The Primary Curriculum
In Primary and Secondary schools today, the curriculum is organised under the term stages. Each Stage takes approximately two years to complete. The stages in the primary sector are:
Early Stage One – Kindergarten
Stage One – Year One, Year Two
Stage Two – Year Three, Year Four
Stage Three – Year Five, Year Six
Each stage has a number of student outcomes that need to be mastered. It is the level of achievement of outcomes covered that is used for reporting.
Key Learning Areas
St Joseph’s adheres to the Australian Curriculum as prescribed by the New South Wales Educational Standards Authority (NESA). The curriculum covers a broad range of learning areas known as the Key Learning Areas or KLA’s.
- English (Australian Curriculum)
- Mathematics (Australian Curriculum)
- Science and Technology (Australian Curriculum)
- Human Society and It’s Environment (HSIE) – History and
Geography (Australian Curriculum)
- Creative Arts
- Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE)
The children at St Joseph’s Primary School follow the new Australian Curriculum as it is being phased into Catholic schools carefully and gradually (since 2014), we are currently implementing the key learning areas of English, Mathematics, HSIE and Science and Technology from this new curriculum.
St Joseph’s provides children with quality contemporary learning in all the Key Learning Areas to reach their full potential. The children are encouraged to set personal and realistic goals. We understand that children learn differently and so provide adjustments and differentiated activities to stimulate their academic, physical, spiritual and emotional development. This is achieved through the careful collection and analysis of assessment data and independent and group exposure to a balance of higher order thinking skills, technological, creative, constructivist and traditional teaching methods.
Religious Education Curriculum
All children from Kindergarten to Year 6 follow the Religious Education Curriculum with focus on the “To Know Worship and Love” resource book. Children are assessed regularly and attend Mass and Liturgies throughout each term. Families are most welcome to attend any celebration.
Religious Education is not just a Key Learning Area but an environment in which we operate at St. Joseph’s. It permeates into all other areas of learning and our day to day activities. It helps shape our behaviours and attitudes. Their basis being in Micah 6:8:
- Walk Humbly
- Love Tenderly
- Act Justly
Specialised Learning at St Joseph’s
All students at St Joseph’s participate in weekly lessons with specialist teachers in the KLA’s of
Music, Physical Education, Visual Arts and ICT integration (STEM).
Music – We have an organic music program that the students participate in each week. The students engage in hands on instrumental learning while learning theory and appreciation of music. Band and choir are also optional sessions for students with these sessions taking place on a Tuesday morning at 8am. The band and choir compete at the local eisteddfod and perform at various community events throughout the year.
There are also optional lessons for students in keyboard/piano, guitar and drums.
Physical Education – All students participate in weekly PE lessons with our PDHPE coordinator. These lessons are sequenced developmental activities that hone gross motor skills, skills that are required for taking part in sports, athletics, team sports and fitness. The students also participate in an annual swimming program, elective sports for years 3-6 in term 3, cross country, representative opportunities in most sports and participation in gala days with other diocesan schools.
Visual Arts – All classes participate in specialised learning sessions with our designated art specialist teachers. This program supports the learning of the visual arts through a carefully designed K-6 scope and sequence, exposing students to a range of artforms and experiences to develop a love and appreciation of the arts.
ICT Integration (STEM) – All students participate in a weekly impact lesson that is specifically designed around the use of digital technology as the tool and resource (iPads, laptops). The emphasis is on the integration of technological devices and equipment to enhance the learning experience, to problem solve, to research and to present ideas and solutions.
Technology – All classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards, laptops, chromebooks and iPads. We also have ‘mobile labs’ of laptops that classes access to use in their learning. Technology is an integrated part of the learning environment at St Joseph’s.
School Reporting and Assessment
While assessment for, as and of learning takes place continuously throughout the learning journey of your child at St Joseph’s, formal assessment reporting is collated twice yearly for student and parent information and feedback. A full written report is sent home to parents at the end of Semester One and Two.
Student data is collected at the beginning of each year through Maths Assessment Interviews (MAI’s) and in Kindergarten through the Best Start process (Literacy and Numeracy), this data enables teachers to respond to real time data at the beginning of each year. Assessment data on progress in literacy and numeracy are carefully tracked across developmental continuums of learning to ensure that learning needs are clearly identified and improvement is strategically developed. Teachers meet in Professional Learning Teams (PLT’s) each week to analyse student data and to set direction for future individualised learning needs.
At the end of Term One each year, the school conducts Parent/Teacher interviews. There is also an optional interview time set aside for the end of Term Three or beginning of Term Four which can be requested by the teacher or the parent if needed.
Each kindergarten child has a Student Portfolio Folder that the teacher will place work samples in and assessment sheets that will be linked to particular outcomes being covered in each Key Learning Area. These folders are sent home twice a year for parents to sit down and look through with their child. These also become a wonderful memento of your child’s first year of school.
Students in kindergarten and years 1-6 have a digital portfolio that is housed in the ‘SeeSaw’ app that parents are provided access to each year. This folio is updated regularly and communicated
in real time. The folio is managed by both students and teachers. This is also another communication tool in the partnership of learning between teacher, student and family.
Please remember that you are always most welcome to ring and make an appointment to see your child’s teacher about any concerns whenever needed.
All classes throughout the school progress through sacramental units from our Kindergarten to Year 6 Religious Education Curriculum to build on their existing knowledge. As a class is preparing for a sacrament our school focus is also on this special occasion. All children are involved in the preparation for this sacrament. Catholic parents are required to attend a parent meeting for each sacrament and are responsible for presenting their child for each sacrament.
Year 2 children will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Year 3 children will receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Eucharist. Parents are the first faith educators of their child and must work in partnership with the school and parish to prepare the child for their full initiation into the Church. It is at the parent’s discretion, however, when their child is ready to receive a Sacrament.