How we teach and support
Our entire teaching staff is dedicated to the detail and we want to ensure every child achieves to their own potential.
This means ensuring we have a robust system of teaching and support that not only caters to the average (or middle student) – but also the advanced student or the student that needs some extra support.
For learning to take place we need to ensure that every child feels safe, happy and confident within themselves – and so a huge emphasis is placed on a strong wellbeing and support program that achieves just that!
Social & Emotional Learning
Social and emotional learning (SEL) helps students learn the skills they need to build resilience and effectively manage their emotions, behaviour and relationships with others. Social and emotional skills promote children’s ability to cope with difﬁculties and help to prevent mental health problems. Children who have developed social and emotional skills ﬁnd it easier to manage themselves, relate to others, resolve conﬂict, and feel positive about themselves and the world around them.
At St Patrick’s, students participate in regular SEL lessons that are based on the Victorian Curriculum. Teachers plan primarily using the Bounce Back Program, a fully integrated whole school social and emotional learning curriculum program promoting sustainable mental health, wellbeing and resilience for students and teachers.
The key areas of the program are:
- Core values and Social Values: These units focus on developing prosocial values including values related to ethical and intercultural understanding.
- People Bouncing Back: This unit focuses on developing self-management strategies for coping and bouncing back.
- Courage: This unit focuses on strategies to find and act with courage in both everyday life and difficult circumstances.
- Looking on the Bright Side: This unit focuses on teaching optimistic thinking, positive tracking, being appreciative and expressing gratitude.
- Emotions: This unit focuses on strategies for developing & boosting positive emotions and managing negative emotions.
- Relationships: This unit focuses on explicitly teaching social skills for building relationships and maintaining friendships.
- Humour: This unit focuses on the use of humour as a coping skill.
- Being Safe: This unit focuses on strategies and skills for creating a safe class and school environment and discouraging and managing bullying incidents.
Success: This unit focuses on skills and attitudes for identifying & applying character and ability strengths, setting goals, planning, persevering (grit & the development of a growth mindset), overcoming mistakes and obstacles and being successful in achieving personal and learning goals.
At St. Patrick’s we have a robust Student Leadership that actively promotes student voice and action, whilst also allowing students to hone their personal leadership skills.
All students in the school have the opportunity to be a part of a leadership group within the school. The current student leadership program incorporates Student Representative Council (SRC), Student Action Teams, Computer Technicians, Library Monitors and House Captains.
Two students per class are elected as SRC representatives for the school year. Their role is to identify their class’ needs at regular class meetings that are then brought to the SRC meetings. The SRC meets regularly with the Student Wellbeing Leader.
Student Action Teams –
Students in Years Five and Six can nominate themselves for one of four Student Action Teams.
- Sustainability and the Environment
- School Activities and Events
- Social Justice
Students in these teams bring about change by following a clearly defined process of gathering student voice, creating an action plan, meeting with stakeholders and promoting their initiatives in the school community through assemblies and the school newsletter.
Students in Years Five and Six can nominate themselves as a Library Monitor. They support the Library Technician in organising and maintaining the cleanliness of our library, often helping organise the library at lunchtimes.
Students in Years Five and Six can nominate themselves as a Computer Technician. It is their responsibility to support the e-Learning Leader in maintaining the school’s computers. When computer-based library clubs run, the Computer Tech Team also help run these groups.
Students in Year Six nominate themselves for one of 8 positions as a House Captains. House Captains are responsible for:
- leading their team during whole school sport events
- encouraging an inclusive House spirit, healthy competition, modelling and good sportsmanship.
- attending occasional meetings with the Student Wellbeing Leader to plan and organise House afternoons
- presenting the introductory part of the weekly school assembly
At St. Patrick’s we believe that building positive relationships is the key to an effective learning environment. Positive relationships encourage students’ motivation and engagement in learning. We invest the time in making connections with our students, so that we are able to teach them more effectively because of the trust that we have worked to build.
We start each school year with a four week unit that focuses on Wellbeing. We work to build a culture where the students trust each other and their teachers. We establish routines that help students be effective and resilient learners. We look at what it means to have a Growth Mindset, self-regulation, school safety and leadership. All of these components help us develop a classroom environment that is built on trust and clear routines.
During this time teachers also work to build a positive relationship with families, by holding parent-teacher chats early in the school year. Parents and teachers have a common goal: to facilitate the best educational experience possible for students. When parents and teachers communicate with one another, they are able to work together towards this common goal.
Extension & Support
At St. Patrick’s’s our focus is always on the `individual learner’, providing the opportunity for every student to reach their full potential. We use a range of formative assessment to identify the needs of every student, including students who require extension. Our aim is for every student to be challenged, engaged and to show learning growth in all areas of the curriculum. Our highly professional teachers work collaboratively to ensure that all our students, at both ends of the learning spectrum, can fully flourish.
Students who consistently demonstrate that they have mastered standards and skills through their tasks are challenged with explicit teaching in the classroom to progress to the next level of work. This can include a range of tasks designed to extend these students, including:
- Reading more extended and complex texts, and discussing these with peers in guided groups and literature circles
- Developing knowledge of more advanced vocabulary and elements of grammar and punctuation
- High order thinking tasks
- Extension through creativity such as art or music projects
- Being challenged to solve multi-step mathematical problems
- Special programs such as Tournament of the Minds
Our expert teaching staff are extremely skilled at identifying students who require additional support. With the support of our Learning Diversity Leader, teachers and our Learning Support Officers implement intervention strategies in the core areas of Literacy and Numeracy. In addition to this support, our Reading Recovery Program supports students from Year One to reach reading benchmarks.
At St Patrick’s we work in partnership with our parents through our `Student Support Group’ (SSG) meetings to set learning goals and Personal Learning Plans (PLPs) for students where adjustments for learning need to be made.
‘Peaceful Kids’ is a Mindfulness and Positive Psychology based support program to lessen anxiety and stress and increase resilience in children. Students from Prep to Grade Six, who have difficulty managing their anxiety, are referred to the program by their classroom teacher, in consultation with parents.
Peaceful Kids is a developmentally appropriate program that gives children the skills, practice and support to utilise coping strategies that lessen the symptoms of anxiety and stress.
The program, which runs as a group of no more than 6 students over an 8 week period, also involves parental involvement and commitment to supporting the strategies at home. Students work with a trained teacher facilitator to achieve the program outcomes.
Students who participate in the program learn life skills of:
- A range of Mindfulness meditations
- Positive psychology exercises
- Techniques to lessen worrying
- A variety of coping strategies
- A variety of problem solving strategies
- Journaling and expressing their worries
- Facing challenges and fears step by step
- Preventative strategies to help prevent stress build up
- Being attuned to their own bodies and minds
- Being in the flow more regularly and enjoying more of the present moment
Kinder to Prep Transition
Beginning school is one of the major milestones in your child’s life and one that we are proud to be a part of. Our four Orientation sessions in the year before they begin school, is an opportunity for students, families and our school to develop strong relationships to support your child’s lifelong learning. The Orientation program also provides an opportunity for parents to learn more about the school through information sessions and a chance to begin to connect with other families. Prep students settle into the school year with a ‘rest’ day each Wednesday for the month of February. Families are invited to a Prep BBQ early in the school year as a welcome to the St Patrick’s community.
At St Patrick’s we regularly welcome students into our school at levels other than Prep. We understand the importance of a smooth transition in order for a new student to feel safe, supported and welcome! Parents of children wishing to enrol in levels other than Prep are welcome to call and make an appointment with the Principal for a tour of the school at any time throughout the year. Our school will work with your family to promote a smooth transition between schools.
Start With Our Online Tour →
We have produced some teaser videos below but the best way to meet us is to register and watch the full videos
Isn't it time we got to know each other?
Take our online VIDEO TOUR or book a SCHOOL TOUR!
Meet our principal, teachers, current students, parents, learn about our curriculum opportunities and tips for a smooth start to school.