Literacy is the key access to learning and to success in later education and everyday life. In the English domain, texts and language constitute the central and essential concepts. The concept of texts focuses equally on creating and analysing texts, understanding and interpreting texts, and moving beyond interpretation to reflection and critical analysis. Students learn to appreciate, enjoy and use language and develop a sense of its richness and its power to evoke feelings, to form and convey ideas, to inform, to discuss, to persuade, to entertain and to argue.
- All students at our school will study a sequential English course based upon the standards contained within the Victorian Curriculum. These documents are supplemented by our school based Scope and Sequence English outcome statements.
- Students’ individual abilities are measured by a rigorous assessment schedule
- There are a range of support programs to meet the needs of individual students.
- Students are provided with opportunities to use language effectively in a range of contexts from informal to formal.
The St. Leonard’s DUEL Literacy approach has been designed as a universal preventative model to ensure that all children in the Junior School have individualised instruction in the core aspects of Literacy acquisition. It is the outcome of an Action Research Project that has been developed over a period of five years.
DUEL is a Response to Intervention (RTI) model that provides targeted teaching based on rigorous and regular screening and assessment. Response to Intervention (RTI) is a multi-tier approach to the early identification and support of students learning.
The five pillars of reading instruction (fluency, phonological awareness, phonics, comprehension and vocabulary) underpin the DUEL model and all students receive explicit, differentiated instruction based on their level of development in these skills. Students with learning difficulties or diagnosed conditions who require specific support are able to access continuous targeted teaching during their first three years of schooling. This model eliminates the need for an intervention program, as all children receive high quality personalised instruction based on their emerging Literacy skills.
In Senior Literacy (Years 3 – 6), there is a focus on using all aspects of literacy (reading and viewing, writing, listening and speaking) as tools for learning in other Victorian Curriculum Learning Areas. In the Senior School, there is a major focus on creating and reflecting on increasingly complex and multimodal texts. This will support students to express opinions, make judgements and evoke feelings across all areas of the curriculum, especially through Inquiry Learning.
Students learn to demonstrate useful mathematical and numeracy skills, solve practical problems with mathematics, develop specialist knowledge in mathematics, see mathematical connections and be able to apply mathematical concepts, skills and processes in posing and solving mathematical problems.
All students at our school will study a sequential Mathematics course based upon the standards contained within the Victorian Curriculum. These documents are supplemented by our school based Scope and Sequence Mathematics outcome statements.
The key features of our mathematics program include:
- Daily numeracy sessions in all classes
- A range of support programs to meet the needs of individual students
- Major focus across the school on ‘Mental Maths Strategies’
- Comprehensive assessment across the school, which is used to inform classroom-teaching practice.
- A Teaching & Learning coordinator who assists in the planning and delivery of the mathematics program.
- Mathematical reasoning and thinking underpins all aspects of the St Leonard’s school mathematics program, including problem posing, problem solving, investigation and modelling. It encompasses the development of algorithms for computation, formulation of problems, making and testing conjectures, and the development of abstractions for further investigation.
Humanities – Civics and Citizenship, Economics, Geography and History
Students study human societies, people and their cultures in the past and the present, learning about human behaviour. They learn to understand how and why groups of people have settled where they have, organised their societies, developed means of generating and distributing wealth, developed codes, laws and belief systems and related to other groups of people.
Civics and Citizenship
The Civics and Citizenship domain provides students with knowledge, skills and opportunities to understand and practise what it means to be a citizen in a democracy. Students study the political and legal systems and processes and the history that underpins them in order to achieve civic understanding. They study what it means to be an Australian and explore Australia’s role within the neighbouring region and the world. They discuss and analyse their rights and responsibilities as citizens, and democratic values and principles such as democratic decision-making, representative and accountable government, freedom of speech, equality before the law, social justice and equality.
Students will study how different societies allocate scarce resources to satisfy the wants and needs of its members. They will study how to best manage resource scarcity and addresses the requirements for human survival and economic sustainability. They learn how wealth is generated and distributed and are provided with the knowledge and skills to engage with economic matters and to consider the effects of alternative economic decisions on themselves and others. They are then in a better position to:
- act rationally and ethically when making economic and personal financial decisions.
- appreciate the complexity of economic decision making.
- understand the economic decisions made by others.
Students study the past so as to understand themselves and their world, and to apply their understanding in their present lives and consider futures they desire. It helps them understand how the world has changed in the past and how it might be changed again in the future. Students learn that all history, including Australian history, reflects multiple influences and connections to an array of other countries, cultures and times. They learn about the key events in the history of the Australian nation and how it has evolved over time. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) history is an integral perspective within Australian history. Students will develop skills in research and critical inquiry: framing questions, organising inquiries, identifying the origins of sources, identifying values and beliefs underpinning them and using the language of history.
Students study physical and human environments from a spatial perspective. Students will develop the knowledge and skills to observe and describe places on the surface of the earth, which provides a basis for evaluating strategies for the sustainable use and management of the world’s resources.
Through Science, students learn to be curious about the world in which they live to wonder why it is that way, and to ask about our place in it. A fundamental goal for science education is to stimulate, respond to and nourish such curiosity, wonder and questioning. Science provides us with one view of the world – a view that changes as our knowledge and understanding of science evolves. Students investigate these challenges and redirections, and the implications of these for their own life choices, the environment and the community (local and global) in which they live so as to meet these challenges and make responsible, informed choices.
The Science curriculum has two interrelated strands: Science Understanding and Science Inquiry Skills. Together, the two strands of the science curriculum provide students with understanding, knowledge and skills through which they can develop a scientific view of the world.
The Arts are unique, expressive, creative and communicative forms that engage students in critical and creative thinking and help them understand themselves and the world. The specific areas of The Arts are: Visual Art, Dance, Drama, Media, Music and Visual Communication. By their very nature, the Arts nurture cultural understanding, invention, new directions and new technology. All students experience learning in Performing Arts (Dance, Drama and Music) and Visual Arts (Art, including two-dimensional and three-dimensional, and Media) disciplines and forms. Formal Art lessons are held weekly at all levels. Students experiment with a variety of media including painting, drawing, construction, modelling and collage. All children from Foundation – Year 6 are involved in a biennial School Art Show where they have the opportunity to demonstrate their artistic abilities.
In 2017 an ‘Artist in Residence’ was employed to be the performing arts teacher to lead all children through a formal music program with a hands on approach. Students from years 3 – 6 are also involved in formal choir lessons. Students also are involved in Performing Arts, drawing upon a range of skills to present works for a variety of audiences and purposes. All children from Foundation – year 6 are involved in a biennial school concert where they have the opportunity to demonstrate their performing skills.
Learning languages broadens students’ horizons about the personal, social, cultural and employment opportunities that are available in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world. The interdependence of countries and communities requires people to negotiate experiences and meanings across languages and cultures. A bilingual or plurilingual capability is the norm in most parts of the world.
- contributes to the strengthening of the community’s social, economic and international development capabilities
- extends literacy repertoires and the capacity to communicate; strengthens understanding of the nature of language, of culture, and of the processes of communication
- develops intercultural capability, including understanding of and respect for diversity and difference, and an openness to different experiences and perspectives
- develops understanding of how culture shapes and extends learners’ understanding of themselves, their own heritage, values, beliefs, culture and identity
- strengthens intellectual, analytical and reflective capabilities, and enhances creative and critical thinking.
Technologies – Digital Technologies, Design and Technologies
The Technologies provide a framework for students to learn how to use technologies to create innovative solutions that meet current and future needs. Students are encouraged to make decisions about the development and use of technologies, considering the impacts of technological change and how technologies may contribute to a sustainable future. The curriculum provides practical opportunities for students to be users, designers and producers of new technologies.
In Design and Technologies, students use design thinking and technologies to generate and produce designed solutions. In Digital Technologies, students use computational thinking and information systems to analyse, design and develop digital solutions.
Health and Physical Education
The Learning Area of Health and Physical Education provides students with knowledge, skills and behaviours to enable them to achieve a degree of autonomy in developing and maintaining their physical, mental, social and emotional health. Students focus on the importance of a healthy lifestyle and physical activity to promote the potential for lifelong participation in physical activity through the development of motor skills and movement competence, health-related physical fitness and sport education.
Students’ involvement in physical activity takes many forms, ranging from individual, non-competitive activity through to competitive team games. Emphasis is placed on combining motor skills and tactical knowledge to improve individual and team performance. Students progress from the development of basic motor skills to the performance of complex movement patterns that form part of team games. They learn how developing physical capacity in areas such as strength, flexibility and endurance is related to both fitness and physical performance.
Physical Education lessons are taken by a specialist teacher. Fundamental Motor Skills is an integral part of the P.E. program. All students from Foundation – Year Two are involved in swimming lessons in fourth term. The program is voluntary for students in years 3 – 6.
The Twilight School Sports carnival involves all students from Foundation – year 6.
Our middle and senior students are also given the opportunity to be involved in Swimming, Cross Country, Tennis and Athletics teams throughout the year.
All students in years 5 & 6 are involved in Interschool Sports Competition each Friday throughout the year. Sports include: football, soccer, basketball, netball, softball, volleyball, bat tennis, cricket, kanga cricket and athletics.
Health concepts are taught to all levels through an inquiry unit.