At St Mary’s we invest a lot of time in ensuring students academic progress and wellbeing are catered for by implementing differentiated curriculum across all areas.
Our school has a weekly specialist program consisting of Physical Education, Digi Tech, Visual Art, Wellbeing and Performing Arts. All students participate in a 1 hour engaging session that interweaves the schools belief of differentiation for all.
St Mary ’s School offers all students a broad and high quality Physical Education program that covers the Victorian Curriculum. The program is designed to give all students an opportunity to learn and enjoy a range of physical sports and activities. The program is built around active play and games that promote teamwork and cooperation whilst providing students with the skills and knowledge to actively engage in sport and physical activity. External coaches are sourced and used to complement our Physical education lessons. A number of specialised programs are implemented across all year levels at the school. These include the Perpetual Motor Program (PMP) which allows junior students to develop gross and fine motor skills including balance and body and space awareness, a Bike Education program where the children learn to competently ride safely on the roads and an external swimming program. Students are also given the opportunity to represent St Mary’s in many sports including basketball, football, soccer, netball, cricket and others at District, Regional and State level.
St Mary’s Primary School is committed to ensuring that all students receive comprehensive PE lessons that not only afford them the opportunity to achieve their full potential to become physically confident but also equip them with the tools to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.
In Performing Arts, students engage in creative experiences involving music, dance and drama. Students are provided with opportunities to experiment with sounds and learn about the elements of music. They play a range of different musical instruments including pitched and percussion instruments. Students are encouraged to listen to and respond to music, as well as arrange and perform music of their own.
In Dance, students are encouraged to creatively express and communicate ideas through movement. They are involved in choreographing and following dance sequences and are provided with opportunities to perform for a wider audience.
In Drama, students develop skills in creating characters and communicating through body language, voice and expression. Improvisation games and scripted drama support students to develop confidence in role play and dramatising scenes.
Performing Arts at St Mary’s also explores Indigenous and African cultural dance, music and drama. Students learn songs, dances and traditions connected to these cultures and their significance.
In Wellbeing, students are supported to develop an awareness of their own mental health and wellbeing. St Mary’s has a strong focus on Emotional Literacy and encourages students to develop their understanding and awareness of emotions. Sessions explicitly focus on identifying tools and strategies that support them to self regulate their emotions. Wellbeing at St Mary’s focuses on building resilience and developing characteristics of a growth mindset. Social games which promote positive social skills are a feature of sessions as well as team building exercises which build knowledge and experience around working effectively in co-operative learning environments.
St Mary’s Digital Technology curriculum is designed to introduce students to digital technology and computer science concepts in an age-appropriate and engaging manner.
Computer technology is used in many subject areas and across all year levels at St Mary’s. The Digital Technology specialist teacher introduces children to the skills required to use these devices in other subject areas as well as teaching specific skills required by modern digital citizens and to fulfil the Victorian Curriculum Digital Technologies area of the curriculum
Students learn about the importance of using digital devices responsibly and safely, including topics like online etiquette, internet safety, and privacy.
Students are taught the fundamental elements of using a computer. This includes understanding the parts of a computer (keyboard, mouse/touchpad, monitor), how to start and shut down a computer, and basic navigation skills.
Students develop essential skills for using a keyboard and a touchpad. They learn touch typing techniques and practice using a touchpad effectively, which are essential for future computer-based tasks.
Students are acquainted with age-appropriate software applications, such as word processing programs, drawing tools, and simple educational games. They learn how to create, save, and edit documents.
We emphasise the responsible use of technology and online resources. Topics like cyberbullying, plagiarism, and digital footprints are introduced to promote ethical and safe online behaviour.
Students are introduced to the basics of coding and programming through fun, block-based coding platforms or simplified programming languages suitable for their age. They might create simple animations, games, or stories, helping them understand logic and problem-solving.
Students are taught how to use the internet for research, including using search engines and assessing the reliability of online sources. Including the use of specific search tools, for example, the use of the image searching tools to refine a search for a specific usable image.
Students will have the opportunity to explore and understand the hardware components of a computer, like the CPU, RAM, and storage devices.
We incorporate creative aspects like digital art, music, and multimedia projects, allowing students to express themselves and learn how technology can be used for creative purposes.
Group projects and activities encourage teamwork and problem-solving, reinforcing the importance of working together in a digital environment.
St Mary’s Digital Technology course aims to prepare students with essential digital literacy skills and a foundation in computer science. It encourages critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity while promoting responsible digital citizenship.
We use chromebooks across all year levels from Foundation, where they have one device between two students and our Years 1-6 they have 1:1 chromebooks.
Our main platform is Google Workspace for Education, where every student has a school provided email address, which enables them to use many of Google’s services including Google Drive, Docs, Slides, Sheets, Drawings, Maps, GMail, Calendar, Keep, Classroom, Canvas and many others where applicable, relevant and appropriate.
Google accounts also allows students to log into many other services, using their sign on provider (no need for another username and password) for example:
Students have access to “Speech to text” technology in their classroom to allow them to write on the computer with minimal keyboarding skills and input.
They also have access to “Text to speech” technology which allows them to be able to hear instructions, webpages and text they’ve written while still developing their reading skills.
Visual Arts at St. Mary’s is a rich, hands-on program designed to uncover the artistic skills and passions that individuals have by the influence of artists, their community, surroundings, faith, personal experiences and the broader world.
We empower our students with their skills in visual art, allowing them to express themselves as unique individuals through various forms of art and they grow and evolve.
In our program we delve deep into the fundamental principles and elements, including pattern, emphasis, contrast, balance, movement, line, shape, colour and texture.
Their curious hands get to work with an eclectic mix of techniques and materials, from drawing, to painting, sculpting, weaving, sewing, cutting and pasting or printmaking. Students delve into both the practice of art creation and planning not only the design of the final product but also the materials/method and techniques involved as well as personally reflect on their journey as an artist upon completion of their artwork.
Every art session is an open invitation for our students to ask questions and explore in a safe, supportive environment. We foster a culture of curiosity, openness, and mutual support where students learn from one another. Our classrooms are welcoming spaces for experimentation, endless possibilities and playful innovation nurturing the unique artist in each individual.