Curriculum

Mater Dei Catholic Primary School offers a curriculum that is child-centred and has a strong emphasis on literacy and numeracy skills. We aim to develop in children the skills of independent and cooperative learning, and critical thinking.
We are committed to the implementation of innovative and contemporary teaching practices that endeavour to meet the needs of students through the differentiation and integration of the curriculum.
 ICT (Information and Communication Technology) is integrated across all the Key Learning Areas, with students having access to laptops, iPads, iPods, SmartBoards and digital cameras.
    
The school provides an educational program based on, and taught in accordance with the Board of Studies syllabuses for Primary Education. The Key Learning Areas (KLAs) are English, Mathematics, Science and Technology, History, Creative Arts and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education. In addition, the school implements the curriculum requirements of the Catholic Education Office, Sydney.
 
We have commenced implementation of the new National Curriculum in English, Mathematics, Science and History. The other curriculum areas will be implemented as they are released.
Staff members at the school are committed to continuous improvement of teaching and learning in all facets of the school curriculum.  

Religious Education

Religious Education is taught explicitly. The Religious Education program is well sequenced and based on the Archdiocesan K-6 Religious Education Curriculum. Supported by the student textbook  ‘To Know, Worship and Love’, it focuses on the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes within five main content strands: Liturgical Year, Self, Others, Church and Creation.

Opportunities are also provided for liturgical celebrations and whole-school gatherings for significant events, at the school and in Mater Dei Church.
 
Sacramental programs for Confirmation, First Communion  and Reconciliation are school-based. Confirmation occurs in Year 6, First Communion in Year 4 and Reconciliation in Year 3.
 
Students in Year 6 in the Archdiocese of Sydney participate in the Year 6 Religious Education Test set by the Catholic Education Office Sydney. 

English

This involves developing the skills needed to read widely with understanding and enjoyment; to spell accurately; to write grammatically in a variety of forms; to understand the function of language; to listen and communicate effectively in a variety of situations; and to critically assess good literature. Computer skills and Visual Literacy are included. All classes have focused on the explicit teaching of talking and listening strategies related to the writing of text types. The Teaching Handwriting Reading and Spelling Skills (THRASS) program is implemented across the school. All students are  registered for online reading schemes in addition to the use of levelled reading resources.  

Mathematics

This involves learning the basics of number, space and measurement, chance and data; developing calculating, reasoning, predicting and verifying skills; developing students’ ability to think mathematically; and laying the foundation for future study of Mathematics. All students are registered to use the online program Mathletics to support their class program. 

Science and Technology

This involves the skills of enquiry, investigating, designing and problem-solving; gaining knowledge and understanding about natural and modified environments and people's interaction with them; acquiring knowledge of the design processes; and understanding the interaction of technology and society. 

History

This involves students communicating stories of their own family and the heritage of others; exploring the impact over time and consequence of the actions of significant people, places, events and sites in the local community, Australia and the world; identifying the importance of Country to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the impact of British settlement; exploring the development of the colonies and then Australia as a nation.

Creative Arts

This involves developing technical competence and skills of designing and performing; and learning appreciation and self-expression in visual arts, music, drama and dance. 

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education

This involves learning to develop an active healthy lifestyle; developing skills in interpersonal relationships and positive values, attitudes and beliefs; and participating in regular physical activity. 

Special Programs

To cater effectively for the needs and talents of all students at our school, we offer a range of special programs. These include but are not limited to:
  • Reading Recovery, an early intervention program which provides intensive, individual help for children having difficulty with reading and writing after their first year of schooling is fully implemented in the school. Children are taken from where they are at and assisted by a trained teacher to make rapid progress so that they can rejoin the average reading levels within their classroom program.
  •  Special Education
  •  English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D)
  •  Gifted Education
  •  Integrated Library Programs
  •  Excursions and Incursions are provided for in all grades with an overnight excursion to Canberra for Year 6
  •  Comprehensive Sport Program including swimming (ten lesson intensive program for students from      Kindergarten to Year 2 and eight lesson intensive program for students from Years 3 to 5)
  •  Surf Awareness program for Year 6
  •  Gross Motor Program for Kindergarten students
  •  Leadership opportunities for students from Years 2 to 6 

Extra Curricula Programs

Eastern Region Inter-school sport and Debating
Keyboard lessons for students from Year 1 to 6 (outside school hours)
Band lessons for students from Years 3 to 6 
Choir for students from Years 3 to 6