Learning & Teaching

AUSTRALIAN CURRICULUM

"The Australian Curriculum describes what young Australians should learn as they progress through schooling. It is the foundation for their future learning, growth and active participation in the Australian community. It sets out essential knowledge, understanding, skills and capabilities and provides a national standard for student achievement in core learning areas.”

Mother Teresa Catholic Primary School teaches the prescribed Australian Curriculum in the areas of Mathematics, English, Science, History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship and Health and Physical Education. These will be followed by The Arts, Business and Economics and Technologies once they are endorsed by the Australian curriculum body.

Curriculum at Mother Teresa Catholic Primary School

"The Australian Curriculum describes what young Australians should learn as they progress through schooling. It is the foundation for their future learning, growth and active participation in the Australian community. It sets out essential knowledge, understanding, skills and capabilities and provides a national standard for student achievement in core learning areas.”

(Contemporary Learning, Learning in an Online World MCEETYA 2005)

Curriculum development is an ongoing process at Mother Teresa Catholic Primary School. Our school Curriculum Framework is informed by Syllabus documents developed by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), and Catholic Education Services Northern Territory.

Our curriculum is innovative and contemporary and is designed to respond to the needs and interests of our students. We begin by establishing their individual needs through well-designed assessments. We have surveyed our staff, students and parents to establish an understanding of student interests, passions and parent expectations for their children and use these to inform our classroom programs. We are then guided in our Learning and Teaching by the following:

To further ensure that we are best meeting the needs of individual students, our staff members are regularly involved in professional development that is based on the latest research and contemporary approaches from around the world. Teachers plan in teams, supported by experts from within the school, Catholic Education Office and Department of Education, assessing individual student needs, informed by assessment and observations, and devise ways to meet these within classrooms. There is a strong focus on the development of essential skills in literacy and numeracy to enable students to successfully access the rest of the curriculum.

The curriculum at Mother Teresa immerses students in learning that will equip them with the necessary skills and dispositions to live and work within a world that demands high levels of ICT literacy, academic knowledge and understanding as well as personal and interpersonal skills to allow them to communicate, think critically, collaborate and create in a global world.

Our view about learning and teaching is informed by a Learning Framework that describes the key elements, which inform curriculum planning and decision-making, along with the delivery and evaluation of curriculum in classrooms.

As defined in our Diocesan Learning Framework we seek to nurture students who aspire to be and become:

  • People of hope, joy, courage and wisdom
  • Communicators who are effective and creative
  • Learners who are inquiring and reflective, seeking truth
  • Participants and producers who are independent and interdependent
  • Citizens of the world who are responsible, ethical and resourceful
  • People are enriched by a spiritual appreciation of self, God, neighbour and life.

Learning and Teaching – is the core activity of our schools. Quality learning and teaching in Catholic schools is informed by:

  • The educational vision, mission, policies and strategic priorities of the Diocese of the Northern Territory
  • Contemporary educational research and practices
  • The needs and the aspirations of students, their families and the local community
  • The knowledge and skills of teachers and support staff
  • The requirements of Government educational policies and directions

HOME LEARNING

At Mother Teresa Catholic Primary we believe that home-learning must have a purpose, be enjoyable and be part of the learning of the child.

  • Home-learning will be appropriate to the age and ability level of the child and be in keeping with the stated time guidelines as outlined. The total amount of home-learning should not, in most cases exceed the recommendations. Year Level Time Allocation Guidelines inclusive of core and elective activities are:
    • Prep – Year 2: will mainly consist of daily reading to, with and by parents/carers or older siblings. May extend class work by practicing skills or gathering extra information or materials. Will generally not exceed 30minutes per day.
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  • Teachers are required to communicate home-learning expectations clearly to parents at the commencement of each year and as required throughout the year. Expectations will be communicated through class websites, student diaries, class letters or homework grids.
  • Home-learning consists of both core and elective activities preferably set up in a grid format.
    Core Activities: includes daily reading, sight words/spelling. May include number facts and number concept practice, or revision.
    Elective activities: promote health and well-being, prayer and include student’s interests, music, hobbies, home responsibilities, sports, games and family games and activities. May include activities reflective of activities going on in the community e.g. Day for Daniel, Mission Week, Religious Feast Days. This allows students and families to select activities according to their needs.
  • A place for parents to leave comments, as well as a place to inform the teacher of the length of time spent on homework, is required. The student diary provides this as does the homework grid.
  • Differentiation: The inclusion of both core and elective activities provides differentiation as does the number of items a students may need to complete. Home-learning differentiation for verified students, students with learning difficulties, ESL and students requiring extension is to be documented and may be individual.
  • Home-learning will support the learning program at school, and will never contain work that is new to the child.
  • Home-learning is not to contain assessment items, however can include collecting resources for assessment done in class time.
  • Home-learning may contain the viewing of material required for lessons at school. This may be in written or digital form.
  • Home-learning is to be consistent across classes in the year level.

LIBRARY

The Mother Teresa Catholic Primary School iLearn Centre assists in the educational development of individual students. A wide variety of resources are available to support programs in the classrooms. Consideration is given to the quality, capacity and extent of services to individuals and groups of children while recognising their special needs and expectations.

Respect and care for Mother Teresa’s resources is stressed at all times and a library bag is an essential part of the borrowing process. The iLearn Centre will be open during some lunch periods for indoor social activities and general use, with teacher supervision.

Students are encouraged and supported by their teachers and library staff to use the library for personal enjoyment, reading and for study purposes. With staff supervision, students access computers in the library for browsing and information gathering and for skills sessions.

INDIGENOUS EDUCATION

Mother Teresa Catholic Primary School is committed to building respectful and complimentary relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians and peoples who share our place.

We respectfully acknowledge the past and present traditional owners of this land on which we are meeting – the Larrakia people. We also acknowledge the contributions of Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Australians to the education of all children and people in our country Australia, in which we all live and share together.

STUDENT PROGRESS

Education is a partnership between home and school. Effective, regular and open communication is essential.

A Parent Information Evening is held at the beginning of every school year where teachers outline the curriculum and inform parents about classroom expectations, homework, excursions and other special events. All parents are expected to attend this meeting to strengthen the positive partnership between school and home.

At the end of Term 1, all parents are invited to attend an individual parent teacher conference at the school to discuss the student’s progress. These interviews are an essential link between school and home to provide a shared understanding of the spiritual, academic, physical, social and emotional development of the child.

Parents are encouraged to contact the classroom teacher if they have any concerns with their child’s progress or issue that may impact on the student’s success in learning. Often a concern, may be resolved quickly if the issue is addressed early. Please arrange a suitable time to meet with the classroom teacher before or after school to discuss any concerns. Teachers prefer to have meetings after school with arrangements made in advance via phone/ email / note.

Written reports are issued at the end of each semester in June and December.

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC PROGRAM

MacKillop Catholic College provides opportunities for students to participate in an instrumental program at the school. If you are interested in your child learning a musical instrument please contact our Administration Officer for further details.

https://www.mackillopnt.catholic.edu.au/extracurricular/music/

INCLUSION SUPPORT

Catholic schools are committed to fostering cultures of inclusion that respond to the educational needs of students regardless of their abilities, backgrounds and aspirations. This commitment to inclusive practices is supportive of both Church teaching and legislative requirements.

The Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act (1992), the Disability Standards for Education (2005) seek to ensure that education is made accessible to students with disabilities. Specifically, the Standards address enrolment, participation, curriculum, student services and the elimination of harassment and victimisation.

Enrolment of students with special needs is facilitated through the Enrolment Application and Support Procedures for Students requiring Significant Educational Adjustments. This process encourages all participants in the education process (parents, students, teachers, school leadership, student services representatives) to share as partners, the responsibility for successful outcomes for all students. The process seeks to reveal and clarify the characteristics of the learner and to assess the adjustments for accessing learning and the implications of these for the school, the family and the student.

Mother Teresa has access to Catholic Education’s advisory teachers, speech language pathologists, psychologists, occupational therapists, learning support teachers, student counsellors and Indigenous education officers, and can also collaborate with a range of external agencies to enhance support of the individual needs of students.

EALD

English as an Additional Language or Dialect

EAL/D learners are students whose first language is a language or dialect other than Standard Australian English. They may require some additional support to assist them to develop English language proficiency. It is important to recognize that EAL/D students can and do benefit from already speaking one or more languages or dialects other than English. Their language knowledge is an advantage when learning a new language and provides learners with resources upon which to build the development of English language and literacy.

Students learning English as an additional language may also face some challenges. In many ways they need to learn more, and more quickly, than their English speaking peers. EAL/D students are simultaneously learning English, learning in English and learning about English.

EAL/D students require high quality teaching and learning conditions to build English language skills and to achieve academic success. Here at Mother Teresa Catholic Primary School, our teaching staff are highly trained in tailoring teaching and learning so that each student is able to achieve to their full potential.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

Our Catholic Identity is at the heart of our school. As a Catholic Educational Institution, we are strong in our faith and Catholic tradition. We welcome families from all walks of life to our Christ centred learning community. 

We hold the gospel values of Faith, Community, Compassion, Hope and Joy at the centre of all we do and actively promote these values in the everyday life of the school.

As a 21st century Catholic school we:

  • Are a community of faith inspired by the life of work of St Teresa of Calcutta
  • Promote the love, life and mission of Jesus Christ 
  • Recognise the uniqueness of every individual person
  • Act in partnership with families
  • Deliver quality teaching and learning
religious-education

We communally express our faith through:

  • Daily classroom prayer
  • Whole School prayer
  • Class liturgies and masses
  • Whole school liturgies and masses
  • Staff prayer
  • Celebrating significant liturgical events and liturgical seasons such as Lent, Easter, Advent and Christmas
  • Partnering with and supporting Catholic Organisations such as Caritas, St Vincent de Paul, Catholic Mission and the Missionaries of Charity

Religious Education

Our religious education curriculum draws heavily from the Journey in Faith curriculum which is the religious education curriculum for the Diocese of Darwin. The key ideas taught each year are

  • God, Us and Faith
  • Sacred Text
  • Prayer and Sacramentality
  • Moral Life 
  • Church for the World

Additionally, we teach students about the life and work of St Teresa of Calcutta and the liturgical seasons of Lent and Advent

Sacramental Programs

Sacramental programs are parish based, parish coordinated, and family focussed.

Each year the sacraments of Penance, Eucharist and Confirmation are celebrated in the Parish.

  • Year 3 Sacrament of Penance
  • Year 3 onwards Sacrament of the Eucharist
  • Year 6 Sacrament of Confirmation

The parish based, family focused approach to sacramental programs is widely used throughout Australia as the preferred approach. This approach acknowledges the important role of parents and families in the whole preparation process. Parents are the first educators of children in the faith and traditions of the Catholic Church, and the Parish and School don’t replace the parental role. It is the family situations, the daily living, that confirms and actions what is taught during the sacramental program. So it is vital, for the continual spiritual growth of the child, that the family involve themselves in the sacramental life of the Parish

Details of the sacramental programme are made available each year.