At St Francis Xavier Primary School Ballarat East, our aim is to keep alive this vision of Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy and to give it practical expression. We do this by embedding the qualities of Mercy into our curriculum, our Pastoral Care Program and our policies and procedures.
The core purpose of St. Francis Xavier Primary School is to provide an inclusive, rigorous learning environment that challenges and engages young people to grow as passionate learners. The school seeks to develop motivated, creative and independent learners who demonstrate strong social values and whose leadership, resilience and self-esteem is evident when interacting with the community.
In determining our curriculum, St. Francis Xavier responds to documents from the Victorian Curriculum. The Victorian Curriculum is the Foundation to Year 10 curriculum that provides a single, coherent and comprehensive set of prescribed content and common achievement standards, which schools use to plan student learning programs, assess student progress and report to parents.
Our Religious Education is based on the Awakenings core document which has been set for the Ballarat Diocese. In Religious Education we believe in, and develop the knowledge that every child is important, valued and that all have something special to contribute to life. Each child has the right to live happily and achieve fullness of life with God – and to grow and learn in a community where Christian values are taught and modelled daily.
In English, the children focus on the key learning areas of Reading, Writing and Oral Language. This is done in a variety of ways including small group, whole group and partner activities. St. Francis Xavier caters for all students in their English journey, in a supportive yet challenging environment.
In Mathematics, the children learn about Number, Space, Measurement, Chance and Data and Working Mathematically. In order for the students to acquire the skills needed in maths, our classes are structured so that focus group teaching forms the basis of our practice. Skills are taught to target groups within the class so challenge is presented to all and the needs of individual students are met.
St. Francis Xavier offers specialist programs in Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Languages – Japanese and Environmental Education.
Our Integrated Curriculum is based around the concept of Inquiry Learning.
Interdisciplinary, personal and social learning are addressed within these domains and supported by a range of Outdoor Education camps and excursion initiatives. The school is an active participant in district sport competitions as well as providing opportunities for students to participate in private music lessons.
The School Leadership Team is focused on a two-year curriculum planning cycle and the continuous analysis of a range of data around school improvement. At this level there is an integration of long term planning around fiscal management, workforce planning and school structures. There is a high level of professional development and the promotion of professional autonomy in the context of participation in the school improvement and teaching and learning teams and consultancy support for key initiatives.
The school has developed a structured approach to curriculum planning that ensures a shared vision within the school on curriculum development, common documentation and common understanding of the whole-school curriculum by teachers and parents. The data analysed regularly by teachers in their curriculum planning includes a suite of year level assessments including NAPLAN and an analysis of school performance data including student, staff and parent surveys.
The implementation of the Learning and Teaching policy Guidelines, gives further evidence of the enactment of our underlying philosophy.