The development of the Australian curriculum from Kindergarten to Year 12 is the responsibility of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).
It acknowledges that the needs and interests of students will vary, and that schools and teachers will plan from the curriculum in ways that respond to those needs and interests.
St Columba’s School Curriculum
At St Columba’s, learning is facilitated through a developmental approach that emphasises cooperative learning, inquiry and the use of technology. We provide a relevant, comprehensive and varied curriculum to suit a wide range of student needs, interests and abilities.
The Australian Curriculum and First Steps philosophy underpins the English programme. English is seen as holistic; each mode of English - reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing - supports and enhances overall language development in all subject areas. English learning takes place through interaction in meaningful events.
In Mathematics, students learn to use ideas about number, space, measurement, chance and problem solving. Mathematics assists learning across the curriculum. Students manipulate concrete materials in order to develop understandings. Stepping Stones Maths is used to provide continuity across classes.
In the Science programme students learn to investigate, understand and describe the physical, biological and technological world. A science programme called 'Primary Connections’ has been introduced into the school. This programme provides for a hands-on and Literacy approach to science learning.
The Society and Environmental learning areas of History and Geography enables students to understand how individuals and groups live together and interact with and within their environment. Students develop a respect for cultural heritage, and a commitment to social justice, the democratic process and ecological sustainability.
The Health and Physical Education learning area focuses on the physical, mental, emotional and social development of the student. A range of sporting opportunities and programmes is offered. Students are involved in an athletics carnival and a swimming carnival for Years 4 – 7.
The Arts curriculum may include dance, drama, media, music, visual arts and combinations of these forms, integrated across other curriculum areas. The arts are a vital part of our communication and so we provide the students with many opportunities to express themselves and to have their work appreciated both within and outside our school community.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
In keeping with the ongoing developments in Technology and Enterprise, the School Board and P&F over the past 6 years have made a significant financial investment in the provision of ‘state of the art’ equipment. The provision of both PC’s and smart boards in the classroom, a computer lab for individual student use, has enabled the staff to deliver a highly effective Information Technology program within the school. Utilising the resources available to us we have been able to provide our students with both wireless and LAN connectivity to the World Wide Web.
St Columba’s has internet access in each classroom and in the computer lab. Students have supervised access to the internet to assist with research and communication skills. Our well-resourced school Library operates in order to provide for the needs of students and be a central resource for learning and this includes a 1-1 computer Lab.
In 2015 we introduced ‘Microsoft 365’ which will enable our student’s access to class activities online from home. There is a 1-1 iPad programme for Years 4-6 from 2015.
To ensure that our students understand their responsibility to use the technology available to them appropriately, we have introduced written agreements between the parents, students and the school. These agreements are circulated to parents at the commencement of each year. From 2015 each student in Year 4-6 will be issued with their own logon username and password to enable them to access the web. They will also be given a school email address. All email is filtered and any students found to be abusing their internet privileges are removed from the system for a period of time.