Learning and Teaching at St Catherine's
St Catherine’s Catholic College values and supports the pursuit of academic excellence within a caring and supportive environment. Teachers are committed to optimising the conditions for learning within the classroom, using real world experiences to promote authentic learning.
Our NAPLAN results, as well as School Certificate and HSC results, continue to inform our curriculum planning and revision across all year groups.
Students are prepared for leaving school with a sophisticated and flexible skill set to negotiate their way in the modern world. An examination of activities taking place over a school year quickly reveals that the curriculum offered at St Catherine’s today is far broader than what can be covered in a classroom, a response to the challenge to provide authentic learning experiences.
Significant academic initiatives carried out across K-12 have enhanced the academic achievements of students.
· The “Dad's Home Reading Program”, supported by Integra Coal, extends from Kindergarten to Year 2. Students engage with high interest texts and share their reading with their father or significant male, facilitating positive role modelling in terms of literacy development and interest in reading.
· The Tournament of Minds competition gives students in Years 5 & 6 the chance to develop problem-solving and communication skills, in competition against other schools in the region.
· Debating and Public speaking also feature strongly in our Primary curriculum.
· Students have the opportunity to participate in various State and regional competitions for Maths, English and Religion
These are just some of the extra activities the students participate in.
· The Science and Engineering Challenge provides valuable experience in creative problem-solving and presentation in a public forum. In recent years our students have progressed onto next levels of this competition.
· Public Speaking and Debating competitions are popular.
· Last year we had a student awarded a Distinction in the Newcastle University Colin Doyle Maths Competition.
· The growth of Agriculture as a subject has seen our students successfully participating in Cattle judging events.
· Stage 6 students continue to access a number of courses offered online or through other providers. Languages, Engineering Studies, Software Design and Development, Ancient History, as well as numerous VET courses have been taken up by students, with some excellent results.
· Stage 6 students have had greater opportunities to pursue Vocational Education courses, delivered at school or through TAFE and OTEN. The Trade Training Centre, a combined venture between St Catherine’s, Singleton High School and Singleton Christian College, has proved most advantageous for our students wanting to work towards dual accreditation, before moving into the work force. Students are able to access almost all the Curriculum Frameworks now.
Other initiatives which support the curriculum at St Catherine’s include:
· Our Teacher Librarian - Primary and our Teacher Librarian - Secondary have worked to make our Junior and Senior libraries more vibrant places for both student enquiry and recreation.
· The Learning Support Team continue to provide students with special learning needs, and their teachers, with support to ensure all students are able to reach their potential. The College sees its commitment to an inclusive approach to special needs as part of living out our motto, “Faith, Harmony and Integrity”.
· There is a vibrant Creative and Performing Arts culture at the College, with students participating in various opportunities for performance at school, and in the community.
· Excursions from Kindergarten to Stage 6 have a direct connection to teaching programs – including visits to museums, art galleries, theatre performances, science expos, local environments and field days. Staff take every opportunity to enrich students’ learning with additional experiences.
· A Tuesday afternoon Homework Centre is supported by teachers in the Senior Library, and seeks to provide a safe working environment and assisted tuition one afternoon a week. It is well patronised.
There has been a significant focus on incorporating technology into the teaching and learning at St Catherine’s. There have been Primary and Secondary IT Forums run by the Catholic Schools Office, as well as Staff Development days devoted to improving teachers’ technology capability, during this year and last.
The diversity of opportunities provided to the students at St Catherine’s Catholic College demonstrates the “relevance” of the learning happening here. Every effort is made to enhance student achievement and to ensure students are given the opportunity to succeed.
There is a secure section of the Curriculum webpage which contains Years 7 to 12 Assessment Task information. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you do not have the log in details.
Mrs Kristen Southwell
Assistant Principal Secondary Curriculum