Curriculum

The Australian Curriculum provides us with a framework to improve teacher knowledge and implement best classroom practice in the Key Learning Areas.


Religious Education

Religious Education is taught explicitly but is also an integral part of the school day and filters into many aspects of the whole curriculum. The Religious Education program is well sequenced and based on the document ‘To Know, Worship and Love’. Supported by the students' textbooks, it focuses on the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes within seven main content strands:- Advent, Lent, Easter/Pentecost, Self, Others, Church and World.

Scripture, Doctrine, Celebrations, Lived Responses and Life Experiences are included in the teaching methodology. Each classroom creates a sacred space as a focus for prayer in the classroom. This sacred space should reflect current classroom themes for the school year, from the curriculum or the liturgical season.

Opportunities are also provided for liturgical celebrations and whole-school gatherings for significant events, at the school and in Blessed Sacrament Church.

Sacramental programs for Confirmation, Reconciliation and First Communion are run in conjunction with the Parish. The teachers from the school help to support and facilitate these programs.

Students in Year 6 in the Archdiocese of Sydney, participate in the Year 6 Religious Education Test set by the Sydney Catholic Schools. In 2018, our results in the Year 6 test, placed us in the top 5 schools in the Archdiocese of Sydney.

Key Learning Areas

The Board of Studies NSW sets the learning requirements for each stage of primary school. The four stages are:

  • Early Stage 1: Kindergarten
  • Stage 1: Years 1 & 2
  • Stage 2: Year 3 & 4
  • Stage 3: Year 5 & 6

The Board’s syllabuses state what must be covered in these six Key Learning Areas:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science and Technology
  • History
  • Geography 
  • Creative and Practical Arts
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE)

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)

The Sydney Catholic Schools STEM statement aims to be embedded in teaching practice in the Sciences, Technology & Engineering and Mathematics. (STEM is not a new or additional subject).

STEM is authentic learning in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics through discipline-specific or integrated approaches. It is outcome-driven learning, that fosters inquiry, problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity and innovation. It fosters 21st-century capabilities and skills.
To facilitate this at Blessed Sacrament, our students in Year 1 to Year 6 are provided with the opportunity to undertake coding. The students have an instructional lesson to understand and use the software (Scratch) to create and communicate ideas and information, solve problems in order to accomplish specific goals; recognise, analyse, and correctly use the basic concepts and elements of computer programs, and be able to plan, design, develop, test and debug reasonably complicated software projects such as games and animated interactive stories. Coding is essential to help students thrive in a future driven by technology. Being introduced to coding gives students an appreciation of what can be built with technology. We are surrounded by devices controlled by computers. Understanding how they work, and imagining new devices and services, are enhanced by understanding coding.

          
                                                                                                  

We also offer Robotics sessions for interested students. We live in a digital world where computer programs underlie everything from business, marketing, aviation, science and medicine, to name several disciplines. 
-Educational robotics is a broad term that refers to a collection of activities, programs, physical platforms and educational resources, behind the physical elements lies a pedagogical philosophy that matches the new Digital Technologies curriculum. 
In addition, Students have found it very engaging and enjoyable. 
Most importantly it is developing student's critical, creative and computational thinking skills. Robotics in the primary years provides girls with the entry level to a field of study heavily dominated by boys.

English 

The NSW Board of Studies provides the English K–6 Syllabus upon which the students’ learning in English is based. Learning in English is supported by ten hours each week covering the strands of Speaking and Listening, Reading and Viewing, and Writing and Representing. The outcomes in this syllabus describe the knowledge, skills, understandings and strategies that students demonstrate when learning to talk, listen, view, read and write. English also has a wider role as a means of achieving success in all of the Key Learning Areas.

English is the most critical academic key learning area in the primary school. We have an ongoing commitment to high-quality literacy teaching and learning which will assist the students in becoming competent when using language in a range of situations.

"Literacy is the ability to read and use written and visual information and to communicate appropriately in a variety of social and academic contexts. It involves the integration of speaking, listening, viewing, creating, reading, writing and critical thinking in the use of both traditional texts and new communication technologies. Literacy includes the cultural knowledge which enables a speaker, reader, writer or viewer to recognise and use language appropriate to different social situations." (Literacy K-12 Position Paper, Catholic Education Office Sydney)

Mathematics

The NSW Board of Studies provides the Mathematics Syllabus K–6 upon which the students’ learning in Maths is based. The Mathematics K – 6 Syllabus is organised into six strands – one process strand, Working Mathematically, and the five content strands: Number, Patterns and Algebra, Data, Measurement, and Space and Geometry. Working Mathematically encompasses processes that are embedded into the other five strands through the content. Students in Mathematics learn to analyse and solve problems in all of these areas. Mathematics involves the study of patterns and relationships and provides a means of communication.

Students participate in daily one-hour numeracy sessions that encompass elements from each of the strands. Children need to use a variety of concrete materials and technologies to develop mathematical concepts, therefore we aim to ensure that there is a variety of appropriate equipment and resources readily available in the classroom. We believe that students have different learning styles and develop mathematical concepts at varying rates and levels, therefore we aim to support the learning needs of each student.

History and Geography. 

At Blessed Sacrament differentiated programs for Geography and History are utilised to challenge the students in their learning.

Geography is the study of places and the relationships between people and their environments. It is a rich and complex discipline that integrates knowledge from natural sciences, social sciences and humanities to build a holistic understanding of the world. Students learn to question why the world is the way it is, reflect on their relationships with and responsibilities for the world and propose actions designed to shape a socially just and sustainable future. The study of Geography enables students to become active, responsible and informed citizens able to evaluate the opinions of others and express their own ideas and arguments. This forms a basis for active participation in community life, a commitment to sustainability, the creation of a just society, and the promotion of intercultural understanding and lifelong learning. The skills and capabilities developed through geographical study can be applied to further education, work and everyday life.

History is a disciplined process of inquiry into the past that helps to explain how people, events and forces from the past have shaped our world. It allows students to locate and understand themselves and others in the continuum of human experience up to the present. History provides opportunities for students to explore human actions and achievements in a range of historical contexts. Students become aware that history is all around us and that historical information may be drawn from the physical remains of the past as well as written, visual and oral sources of evidence. The study of History from Kindergarten investigates the actions, motives and lifestyles of people over time, from individuals and family members to local communities, expanding to national and world history contexts. It introduces the idea that History contains many stories and that there is never only one uncontested version.

Science and Technology

Science and Technology provide opportunities for students to learn about natural and man-made environments. These studies involve students in investigating, designing and constructing, and in using technology. Through the use of Science and Technology students are exposed to a range of experiences where they may explore, examine, test and construct meaning about the world.

Science and Technology programs provide a balanced curriculum which incorporates the six strands of Built Environments, Information and Communication, Living Things, Physical Phenomena, Products and Services and the Earth and Its Surroundings. The knowledge and skills taught can be transferred to other Key Learning Areas and can be used in real life situations. Scientific methodology is taught in a fun, creative and hands-on way.

Creative and Practical Arts. 

The Creative Arts Key Learning Area includes the art forms of dance, drama, visual arts and music. Learning in these art forms provides opportunities for students to develop their abilities to create their own works, to appraise those works, and to appraise the works of others. Visual arts, music, drama and dance offer students opportunities for personal expression, enjoyment, creative action, imagination, emotional response, aesthetic pleasure and the creation of shared meanings.

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education

The Personal Development, Health and Physical Education Key Learning Area helps students develop self-esteem, social responsibility, personal fitness and the ability to make informed decisions about health and lifestyle choices. The PDHPE curriculum is organised into interrelated strands: Active Lifestyle, Dance, Games and Sports, Growth and Development, Gymnastics, Interpersonal Relationships, Personal Health Choices and Safe Living.

The Life Education program is also a key element in the Personal Development and Health strands, with Healthy Harold visiting once a year.

Students participate in two hours of physical activity each week. The school is involved in a weekly Martial Arts program taught by Master Michael. Weekly the students participate in Physical Skill development workshops, run by two qualified sports teachers from the company called “Be skilled Be fit.”The students also engage in physical activities with their class teacher each week to further develop their skills.

Primary students visit Rawson Oval (located within walking distance of the school) each week for sporting and physical activities with their teachers. 

Each year the students in Kinder to Year 4 participate in Swim week, designed to improve the swimming skills of students. Students are graded and qualified swimming instructors teach the students.
For Years 5 & 6 students, they attend a Surd Ed program at Manly Beach run by qualified life guards.

Additionally, students also participate in our annual Blessed Sacrament Athletics, Swimming and Cross Country sporting carnivals which are organised by the school.

There are representative pathways for the students in our Catholic schools, who have a sporting ability to represent the school, the Cluster, the Region and the Sydney Archdiocese and the State in various sporting endeavours. These include Tennis, Netball, Softball, Cricket, Basketball, Rugby, Soccer, Rugby League and also Athletics, Swimming and Cross Country.

Blessed Sacrament provides opportunities for students to engage in extra-curricular sports and sporting events.

Information Communication Technology (ICT)

Integration of ICT across all curriculum areas is undertaken. This occurs through a multi-model approach. Laptops, bring your own designated device (BYOD) using iPads, robotics, coding, the use of Apple TV and smart televisions are all effective teaching and learning tools. Children have online access to Sydney Catholic Schools individual Google accounts. Every student and parent in the school is aware of the SCS Student Acceptable User Agreement, which all parents and primary children are required to read and sign. This document clearly states the roles and expectations of parents and children in the use of technology at school. The aim is for all children to develop their knowledge and skills in using ICT and to become responsible users of technology and aware of safe practices when online.

There are many benefits to the BYOD program. Your child will have easy access to their digital school work. Your child’s password and username will be logged in to their account each day. Students learn the responsibility of caring for their device from an early age, including transporting and charging it at night. Sharing personal devices is not permitted. Security and safety are improved because only they will be using their device. To join the program, your child must bring their device to school every day. However, the school does have iPads for those children who do not have one.
What percentage of learning will be done on the devices?
Students will not be using their device or a school device for every hour of the school day. Students have learning choices to assist with the achievement of identified knowledge and skills. Sometimes a learning choice using technology is an option.

Italian

BUONGIORNO!

All students participate in an exciting program of immersion in the Italian language and culture. A specialist teacher conducts lessons each week for all students, from Kindergarten to Year Six.

Assessment

Assessment and reporting in all curriculum areas, including Religious Education, must be accurate and meaningful so that parents, students and teachers understand the student's achievements and the areas to be developed. Tracking of each individual student's achievement and regular feedback are two essential processes to identify and effectively cater to the learning needs.  Regular assessment occurs through a variety of mediums.