Learning and Teaching

Curriculum Overview

Our modern learning spaces enable us to implement the latest innovative and evidence-based practices.  Our approach to learning and teaching at St Francis Of Assisi is one that supports individual development in a caring and supportive environment. Students grow and progress at very different rates during these years, and we ensure that programs are individualised so that students experience success. Students are encouraged to become confident and independent learners, empowered to learn and take on challenges. St Francis of Assisi Curriculum is aligned with Victorian Curriculum. The curriculum is a common set of knowledge and skills required by students for life long learning. Our aim is for all students to be active and informed citizens.

Below is an outline of Learning Areas and Capabilities: This is a list of what we aim for our student to KNOW, be able to DO and who we want them to BE. Our curriculum is designed into KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND DISPOSITIONS.

  • English: Reading and Viewing, Writing and Speaking and Listening
  • Mathematics:
  • Science
  • Physical Education
  • Arts: Music, Drama, Dance, Media Arts, Visual Arts
  • Languages: Italian (Prep to Four). Students can choose to learn Japanese or Italian in years Five & Six
  • Humanities: History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship and Economics and Business
  • Technologies: Design and Digital
  • Capabilities: Personal and Social Learning, Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Capability and Intercultural Understanding.

English

At St Francis of Assisi students learn to appreciate, enjoy and use language. The development of literacy skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening foster confidence, thinking and imagination. This aims to develop students’ potential to fully participate as active and engaged citizens. Through the study of English, students learn to analyse, understand and communicate with others.

Our school places emphasis on Literacy learning skills across all the curriculum areas. The Victorian Curriculum based English Program consists of:

  • 2 hour daily Literacy Block for Prep to Year 6
  • Focused teaching of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening
  • Meeting individual needs of students through Focused Teaching Groups
  • Assessment and Reporting of Literacy development
  • The students read a wide variety of texts and learn to analyse, critically reflect and respond to what they read
  • Early Invention Programs such as; Year 1 Reading Recovery
  • Literacy Support Program

A variety of school based and online assessments are used at St Francis of Assisi to monitor student progress, identify needs and plan for focused teaching, intervention or extension. Students are assessed in the areas of :

  • Reading and Viewing
  • Writing
  • Speaking and Listening

Mathematics

We believe the study of Mathematics is fundamental in ensuring that students are provided with the necessary skills to actively and capably participate in society. Mathematics at St Francis of Assisi provides students with the essential skills and knowledge in Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability. Our Mathematics program is aligned with the Victorian Curriculum documentation.

Mathematics aims to ensure that students:

  • Are confident, creative users and communicators of mathematics, able to investigate, analyse, represent and interpret situations in their personal and work lives
  • Are able to pose and solve problems
  • Appreciate Mathematics as an accessible learning area to study
  • Are engaged in a structured 1 hour mathematics lesson daily
  • Use a growth mindset to solve challenging real life mathematical problems

Inquiry Learning

At St Francis of Assisi, we believe inquiry learning is an approach that allows the learner to question, seek knowledge and come to a deeper understanding of themselves, others and their world. We believe the teacher acts as a facilitator to guide students in becoming life long learners using skills that are transferrable across the all curriculum areas and life experiences. Students are explicitly taught skills and provided with ongoing feedback to enhance their learning.

At St Francis of Assisi students are:

  • Involved in creating new understandings by thinking and working creatively, exploring and experimenting, planning and reflecting, communicating and collaborating
  • Involved in the appropriate and ethical use of contemporary technologies and resources that enable and transform learning.
  • Given learning opportunities to build relationships in and beyond the classroom
  • Given choices that enable them to pursue their interests and follow flexible pathways to future studies and work
  • Given responsibility for managing their own learning supported by goal setting, reflection and feedback
  • Exposed to a curriculum which is design using an inquiry approach to learning where students build, investigate and personalise new knowledge and skills through big ideas

Our curriculum design is aligned with the Victorian Curriculum and Horizons of Hope Framework.

LEARNING ABOUT AND BECOMING OURSELVES LEARNNG ABOUT AND LIVING IN A PHYSICAL WORLD LEARNING ABOUT AND LIVING WITH OTHERS LEARNING ABOUT AND LIVING IN A CHANGING WORLD

Where students investigate ‘health and safety’ ‘wellbeing and identity’ and ‘learning to learn’ skills

Where students investigate ‘environmental sustainability’ and ‘natural systems’ Where students investigate ‘community and organisation’ and ‘cultural diversity’

Where students investigate ‘change over time’ and ‘technological advancements and innovation’

Health & Physical Education

Health and Physical Education promotes an understanding of physical activities, movement, food and nutrition, health, safety, human development and human relationships.

At St Francis of Assisi we believe it is important students develop an early awareness of their own health, wellbeing and physical abilities. We believe in a program which imparts accurate knowledge, fosters desirable attitudes and develops positive practices in relation to both health and physical education.

The Health and Physical Education Program is taught by both the classroom teachers and two specialist teachers. During formal lessons, a variety of skills are taught to students providing opportunity to develop different skills.

Physical Education areas include:

  • Fundamental movement patterns
  • Coordinated actions of the body
  • The concept of fitness
  • Physical activity
  • Growth and development
  • Effective relationships
  • Identity
  • Safety
  • Food and nutrition
  • Sportsmanship

Students are allocated in a house team upon entry to the school. These houses are Mackillop (Red), Mannix (Green), Chisholm (Blue) and Polding (Yellow).

Languages

The Languages curriculum at St Francis of Assisi aims to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to ensure that students:

  • communicate in the language they are learning
  • understand the relationship between language, culture and learning
  • develop intercultural capabilities
  • understand themselves as communicators

At St Francis of Assisi all our students learn Italian from Prep to Year 4 and we offer a choice of Italian or Japanese for our Year 5 and 6 students. The Languages Program is aligned with the documentation of Victorian Curriculum.

The Arts

At St Francis of Assisi The Arts enable students to develop their creative and expressive capacities by learning about the different practices, disciplines and traditions that have shaped the expression of culture locally, nationally and globally. Students are both artist and audience in the Arts. They make and respond and learn to appreciate the specific ways this occurs in different disciplines.

Through engaging in The Arts students are entertained, challenged and provoked to respond to questions and assumptions about individual and community identity, taking into account different histories and cultures. We cater for The Arts through the explicit teaching of:

  • Drama
  • Dance
  • Music
  • Media Arts
  • Visual Arts

The Arts curriculum is aligned with the documentation of Victorian Curriculum.

Technologies

Digital Technologies is a key component of our curriculum at St Francis of Assisi. It is taught in classrooms, the Computer Lab and the Library Resource Centre. This provides students with a range of engaging experiences using current and emerging technologies. We provide safe access to digital educational resources which promote educational excellence through development of students’ knowledge, skills, understandings and application of digital tools. The one-to-one laptop program in years 4, 5 and 6 provides for a rich learning environment that has the potential to promote, enhance and transform the learning of the students. We aim to teach students to develop new thinking and learning skills, to create multimedia products, to develop more productive ways of working and solving problems and to communicate their ideas.

Our Digital Technologies resources at St Francis of Assisi include:

  • Interactive whiteboards in every classroom
  • Four desktop computers in each Prep- Year 3 classroom
  • Additional laptop computers in each Year 3 classroom
  • One laptop per student in Year 4-6
  • iPads available to all classrooms
  • A computer lab containing thirty desktop computers
  • Desktop computers, iMacs, MacBooks and iPads in Library Resource Centre
  • Two 3D printers
  • Digital cameras, Flip cameras and digital microphones
  • Laser printers throughout the school
  • A green screen recording studio

Passion Projects

Passion Projects value the importance of student voice and choice. Student motivation is increased when students have the opportunity to work with contemporary tools and practises to solve problems.

Passion Projects at St Francis of Assisi School us an inquiry approach to learning, students have the opportunity to question, look for answers and demonstrate their understandings in a variety of ways. Students investigate areas of interest that honour curriculum learning areas such as Health and Physical Education, Technologies (Design and Digital) The Arts and Science. Students will participate in the design process and use creative and critical thinking skills, problem solving skills and reflection and evaluation skills to design, construct and use and evaluate various products.

Students will develop 21st Century learning skills through this explorative, hands-on and active approach to learning. They will use various materials and tools. Students will meet in their Passion Project group once a fortnight from 11:30am-3:30pm. The session is facilitated by a teacher.

Our students in Year 5 and 6 were surveyed and asked to share their areas of interest, these included:

  • Visual Arts
  • Technology
  • Robotics
  • Kitchen Garden
  • Performing Arts
  • Science
  • Health and Physical Education
  • Design & Engineering

As a celebration of learning, students will organise an exhibition and share their learning with the community. This may include a student gallery, performance, student teaching student seminars, students teaching parents expo or taking action within or beyond our school community.

Instrumental Music Program

 

At St Francis we offer an in-house instrumental music program that aims to provide students with the opportunity to learn an instrument during school hours. We offer tuition in keyboard, piano, guitar, drums, violin and singing. The students are taken out of class for a half hour group (max. of three) or individual lesson with highly trained instrumental music teachers.

Students are encouraged to take internal or external exams (AMEB, ANZCA etc.) and are given the opportunity to perform in school recitals and take part in a variety of other school events.

We also strongly encourage our senior students enrolled in instrumental music lessons to participate in a music ensemble throughout the year. To participate in an ensemble is to use your current skills in playing your instrument/singing, and combine these with other students’ skills. It extends a student’s music experience, broadens their repertoire, and gives the students the opportunity to meet other students who share their passion in music. These ensembles occur during lunchtime and before or after school at no extra cost to parents.

Click to download the enrolment form below. Print it off, fill it out and return it to the school office.

Music- Application Form

Learning Support

Learning Support is available for students from Year Prep – Six who may require additional assistance with intellectual, social, emotional or physical needs.

We offer support through various mediums, which include:

  • Learning Support Leader
  • Student Wellbeing Leader
  • Literacy Leader
  • Mathematics Leader
  • Reading Recovery Teachers
  • Learning Support Officers
  • Internal agencies and learning advisors within the school
  • External agencies providing support and assessments within the school, for example Psychologists, Speech Pathologists, an Occupational Therapist, a Counsellor and Education Advisors

The staff of St. Francis of Assisi School work closely with families to provide students with the best possible learning opportunities, catering for individual needs and ensuring that all students experience success.