A truly authentic Catholic Education at St Rita’s is about having the Social and Emotional competencies as well as Religious Education and Faith Life infused into all Curriculum Learning Areas. Children’s academic performance is very much dependent upon good learning behaviours and social competencies. These are explicitly taught at St Rita’s. Our Program Achieve (You Can Do It) curriculum specifically teaches children the essential skills for success as a person and learner; Confidence, Getting Along, Resilience, Organisation and Persistence. This, together with the Religious Education learning experiences provide children with the foundations of a meaningful and joy-filled life.
Mathematics and English skills are foundation and core to all learning and so a strong emphasis on these is taken at St Rita’s. All other Learning Areas such as Science, Geography, History, Health & Physical Education, Civic & Citizenship, and The Arts dovetail these.
From the start of 2012 St Rita’s has begun teaching the Australian Curriculum in English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography and Health & Physical Education. Our staff has had extensive and thorough preparation for this and this continues with the implementation of further elements in the Australian Curriculum.
This year teachers are participating in a special project aimed at improving the teaching of Mathematics as well as further training in teaching of Writing. With the added support of a Learning Support Teacher and Literacy Enrichment Teacher to assist classroom teachers with Explicit Instruction in reading and writing, our children’s literacy learning opportunities are enhanced greatly.
Our commitment to digital learning is evident, with a high student to PC (personal computer) and mobile device ratio which we are planning to increase. Each student in the Year 4 -6 class is assigned individual use of an iPad and Chromebook to be used in class and at home. Interactive Whiteboards in each classroom are a valuable resource for teaching and connects student learning to the wider community.
Physical activity and sports are highly valued at St Rita’s and the children have a specialist P.E. lesson with Miss Hayley Bowie each week. The school is fortunate to have two accredited athletics coaches and a netball coach as staff members, and their skills and experience have been a valuable addition to our classroom H.P.E. programs.
The Prep – Year 3 students also participate in a Perceptual Motor Program which has greatly benefitted their gross motor, fine motor and coordination skills. Children from 9 – 12 years participate in the local sports events, the Combined Schools Cross Country and Athletics competitions. If they are selected, they can then progress onto the next level of competition of Mulgrave Sports.
Our multi-aged class groupings (Prep/Year 1, Year 2/3 and Year 4/5/6) together with small class sizes makes for the ideal learning environment for children. Students are able to receive more personal and individual attention and instruction in their learning. Greater flexibility is able to be achieved in teaching and learning with students in direct response to their academic needs at the time. Students who require additional support, as well as students who are ready for the challenge of higher level learning, are easily catered for in the multi-aged setting. Our teaching and learning is truly child-centred.