Learning

Each year, student achievement is a testament to the excellent work done by all staff members at our school.

We, at Our Lady of the Angels Primary School, aim to provide a comprehensive and balanced curriculum that engages students in quality learning experiences across the six mandated key learning areas and Religious Education. We endeavour to ensure that each of our students develops a love of learning, a thirst for knowledge, a healthy self-esteem, a respect for others and a desire to know and follow God. We work to establish a welcoming community where parents work in partnership with the teachers to support all aspects of their child’s development: academic, social, emotional, physical and spiritual.

Curriculum

At Our Lady of the Angels Primary we respect proven learning practices from the past, while also supporting 21st century learning and teaching. Our aim is to provide educational programs that are relevant and meet the needs of the individual student.They are designed to develop students who are independent, lifelong learners.

A block of time each day is dedicated to the teaching and learning of literacy. Our teachers put into practice, a wide variety of strategies that assist in the development of reading, writing, and talking and listening skills.

Numeracy is a key focus, and our school has a dedicated numeracy block, where children from Years K - 6 are involved in Mathematics learning made up of:

  • teacher modeling
  • open-ended tasks
  • student directed learning and sharing

Our school is part of the Extending Mathematical Understanding (EMU) Project. It offers an invaluable and exciting opportunity for all staff members to develop their understanding of their students' learning in mathematics. With the parents in partnership, we look forward to this learning journey together over the next few years. 

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Mrs Pacella demonstrates how to use the beadstring in the Parent Workshop

Project-based work forms the basis of addressing outcomes across other Key Learning Areas, as well as the integration of language and numeracy. These projects are designed so that learning is developmentally appropriate, experience-based and student-directed.

Our Lady of the Angels seeks to hire only highly qualified and professional teacher. All teachers participate in professional development, remaining up-to-date with the most effective learning and teaching practices.

The school is supported by specialist teachers provided by the Catholic Education Office of the Parramatta Diocese, on a needs basis.

As a Catholic school, it is an expectation that all students at Our Lady of the Angels engage in a Religious Education program. We strive to lead children to know and love God by the teaching and example set at school. The Religious Education curriculum is based on the Parramatta diocesan document 'Sharing Our Story'.

Students have the opportunity to have several prayer experiences each day. Mass is celebrated as a community on a number of occasions each year, and all major liturgical events are celebrated as a community. Our parish church is located at the same site as the school, and parish priest, Fr Warren Edwards, is a regular visitor to the classrooms and staffroom. The Religious Education Coordinator, together with Fr Warren, works closely with the parish on a regular basis, in particular when planning sacramental programs.

Teachers are constantly endeavouring to develop personal faith, moral values, fidelity to prayer and religious practices in each of the students. The school, however, can only influence students effectively if it is supporting a life of faith which is generated and nurtured in the home and in the local church.

The school, through the delivery of the curriculum, supports the Sacramental Programs conducted by the Church. However, parent participation is essential in assisting the faith development of your children.

The Key Learning Areas are:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science & Technology
  • Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE)
  • Creative Arts
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE)

The teaching and learning outcomes are based on the NSW Education Standards Authority syllabus documents. The curriculum is delivered in Stages:

  • Early Stage 1 - Kindergarten
  • Stage 1 - Years 1 and 2
  • Stage 2 - Years 3 and 4
  • Stage 3 - Years 5 and 6

For this reason, it is often practical for students to be engaged in learning tasks with students in another class but from within the same stage. This allows for the student’s development to occur at the appropriate pace.

All students are expected to participate in the school’s Physical Education Program and Sports Carnival. It includes sporting activities on the day designated for each class, as well as the daily fitness program each week.

Parents are informed at the beginning of the year what days the students will be required to wear their sports uniform to school.

Our Lady of the Angels Primary offers its students a wide range of exciting learning experiences, including such activities as:

  • student-directed learning
  • Italian Language and Culture
  • yoga
  • gymnastics
  • dance
  • a wide range of sporting activities
  • ‘fun days’ as part of the school’s outreach program
  • whole-school excursions
  • opportunities for student leadership (as the school grows)

Self and peer assessment is encouraged as part of developing a culture of reflective practice. Teachers aim to provide quality feedback that provides scaffolding and extends students’ learning.

Assessment, formal and informal, is constant and provides teachers with information regarding students’ needs, and informs programming which is flexible, but clearly directed. Reporting to parents is done through two formal processes. Teacher-parent-student conferences are held at the ends of Terms 1 and 3. These are based on an informal report outlining the student’s strengths and suggested areas for development, as evidenced in student work samples, and concludes with each student’s goal-setting. There will be a formal A-E report, as legislated by the federal government, provided at the end of Terms 2 and 4, with the option for an interview upon request.

Our Lady of the Angels establishes close relationships with a number of Catholic secondary schools in the area, and we endeavour to provide a smooth transition for our students from primary to secondary school.

Special Programs

All schools in the Parramatta diocese have Learning Support teachers. The allocation of these teachers is based on the size of the school and the needs within each particular school. The Learning Support teacher works with the whole school community, including parents, to provide consultation, assessment, planning and referral services for students with a variety of learning and special needs.

Learning Support teachers work in a number of different ways such as:

  • individualised/small group instruction to students
  • consulting with and supporting class teachers with curriculum differentiation
  • coordinating the Individual Planning process and
  • liaising with the Catholic Education Office in areas such as assessment and funding
  • applications

A key part of the education program is to establish an Individual Plan for students. Individual Plans (IPs) are the written outcome of a planning process required for all students with diagnosed disabilities. The plans involve parents/caregivers, teachers, special education teachers and other support personnel, in setting goals for the students for the school year. These goals focus on areas that need development. Individual Plans may focus on curriculum, personal care, safety and health, transition and/or behaviour.

The National Asian Languages Studies Program provides an opportunity for students in primary schools to engage in the language and culture of an Asian country. At Our Lady of the Angels, the students have Japanese once a week for approximately forty five minutes. This will be part of the HSIE curriculum component.

Throughout this year, students will have access to special programs that support the curriculum. These are:

Term 1 Dance
Term 2 Athletics
Term 3 Skipping
Term 4 Gymnastics and Swimming Program

The small cost is incurred for these special programs and is are included with each term’s fees. The Swimming Program, however, is a separate cost and determined year by year.