Our Curriculum

 At St Theresa’s we are committed to the development of the whole person and recognise the uniqueness of each child. Our goal is to provide an environment which will:

  •  build each child’s self esteem
  •  foster quality relationships
  •  ensure opportunities for each child to achieve success
  •  actively promote excellence
  • Our curriculum which is developed within the guidelines of the Victorian Curriculum supports the students by providing learning opportunities that:
  • have core knowledge and skills integrated across the curriculum in authentic ways 
  • reflect students’ interests and experiences 
  • are rigorous and relevant
  • are inquiry based, using contemporary tools and emerging technologies 
  • seek to develop critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaborative skills 
  • are data driven 
  • provide opportunities for action and engagement with the wider community.

 

At St. Theresa’s we take great pride in our curriculum. Our Learning and Teaching Programs are designed to encourage and promote a love of lifelong learning. The Victorian Curriculum forms the basis of the school's comprehensive and integrated curriculum programs. Whilst teachers use a wide variety of additional resources materials and texts, the school's curriculum structure and focus is based on these documents. The Victorian Curriculum provides a stable foundation for whole schooling curriculum and assessment planning. It incorporates the Australian Curriculum and reflects Victorian standards and priorities. The curriculum includes a strong focus on the foundational skills of literacy and numeracy and on personal and social skills, thinking skills and new areas of learning such as computational thinking.

 

The Victorian Curriculum gives students the skills they need for work and life: literacy, numeracy, scientific knowledge and skills, resilience, respectful relationships, the use of digital technologies and the capacity for critical and creative thinking and expression. Learning Capabilities and Areas The Victorian Curriculum F–10 includes both knowledge and skills. These are defined by learning areas and capabilities. This curriculum design assumes that knowledge and skills are transferable across the curriculum and therefore are not duplicated. For example, where skills and knowledge such as asking questions, evaluating evidence and drawing conclusions are defined in Critical and Creative Thinking, these are not duplicated in other learning areas such as History or Health and Physical Education. It is expected that the skills and knowledge defined in the capabilities will be developed, practiced, deployed and demonstrated by students in and through their learning across the curriculum.

 

The Victorian Curriculum is based on eight learning areas and four capabilities.

 

Learning Areas

The Victorian Curriculum F–10 learning areas are a clear and deliberate reaffirmation of the importance of a discipline-based approach to learning, where learning areas are regarded as both enduring and dynamic. Each of the learning areas provides and is defined by a unique way of seeing, understanding and engaging with the world.

For the Arts, the Humanities and the Technologies, students engage in and through disciplines, which provide discrete content descriptions and achievement standards.

St. Theresa’s has introduced all learning areas and capabilities. The use of ICT is especially important across all curriculum areas. Classroom work is enhanced and extended through the use of chromebooks, interactive whiteboards in all classrooms and a bank of laptops and iPads.

We use the Inquiry approach to learning and operate a 2 year cycle where all learning areas are covered by all grade levels.


 

                         


At St. Theresa’s we take great pride in our curriculum. Our Learning and Teaching Programs are designed to encourage and promote a love of lifelong learning.

The Victorian Curriculum forms the basis of the school's comprehensive and integrated curriculum programs. Whilst teachers use a wide variety of additional resources materials and texts, the school's curriculum structure and focus is based on these documents. The Victorian Curriculum provides a stable foundation for whole schooling curriculum and assessment planning. It incorporates the Australian Curriculum and reflects Victorian standards and priorities. The curriculum includes a strong focus on the foundational skills of literacy and numeracy and on personal and social skills, thinking skills and new areas of learning such as computational thinking.

The Victorian Curriculum gives students the skills they need for work and life: literacy, numeracy, scientific knowledge and skills, resilience, respectful relationships, the use of digital technologies and the capacity for critical and creative thinking and expression.

Learning Capabilities and Areas The Victorian Curriculum F–10 includes both knowledge and skills. These are defined by learning areas and capabilities. This curriculum design assumes that knowledge and skills are transferable across the curriculum and therefore are not duplicated. For example, where skills and knowledge such as asking questions, evaluating evidence and drawing conclusions are defined in Critical and Creative Thinking, these are not duplicated in other learning areas such as History or Health and Physical Education. It is expected that the skills and knowledge defined in the capabilities will be developed, practiced, deployed and demonstrated by students in and through their learning across the curriculum. The Victorian Curriculum is based on eight learning areas and four capabilities:Critical and Creative Thinking

Personal and Social Capabilities

Intercultural Understanding

Ethical Understanding

Learning Areas

The Victorian Curriculum F–10 learning areas are a clear and deliberate reaffirmation of the importance of a discipline-based approach to learning, where learning areas are regarded as both enduring and dynamic. Each of the learning areas provides and is defined by a unique way of seeing, understanding and engaging with the world. For the Arts, the Humanities and the Technologies, students engage in and through disciplines, which provide discrete content descriptions and achievement standards. St. Theresa’s has introduced all learning areas and capabilities.

In years F-6 these include:

The Ats - Dance; Drama; Media; Music; Visual Arts

English

Humanities - Civics and Citizenship; Economics and Business; Geography; History

Languages

Health and Physical Education

Mathematics

Science

Technology - Design and Technology; Digital Technology


The use of ICT is especially important across all curriculum areas. Classroom work is enhanced and extended through the use of computers, interactive whiteboards in all classrooms and a bank of laptops and tablets. We use the Inquiry approach to learning and operate a 2 year cycle where all learning areas are covered by all grade levels.


Religion

At St Theresa’s Primary School, we embrace the teachings and values of St Theresa, who did small things well. With this being our school motto, we are reminded that we too can be like St Theresa by doing the small things that we can to help make a difference in our world. 

Celebrating and participating in Mass is an integral part of living out our faith within our school. We gather as a whole school several times each term to celebrate Mass together. We celebrate many special Feast Days including the Feast of the Sacred Heart and St. Theresa’s Feast Day. The children also attend Mass on Friday with their year level to link what they are learning in class with the message of Jesus Christ through the Liturgy.

 The Religious Education Leaders along with classroom teachers and our parish and school community work together to prepare the children for celebrating the sacraments of Reconciliation, First Eucharist and Confirmation.

 Being a Catholic School, St. Theresa's has a Sacramental Program which thoroughly prepares the children to celebrate the following sacraments:

Grade 3: Reconciliation and First Eucharist

Grade 6: Confirmation

 As part of our social justice actions and trying to care for others as Christ did, the school community often holds various events to support different causes in our community. 



                             

 

 

 

English

St. Theresa’s Literacy program builds skills that empower our students to be effective speakers, listeners, readers and writers.

We endeavour to inspire a love of reading and writing in our school.

We provide a curriculum that promotes student confidence and allows opportunities for their success. We foster critical thinking and independence.

We acknowledge that good oral language development is essential to our students’ success in reading and writing. We provide varied and rich experiences to build a sound foundation for the children's language development.

St. Theresa's employ a Reading Recovery teacher to support the children in Year 1 with their reading.

                                    

 

 

Mathematics

Mathematics learning at St Theresa's is purposeful, engaging, challenging,enjoyable and supportive for all students. We aim to develop efficient mathematical thinkers who can confidently apply their knowledge to real life situations with understanding and accuracy.


                                    

 

 

Inquiry Learning

We use the Inquiry approach to learning and operate a 2 year cycle where all learning areas are covered by all grade levels.  Students are encouraged to develop positive attitudes and to acquire skills that will enable them to become competent life long learners. Our Inquiry Approach to the curriculum provides students with a wide range of linked and meaningful learning experiences. We believe that the best strategy to teach the following Learning Areas from the Victorian Curriculum (Civics and Citizenship, History, Business, Geography, Science, Health, Technologies and Economics) is through an inquiry based approach. In this, the digital age, information is quite literally at our students’ fingertips. With new innovations, knowledge is continually changing and growing. Inquiry learning is a way of teaching our Victorian Curriculum which encourages the children to engage, question and explore the world around them. The students  work through an Inquiry process that supports them in becoming the leaders of their learning. Therefore, teachers are no longer the provider of all knowledge but rather the facilitator who assists students to discover their own information. Some of the benefits we have seen from inquiry based learning are:

  • They nurture student passions and talents
  • Students make predictions and test hypothesis
  • Students are able to collaborate with others
  • Increase student motivation and engagement
  • Foster curiosity and a love for learning
  • Make research meaningful and develop research skills
  • Enable students to take ownership of their own learning and to reach their goals
  • Use technology as a tool for their learning
  • Students pose real questions, find and interpret information and present their findings

 

Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)

 

Why Teach STEM?

 

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) covers a wide range of knowledge and skills, which are increasingly in demand in a knowledge-based economy and a rapidly changing world.

 

Quality learning opportunities in STEM disciplines will ensure Victoria has a strong supply of world-class professionals with the specialised skills necessary to compete in the global knowledge economy. Victoria’s economy and labour market are shifting towards higher-skilled, knowledge-and service-based industries, new and emerging technologies, and the opening up of global markets.

 

Development of STEM skills at all stages of life will also inspire curiosity and creativity and drive innovation and growth throughout our economy. Through an exciting and engaging STEM education, learners of all ages can acquire skills that will give them an edge – so they can be smarter and more innovative, and use new and emerging technologies to solve problems and extend their knowledge and understanding.

 

Employers are seeking a workforce that thinks critically and creatively, and solves complex problems. Whatever their future careers, a strong base of STEM knowledge and skills will equip all learners to engage in dynamic modern workplaces and society.

 

The Victorian Government is committed to delivering jobs and prosperity to Victorians, and has a strong plan to grow our economy. For Victoria, the key to a prosperous future lies in a highly-skilled workforce, including strong capability in STEM.

 

The Government has identified that our jobs of the future will be in a number of priority sectors with the potential for remarkable economic growth:

 

•   medical technology and pharmaceuticals

 

•   new energy technologies

 

•   transport, defence and construction technologies

 

•   food and fibre

 

•   international education

 

•   professional services.’

 

       (VicStem: STEM in the Education State pg.4 https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/learningdev/vicstem/Pages/about.aspx)


At St Theresa’s we have a developmental approach to all learning in STEM. We are attempting to develop fundamental skills in problem solving, design, critical thinking, risk taking, perseverance and curiosity through coding, robotics, design and as well as other media creation activities.

 

Coding

 

Through the use of applications such as Scratch Junior and web based Scratch software students are introduced to block coding and use the applications to create digital stories and interactive games.

 

Through the use of the application Kodable students are introduced to sequencing of directions using blocks to unravel problems in the form of mazes.

 

Robotics

 

Students are introduced to Beebots and Spheros robots and work to direct their robots through a series of mazes of varying difficulties together with

iPad apps.

               

 

Real world Problems

 

Working on solutions to real-world problems is the heart of any STEM investigation. These solutions may include devices and designs that improve our lives, fulfill our needs or wants, and make our world better.

 

Students  use an engineering design process—drawing on science, mathematics, and technology skills and concepts—to solve the problem. However, each subject doesn’t need to be used to the same extent. Some solutions may rely more heavily on science and others on mathematics or technology, but all require students to use an engineering design process.

 


                         

 
 Specialist and Intervention Programs
 
St Theresa's offers specialist and intervention lessons in the areas of Physical Education, Italian, Number Intervention, Performing & Visual Arts, Good Start (P-1 support teacher) English Additional Language program and Reading Recovery .
Exposure to the Arts and Performance is encouraged at St Theresa’s and every year we hold an Art Show with a bi annual School Production. Christmas Carols and Italian Days also feature in our school calendar.
Our Physical Education Program is developmental and skills based. Junior grades participate in weekly lessons. Senior grades supplement these lessons with an Interschool Sport Competition, which is played against other local school on a weekly basis, an Athletic Sports Day and a crosscountry running event. St Theresa’s holds its own Sports Day once a year that has a nice mix of team and individual events. Along side our Physical Education program we also run a 2 week intensive swimming program at Maribyrnong Aquatic Centre. The children are graded and taught skills appropriate to their level of ability. Another important aspect of our Physical Education program is our Outdoor Education Program. This begins in Prep and Grade One where the children remain after school and eat dinner. In Grade 2 this advances to dinner and a longer stay at school and finally in Grades 3,4,5 and 6 the children go on a camp which alternates between beach and country settings.       

 

 


                                   


 


                                   

 


 

ICT


St. Theresa's has a 1 to 1 Chromebook device program from grades 2 to 6.  They use these devices to support them in their learning across the school day.  Each child has a school gmail account and have access to many of the application in the Google suite. The grade Prep/1 children have access to iPads and laptops to support their learning.
St. Theresa's is a Cybersaftey accredited school and places a lot of emphasis on educating children in the proper use of technology.
Digital learning occurs across all learning areas of the curriculum.
Opportunities are given for students to acquire a deep knowledge and understanding of digital systems, data and information and the processes associated with creating digital solutions so they can take up an active role in meeting current and future needs.

 
Student Well-being

Well-being or Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is about learning how to manage feelings, manage friendships and solve problems. These are essential life skills that support a child’s ability to cope with difficulties and helps prevent mental health problems. Children who develop social and emotional skills find it easier to manage themselves, relate to others, resolve conflict, and feel positive about themselves and the world around them.

 

At St. Theresa’s we endeavour to promote a healthy, supportive, safe and happy environment for staff, students and parents. Social and Emotional Learning is a framework that underpins everything we do at St Theresa’s. It is embedded in our culture.

 

Our school mantra ‘Be Happy, Be Safe, Be Caring, Be Ready To Learn ‘ensures that every child at St Theresa’s learns different strategies and programs to build their resilience. Some of these include: Bounceback program, SEL skills, Buddy Program, Positive Mindsets, Bluearth, CASEA Program, Transition Programs and Mindfulness.

                                  

Assessment and Reporting
  • Assessment and reporting are essential components of planning for learning and teaching. ‘The Victorian Curriculum allows for an inquiry approach to curriculum planning and implementation utilizing a variety of assessments and reporting procedures. There is a whole school approach to assessment at St Theresa’s. Communication about curriculum content and your child’s growth and development is a two way process, between the school and the family. The school report forms part of the communicative process which also includes Term Curriculum Overviews, fortnightly curriculum up-dates via class blogs and other classroom specific processes. Your child’s learning should be considered across a developmental continuum. The Victorian Curriculum (which you can view on-line) and the Religious Education Framework are used to map your child’s developmental level, across the curriculum we teach. In order to gain information about your child’s level, teachers have collected data throughout the year. This data includes:  Formal tests 
  • Anecdotal records
  • Classroom observations
  • Assessment tasks
  • Your child’s reflections and self evaluations
Written student reports are sent home in June and December each year.  ‘Getting to Know You’ Parent/Teacher meetings are held early in Term 1. These interviews are designed to allow parents to provide teachers with relevant information about their child and for teachers to inform parents about classroom expectations.
Mid-year interviews will continue to be more student focused and are held after mid year reports are sent home. Other interviews may be held on an individual basis as the need arises.
Interviews can be arranged by the teacher or parent as required.

Visible Learners Aspiration Statement
Our aspiration is that all students become Assessment Capable Students. They know where they are, they know where they are going, and know where to go to next, with their learning.

Assessment capable student are students who: 
  • Know their learning target for the lesson 
  • Can describe where they are in relation to the success criteria 
  • Reflect on their learning 
  • Use that information to select learning strategies to improve their work

Teachers assist students by: 
  • Using data to understand what students know and don’t know 
  • Creating learning intentions and success criteria 
  • Provide feedback linking learning goals to success criteria 
  • Provide feedback about strengths and ways to improve 
  • Prompt students to assess their own progress.

Our school pedagogy is informed by Prof. John Hattie’s numerous books on Visible Learning.
‘Accomplishing the maximum impact on student learning depends on teams of teachers working together with excellent leaders, agreeing on worthwhile outcomes, setting high expectations, knowing the students’ starting and desired success in learning, seeking evidence continually about their impact on all students, modifying their teaching in light of this evaluation and joining in the success of truly making a difference to student outcomes.’ (Hattie 2012, pp.35-36)