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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.

 ASPENDALE 

 St Louis de Montfort's

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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.

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English

‘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. 

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Mathematics

‘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.

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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

  • Bounce Back

  • Making Jesus Real

  • Buddy Session

  • Circle Time

  • Lunchtime Clubs

  • 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.

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Inquiry

‘'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.

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Technologies

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.

 

Digital Technologies

‘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

 

In years 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. 

 

Design Technologies

‘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). 
 

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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 domains, encouraging them to develop an understanding of how STEM helps our world progress and evolve. We want our students to approach learning with curiosity whilst also devloping a passion for problem-solving. From then it's up to them to be creative in how they reimagine the world.

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Sustainability

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.

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Physical Education & Health

Our Aims 

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.

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Visual Arts

“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.

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Performing Arts

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:

Foundation

  1. Develop a strong sense of beat and an emerging understanding of simple rhythms 

  2. Be able to recognise the direction of pitch, match when singing and follow simple  melodies 

  3. Develop the skill of moving in time to music and respond to different styles

  4. Learning and singing a range of simple and traditional songs and rhymes

  5. Be exposed to playing a variety of classroom instruments 

  6. Exploring dynamics, tempo and timbre with a range of instruments

Grade 1/2

  1. Be able to distinguish between beat and rhythm 

  2. Recognise at least 3 notes on the 5 line stave 

  3. Play melodic percussion with correct mallet technique displaying skills of dynamics,  tempo and timbre

  4. Apply beat and increasing complex rhythms when using percussion instruments

  5. Singing more complex songs and rhymes, both 3 note and traditional 

  6. Develop an awareness of a range of musical styles

 

Grade 3/4

  1. Recognise and use the notes on the treble clef stave 

  2. Develop skills to combine instruments together in groups 

  3. Understand chords and play using either guitars of xylophones

  4. Establishing basic hand drumming skills

  5. Expand understanding of different musical cultures and styles 

  6. Develop an emerging understanding in the use of music technology 

  7. Develop and enhance singing skills

Grade 5/6

  1. Create short pieces of music in a range of styles and display an understanding of time,  place and culture 

  2. Be familiar with a range of music technology via iPads and be able to use this for a  variety of tasks 

  3. Playing both tuned and untuned classroom instrument to accompany, arrange,  compose and perform a series of musical pieces using either symbolic or standard  notation 

  4. Develop increasingly complex drumming skills 

  5. Be able to read and play guitar Tablature

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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.

What We're Learning In Term 3 2021

Please check out some of the learning events that will be happening in our different year levels at St Louis this term.

Year Level

What year level.

Inquiry

What's happening in inquiry?

Maths

What's happening in maths

English

What's happening in english?

RE

What's happening in RE

Prep

In our inquiry unit ‘My story - Then and Now’ students explore how and why things have changed over time. They learn about differences and similarities between their lives and the past, including family traditions, leisure time and communications. Students develop knowledge, skills and understandings to approach ethical problems and evaluate outcomes and learn that personal feelings can impact decision-making and actions.

Students develop skills in skip counting and familiarity with different number patterns. They further develop strategies used for addition and subtraction, such as counting on and counting back. They make connections between addition and subtraction to solve problems. Students represent data gathered into simple graphs. They answer simple questions and make statements related to the graph. They identify and describe 3D shapes.

Students develop vocabulary and express ideas and opinions. They listen and engage with peers

and adults. They develop strategies for reading a text including using prior knowledge and applying

understanding of letters and sounds. Students develop skills to understand what is read and make connections. They create procedural and imaginative texts including narratives. They explore the use of capital and lowercase letters and develop skills in letter formation and presentation of

writing.

In Church and Community, students explore ways a church and school community are part of the family of God. They compare experiences of family and friendship in relation to God’s family and reflect on how they live as part of the family of God. During Advent, students reflect on God’s family by looking at different scripture stories.

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Year !

In our unit of Inquiry, ‘Now and Then’, students focus on their personal and family history. They investigate how everyday life has changed and what elements have remained the same. They discuss with parents and grandparents about life in the past and explore stories from and about the past. They identify changes that occur over time with technology, people and family traditions, and how these changes shape their lives today.

Students identify one half as two equal parts of a whole and share a collection of objects into two equal portions. They tell time to the half-hour and explain time durations including hours, days, weeks and months. They partition numbers using place value and carry out simple addition and subtraction equations, using a range of mental strategies. Students recognise Australian coins according to their value.

Students learn how a reader can identify the author’s purpose and explore how such a purpose alters  features of a text. They create a range of non-fiction texts and discuss possible changes to improve meaning, spelling and punctuation. They experiment with writing in past and present tense and using punctuation correctly including capital letters and question marks. Students make presentations on familiar topics including discussions and interviews.

In Church and Community, students identify ways people can belong to God’s family and reflect the importance of belonging and celebration. They make connections between their own experiences and those read in parables. During the Advent and Christmas unit, they listen to and respond to stories from the Old Testament from people who waited for the birth of their Messiah.

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Year 2

In our unit of ‘Step in Time’ students study personal and local history. They learn about their own history and that of their local neighbourhood. They develop their knowledge and understanding of how the past is different from the present.  Students explore, recognise and appreciate the history of their local area by examining remains of the past and considering why they should be preserved.

Students count to and from at least 1000, and order numbers in this range. They find the value of collections of Australian notes and coins and divide collections into halves, quarters and eighths. They recognise number sequences involving 2s, 3s, 5s and 10s. Students compare and order shapes and objects based on area, volume and capacity. They compare the mass of objects using balance scales and tell time to the quarter hour, using the language of ‘past’ and ‘to’.

Students develop their literal and inferential comprehension skills through reading a variety of fairy tale, fiction and non-fiction texts. They identify the structure of different text types. They examine them to identify their distinguishing features and compare them against one another. Many texts will be used in the researching component of our inquiry unit ‘Step in TIme’ to identify key changes in history over time. Students revise the concept of simple and compound sentences and how to incorporate conjunctions to add further detail to their writing. They learn to implement the characteristics of a story by completing story boards for both fairy tales and narratives. The students publish their own stories, developing and presenting their own ideas. The students present these texts formally to the class.

In Church and Community, students explain the significance of a key figure in the local parish and the wider Church community. They interpret the contribution saints have had shaping the church and reflect on what it means to be a member of a parish and school community. During Advent, they prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ, by exploring stories from the New Testament about the birth of Jesus.

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Year 3

Through our History unit, ‘Dreaming now and then,’ students explore the history and diversity of their community and the events, symbols and emblems important to Australians and others.  They examine the impact of European settlement on Indigenous Australians. Students establish and investigate key changes to Australia over time.

Students model fractions including ½, ¼, ⅓ and ⅕ of a whole and locate them on a numberline. They used metric units to order and compare the mass of objects and measure the area of rectangles in centimetres. They explore slides and turns in the environment and  identify, measure and compare angles of objects, such as an open door.

Students use their prior knowledge and what they read and observed to identify the main idea with supporting detail from the texts they were reading. They plan, write and edit a range of imaginative texts, including Historical Narratives, focusing on paragraph structure and content. Students participate in collaborative discussions, building on and connecting ideas and opinions expressed by others.

In Church and Community students interpret the Catholic understanding of establishing right relationships with God and others through making good choices. They discuss free will as it is explained in the Catholic tradition and prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Students reflect on God’s loving forgiveness through the teachings of the Parables and Scriptures.

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Year 4

In our History unit: ‘What’s our story?’ students explore the diversity and longevity of Australia’s first peoples and the ways Aboriginal people are connected to Country and Place.

They investigate  stories of the First Fleet, including causes and reasons for the journey, who travelled to Australia, and their experiences and perspectives following arrival. 

They examine the nature of contact between Aboriginal people and the Europeans, and the effects of these interactions on both sides.

Students use simple scales, legends and directions to interpret information contained in maps and to create simple maps. Students select and trial methods for data collection and representation. They construct data displays from given or collected data, with and without the use of digital technology. Students solve word problems by using number sentences involving multiplication or division. They use scaled instruments to measure and compare perimeter, area and volume.

Students interact with peers and teachers in a range of online and face to face learning environments.

Students engage in the writing process by producing short texts using a stimulus image and a brainstorm of ideas.

They read a variety of texts, including traditional oral texts such as Aboriginal stories, picture books, digital texts and simple chapter books. Students work to develop their writing, they experiment with text structures and language features, such as similes and idioms.

In Church and Community, students

examine the life of Mary as a significant figure in our Church. They explore her legacy in the Church today as a model and inspiration for  living according to Jesus’ teachings on love and compassion. Students reflect on their sense of belonging to a faith community in the context of today and discuss ways that they can contribute in service to others.

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Year 5

In our unit of Inquiry ‘Record, Recall and Reflect’ students identify the direct and significant impact of colonisation on Aboriginal communities. Ways colonial presence influenced patterns of development, changed the landscape and aspects of daily life of our first nations people, is  explored. Students study the social, economic and political reasons for the establishment of British colonies in 1800, and research the role a significant individual played in shaping and changing a colony.

Students compare 12 and 24 hour times and convert between these. They explore angles using a protractor. Students examine chance experiments involving equally likely outcomes and represent probabilities of those outcomes using fractions. 

Students use equivalent number sentences involving multiplication and division to find unknown quantities. They  recognise, represent and order numbers to at least hundreds of thousands and explore decimals beyond hundredths.

Using the text Young Dark Emu, students explore historical narratives via the diary entries made by early settlers. Students analyse the purpose of recording moments in time, how these are recalled from a first person perspective, including bias. They plan and publish a series of events using journal writing, with descriptive language techniques including cause and effect. This will culminate in writing a personal memoir from an individual perspective of the historical making 2020-2021.

In Church and Community, students explain the Catholic tradition by identifying and evaluating their own and others’ perspectives. They explore belonging and how we can give back to the community through acts of kindness towards others. They investigate ways communities support each other and how the disadvantaged are taken care of. They integrate new insights on roles and responsibilities of building a just community by describing possible implications in both local and global contexts.

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Year 6

In our unit of inquiry ‘Decades of Our Past’ students investigate colonial Australia in the late 1800s and the development of Australia as a nation, particularly after 1900. They examine significant events and people, political and economic developments, social structures, and settlement patterns. Students explore the factors that led to Federation and experiences of democracy and citizenship over time.

Students investigate and calculate percentage discounts of 10%, 25% and 50%. They explore which attributes of a shape remain the same or change when transformed. Students examine the difference between volume and capacity and their units of measurements. They use coordinates to describe the location of shapes. They create sequences involving whole numbers, fractions and decimals and use the order of operations to write number sentences involving multiple operations.

Students engage with a variety of texts for enjoyment and collaborate with a local author to further inspire a love of literature. They explore a variety of imaginative text types, with particular emphasis on historical narratives. Students examine how an author’s choice impacts on a text and its audience. They experiment with text structures, language features, images and digital resources when creating texts.

In Church and Community, students gain an appreciation of Mary the  mother of Jesus and their mother, through the mystery of the Rosary. The students  reflect on how we are called to live our life as Christians in a faith community. Students develop their understanding of what mission work involves and how we can help communities less fortunate than ourselves. They develop a deeper awareness that Advent is a time of preparation and hope.

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