Teaching and Learning
Catholic schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle are communities of learning characterised by high expectations for learners to achieve excellence, academic rigour, innovation and purpose, within environments that engage, empower and enable.
There are seven Key Learning Areas in the Primary Catholic School Curriculum in New South Wales. These are:
· Religious Education
· Science and Technology
· Creative Arts
· Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
Schools within the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese use the MN Catholic Schools Contemporary Learning Framework (CLF) as a lens for planning quality teaching and learning.
We are a Gifted Education Lead School in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. Our focus is on identifying gifted learners and assisting with the process of developing talent by providing specific opportunities for learning, training and practise. We have high expectations for all students with an increased focus on gifted learners and their needs.
The school’s Gifted Education Mentors (GEMs) and a gifted education committee assist teachers with collating and analysing data, identifying the strengths and needs of students and providing appropriate strategies to meet their needs.
Gifted Education is a priority in the system and is providing exciting opportunities for students in our school and we look forward to working with all the schools in the diocese during this exciting era of learning.
EXTENSION & SUPPORT
Regular classes are supported with learning support and enrichment teachers and paraprofessionals. These programs assist us in catering to individual student needs. These programs are supported by assessments completed by teachers, or by professionals in related areas e.g. speech pathologists, occupational therapists, so that students’ needs can be more carefully met.
STUDENT ENRICHMENT PROGRAM
The Enrichment Program seeks to identify and support potential in students, who require particular extension in various academic disciplines. The Enrichment Program provides a variety of challenging learning opportunities which seek to cater for the different intelligences of children. Consequently, the groups composition is flexible and dependent upon the focus of the Enrichment Program offered. Students are encouraged to participate in various enrichment activities including the Premiers’ Reading Challenge, NSW Academic Competitions, Creative Minds, Tournament of Minds, Public Speaking competitions, Eisteddfods, Coding Club, Lego Robotics as well as many in class activities.
ADDITIONAL NEEDS SUPPORT PROGRAM
Children who need assistance in a particular area of learning are identified by both norm-referenced tests and teacher-constructed assessments. Selected students are given assistance on an individual and/or small group basis within the cohort. This Learning Support Program is provided in each grade. Students with significant additional needs are supported through the implementation of their Personalised Plan (PP), in consultation with parents and other professionals.
The school also provides many extra-curricular activities. These activities include school choirs, gardening club, band and musical tutorials, Library lunchtime activities, Premier’s Reading Challenge, English, Maths, Science, Computer, Writing and Spelling competitions, school discos, Creative and Practical Arts evenings, chess club, ICT, Art and Speech and Drama programs.
The school is constantly promoting our responsibility to the development of community in Merewether/Newcastle through our participation and support of St Vincent De Paul, Anzac Day and Remembrance Day ceremonies.