The Structure of Learning
Prep to Year 12 Catholic schooling is defined as the following:
“a pedagogical approach to schooling across the lifespan, incorporating ideals such as lifelong learning, curriculum alignment and/or seamlessness” and occurs when “primary and secondary educators work towards a deeply shared view of pedagogy”.
(CEDoW Edmondson Park Educational Potential Paper, 2015)
As a result, St Francis Catholic College is organised into three distinct stages of learning that reflect the developing pastoral and academic needs of the students within our care.
- Early Years Learning - Prep for 4 Year Olds
- Junior Years Learning - Kindergarten to Year 4
- Middle Years Learning - Year 5 to Year 8
- Senior Years Learning - Year 9 to Year 12
Throughout these stages of learning, the College provides a unifying school-wide approach to learning that is inclusive of a defined ‘patterned mix’ of pedagogical strategies that promote connectivity, interactivity and collaboration.
The College also aims to recognise the growth and achievement of students by having ceremonies, celebrations and 'rights of passage' as students move through the stages of learning. There are subtle changes to uniform that reflect each stage of learning- Early, Junior, Middle & Senior. The architecture, classroom design and furniture used in each stage of learning similarly reflects growth and development.
College Learning Vision
Professional Learning Communities
Professional learning community (PLC) schools start from a simple idea: students learn more when their teachers work together.
Building a PLC is a proven way for schools to increase student learning by creating a culture that is:
- focussed on continuous improvement by linking the learning needs of students with the professional learning and practice of teachers
- committed to professionalism
- fuelled by collaborative expertise
PLT’s at SFCC
At St Francis, we have meetings scheduled within the school day on the official timetable across the fortnight for our Professional Learning Teams to plan, collaborate and learn from each other. These meetings are highly valuable and exist in a variety of different ways, such as Stage meetings, KLA meetings and Leadership meetings.
Our PLC approach:
- Enables teachers to harness the value of working together to improve student learning outcomes.
- Focuses on three big Ideas: Focus on Learning, Collaborative Culture, Results Oriented Thinking.
- Encourages teachers to research and experiment with instructional creativity.
- PLC approach is data driven and not based on opinions. Collaborative learning is driven by an analysis of student data.
- College timetables need to support collaboration, planning and effective intervention.
- Consider questions presented in AITSL “The Essential Guide to Professional Learning: Collaboration”.
- Effective collaboration is frequent and ongoing and, when most successful, an integral part of daily procedures.
- Schools that effectively collaborate create a base of pedagogical knowledge that is distributed among teachers within a school as opposed to being held by individual teachers. The aim is to improve ALL teachers so that ALL students improve.
- Collective focus on student learning fueled by the belief that all students can learn and that all staff members can teach to high standards given the right assistance and have a mutual obligation to ensure students learn.
- Collaboration needs to move beyond dialogue about students to produce materials that actually improve instruction, curriculum, and assessment for students.
- Four structural conditions required to support:
- Time to meet during the school day.
- Teachers organised into collaborative teams that work interdependently on common goals.
- Open communication within and across teams.
- Teacher autonomy guided by a shared sense of purpose, priorities and norms.
So how are we doing? - Academic Performance
NAPLAN is implemented for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. The results provide valuable information about student achievement in Literacy and Numeracy. Analysis of the results is used at a school level to support the enhancement of literacy and numeracy outcomes for all students and as a critical part of the Learning and Teaching Cycle.
NAPLAN results, along with other Literacy and Numeracy assessments, provided baseline data for the College to set learning improvement goals and future directions. Overall, the results were overwhelmingly positive with a large number of students, in all areas, performing above the State and National averages.