Learning and Teaching

‘We aspire to be a school where there is access to a relevant, dynamic and comprehensive curriculum and all are motivated by a desire to learn and achieve. We aspire to be a school where the whole person – body, mind and spirit – is developed, nurtured and celebrated.'

21st Century Learning

At St. Thomas More, we strive to provide our students with the knowledge, skills and practices required to succeed in the 21st century. As digital learners, we work towards the integration of the latest technology to engage students in their learning journey. Through our curriculum, we seek to address the needs of a rapidly changing world filled with fantastic new problems as well as exciting new possibilities.

Engaging Children

At St. Thomas More, we know that children learn best when they are emotionally engaged in their learning. We also understand the importance of a supportive and stimulating classroom climate that enhances each and every child's ability to achieve their potential.

Constructivism

Based on the philosophy of constructivist learning and teaching, we use an inquiry approach that enables staff and students to take ownership of their learning. Our learner centered curriculum ensures we teach about thinking, for thinking, of thinking and with thinking. All teachers use assessment ‘for’, ‘as’ and ‘of’ student learning to guide their teaching practice.

Development of the Whole Child

We strive towards the education of the whole child, intellectually, emotionally, physically, socially and spirituality. As such, we provide our students with a range of programs to assist, strengthen and challenge student understandings. St. Thomas More therefore works towards the development of students who will grow to be active, informed and compassionate members of our local and wider community.

The 7 R’s of a Quality Curriculum

We believe that a quality curriculum effectively engages students in developing deeper understanding. Based on the work of Ron Ritchart, St Thomas More aims to provide a curriculum which is:

  • rigorous
  • real
  • requires Independence
  • rich in Thinking
  • revealing
  • rewarding
  • reflective

Developmental Learning

Each child at our school is unique and has his/her own gifts, talents and areas of challenge. Each child develops at his/her own rate and is ready for stages of learning at different times. The staff at St. Thomas More use the very latest in teaching methodology, philosophy and resources to cater for the individual needs of the children in their care. Children’s learning is maximised in an environment where each individual is valued and their individual learning needs and processes are identified. Teacher’s plan for whole class, small group and individual instruction. Each activity provides the basis for focused teaching and the skills of staff and students are shared to maximise the effectiveness of the teaching and learning. Student learning is matched to their needs and development enabling them to experience success and develop into confident, life-long learners.

At St Thomas More’s we aim to cater for each child’s educational needs through the following 4 steps:

  1. Assessment: Assessment is an important part of the teaching and learning cycle. We formally test each student in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening at the beginning, middle and end of each year. Teachers also continually monitor student skills throughout each term by using a variety of assessment techniques. The information gained is then used to plan for student learning. Assessment is a continual part of classroom activity and forms the basis of reports for parents.
  2. Analysis: All the data gained from the formal and ongoing assessment is analysed by the teacher to identify specific areas of need for each child.
  3. Data Driven Teaching: The identification of the various areas of need from the data analysis is used to tailor the curriculum so that your child’s needs are met and the state benchmarks are achieved.
  4. Encouraging success: Through this process we aim for each child to receive the highest level of education. Each child is encouraged in a nurturing environment and given opportunities to experience success throughout each learning area. Celebrations of learning form a pivotal part of nurturing success where teachers, parents and students share the achievements of the students.

Developing teacher capacity for personalising learning 

At St Thomas More, we strive towards developing each teacher's capacity to personalise the learning of our students. At our school, we use the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership Standards to ehance teacher knowledge and skills. These standards:  

'define the work of teachers and make explicit the elements of high-quality, effective teaching in 21st-century schools, which result in improved educational outcomes for students. The Standards do this by providing a framework that makes clear the knowledge, practice and professional engagement required across teachers' careers. They present a common understanding and language for discourse between teachers, teacher educators, teacher organisations, professional associations and the public.

Teacher standards also inform the development of professional learning goals, provide a framework by which teachers can judge the success of their learning and assist self-reflection and self-assessment.12 Teachers can use the Standards to recognise their current and developing capabilities, professional aspirations and achievements.'

 

 

Assessment & Reporting

Please click on the following presentation to view information about assessment and reporting at St Thomas More Primary School.

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/108nUwLxL4oOjW3nPj_yC3xuukWTnHX_p3fr0h1ILEHg/edit#slide=id.p3 

Your browser does not support Flash content. Please download and install the latest version of the Flash plug-in to view this content.