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 Curriculum Structures

The following principles underpin the curriculum structures of the College.

a)    Continuity through Years P-12 will be promoted via:

  • Australian Curriculum
  • The Religious Education program
  • Implementation of the Early Years Curriculum Guidelines, QSA Syllabuses (Years 1-9) Foundations for Senior (Year 10) and QSA Syllabuses(Years 11-12)
  • Commitment to the development of the Common Curriculum Elements (CCE’s) for all students P-12
  • Collaborative planning processes focused on clearly identified learning outcomes and standards
  • Authentic and continuous assessment and reporting practices,
  • ‘Intra’ and ‘Inter’ school moderation processes;
  • A developmental approach to learning which is student centred

b)    Selection of curriculum experiences will be:

  • relevant
  • purposeful
  • holistic
  • dynamic
  • responsive
  • contemporary

c)    Curriculum is integrated, balanced and connected to:

  • Encourage students to develop a deeper and broader understanding of themselves and their world.
  • Require the learner to access knowledge and strategies across the Learning Areas in a way which replicates operating in the real world.
  • Promote the transfer of knowledge across Learning Areas independently and interdependently.
  • Prepare for a more disciplinary orientation to formal curriculum offerings that are presented to students during the Senior Years.
  • Meet the needs of all students respecting the multiple pathways to tertiary studies, post school education and training, and employment that are available either in the College or through other providers.
  • Promote options for students to participate in community and workplace learning. Access to suitably targeted local community priorities for vocational education and training are provided. Students have opportunities to participate in school-based apprenticeships and traineeships as appropriate.

d)    The context of learning will be informed by real life and life like situations and also theoretical constructs which, together, form a dynamic and balanced learning program.

Learning Areas

The Curriculum is based around the Learning Areas managed by the Australian Curriculum Assessment Reporting Authority (ACARA) and Queensland Studies Authority (QSA) together with Religious Education which is overseen by Brisbane Catholic Education. These are:

  • Religious Education
  • Mathematics
  • English
  • Health and Physical Education (HPE)
  • Science
  • History
  • The Arts [consisting of Music, Dance, Visual Arts, Drama and Media]
  • Technology
  • Information & Communication Technologies (ICT)
  • Cultural Literacy and Languages, including L.O.T.E - Japanese

Assessment

The process of assessment involves our teachers in:

  • Providing students with opportunities to demonstrate what they know and can do in relation to the identified learning essentials;
  • Gathering evidence of students’ demonstrations of learning essentials;
  • Making judgments about students’ demonstrations of learning essentials.

Staff use a variety of assessment techniques and sources to gather evidence about students’ demonstration of learning. These include:

  • Observation
  • Focused Analysis
  • Consultation
  • Self- and peer- assessment                

Reporting

Reporting is an essential component of the learning process at St Augustine’s. It provides information to students, parents and teachers which allows for the celebration of learning achievements as well as goal setting and planning for learning to continue to improve. Reporting occurs in a variety of ways including progress charts, verbal feedback, results from formal assessment items as indicated on criteria sheets, parent information sessions, student progress discussions and interviews, student folios and written reports, learning area summary statements and learning statements. A reporting program specific to each level is outlined in each developmental level handbook. 

Assignments

Assignments for the Senior Years students are timetabled and placed on an assessment calendar which is sent home at the beginning of each term and also available on the college website. Students in MY receive theirs from teachers in class in a timely manner and with appropriate criteria sheets. This is also then placed on the College website. Students are also given assignment guidelines, and within class time, teachers discuss their expectations and the scope of the respective tasks. There is an expectation that all assessment is completed.

Personal Development Education

Students’ full growth as persons, as appropriate at various ages and stages of development, is an important part of the curriculum and the wider life of the College.

Currently, this is structured around the Brisbane Catholic Education resource, Living Life to the Full” (2005). This resource and associated teacher professional development sees age appropriate activities embedded in various Learning Areas on an ongoing basis.

The College also makes use of suitable visiting individuals and groups to enhance students’ learning in this area.

Information Communication and Learning Technology (ICLT) in the Curriculum

The use of ICLT’s by teachers and students of St Augustine’s College supports and enhances the achievement of education goals across the P-12 curriculum. ICLT’s are recognised as a tool for learning and not an end in themselves. Mastery of any tool requires the development of skills. At St Augustine’s College, ICT skills are developed in the context of curriculum related to learning situations and not in isolation. The introduction of the Macbook program has seen a rollout of laptops from Year 7 onwards.

Computer access is continually increasing and being updated in line with current grants and college vision. All computers are linked to the network. Internet access is available via the Brisbane Catholic Education network. Direct access to the web is controlled. As part of students’ training in responsible internet use, students and parents are asked to discuss and accept certain acceptable use parameters.

Homework

Homework set by teachers is regarded as a worthwhile activity. It will vary extensively in purpose, approach and content according to students’ age levels.

The completion of homework has several purposes:

  • The completion of homework enables students to consolidate what they have learnt at school, thereby increasing the students’ confidence and enjoyment of learning.
  • Homework allows children to continue to develop at their own rate of learning, while allowing parents to encourage, support, approve and take a hands on approach in their own child’s learning.
  • Homework also develops self-discipline and time management skills by making reasonable demands and fostering long-term habits of learning and planning.

The following guidelines are provided for parents and teachers:

  • In general homework is required on week nights;
  • Homework should be relevant and related to class work;
  • Progressive work over time on assignments is part of homework;
  • Optional activities or projects may be provided for some students who need extension;
  • In some groups homework is set on a contract basis, with homework expected by a set date. This allows students some flexibility to cater for extra curricular activities and to develop time management skills;
  • For some students experiencing difficulty, homework expectations may need to be modified;
  • The prime responsibility for completion of homework rests with the student;
  • Parents have a supportive role with regard to homework. Parents are encouraged to assist students by providing the necessary resources, a quiet place and for younger students, and listening to students read.

Homework is set according to the learning structures and needs of individual students and groups. Specific requirements will be outlined in each development level handbook. At different levels there will be varied expectations as to the amount and format of set homework. Students who choose not to complete homework at all, partially or to an inferior standard, will be required to attend Task Completion during lunch break to complete that homework.

Suggestions for ways in which parents can help with homework:

  • Make homework a pleasant time:
    • Praise rather than criticise
    • Provide a pleasant work area i.e. quiet spot, desk, lamp
    • Turn off the television and remove other obvious distractions
  • A predictable routine can help. Having a set and limited time and a regular place makes things much easier.
  • Encourage your child to work efficiently, and don’t allow them to work on and on when frustrated and tired. (Let the teacher know there has been a problem.)
  • When you are actively helping, keep your explanations as simple and practical as you can: demonstrate, encourage and express satisfaction. If you find yourself becoming frustrated and the atmosphere becoming tense, stop giving ‘assistance’.
  • Homework should be given high priority amongst the many things children do after school. It is not an optional extra!

Homework Help

St Augustine’s offers extra support for students who may find aspects of homework challenging. Students can attend homework help sessions on certain afternoons in the Bloxsidge Centre where teachers will be available to assist students. The exact times are notified throughout the year.

(However, students are encouraged to approach the individual classroom teacher if there is a concern or difficulty with homework as it arises).