Learning and Teaching
Our students are provided with a range of opportunities to learn. These are not restricted to the classroom, nor academic learning alone. We aim to enrich the whole child spiritually, socially, academically, emotionally and physically. This focus on the child, rather than the student, ensures we are giving the children in our care every opportunity to achieve success in all they do, and be the best they can be.
We hold strong beliefs around play and creative-based learning opportunities. Neurologically, students in the Early Years (Birth to eight years) are experiencing greater brain development in this stage of their lives, more so than any other time. Children at this age need play-based opportunities to explore, imagine, dream and create, evoking curiosity and opportunities for social-emotional development.
Curriculum and Programs
At St Brigid’s we share the following philosophical beliefs:
- Staff have a high belief in their collective ability to improve learning and the lives of students
- Everyone has the capacity for high levels of learning
- We have a “stage” not “age” approach to learning and teaching
- We are highly responsive to student needs
- We ensure that our students have a clear understanding of what success “looks like” in lessons and activities
- All learning has a clear intention
- Creativity, curiosity, collaboration, innovation and imagination is found in our learning
Our teaching philosophy is built on the work of Prof. John Hattie and experts such as Sir Ken Robinson. Play-based learning is very apparent in our Early Years classrooms and extends into the Primary years.
To offer further support for student learning, we apply the following interventions:
Speech Programs - a child may be referred for a speech assessment from a concerned parent / carer or a staff member. An articulation screener is conducted with the parents permission and if required a follow up appointment is made with a Speech Pathologists. A Speech Pathologist may provide a speech program to be implemented up to three times a week with a skilled teacher assistant to support the child to communicate effectively
Multi-Lit - ‘Making Up Lost Time in Literacy’ Research based, effective way of supporting low progress students experiencing difficulties in learning literacy skills. Conducted by trained teacher assistances in small groups up to four times per week.
Mini-Lit - Is an evidence based effective early literacy program. MiniLit is an integrated and balanced teaching program developed at Macquarie University. MiniLit provides explicit and effective teaching of reading skills through focusing on phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.
Special Learning Needs (SLN): The Importance of Early Intervention - Learning disorders should be identified as soon as possible. Early detection takes advantage of the brain’s “plasticity”. Early detection and support may also prevent problems with self-esteem and avoidance behaviours. Early detection is essential.
We have clear processes... No child’s problem is diagnosed on the basis of one piece of information. Over time, multiple observers work collaboratively to collect evidence and build a profile of the child. This may include school data, classroom observations, checklists, psychological test or an educational tests. The school will send a referral with the evidence gathered to the families nominated GP requesting a follow up appointment with a medical specialist.
Although a teachers’ role may not be to make a specific diagnosis, their input is key to the process. The goal of helping each child to achieve his or her potential requires the cooperation and mutual respect of the parents, teachers, and staff. Working in partnership a Learning Plan will developed and implemented in the classroom and school environment to support the child. Learning Plans are continually monitored and reviewed collaboratively.
We ensure that our students, whether in an official leadership position or not, develop their leadership skills through a variety of opportunities. We have a student Representative Council consisting of two student leaders from each class who come together weekly for a brief meeting and a for more in-depth meeting once per fortnight. Further areas for leadership development and participation include assisting with “Mini Vinnies” (a student social outreach project), rostering on students to assist with breakfast club daily, house-team leaders, Reading Ambassadors selected throughout the Premier’s Reading Challenge, Daily PE leaders, working with buddy classes, classroom assigned roles and more.
Student Representative Council
The role of elected SRC members from Prep ‐ Grade Six at St Brigid’s Catholic School is to promote the views of students and to encourage students to become actively involved in their school. Being an SRC member is an important and responsible role in the school. It is an opportunity for leadership, and teaches skills that allow the students to become competent in leadership. Students are able to have a say in what is important to them at school, what is working well, what needs improvement and what we could change. The SRC also provides activities and special events for children to enjoy, as well as raising money for a particular nominated charity or school resource.
Representatives have an opportunity to solve problems, debate issues, make decisions and put plans into action when possible and practical.
Students in Prep to Grade Six elect two class members as Class Captains. Elected students will be in that position for two terms after which another two representatives are elected. These class captains will be given leadership responsibilities within their class. Responsibilities are suited to the age of the students and set by classroom teachers.
The St Vincent de Paul Society was formed so that all of us might live out the Gospel by serving people in need. Frederic Ozanam and his young companions founded the Society in 1833 in Paris, and his “Good works” are continued today worldwide
Primary school members of the Society meet in groups called Mini Vinnies. Students meet together to grow in awareness of the issues faced by people who experience tough times, to reflect upon faith and action, and to do good works to help those in need within their school and local community. The St Brigid’s Mini Vinnies are involved in many works including the St Vincent de Paul’s Christmas Appeal and the Winter Can-drive.
Our Mini Vinnies members are committed to making a difference in the world, to loving and respecting themselves and to reaching out to others in our school and community through friendship and doing good works.