Teaching & Learning
Our Library is an integral part of St Francis of Assisi, serving as a digital resource centre for all curriculum areas and encouraging students to develop a love of reading. Each class attends a weekly Library lesson and we have ‘story time’ each Monday morning at 9am.
Students have access to laptops and iPads in classrooms which are supplied with interactive white boards and panels. Years 4-6 have access to the BYOD iPad program to develop digital competencies across key learning areas.
Extra-Curricular Activities / Clubs
Teachers supervise a number of exciting and fun clubs throughout the school at lunchtimes. Below is a roster for what's on each day and children can join in the activities every day if they wish! Students are able to participate in creative and craft activities, games and gardening and they particularly enjoy socialising and learning new things that are separate from the playground.
The lunch time clubs offer the opportunity for the teachers to work with different age groups and share their wonderful skills. Activities include choir, craft, chess, growing vegetables, looking after the chickens, drawing, Irish Dancing, coding, Scratch, Spheros, guitar and Mini Vinnies.
As St Francis of Assisi is the Patron Saint of the Environment we here at St Francis of Assisi pride ourselves on looking after the environment. We are constantly working on ways to become a more sustainable school.
Our Green Gang program, which is run at lunchtimes, involves students in understanding the processes of growing food in an organic way. We learn how to deal with pests, how to nourish our soil and how to promote strong plant growth. By participating in planting and cropping, our students are shown the value of fresh food and the work that goes into producing it. Students learn about and help care for the chickens which are part of our Green Gang area. Through this process they develop an understanding about the needs of the chickens, how to maintain the habitat and things which impact on the health of the chickens.
Sustainable activities students participate in include:
- Care of the garden beds such as weeding and turning the soil
- Planting and maintaining seeds and seedlings in pots to use in garden beds
- Planting and caring for seedlings in the main beds
- Harvesting plants and gathering eggs
- Selling produce to the school community
- Waste Management: using allocated chicken and worm bins for scraps and feeding the scraps to the chicken and worms or using the compost areas.
- Energy Management: making sure doors are closed, lights and computers are off when not being used, heating and cooling are at sustainable levels
- Participating in activities such as: Clean up Australia Day, World Environment Day, National Tree Day, Earth Hour.
- Nude Food Day every Tuesday
Music and Dance Program
We provide students with the opportunity to participate in many musical experiences including singing, movement and listening to a wide range of music. Students in Year 3-6 also learn to play the ukulele and descant recorder. In Year 2 students are invited to join our Music Tuition Program provided by Musicorp Australia. Available lessons include piano, strings, woodwind and brass.
Gross Motor Program
We are committed to developing the whole child at St Francis of Assisi and this extends to physical education. The Gross Motor Program starts in Kindergarten and extends to Year 1 and is complemented by our outdoor adventure playground.
Literacy Intervention Program
Our home/school ‘Forward Together’ program has been reviewed to allow features to be taught at a whole class level in the foundation years. 'Forward Together' aims to assist students who are experiencing difficulties with reading, handwriting, letter sounds and story writing. The children work in small groups with the teacher, using a targeted intervention approach at school for a period of 10 weeks. With the support of Classroom Support Assistants in the classroom, the children practice the explicit skill taught by the teacher. Parents are invited to attend evening sessions lead by the Learning Support Teacher and the Literacy Coordinator. Parents continue the program at home by playing the same games, working on the same activities and supporting their child with the same strategies.
Excursions are designed to enhance students’ experiences while working on a particular unit of work. Excursions and Incursions are included within the school fees and all year levels plan an incursion or excursion at least once a term. Kinder to Year 4 also participate in a ‘Learn to Swim’ program, and Year 5 and 6 participate in an annual overnight camp.
Religious Education at St Francis of Assisi Primary School is based upon the new direction of Conceptual Inquiry in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn. It is designed to invite people to a deep personal relationship with God, inspired by Jesus and sustained by the Holy Spirit. Religious Education at St Francis of Assisi Primary School is grounded in the exploration and celebration of Sacred Scripture and Tradition to inform a deeper understanding of Catholicism and what it means to be a Catholic in the contemporary world.
The classroom teaching and learning in Religious Education encourages theological inquiry through a contemporary, engaging and experiential curriculum. The Religious Education curriculum at St Francis of Assisi is designed to centre on the learner and promote an expectation of high achievement and critical thinking. The student applies their understanding and skills to explore religious questions and various religious perspectives. It leads to a sense of wonder and connection to students’ lives.
Religious Education therefore aims to transform the students of St Francis of Assisi Primary School to become missionary disciples who proclaim a spirit of hope and respect in contributing to a just world.
Our school has a dedicated two hour literacy block every day, where students spend an hour on writing and an hour on reading. Students are emerged in activities that range from explicit modelling from teachers through to inquiry tasks using iPads to explore the love of literature and literacy.
We encourage all children to read a range of free choice books, and support and motivate them through a variety of competitions and challenges. Parents and community members are welcomed as partners in learning during literacy time, and we encourage families to offer assistance when they are able to, especially during the formative years.
Through the quality Mathematics teaching provided at our school we aim to develop numerate students. Mathematics underpins numeracy ‘…as numeracy is about using mathematics and this implies you must know mathematics before you can use it. Numeracy is not just number work but also includes geometry, statistics and algebra. Therefore the more mathematics you know and are able to call on the more numerate you will be’ (Faragher, 2013).
Mathematics and its application across the curriculum are of critical importance to the development of numeracy. Within Numeracy blocks activities are differentiated to cater for the various levels present within each class and a strong focus upon investigative and experiential learning is present. Opportunities for reflection and discussion are key components of effective mathematics teaching and are encouraged during activities. Parent support in numeracy education is vital for academic growth. Therefore, parental assistance, as part of the weekly numeracy homework routine, is strongly encouraged and is supported through the provision of take home maths activities and online resources.