Learning at St Agnes’
The learning experience at St Agnes’ offers a range of rich opportunities, nurturing students to become active members of our global community and to develop a passion for life long learning. We endeavour to instill in our students, the skills to become critical thinkers, problem solvers, collaborators and to take responsibility for their learning.
All learning at St Agnes’ sits on the foundation of our diocesan initiative, the Contemporary Learning Framework. The Contemporary Learning Framework (CLF) is an exciting development for all teachers and schools in the Diocese of Lismore. For the first time we have a jointly constructed and unifying statement of beliefs about learning in our diocese. The Contemporary Learning Framework is a diocesan response to the challenge to clearly articulate what we value as our educative purpose, our agreed pedagogy. The CLF neatly expresses what we value and believe about learning. The statement guides, challenges and supports the notion of powerful learning. It will help us shape the appropriate curriculum to serve our educative purpose for our current and future context – the context of the learning in the emerging Knowledge Era. (Catholic School Office, Lismore)
‘Language is the primary means by which we relate to others and is central to the intellectual, social and emotional development of all students’ (NSW Education Standards Authority, English Syllabus)
Students at St Agnes’ are guided through the English Syllabus, to take their place as confident communicators and critical and imaginative thinkers within the world. Our students work towards instilling a lifelong love of literature and learning, and engage in rigorous and challenging learning experiences through English. Through their responses to, and opportunities to compose texts from Kindergarten to Year 6, all students learn about the power, value and art of the English language for communication, knowledge and enjoyment, and build a strong literary foundation upon which all other Key Learning Areas depend.
‘To participate fully in society, students need to develop the capacity to critically evaluate ideas and arguments that involve mathematical concepts or that are presented in mathematical form.’
(NSW Education Standards Authority, Mathematics Syllabus)
At St Agnes’, students are guided towards achieving mathematical outcomes through rich tasks which are differentiated to meet the learning needs of every student. Students are encouraged to embrace the creativity of the patterns and relationships that exist in Mathematics, and are taught to explain their thinking using concrete materials, visuals and mathematical language.
Science & Technology
‘The study of Science and Technology provides opportunities for students to think and act critically and creatively, to develop informed attitudes based on evidence and reason, and to participate responsibly in developing innovative working solutions and ideas in response to opportunities and questions relevant to personal, social and environmental issues in their lives.’
(NSW Education Standards Authority, Science & Technology Syllabus)
At St Agnes’, Science and Technology is taught usi
ng inquiry-based learning to engage students in investigating questions about the world they live in. Through questioning, observing, predicting, experimenting, designing and producing, they develop scientific knowledge and produce solutions to problems. The study of Science and Technology equips students with the skills required to contribute towards making their world a better place.
Human Society & Its Environment
‘The study of History investigates the actions, motives and lifestyles of people over time, from individuals and family members, to local communities, expanding to national and world history contexts.’
(NSW Education Standards Authority, History Syllabus)
Within our learning environment, students develop an appreciation for and an understanding of civics and citizenship, through a disciplined process of inquiry into the past that helps to explain how people, events and forces from the past have shaped our world. Students also gain broader insights into the historical experiences of different cultural groups within our society and how various groups have struggled for civil rights, for example Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, migrants and women. This Key Learning Area encourages students to develop an understanding of significant historical concepts such as cause and effect, change and continuity, significance, empathy and contestability. Through their study of the History curriculum, our learners become historians, engaging in the skills necessary for historical investigation, interpretation and analysis through an inquiry based approach.
‘The study of Geography enables students to become active, responsible and informed citizens able to evaluate the opinions of others and express their own ideas and arguments.’
(NSW Education Standards Authority, Geography Syllabus)
At St Agnes’, we believe that Geography is vital to the education of every young Australian in the 21 century. Through the study of places and the relationships between people and their environments, students develop a holistic view of the world. The learning that takes place in Geography allows students to identify and understand issues which are current and relevant, such as climate change, drought, ageing populations, urban growth, ethnic conflicts and globalisation.
‘Visual arts, music, drama and dance offer students and people of all ages opp
ortunities for personal expression, enjoyment, creative action, imagination, emotional response, aesthetic pleasure and the creation of shared meanings.’
(The Board of Studies NSW, Creative Arts Syllabus)
At St Agnes’ students engage in specialist taught Creative Arts experiences on a weekly basis. All students have the opportunity to create, perform and respond to a variety of experiences within the disciplines of Visual Arts, Drama, Dance and Music, all of which take place in our purpose built Creative Arts centre, complete with indoor and outdoor amphitheatre performance spaces. The current syllabus also gives students the opportunity for appreciation of a wide variety of creative forms, artists, performers and music genres. Students work collaboratively in all strands of the Creative Arts and use their knowledge of the elements and contexts within each discipline, to push boundaries and think creatively, interpreting the world around them through a variety of artforms.
Personal Development/Health & Physical Education
‘The Personal Development/Health & Physical Education syllabus makes a unique contribution to the total school curriculum in that it is directly concerned with supporting the development of the student as a whole person. Its implementation has the potential to contribute to improved and ongoing quality of life for all individuals within the community.’ (The Board of Studies NSW, Personal Development, Health & Physical Education Syllabus)
PD/H/PE is a vital part of the curriculum as it encourages an understanding of valuing self and others, promotes physical activity and emphasises informed decision making leading to effective and responsible action. The aim of this syllabus is to develop in each student the knowledge and understanding, skills and values and attitudes needed to lead healthy, active and fulfilling lives. In doing so, the syllabus will form the basis for students to adopt a responsible and productive role in society
‘An integrated approach to STEM education provides opportunities for students to develop the knowledge, understanding and problem-solving skills needed to influence scientific and technological developments through innovation.’
(NSW Education Standards Authority)
At St Agnes’, the integration of Science and Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is embraced to provide students with the skills required for problem solving, creativity, critical analysis, teamwork, independent thinking, initiative, communication and digital literacy. These are the attributes which will students to succeed in an ever changing global economy.