“Tell me and I forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn.”
(Xunzi 312-230 BC)
Learning and Teaching
Our Culture of High Expectations is based on the collective belief that all students can and will learn. With a strong focus on 100% of the students, 100% of the time, we ensure the curriculum is targeted to meet the individual needs of our learners. Teachers receive ongoing professional learning on evidence based practices that enhance learning, as well as strategies on how to target their teaching to support each learners’ point of need. To address variability, we monitor student progress through data analysis and plan in teams to determine the most effective strategies for learning. Teachers regularly measure and reflect on their impact and make adjustments to their practice accordingly.
Our students receive a rich education in English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities, Religion and Technology, as well as lessons with specialist teachers in Physical Education, Music, Visual Arts and Japanese.
English is a key priority at St Thomas’. The acquisition of skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening contribute to the success of all other areas of learning.
Students’ are explicitly taught these English skills. Our aim is for students to be able to use these skills with confidence, therefore they are provided with opportunities to apply these skills in real life situations. Whole class, small group, collaborative and individual learning experiences are offered, depending on the students’ point of need. Our teachers implement a range of Evidence-Based interventions to support our learners.
Mathematics is another key priority at St Thomas’ as we understand that most human activities require mathematical knowledge. We help our learners’ see the connection between mathematics and real life situations, and help them to apply these skills in their learning. The Victorian Curriculum outlines three learning disciplines; Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability. Each discipline has complementary substrands. Key concepts are explicitly taught and then applied using collaborative and independent problem solving strategies.
History, Geography, Economics and Business, and Civics and Citizenship are areas of study in the curriculum that aim to prepare our students as global citizens who will contribute positively to society, including environmental aspects. Students explore past events that have contributed to the world they know today. Multiple opportunities are provided for students to investigate and deepen their understanding of world views and religions.
Science is taught using an inquiry approach that is guided and encourages critical thinking skills and strategies. The Science curriculum has two key strands, Science Understanding and Science Inquiry Skills. We teach the areas of biological, chemical, physical and earth science.
The Technologies curriculum is divided into two strands, Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies. In Design and Technologies, students use design thinking and technologies to generate and produce designed solutions. In Digital Technologies, students use computational thinking and information systems to analyse, design and develop digital solutions. As part of learning at St Thomas, our students are provided with regular opportunities to use iPads and chromebooks.
The capabilities, which are a set of discrete knowledge and skills that can and should be taught explicitly in and through all learning areas.
The four capabilities that we teach are:
- Critical and Creative Thinking
- Personal and Social