Curriculum

Religious Education

As a Catholic Primary School, Religious Education is of paramount importance. In Cardinal Pell's letter to priests, teachers and parents, dated 4 December 2003, and printed in the new revised K-6 Curriculum, His Eminence states that the mission to continue Jesus' message has been entrusted to us. Therefore our students fully engage with the Religious Education Curriculum K – 6 and utilise the supporting text, "To Know Worship and Love' in order to develop their understanding and appreciation of the importance of God's word in their daily lives. Through creative response activities and the use of storytelling, the students also have the opportunity to reflect on life experiences and ways in which they can respond to God's call throughout their lives.

English

At St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, we not only value the teaching of English but believe that it is paramount in providing students with the skills and understandings to fully access the curriculum and develop as divergent, critical thinkers.

Each year, students participate in learning programs based on the following content strands:

  • Speaking and Listening, 
  • Reading and Viewing
  • Writing and Representing 
  • Handwriting and using digital technologies
  • Grammar, Punctuation and Vocabulary
  • Thinking imaginatively, creatively and interpretatively
  • Expressing themselves
  • Reflecting on learning

Through the integration of the these strands, the students are provided with holistic learning experiences that enable them to develop skills and strategies that will allow them to be competent and confident users of the English language. Literacy skills are best taught through modelled, guided and independent learning experiences, based on explicit teaching. Therefore we provide a differentiated curriculum that caters for the diverse needs of the learner through effective, relevant and challenging learning and teaching opportunities.

Mathematics

Mathematics is taught daily in all classrooms K -6 and incorporates the following strands: Number, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability. Working Mathematically is the thinking process that underpins all learning and allow students to develop skills in reasoning, analysing, asking questions, interpreting and comparing information to enable them to solve problems and present their understanding using appropriate mathematical language.

History and Geography


History

The study of History from Kindergarten to Year 6 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. There are many differing perspectives within a nation's history, and historians may interpret events differently depending on their point of view and the sources they have used. The study of History strengthens an appreciation for and an understanding of civics and citizenship. It also provides broader insights into the historical experiences of different cultural groups within our society and how various groups have struggled for civil rights, for example Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, migrants and women. History encourages students to develop an understanding of significant historical concepts such as cause and effect, change and continuity, significance, empathy and contestability.


Students:

  • develop knowledge and understanding about the nature of history and key changes and developments from the past
  • develop knowledge and understanding about key historical concepts and develop the skills to undertake the process of historical inquiry.

Geography

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.

Students:
  • develop knowledge and understanding of the features and characteristics of places and environments across a range of scales
  • develop knowledge and understanding of interactions between people, places and environments.
  • apply geographical tools for geographical inquiry
  • develop skills to acquire, process and communicate geographical information.

In order to provide differentiation and allow students to take an active role in their learning, the units in Years 3- 6 are written using the AIM Framework. This framework uses a model that focusses on developing enduring understandings through compulsory learning tasks but also allows students to stretch their learning through posing questions and demonstrating their understanding through a product of their choice.

Students in K- 2 engage with tiered learning activities related to their unit of work, which also engage them in higher order thinking tasks that challenge their thinking allow for choice of response.

Science and Technology

Science and Technology involves the study of natural and made environments through investigating, designing and making and using technology. The study of Science and Technology enables students to develop a positive self-concept as learners as well as confidence in and gain enjoyment from their learning. They become self-motivated learners through active participation in challenging and engaging experiences in order to develop innovative solutions.

Each year, students participate in learning programs based on the following content strands:

  • Working Scientifically
  • Working Technologically
  • Physical World
  • Earth and Space
  • Living World
  • Material World
  • Built Environments
  • Information
  • Products

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education

The aim of this Key Learning Area is to develop in each student the knowledge and understanding, skills and values and attitudes needed to lead healthy, active and fulfilling lives. There are eight strands that make up the PDHPE syllabus – Interpersonal Relationships, Growth and Development, Games and Sports, Gymnastics, Dance, Active Lifestyle, Personal Health Choices and Safe living.

The program "Friendly Schools Plus" is used in Years 1-6 at the beginning of the year to reinforce anti-bullying strategies and also promote social skill development. Students in Kindergarten engage with the PALS program throughout the year as a way of developing and promoting socially acceptable behaviour among the students.

Each term students engage with the ACMA (The Australian Communications and Media Authority) site and complete lessons based on cyber-safety. To further support this, the students each year engage in either a presentation by ACMA (or a CEO Representative) that focuses on cyber safety and/or are an audience for a production based on anti-bullying/cyber safety/ resilience. Through these experiences we aim to make the students at St Joseph's responsible digital citizens who are fully aware of their responsibility to and for correct use of the internet.

A mandate from the Federal Government is that all students in primary schools across Australia will engage in 60 minutes of planned physical activity. In order to provide the students with a challenging, engaging and robust Physical education program K – 6, we have a specialist sport teacher to run PE lessons once a week. In Term Four the students K – 5 participate in a swimming program at Sutherland Leisure Centre and Year 6 participate in Surf Awareness at North Cronulla Beach. In addition, the teachers plan and teach a comprehensive weekly fitness program.

Creative and Practical Arts

Students at St Joseph's engage in learning experiences in Visual Arts, Music, Drama and Dance. Learning experiences in the Creative Arts contribute to the development of the whole child. Visual Arts, Music, Drama and Dance offer students opportunities for personal expression, enjoyment, imagination and the creation of shared meanings.

At St Joseph's, we are also very fortunate to be able to offer the students from Years 3-6 the opportunity to join the school band conducted by Modern Teaching Services. This allows students the opportunity to not only further their musical ability but also understand and appreciate the importance of working and playing together in order to deliver a performance for an audience. Therefore the band performs regularly for the school community.