St Kieran’s understands the importance and value of The Victorian Curriculum as it is a curriculum which provides a single, coherent and comprehensive set of prescribed content and common achievement standards, which schools use to plan student learning programs, assess student progress and report to parents. The Victorian Curriculum assits teachers to understand what is essential for students to achieve from Foundation to Year 10, in Victorian schools.
Learning Areas and Capabilities
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 includes both knowledge and skills. These are defined by learning areas and capabilities. This curriculum design assumes that knowledge and skills are transferrable across the curriculum and therefore are not duplicated. For example, where skills and knowledge such as asking questions, evaluating evidence and drawing conclusions are defined in Critical and Creative Thinking, these are not duplicated in other learning areas such as History or Health and Physical Education. It is expected that the skills and knowledge defined in the capabilities will be developed, practised, deployed and demonstrated by students in and through their learning across the curriculum.
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 learning areas are a clear and deliberate reaffirmation of the importance of a discipline-based approach to learning, where learning areas are regarded as both enduring and dynamic.
Their enduring nature rests in their different epistemologies, or ways of understanding, and the associated skills they provide for students. Each of the learning areas provides and is defined by a unique way of seeing, understanding and engaging with the world. For the Arts, the Humanities and the Technologies, students engage in and through disciplines, which provide discrete content descriptions and achievement standards.
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 includes capabilities, which are a set of discrete knowledge and skills that can and should be taught explicitly in and through the learning areas, but are not fully defined by any of the learning areas or disciplines. A key distinction between the Australian Curriculum F–10 and the Victorian Curriculum F–10 is the provision of content descriptions and achievement standards in the four capabilities.
The four capabilities in the Victorian Curriculum F–10 are:
- Critical and Creative Thinking
- Personal and Social
St Kieran's pride ourselves on our literacy successes. We create a holistic approach to literacy where all children are given the opportunity and provided with the tools to enhance their literacy learning. We use a range of strategies and processes to develop each child so that all children can learn in a supportive and challenging environment. Reading, writing, spelling, speaking and listening are all key focus areas for our literacy learning.
- All children can achieve success.
- Early intervention is essential at each stage of schooling.
- High expectations, focused teaching, engaged learning time and enabling beliefs and understandings are essential to success.
- Dramatic improvements in student learning require the adoption of a systemic, whole school design approach in which schools assume responsibility for ensuring success and implement continuous improvement processes.
At St. Kieran’s we believe in providing all children with access to, and success in, mathematics learning, via a balance of concepts, skills and application and the employment of the appropriate use of technology.
We build on what students already know, making learning meaningful and relevant, taking the formal language of mathematics and relating it to everyday language.
Our mathematics curriculum provides a sequential, hands on program in which children are encouraged to use a variety of concrete aids and resources, including movement concepts reinforced in Running with Numbers.
To establish starting points for teaching in mathematics we employ diagnostic assessments. This helps us to monitor children from years Foundation to Six. Opportunities such as this give focus to our teaching. At St.Kieran’s we believe we are responsible for ensuring that our children develop the competence, confidence and interest needed to become lifelong learners of mathematics. We build on what students already know, making learning meaningful and relevant, taking the formal language of mathematics and relating it to everyday language.
The school also provides Running With Numbers which is a unique intervention program that provides students the opportunity to build upon their numeracy skills whilst performing physical movements such as throwing, balancing, jumping and catching.
In keeping with best educational practice, our integrated units are centred around topics that are planned to extend children’s thinking and understanding. Our objectives in teaching with an integrated approach are to provide learning experiences that develop knowledge, skills, understandings, attitudes and values. Emphasis is on providing children with these different kinds of experiences and learning opportunities so they will be able to further develop their understandings of the world and be able to make considered judgments resulting from these experiences. When selecting topics for classes the following is always considered:
- the interests, perspectives, backgrounds and needs of the children
- the abilities of the children
- the curriculum learning outcomes
- the demographics of our school
- the learning environment and resources available