Learning & Teaching
Curriculum Information - Building the learning capacity of all students
At St Margaret’s School, learning and teaching is driven by our Catholic context and our belief that all students and teachers can succeed given the right conditions and support. We use the Victorian Curriculum to guide us with our planning and teaching.
Teachers believe in creating strong relationships with the students and their families, developing an understanding of who each child is and how they best learn. We look to a strengths based approach that values what our students can do and moving them on to new learning.
St Margaret’s takes pride in welcoming all those that enter our school, believing that helping people feel comfortable within our school community leads to a safe, open environment and a strong base for productive learning. As a whole school community we wish to partake in and promote commitment, service, respect and compassion for all. Our learning, both for staff and students, is supported by actively reflecting Jesus’ values in our decisions, choices and actions.
We strive to promote a collaborative culture within our staff and students, which creates engaging and meaningful learning opportunities. All of us have something of value that we can add to the world and we can learn even better by listening and working together. Teachers aim to provide rich, rigorous and relevant learning experiences that meet the needs of all students and the whole school community. We work together, as a community, to solve problems with the purpose to be positive, active and productive citizens. Learning should be authentic, connected to real world issues, teaching students the skills they need to succeed outside of school.
Guided by leadership, the staff at St Margaret’s invest time into developing the teaching qualities through professional learning. We believe in integrating contemporary tools with methods that have worked in the past to maximise learning and teaching success. The tools that we use, the teaching styles and the understanding of diverse learning styles help us to personalise learning, creating passionate, lifelong learners.
At St Margaret’s, we believe every child needs to develop essential literacy skills and strategies to gain confidence, enjoyment, and knowledge in using multi-literacies to participate in an ever-changing world actively.
Literacy is one of the core subjects in The Victorian Curriculum, the mandated curriculum for Catholic schools in Victoria. In teaching Literacy, our motivations are framed by social justice principles of participation, equity and access so that every child is enabled through literate practices to realise diverse life goals. Our ideal outcome is for all children to understand the linguistic meaning-making systems necessary for a just community and world.
Becoming literal is central to the learning and development of all young Australians. It helps create confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens. Through the study of English, individuals learn to analyse, understand, communicate with and build relationships with others and the world around them.
At St Margaret’s we:
- collaboratively plan and implement a structured and comprehensive literacy program P-6 with the explicit teaching of knowledge and skills in Reading, Writing and Oral Language
- integrate literacy where possible in our inquiry units to ensure our experiences are real, hands-on and challenging for our students
- provide literacy support to classroom teachers and students to improve teaching and learning
- utilise current technology and resources to enhance our programs and assist in providing students with skills for the future
- nurture a love of literature through sharing quality books and stories
- use ongoing assessment to inform and plan for individual student needs
- provide literacy support P-6 for those students in need.
In teaching Mathematics at St Margaret’s School, we strive to develop the mathematical skills and understandings required to confidently explore and make sense of the problems students will face in their daily lives.
Mathematics reaches all aspects of our lives and in all of our activities. It infiltrates our conversations and our understanding of Mathematics often determines the decisions we make. Our students need to see Mathematics in a real life context and the value it has for them in the future, responding to familiar and unfamiliar situations by making informed decisions with confidence.
At St Margaret’s we understand that different students have different learning needs, prefer different learning styles and learn at different rates. In Mathematics we work to cater for the needs of every individual student and look for opportunities to help them discover, investigate and explore.
We value student interaction in the learning of mathematics as they share ideas and strategies, and collaborate with each other to solve problems, as they will often do when they leave school.
Through our work in Mathematics, the aim is that the students will achieve the following goals:
- to develop useful mathematical and numeracy skills for everyday life, work and as active and critical citizens in a technological world
- to see connections and apply mathematical concepts, skills and processes to pose and solve problems in mathematics and in other disciplines and contexts.
- to develop a love of mathematics through discovery, exploration and investigation
- to have the ability to describe methods, reasonings and understandings
- to learn how to collaborate while problem solving, sharing strategies and reflections, and motivate each other
- to develop persistence when faced with challenging mathematical problems, using prior knowledge to help find a solution.
Education in Faith
Our faith in God is key to all we do at St. Margaret’s. Our identity and mission as a Catholic school is founded in the teachings of Jesus Christ. The school has a visible Catholic culture, featuring active sacramental and liturgical practices, daily prayer, events that commemorate and celebrate our rich tradition and a commitment to social justice action. We take inspiration from our namesake Saint Margaret of Scotland and emulate her dedication to education, prayer, compassion for others and acting for justice.
The religious education curriculum aims to complement the family in developing the whole child in a life of faith. It encompasses the following content areas:
- Scripture and Jesus
- Church and Community
- Prayer, Liturgy and Sacraments
- Morality and Justice
- God, Religion and Life
Each of these areas is developed across the school through a range of experiences and learning opportunities designed to allow students to grow in:
- Knowledge and Understanding
- Reasoning and Responding
- Personal and Communal Engagement
Students participate in school-based Sacramental programs in readiness for the celebration of Sacraments:
- Reconciliation (Year 3)
- First Eucharist (Year 4)
- Confirmation (Year 6)
We strengthen the integration of faith, life and culture, inviting students to discover God’s presence in their daily lives and engaging them in Catholic teaching. In this way students may grow in understanding of themselves and their world in light of the Gospel. We encourage students to contribute their gifts as responsible, confident, happy, kind and active members of the community.
At St Margaret’s School, we strive to support our students to become citizens who will be able to make informed decisions, considering local and global needs, about their lifestyle and the environment. Our teaching of the integrated curriculum focuses on the areas of Science, Health, History, Geography and Civics & Citizenship. It supports our desire to make sense of the world through exploration. Students will develop their understanding through learning about the discoveries of those that went before them and participating in hands-on investigations.
We teach Integrated Studies using a Design Thinking pedagogy with phases of Immersion, Synthesis, Ideation, Prototyping and Feedback. These phases lead students to create actions that are designed to solve problems.
Our Integrated Curriculum is taught across a two year cycle with our understandings based on those provided by the Victorian Curriculum and the current needs of our local, national and global communities. When planning our units, our learning areas are guided by a ‘Big Idea’ and ‘Throughlines’ which have been developed in accordance with the curriculum as below.
At St Margaret’s School we offer an engaging Visual Arts program that allows students to display their creativity and imagination whilst appreciating our world. Students are given a wealth of knowledge in visual arts skills, techniques and processes. They explore a range of materials and styles and are given the opportunity to reflect critically on their learning and give their context to all pieces of artwork. Students at St Margaret’s are given the opportunity to share their work through our biennial art show.
Language other than English
At St Margaret’s, we foster an engaging inquiry approach to our language program. Through our learning, we investigate Italian people, their way of thinking and their culture. Students develop improved literacy skills, critical thinking and problem solving skills through their understanding of how other languages work. They take part in engaging play based learning, games and creative tasks which give them the skills to form basic and complex sentences.
The Physical Education programme at St Margaret’s develops fundamental movement skills and understandings that gives students the foundations to participate in physical activities with confidence and enjoyment. They develop skills, strategy and teamwork which forms the basis for lifelong health & wellbeing. Our programs incorporate a range of outsourced coaches that specialise various sports to best support our children in developing their skills. Students at St Margaret’s are given the opportunity to compete in a range of opportunities at a district, division, regional and state level.
- Winter Lightning premierships – Australian Rule Football, Netball and Softball
- Athletics and Cross Country
- Soccer and Basketball competitions
- Swimming programs
- T20 Blast Cricket
Performing Arts - Drama
Students explore Drama through an inquiry and play based approach. They explore different ways to use voice, expressions and movement to allow students to showcase their imagination and creativity. The opportunity to perform in front of audiences gives students the confidence and willingness to present in front of classmates during other curriculum areas.
Performing Arts - Dance
In Dance, students respond to structured dance sequences and have the opportunity to make their own improvised and choreographed performances. They also explore a range of choreographed songs for performances and exhibit their own creativity through dance productions in both their year level and whole school situations. Our biennial school dance concert allows students to share their learning with friends and family.
Performing Arts - Music
Students at St Margaret’s are given the skills to be able to sing, play instruments and dance from memory through a range of traditional singing games, chants and actions. They perform, listen to, and analyze the great art music of the world and make connections to various cultures globally. Performance opportunities give our students the confidence to share their learning with their peers and families through class productions, assemblies and our biennial school music concert.
The STEM program at St Margaret’s offers students the opportunity to develop a variety of skills in problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration whilst adopting a hands-on approach to learning. STEM classes incorporate a range of technology, building materials and robotics to help students develop skills for the 21st century.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
Our Prep to Year 2 students engage in explicit lessons around their social and emotional well being. They learn to regulate their emotions and the qualities it takes to be a good friend.