Teaching & Learning
St Louis de Montfort's Primary School Aspendale
‘Deep learning is quality learning that 'sticks' with you for the rest of your life.’
- Michael Fullan
At St Louis de Montfort’s we see learning as a journey of endless possibilities, where students are animated to seek meaning and explore questions about the world around them. At the very heart of our school is a desire for the full flourishing of each student, across religious, physical, cognitive, emotional and social domains. We help our students to 'put life together' meaningfully in the context of an ongoing engagement with Catholic faith so that they can make a difference in our world.
St Louis de Montfort's
Education in Faith
Religious Education is fundamental to the overall development of the child. At St Louis de Montfort’s, we recognise that parents are the prime educators of their children in faith and aim to build on each child’s experience of living the faith in a Christian family, lead them into a deeper understanding of their life in the Church and give opportunities to grow closer to the wider community of the St Mary of the Cross Parish family. We endeavour to equip the child with the knowledge, skills and understandings necessary to live a full Christian life.
The Religious Education curriculum aims to complement the family in developing the total child in the life of faith. We integrate the Religious Education curriculum into our Inquiry units where we focus on the three strands of learning in religious education and an understanding of dialogue that engages each learner as a seeker of truth, a maker of meaning and one who lives out their story in, and with, community.
Religious Education is not limited to the formalised teaching of religious education in the classroom. It refers to the total life and work of the school. Therefore all elements of the school’s religious education program aim to assist students towards:
making sense of everyday life experiences in the broader contexts of mystery, complexity, confusion and awe
gaining access to and understanding the scriptures, and the traditions of the Catholic community; its stories, its experiences and its teachings
celebrating with others the mystery and life of the Risen Christ through daily prayer, Christian meditation, weekday Masses, school Masses and prayer services.
responding to the activity of God in their lives and in the whole of creation.
developing an understanding of the principles of Catholic Social Teaching and being active in reaching out in awareness, fundraising and advocacy.
Sacraments are an integral part of the story of who we are as Catholics. The sacraments enable us to be aware of and encounter the presence and action of God in key moments in our life journey and to take part more fully in the life of the Church. The children will celebrate the sacraments of ReconcilIation, Eucharist and Confirmation as part of their sacramental journey within the St Mary of the Cross Parish.
‘That's the good thing with stories, there's always a chance that they can come true.'
- Morris Gleitzman
The English curriculum area is central to the learning and development of all students. It helps to create confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens and it is through this area that students learn to analyse, understand, communicate and build relationships with others and with the world around them.
At St Louis we provide opportunities for our students to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values essential to them becoming active and literate citizens in a rapidly changing world. We bring richness and depth to our learning environment through purposeful reading, writing and speaking and listening.
‘Wherever you can, integrate maths into other areas of the curriculum - make the connections.'
- Rob Vingerhoets
The Mathematics curriculum area provides students with access to important mathematical ideas, knowledge and skills that they will draw on in their personal and future work lives.
At St Louis, we create rich mathematical learning environments that encourage a positive mindset in our students and opens up the potential for growth. Using a range of teaching strategies that connect the content, skills and concepts we work to enhance understanding and engagement and build students’ confidence as mathematics learners and thinkers.
Social Emotional Learning
Social Emotional Learning develops self awareness, the ability to manage emotions, set goals and strong interpersonal skills. These skills are an important component of a person’s ability to build compassionate and caring relationships with others both at school and home.
Programs used to support social emotional learning at St Louis:
Rights, Resilience and Respectful Relationships
You Can Do It
Making Jesus Real
Student Leadership Program
All of our staff are committed to the wellbeing of all students in their care and we have a dedicated Student Support team.
‘'Nothing worth learning can be taught.'
- Oscar Wilde
Inquiry learning at St Louis empowers teachers and students to create learning experiences that build on students’ innate curiosity and desire to look at real-life, complex issues and as well make a positive impact in the world.
Through the implementation of our school's inquiry based learning units, our priorities are student engagement, higher order thinking and challenging learning. These units ensure opportunity for the development of skills and understandings in the following areas of the Victorian Curriculum:
Learning Areas: Health, The Humanities - Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Business, Geography and History, and Science.
Capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical, Intercultural and Personal and Social Capability.
Technologies at St Louis
‘The best way to predict your future is to create it.’
- Abraham Lincoln
At St Louis design and digital technologies play an important part in our teaching and learning of inquiry. We explore the contemporary concepts and skills associated with both these areas, integrating them into student learning in order to make strong connections with other curriculum areas such as History, Science and The Arts.
‘Because people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.’
- Steve Jobs
Digital Technologies at St Louis focuses on 21st Century skills including coding, investigating digital systems, understanding how networks work, and eSafety. It is strongly aligned with our core value of Innovation (or ‘to search for a new approach). Our children are given the opportunity to interact with a number of different coding languages, from simple block coding through to more advanced scripts such as Java and Python. Students are encouraged to think critically about how technologies can be used effectively to be able to redesign and reimagine the world they live in.
Minecraft Education and Techsperts
From year 4-6 our students have access to Minecraft Education. This tool is used as part of our classroom practice to engage students and get them to think creatively about possible solutions to problems they are posed by their teachers. In 2021 we will extend this further by introducing it to our year 3s as well as hosting a weekly Minecraft Education Club which will be led by some of our senior school Techsperts.
We also encourage further engagement in this area by holding a weekly Techsperts club. This club’s core purpose is to build confidence in our students and allow them to pursue areas of interest when using digital technology. It also creates component technology users who are happy to support teachers and children around the school to understand how things work and if there are any issues, fix them.
‘Creativity is intelligence having fun.’
- Albert Einstein
Design Technologies lets our children explore problems through a process of inquiry, encouraging them to pursue design thinking. This involves identifying a real world problem. Building empathy so that they feel a strong connection and sense of why it is important to look for a solution. Moving to a cycle of design that includes prototyping, redesign, delivery and evaluation. Often, students will be exposed to a soft brief helping them to focus on the intention of their design thinking.
This learning area also aligns with another of our core values, Collaboration (or ‘working together to achieve a shared goal’). Through Design Technologies, students are often found to be working in groups and sharing their ideas developing ideas that lead into their design thinking cycle.
Access to Technology
‘We’re changing the world with technology.’
- Bill Gates
At St Louis, students in years 3-6 work within our 1:1 Loan to Buy Scheme. This allows them access to a Chromebook which is used to support and enhance their learning in the classroom. Within our junior school, students have access to iPads on a daily basis, using them to capture their learning as well as develop their own digital competencies. Other school owned devices are available to our children and are focused on providing them access to other softwares as well as aspects of VR and AR (virtual and augmented reality).
STEM & Makerspace
STEM and Makerspace
‘Invent to learn - we bring experience with us but thinking differently moves us forward’.
- Gary Stager
As part of our new learning area at St Louis, we have a designated MakerSpace. This area focuses on the learning areas linked to STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths). Students are exposed to a range of tools within this space including Makedo cardboard construction, 3D Printing, and robotics. We provide our children with further opportunities to develop their learning in these key learning areas, encouraging them to . It allows them to develop a passion for problem solving and to explore creative ways of reimagining the world.
Being a Catholic school we look at education for sustainability in a Catholic context “as agents of the mission of the church, Catholic education encourages and empowers school students and their communities to take action for the common good”.
Students, staff, parents and the broader community work in partnership to deliver sustainability learning for all age levels with a focus on our Kitchen to Garden program (K2G), ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic framework, ‘i sea, i care’ Marine Ambassador program and our civics and citizen environmental initiatives within our community.
By incorporating sustainability education and actions within all year levels and within all disciplines St Louis de Montfort has embedded sustainability into each student’s learning and leadership journey. Students are hands-on with implementing and achieving environmental improvements within our school reducing waste usage; organic recycling with our animals, compost and worm farms; animal husbandry, measuring and monitoring our water, energy and waste, improving biodiversity, propagating and growing fruit and vegetables.
Physical Education & Health
At St Louis, we strive for our students to develop confidence and competence in the acquisition of motor skills to enhance participation in a wide range of physical activities. We provide all students the opportunity to a healthy lifestyle through skill development and access to a variety of team games and individual physical activities. By providing opportunities for students to experience activities they may not have access to, it is our aim that they develop life-long participation in activities that help foster a sense of connectedness and sense of community. Participation in physical activity enhances positive mental health and emotional development. Activities that may be either competitive and non-competitive in nature, can assist students in gaining confidence, develop resilience and persistence.
How do we do it
In Physical Education classes we provide opportunities to have fun and learn physical activities which can be transferred to life experiences. We understand that physical activity can provide opportunities of relaxation, enjoyment, recreation, fitness, social interaction and competition. In Grades Foundation to Year 3 our focus is on the development of the Fundamental Motor skills (FMS) . From Year 3 to 6 we continue on developing the (FMS) and include game sense awareness and provide opportunities for team games and individual activities in non-competitive and competitive events.
Opportunities for students
We offer a range of opportunities for our students to compete in School Sport Victoria sports pathways such as Swimming, Cross Country running and Athletics carnivals. Students are encouraged to participate in these activities and compete against other schools in our local area and beyond to State level representation. The opportunities to compete in Swimming carnivals, Cross country racing and Athletic carnivals exist for students in Years 3-6.
Students may trial for the Swimming Carnival and participate in morning sessions in the summer swim season. Our annual St Louis Cross country run creates an opportunity for our students to run in the beautiful local surrounds outside of our school. We run a St Louis Athletic sports day annually which encourages school spirit amongst our students and enables all students to participate in a mix of traditional athletic events and team participation games. In all these events we encourage students with special needs to participate.
Interschool Sport is a highlight for many students. Students in the senior school compete in Interschool Sport weekly during summer seasons including sports such as T20 Blast cricket, Basketball, Volleyball, Kickball, Tennis and Lawn Bowls. In winter AFL Football, Soccer, Netball, Tee Ball are offered. St Louis has been quite successful in recent years being State Champions in AFL and T20 Blast Cricket.
Individual students are also able to participate in trials in major team sports to represent Victoria at National Championships when they follow the TEAM Vic pathway provided by School Sport Victoria.
From time to time we also provide opportunities for sporting organisations to run programs and sporting clinics to provide specialist activities.
“It has been shown that active engagement in the arts improves academic and often social outcomes for students”
Independent Education Issue 3 Vol 50 2020
The Visual Art program at SLDM values and encourages the expression and communication of ideas,feelings and beliefs through a varied curriculum encompassing drawing, painting, printing, collage, threads and textiles, construction and modelling.
Our program explores art from various cultures, art from the past and the present, famous artists and Australian artists.
Students work on art pieces both individually and collaboratively, and develop an understanding of the skills and intentions of artists, and form and express personal opinions relating to all aspects of art.
The Performing Arts program provides 40 minute classes to all students P-6 on a weekly or bi-weekly basis in a purpose-built Centre.
The aim of the program is to provide a sound basis in music in line with the Victorian Curriculum that incorporates musical skills, basic instrument tuition in guitars, African drums and xylophones, musical cultural awareness, drama and performance opportunities and utilisation of technology-based musical creation.
The program is built on Kodaly principles in the early years (P-3), which give the students a firm grasp of beat, rhythm, pitch and notation, and then uses the derived skills in the senior years for more specialised music study. Students are assessed regularly through a variety of methods, including observation, completed work, and performance.
In addition there is an instrumental program that runs independently of the class program that provides more specialised tuition.
The Performing Arts Program follows the Scope and Sequence below:
Develop a strong sense of beat and an emerging understanding of simple rhythms
Be able to recognise the direction of pitch, match when singing and follow simple melodies
Develop the skill of moving in time to music and respond to different styles
Learning and singing a range of simple and traditional songs and rhymes
Be exposed to playing a variety of classroom instruments
Exploring dynamics, tempo and timbre with a range of instruments
Be able to distinguish between beat and rhythm
Recognise at least 3 notes on the 5 line stave
Play melodic percussion with correct mallet technique displaying skills of dynamics, tempo and timbre
Apply beat and increasing complex rhythms when using percussion instruments
Singing more complex songs and rhymes, both 3 note and traditional
Develop an awareness of a range of musical styles
Recognise and use the notes on the treble clef stave
Develop skills to combine instruments together in groups
Understand chords and play using either guitars of xylophones
Establishing basic hand drumming skills
Expand understanding of different musical cultures and styles
Develop an emerging understanding in the use of music technology
Develop and enhance singing skills
Create short pieces of music in a range of styles and display an understanding of time, place and culture
Be familiar with a range of music technology via iPads and be able to use this for a variety of tasks
Playing both tuned and untuned classroom instrument to accompany, arrange, compose and perform a series of musical pieces using either symbolic or standard notation
Develop increasingly complex drumming skills
Be able to read and play guitar Tablature
LOTE - Chinese/Mandarin
Mandarin Chinese is the current language for study in the L.O.T.E. program. In this program students will learn to approach another way of life with enthusiasm, curiosity and respect. They will carry away a positive attitude about exploring other cultures that will help them throughout their lives.
The LOTE Chinese curriculum has been designed with equal weighting of language teaching and cultural activities. Students learn Chinese language through methods and tools like stories, singing songs, playing games, and doing activities. Culture activities will be incorporated into the curriculum all year-round to make learning about China exciting and interesting. Students can experience the rich diversity of Chinese traditions and customs in the modern context as they participate in hands-on activities such as making culturally unique crafts, using chopsticks, origami and paper cutting.