Curriculum

At Villa Maria students are organised into classes from Kindergarten to Year 6. The Key Learning Areas which are mandatory subjects for schools in NSW are English; Mathematics; Science and Technology; Human Society and its Environment; Personal Development, Health and Physical Education; and Creative Arts. The curriculum taught and reported on from these learning areas is divided into stages.

The following stages apply to each grade:

  • Early Stage 1 - Kindergarten
  • Stage 1 - Years 1 and 2
  • Stage 2 - Years 3 and 4
  • Stage 3 - Years 5 and 6

Religious Education

Religious Education is taught in all grades. Our students follow the Religious Education Curriculum of the Archdiocese of Sydney.

While recognising that parents are the first educators of their children in faith, the primary Religious Education curriculum enables young people to see and respond to God in their lives. In particular, the 'storytelling approach' nurtures the natural capacity that children have for curiosity, imagination and wonder. 

Throughout their primary years, students are invited to reflect on Sacred Scripture, talk with God through prayer, discover the beauty of God’s creation and explore the meaning of symbols and rituals. Above all other things, this is the time when young people come to know how much God loves them, and when they are drawn into a love of God and of others.

The sacramental programs of First Reconciliation, First Eucharist and Confirmation are administered and run by the parish. The school teaches sacramental units in conjunction with the parish program.

English

The English program, in accordance with the new Australian Curriculum, addresses the learning areas of language, literature and literacy, within which the skills of listening to, reading, viewing, speaking, writing, creating and reflecting are developed. English is the first learning area of the new curriculum which is to be implemented throughout schools in 2014.

English is fundamental in all learning areas and opportunities are created for students to apply what they have learnt in purposeful situations. Identifying the needs of all students and their abilities early on is important when assisting students in their learning of English. As a result, Villa Maria provides support programs to help children who experience difficulty including Reading Recovery, MiniLit and MultiLit. We also support the services of an independent Speech Therapist and Occupational Therapist who see students at the school.

Mathematics

The Mathematics curriculum allows teachers to develop learning experiences in the areas of Number, Patterns and Algebra, Data, Measurement and Space and Geometry. Skills within these areas are explicitly taught, followed by opportunities which allows them to practise and problem solve in independent, pair and small group situations. The implementation of the new Mathematics Curriculum will take place at Villa Maria during 2015.

Science and Technology

The Science and Technology program develops the skills of investigating and problem solving. It gives children the knowledge and skills to conduct scientific investigations, carry out design and making tasks and apply various forms of technology. Students develop an awareness and appreciation of their natural and built environments. The new Australian Curriculum for Science will be implemented at Villa Maria during 2015.

Human Society and its Environment (HSIE)

In Human Society and its Environment (HSIE) children learn about history, geography, civics and citizenship. Children begin to understand their identity in both a personal and community sense and learn about Australia and its place in the world. Some of the units taught at Villa Maria in HSIE are integrated with other learning areas, particularly Science and Technology and English, which allows for children’s understandings of knowledge and content to be deepened. In 2016, the new Australian Curriculum will be implemented at Villa Maria and this learning area will be called History.

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE)

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) is a learning area that teaches children about the importance of leading healthy and active lifestyles which promote positive wellbeing. They develop their skills in making healthy choices and learn how their bodies grow and change. Children also learn about teamwork when playing different sports.

At Villa Maria PDHPE is taught by both the classroom teacher and a specialist PE teacher. The children attend a 40 minute PE lesson each week. A number of children each year represent Villa Maria in sporting events at both Archdiocese and Archdiocesan level. In Term 4 each year, children also participate in an 8-day Swim School program at Ryde Aquatic Centre.

Another important feature of the Villa Maria PDHPE program is the Restorative Justice program developed by Marist Youth Care. The elements of this program are integrated into learning experiences and encourage children to build and restore positive relationships.

Creative Arts

The Creative Arts learning area gives children opportunities to develop understandings and skills in visual arts, music, drama and dance. They learn to express their creativity and appreciate elements within each artform. At Villa Maria, the Creative Arts program is taught by both the classroom teacher and a specialist Music teacher. The children attend a 40-minute Music lesson each week. A number of children each year represent Villa Maria in local art exhibitions and eisteddfods.

Extra-Curricular

At Villa Maria we provide many Extra-Curricular programs to provide children with opportunities to further develop their interests and talents. These include Dance Fever, Sports in Schools, School Band, Chess Club, Japanese Classes, Debating and Public Speaking, Environmental Club and Seasons for Growth.