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. We create 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 direct and explicit teaching of fundamental knowledge and skills and inquiry learning that stretches students to be independent, critical and creative thinkers who can collaborate effectively, communicate their learning and generously 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.
As a proudly Catholic School, Religious Education (RE) is an additional and important learning area for every student in our school. The Religious Education Curriculum draws upon the curriculum from Brisbane Catholic Education and reflects our contemporary lives through its:
- Content: The RE curriculum is based on the Sacred Scriptures and Catholic Tradition and Teaching as expressed in our modern world.
- Methodology: An inquiry style begins with the experience and context of every learner and invites them to reflect on the place of scripture, teaching and tradition in their everyday life; guiding them in the development of faith, character and values and calling them to be a positive impact in their world.
- Structure: The RE curriculum is outcomes-based around a number of broad themes threaded from Kindergarten to Year 6. It is developmentally appropriate and outlined in well-developed curriculum documentation. Please visit the Catholic Education website to view the Religious Education curriculum (link provided above).
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.
English and Mathematics
Strong literacy and numeracy are the fundamental building blocks to success in learning. At St John the Apostle we prioritise these every day and support every student to be either extended or supported in achieving a deep knolwedge in both areas.
Every student participates in a two-hour Literacy Block based on the Science of Reading every day. Students receive explicit teaching in the important knowledge and skills of reading and writing. Some of the significant evidence-based strategies and programs our teachers are trained in include:
- Let's Decode Phonics Program for Kindergaten to Year 2 supporting students making the connections between oral language and reading.
- Talk for Writing for Kindergarten to Year 2 where students lear to imitate then innovate and then invent their own original written texts in a variety of well known forms.
- Spelling Mastery for Years 1 to 6 where students build their phonological, morphological and etymological knowledge of words.
- The Writing Revolution (Hochman Method) for Kindergarten to Year 6 where students learn to write for all subject areas.
Following recess is a one hour Mathematics Block where they participate in strategies such as Rocket Maths to build up their automatic recall of number facts and are then explicitly taught mathematical knowledge and skills. Each day, based on our understanding of how students learn (Cogntitive Load Theory) students also review previous learning. They have the opportunity to practice the application of these in investigations and challenges.
For information on how we support diverse learners in literacy and numeracy development please visit the Diversity & Wellbeing page.
In addition to Religious Education, English and Mathematics St John the Apostle teaches all Key Learning Areas of The Australian Curriculum. This includes:
- The Arts
- Media Arts
- Visual Arts
- Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS)
- Civics and Citizenship, 3-6
- Economics and Business, 5-6
- Design and Technologies
- Digital Technologies
- Health and Physical Education
- Languages: Spanish, 3-6
Every class is fortunate to have one hour with our Teacher-Librarian each week. Our Library is rich in literature and continues to grow each year. Our trained Teacher-Librarian teaches students about authors and author craft in many forms of literature as well as research and critical thinking to support them in their learning across other curriculum areas. Our Teacher-Librarian works in both the printed media and digital media environments.
Our Performing Arts teacher is an enthusiastic member of our team and every class works with her for one hour per week. The Performing Arts Teacher teaches those aspects of the Australian Curriculum, Arts that include:
- Media Arts
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives are threaded through some of these areas. Students also explore the use of digital technologies as part of performance in the arts.
Every student from Kindergarten to Year 6 learns basic Spanish and develops cultural knowledge of Spanish speaking countries in the world. Spanish was chosen by our Community Council because it is one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn. Through learning Spanish our students not only stretch their knowledge and broaden their perspectives, they also learn the strategies for effective language learning.
Technology & Learning
This generation of students will enter a world requiring them to be responsible and confident digital citizens. That’s why we have a balanced approach in using technology to support deep learning and to develop the knowledge and skills needed to engage safely and effectively in the world.
Our students have access to a variety of mobile digital devices where they work collaboratively with peers and teachers through platforms such as Google Classrooms and a wide variety of other applications that support their learning.
Students participate in a One-to-One Technology Program from Years 4 to 6. Through this program they are learning that technology is a tool that provides efficient and creative opportunities to obtain and use knowledge critically, to learn collaboratively with peers and to have a positive impact on their community and the world.