Learning and Teaching

Curriculum Introduction

Religious Education

St Patrick’s is proudly a Catholic School and our Catholic culture permeates all that we do. Religious Education is taught daily within the classrooms and is based on the Guidelines from the Diocese of Sale. Students have the opportunity to engage in Prayer Sessions, and attend Mass. In partnership with St Patrick’s Parish we offer a parish based, family centred and school supported Sacramental Program.

The Victorian Curriculum (Ref: http://victoriancurriculum.vcaa.vic.edu.au/)

The Victorian Curriculum F–10 sets out what every student should learn during their first eleven years of schooling. The curriculum is the common set of knowledge and skills required by students for life-long learning, social development and active and informed citizenship.

Learning Areas

Religious Education

Students from Prep – 6 engage in the Sale Diocese Curriculum ‘To Live in Christ Jesus’. This is a progression of learning in Religious Education, based around the strands and lenses.

The curriculum draws from Scripture and the Catholic tradition of the Universal Church. It fosters an understanding of young people as they grow and mature in contemporary society. The content includes a strong social justice focus.


Students are engaged in a range of both formal and informal prayer experiences as they seek to deepen their relationship with God. All classes begin the day with morning prayer, which the students are encouraged to lead.

Social Justice

We are committed to promoting socially just behaviours and outreach, and we undertake a range of student driven initiatives each term. School leaders organise fundraisers and guest speakers and actively advocate on issues relating to social justice.

School Liturgies

Celebrating our faith through liturgy is an important component of school life at St Patrick’s. Each class is rostered on throughout the year to prepare and attend Mass in the Church. Parents and families are invited to share in this celebration. Students attend Reconciliation prior to receiving the Sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation. We celebrate Easter and Christmas as a school community and parents and families are welcome to join with us in these celebrations. Sacraments

The Sacramental Program is Family Centred, Parish Based, School and Catechist Supported.

The Arts

The Arts includes Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music and Visual Arts.

The Arts enable students to develop their creative and expressive capacities by learning about the different practices, disciplines and traditions that have shaped the expression of culture locally, nationally and globally. Students are both artist and audience in the Arts. They make and respond and learn to appreciate the specific ways this occurs in different disciplines.


The English curriculum aims to ensure that students:

  • learn to listen to, read, view, speak, write, create and reflect on increasingly complex and sophisticated spoken and written texts across a growing range
    of contexts with accuracy, fluency and purpose
  • appreciate, enjoy and use the English language in all its variations and develop a sense of its richness and power to evoke feelings, convey information, form ideas, facilitate interaction with others, entertain, persuade and argue
  • understand how Standard Australian English works in its spoken and written forms and in combination with non-linguistic forms of communication to create meaning
  • develop interest and skills in inquiring into the aesthetic aspects of texts, and develop an informed appreciation of literature


The Mathematics curriculum aims to ensure that students:

  • develop useful mathematical and numeracy skills for everyday life, work and as active and critical citizens in a technological world
  • see connections and apply mathematical concepts, skills and processes to pose and solve problems in mathematics and in other disciplines and contexts;
  • acquire specialist knowledge and skills in mathematics that provide for further study in the discipline
  • appreciate mathematics as a discipline – its history, ideas, problems and applications, aesthetics and philosophy


The Science curriculum aims to ensure that students develop:

  • an interest in science as a means of expanding their curiosity and willingness to explore, ask questions about and speculate on the changing world in which they live
  • an understanding of the vision that science provides of the nature of living things, of the Earth and its place in the cosmos, and of the physical and chemical processes that explain the behaviour of all material things
  • an understanding of the nature of scientific inquiry and the ability to use a range of scientific inquiry methods, including questioning, planning and conducting experiments and investigations based on ethical principles, collecting and analysing data, evaluating results, and drawing critical,evidence-based conclusions
  • an ability to communicate scientific understanding and findings to a range of audiences, to justify ideas on the basis of evidence, and to evaluate and debate scientific arguments and claims
  • an ability to solve problems and make informed, evidence-based decisions about current and future applications of science while taking into account ethical and social implications of decisions
  • an understanding of historical and cultural contributions to science as well as contemporary science issues and activities and an understanding of the diversity of careers related to science
  • a solid foundation of knowledge of the biological, chemical, physical, Earth and space sciences, including being able to select and integrate the scientific knowledge and methods needed to explain and predict phenomena, to apply that understanding to new situations and events, and to appreciate the dynamic nature of science knowledge


The Humanities includes Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Business, Geography and History.

The Humanities provide a framework for students to examine the complex processes that have shaped the modern world and to investigate responses to different challenges including people’s interconnections with the environment.

In Civics and Citizenship and Economics and Business, students explore the systems that shape society, with a specific focus on legal and economic systems. Students learn about Australia’s role in global systems, and are encouraged to appreciate democratic principles and to contribute as active, informed and responsible citizens.

In History and Geography, students explore the processes that have shaped and which continue to shape different societies and cultures, to appreciate the common humanity shared across time and distance, and to evaluate the ways in which humans have faced and continue to face different challenges.

Health and Physical Education

Health and Physical Education aims to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to enable students to:

  • access, evaluate and synthesise information to take positive action to protect, enhance and advocate for their own and others’ health, wellbeing, safety and physical activity participation across their lifespan
  • develop and use personal, behavioural, social and cognitive skills and strategies to promote a sense of personal identity and wellbeing and to build and manage respectful relationships
  • acquire, apply and evaluate movement skills, concepts and strategies to respond confidently, competently and creatively in a variety of physical activity contexts and settings
  • engage in and enjoy regular movement-based learning experiences and understand and appreciate their significance to personal, social, cultural, environmental and health practices and outcomes
  • analyse how varied and changing personal and contextual factors shape understanding of, and opportunities for, health and physical activity locally, regionally and globally
  • Students participate in Physical Education lessons each week. Students have the opportunity to participate in Athletics Days, District Sports and Inter-
    school sports


The Languages curriculum aims to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to ensure that students:

  • communicate in the language they are learning
  • understand the relationship between language, culture and learning
  • develop intercultural capabilities
  • understand themselves as communicators

Design and Technologies

Design and Technologies aims to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to ensure that students:

  • become critical users of technologies, and designers and producers of designed solutions
  • can investigate, generate and critique designed solutions for sustainable futures
  • use design and systems thinking to generate innovative and ethical design ideas, and communicate these to a range of audiences
  • create designed solutions suitable for a range of contexts by creatively selecting and safely manipulating a range of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment
  • learn how to transfer the knowledge and skills from design and technologies to new situations
  • understand the roles and responsibilities of people in design and technologies occupations, and how they contribute to society

Digital Technologies

Digital Technologies curriculum aims to ensure that students can:

  • design, create, manage and evaluate sustainable and innovative digital solutions to meet and redefine current and future needs
  • use computational thinking and the key concepts of abstraction; data collection, representation and interpretation; specification, algorithms and development to create digital solutions
  • apply systems thinking to monitor, analyse, predict and shape the interactions within and between information systems and the impact of these systems on individuals, societies, economies and environments
  • confidently use digital systems to efficiently and effectively automate the transformation of data into information and to creatively communicate ideas in a range of settings
  • apply protocols and legal practices that support safe, ethical and respectful communications and collaboration with known and unknown audiences

Learning Adjustments, Education Support & Extension

Support programs and structures to assist students in their learning include:

Personalised Learning Plan (PLP)

Students identified with a learning difficulty or disability follow a Personalised Learning Plan. A PLP is a document written by the teacher in consultation with the parents/ carers, which outlines a student’s current level of ability and identifies specific goals for future attainment. PLP ensures students with learning difficulties and disabilities have access to a meaningful curriculum suited to their particular needs.

Program Support Group (PSG) Meeting

Program Support Group includes the student’s parents or carers, teachers and principal’s nominee-the Learning Adjustment Leader. Medical professionals, parent advocate or education support staff can also be part of it when appropriate. Program support meetings are held once a term or once a semester based on the level of adjustment needed for the student.

Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD)

Every year the NCCD collects data about school students with disabilities who are receiving adjustments across Australia. The NCCD helps to formally and consistently recognise the support and adjustments provided to students with disability. The student with disability loading provided to the schools by the Australian Government is based on the NCCD.


Benchmark Assessment System – Levelled Literacy Intervention Reading Program (BAS LLI)

BAS LLI is a small-group (3 – 4 students), intervention program designed to provide regular, small-group instruction for students in the early years of schooling. BAS LLI provides intensive support to assist students achieve grade level competency in reading, writing and comprehension, as well as a framework to track and monitor achievement.

Toe By Toe- Toe By Toe is a multi-sensory teaching method to support any student including students with specific learning difficulty (Dyslexia), who has difficulty in decoding (reading unfamiliar words confidently and accurately) or reading fluently. As the name Toe By Toe suggests, it is a finely structured, methodical and measurable and above all highly successful and evidence based.

Speech Therapy Assistant Program- STA program provides regular, consistent therapy services to students with speech and Language difficulties. Trained Speech Therapy Assistants deliver Therapy programs under the supervision of a Speech Pathologist. Students receive three 30 minutes therapy sessions per week, which results in more rapid progress towards speech –language goals. At the end of each term, the Speech Pathologist reviews the students’ progress and prepares a report, which is shared with parents and teachers. Versalearn is the company the school contracts to do this.


As part of our commitment to offer students the opportunity to develop their gifts and talents, St Patrick’s students are offered a number of both internal and external Extension opportunities.

Family Learning Conversations and Reports

Family Learning Conversations (formerly known as Parent Teacher Interviews) are held twice yearly in Term One and mid-year. The aim of the Term One Family Learning Conversation is to familiarise yourself with your child’s class teacher, to share relevant information, understand your child’s assessment levels and set student learning goals. The mid-year Family Learning Conversations are held to share the learning progress of your child as evidenced through your child’s written report.

Reports are written mid-year, in conjunction with the mid-year Family Learning Conversations, and at the conclusion of the school year.

Extra Curricular Activities

Throughout the year, teachers plan excursions, incursions and extra-curricular activities to support and extend the learning in the classroom. For legal reasons, written parent permission is required so your child can attend excursions and extra-curricular activities.


Outdoor Education is a highly valued and very important aspect of the curriculum and your child’s development. It is an expectation that all children attend camp.

Our camp structure is as follows:

Year 4 – CYC The Island – Phillip Island
Year 5 – Sovereign Hill, Ballarat
Year 6 – Coonawarra Farm Resort

As part of a comprehensive and balanced curriculum within our school, Home Learning is seen as one way of supporting and fostering life-long learning and connecting families with the learning of their children. Therefore, Home Learning should be:

  • appropriate to the student’s skill level and age
  • purposeful, meaningful and relevant to the curriculum
  • interesting, challenging and when appropriate open ended
  • reviewed by teachers with feedback and support provided
  • balanced with a range of recreational, family and cultural activities