Teaching and Learning

The Core Vision and Mission Statement- To Live, Love and Learn from the Heart of Jesus- is at the centre of our beliefs about teaching and learning. We believe that children and teachers need to be inspiring, challenging and nurturing one another to love learning and reach their potential.

St. Bede was a dedicated scholar and inspires our school vision. Children and teachers are encouraged to continually reflect on themselves as learners and set challenging learning goals so they can reach their full potential. School systems and structures are arranged to support children to see themselves on a continuum of learning that extends beyond the school context. Teachers are continuously developing and critically evaluating school-based agreed practices that are informed by current research and professional reading.

The children and teachers at St. Bede’s are investigating how inquiry-based learning is key to encouraging engagement and successful skills that inform life-long learning. We believe that students perform best when they have ownership and choice in their learning. Teachers plan daily events and activities that are purposeful and aligned with the St. Bede’s Vision and Mission.

Religious Education/Sacramental Program

Religious Education is woven into the daily life of the school through formal religion lessons. Christian values are integrated into all key learning areas with Scripture a focus on morning Peace Room. The Religious Education Program is linked closely to the Parish to further the children's sense of belonging to their Parish family. Opportunities for experiencing prayer and celebrating liturgy are regularly provided for the whole school community.

Various Liturgical events are celebrated throughout the year. These include: An opening school liturgy, grade Masses, Lent, Easter, Advent, feasts of St. Bede, St Mary Mackillop and other days of significance. Parents and family members are invited to all Masses and Liturgies.

The Sacramental Programs for Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation are Parish based with parents, Parish Priest and School working closely together. A vital component in the preparations for the celebration of each sacrament is the involvement of parents.

Literacy

At St. Bede’s Primary School we believe that no learning activity has a greater impact on literacy achievement than free voluntary reading. The whole school is engaged in reading for at least 20 minutes every day. The availability of quality literature and a variety of reading choices is key to reading success and its positive impact on all learning. This emphasis is supported by the implementation of morning Literacy blocks (9-11.00am) and the regular purchasing of quality literature for every classroom.

Every student engages as a writer each day and is expected to self-publish at least twice a term. The focus on spelling and conventions through the teaching of writing is supported with individual goal setting. Teachers conference with students around reading and writing each week to assist them to continually improve and develop as readers and writers.

The Library is an integral part of the school that provides support for all areas of the curriculum. The school library is open to the students, teachers and the school community. The Library aims to provide an environment which is welcoming and stimulating for individual and group learning with flexible furnishings and a range of quality literature.

Literacy is a part of every key learning area and is also explicitly taught in other curriculum areas and parent information sessions are held to assist parents in promoting literacy in the home.

Numeracy

Numeracy is a key learning area for teaching and learning and at St Bede’s is experienced as a daily numeracy block. Students warm up with a short activity and then explore new concepts through the use of manipulatives (hands on materials) across all grade levels. Evidence of student learning is observable through carefully designed teaching and learning assignments where students are able to access learning at their individual level of need. Students are seen constructing, making, talking and doing as they negotiate challenging learning tasks. The staff of St. Bede’s believe that developing positive mathematical mindsets is fundamental to effectively problem solve and select appropriate strategies for learning. These skills are essential in preparing students for leading successful numerate lives. Engaging learning tasks that challenge all students builds their knowledge, skills and ability to apply mathematics in their daily life.

Human Society and Its Environment

Units of work in Human Society and Its Environment are based on the NSW NESA curriculum. All units are taught in Stages over a two-year cycle. Each unit includes activities involving thinking skills and the integration of technology. The specific teaching of History and Geography are core components of this integrated subject area. Students engage with concepts through the construction of project and inquiry based investigations. Civics and Citizenship and Economics and Business are developing curriculum areas within the NSW Education Standards Authority.

Science and Digital Technologies

Science is taught across the school in line with the NSW Education Standards Authority. Primary Connections is one component of the delivery of engaging science learning as well as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) focused inquiry investigations. St Bede’s promotes creative and innovative use of technology that fosters engagement and investigation into subjects of study. The use of technology is a perfect research and communication tool in the creation of personal stories and also for student centred inquiry across curriculum areas.

St Bede's Primary School is a BYOD school and the majority of students use their own an iPad or iPad mini to assist in their research, learning and skills development. In addition, the school has a bank of iPads for use in the classrooms in order to ensure all students are able to learn using this 21st Century tool. The school aims to ensure that all students are competent and confident in using digital technologies to enhance their learning. Students are able to connect their iPads wirelessly to the class large screen TV and class printer to showcase their work. The introduction to coding and robotics has been supported by the inclusion of STEAM resources including programmable robots (Mindstorms, Spheros, Bluebots) and a 3D printer.

Creative Arts

The study of Creative Arts is key to engaging students to inquire, communicate and express their responses to learning experiences. Students study Music, Dance, Drama and Visual Art in infants and primary rotations and also in focused lessons. There is optional access to private in-school piano, violin and cello lessons with a specialist teacher. The school participates in key creative experiences in Braidwood including the Braidwood Show, The Two Fires Festival, The Heritage Festival, The Braidwood Writers Festival and in school annual performances and exhibits.

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education

This Key Learning Area includes a range of outcomes from healthy eating, changes experienced as we grow, to choices we make in regards to our personal development, sport and other physical exercises. Students are exposed to a variety of sports, which aim to improve their physical fitness and co-ordination. All classes have a structured PE lesson each week with lessons focussed on skill development through fun age appropriate activities. Our emphasis is on enjoyment, skill development and willing participation. In the Infant grades the emphasis is on the development of gross motor skills, coordination and team participation.

Regular exercise and fitness are an integral component of the curriculum with each class participating in regular fitness. St Bede's is a keen participant in Catholic Schools Netball and Catholic Schools Soccer competitions. Regular sporting clinics and gala days are also offered to all grades.