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Learning & Teaching

St Paul Apostle North School

The staff, students and parent community of St Paul Apostle North are committed to providing a personalised, inclusive learning environment which strengthens the Catholic identity of our students and enables all students to flourish; academically, emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically.

We teach the whole child and understand the importance of knowing each student; their personalities, interests, family background, strengths and challenges – so we place relationships and wellbeing at the centre of our teaching. Student learning is enhanced by ongoing partnership between key stakeholders within our school and local community. A cohesive and collaborative whole school approach ensures consistency and positive outcomes for students as they progress along the learning continuum. We endeavour to equip our students with the critical tools and skills to adapt and succeed in an ever-changing and increasingly global community. By inspiring and empowering them to be the change-makers within our school and local community, we aim to instill a belief that they can enact change, to make a difference in our world.

Education in Faith

St. Paul Apostle North School is a learning community committed to developing the faith of all students, staff and families. We celebrate our Faith in the tradition of the Catholic Church, where the teachings and values of Jesus Christ and our Patron Saint, Paul,  encourage us to lead our lives as active witnesses in   the local and wider community.     

 

The central focus of the Religious Education program is to make meaningful links between faith and life, building positive relationships with one another to enhance the sense of belonging within our school community. Our deep learning experiences through contemporary and consistent practices provide opportunities for students and families to participate in the life of the school and wider community as we act for justice and seek the common good for all.  Our school respects the diverse cultures, worldviews and backgrounds of students and families. Students are empowered to seek truth, ask questions and make meaningful connections in their life.

 

Horizons of Hope – Vision    

Horizons of Hope – Religious Dimension 

 

At each level, learning is focused on the dimensions of religious learning and the key practices and beliefs students need to engage with at that stage of their faith journey. 

Sacrament Program

St Paul Apostle’s Sacramental Program is parish based. The school works in partnership with parents to support the child’s faith journey.  The children prepare for the Sacraments at the following levels:

  • Grade 4 Reconciliation and Eucharist

  • Grade 6 Confirmation

Catholic Leadership Program

 

At St Paul Apostle North, we believe that everyone can be a leader, regardless of age or experience. Our 5/6 students lead by example while planning and running school events such as Harmony Day, hosting assemblies and through our Buddy Program. Our students learn about the Catholic Social Teachings, and put them into practice in various ways. Across the school there are a variety of leadership opportunities for students to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our school and wider community. 

 

St Paul the Apostle called us to support the disadvantaged in our community with generosity and love in our hearts  in 1 Corinthians 16: 1-4 and 2 Corinthians 8-9, in an example of the first acts of Christian mission. He also asked us to carry each others’ burdens in Galatians 6:2 just as Jesus teaches us to love our neighbour as ourselves (Mark 12: 30-31) and help the vulnerable in our community (Matthew 20: 40-45). 

 

Based on these teachings, St Paul Apostle North aims to nurture discipleship and create opportunities for all to take action in encountering God and seeing Jesus in the faces of all in our community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Viewhills Manor Aged Care

Our senior school students all have the opportunity to visit Viewhills Manor, our local aged care facility. After learning that many of the residents do not receive many visitors, especially after Covid, we knew this would be an opportunity to connect with members of our community and enact our faith. Students read, colour and play games with the residents as well as listen to their stories and enjoy their treasured memories. 

 

We began this outreach program in 2023 and our first cohort of students have demonstrated respect, compassion, empathy and understanding as they stepped out of their comfort zones to make a difference in the lives of others. 

Mini Vinnies

In 2022, our Year 3/4 students began working with our St Paul Apostle Parish to form a Mini Vinnies Team. They collect food and warm clothes during the cold months, help organise Christmas hamper drives and have even made soup for the soup van at our church. 

 

Kids Matter Team

At St Paul Apostle North, we believe every child is a reflection of God, and every person and their voice matters. The Kids Matter Team works with our Student Wellbeing Leader to lead school wellbeing initiatives such as R U OK? Day as well as promote mental health and student voice across the school. This team includes students from the junior school through to the senior school, allowing students of all ages to develop their leadership capacity. 

 

FIRE Carriers

FIRE stands for “Friends Igniting Reconciliation through Education”. We have a team of students from across the school, teachers and parents that have created a covenant and been commissioned as FIRE Carriers .

 

We are a Catholic Primary school located in Endeavour Hills, on Bunurong Land and we believe that we have a responsibility to lead by example and demonstrate respect and care towards our Aboriginal brothers and sisters. Our school instils the teachings of Jesus in our students, leading them to be the face, the hands and feet of Jesus in our community. We aim to be a school that leads our community to a better understanding of Aboriginal Culture, Spirituality and History, and the real Australian history, including the parts we can be proud of and the parts we need to learn from. 

 

As a Catholic school, Reconciliation is important to us as we believe God forgives us of our mistakes. We also believe that when we say ‘sorry’ this means we try our best to be the best versions of ourselves and not to make the same mistakes again. It is our responsibility as Catholic people to carry on the message of reconciliation and the hope for a better future for all. 

 

Buddy Program 

When Prep children begin at St Paul Apostle North, they are matched with a Grade 5 or 6 buddy. This special person acts as a mentor, demonstrating our school and Catholic values, pro-social skills and respectful relationships. The Buddy Program helps build strong connections across the school which is an important protective factor for wellbeing. 

 

Mass and Liturgy

Each year level has the opportunity to lead our school in Mass and Liturgy over the year. Students participate in writing and reading prayers, such as prayers of the faithful. Older students help select the songs they like, lead the Offertory Procession and read Scripture. As a multi-faith and multicultural school, we learn about Indigenous and other religious ceremonies during class time and on special days of celebration.

 

Sustainability

Students from Prep to Year 6 learn about sustainability and stewardship of God’s creation. In particular, our Year 1/2 students learn about Caring for our Common Home through their Outdoor Learning Program. They learn to care for the environment and the animals that God created. In Grades 3/4, our students participate in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program where they work on leading change through sustainability, such as working on better recycling initiatives and more sustainable ways to prepare and cook food. 

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Literacy

“Literacy is the jump-off point from which all of life’s successes take flight”

― Lauri Fortino

 

At St Paul Apostle North, we believe that every learner flourishes through the explicit and effective teaching of literacy skills. Our Literacy program aims to develop and nurture each student's love of reading and writing as they actively engage in an ever changing world.

Our students for whom English is an additional language are supported through the use of the EAL Developmental Continuum which assists teachers to identify students’ current stage of English language development. This assessment can be used for reporting purposes and to plan for purposeful teaching for individuals and small groups of students with similar needs.

 

 We believe our effective Literacy Program:

  • uses the Victorian Curriculum to inform all learning, teaching and reporting

  • uses a variety of  teaching practices and assessments to personalise learning 

  • focuses on building oral language, reading, writing and spelling skills

  • caters for all students, including those for whom English is an additional language, within real life contexts

  • builds comprehension and critical thinking skills 

  • provides Literacy Intervention 

  • is structured, sequential and evidence based 

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Numeracy

At St Paul Apostle North we understand that Mathematics is integral to participation in society and that all students can achieve success in Mathematics. Mathematics is more than numbers.  We endeavour to integrate it across the curriculum by applying various concepts, skills and processes to pose and solve real-life problems.
 
Planning for targeted teaching is informed through data gathered from purposeful assessment. The content is delivered in an engaging environment equipped with resources, so the children can deepen their understanding, while developing collaboration and critical thinking skills. 
 
Teachers utilise evidence-based, best practice models, while integrating proficiency in problem solving, reasoning, fluency and understanding across all areas of the Mathematical Curriculum. 

Mental Maths is an important focus, as it is a skill set that helps students make connections between ideas, facilitating the learning of new concepts. It is a process whereby students perform calculations in their head, without the use of aides or materials. 
 

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Walker Learning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personalised Learning

Walker learning is a highly structured and responsive approach to learning for each individual student, in which all students are able to participate, progress and achieve. It is concerned with transforming education and schooling to best fit citizens in the 21st century. 

St Paul Apostle North School is passionate about placing the student at the centre of learning and teaching strategies. Our students are actively engaged in their own personal investigations to meet learning intentions and goals. Students learn with the explicit teaching of skills and understandings at the point of need within dynamic learning environments.

Our students display:

  • Higher levels of engagement and motivation

  • Higher oral language skills

  • Increased writing skills

  • Increased social skills

  • Decreased behavioural issues

 

At St Paul Apostle North School we value the individuality of each member of our community and the unique gifts and talents they bring.

Therefore we believe:

  • Learning occurs in different ways and at different rates.

  • Learning needs to be meaningful, challenging, relevant and build on previous knowledge and skills.

  • Opportunities should be given for learners to practise and apply the skills they have learnt in a variety of ways.

  • Collaboration and discussion about learning are important.

  • Learning should incorporate goal setting and taking responsibility for our own learning.

  • Learning is a lifelong journey that, while at school, we are undertaking together as a community.

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Inquiry

At St Paul Apostle North School, we believe in a student-centered pedagogy where students’ interests and passions inform our teaching. We provide a safe and nurturing environment that allows every child the opportunity to flourish; developing a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world around them. Designing authentic, purposeful units of learning, which intertwine all curriculum areas, to reflect real-world experiences, developing relevant, life skills that will set them up for success in our globalised world. 

At St Paul Apostle North, we are committed to:

  • Equipping students to be active participants, encouraging students to engage, question and explore the world around them. 

  • Nurturing an excitement of learning within all students building upon their interests to encourage creativity, independence and responsible learners. 

  • Ensuring that learning is both meaningful and relevant to the students. 

  • Developing ethical and socially-aware students with an ability to solve problems and make informed, evidence-based decisions, in line with the Catholic Social Teaching

 

Two Year RE & Inquiry Cycle 

Our two year RE & Inquiry cycle is developed with community, students and curriculum at the forefront. The cycle encompasses eight concepts, strategically chosen by the school community, as we believe they are essential to our students’ knowledge and understanding of the world, in conjunction with the entitlements of the Victorian Curriculum - incorporating all Humanities (Geography, History, Civics & Citizenship, Economics & Business), Science (Chemical, Physical & Biological), Technologies, Capabilities (Intercultural, Ethical, Personal & Social, Critical Thinking) and English & Mathematics where applicable. 

The eight concepts are: Rights & Responsibilities, Time, Space & Place, Community, Change, Sustainability, Identity, Energy and Choice.

 

Each term throughout the whole school, teachers design rich learning experiences that are focused on a particular concept, with the aim of nurturing students’ innate sense of curiosity, wonder and awe, engaging them to ask questions, investigate and problem solve. Teachers develop specific explorations that build knowledge of given topics while at the same time expanding students’ ability to gather, process and make thoughtful use of information.

STEAM

At St Paul Apostle North School we strive to educate our students for the future. By incorporating STEAM throughout the curriculum, our students become passionate learners, with inquisitive minds, who take control of their own learning. The rich and authentic STEAM experiences that the students engage in incorporate a variety of science, technology, engineering, arts and math opportunities.

The teaching of robotics and coding assists our students with an early understanding of programming whilst also developing their mathematical understanding and skills. We aim to deliver programs which provide meaningful computational thinking, computer programming and 21st-century education in an engaging, hands-on way,

 

At St Paul Apostle North, we believe in the vital partnership between home and school, therefore one important component of our learning is our digital portfolio. This is an ongoing, flexible record of students’ learning in all areas of the curriculum, driven by the students’ interests and creativity. Across the school, students record their thinking and learning through videos and photographs that are shared with families in real time through the Seesaw platform. Thus bridging the gap between home and school to embed a real sense of community.

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Visual Arts

The Art curriculum provides students with the opportunity to create, explore and respond to various elements, mediums and tools. Students are given the opportunity to learn and develop new art skills, as well as use various art materials through

construction, sculpture, collage, painting, drawing, printmaking and textiles. Within these forms, students are taught various skills including: line, shape, space, texture, colour, form, tone, contrast, balance and pattern.

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Performing Arts

The Performing Arts program is a vibrant part of our school with an emphasis on music and drama education. Through music-making experiences we aim to nurture in children an enjoyment and understanding of the performing arts (Music/ Dance/ Drama) which will enrich the quality and creativity of their lives. Music is also an important part of our liturgical celebrations both at school and in the parish community.

In developing a cohesive and progressive music program, students are given opportunities to acquire musical knowledge (rhythm, melody, harmony, expression, tone colour, style, form, theory, history) through musical experiences (singing, moving, dancing, playing instruments, listening, creating).

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Physical Education

Our Health and Physical Education program focuses on students enhancing their own and others’ health, safety, wellbeing and physical activity participation in varied and changing contexts. We are fortunate to have a large gymnasium and expansive outdoor facilities. We provide a well-balanced, comprehensive program covering the following areas and more:

  • Athletics, Ball handling and Fundamental Motor Skills

  • Fitness Gymnastics / Movement

  • Dance 

  • Exposure to a wide range of sports: such as tennis, football, basketball, hockey, etc

  • Community Partnership with Melbourne City Football Club 

  • Whole school Swimming Program

  • Outdoor Learning Program

  • Outdoor Adventure Activities (Year 5 & 6 Camp)

  • Interschool Swimming, Cross-Country, Athletics (Year 4- 6)

  • Interschool Sports (Year 5 & 6)

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LOTE - Mandarin

Students exposed to languages other than English benefit in numerous ways, which include an improvement of general language skills and an appreciation of different cultures and attitudes. Experiencing the contrasts and similarities of a different language and culture assists students in learning more about their own language and way of life. A strong and rich LOTE program enables students to engage and better understand many cultures in a growing context of globalisation and modern communication.

In Grades 3 to 6 the emphasis of the program has been placed on developing students’ capacity to communicate orally in Mandarin about topics associated with their interests. Students are involved in a range of spoken models in Mandarin, supported by visual material and gestures that reinforce meaning. Students also develop skills in recording information gained through listening, speaking and oral interaction. Students in Prep – Year 2 also learn to sing songs in Mandarin. Songs and rhymes assist in the development of spoken language in the early years of a student’s education.

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Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden

The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation provides the inspiration, information, professional development and support for our school to deliver food education to our Grade 3/4 students, as well as in schools all around Australia. It is a fun, hands-on approach to teaching children and young people about fresh, seasonal, delicious food so they form positive food habits for life. Kitchen Garden has an array of health, wellbeing, education and community benefits.