All students at St Patrick's participate in Religious Education lessons. Not all of our families are Catholic or necessarily aligned with any particular religion. Our Religious Education program has several elements which help to increase understanding, personal development and spirituality. We encourage parents who are non-Catholic to speak to us about our RE program and how we help all children to flourish at St Patrick's school.
Spiritual Development Integral to every action that takes place at St. Patrick's school, is our Catholic ethos. Our Catholicity permeates every curriculum area, every relationship and every interaction. This Catholic experience of Faith takes place within a formal sense in our Religious Education Program. We believe Catholic Religious Education is the nurturing and developing of our Catholic faith in an environment where Gospel values are practised and our Catholic heritage learned and accepted.
We do this -
by valuing the uniqueness of each individual;
encouraging self acceptance;
by helping each one to know, love and respond to God.
As a member of the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat, we use the 'Awakenings' Religious Education support document to inform our teaching.
Religious Education Aims: Because our school is a Catholic school, we aim to offer personal experiences in Christian living through liturgy, sacramental life, prayer, guidance and example, as well as by supporting service organisations. We encourage parents to enter into the spiritual life of the school by attending Masses and liturgies or becoming involved in Sacramental programs with the children. We aim to foster a Christian understanding of people's mutual responsibilities for one another.
At St Patrick’s the broad goals and approaches to teaching and learning in English are as follows:
To develop in the students the ability to speak, listen, read and write effectively and with purpose, confidence and enjoyment.
To develop a knowledge and understanding that language varies according to audience, purpose and content and also develop ability to apply that knowledge.
At St Patrick’s School, students are engaged in becoming literate in their English program. They will learn the signs and symbols used to make meaning and learning to read, write and speak. Students will be exposed to a variety of genres, techniques and approaches as a set of active, dynamic and interactive practices assisting them to make meaning from and construct texts.The English program at St Patrick’s will be run as a two hour block throughout the school. OLSEL (Oral Language Supporting Early Literacy) is used to enhance literacy outcomes. OLSEL is an approach to teaching which capitalizes on the strong link between oral language development and general literacy proficiency.
The Mathematics program is sequential yet flexible, providing children with a managed developmental approach which builds upon prior learning and allows each child to experience continued success. The mathematics program at St. Patrick’s is developed through levels and strands and activities that will move from the concrete to the abstract. Work at each level will be based on the integration of mathematical activities relating different areas of study. As children engage in learning mathematical skills and processes they will acquire mathematical skills that will enable them to use maths confidently in a variety of situations. Problem solving and critical thinking is central to our mathematics program. Our school is supported by Numeracy advisors from the Catholic Education Office in Ballarat.
At St. Patrick’s School, learning in the Arts takes several forms: art, dance, drama, media and music. All children will be exposed to a weekly lesson in Visual and Performing Arts with our specialist teacher Jacinta Molloy. Our dedicated arts room provides the space to run an excellent arts program. Through arts practice students learn to develop ideas by drawing upon experience, exploring feelings, observing and researching. In responding to the arts, students learn to analyse and interpret arts works. We value the arts as a major source of intellectual, physical, spiritual and emotional development, understanding and enjoyment.
LOTE - Japanese
All students at St Patrick's Gordon participate in weekly Japanese lessons. Students are exposed to the culture, art, language and customs of our Asian neighbour with their teacher Denise Buttler. It is important that children are exposed to other languages in their primary years. Many students find that they have a special talent in this interesting learning area.
Inquiry Learning is where we can study about a major theme or school focus and incorporate learning outcomes from a variety of subject areas. At St Patrick’s School, Gordon we will give the students knowledge, skills and values to enable them to participate as confident, responsible and active citizens. Inquiry Learning involves project work and personal learning activities and may encompass study in The Arts, Geography, Science, Health etc.
Topics selected will be 'rich topics' that will enable the classroom teacher to assist their students in developing skills, knowledge, values and attitudes. The topics will be a “worthwhile exploration of meaningful content that relates to and extends students’ life experiences and understanding of the world” (1997 Murdoch).
Science is the study of the physical and natural world. At St Patrick’s School, Gordon we aim to provide a program which nurtures scientifically and technologically literate individuals, where students will be able to make informed decisions regarding the impact of their lifestyle on the environment. We recognise the need for science education to be relevant, as learning science and its methods of investigation encourages students to develop curiosity and a spirit of inquiry and helps them to be open minded and to value objectivity.
The science education program at St Patrick’s school is divided into four strands drawn from the major disciplines – chemistry, physics, biology and earth and space sciences. At St. Patrick’s, the science education will be implemented as part of our Inquiry Learning, by the classroom teacher. The program will endeavour to assist the students to:
Acquire and use the skills of scientific investigation, reasoning and analysis to ask questions and seek solutions
Develop scientific attributes such as curiosity, critical reflection, ethical considerations etc.
Be able to interpret and communicate scientific ideas effectively
Appreciate the dynamic role of science in social and technological change
Acquire scientific skills and basic concepts of science
Recognise and understand the strengths and limitations of science
For the past five years, students at St Patrick's have worked in partnerships with teaching students from the Australian Catholic University Science initiative. This is an intensive 5 week program aimed at building students understanding in a range of science focused lessons. Check out pictures from or community science day below.
Health and Physical Education
At St. Patrick’s we support a lifelong involvement in physical activity and the pursuit of health and well being. Children participate in daily activity including morning exercise and one specialist PE class per week which develops fundamental motor skills, games skills, strategies and understanding of heath issues relating to sport and exercise. We promote the physical, social, emotional and spiritual health of individuals, families and communities.
The children are given the skills to identify the harms associated with particular situations and behaviours and make them aware of good nutritional habits. They will be encouraged to develop values regarding rights and responsibilities of individuals and communities so that they can make informed decisions about their own and others’ lives, as they form effective relationships with families, friends and groups.
Interschool sport involvement in years 3/4 and 5/6 provides opportunities for children to meet children from other schools and to enhance their games skills in a safe competitive environment. Developing good sportsmanship is a valued part of the inter-school sport experience. This takes place in Term 2 each year.
Swimming and Gymnastics programs are offered to all children in Term 3 at the Ballarat Aquatic Centre. School camps are an important aspect of our Health and Physical education curriculum and take place in years F-2 (Late Stay), Years 3-4 (one night camp) and Years 5/6 (two night Camp to Melbourne or Anglesea).
They will be encouraged to take a proactive role in the safety of themselves and others, through participation in a number of programs. Students participate in Life Education every second year. St Patrick's is a SunSmart and Asthma Friendly school.