St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School is a community where learners can grow, not just in their academics but into people that will meet their future with love, respect, courage and kindness and make a difference to those they meet along their journey.
We achieve this with Learning Programs that develop the ‘whole’ child through academic, emotional, physical, social and spiritual experiences. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive community where everyone feels safe, welcomed and valued. In building strong relationships with each other the learning flows and students can flourish. They then can understand the value they hold for themselves, for others and the future of our world.
St Joseph’s is a Professional Learning Community (PLC) school. This is our culture and we are working to embed this as we begin our journey together. In collaborative teams the teachers identify the essential learning elements within the English and Mathematics standards. Common Formative Assessment Tasks (CFATS) are used to measure student learning before and after a learning cycle. Student results are used to identify students’ explicit learning needs and to determine the “I can…” goals they need to achieve to reach the non negotiable level of proficiency and to be successful learners. Intensive intervention time is planned to assist students who require more instruction and learning is planned to extend those students who may already have the minimum proficiency level in place.
Being a PLC school means we have three main focus areas:
Student learning is the central focus and our fundamental purpose is to ensure high levels of learning for all students regardless of ability. Our vision is to have all students working at the expected level of learning or above. Teachers, along with students, are in a continuous zone of growth to help them to improve the outcomes of all students and reflect on what they need to do to accomplish this. Goal setting is used to drive and help promote student agency. This means students own their own learning which improves engagement and has a good impact on student outcomes. They know their I can goals and are supported by the teacher to work to achieve them.
We believe that every student deserves to have a great teacher; not by chance but by design, and that the students have the ability to learn and progress. Teachers collaborate together to find the best growth for students, guiding and supporting each other to provide the highest quality teaching. The goal of any meeting is to improve the learning outcomes of our students. We learn from each other to help ensure success. Only through collaboration can we succeed in our vision.
At St Joseph’s we are results driven. We work together for the best learning outcomes for all, using evidence-based strategies that have been proven to support and promote learning. When using evidence informed teaching we are also completing our own action research to identify the best quality teaching strategies for our own students. Examples of this is our use of HITS (the 10 proven High Impact Teaching Strategies) and using Synthetic Phonics for explicit phonological knowledge to improve student outcomes.
We utilise our students’ CFAT results to analyse and reflect on the learning of our students. This allows us to plan appropriate learning and to assess the effectiveness of the learning cycle.
Our success is measured not by what or how teachers teach, but by how much students learn. We identify when students have met their learning goals and have achieved the minimum required level of proficiency. If students have not met this goal then we provide intervention to support their growth.
Within a PLC community we have tiers of learning involving different levels of intervention to ensure the improved outcomes of all.
- Tier 1: After analysing student data and work samples the teachers determine the learning pathway for each individual child.. Students are working towards particular ‘I can’ statements and a minimum standard is chosen that teachers strive to ensure all students have achieved in the learning cycle.
- Tier 2: Students needing extra support to meet the minimum standard are given boost sessions to support their growth to the minimum standard, this can happen in the classroom with their year level teachers or with their enrichment educator Pre Lit Program, Prep Project, Toe to Toe, Gillon Phonological Awareness Program, Fountas and Pinnell Levelled Literacy Intervention
- Tier 3: Evidence-based intervention programs are provided for students that are below expected standards e.g. A number of Literacy intervention programs are provided to support students in need of extra assistance such as the Multi Lit Program.
During their time at St Joseph’s we support our students to wonder and inquire about their world and learn through action together. This is done using a whole school approach to integrated learning (aligned with Victorian Curriculum), with an emphasis on Inquiry Learning strategies based on Kath Mudoch’s Inquiry Approach. This approach invites student curiosity and sparks passion. It encourages students to question and drive their own learning and zones in on the importance of the learning process and developing ourselves as learners. Authentic and purposeful learning is key and students are driven to action by the process.
INNOVATION & CREATIVITY
Innovation and creativity are embraced at St Joseph’s Primary School and we know it is important for our students to have access to the right tools to enable this. For this reason we have invested in one to one iPad access for all students. The choice of this device was deliberate as we know that it delivers flexibility and opens students to choose, giving opportunity for students to show their creativity and transform their learning. Students also have access to smart TVs and Chromebooks.
St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Community promotes the safety, wellbeing and inclusion of all children