St Roch's Parish Primary School
COMMUNITY WELLBEING ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE
At St Roch’s learning is personalised and all students are supported and challenged to maximise their potential. The teachers know their students and respond to their social, emotional, cognitive and spiritual needs. Teaching is designed around students’ needs and interests and assessment information is used to monitor each student’s growth and progress. Teachers at St Roch’s create communities of learning that invite questions, support students to be curious and to develop the skills and resilience they need to succeed as lifelong learners.
In partnership with parents, Father Gallacher and the parish, we endeavour to educate students to be happy, confident, faith-filled young people and successful learners who will use their knowledge and gifts for the good of people everywhere. We assist students to make sense of everyday life experiences in the broader contexts of mystery and awe. We provide opportunities for students to gain access to the Scriptures, the traditions of the Catholic community, its stories and its teachings and to celebrate the mystery of the life of the Risen Christ. Our units of work are based on the Liturgical Calendar and celebrations of the sacraments. Our program aims to lead the children to a growing awareness of their relationship with God through encountering self, others, the Church and their World.
At St Roch’s, learning is personalised and all students are supported and challenged to maximise their potential. We use an inquiry approach to learning, encouraging our students to think critically and to make connections with their learning and real life. Inquiries are designed around developing important conceptual understandings that can be applied to a wide range of contexts. Through engaging in inquiries about the world around us and investigating important issues facing society, we aim for our students to experience deep and relevant learning that encourages reflective and creative thinking.
Our approach to learning is multi-disciplinary, building students’ literacy, numeracy and ICT skills alongside developing content knowledge. Students at St Roch’s have access to contemporary learning tools including Chromebooks, laptops, iPads and interactive whiteboards, which they use for researching, designing and communicating. STEAM education, which is a term used to refer to the cross-disciplinary approach to the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, is valued and highlighted in inquiry units at our school and St Roch’s is a member of the Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) Eastern Region STEM Collective with three other schools. This focus on STEAM provides our students with opportunities to develop the important skills of problem-solving, decision-making and collaborating that will support them to be active contributors to society.
At St Roch’s we seek to develop motivated, creative and independent learners who demonstrate strong social values and are capable of making a difference in their community.
The study of English is central to the learning and development of all students at St Roch’s. We believe English skills underpin learning across all curriculum areas. Our aim is to create confident communicators and imaginative and critical thinkers who enjoy the pleasures of reading and writing.
Recognising the importance of listening, speaking, reading, viewing and writing, a daily uninterrupted two hour Literacy block is dedicated to the teaching of English across the school. Clear learning intentions and criteria for success are explained and displayed to the students during each lesson so that learning is focused and meaningful. Teachers use effective teaching strategies in whole class, small groups and individual student-teacher conferences to address learning at each student’s point of need.
Learning needs are identified through close monitoring and assessment throughout the year. High expectations are set for all our learners, ensuring that students are challenged to think, reflect and apply knowledge and skills.
Teachers have a comprehensive knowledge of content and the curriculum and this is used to engage students in purposeful learning tasks. Strong links are made to inquiry topics to ensure learning is contextualised and connected. A wide variety of resources, both print based and digital, are used to enrich learning experiences.
Intervention for students in the Junior Years is provided through various programs including Enhanced Reading Intervention Knowledge (ERIK), Reading Recovery and the Levelled Literacy Intervention (LLI) program. In these programs students receive extra small group specialist teaching in reading and writing three days a week.
Parents are offered training twice a year to enable them to volunteer as classroom helpers during the daily Literacy block.
At St Roch’s Mathematics is taught in a way that enables our students to effectively and efficiently apply their understandings to problem solve in an ever changing society. We endeavour to instil a sense of curiosity and wonder through our teaching which aims to develop an ongoing interest and enjoyment of Mathematics.
Mathematics allows students to communicate with and understand the world around them. At St Roch’s a minimum of five hours per week is dedicated to learning mathematical skills such as representation, interpretation, reasoning, problem solving and analytical skills across the domains of Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability. Mathematics is also integrated into the other STEM disciplines through our inquiry approach to learning.
Effective and efficient mathematical strategies and ways of working are explicitly taught and learning intentions and success criteria enable students to enter a task at their point of need. The students at St Roch’s are assisted to develop speed and accuracy in computation as well as to problem solve and think critically in mathematical investigations that are applied to real world situations.
Teachers have a deep understanding and knowledge of the curriculum and the developmental stages of learning Mathematics. They monitor and assess students’ understandings of concepts in order to identify learning needs and to set challenges.
Parents are kept informed of current best practice and how they can support their children’s learning through educational workshops, classroom helper training and dialogue with classroom teachers. Classroom helpers are encouraged to assist in numeracy lessons at St Roch’s.
DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES & ICT
St Roch’s is committed to developing students who think critically and creatively and are empowered to be collaborative problem solvers. To accomplish this, we aim to expose students to opportunities that allow them to create innovative digital solutions to meet and redefine current and future problems.
The integrated Information and Communication Technology (ICT) program at St Roch’s develops in our students the digital literacy skills they need to contribute in a connected world. We strive to move our students’ learning beyond the boundaries of school and engage families, local and global communities to support, extend and challenge their learning. We seek to develop in our students a sound understanding of technology operations and concepts. We believe technology can be transformative and we encourage students to use technology to design, create, problem-solve and collaborate. All our students have opportunities to develop skills in creating digital projects using coding programs such as scratch and scratch Jr. and bring their coding to life with such electronic invention tools as Makey Makey.
The students use a range of hardware (including iPads, laptops, desktops, Chromebooks and interactive whiteboards) and software throughout the year levels at St Roch’s. Classrooms are equipped with digital projectors and interactive whiteboards/displays to facilitate group viewing and discussions. Students have access to a suite of software to support their learning needs including the use of G Suite, SeeSaw, Scratch, ScreenCastify, WeVideo, Flipgrid and Mathletics as well as a variety of apps, programs and websites.
We use technology to:
facilitate creativity and innovation
develop information fluency
support communication and collaboration
extend research and information fluency
model and practise safe, legal and responsible cyber behaviours.
Our staff stay up to date with the latest programs and innovations with regular professional development to ensure that our students are provided with avant-guard experiences. The school’s programs and professional learning expose our staff and students to the latest technologies that support computational, design and systems thinking.
We believe that informed students and parents create a safe online community. At St Roch’s we emphasise a need for digital citizenship. This involves using ICT in a safe, legal and responsible way. Digital Citizenship is taught throughout the year, both explicitly and across many curriculum areas. The students learn how to be responsible digital citizens by respecting and protecting others and ourselves whilst also being aware of the rules around copyright and plagiarism. Parent workshops are provided so our community can learn about maintaining a safe online learning environment for their children.
At St Roch’s we are creating students who are creative and innovative and we endeavour to inspire them to be agents of change now and into their future.
HEALTH & PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Health and Physical Education is an integral part of our students’ development. Highlights of our school are the sportsmanship and parental support that enable us to participate in many and varied sporting events. These include District Interschool Summer and Winter Sports, District Gala Days, an intra-school Sports Hour and a whole school Spirit Sports event. Physical Education lessons provide coverage of all fundamental motor skills and through ‘Sporting Schools’ the students experience specialist training in a range of sports. Our vision is to promote a healthy and active lifestyle for our school community.
Performing Arts at St Roch’s combines both the music and drama strands of the Victorian Arts Curriculum. Children are exposed to a variety of styles of music and theatre, and are encouraged to participate in class as both performers and audience members. The skills developed in Performing Arts go far beyond the classroom; building confidence, focus, creative thinking, improvisation and appreciation for the artistic expression of different cultures, times and places. Our students have the opportunity to showcase their learning for an audience throughout the school year, at assemblies, community events, and the biennial whole school production.
At St Roch's we value the role that Visual Arts plays in developing our students as creative and critical thinkers. We believe that art is a universal language that gives our students the opportunity to be global citizens and equips them with the skills that they will need for their future careers.
Our Visual Arts Program is guided and inspired by our whole school Inquiry Units.
Our students are given the opportunities to express their observations and ideas both individually and collaboratively through mediums such as clay, paint, collage and digital form. We encourage our students to develop a growth mindset. Persistence and resilience are important skills for our young artists as they trial new techniques and mediums to communicate their ideas.
Our student's artistic learning is also deepened by our connections with Scienceworks, the National Gallery of Victoria and our collaborations with other Catholic primary schools in STEAM and languages funded by Melbourne Archdiocese of Catholic Schools (MACS).
Our wonderful St Roch's Art Exhibition is held every second year. This is a significant event on our school calendar as it brings together our community of parents, parishioners and the wider community. This exhibition is a celebration of our student's artistic endeavours and each child takes pride in presenting, displaying and discussing their artworks with their audience.
The Victorian Curriculum states that:
Learning languages in addition to English extends students’ literacy repertoires and their capacity to communicate. It strengthens students' understanding of the nature of language, culture and the process of communication. (Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority 2016.)
The Italian program gives the students an excellent cultural and language experience while learning a second language. The study of the Italian language develops a greater awareness of English and literacy skills which impact on a wide range of competencies used in day to day living. While promoting the value of culture and the intercultural capability of understanding and respecting diversity, the program fosters intellectual development of the students in an interconnected and interdependent world. The students are encouraged and provided opportunities to use Italian as much as possible for classroom routines, social interactions and structured learning tasks. They use a wide range of texts, stories, songs, teacher-generated materials, online games and online resources in the creative, diverse and interesting program. The Italian program also makes links to class Inquiry units and includes STEM activities.
The St Roch’s library is a friendly, bustling, well loved learning space in our school. Promoting a love of literature and engaging students in reading are at the core of our library program and further enhance learning in the classrooms. Our students are enthusiastic about our lunch time Library Club, the Buddy Reading Program, Book Week Parade, Book Fair and The Great Book Swap on Indigenous Literacy Day. Workshops by visiting authors and illustrators are also organised throughout the year to enrich the learning of our students.