The teaching and learning at St Monica’s is based on a belief that learning takes place in a reflective and collaborative community where each person is nurtured and challenged to explore, investigate and problem solve through explicit teaching and rich learning and assessment tasks.
The NSW Department of Education has established 6 Key Learning Areas (KLAs) that are mandated to be used by all primary schools in NSW. These KLAs remain the same for secondary schools but are further developed into specific subjects. The Key Learning Areas are:
- History and Geography
- Creative and Practical Arts
- Personal Development, Health and Physical Education.
The NSW Board of Studies has established syllabus documents for each KLA and these documents are the focus of the curriculum that is taught at St Monica’s School. They state the values, knowledge and skills that are to be taught in each area.
Many of these KLAs overlap and at St Monica’s we endeavour to integrate the KLAs by developing skills in locating, organising and communicating information.
Central to the mission of our school is the education of students in the Catholic faith. Accordingly, the Diocese of Parramatta has established a 7th Key Learning Area of Religious Education. As with all Catholic Schools in our Diocese, St Monica’s uses the curriculum document Sharing Our Story as the basis for teaching Religion in our school.
The students of St Monica’s reflect a great diversity of needs and it is our belief that as teachers, we need to cater for their individual strengths and challenges in learning. This is achieved through teaching programs that involve a cycle of—
Assessment – Identifying a student’s needs in reading, writing, maths etc. using work samples, tests, observations and questioning
Instruction – modelling skills and concepts, discussing new ideas, experimenting and investigating
Application – working with students in joint construction, applying skills such as reading and writing to other subject areas, completing work independently
Assessment – identifying achievements and areas of development, re-grouping students according their needs
Our staff believes that the teaching environment has a significant impact on student’s learning. For this reason our Learning Centre is secure, inviting, and stimulating. Tables are organised in groups to facilitate co-operative learning where students exchange ideas and work together on tasks.