LEARNING & TEACHING
At St Brendan's School we are committed to:
- our Catholic identity where we proclaim Gospel values centred on Jesus Christ as the model for life
- planning a curriculum to which all learners are entitled and which promotes high expectations for every student
- developing the whole child in a culture of sharing and mutual respect
- determining the needs and interests of the students and using these to personalise learning
- provide an environment that promotes learning
- embracing collaborative partnerships between home, school and the wider community to enhance student learning and wellbeing
- strong teams and leadership structures which empower all teachers to be leaders of Teaching and Learning.
In Religious Education at St Brendan’s we aim to develop in our students an appreciation and deep understanding of the richness of the Catholic Tradition. We promote an openness to religious questioning and interpretation in our world. We build an awareness of the diversity of voices in society and within the school as we seek to make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.
Goals of Religious Education
Our Religious Education at St Brendan’s seeks to foster our:
growth in relationship with God
knowledge and understanding of God as revealed to us by Jesus
understanding of our Catholic tradition and our full participation in the life of the community
participation in our world in light of the gospel and Catholic tradition.
The Catholic Identity of St Brendan’s is recognised and made visible throughout our school. Opportunities to engage in prayer, liturgy and sacrament are frequent with students and families provided opportunities to be involved.
Eligible students prepare for and receive the Sacrament of Penance/First Reconciliation in Year 3, Sacrament of First Eucharist / Communion in Year 4 and Sacrament of Confirmation (bi-annually) in either Year 5 or Year 6.
Mathematics is a significant part of everyday life. At St Brendan’s School our aim is for our students to become mathematically proficient, to know and use mathematics successfully enabling them to solve the new kinds of problems they will face in their future.
Learning Mathematics at St Brendan's is based on the Victorian Curriculum and provides students with essential mathematical skills and knowledge in the three strands of:
1. Number and Algebra
2. Measurement and Geometry
3. Statistics and Probability.
When you come into our classrooms it is common to observe children working in small groups, while taking and using concrete materials to model a problem. Teachers set students to work independently by providing enabling and extending prompts. At the end of the session students engage in a class discussion about what has been learned. The students in our classrooms are encouraged to share their ideas, observations and problem solving processes. They listen carefully to one another and they challenge and question each other about processes and strategies. Our students are actively involved in their learning.
We emphasise students developing a growth mindset in Mathematics. No matter their ability, all children can learn from their mistakes.
At St Brendan’s we see literacy as an essential tool for learning. Our English program aims to develop the skills, behaviours and knowledge required by students to read, view, speak, listen and write with confidence, purpose and enjoyment. At St Brendan’s we are committed to developing the literacy skills of all students by providing a balanced and personalised program, which addresses their developmental needs and interests.
The English Victorian Curriculum identifies the required skills in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening. We use the Victorian Curriculum to plan, teach, assess and report student progress to our community.
- A structured classroom literacy program which includes whole class, group and independent teaching
- Focused teaching which builds on students’ strengths and developmental needs
- A stimulating classroom that reflects high quality teaching and learning
- Ongoing monitoring and assessment which is integrated into the teaching and learning cycle
- Learning intentions and success criteria that moves the learner forward
- Ongoing professional learning for teachers
- Transfer of literacy skills into all areas of the curriculum
We value the importance of developing close partnerships with our parents in their children’s learning and we encourage all parents to be active participants in their child’s literacy education.
At St Brendan’s, we implement a personalised learning approach for every student by tailoring the educational experience to meet the needs, interests and abilities of all students. Our personalised, developmental approach to learning and teaching supports knowledge and skill acquisition across all areas of the curriculum as well as developing vital social, emotional and life skills.
The Walker Learning Approach is a personalised, investigative play-based approach to learning. It is based on research and curriculum trials implemented by Kathy Walker and her team. The approach uses developmentally appropriate ways of helping to engage children in truly meaningful and relevant strategies that enhance not only literacy and numeracy but motivation and self-esteem. ( http://walkerlearning.com.au)
Through the implementation of the Walker Learning Approach (WLA) Prep – Yr 6, we aim to provide culturally and developmentally appropriate learning and teaching that personalises and engages students in active learning alongside explicit and formalised instruction.
"The intention of the learning environment is to give children exposure to a range of materials, resources and experiences that give them practice in skill refinement,
in language development, in creativity and in play."
Investigations: Prep - Year 2
In the Prep, Years 1 and 2 children take part in play based and investigative learning. Literacy and Numeracy are embedded within investigations as well as explicitly taught throughout the rest of the day. The nature of play-based experiences promotes creativity, imagination and scope for children to invent, explore, create and problem solve. The children’s interests are the predominant means for learning experiences during investigations. The teacher works with focus children each day using their interests to extend, scaffold and support them with their investigation to ensure ongoing engagement in all areas of learning. Observation and documentation by teachers identifies key skills, needs, strengths and interests of individual children and is used to further plan and implement appropriate experiences and set further learning and developmental objectives.
Educational Research Projects: Years 3 - 6
In Years 3 - 6, students continue to develop their skills and knowledge through a number of new elements within the Walker Learning Approach. Students fine tune their investigative skills from their early years of learning by producing an Educational Research Project (ERP) based around a Subject Focus / Victorian Curriculum area. Students are able to personalise their learning by demonstrating their understanding of the Subject and learnt skills through their interests. Staff continue to scaffold and support students' learning through daily focus children and small Clinic/ Teacher Focus groups. Another element of the WLA that is introduced at this stage is the Class Meeting. Students come together once a week to discuss world and community events. Class Meetings are a wonderful opportunity for students to voice their thoughts and ideas in a supportive environment. At the end of each term all students showcase their Educational Research Projects (ERPs) in an Expo for the school community.
SPECIALIST LEARNING AREAS
At St Brendan's School we provide specialist teachers for:
- Physical Education
- Visual Arts
- Performing Arts
- LOTE Italian