Why We Teach
St Joseph the Worker School Reservoir North
At St Joseph the Worker, we use an Evidence-Based approach to student learning and development. This means that leaders and teachers use up to date research of best practices, as well as evidence of student learning to make informed judgments in order to provide learning which is relevant, engaging and designed at each student’s point of need.
Teachers plan collaboratively and use evidence of learning to:
establish where students are in their learning
decide on appropriate teaching strategies
differentiate the learning based on students’ needs
monitor student progress
evaluate their impact on student learning.
Students are provided with a voice in their learning. They have clarity about each learning opportunity given clear Learning Intentions and Success Criteria. They are provided with feedback which enables them to reflect on their progress and set future goals. They are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning by considering the following questions:
Where am I going? How am I doing? Where to next?
How We Teach
At St Joseph the Worker we aim to develop independent, responsible learners who are actively involved in their own learning.
We consider that students learn when:
● they are actively engaged in their learning
● they are responsible for their own learning
● they feel their contribution is valued
● they experience success
● they actively engage in purposeful learning experiences
Dispositions - collaboration, curious, creative, risk taker, resilience
What We Teach
At St Joseph the Worker our Mathematics Learning and Teaching focuses on the key areas of Number & Algebra, Measurement & Geometry and Statistics & Probability. In addition, students develop mathematical fluency, understanding, reasoning and problem solving.
Students use hands-on resources to support their learning and are encouraged to talk about their learning and strategies. Connections to Mathematics in real life are used to ensure learning is relevant and purposeful.
At St Joseph the Worker our English Program is drawn from the Victorian Curriculum and covers the areas of Reading and Viewing, Writing and Oral Language. English is taught in classrooms with a focus on explicit teaching, assessment or understanding of skills to ensure that we are catering for individual students' needs.
Our priority is to promote a love of Literacy where all students develop skills that will enable them to be active and engaged members of their wider community. We do this by ensuring all students are being met at their point of need. Teachers work as part of a collaborative team to ensure that students are achieving growth in Literacy and to provide strategies that engage and assist students in their learning.
For our students requiring extra support and assistance with their learning we adopt a partnership approach with families. We work as a team around the child to ensure that adequate supports and adjustments are implemented, so every child experiences success in their education.
How We Measure Success
Our teachers use a range of ongoing assessment tools to clarify what students currently understand, identify any misconceptions and to inform the next steps for their learning. Teachers recognise that students have different points of need and work to ensure students are both supported and challenged at their level of need.
St Joseph the Worker has a comprehensive Sport and Physical Education program coordinated by the Physical Education teacher. All students participate in weekly lessons designed to develop all physical skills, concepts and involvement to nurture lifelong physical activity and healthy choices. Through our involvement in the School Sport Victoria (SSV) pathway, our 9–12-year-olds participate in cross country and athletics. Teams are selected to compete in district, divisional and regional carnivals with the prospect to compete at state level.
Year 5 and 6 students participate in interschool sport against our district schools on a Friday afternoon in terms 2 and 4, where they play football, netball, tee ball and Soccer.
Our students partake in a variety of sporting clinics, including AFL football, Soccer cricket, netball, athletics, and bike education.
The whole school enjoys the House Athletics carnivals annually.
Each week the students have a P.E. lesson. Students’ involvement in physical activity can take many forms, ranging from individual, non-competitive activities through to competitive team games. Students progress from the development of basic motor skills to the performance of complex movement patterns that form part of team games. Every student is placed into a house colour to build team spirit:
At St. Joseph the Worker Primary School, Music is taught by a specialist music teacher per semester with weekly, hour long lessons. During Semester One Year Prep-Two have Music and Semester Two is the Three-Six’s turn. These lessons are planned using a combination of the Orff Schulwerk Approach, the Kodaly Method and the Victorian Curriculum. Combining these approaches provides children with a sequential music program which involves a range of skills such as; singing, pitch matching and listening, body percussion, playing on a variety of both tuned and untuned instruments, movement and dancing. The elements of music such as pitch, rhythm, beat, dynamics, timbre and structure are explored by the children through composing, improvising, performing and responding to a variety of styles of music.
The School has a growing range of musical instruments such as a class set of ukuleles, djembe drums, a variety of percussion and keyboards.
St. Joseph the worker also has a choir that meets regularly to learn about singing, performance and further develop listening skills through pitch matching, singing in unison, rounds, chants and harmony.
Creative Music Program
In addition to providing a full classroom music program within the school curriculum, SJW offers an Instrumental Music Program that gives all children the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument. Instrumental tuition is available at the school for Piano and Guitar.
All students in all year levels have a one-hour session in the art room each week. The students are encouraged to develop an understanding of the various art forms including drawing, painting, printing, modelling, construction, threads and textiles and art appreciation. Every student has the opportunity to explore a variety of art mediums, develop specific skills and techniques, and experiment with using the visual arts elements of line, shape, colour, form, space, value and texture.
Their response to these experiences will allow for the development of an appreciation and enjoyment of the various art forms. Where possible the visual arts program will be linked and integrated with other curriculum areas.
Our students have an opportunity to focus on Visual Arts during even years when the children practise various techniques and experiment with different media to prepare works for an Art Show towards the end of the year.
On odd years, the learning focuses on Performing Arts with their learning culminating in a School Concert. They focus on the use of voice, body movement, dance and singing during this year.
These are supported by work in class as well as in their specialist Art classes.
At St Joseph the Worker Primary School, all students from Prep to Year 6 participate in a weekly one-hour lesson of LOTE – ITALIAN. Through this program the students are provided with different learning experiences introducing them to the Italian language and culture. Some of the ways the students explore the language is through story time, singing, dancing, role plays, games and interactive digital technology.
The students are encouraged to communicate in the language providing them with authentic opportunities to develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. The program also encourages an awareness of the Italian language and culture
in the local, wider and global community.
EXTRA CURRICULAR OPPORTUNITIES
St Joseph the Worker offers a range of opportunities for learning experiences outside the normal classroom activities. An extracurricular activity is an educationally enriching activity, which will enhance students’ experiences socially, academically, physically, creatively or intellectually. Such activities may be grouped into the following categories:
Interschool sport (Summer / Winter)
Camps (yrs 3-6)
Confirmation retreat day
Book week activities
Involvement in performance
Student Representative Council
A positive, safe and productive learning environment is important for our students' academic, emotional and social success at St Joseph the Worker School. To create this environment, we have established a whole school approach where wellbeing is considered in everything we do. Student voice is a critical part to improving student outcomes and to empower students to participate in school life fully and proudly. The St Joseph the Worker Student Representative Council (SRC) meets once every fortnight with the Wellbeing Leader. Each class is represented by a student who is democratically elected as aspiring to the school values and adhere to the roles and responsibilities of an SRC member.
The purpose of the SRC is to:
Communicate and explain school decisions to the students
Discuss main issues and be responsive at SRC meetings
Give the school leadership team feedback
Make the school a better place
Take on a leadership role within the school community
Support our community (fundraise for important issues)
Help and support other students.
Creating collaborative, inclusive learning environments is paramount to student wellbeing. Four years ago, it became apparent that a larger number of students were struggling with connection and play during breaks. As a result of this observation, we tested the idea of establishing a room in our school for students to come, play, explore, and connect. This has now become known as the ‘Imaginarium.’ The space is available to our students twice a week to come in at lunchtime and experience new activities, become problem solvers and seekers, build friendships and learn to handle the challenges of social situations. It is also a space to ignite passion, build confidence and learn new skills which can then be transferred into the classroom and beyond, building confidence and self-esteem. Teachers are invited to observe and engage with their students identifying capabilities beyond the classroom setting. The success of the Imaginarium continues to grow with numerous students attending each session on a weekly basis.
We believe that direct experiences bring the learning alive. At St Joseph the Worker students regularly participate in excursions or incursions that support the learning in the classroom. These experiences vary from year to year and term to term depending on the educational focus.
Our current camp program is as follows:
Students in MLA attend camp for two days and one night
Students in SLA attend camp for three days and two nights