The following information is provided to assist in understanding the nature of the nine Learning Areas around which we organise our teaching and learning, and therefore assessment and reporting in Prep -Year 7. More detail has been provided in the areas of English and Mathematics, as these are generally the two main fields where parents seek to further develop their own understanding in order to support their children.
Religious Education consists of two distinct but complementary dimensions, namely an education dimension and a faith formation dimension. The first dimension, most commonly referred to as the classroom teaching and learning of Religion, is focused on Religious Education as an educational activity. The second dimension, faith formation, is reflected in the religious life of the school, family and parish.
Religious Education aims to “develop students’ religious literacy in the light of the Catholic tradition, so that [learners] may participate critically and effectively in the life of their faith communities and wider society.” (A Syllabus for Religious Education for Catholic Schools, p18.) This aim promotes the development of knowledge, skills and values which students need to participate as active lifelong learners within the Church and community. Students are actively involved in constructing understandings of the Catholic tradition as well as acknowledging other religious traditions, the nature of Religion and its place in life and Australian society. This Learning Area is organised into four strands: Scripture; Belief; Celebration and Prayer; Morality. Through these strands, students engage with outcomes that describe understandings of the knowledge, skills, technologies and processes specific to Religious Education. (Brisbane Catholic Education, 203, p1)
In English, students learn to speak, listen to, read, view, write and shape texts to make meaning with purpose, effect and confidence in a wide range of contexts. They learn how language use varies according to context, purpose, audience and content, and they develop their abilities to use this knowledge. Students develop their ability to use language to talk about language and to reflect on and critique its use.
The study of English occurs in a rapidly changing world – culturally, socially, economically and technologically. This places increasingly complex demands on citizens to be multiliterate.
Essentially the English Learning Area offers students opportunities to:~ Make meaning in cultural contexts and social situations; Use language systems to construct spoken, written, visual and multimodal texts; and Evaluate and reconstruct meaning in texts by using knowledge of language choices.
In providing these opportunities, English teaching and learning is divided into three sub strands.
- Speaking and Listening focuses on students interpreting and constructing spoken and multimodal texts for a range of purposes. Students develop their ability to speak and listen confidently appropriately, effectively and critically in prepared and spontaneous situations.
- Reading and Viewing focuses on students interpreting written, visual and multimodal texts that have been constructed for a range of purposes. Students develop their ability to enjoy, appreciate, reflect on, use and critically evaluate the texts they read and view.
- Writing and Shaping focuses on students constructing written, visual and multimodal texts to represent people, places, things, events and concepts for a variety of purposes. Students develop their ability to write and shape texts appropriately, effectively, purposefully and critically using Standard Australian English, and to experiment with other variants of English where appropriate.
(Queensland Studies Authority, 2005, pp1-8)
The Mathematics Learning Area offers students opportunities to think, reason and work mathematically by engaging in a range of Maths investigations. Through these, students make sense of life experiences and seek solutions to problems. As students develop their mathematical knowledge, they come to know about Mathematics, know how to do Mathematics and know when and where to use Mathematics.
The Mathematics Learning Area is divided into five strands with each of these areas being the focus of Mathematics reporting at St Peter Chanel.
Number focuses on three areas:
- number concepts
- addition and subtraction
- multiplication and division
Patterns and Algebra focuses on two areas:
- patterns and functions
- equivalence and equations
Measurement focuses on two areas:
- length, mass, area and volume
Chance and Data focuses on two areas:
- chance (likelihood)
Space focuses on two areas:
- shape and line
- location, direction and movement
(Queensland Studies Authority, 2004, pp1-14)
As a Learning Area, Science offers students opportunities to construct new understandings, to work scientifically, and compare current ideas with the scientific community. There are five focus strands in Science, namely:
- Earth & Beyond
- Science & Society
- Energy & Change
- Life & Living
- Natural and Processed Materials
(Queensland Studies Authority, 1999, pp1-2,8)
Studies of Society & Environment (SOSE)
The SOSE Learning Area centres on the way people interact with each other and with environments. It offers students opportunities to develop the knowledge, processes and attitudes to:
- Understand past ideas, events and actions (Time, Continuity and Change strand)
- Understand social, natural and built environments (Place and Space strand)
- Understand the ways people form groups and develop culture (Culture and Identity strand)
- Understand human experiences in various systems (Systems, Resources and Power strand)
The key values of SOSE are democratic process, social justice, ecological and economic sustainability, and peace.
(Queensland Studies Authority, 2000, pp1-3, 10-11)
The Technology Learning Area offers students opportunities to:
- Design and develop products in response to needs, wants or opportunities;
- Apply technology practice and use information, materials and systems; and
- Consider appropriateness, contexts and management as they initiate, design, use, modify, and reflect on products of technology.
To achieve this, Technology is organised into four strands, namely
- Technology Practice
It is important to note, the Technology Learning Area is not focused on Information and Communication Technology (ICT – such as computers, digital camera etc), though this may assist this Learning Area.
(Queensland Studies Authority, 2003, pp1-3, 13-16)
Health & Physical Education (HPE)
As a Learning Area, HPE offers students opportunities to develop knowledge, skills, processes and attitudes needed to make informed decisions about:
- Promoting the health of themselves and others;
- Developing concepts and skills for physical activity;
- Enhancing personal development.
At St Peter Chanel School we are fortunate to have a specialist Physical EducationTeacher who provides specific information for reporting in this area.
(Queensland Studies Authority, 1999, pp1,8)
The Arts offers students opportunities to develop knowledge, skills, techniques, processes and dispositions through aesthetic and sensory learning, cognitive learning, physical learning and social learning. As a Learning Area The Arts is organized around five strands, namely…
- Dance (where learners choreograph, perform and appreciate);
- Drama (where learners form, present and respond);
- Music (where learners aurally and visually identify and respond to music, sing and play, and read and write music);
- Media (where learners construct media, produce meaning, and respond to meanings); and
- Visual Arts (where learners make, display and appreciate images and objects).
(Queensland Studies Authority, 2002 pp1-2, 14-18)
At St Peter Chanel School we are fortunate to have a specialist Music Teacher for all year levels to provide specific information for reporting for the learners they teach. It is important to note that, from a music perspective, the teacher reports on learning within her focus class context and not any other program.
Cultural Literacy & Languages
This Learning Area offers students opportunities to develop informed understandings of their own and other cultures. The cultural literacy component of this Learning Area is integrated across other Learning Areas throughout different times of the year. In Catholic schools in our Archdiocese, a Language Other Than English (LOTE) is the second component of this Learning Area. Japanese is offered as the LOTE at St Peter Chanel School in Prep to Yr 7. The focus is on writing and speaking, and reading and listening. Our specialist Japanese Teacher provides specific information for reporting in this area.
(Queensland Studies Authority, 2000)
Our school has the services of a Support Teacher: Inclusive Education whose role includes managing the cases of special needs children in our classes and supporting classroom teachers in providing for the needs of all students. The Learning Support Teacher works with students referred by the class teacher.
St Peter Chanel also has the services of a specialist Literacy and Numeracy Support Teacher who works with children who require assistance in these areas.