Learning at St Christopher’s Catholic Primary School Panania is:
Attentive to the Learners’ Disposition
The learning experience is rich with opportunities for every learner to use their imagination and develop a creative mindset. Considered risk taking is informed by a rich pool of current thinking and research, but we also allow our natural curiosity to guide us. Everyone has high expectations at St Christopher’s for their own learning and we all strive to become exceptional, resilient learners. We believe that great learning will lead to a higher level of wellbeing.
Rigorous and Challenging
Appropriate and timely data analysis and feedback guide teaching decisions. Learning and thinking is thoughtfully and intentionally designed so that experiences are worthy of our learners’ time. Through a focus on real things we encourage deeper connections between the learner and what they are experiencing as well as what it takes to become a creative, reflective learner. We encourage student voice by focusing on choice, ownership and responsibility.
Forged in Relationships
Quality relationships that are characterised by respect for the dignity of all, are the foundation of our learning community. True collaboration, or creating something together, is a key feature of learning at St Christopher’s. We improve our understanding, thinking and practice in the company of our peers. Relationships are important to everything we do.
Our school’s pedagogy reflects the overarching principles and approach to learning outlined in the Sydney Catholic Schools’ Statement on Authentic Learning. By connecting to the real world of students’ lives, authentic learning enables students to become lifelong learners who contribute to society and the wider world as active and discerning citizens. Authentic learning is central to our work as Catholic educators because it promotes the continual growth and wellbeing of the whole person — spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, socially and physically.
All schools including Sydney Catholic Schools follow the same Kindergarten to Year 12 curriculum, with our Catholic values underpinning everything that we do.
With a focus on the development of the whole person, courses offered at the school cover the NESA syllabus requirements – developing the core skills of literacy and numeracy – and our Archdiocesan Religious Education curriculum.
Our teachers extend and challenge students to be the best they can be, while recognising that every student is unique and learns differently.
A unique Sydney Catholic Schools support structure is in place to optimise learning for all students. High-quality inclusive education is provided for students with diverse learning profiles relating to: giftedness, speech, language, communication, vision, hearing, literacy acquisition and post-school pathways. Central office diverse learning teams work with our classroom teachers to enhance their capacity to maximise learning outcomes for students. Specialists in these teams collaborate widely to consolidate an inclusive approach to learning. Each school also has dedicated learning support staff.
Sydney Catholic Schools provides reasonable adjustments to assist and support students with disability to successfully engage in learning. All Sydney Catholic Schools engage in the annual Nationally Consistent Collection of Data for School Students with Disability. Students with moderate intellectual disabilities and complex developmental needs may benefit from the educational program at Eileen O’Connor Catholic College Lewisham.
Our teachers know their students and work with them to help them realise their potential as learners. Our focus on authentic learning and authentic assessment ensures that we challenge our students to grow in their learning and achieve their personal best.
Throughout our community of Sydney Catholic schools, we have shown high performance of our students in measures such as NAPLAN and the HSC.
At St Christopher’s Catholic Primary School Panania assessment is seen as a critical aspect of learning and a key tool in challenging students and measuring their success, of which a variety are used – such as NAPLAN, Progressive Achievement Tests (PAT), The Religious Education Test and ICAS assessments – along with classroom-based assessments. We have been able to demonstrate strong growth, particularly in Reading and Mathematics in recent years.
Here are some of our other recent achievements.
- Our gifted and talented students are selected to compete in Tournament of Minds, Maths Olympiads, and The Literacy Quiz. These competitions ensure that we extend the learning of our brighter students.
- In 2018, St Christopher’s hosted the NSW Catholic Primary Schools basketball championship which was the biggest basketball competition between primary schools in Australia.
- We also have students at St Christopher’s represent NSW in a number of different sports including Rugby League, Touch Rugby, Basketball and Softball.
- Students have been able to compete within the creative arts, with two Year 5 students winning the Shakespeare Carnival and going on to perform at The Seymour Centre. Our students also compete in The National Wakakirri Challenge and Dancefever.
As part of Sydney Catholic Schools, we employ highly qualified and competent teachers who are accredited by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA). To continuously improve our practice, teachers also work towards the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, from proficient teacher to lead teacher level.
The delivery of quality curriculum, pedagogy (teaching methods) and assessment is ensured by our system of schools through the provision of contemporary NESA accredited professional learning in a range of modes. Our Centres of Excellence offer online learning and external face-to-face courses, and timely, collaborative and relevant in-situ learning take place within the context of each classroom. Sydney Catholic Schools’ teachers are strongly committed to their ongoing learning, with many having completed, or are currently undertaking, postgraduate studies in areas related to curriculum, student wellbeing, special education, theology, pastoral care and leadership.
Teachers at St Christopher’s Catholic Primary School Panania are as rigorously challenged and vulnerable as the students through their professional learning experiences. These are some of the processes we have in place to encourage lifelong learning.
Engaging in the School Created RISE Program
Each term, all of our teachers engage in the RISE program (Record, Immerse, Self-reflect, Evaluate), where they partner with a buddy teacher to reflect and set goals. The buddy watches a video of the teacher to identify strengths and some goals to work on.
Teachers each have an online learning journal, where they write key things they have learnt from professional learning. This is shared with other teachers, so they can all learn from each others’ experiences and training.
Teachers have the opportunity to personalise their professional learning to satisfy their students’ need, for example if there is a child with specific learning needs in their class, they can choose to attend a suitable course to develop skills in the required area.