St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School prides itself on its commitment to providing a quality education to all students. Part of this commitment involves developing a sound curriculum based on both government and Catholic Education Office requirements.
The Western Australian curriculum areas are grouped under the following headings; Religious Education; English; Mathematics; Science; History; The Arts; Health and Physical Education; Technology and Enterprise; and Languages other than English.
Pastoral Care/Behaviour Management
Our Behaviour Management Policy is based on the premise that all children have the right to learn and feel safe at school, and that all teachers have the right to teach. Our Behaviour Management policy encourages students to take responsibility for their actions in the classroom and on the playground. We ask that parents support us in the implementation of our Behaviour Management Policy. The whole school behavior management policy is available on the school’s website.
Students are seen as individuals and the staff at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Pinjarra seek to assist all students to adapt harmoniously to their school environment. Some students require more time and effort in this area than others. At times the school will seek parental permission to have a student assessed by a school psychologist as part of pastoral care support for the child.
Seasons for Growth is a program for children who have experience death, divorce or loss in their family. This program runs every two years or if the need arises, each year at St Joseph’s.
St Joseph’s is a KidsMatter School. Good mental health is vital for life. Children who are mentally healthy are better able to meet life's challenges and have stronger relationships with the people around them. They are also better learners who are more likely to succeed at school. Good mental health in childhood provides a solid basis for managing changes as they grow. KidsMatter Primary is all about growing healthy minds. KidsMatter is a mental health and wellbeing framework that helps schools focus on the development of all their students in partnership with families.
In 2014 a whole school resilience program “You Can Do It!” was implemented. The program’s core purpose is the development of young people’s social and emotional capabilities, including: Confidence (academic, social), Persistence, Organisation, Getting Along, and Emotional Resilience.
In 2015 we have commenced ‘Making Jesus Real’. The Making Jesus Real program (MJR), is centred around the belief that we are the image of Jesus to all those people around us. We are His representatives and our actions should reflect His values. It is aimed at helping staff and students gain and maintain a positive attitude to life through assisting in the development of people skills and life skills.
Information technology has become a significant part of the school curriculum. The school is committed to providing students with access to the latest Information & Communication Technology as part of their daily activities. We aim to encourage students to become life-long learners who are able to utilise technology as a tool to enhance their learning and their lives. We recognise that students must have the ability to access and manipulate information and to use ICT as part of the problem solving process. This ability will be a key element to their future success.
SSt Joseph’s Primary School has a school wide network of computers and other associated learning technologies. Currently the school has 60 iPads for student use from K-3. Years 4-6 use the One to One iPad program. The Year 3,4,5 & 6 class rooms each have an LCD TV, with Apple TV connection enabling the mirroring of iPad devices. Every other classroom is fitted with an IWB, including the library, meeting room and specialist room.
The school believes that regular homework is a valuable aspect of the learning process and contributes to the development of sound study habits. However, the effectiveness of homework is largely dependent on parent support.
The school homework policy requires children from Year One to Six to complete set homework from Monday to Thursday. Older students may also be required to complete unfinished work assignments at home. Children should be encouraged to maintain a high standard when completing homework and are encouraged by their teachers to be organised in their routine of taking homework home and returning it to school.
If children experience difficulty with any aspect of the homework, a note from parents in the diary/homework book explaining their difficulty is very useful to the teacher.
Applicable information regarding homework will be available from class teachers at the Parent Information Meetings early in the new school year.
A specialist teacher works with children from Kindergarten to Year Six. This will take many forms including oral speaking, drama and some performance music. Lessons take place each week.
Contemporary religious singing for Years One to Six also takes place each week. Students learn a range of songs which are performed at school masses, for class prayer activities and at other school functions.
Students are also encouraged to participate in our school choir in which they receive weekly tuition and perform regularly at a range of functions. This provides a wonderful opportunity for our talented vocalists and is also a wonderful confidence builder. Students are expected to make a commitment on a yearly basis and be available to perform outside of school hours when required. Commitment is an essential element of being in the choir.
Each class is allocated a sport day and a physical skills education day and students are required to wear their sports uniform on this day. Sporting activities include swimming, soccer training, athletics, cross-country running and a range of other team sports and individual sport skill development activities.
St Joseph’s School encourages participation as being equally important as competition and promotes sport and physical activity as an important component of one’s overall health and fitness.
St Joseph’s School also participates in faction and interschool sports. Sport factions are;
- PEEL - GREEN
- MURRAY – GOLD
- MACKILLOP - RED
Parent help is requested to assist with sport activities during athletics training. Parent help is also required to assist with school and interschool sporting carnivals.
"Active After-School Communities"
In 2014 we will once again be running the federal government funded after-school sports programme. The main aim is to get children off the couch, away from the computer screens and engage them in healthy physical activities. The program also involves providing a healthy snack for afternoon tea so that the children also learn about healthy eating strategies. This program has been very successful and has been over-subscribed each semester.
Children visit the school library each week to borrow books and learn library/research skills. Children need a School Library Bag in order to borrow books and may borrow up to two library books each week. Children are to be encouraged to look after their borrowed books and to ensure they are returned on the due date. Children are not allowed to borrow books if they have overdue library books.
Our school library has a small collection of books for parents. Please feel free to come in and browse.
Lexile Reading Scheme
Children will visit the library before 9am Monday to Thursday, on a needs basis to change their Lexile reading books. The Literacy Pro Reading Scheme is an integral part of our literacy program. It involves each child completing an “on-line” reading assessment task, which determines their reading level of ability or “lexile score”. This score is then used by the child to select reading books in the range specific to their reading and comprehension ability. After reading each book the child completes an on-line quiz and their scores are used to determine their progress.
Periodically children complete the on-line assessment again to re-assess their lexile score and adjust the level or range from which they will select their books. The children are highly motivated by completing the quizzes on-line and the scheme also provides instant feedback to the student and the teacher on their progress.
Reporting and Assessment
It is part of a teacher’s duty to assess and report on the progress of the children in their class. Official reporting to parents takes the form of:
- TERM ONE: Individual Parent Interviews - mid-term
- TERM TWO: Mid-year Report – Parent interviews as necessary
- TERM THREE: Parent Interviews as necessary
- TERM FOUR: End of Year Report - optional Parent interview
Teachers endeavour to inform parents with regard to their child’s academic progress and social behaviours as they observe it in the school learning environment. When teachers have concerns regarding a child’s academic and/or behavioural/social progress, they normally request an interview with the parent as soon as possible. If parents have any concerns they should make an appointment with their child’s teacher to discuss the problem. When parents and teachers work together and communicate effectively, the benefits are attributed to the child.
When deemed necessary, teachers, with written permission from parents and after discussing the issue with parents, may refer a child for further assessment through the Paediatric Support Services and/or the Non-Government School Psychology Service. These specialists are able to contribute specific information about a child and offer valuable advice to teachers and parents as to how they may best assist the child.
The school provides support programs to assist the individual needs of our students. The Literacy/Numeracy support teachers and education assistants work with the classroom teacher to support children in need by providing small group assistance to develop and strengthen basic skills. Students in need are identified by the classroom teacher by daily observation and through the application of standardised testing procedures. The support given to students may be short term or ongoing depending on the needs of the child.
Some examples of support:
- Reading Recovery
- EMU – Extended Mathematical Understanding
- Reading Doctor
- CAPs – Curriculum Adjustment Plan
- IEPs – Individual Education Plan
- PLPs – Personalised Learning Plan