At St John the Apostle we embrace a collaborative learning environment where we strive to know our students, understand their diverse learning needs and create
rich opportunities for deep learning. This requires a professional teaching team who continuously develop their expertise and practice to help us support and/or extend every student's learning.
Our Curriculum is based on the solid foundation provided by both the Archdiocesan Religious Education Curriculum and the Australian Curriculum. You can read more about the Australian Curriculum in the Parents Guide to the Australian Curriculum.
We teach using a balanced approach between explicit teaching of fundamental knowledge ans skills and inquiry learning that stretches students to be independent, critical and creative thinkers who can collaborate effectively, communicate their learning and actively serve their community.
Aspirations for our students
Psalm 1:3 'That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither - whatever they do prospers.'
In 2020, as part of renewing our school curriculum, we worked with parents and staff to name the aspirations we have for our students at St John the Apostle and celebrate and develop the ways we nourish them to achieve these aspirations.
At Saint John's we use Shared Christian Praxis as the framework for teaching and learning in Religious Education. Units of work are based on the Treasures New and Old Unit Outlines and are developed at a school level, written using the praxis approach. When programming units of RE, teachers commence the unit with a focusing activity that introduces, orientates and motivates students to the study of the unit. Teachers draw upon students' current experiences and knowledge to assist them to make connections with spirituality and faith. It is inclusive and invitational.
At Saint John's students participate in a shared Parish and home-based sacramental program. The Parish provides an excellent short formation series for parents of students receiving each sacrament for the first time. Students also learn about the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation at school. The typical year levels for these units of work are:
Year 3: Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Year 3: Sacrament of Eucharist.
Year 6: Sacrament of Confirmation.
Programs that support student learning
Our school emphasises literacy and numeracy development for all of our students. Since 2019 our students participate in the Daily 5 Literacy Block. Involving strong routines, our students spend two hours involved in explicit treaching of fundamental literacy concepts and skills as well as guided and independent practice of what they learn through:
- Reading to Self
- Reading to Others
- Listening to Reading
- Working on Writing, and
- Word Work
This year we have been pleased to introduce the Mathematics Daily 3. During the Mathematics Daily 3 students are explicitly taught fundamental concepts and skills in Mathematics and have the opportunity to apply and practice these through:
- Maths by Myself
- Maths Writing, and
- Maths with Someone
Research shows that explicit, structured teaching through a systematic phonics program as part of a balanced literacy program significantly improves student achievement in developing reading.
Our school implements the Sounds-Write program as part of our Daily 5 Literacy Block. Sounds-Write involves daily explicit teaching and practice in phonological awareness and
While we use strong routines and evidence-informed teaching practices in the classroom for Mathematics and English, we know that some students will need some additional targeted intervention for a short time to help them sustain the learning they have already achieved, fill any gaps and learn new skills.
Our Inclusion Assistants and Inclusion Teacher run daily intervention programs during peak learning time for identified students. They use evidence-informed practices such as Sounds-Write or Mini-Lit to support these students.
Building on our success with our Kitchen Garden, where all students are provided with the opportunity to engage in rich, hands-on learning experiences that develop:
- Food preparation and joy
- Food and science understandings
- Literacy and numeracy skills
- Respect and understanding of the environment and our impact
- Leadership and collaborative skills
We are now working with all students to build their awareness and knowledge of how to live sustainably in the world and why this is so important for their own future. Beginning with our youngest students, our Sustainability teachers build their awareness of the positive impact they can have on their home, school, local, national and global environments. They learn about the science involved, the successes that have been achieved and the actions they can take to contribute positively.