At St.Patrick's assessment and reporting is a very important component of our teaching and learning.
Our assessment helps us prepare our classes while reporting is used to open communication with the guardians of our students in order to gain optimum outcomes.
Data driven instruction will lead to targeted teaching and learning. We use both internal and external tools for assessing and analysing data.
Reporting happens throughout the term both informally from day to day and formally at the end of each term. At the end of terms 1 and 3 teachers will provide a learning journal of the child's work and a written explanation of the achievements and new goals of each student. Students will receieve a graded report card at the end of each semester.
At St. Patrick's School, assessment will be constant and will involve evaluating children's acquisition of knowledge, skills, values and attitudes.
St Patrick’s provides a faith based education and teaching Religion is a very important part of our day. We follow the church’s calendar and celebrate important events and periods such as Easter, Advent, Lent, St. Patrick’s Day and Christmas. We follow the Awakenings curriculum as mandated by the Catholic Education Office of Ballarat. In Religious Education we encourage our students to sympathise with others, be aware of the Catholic tradition through the Church, be familiar with Religious stories, be familiar with Catholicism and other faiths and live and behave in a respectful manner.
Religious Education is taught for 30 minutes per day. It usually involves reading a story, sharing ideas, discussing how that story affects our daily decision making, and responding more personally to the stimulus.
Our children’s religious backgrounds are varied; many of our enrolments are Catholic and many are not. Our program caters for all students, ensuring that we include the teaching of common and secular[S3] values within our curriculum.
VELS and AusVELS
ENGLISH: We believe that literacy underpins all other learning, and therefore treat the study and practise of it accordingly. English literacy is taught for the first two hours of every day, with separate sessions for reading, writing and spelling. Every session has a specific skill that our teachers focus upon. Our students are made aware of what they are aiming to learn and can verbalise their goals. Our planning is informed by data collection. This allows us to provide curriculum that is designed to meet the needs of the students. We have several intervention programs, such as Reading Recovery, MultiLit and the ERIK program, available for children who are not progressing in English as fast as they should be. Likewise we have personal learning programs for those students who are performing above their peers and require extra challenges. The teaching of literacy has been a focus of our Professional Development throughout 2016 and will be continually monitored in future years. We prioritise literacy when allocating resources, resulting in excellent physical spaces and well trained staff supporting this area of the school.
MATHEMATICS: Maths is taught in the hour after recess. Our programs are devised after testing and data collection. It is important that our students are given challenges that they are ready to face. This can be ascertained through various assessment formats, both formal and informal. Our Maths curriculum follows the Stepping Stones program. Our teaching offers an online component, practical hands on activities and take home worksheets that help inform parents of the content that their child is studying. The Maths program is assisted by online support such as Mathletics and StudyLadder. This is designed to not only reinforce learning at home but to keep our parents informed and connected to their child's progress. HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION: Our students complete a BluEarth session once a week and a Physical Education session once a week. BluEarth is a non-competitive collection of activities that is designed to increase a child's coordination, imagination, general balance and ball skills, allows them to strategise and introduces them to the concept of getting the best out of themselves and their friends. Physical Education is the teaching of specific skills for specific games, such as soccer, softball, basketball, and football. Both PE and BluEarth are taught by specialist teachers.
SCIENCE: We believe that Science education allows children to develop skills to gain an awareness of the impact of science on society, the individual and the environment. Science also allows children to develop their curiosity and a spirit of inquiry about the world in which they live. We run Science classes both inside and outside the classroom, as we wish to utilise St Patrick's vast school grounds and also our proximity to the bush. THE ARTS: A small school offers the chance for every student to get a share of the limelight. Allowing children the chance to showcase their talents on the stage is an important part of our school's day to day life. Visual art is taught both as a specialist subject and within other classes. Performing Arts is used by the school to increase our children's confidence. While we have weekly opportunities to perform on the stage, our performing opportunities culminate in our musical, held in Semester 2. Students will also have opportunities to explore their circus skills and join the St Patrick's choir.
TECHNOLOGY: Our technology learning is embedded into our standard curriculum as well as being taught separately during our rotation day, where each student will improve their use of the technology that they have access to at St Patrick's. Our kids have access to chromebooks, iPads, desktops, conferencing equipment, video and still cameras and other digital devices that are used in a variety of learning areas.
LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH (LOTE): Our school has been fortunate enough to be the recipient of the Languages Australia grant that will allow us to reinvigorate our language program. Spanish has been chosen as the language to be studied at St Patrick's. The class will incorporate teacher instruction, online activities, and some Skype Spanish classes, as well as Spanish speaking visitors when the opportunity presents itself.