Each week, the Prep-2 students head outdoors to learn and play amidst the Koorbilli Nature Trail, found at the school’s corner bush space. The Bush School program incorporates many aspects of the Australian Curriculum including science, sustainability, mathematics, indigenous perspectives and religious education. We explore the environment, talk about the plants and animals that live there, think about the history and the future of the space, as well as a variety of activities and games to connect children to nature. An amazing play experience that connects children to the natural world, teaches them about the wonders of life and instils a desire to take care of their planet.
Year 3 & 4
St Thomas is part of ‘Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program’, whose purpose is to introduce pleasurable food education to children during their learning years, in order to form positive food habits for life. Regular garden classes give students the opportunity to learn how to grow produce and develop a practical understanding of the seasons, the weather and the environment. Over time, students discover how to build and maintain an organic garden, learn about healthy soil and find out how to make and use compost. The program encourages the students to draw on local knowledge, get to know our growing region and select suitable vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers to plant and take care of through the changing seasons, while implementing organic and sustainable gardening practices.
Year 5 & 6
Our Science programme encourages all students to explore and ask questions about the world they live in. Students participate in hands-on investigations and problem based learning with the aim of promoting scientific curiosity in a collaborative setting. The programme has a strong focus on developing scientific skills such as posing questions, gathering data, reaching conclusions and communicating results. With a main focus on Biological Science., students investigate living things, including animals, plants, and micro-organisms, and their interdependence and interactions within ecosystems.
Blessed with an abundant kitchen garden, our students participate in a cooking program, designed to showcase their abilities to harvest and cook with its fresh produce. Students work in teams to create an item from a cultural menu and a sweets menu, that is then shared as a meal together. Not only do they consolidate their comprehension skills by following the steps of a recipe, but are taught specialised skills such as table etiquette, chopping and dicing techniques and how to maintain a clean and sanitised workstation.
From Prep to year 6, our students are immersed into the world of imagination and intrigue; where they are allowed to freely express their opinions, viewpoints, understandings and emotions using pictures.
The elements of art are taught so as to equip them with the necessary tools and techniques to foster their own individuality, and personal success. All students work and collaborate on outdoor art projects designed to provide student voice and validate how they see themselves and their world. Students’ artwork is also showcased through a Visual Art Show and through various community based projects.
Weekly Physical Education classes allow students to experience a variety of activities to improve their Fundamental Motor Skills (FMS). They participate effectively in modified game situations through their use of teamwork. All students also participate in the annual Whole School Sports Carnival.
Additional Physical Education programs offered at St Thomas are:
- Perceptual Motor Program (PMP – Foundation),
- Swimming program (Foundation to Year 2),
- Eltham District Interschool Sport, Athletics, Cross Country and Swimming through the School Sport Victoria pathway progression.
We are a school that is moving with the times and including the many different ways we use technology in all that we do. Students develop deep proficiency in technology use as they are given a 1:1 device, which is either an iPad or a Chromebook. This is a supporting tool to help across many areas of a student’s learning.
Here at St Thomas we aim to uphold the importance of our digital wellbeing just as much as our personal wellbeing. Partnering up with eSmart, we have many opportunities for education around cybersafety for all members of our community. Parent webinars, student incursions and in classroom support around building knowledge of cybersafety are just some of the development opportunities we provide.
The Instrumental Music Program at St Thomas is offered in conjunction with Manhattan Music. Private music tuition is offered to all students from Years 1 to 6 with a wide range of musical instruments available. Lessons are available during both class time and break times. This program is optional with the expectation that costs are borne by families who choose to take up the option of this service.