Religious Education is an important element of the Catholic Identity of St Patrick’s Primary School.
Our Religious Education Program is guided by the Sandhurst Diocese core document Source of Life.
Religious Education provides an opportunity for the St Patrick’s community to ‘give witness to and present the Christian message as well as foster an understanding of the teachings of the Gospel, the nature of Christianity and the way catholics are called to live within the Catholic Tradition’ (Source of Life, 2005).
Religious Education is within the classrooms, playground and many school and community gatherings. It is reflected in the way our school community interact with each other, the prayers in assembly, and the reverence and reflection witnessed in liturgies and masses.
The Religious Education Program aims to liberate learners by shaping a curriculum which facilitates an enriched response and reflection on the Catholic ethos and traditions.
Through Shared Christian Praxis our learners relate, engage, inquire, challenge and reflect on the messages of the Scriptures.
Students are also encouraged to develop an awareness and consciousness of Social Justice. This is achieved through educating the students on the important roles organisations such as Caritas, Mission Australia and St Vincent de Paul play in providing education, health services and basic life needs to those less fortunate than ourselves. We also encourage the children to reflect and act on how they can play a part on helping other people less fortunate than them.
Children will continue their growth in faith through the example and nurturing within family and their community. When parents consider their children to be ready to become fully initiated members of the Catholic faith, they can ask for them to be involved in a preparation program. This will mean they can enrol to celebrate the sacraments of Penance (Reconciliation), Confirmation and First Eucharist.
The preparation for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation, is a partnership between families, the three local Catholic primary schools and the parish. The parish organises the programs and through its bulletin and our school newsletter, parents are informed when the different programs will begin.
Students in Year Three usually prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation within their family groups and in the Religious Education studies at school. When these students are in Year Four, they continue their sacramental journey by preparing for the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation.
At St Patrick’s Primary School we create challenging, open and stimulating learning experiences in English that promote a positive mindset and attitude to learning. We are guided by the Victorian Curriculum when planning and assessing our students’ learnings.
We believe that our English Program:
- Fosters a love of reading
- Takes a differentiated approach which addresses the diverse learning needs of every student. This is achieved by planning several tasks which differ in complexity but share a common learning outcome.
In 2017 our school has a focus on reading and each classroom has a welcoming, reading corner full of cushions and a variety of books for students to choose from. We promote reading at home and at school each and every day. Students enjoy reading from levelled texts, junior fiction, chapter books as well as visiting our school library weekly. We use a number of strategies to assist our students with their reading, including: THRASS (Teaching Handwriting, Reading and Spelling Strategies), First Steps, A Sound Way (incorporating phonics), Colourful Semantics and Word Tools for example; word families and syllabification.
We have a strong focus on comprehension as students move from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn’ and we encourage students to use visualising, predicting, summarising, thinking aloud, questioning and making connections strategies, to assist with their understanding of texts.
In writing we focus on handwriting, spelling and writing in a variety of genres, including recounts, narratives, poetry, procedural texts, informative texts and letter writing. We enjoy sharing our ideas orally and then putting pencil to paper.
Our writing curriculum is guided by the Seven Steps Writing program. This program encourages the writer to brainstorm ideas, then sequence their writing on a graphic organiser prior to commencing their writing. Students are encouraged to self edit and ‘ban the boring bits’ to ensure they are writing an engaging piece of text.
To enhance the complexity of the students writing the Colourful Semantics program has been implemented. This program encourages the writer to be descriptive in their writing as well as to increase the complexity of their sentences. Students are taught spelling and grammar explicitly. We have adopted Deb Sukarno’s spelling program as well as integrating aspects of the THRASS approach.
Speaking and Listening
Oral language plays an important role in the literacy development of our students. They are exposed to a variety of texts and situations and they are taught explicitly how to respond appropriately, becoming active and considerate listeners. They are taught to hear letter patterns and sounds in words, rhyme, how to question and extend their vocabulary to express needs, feelings and ideas. The students learn these skills through an integrated Curriculum and through specific English focusses, including:
- Show and Tell/News time
- Individual and group work
- Whole class discussions
- Mini presentations
- Active parts at assemblies, class liturgies and masses
St Patrick’s Science Program is an exciting and educationally rich program. The students are provided with opportunities to develop their scientific knowledge through experimentation and problem solving.
Through these learning experiences the students become interested in science and are able to identify its importance within the world we live.
The program is taught weekly by a specialist science teacher, from Prep to Grade 6. The curriculum covers the AusVELS strands of Biological Science, Physical Science, Chemical Science and Earth and Space Science.
A.N.T PROGRAM (Adding to Numeracy Thinking)
The A.N.T program (Adding to Numeracy Thinking) offers intensive support in strengthening students’ mathematical understanding in the areas of counting, place value, addition and subtraction, and multiplication and division.
The A.N.T program started in 2012 and is based upon research and practical activities taken from the EMU program (Extending Mathematical Understandings). The program has been modified to suit the needs, interests and student groupings at our school. This has enabled us to work with a greater number of students across year levels. Approximately 40 students participate in the program each year.
The ANT program aims to accelerate children’s mathematical learning so they can participate in the classroom program with greater effectiveness.
Groups are selected based on student’s results from the Mathematics Assessment Interview (MAI) in which all students across the school complete in Term 4, as well as observations and professional discussions.
Some aspects of the MAI assessment:
- It enables children to showcase their skills and understandings
- Allows teachers to discover how their students think and feel during maths tasks
- It provides insights into the child’s thinking
- It generates detailed individual and class profiles
- It allows our school to track student progress over time
The Maths Assessment Interview will score students in the areas of Counting, Place Value, Addition and Subtraction, Multiplication and Division. Students are scored a Growth Point for each area. Growth Points describe the typical ‘stepping stones’ along the path to mathematical understanding and allow teachers to focus on the child’s mathematical learning in a specific aspect e.g. counting.
The ANT program continues each year due to the successful results that this program continues to achieve.
We have many other programs to assist students to grow.
Seasons for Growth
Seasons for Growth is a program for children, young people or adults who have experienced significant change or loss.
Seasons for Growth is based on the belief that change, loss and grief are a normal and valuable part of life. We examine the impact of changes such as death, separation, divorce, and natural disaster upon our lives, and explore how we can learn to live with and grow from these experiences.
The core intentions of this program are the development of resilience and emotional literacy to promote social and emotional wellbeing. The program is educational in nature and does not provide therapy.
We use the imagery of the four seasons to illustrate that grief is cyclical, not a linear journey with a clear end. Trained “Companions” facilitate small groups where participants share their experiences, and support and learn from one another. Peer support is a key element of the program, and confidentiality is strongly emphasised.
Since its launch in 1996, Seasons for Growth has reached over 120 000 children and young people, as well as thousands of adults, in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland and Peru.
Seasons For Growth 2016 Expression of Interest Form
After School Care
St Patrick’s Parish After School Hours Care
Ovens Street, Wangaratta VIC 3677
Phone: (03) 57 21 5795 (Mon-Fri 8am to 4pm)
Fax: (03) 57 21 9604
Manager: Mr Terry Corrigan
Administration: Rosemary Pane
Co-ordinator: Elena DeFazio
- Jodie Mays
- Rosemary Pane
- Wendy Groves
Full details can be found in the 2017 After School Care Handbook
At St Patrick’s we recognize that the wellbeing of our students is vital for success at school and for the student’s growth as a whole person.
Our school rule is “Respect for self, Respect for others, Respect for Property and Respect for the environment.”
St Patrick’s recognizes that the wellbeing of our students is vital for success at school and for life. The Pastoral Wellbeing team works together to ensure programs or targeted at all children’s needs.
The team includes:
Helen Lyons (Wellbeing Officer), Terry Corrigan (Principal) Sr. Gail Ryan (School Liaison Officer) Jasman Studzinski (Speech Pathologist), Occupational Therapists, Psychologist from the CEO and Sue Da Silva (CEO)
The mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of young people are essential preconditions for successful learning. These qualities cannot be developed for individuals in isolation from the health and wellbeing of the school community as a whole.
(Charter of Sandhurst School Improvement – Pastoral Wellbeing, 2012)
- As Christian Educators we have a duty and responsibility to reflect the values of Jesus in our approach to the children in our care.
- All children have a right to be accepted, respected, valued and encouraged to grow.
- All children have a right to learn and play in a safe and supportive environment that provides fairness and equality in a Christ centered community.
- A child is best able to grow and learn when he/she feels secure in all aspects of their development, mental health, social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical and moral.
- It is vital that as educators we make every attempt to identify the specific needs of individuals and use all available resources to assist the child’s development.
- Confidentiality in welfare activities is of paramount importance.
- Behaviour management should be holistic with the focus of a situation being directed to the behavior or action, and not the individual.
- Children should be aware of the consequences of their actions so that they take responsibility for their behavior and develop a sense of respect for self, others, property and environment.
St Patrick’s Primary School takes every available measure to ensure the safety of students, and the broader school community, and to protect and support them. St. Patrick’s Primary School recognizes the need to provide a safe, supportive and a respectful teaching and learning community that promotes student wellbeing.
(Charter of Sandhurst School Improvement – Pastoral Wellbeing, 2012)
- Pastoral Wellbeing is achieved or forfeited in the quality of relationships established in the school’s daily routine of life and in the way in which people interact with each other. It is a significant determinant of each person’s self-worth, belonging and wellbeing.
- Pastoral Wellbeing endeavours to discern the life needs of students and provide them with every opportunity to value themselves and experience wellbeing.
- Family-school collaboration is a cooperative process of planning that brings together school staff, parents, children and community members to maximize resources for child achievement and development. Parent involvement promotes a healthy and consistent learning environment by establishing mutual goals between parents and educators and developing activities that bridge home and school. Such programs actively engage parents through a variety of activities that enable them to more fully participate in their child’s education, both at home and at school.
- It is essential that relationships of trust, co-operation and partnership be developed between the school and family members. The school community needs to maintain respect for and sensitivity to diverse cultural values and family structures.