Learning

Learning & Teaching

St Damian’s is a ‘Learning Centred School’ and closely aligns all learning and teaching upon the Catholic Education Office ‘Learning Centred Schools, One Body Many Parts philosophy.

The learning and teaching at St Damian’s develops the students’ capacity to manage themselves, their relationships with others and their connections with the world. Learning is enhanced when teachers and students work within a positive culture that reflects gospel values and respects the human person. Optimum learning occurs when teachers actively engage students through purposeful inquiry learning and ‘hands-on’ activities.

At St Damian’s students develop the capabilities required to deal with issues and change and to act effectively as responsible members of the twenty-first century.

Teachers plan in level teams to ensure successful implementation of the VELs (Victorian Essential Learning Standards).

The Discipline based learning strands are; Religious Education, English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities, Languages (Italian) and the Arts.

Physical, Personal and Social learning strands include; Personal learning, Interpersonal Learning, Civics & Citizenship and Health & Physical Education

The Interdisciplinary learning strands are; Information Communication & Technology, Thinking, Design Creativity & Technology and Communication.

 

Religious Education

Religious Education forms an integral part of life at St. Damian’s, it is central to what we as a Catholic school aim to achieve, that is, we have concern for all members of our diverse community as unique people, who are loved by God.

We work to assist each person to fulfil his or her potential in a community centred on the teachings of Jesus Christ and Catholic tradition.

Each year a theme is chosen that reflects the Liturgical Cycle. This year is the year of Matthew and our theme is ‘Be the Light’. Each student from Foundation Year to Year Six will explore this theme and what it means for them as children of God. We hope that the students will come to recognize not only the light inside themselves but the light inside the other members of our community.

We encourage the students to be socially just in their dealings with one another, working together as a whole school as we try to be the light for others affords St. Damian’s an opportunity to be “The light of the world” (Matt. 5:14).

Sacrament Dates 2015

Confirmation

Sacramental Evening (parents only)
Wednesday 18th March 7:30pm

Confirmation Parent / Child Night
Tuesday 5th May 7:30pm

Presentation Masses
Saturday 2nd May, 5:30pm & Sunday 3rd May 10:00am

Confirmation Masses
Sunday 17th May, 2:00pm and 4:30pm

Eucharist

Sacramental Evening (parents only)
Wednesday18th March 7:30pm

Presentation Masses
Saturday 1st August, 5:30pm & Sunday 2nd August 10:00am

Parent / Child Night
Tuesday 14th July 7:30pm

Eucharist Reflection Day (children only)
Friday 14th August

Eucharist Masses:
Saturday 22nd August 5:30pm & Sunday 23rd August 10:00am
Saturday 29th August 5:30pm & Sunday 30th August 10:00am

Reconciliation

Presentation Masses
Saturday 14th March 5:30pm & Sunday 15th March 10:00am

Sacramental Evening (parents only)
Wednesday 18th March 7:30pm

Reconciliation Ceremony
Wednesday 25th March, 7:30pm

Literacy

St. Damian’s provides a Literacy program that aims to challenge, engage and support students in developing their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.

We dedicate two hours each day to Literacy. During this time, students work collaboratively in small groups and engage in meaningful activities catering for their individual learning needs and styles.

We encourage an interest in and love for Reading and Writing by providing children with a variety of rich and stimulating texts.

We invite parents to assist in the classroom during the Literacy block. A Literacy Assistant workshop is offered each year to support parents who are interested in becoming a parent helper.

Mathematics

St Damian’s provides a Mathematic’s program which encourages children to solve ‘real life’ problems. Children use manipulative materials and resources to help clarify their mathematical thinking. Discussion of how children are thinking when problem solving is encouraged, as this allows for deeper understanding and sharing of strategies.

We endeavour to provide a challenging learning environment that is exciting, enjoyable and catering to the individual needs of each child.

Mathematics learning is conducted daily and Parent Helpers are encouraged to share in the learning of their children.

The Mathematics session is broken into three learning stages:

  • ‘Tuning In’ or ‘Tool Time’ where children are tuned in to Mathematics learning
  • Student Activity where the whole class or small group learning takes place
  • Share Time where children verbalise and share what they have discovered in Mathematics.

Contemporary Teaching and Learning Mathematics (CTLM)

St Damian’s school is extremely fortunate to be enrolled in the CTLM project. The focus is about providing teachers with the skills, strategies and understanding about how we best learn Mathematics. Each fortnight James Giannopolous and Michelle Bailey from CEOM will work extensively with our teachers. This project has been planned to support us in achieving our “Learning and Teaching” goal from our school improvement plan. The goal is: ‘To improve student engagement and learning and the student performance in Numeracy be improved.’

Information & Communication Technology

At St. Damian’s, we ensure that our 21st Century students have many opportunies to develop their love for learning through the use of a wide range of contemporary ICT tools.

ICT is incorporated into the curriculum at all levels. Classroom teachers utilise a range of technologies and web tools to engage students and enhance teaching and learning.

Each classroom is fitted with an interactive whiteboard. Students have access to a range of contemporary ICT tools such as, iPads, laptops, digital cameras, flip cams and desktop computers.

Specialist Program

St Damian’s offers a range of specialist learning areas for each student.

Physical Education
St. Damian’s has a dynamic and comprehensive Physical Education and Sports program. The Physical Education program for all children from Prep through to Year Six is based around the development of motor skills as defined in the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS).

Information and Communication Technology
St Damian’s Primary School integrates technologies, engaging students in ways not previously possible, creating new learning and teaching possibilities, enhancing achievement and extending interactions
with local and global communities.

Italian
Students start to understand and use Italian in structured situations and activities related to their local environment: self, family, home, classroom and community. They learn about culture in context from stimulus materials. They learn that there are different ways of doing things and to identify what is familiar and what is different in their own and other cultures.

Contemporary Arts
Students are given the opportunity to explore their artistic talents. All students participate in a Contemporary Arts lesson each week. The Contemporary Arts include dance, drama, music, visual art and media art.

Reading Recovery
A proportion of students will be identified at the end of Foundation Year as requiring support with reading and writing strategies. The Reading Recovery program provides one-to-one intervention that assists students and accelerates student’s literacy skills to a higher level.