St Thomas the Apostle School is committed to providing students with quality learning experiences. These experiences are designed to help learners develop their knowledge, skills and understandings across all areas. We believe that through employing high impact teaching strategies, all children will be encouraged to reach their full potential.
St. Thomas the Apostle Primary School believes in:
- building authentic relationships that support, extend and challenge our students’ learning;
- actively engaging with the school community;
- understanding our place within the Catholic church and the global community;
- the full flourishing of every student;
- supporting each learner to deeply understand ‘who they are’ in the world, in dialogue with the Catholic tradition.
We recognise the strong link between quality teaching and student performance. As such, we strive to create a learning environment that:
- scaffolds learners;
- inspires creativity:
- offers a variety of learning experiences;
- has high expectations of every student;
- is based on respectful relationships between staff and students acting collaboratively;
- encourages risk-taking.
Through our curriculum, interpersonal relationships and organisational practices, St Thomas’ uses strategies that take into account the different abilities, skills and life experiences of our students. A range of significant factors are considered when choosing responses to student behaviour. We respond to learning diversity so that all students are actively engaged in learning and experience success. We partner with parents throughout the year to support our students. Student Support Group Meetings (SSGs) are held once per term to enable the school and families to strengthen their partnerships in supporting the students in our care – whether it be enabling or enriching.
Extension & Support
At St Thomas’ we acknowledge that students learn at different rates and we believe that all children can learn given the right amount of time and support. After student assessment and observation specialised support is offered for students who require intervention or extension
- Reading Recovery
- Levelled Literacy Intervention
- Literacy Extension.
- Maths Extension
Here at St Thomas, we put a major influence on promoting the positive wellbeing of all members of our community, and we are very lucky to be partnered up with The Resilience Project.
The Resilience Project is a Social-Emotional Learning program (founded by a primary school teacher – Hugh van Cuylenburg) that is committed to explicitly teaching positive mental health strategies and building young people’s capacity to deal with adversity.
Through an evidence-based Teaching and Learning Program and inspiring digital presentations for students, staff and parents/carers, the school partnership program aims to support mental health in the classroom.
At St Thomas the Apostle, we believe that a successful literacy education develops students to be critical thinkers, life-long learners and confident communicators who make independent and informed decisions. All students at St Thomas’ develop strong literacy skills to build fluency and strategies for learning in and beyond school. At St Thomas’ we support our students by differentiating teaching to ensure growth for all, starting from students personal experiences and progressing to technical and more abstract concepts and literacy skills.
Literacy is a daily two hour block during which students develop their knowledge, skills and strategies in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.We use a whole-school approach to teaching literacy skills and knowledge,tracking students learning along the Victorian Curriculum continuum and Learning progressions, ensuring continuity from Prep through to Year 6. Ongoing student assessments allow for differentiated and individually focused learning. These assessments also inform us with regard to providing appropriate support and interventions for students.
Our students are inquisitive and engaged readers who use prior knowledge and experiences to critically respond by analysing, evaluating and reflecting on a variety of texts. This enables transference of knowledge across the curriculum and into our students’ lives. We support our students to become independent and skilled readers by targeting relevant teaching strategies so that every student experiences growth. We encourage students to develop their love of different texts that will support their learning across all areas of the curriculum. The SMART Spelling program is also used from Prep to Year 6 which incorporates the systematic teaching of spelling each week and the inclusion of personal word lists.
At St Thomas’ Mathematics is taught in a way that enables our students to effectively and efficiently apply their understandings to problem solve in an ever changing society. We endeavour to instil a sense of curiosity and wonder through our teaching which aims to develop an ongoing interest and enjoyment of Mathematics.
Mathematics allows students to communicate with and understand the world around them. At St Thomas’ a minimum of five hours per week is dedicated to learning mathematical skills such as representation, interpretation, reasoning, problem solving and analytical skills across the domains of Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability. Mathematics is also integrated into the other STEM disciplines through our inquiry approach to learning.
Effective and efficient mathematical strategies and ways of working are explicitly taught and learning intentions and success criteria enable students to enter a task at their point of need. The students at St Thomas’ are assisted to develop speed and accuracy in computation as well as to problem solve and think critically in mathematical investigations that are applied to real world situations.
Teachers have a deep understanding and knowledge of the curriculum and the developmental stages of learning Mathematics. They monitor and assess students’ understandings of concepts in order to identify learning needs and to set challenges.
Parents are kept informed of current best practice and how they can support their children’s learning through educational workshops, classroom helper training and dialogue with classroom teachers. Classroom helpers are encouraged to assist in numeracy lessons at St Thomas’.
Education in Faith
Inspired by the story of our patron Saint St Thomas the Apostle, with open eyes we seek spiritual encounters that deepen our relationship with others and God.
At St Thomas the Apostle we believe Religious Education invites our students to think deeply, critically and philosophically about the Catholic faith in a diverse global community. As such, it is embedded into every aspect of our school life reflecting the life of Christ, in a community based on love, compassion and justice.
Through engaging with the Catholic Tradition, students come to recognise the role prayer, ritual, symbol, sacraments and sacred texts have in their development as people “who are responsible and inner-directed, capable of choosing freely in conformity with their conscience” (Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education)
To enable religious encounters, teachers design learning experiences using the Renewed Religious Education Framework, linking them to Inquiry Learning. This connection assists students to recognise how Religion exists in their everyday life and how it informs our decisions in working toward the Common Good.
Preparation for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, First Eucharist and Confirmation is a partnership between the school and the family. While preparation for these Sacraments is school based, there is an understanding that parents lay the foundations of faith. In support of this preparation parents attend sacramental faith formation nights, commitment masses, and enter into dialogue with their children at home regarding the sacraments.
Sacraments are received in the following year levels:
Reconciliation: Year 2
Eucharist: Year 3
Confirmation: Year 5 and 6 (every second year)