Our Lady Star of the Sea offers a curriculum which is child-centred, and which aims to meet the varied needs of the children in our care. There is a strong focus on the core areas of Religious Education, English and Mathematics.
All staff has been in-serviced on the new Religious Education expectations and modules. The RE texts are familiar to children and their parents. The school provides many opportunities for students to achieve their learning potential with the support of a Music specialist, Special Needs teacher, Reading Recovery teacher, Numeracy support teacher, as well as a range of extra curricular activities designed to challenge all students.
Technology is integrated through all KLAs. We have an E-Learning Specialist teacher that works with each class and uses a range of technology across the curriculum. Each classroom is equipped with Laptops, Ipads and an interactive whiteboard.
ACARA (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority) is responsible for the development of the Australian curriculum from Kindergarten to Year 12. All schools in Australia must follow the Australian curriculum.
The Australian curriculum will "equip all young Australians with the essential skills, knowledge and capabilities to thrive and compete in a globalised world and information rich workplaces of the current century." The national curriculum will be accessible to all young Australians, regardless of their social or economic background or the school they attend.
The first phase of the Australian curriculum for English, Mathematics and Science will be introduced in 2014. The second phase for History and Creative will be introduced in 2015. The third phase will follow in 2016 and includes the other learning areas; health and physical education and ICT (Information Communication Technology).
Information about the Australian Curriculum can be found at www.acara.edu.auCatholic School Curriculum.
All curriculum subjects are taught In accordance with the current NSW Board of Studies syllabuses and the Religious Education curriculum, according to the Catholic Education Office.
The four stages are:
The Board’s syllabuses state what must be taught in these six key learning areas:
At Our Lady Star of the Sea, we believe that students learn best in a community where Christian values are central to the lives of students, staff and parents. Students are taught a quality Religious Education curriculum, and the Parish, school and parents work together to regularly practise Catholic celebrations.
The current NSW Board of Studies English Syllabus is followed throughout all grades of the school. Classes from K-6 set aside a literacy block of two hours each day devoted to teaching of literacy. The aim of English teaching is to enable students to understand and use language effectively, appreciate, reflect on and enjoy the English language and to make meaning in ways that are imaginative, creative, interpretive, critical and powerful.
Children at Our Lady Star of the Sea are actively involved in discovering and learning Mathematics in a stimulating and challenging environment. Mathematics is outcomes-based, which means that a hands-on and open-ended approach caters for all ability levels.
At our school we have developed a school-based 'Scope and Sequence' for HSIE from K-6 that covers the outcomes of:
Our HSIE program ensures that the students have many varied learning experiences, with a focus on developing inquiry skills. Other important skills being developed include decision-making, evaluating, problem-solving, role-play, brainstorming and discussion. Students regularly participate in visits from guest speakers, excursions, interviews and surveys.
This subject involves the students investigating scientifically, technologically, designing and making and/or learning about natural and man-made environments. Students are encouraged to explore their immediate environment by using their senses, questioning and sharing ideas. All Science units are linked to outcomes and, where possible, are integrated with the other KLAs.
We endeavor to give importance to the use of Information and Communciation Technology (ICT) at Our Lady Star of the Sea. ICT offers exciting and challenging ways of enhancing student learning. ICT tools such as interactive whiteboards, Ipads, Ipod Touches and laptops/computers stimulate learning interaction in the classroom which in turn, can improve student understanding and personal productivity.
Our school employs ICT in the context of meaningful tasks, so enhancing its effectiveness.
Our major responsibility in the next few years is, not only to provide all students with an appropriate level of access to these tools, but also to change to a new and effective teaching and learning environment that incorporates these new technologies.
Sport and game skills, fitness, Dance, Gymnastics skills and swimming are taught across all grades from K-6 and are covered by skilled instructors. It is a requirement that all children participate in PE/fitness each week.
A health program is followed by all grades, following guidelines from the NSW Board of Studies’ PDHPE Syllabus.
Personal Development is integrated into the Religious Education program and is also linked to Science and Technology, and various Health units.
Our school has a well-resourced Music room with a range of percussion instruments and a bank of keyboards, all of which make music an enjoyable experience and one that is keenly anticipated by all of the students. Students have the opportunity to develop their skills in appreciating and creating music, singing, listening, movement, creative dance and percussion.
Our Lady Star of the Sea has both a senior and junior school band. There is opportunity for the students to learn an instrument in after school hours on the premises. The school also has a school choir.
Visual Arts is an area that is well catered for within each class, particularly with our well-designed 'wet areas'. Visual Arts provides opportunities to visit all the art forms, including: painting, drawing and malleable works such as clay and printing. We have a large range of artworks for appreciation and inspiration.
Dance is also part of the CAPA area and is taught by specialist teachers. Teachers incorporate dance into the PE program and the Music teacher provides opportunities for creative movement and dance.
The Religious dimension embraces many aspects of school life. It is evidenced through our teaching of Religious Education and the other Key Learning Areas. It is also integral to our pastoral care and discipline within the school, and through all facets of communication and interaction within the school. The school has an active prayer life, class and school masses and liturgies. The Parish Priest of Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish is Father Patrick Njenga. The sense of community in our school is greatly valued, and Father Patrick Njenga with the Principal and staff to ensure that this spirit of co-operation is maintained and strengthened. Our Family Educator works diligently to ensure that the links between the school and parish are not only strengthened but life-giving.
Students at Our Lady Star of the Sea receive three Sacraments during their Primary years. The Sacramental programs are school-based and are supported by the classroom teachers and parents. In Year 2, students make their First Reconciliation, in Year 3 they receive their First Holy Communion and in Year 6 they make their Confirmation. Parent Information evenings are conducted for parents about each of the Sacraments. Parents are notified about these dates through the newsletter and the Parish Bulletin.
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