Teaching & Learning
St Francis Xavier’s students’ education begins with and reflects back to our Religious Education curriculum. We aim to inspire and motivate our students to become creative life-long learners. We aim to provide a challenging and comprehensive curriculum with a focus on Inquiry Learning.
The formalised curriculum is divided into Key Learning Areas (KLA):
The Religious Education syllabus is written by the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, Catholic Education Office
English, Mathematics, Science, HSIE: History and Geography, Personal Development/Health/Physical Education and Creative Arts are implemented as per the NESA
Teachers ensure that students learn in a positive environment that is challenging and meets their needs
Further information on curriculum is available from the links below.
In addition to an excellent education, our school offers:
- Community events throughout the year for families;
- A School Choir;
- The Arts lessons – to support students to participate in the Annual Blue Waters Art Show and the Lake Cargelligo show competitions;
- A well-resourced library;
- Sport training clinics throughout the year eg, Rugby, AFL, swimming;
- Pastoral care, counselling services;
- We provide an inclusive education catering for students with needs and disabilities;
- Brekky Club provided by ‘Down the Track’ program which aims to use role models to assist in the cooking of breakfast each week
- Students are given opportunities to participate in community service activities eg: visiting the hospital, Caritas, The Vinnies Winter and Christmas Appeals, Mission Week and other fundraising activities for charities
- Student participation in the Premiers Reading Challenge is actively encouraged.
- Students attend various theatrical, musical and dance performances throughout the year.
- Students are encouraged to participate in CWA and Regional Public Speaking competitions which are held annually.
- A Peer Support Program encourages positive relationships within the school community and develops self-esteem and group work skills through participation in small, friendly peer support groups.
At Saint Francis Xavier we implement InitiaLit which is an evidence-based whole-class literacy program providing all children with the essential core knowledge and strong foundations to become successful readers and writers. InitiaLit is a three-year program, covering the first three years of school (Foundation to Year 2). Literacy skills are extended in the primary years focusing on explicit teaching and expanding on students prior knowledge.
Numeracy Blocks are incorporated into our daily practice each day with an hour of uninterrupted teaching and learning. Lessons commence in each classroom, with a short warm-up activity followed by explict teaching. Students investigate new concepts through the use of manipulatives (hands on materials) across all Year levels. Students construct, make, talk and do as they negotiate learning tasks which are challenging and place them in the learning zone constantly. Each student accesses their learning in Numeracy at their individual level, through the use of carefully designed inquiry tasks
St Francis Xavier School is committed to improving the educational outcomes and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students so that they excel and achieve in every aspect of their education. St Francis Xavier School is committed to increasing knowledge and understanding of the histories, cultures and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the First Peoples of Australia.
The strength, diversity, ownership and richness of Aboriginal cultures and Custodianship of Country are respected, valued and promoted.
At St Francis Xavier School we understand that when families and schools work together, children are more likely to build good relationships and do better at school.
The Aboriginal Contact Teacher role is to facilitate Personalised Learning Plans for all Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander students. Personalised Learning Plans are developed in conjunction with the child, family, classroom teacher and Aboriginal Contact Teacher. They are developed annually to set targets for learning against outcomes.
Personalised learning is about shaping teaching around the way different students learn with the goal of ensuring all Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander students achieve and reach the highest education standards possible.
The 8 Ways of Learning - The 8way that allows teachers to include Aboriginal perspectives by using Aboriginal learning techniques. We believe that teaching using this framework enhances learning for all students.
How we learn - culture way
- We connect through the stories we share. Personal narratives (stories) are central.
- We picture our pathways of knowledge. Images or visuals are used to map out processes for learners to follow.
- We see, think, act, make and share without words. Kinaesthetic, hands-on, non-verbal learning is characteristic
- We keep and share knowledge with art and objects. Symbol, image and metaphor are central to pedagogy
- We work with lessons from land and nature. Ecological and place-based, drawn from the living landscape within a framework of profound ancestral and personal relationships with place
- We put different ideas together and create new knowledge. Nonlinear ways of learning are complementary, not oppositional
- We work from wholes to parts, watching and then doing. Holistic, global, scaffolded and independent learning orientations of students.
- We bring new knowledge home to help our mob. Connections to real-life purposes, contexts & communities, teams.
St Francis Xavier School is well resourced with technology. Each child has his or her own iPad. In addition, each classroom is fitted with an interactive whiteboard and a bank of computers and laptops which are used to manipulate information and data, and to foster collaborative learning.
Kinder, Year 1 and Year 2 students focus on using iPads to develop their ICT skills and their Digital Technology capabilities while students in Year 3/4/5/6 utilise the 1:1 computer and the 1:1 iPad programs to develop their ICT skills and their Digital Technology capabilities.
We develop in each student the knowledge and understanding, skills, values and attitudes needed to lead healthy, active and fulfilling lives. Opportunities include:
- Dance, games, and developing skills for a variety of sports during PDHPE
- District competitions: netball, cricket, cross country, swimming and athletics.
- Western Region Archdiocesan competitions: Swimming, cross country and track and field carnivals
- Swimming training from K – 6.
Our Maureen Keeley Memorial Resource Centre plays a central role in the school and reflects and implements the educational philosophy of the school. We encourage students to read for pleasure, relaxation and cultural development, and at the same time to give them confidence and success in using the library as a place for research and individual study.
Students in the Year 3 – 6 class are provided with many leadership responsibilities and are encouraged to be role models for the younger students. From 2018 all the students in the Year 6 class have been provided with a Leadership badge with the expectation that they enhance the values and attitudes of Saint Francis Xavier in all they do and say.