How We Teach & Support

It's the little things we do to support an individualised learning program that get us the big results

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!

Positive Behaviour

At St Mary’s we actively promote positive behaviour and building relationships. The Gospel values are the foundation of all that we do and believe. Our overarching School Wide Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) is implemented throughout the school. Whole school behaviour expectations, i.e. the way we are expected to treat each other are called the 3Rs. The students are taught social skills to build and maintain positive relationships and to support our learning community.  It is an expectation that the whole school community follows the 3Rs.

They are:

  • I am respectful
  • I am responsible
  • I am resilient
Extending Students & Additional Support

At St Mary’s Primary School, we encourage partnerships between school, family, parish and the wider community. We work actively to build a positive school environment where each child can feel included, safe, supported and valued. We believe that the development of our students’ personal, spiritual, social, emotional and physical wellbeing is fundamental to their academic success.

Student Wellbeing Support Framework

  • Student Wellbeing Leader (Wellbeing Prevention Strategies for all students)
  • School Chaplain (Wellbeing Prevention/intervention for students and families who require mental health or pastoral and support)
  • School Psychologist (Wellbeing Intervention for Individual students who may require specialised support). Mental Health Care Plan required
  • Social Skills groups
  • Wellbeing Hub catering for sensory needs
  • Peaceful Kids catering for students with high anxiety

Academic Support

  • Multi sensory literacy (MSL) for students with a diagnosis of Dyslexia
  • Reading Recovery for students who require one to one reading early intervention
  • Getting Ready in Numeracy (GRIN) Confidence in Numeracy intervention
  • Personalised inquiry approach to learning to ensure 100% of students, including the most challenged to the highly able students, are supported
  • Extension Group for students identified as highly able/gifted meet regularly to engage in hands-on activities catering for their level of learning
Personalised Learning

At St Mary’s, we have established and encourage a school climate in which appropriate behaviour is the norm for all students. School Wide Positive Behaviour Support is a philosophy and practice of recognising the importance of positive relationships among all members of our school community for the purpose of enhancing learning.

SWPBS emphasises prevention, active instruction and research validated practices for:

  • Establishing and teaching clear expectations for all students in all settings
  • Establishing and teaching clear expectations for all staff
  • Modelling and rewarding these expectations
  • Supporting the whole school community to understand and support the diversity of students
  • Understanding the physical and social contexts of behaviour
  • The shift is from punishing to teaching and learning to build relationships
  • Using data to guide decisions regarding change.

Student Leadership

At St Mary’s we value and promote student voice and engagement in all aspect of school and community life. Students at St Mary’s have opportunities to take on various roles of leadership within the school community. Student voice is heard and valued through Student Community Action Teams. 

We have five Community Action Teams (C.A.T’s)

  • Environmental
  • Liturgical
  • Positive Behaviours and Wellbeing
  • Languages
  • Digital   
Social & Emotional Learning

At St Mary’s we aim to develop and nurture an effective whole school approach to student social and emotional learning. 

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is a major teaching and learning focus across the school and is implemented through a variety of strategies;

  • The use of a SEL planner

  • School Wide Positive Behaviour for Learning expectations

  • Behaviour Reflection Sheets used as needed (see Appendix)

  • Positive relationships between students, staff and families 

  • Creating positive partnerships with families

  • Encouraging student voice through our Student Community Action Teams

  • Upholding Child Safety standards

  • Understanding of equality through the Rights, Resilience and Respectful Relationships program

  • Structured lunchtime activities

  • Seasons (trauma) Peaceful kids programs (anxiety and mindfulness strategies)

  • Personalised Learning Plans (PLPs) where required

Buddy Program

Our Buddy Program involves the senior students being paired with the Prep students.  Planned activities between the classes are held so that the students involved become friends and are there to support each other.  This provides a ‘buddy’ for the younger student and gives the older student the opportunity to develop leadership skills and responsibility.

eSmart

St Mary’s is an eSmart school and online safety is part of our everyday teaching and learning. St Mary’s is a GAFE (Google Apps for Education) school. All teachers and students have Google Suite accounts. Students from Prep – Six use a range of digital devices in the classroom, including: iPads, desktops and Chromebooks.

Online safety and keeping our children safe online has never been more important! With the rise in use of digital platforms there are many resources that can support families, staff and students to stay safe online. Encouraging ongoing conversation with your child around online safety ensures that if your child does ever see or hear anything online that makes them feel unsafe or uncomfortable they know they have trusted adults that can support them. The staff and the ICT Leader are available to talk and provide educational support to assist your family with this conversation.

Essential information regarding online safety can be found below.

eSafety Commissioner Homepage
https://www.esafety.gov.au/

eSmart Alannah & Madeline Foundation
https://www.esmart.org.au/

Inform and Empower
https://www.informandempower.com.au/

Leonie Smith – Cyber Safety Lady
https://thecybersafetylady.com.au/

Brett Lee – Internet Safe Education 
https://internetsafeeducation.com/

Cyber Safety Solutions – Susan McLean
https://www.cybersafetysolutions.com.au/ 

Common Sense Media
https://www.commonsensemedia.org/

Kinder to Prep Transition

St Mary’s engages students and parents in a thorough Kinder to Prep Transition. This begins with the Principal and Parish Priest meeting all the families individually. Prep Teachers visit all feeder Kinders, observing students in their current learning environment and create profiles on new prep students from information shared by the Kinder teacher. Wherever possible and practical children are grouped with familiar children from their kinder. Children attend 3 sessions where they experience school life with their peers and teachers in their new school environment.

Children with additional needs are contacted by the Learning Diversity Leader and an appointment is made to add details to the child’s profile. This may include Medical History, ongoing specialist support or simple things such as a child’s interests and motivators. If necessary extra transition times are organised for individuals to come along to school with their parents to ensure that every child is thoroughly ready, comfortable and happy to begin their journey at St Mary’s.

 

Moving Schools

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