Learning & Teaching

Overview

St Cecilia’s curriculum is based on The Victorian Essential Learning Standards which describe what is essential for students to achieve from Years Prep to 10 in Victorian schools.

They provide a whole school curriculum planning framework that sets out learning standards for schools to use to plan their teaching and learning programs, including assessment and reporting of student achievement and progress.

CURRICULUM REFLECTION YEAR PREP – YEAR 6

Beginning school is a major upheaval in children’s lives, especially those who have spent the majority of their lives at home. The foundation knowledge, skills and behaviours that children must develop in Prep through to Year 2 to become successful learners at school are:

  • English (Reading, Writing, Speaking and listening)
  • Mathematics
  • The Arts (Creating and making)
  • Interpersonal Development (with an emphasis on socialisation)
  • Health and Physical Education (Movement and physical activity).

Without the knowledge, behaviours and skills that are learned in these areas, children will be restricted in their capacity to succeed in the other domains as they progress through schooling. In the middle years (Year 3 & 4) students begin to respond to information, ideas and beliefs from contexts beyond their immediate experience. Consistent with this development, additional expectations across the curriculum are introduced.

The first challenge at school is for children to socialise and to become engaged behaviourally, emotionally and cognitively. Engagement is a state that remains critical to success throughout schooling. Engagement moves from a minimal level of engagement where children conform, motivated by extrinsic demands, to a higher level of behavioural engagement where their motivation is more intrinsic. The latter includes resilient behaviour that is the capacity to overcome stress and adversity. Resilient children achieve more highly at school and better manage the ups and downs in life. Schools play a significant role in helping children to develop resilience.

In Years 5 to 8 young people become more complex thinkers. They begin to understand more abstract cognitive processes such as how to apply logical reasoning to both ideas and concrete objects. In other words, they begin learning how to apply many of the practical skills they have mastered in earlier years. They become capable of distinguishing between the processes and thinking tools specific to particular problems and ideas. They need to develop the competency of reflecting on and evaluating these processes.

Assisting students to communicate, participate and work cooperatively, to have self-control, and to resolve conflicts thoughtfully without resorting to avoidance or aggression helps students to excel during this stage of schooling. Learning to manage emotions, predict consequences, develop optimistic thinking habits, and set goals are also skills that improve student achievement and wellbeing.

Historically, curriculum was presented as a collection of subjects which had no relationship to one another.  An integrated curriculum helps make connections between subjects.  Programs such as mathematics, English, the arts etc are planned and taught in a way that promotes the real links between these areas and assists students to understand why they are learning what they are learning.

We believe that learning is more successful when:

  • The content is significant and rich with the potential for inquiry
  • Learners are actively involved in gathering and processing information
  • The learner is engaged and interested in what s/he is doing
  • Individual learning styles are recognised and catered for

Science, history, geography, economics, civics and citizenship, health and technology are the content areas that contain the rich concepts that drive effective learning.  Language is the vehicle through which much of our daily experience is processed.  We depend on our ability to use language, maths and the arts to inquire, gather information, analyse and communicate our understandings to others.