BROAD CURRICULUM AIMS
The curriculum of our school aspires to mould individuals who can take responsibility for themselves and their choices, giving consideration to their own personal well being, and the rights and concerns of others and the environment.
We want our children to recognise that we all have gifts and talents which, with respect, acceptance and teamwork, enrich all of our communities.
We want our children to be confident individuals who value learning and knowledge and who are able to communicate effectively with the world around them.
We want our children to know that they are a wondrous creation of a loving God who continues to call them through the example of Jesus Christ.
The individual dimensions of English are: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.
The purpose of our English program is to enable the children to:
Become efficient users of the English language.
Develop skills necessary to lead purposeful lives both now and in the future.
Confidently express themselves in a variety of ways.
Independently use their English skills to gain knowledge, social skills and values.
We strive to promote the children’s interest, achievements and enjoyment of English through stimulating language activities. Comprehensive literacy testing is carried out at the beginning, middle and end of each year so teachers can successfully monitor children’s progress, report accurate information to parents and tailor our teaching to meet the needs of children.
The school curriculum is based on the Australian National Curriculum. It is organised, broadly, into the following areas.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAM
The Religious Education Program is based on the core document “Awakenings” developed by the Religious Education Centre, Ballarat. Our Religious Education Program aims to:
Assist the children to recognise the presence of Jesus in their lives, through his life and the scriptures.
Encourage the children to experience themselves as part of creation and to recognise all creation as a sign of God’s goodness;
Provide a climate where the children’s faith can be nurtured in trust and freedom.
Lead the children to know, to understand and to appreciate the spiritual and religious dimensions of life as expressed in the Catholic faith tradition;
Assist the children to appreciate belonging to and celebrating with the local parish community.
The Arts Program includes dance, drama, media, music and visual arts.
Through our Arts Program we aim to assist the children to develop their intellectual, imaginative and expressive potential through the creation, performance and presentation of arts works.
The Arts are taught as part of our Integrated Studies Program but we also have a specialist music teacher who teaches each class once per fortnight.
Children may also like to join our talented choir (Grade 4 and above) or arrange for instrument tuition, facilitated by the school.
Humanities may be broken into 3 areas: Economics, Geography and History, however in Grades Prep to 4, particularly, these subjects are incorporated into the general Humanities domain.
In Years Prep to 4, students are introduced to history in local and familiar contexts such as the family and the local community as well as stories and key events which introduce them to events in the far past. In Years 5 & 6 students become more complex thinkers and begin to develop independent inquiry skills. They are introduced to events in Australia and their region and a broader sweep of human history.
In Years Prep to 4, students are introduced to geography through their own experiences to help them understand the world around them. Students develop their spatial awareness through a consideration of the local community, the different groups in society and their place in one or more groups. By seeing and hearing about other places outside their experience, their sense of curiosity and wonder leads them to consider how and why other places are different from their own.
In Years 5 & 6 with increasing cognitive development and experience, students begin to develop a breadth of understanding about natural processes and human activities beyond their immediate environment. They develop an expanded understanding of Australia and the region of which Australia is a part – the Asia-Pacific. Students are introduced to economic knowledge and the nature of economic thinking by making observations about their world and their interactions with it. They explore how their needs (for example, food, clothing, shelter) and wants (for example, a skateboard, an electronic game) are met. They also identify resources (land, minerals, labour, machinery) used at home, at school and in the local community and describe how some of these resources are used to meet particular needs.
In Years 5 & 6 students develop further knowledge of economic concepts learned in Years Prep to Year 4. The relevance of economics is illustrated and reinforced through examples drawn from personal, local and national experience.
The dimensions of our Maths program are number, space, measurement, chance and data, working mathematically and structure (algebra – introduced in Gr 3). The Mathematics Program aims to enable all children to:
acquire mathematical skills and knowledge so that they can deal confidently, positively and competently with daily life
Interpret and communicate mathematical ideas
Recognise the fundamentals of mathematics in everyday life
Understand the role of mathematics in social and technological change
As with English, our class teachers carefully monitor each child’s individual knowledge, strengths and challenges in Maths throughout the year to enable us to meet the children’s needs in this important area of the curriculum.
Maths “Interviews” are carried out at the end of each year, by the child’s teacher for the following year. These interviews enable us to successfully monitor children’s progress, report accurate information to parents and tailor our teaching to meet the needs of children.
Our school employs a specialist Science Teacher, who takes responsibility for planning teaching, assessing and reporting on this subject throughout the school.
All classes attend a 1 hour Science lesson each fortnight. The purpose of our Science Program is to enable all children to:
Develop an interest in the natural environment and to help them to become more aware of the role they play in helping to protect it.
Develop confidence and competence in using appropriate resources.
Develop co-operative skills which will enable them to solve scientific problems.
Communicate scientific understanding using appropriate scientific language to a range of audiences
The Science Program incorporates the following dimensions:
Science knowledge and understanding
Science at work
The purpose of our Health & Physical Education Program is to enable children to:
Develop the knowledge and skills that promote fitness, effective relationships and participation in physical activities, as well as the safety and health of individuals and groups.
Develop an understanding of the concept of fitness and health.
Take an active part in creating environments that support health and participation in physical activity.
To promote their own and others’ worth, dignity and rights as individuals and as members of the group.
The Health and Physical Education Program will incorporate the following: Movement & Physical Activity Health Knowledge & Promotion
Our Physical education Teacher takes each class for a 1 hour lesson per week, however this is often followed up by class teachers within normal class time.
Children should wear their correct Sports Uniform to school on the day of their Phys. Ed. Lesson. Our school is very proud of it's traditionally strong record in the Sporting field. Our students have represented our school across a wide variety of sports including football(AFL), netball, basketball, cross country, athletics, golf, cycling, and even equestrian!
The use of technologies at Sacred Heart School is to enhance the learning process in a supportive school environment. The school encourages students to become familiar with the use of various technologies including the Internet, to develop Information and Communication Technology skills.It is important for students to develop the skills necessary to become responsible, reliable and respectful users of technologies.
The school aims to provide easy access to computers so that each child may become conversant with computers in a variety of settings. As of 2015, all Grade 3, 4, 5 & 6 students are issued their “own” Chromebook at the beginning of the year and a GAFE (Google Apps for Educaction) account.
All classrooms use 65" Smart TV and Apple TV's as a crucial teaching resource. This technology allows computers to be used seamlessly as resources in our classrooms to complement and enhance our curriculum. Additionally every child, in all grades, will use Information and Communications Technologies to access information, as a teaching tool in all areas of the curriculum and as a contemporary means through which they might communicate what they have learnt. To facilitate this every classroom contains between 4 and 12 computers.
All children in Grades Prep to 2 will have access to iPads throughout the year.
Sacred Heart School has also developed a variety of Support Programs to supplement and assist with the implementation of our curriculum. The main ones are:
LIBRARY RESOURCE CENTRE
Our Library/Resource Centre has been established to provide an organised central resource where stimulating, current material is accessible to the whole school community. The primary aim is to offer quality services and support for all children through effective utilisation of resources and programs that support staff with the implementation of the school’s curricula. Each class from Grades Prep to Four has a time (one hour per fortnight) for specific Literature and Information Skills classes. At other times the library is available for children to browse, borrow and for research purposes. The borrowing process is computerised. Children now utilise this facility for accessing information and borrowing books.
LANGUAGES OTHER THAN ENGLISH
Children in Grades 5 & 6 study Indonesian for 1 hour per week.
Children in Prep to Grade 4 learn AUSLAN for 1 hour per week.
SPECIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Our school recognises that all children are unique and that each child will have special needs. To this end we have established a Special Assistance Program which aims to assist those children who are identified by parents and teachers as requiring additional assistance so that they may grow to their fullest potential. A Special Assistance Co-ordinator and Student Support Group assists the classroom teacher to develop an individual program to meet the needs of such children. This program is closely monitored by the Co-ordinator and support team who also provide a variety of strategies and support mechanisms to ensure that the needs of these children are met. Parental permission is required before children can participate in any of the Special Assistance programs.
READING RECOVERY PROGRAM
This program is available for children in their second year of schooling who may require some extra support in developing their literacy skills. The classroom teacher, in conjunction with the Reading Recovery Teacher, identify those children at the end of their first year of schooling and then discuss the Reading Recovery Program with the child’s parents. The aims and the procedure of the program are outlined and parents’ support is also sought. Children in the program are provided with intensive instruction for half an hour each day on a one on one basis for up to twenty weeks. The success of this program is outstanding but it does require support from parents.
ENHANCING MATHS UNDERSTANDING (EMU)
Our school also offers support for those children who have difficulty with Maths. A specially trained teacher works with a group of 3 or 4 children for 3 hours per week in order to help these children consolidate concepts and processes that have proven difficult for these children in the past. As with all of our support programs parents must give us their permission before any child can participate in this program. In addition to the above we offer the following Literacy Support Programs which will involve children from Grades 1 to 6: “Rainbow Reading”, S.E.L.L. and “Bridges Across the Middle Years”. These are one to one programs offered throughout the school to accelerate children’s literacy skills.