Curriculum

Curriculum Overview

Religious Education

Religious Education, as part of the Church's mission of evangelisation, shares in the task of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. The Primary Religious Education curriculum of the Archdiocese of Sydney aims to assist students to make sense of life in the light of God's revelation. It is our task as Christian educators to help our students access the Word of God in the Scriptures, the Church's living tradition, and in their own lives and experience. In so doing, we prepare our students to celebrate and respond to God's Word in their lives.

At St Joseph's School we appreciate that parents are the first educators of their children in the Catholic faith and we recognise that we have an important role affirming and supporting parents in the faith education of their children. We work in partnership with parents and in close co-operation with our Parish Priest to help our students come to know and understand their faith tradition.

The Sacramental Programs are based on parish/school/parent co-operation. Parent meetings for Penance, Eucharist and Confirmation are organised and parents are kept involved. Special Celebrations, School and Grade Masses and other activities are always listed in the weekly Newsletter and/or calendar dates and parents are invited to attend.

Religious Education is central to the life of the school and includes a range of topics concerned with Church, Scripture, Sacraments, the Liturgical Year, Prayer and Beliefs. Students and their families are supported in the Religious Education curriculum by the student textbooks 'To Know Worship and Love'.

English

In English students learn to read, write, talk and listen. They learn about English language and literature, how language varies according to context and how to communicate to a range of audiences for different purposes. They learn to read for information and for pleasure. They learn about poetry, novels and plays. They gain a sound grasp of language structures, punctuation, spelling and grammar.

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 write grammatically correctly in a variety of forms; to spell accurately; to understand the function of language; and to assess good literature critically.

Kindergarten students:

  • listen to and follow simple instructions involving one step
  • give short talks and express ideas, eg tell news, describe a favourite toy or pet
  • begin developing reading and comprehension skills, eg recognise simple sight words, recognise most sounds of the alphabet, use illustrations and picture clues to make predictions about stories when reading
  • write simple words using letters and sounds to help spell out known words, eg 'd-o-g'
  • write simple sentences, eg 'I made a cake'
  • begin to use word processing software to write simple sentences
  • recognise grammatical patterns such as action verb and nouns in a group, eg when the teacher reads to class from a 'big book'.

Year 1 students:

  • listen to and follow a short procedure, eg carry out instructions for a simple task
  • communicate simple information, eg give directions to the library, provide a brief retelling of a familiar story
  • develop an increasing range of reading and comprehension skills on familiar topics, eg sound out unknown words or break them down into syllables, respond to punctuation when reading aloud, express opinions about characters in stories
  • produce simple written pieces on familiar topics, eg short recounts of personal experience, descriptions of family members
  • spell known sight words, eg 'said', 'was', 'some', 'have'.

Year 2 students:

  • listen attentively and share ideas or give information in group and class discussions, eg about familiar events or topics such as birthdays or sport
  • begin to read about less familiar topics
  • make inferences and predictions when reading stories to develop comprehension
  • use most common punctuation marks in writing, eg full stops, capital letters, spaces between words
  • use word processing software to produce simple writing, eg stories, invitations, recipes
  • use reading cues to understand written texts, eg matching letters to sounds (phonics) and breaking words into syllables.

Year 3 students:

  • communicate for a range of purposes and audiences, eg conduct brief interviews to obtain information, give instructions for making a piece of craft
  • use a wider range of reading strategies to confirm predictions and locate information, eg skim read using headings, sub-headings, key words, layout and graphics
  • self-correct a broader range of punctuation in own writing, eg question marks, commas, apostrophes for contractions, quotation marks for written speech
  • begin to produce different forms of electronic publishing, eg slide shows, multimedia
  • spell familiar words using knowledge of common letter patterns and sound sequences, eg high, thigh, thought, bought.

Year 4 students:

  • employ various speaking skills to give confident oral presentations, eg gesture, facial expression, pause, emphasis, volume, clarity
  • begin reading about more challenging topics, eg biography of a famous person, an historical event
  • develop a wider range of responses to reading, eg identify writer's viewpoint, describe and compare different interpretations, identify stereotypes and symbolic meanings
  • produce more complex pieces of writing, eg an explanation of how a specialised machine works or what causes a specific natural process
  • use a variety of skills to produce well-structured writing, eg drafting, revising and proofreading.

Year 5 students:

  • communicate effectively for an increasing range of purposes, eg to entertain, inform and influence audiences
  • read, recognise and respond to themes and issues within texts, and justify interpretations by referring to own knowledge and experience
  • write well-structured sentences, using a variety of more complex grammatical features, eg linking an independent (main) clause and a dependent (subordinate) clause by using a conjunction indicating time, place, manner, reason, condition etc as in 'When the bell rang, Kim went home.'
  • use known word meanings and base words when spelling unknown words, eg heal, healthy; sign, signature.

Year 6 students:

  • Read and respond to a range of more complex literary and factual texts, eg extended novels, abstract poems, technical books and websites, historical works
  • Publish own writing dealing with more complex topics, ideas and issues, eg sustained arguments/discussions about contemporary social issues supported by evidence
  • Communicate using a range of media, eg video, multimedia, print, audio
  • Use several comprehension strategies for finding information in texts, eg skimming for gist, scanning for specific information, using an index, using a glossary.

Mathematics:

Mathematics develops students' thinking, understanding, competence and confidence with numbers, shapes and measurement. Students learn to add, subtract, divide and multiply whole numbers, fractions and decimals. They learn to measure time and calculate with money. They learn geometry and algebra and how to work with data and graphs.

This involves learning the basics of number, space and measurement, developing calculating, reasoning, predicting and verifying skills, and gaining foundation for the future study of Mathematics.

Kindergarten students:

  • count aloud to 30 and recognise numbers from 1 to 20
  • manipulate objects such as counters to help add and subtract numbers
  • recognise the value of currency, eg 20 cent piece, five dollar note
  • count backwards from a given number in the range 20 to 0
  • name the days of the week and seasons
  • tell the time to the hour, eg four o'clock
  • identify and name simple shapes, eg circles, squares
  • use positional terms, eg between, under, right, left
  • recognise that halves are equal parts.

Year 1 students:

  • state the place value of digits in two-digit numbers, eg 'in the number 32, the 3 represents 30 or 3 tens'
  • begin to model multiplication using concrete objects, eg 3 x 2 is the same as 3 groups of 2 or as an array with 3 rows of 2
  • describe halves and quarters found in everyday life, eg quarters of an orange, half a glass of water
  • begin to use metres and centimetres to estimate and measure length and distance, eg 'My book is 30 cm long', 'My desk is more than a metre wide'
  • count forwards and backwards by two, fives and tens
  • use the terms 'add', 'plus', 'equals', 'is equal to', 'take away', 'minus' and 'the difference between'.

Year 2 students:

  • read clocks on the half-hour
  • count, read and write numbers up to 999
  • begin to model division using concrete objects, eg 6 ÷ 3 is the same as sharing 6 objects into 3 equal groups
  • record area by describing the number and type of units, eg the area of this surface is 20 tiles
  • use a calendar to identify dates, months, seasons and birthdays
  • begin to understand and draw graphs and diagrams of data, eg using simple picture graphs and column graphs
  • recognise and explain numbers such as odds and evens, numbers ending with five and zero.

Year 3 students:

  • develop mental strategies to multiply a two-digit number by a one-digit number, eg using known facts, multiplying the tens and then the ones, repeatedly doubling when multiplying by an even number
  • count, read, write and order numbers up to 9999
  • identify, represent and compare fractions involving halves, quarters, and eighths
  • interpret decimal notation for tenths and hundredths, eg 0.1 is the same as 1
  • identify and measure the length, breadth, height and perimeter of objects in metres, centimetres and millimetres
  • record area in square centimetres and square metres, eg 5 cm2
  • recall multiplication facts ('times tables') up to 10 x 10
  • organise data to create and interpret tables and graphs.

Year 4 students:

  • read and record time in one-minute intervals
  • record numbers up to four digits using expanded notation, eg 5429 = 5000 + 400 + 20 + 9
  • develop mental strategies to divide by a one-digit number, eg '63 ÷ 9 = 7 because I know 7 x 9 = 63'
  • determine factors for a given number, eg 'factors of 12 are 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 12'
  • add and subtract decimals with the same number of decimal places (up to 2 decimal places), eg 0.10 + 0.33 = 0.43
  • relate common percentages to a fraction or decimal, eg '25% means 25 out of 100 or 0.25'
  • manipulate, compare and describe features of 2-D shapes, eg pentagons, octagons, parallelograms
  • record volume and capacity using litres, millilitres and cubic centimetres, eg 5 L, 6 mL, 27 cm3
  • use coordinates and compass points to describe position and to give and follow directions, eg 'the lion cage is at B3', 'the treasure is north-east of the cave'.

Year 5 students:

  • read, write, and order numbers of any size
  • identify and classify angles, eg right, acute, obtuse, reflex, straight, revolution
  • multiply three-digit numbers by two-digit numbers using the written extended form (long multiplication)
  • identify prime numbers, eg 13 has only two factors (1 and 13) and therefore is prime
  • find equivalent fractions using diagrams and number lines
  • add and subtract simple fractions
  • record lengths and distances using decimal notation to 3 decimal places, eg 2.753 km

Year 6 students:

  • use 24-hour time and am/pm notation
  • calculate simple fractions and percentages of an amount
  • multiply simple fractions by whole numbers
  • record remainders as fractions or decimals, eg 25 ÷ 4 = 6.25
  • identify and construct 3-D objects on the basis of their properties, eg rectangular prisms, triangular pyramids
  • record volume and capacity using decimal notation to 3 decimal places, eg 1.275 L
  • interpret and draw a wider range of graphs using a scale, eg line graphs, divided bar graphs
  • complete simple sentences by calculating missing values.

Human Society and its Environment

In Human Society and its Environment (HSIE) students learn about history, geography, civics and citizenship. They investigate their personal and community identity, and gain an understanding of their nation and its place in the world. They learn to participate effectively in maintaining and improving the quality of their society and environment.

This involves developing knowledge and understandings about change and continuity, cultures, environments, and social systems and structures. By developing skills in acquiring information, using an inquiry process, and social and civic participation, students will be able to take active, responsible and informed roles as citizens in a rapidly changing and diverse global society.

Some examples for Kindergarten students:

  • tell stories about family heritage and use language such as 'time', 'change' and 'place'
  • talk about how families are similar and different, and how the needs of individuals are met in a family
  • get involved in class discussions about special events and cultural celebrations, eg Anzac Day
  • talk about the different roles and responsibilities in the classroom, school and home
  • do things that show care for their home, classroom, school and/or environment
  • listen to Dreaming stories
  • talk about their home's features and location.

Some examples for Year 1 and Year 2 students:

  • talk about the lives of people in their family and community, past and present
  • talk about customs, practices, symbols, languages and traditions of their family and other people they know who belong to different groups and families
  • recognise Aboriginal people as the first Australians
  • learn about their local community and how it has changed over time
  • use maps and globes to locate places and countries
  • show an understanding of the relationship between environments and people and of what they can do to help protect their environment.

Some examples for Year 3 and Year 4 students:

  • learn that Australian history spans thousands of years
  • talk about and identify different roles and responsibilities within the school and community
  • investigate the various ways to care for the local environment and find out what they can do at home and school to help protect the environment
  • investigate the local area to identify important people in history
  • describe similarities and differences between communities in Australia, Asia and other places in the world, including religions, languages and cultures
  • learn about early Australian explorers, eg Bass and Flinders.

Some examples for Year 5 and Year 6 students:

  • learn about colonial exploration and the impact of the discovery of gold
  • use maps and globes to locate global and Australian regions, eg Asia-Pacific region, Riverina region
  • explain how laws are developed and changed through Australia's government structure, eg responsibilities of local, State and Federal governments
  • learn about what it means to be Australian
  • investigate an environmental issue of local, national and global significance and examine its impact on people and their world
  • describe the electoral process, including an understanding of the democratic processes.

Science and Technology

Science and Technology develops students' skills in thinking, investigating and problem-solving. It gives them knowledge and skills in scientific investigation, design and applied technology. This subject builds on the curiosity children have about their natural and built environments.

Some examples for Kindergarten students:

  • design and make simple plans to show things such as their house and toys
  • show how things move by push and pull actions
  • talk about the different needs and wants of animals and sort models or pictures according to needs and wants
  • talk about their environment, including features such as clouds, weather and day and night
  • talk about how they can look after their environment
  • talk about different forms of energy and identify its use in daily life.

Some examples for Year 1 and Year 2 students:

  • observe patterns and suggest possible explanations, eg observing, recording and classifying vehicles passing the school, and creating a class graph
  • observe and record the changes in a living thing such as a deciduous tree over a season or the growth of seeds to sprouts
  • explore magnets and their properties
  • talk about how living things depend on their environment
  • observe animal life, eg ants, silkworms.

Some examples for Year 3 and Year 4 students:

  • observe and report on a local environment, eg a park, beach or wetland
  • design and make models using sticks, timber, cardboard, bark, glue and fabric. Models might include an early settler's hut, an underwater world or a space world
  • describe how plants and animals rely on each other in a 'mini environment', eg a park, the playground or a lake area
  • research and record phases of the moon over time and propose explanations as to why it changes.

Some examples for Year 5 and Year 6 students:

  • use simulation software on the computer, eg to create a model city
  • study different rock types and crystals using technology
  • research the cause and effect of natural disasters, eg an earthquake or cyclone
  • learn about energy and energy transfer, eg ice to liquid and liquid to steam
  • evaluate proposed building designs for items such as a bridge or a house for the future
  • use a water-testing device to test water quality in a local waterway and study the water cycle
  • learn how an electrical circuit works
  • learn how gears work for machines, eg bicycles and clocks.

Personal and Development,Health and Physical Education

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) develops the knowledge, skills and attitudes students need to lead healthy, active and fulfilling lives. Students learn about the importance of good nutrition and diet and regular exercise. They learn how bodies grow and change over time. They learn skills to play individual and team sports, and the values of teamwork and being a good sport. (The Personal Development Area is also addressed in the Religious Education Curriculum.)

Some examples for Kindergarten students:

  • become aware of safe and unsafe places and situations, eg near roads or water
  • identify people who can help, and describe actions such as 'no, go, tell' that might be taken in unsafe situations
  • label different parts of the body and name their functions, eg ears are for hearing
  • identify how people care for each other
  • participate in regular physical activity through creative play and minor games
  • learn and practise fundamental movement skills such as hopping and jumping.

Some examples for Year 1 and Year 2 students:

  • identify medicines and describe how they are safely used and stored
  • learn and practise fundamental movement skills including hop, skip, kick, overarm throw
  • identify the qualities of positive relationships, eg co-operation and caring for others
  • recognise choices that keep them healthy and safe, eg sun protection, eating habits, participation in physical activity
  • link movement skills together in simple sequences, eg jump-hop-run
  • display co-operation with others, eg taking turns.

Some examples for Year 3 and Year 4 students:

  • become aware of the influences on healthy choices, eg television advertising and unhealthy eating
  • practise fundamental movement skills in different physical activities, eg playing with a racquet or bat
  • learn the rules and play a range of team sports in class and school teams
  • realise the harm that can be caused by drugs, tobacco and alcohol
  • identify the body changes that occur throughout life
  • participate in a range of physical activities and learn how they contribute to a healthy and active lifestyle.

Some examples for Year 5 and Year 6 students:

  • explain the benefits of personal lifestyle choices, eg eating healthy food, participating in physical activity
  • value differences in others and develop an understanding of discrimination
  • demonstrate teamwork, tactics and precision when performing in a range of physical activities
  • explain the importance of communication in relationships and positive ways to deal with conflict
  • recognise the effects their decisions can have on the health and safety of others
  • consider their physical activity levels and participate in physical activities that enhance health.

Creative Arts

Creative Arts gives students experiences in the visual arts, music, drama and dance. They have opportunities to explore their creativity in each of these areas. They learn to appreciate the meanings and values that each artform offers. They perform and express themselves through the visual arts, music, drama and dance.

Some examples for Kindergarten students:

  • make their own pieces of art about real and imagined experiences using materials such as paints, watercolours, sponges, crayons, brushes and sticks
  • make simple 3-D constructions with boxes and use playdough or clay to create models
  • perform dance and drama with movement and expression
  • sing, play and move to music, and experiment with sound
  • copy the beat of music using clapping, tapping or percussion instruments.

Some examples for Year 1 and Year 2 students:

  • sing songs, play and move to music using their voices, percussion instruments
  • move to music in a variety of ways, such as imagining they are a machine or a butterfly
  • dramatise a story, eg Possum Magic
  • create sculptures and 3-D models using a variety of techniques such as carving, cutting, modelling clay, and simple print techniques such as screen printing
  • talk about how music can represent different things – a circus, or sunshine as in 'Morning' from Peer Gynt by Grieg, for example.

Some examples for Year 3 and Year 4 students:

  • focus more on detail of artwork subject matter, such as facial expressions, body angles
  • sing and move to the beat of music, identify structure and changes in pitch, tempo and beat
  • develop dance performances using known dance movements and improvised moves to create a sequence
  • play music using percussion instruments such as drums, triangles or maracas, as well as clapping, tapping of hands and feet
  • follow percussion charts to create a group musical performance
  • role-play characters from plays, working in groups as well as individual roles.

Some examples for Year 5 and Year 6 students:

  • improvise with photographs and other artwork to create their own piece of art
  • move to music and perform in singing and dance combinations
  • take on roles and situations adapted from their imagination and from literature, including poetry
  • talk about different types of music and discuss what they like and don't like, and why
  • take on roles to demonstrate feelings such as empathy, excitement, sadness and joy, as well as different status such as a king or a servant in a play.