Learning in the Early Years

OLA will acknowledge that, at this stage of learning, young children display an innate sense of wonder. We know this is best fostered in an environment that encourages and promotes exploration, questioning and creative thinking. Every child will be provided with a diversity of planned opportunities to foster curiosity, wonderment, exploration, discovery, inquiry and leadership.

Parents will be valued as active partners in the learning and it is our hope to provide them with a range of opportunities to participate in and share their child’s learning journey at school.

Responsive to the Needs of every Learner

OLA will offer a varied and comprehensive curriculum that strives to cater for the individual needs of each student. The students’ learning improvement journey will be an ongoing priority and a collective responsibility, with the main goal to develop the students as independent learners who engage in goal setting and reflective practice.

Students at OLA will be immersed in an authentic learning environment which promotes individualised learning and student choice.

The development of a solid foundation of literacy and numeracy across all areas of the curriculum is essential and will be supported through differentiated assessment programs and rich learning experiences.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will be a natural and integral component of the teaching and learning programs across all Key Learning Areas. Children will access digital technologies to support their learning every day.

The Key Learning Areas (KLAs) of the Curriculum are:

  • Religious Education
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Human Society and Its Environment
  • Creative and Practical Arts
  • Science and Technology
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education

Teachers will be an integral part of the school’s learning culture. Teachers will engage collaboratively to plan and develop programs integrating a variety of these Key Learning Areas in order to maximise learning time and make effective learning links.

Religious Education

This is central to the life of the school and will permeate all aspects of the curriculum. The Religious Education program offered at OLA will draw upon the student’s life experience, and enable them to reflect on this in light of scripture, and the teachings of our faith. Celebration through liturgy and prayer will be a key component of the Religious Education Program.


This involves developing the skills needed to listen and communicate effectively in a variety of situations, to read widely and with understanding and enjoyment, to use correct grammar in a variety of text types, to spell accurately, to understand the function of language, and to assess good literature critically.


This includes learning the basics of number, space and measurement and the skills of calculating, problem solving, reasoning, predicting and verifying.

Science and Technology

Students gain knowledge and understanding of natural and modified environments and people’s interaction with them. Through the Scientific Investigation Process students develop the skills of enquiry, investigation, designing and problem-solving.

Human Society and Its Environment

This KLA develops investigation, communication and social skills. Students gain knowledge and understanding of the history and geography of Australia, its social institutions and its place in the world. Students are led to a commitment to maintain and improve the environment. Other countries, cultures, languages, beliefs and values are explored.

Creative and Practical Arts

This KLA promotes technical competence and skills of designing and performing. Appreciation and self-expression in the visual and practical arts are fostered through music, drama and art.

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education

There are three elements to this KLA:

Personal Development promotes the development of interpersonal skills; relationships, positive values, attitudes and beliefs are fostered. Protective behaviours and other safety issues are taught;

Health promotes an active, healthy lifestyle and an understanding of nutrition, diet, and personal health choices;

Physical Education promotes the development of a variety of skills through a number of sports and physical activities.

Australian Curriculum

Teachers at OLA will engage with, and implement, the NSW Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) Syllabuses for the Australian Curriculum. This engagement will provide opportunities for us to reflect on our pedagogy (classroom practice), as well as guide our future teaching practice so as to meet the needs of the diverse learners in this changing world.

General Capabilities

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General capabilities, a key dimension of the Australian Curriculum, are addressed explicitly in the content of all learning areas.

They are considered essential skills for twenty-first century learners – in literacy, numeracy, information and communication technology (ICT), thinking, creativity, teamwork and communication. Through these capabilities students grow as individuals who can:

  • manage their own wellbeing,
  • relate well to others,
  • make informed decisions about their lives,
  • become citizens who behave with ethical integrity,
  • relate to and communicate across cultures,
  • work for the common good, and
  • act with responsibility at local, regional and global levels.

The general capabilities encompass the knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that, together with curriculum content in each learning area and the cross-curriculum priorities, will assist students to live and work successfully in the twenty-first century.

They complement the key learning outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework (COAG 2009) – that children have a strong sense of identity and wellbeing, are connected with and contribute to their world, are confident and involved learners and effective communicators.

OLA will explicitly address the following seven general capabilities across the key learning areas:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Information and communication technology (ICT) capability
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Personal and social capability
  • Ethical understanding
  • Intercultural understanding.

General capabilities in the Australian Curriculum