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
In years 3-6 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.
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 and Technology
‘Creativity is intelligence having fun.’
- Albert Einstein
Design and Technology 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 Chromebook scheme. Students each have a education-focused Chromebook, building capabilities, skills, and understandings by completing our St Louis Chromebook Licence Program .
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 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.
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 - Italian
Italian is the current language for study in the L.O.T.E. program. This is a new language area at St Louis which commenced at the start of 2022.
As part of Signore Antonios's program, students across the whole school are exposed to Italian culture in many different ways including through the Italian language, by exploring the history of Italy, engaging in the arts, with a key focus on music and key compositions through the centuries, as well as other modes such as cooking and dancing.
The LOTE Italian curriculum has been designed with equal weighting of language teaching and cultural activities. Students learn Italian language through methods and tools like stories, singing songs, playing games, and doing activities. Cultural activities will be incorporated into the curriculum all year-round to make learning about Italy exciting and interesting. Students can experience the rich diversity of Italian traditions and customs in the modern context as they participate in hands-on activities.
What We're Learning In Term 4 2023
Please check out some of the learning events that will be happening in our different year levels at St Louis this term.
What year level.
What's happening in inquiry?
What's happening in maths?
What's happening in English?
What's happening in RE?
In our Geography Inquiry Unit ‘What is my Story?’ students learn about where they live, features of the local area, what makes a place special, the original owners of the land and how we care for our local environment. Through their learning, students explore different play areas in our community including parks and gardens.
Students develop skills in skip counting and familiarity with different number patterns. They 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 made statements related to the graph. They identify and describe 3D shapes. Students use everyday language to describe position and movement.
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 imaginative texts using adjectives to enhance their writing. They explore the use of capital and lowercase letters and develope 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.
In our ‘Why Melbourne?’ Geography unit, the students recognise how and why they are connected to a place and why it is significant. Students explore natural and man made places of significance across Melbourne. They explain their features and how these places change over time. They explore reasons why some places are special and learn the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s connection to land. Students learn about sustainable living and how they can look after these special places.
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, describe and order Australian coins.
Students learn how a reader can identify the author’s purpose and explore how such a purpose alters a text’s features. They create a range of fiction and 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 small 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.
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 recognise and interpret fractions using halves, quarters and eighths of shapes and collections.
They count and order small collections of Australian coins and notes according to their value.
Students explore three dimensional shapes, identifying the geometric features such as the number of faces, corners or edges.
Students continue to revise and consolidate their understandings of the four operations with a strong focus on applying metal strategies.
Students read texts to develop their vocabulary and inferential comprehension skills. They create narrative texts that incorporate the correct punctuation and sentence structure. Students revise how to write procedural, persuasive and information texts using the specific features.
Students continue to consolidate how to use digraphs, long vowels, blends, silent letters and syllabification to spell simple and more complex words. They use specific language such as evaluative language in written texts.
Students explore and explain various ways to identify God such as protector, creator and father. They reflect on how the word of God is used within the community and participate in rich discussion about what this means for them. Students recognise Christain qualities in others
In our inquiry unit of ‘ ‘’ students explored the history and diversity of their communities and the celebrations and commemorations, symbols and emblems important to Australians and others. They examined how Indigenous Australians use Dreamtime Stories to explain how life came to be. Students created their own Dreamtime stories relating to our local Indigenous history.
Students recall addition facts for single-digit numbers and related subtraction facts to improve mental strategies and recognise and explain the connection between addition and subtraction using fact families. They conducted experiments involving chance and analysed the results. Students identified symmetry in the built up and natural environment. Students explored slides and turns in the environment. They identified, measured, and compared angles of objects, such as an open door.
Students used strategies to build literal and hidden meaning when reading. They discussed prior knowledge and experiences and made connections to the people, places, events, issues and ideas in the text. They planned, drafted and published persuasive texts with an increasing control over appropriate text structures and language features. Students re-read and edited texts to make improvements. They listened to and contributed to conversations and discussions to share information and ideas and negotiated in collaborative situations.
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.
As part of the unit ‘The Land of Endeavour’ students identify key characters and events leading towards the colonisation of Australia by the British Empire. They look at the reasoning behind settlement and consider the contexts of those who came to establish the colony. Students consider the impacts of the colony on the local Indigenous peoples, and look into possible perspectives of the time as the local peoples encountered the colonists.
Students create number sentences for a real world context and apply efficient strategies to find solutions using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. They balance equations, find missing values and use technology to check answers.
They use scaled instruments and their understanding of metric units to measure and compare items by properties of length, mass, capacity or temperature. Students use simple scales, legends and directions to investigate simple maps. They collect data and construct suitable data displays, with and without using digital technologies.
Students participate in reading activities that focus on a range of comprehension strategies and using word parts, such as prefixes and suffixes. They use dictionaries and glossaries to find the meaning of new words connected to nonfiction texts. Students plan, draft, edit and publish creative and informative texts, focusing on sentence structure, paragraphing and figurative language. They engage in speaking and listening opportunities for different audiences, adjusting language to suit a particular context.
Students explain how they belong to their family, local parish and the church. They identify key leaders of our church and explore different roles and responsibilities in our faith community. They put into practise ways they can personally contribute to support others. Students reflect on New Testament scripture passages in the context of the historical setting and culture of Jesus’ time. They read and compare the different Gospel accounts of the Christmas story to gather a wider understanding.
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.
This term's focus is on developing students’ knowledge and understanding of the four operations. Students used equivalent number sentences involving the four operations to find unknown quantities. Students calculate the perimeter and area of rectangles and the volume of prisms using familiar metric units. Students choose appropriate units of measurement for length, area and volume. They compare 12- and 24-hour time systems and convert between them.
Using the text Young Dark Emu, students explored historical narratives via the diary entries made by early settlers. Students analysed the purpose of recording moments in time, how these are recalled
from a first person perspective, including bias. They planned and published a series of events using
journal writing, with descriptive language techniques including cause and effect. This culminated in writing a historical narrative based on a historical figure.