught at St Vincent’s by a specialist teacher:
Children from Pre-Primary to Year Six participate in weekly Science lessons, and children in Kindergarten, on a fortnightly basis. The Science classroom is well-resourced, and the children cover Biology, Physics, Chemistry, and Earth and Beyond units each year as part of the curriculum. The Primary Connections units are used loosely as a base focusing on the 5E model – Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate. Lessons are hands-on with a huge focus on inquiry skills such as questioning, exploring, use of tables, graphs, Venn diagrams, t-charts and graphing.
Our school has a community garden where we grow produce to learn about the life cycle of fruits and vegetables. We also have three worm farms where we collect worm waste for fertiliser. Each class rotates throughout the semester to work with the Year 6 Environment Team in our garden.
Children from Kindergarten to Year Six receive lessons from a specialist Physical Education teacher, which focus primarily on the development of fundamental movement and sports-related skills. Our students have the opportunity to represent our school in various sports, including swimming, athletics and cross-country.
In 2022, St. Vincent’s began its journey to provide all students with the opportunity to learn AUSLAN through its LOTE program.
AUSLAN (Australian Sign Language) is the language of the Deaf community and is the main form of communication for people who are deaf or hearing-impaired residing in Australia. It uses visual forms of communication involving a mixture of hand, face and other bodily expressions to convey meaning.
Students engaged in the AUSLAN program will immerse in a wide range of lessons that reflect the context of their local community and will incorporate students’ interests and enquiries. Throughout the school year, students will engage in sign language through exploration, problem-solving and play in another language.
Through the learning of AUSLAN as a second language, students will:
- strengthen their memory retention, brain function, motion processing and educational development;
- stimulate their brain development and mental flexibility thereby strengthening their overall literacy skills;
- increase their understanding and enjoyment in communication learning skills, and learning processes;
- facilitate their development of interpersonal skills;
- increase their understanding of notions of diversity, inclusivity, community membership, and cultural identity;
- be provided with alternative ways of thinking regarding methods of communication;
- be supported to see deafness and disability in a positive light as in “different”, and the acquisition of AUSLAN as a valuable tool for communicating with those with a hearing disability, especially with deaf friends or family members;
- integrate AUSLAN usage in other areas of learning and education.
Learning AUSLAN as a second language not only gives students a wonderful, lifelong skill, it also increases their ability to communicate with members of the Australian deaf community. The increased sense of belonging and community that may be associated with this holds the potential to increase enjoyment in communicating for both hearing and deaf/hearing-impaired members of our community.
We provide a unified programme across the school not only to provide students with the opportunity to grow in confidence and creativity, but also to develop skills in critical thinking, cultural awareness and collaboration.
It is understood that not all children are attracted to every aspect of the arts, so we provide opportunities for all students to explore their own avenue for expression and creativity.
Students from Kindergarten to Year Six participate in Visual and Performance Arts activities each week. Senior students have the opportunity to join our Avanti Choir and Liturgical Dance troupe. The Arts are also integrated into classroom learning, across the school through different learning areas and whole school activities.
Private instrumental lessons are also available.
The opportunities in this specialist area provide our students with a variety of opportunities to take control of their own learning, become content creators and enhance their learning outcomes. The knowledge, understanding, production skills and processes gained by all students are able to be linked across all curriculum areas to improve learning.
EARLY INTERVENTION PROGRAMME
Each Year Six student is selected to lead the student community in one of these teams. Each team undertakes leadership opportunities aimed to further develop their leadership skills and encourage them to make a real and tangible difference for all.
In their final year at St Vincent’s, they are required to ensure their Leadership Team continues successfully and to up-skill the future leaders of our school.