Mathematics is also a key focus area, with one hour per day dedicated to the development of knowledge and skills in Mathematics. All other Key Learning Areas, as prescribed by the NSW Board of Studies, are taught according the school Scope and Sequence of learning development.
Information Communication Technology skills are taught throughout the school and integrated into all Key Learning Areas.
Our teaching and learning is based on the following beliefs:
- Children learn best when they understand the purpose of their learning and know the outcomes they are working towards.
- The needs and learning styles of each child will be addressed through a diverse range of strategies and activities
- Children’s learning experiences should assist them to take their place in society and become life long learners
- Children are able to relate their learning to their everyday experience.
- Children learn best when they are happy to learn.
- Children’s achievements should be effectively and appropriately recognised.
At St James we have a focus on the teaching of English. This involves developing the ability to talk, listen, read, view, write and spell. Children develop confidence using spoken language as they learn to talk and listen for different purposes.
The outcomes and content are organised in three strands:
- Talking and Listening
This organisation ensures that all aspects of English will be taught; it does not mean the strands will be taught separately.
Talking enables children to clarify their ideas, explore issues, solve problems and develop understandings in all key learning areas.
As learning to read is a complex process, children need to develop a range of reading strategies. Reading and writing are closely connected. When children learn to read and write, they learn about how language is used for different purposes and audiences. Writers produce different text types when they write for different purposes.
Children will learn to create and interpret a range of literary and factual texts. They will also learn about the structure and grammar of these texts.
Through the development of skills in English, children will develop the ability to be confident and independent in using spoken and written language, and have a positive attitude towards learning to read and write a range of literary and factual texts.
Grammar provides a language for talking about the main features of language. Through the learning of the grammar of English, children will be enabled use language appropriately, effectively and accurately in different situations for different purposes.
Grammar also provides a tool for thinking critically about how texts are constructed.
Spelling is a complex developmental process that is accomplished over time. It is valued in our society and so it is important for children to develop a positive attitude to spelling.
At St James we are developing a whole school approach to the teaching of spelling, involving a diagnostic analysis of each student's spelling skills. This is a collaborative initiative with the staff and Jenny Van Gorder, a lecturer at the Australian Catholic University. Our policy is based on the understanding that spelling development is individual, sequential and must be in context.
NSW Foundation Style handwriting is taught at St James. There is an emphasis on correct pencil grip and good posture. Students are encouraged to take pride in their written presentations.
Mathematics learning involves the investigation of mathematical patterns, relationships, processes and problems. Language,including symbols and diagrams, is an important part of mathematics and serves as a bridge between concrete and abstract representation.
In Mathematics, students will have the opportunity to develop knowledge, skills and understanding related to their everyday life experiences.
Students learn to work mathematically by posing questions that can be explored using mathematics and by applying mathematics to solve problems.
Mathematics is organised into the strands of
- Working Mathematically
- Patterns and Algebra
- Space and Geometry
Human Society and Its Environment
Human Society and Its Environment is the Key Learning Area where students learn about the people and the social and physical environments in Australia and other parts of the world.
This KLA develops skills in acquiring information, using an inquiry process and in social and civic participation and contributes to the development of skills from other key learning areas. It also encourages students to develop positive values and attitudes about themselves, others, the world that they live in and their future.
H S I E is divided into four knowledge and understandings strands. Through these four strands, students will learn about:
- Change and continuity - in their own lives, the lives of others, in communities and in places in Australia and other parts of the world, including significant events and people that have affected the lives of Australians;
- Cultures - including traditions, religions, beliefs and customs of people in Australia and other parts of the world, both past and present;
- Environments - natural and built environments in their local area, Australia and other parts of the world, including locating these environments on different maps and responsible environmental practices;
- Social systems and structures - that help to meet the needs of people in Australia, including the government systems of Australia and the principles of democracy.
Science and Technology
Science and Technology is the Key Learning Area in which all students learn about natural and made environments by investigating, by designing and making and by using technology.
Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of:
- Built Environments
- Information and Communication
- Living Things
- Physical Phenomena
- Products and Services
- Earth and its Surroundings
- The process of investigation that people use in order to develop reliable understandings of the natural and made environments
- The process of designing and making that people use in order to satisfy their wants and needs
- The technologies people select and use; how these technologies affect other people, the environment and the future.