At St Bernadette's we promote educational and personal excellence in our students as they grow as whole persons, attending to their intellectual, spiritual, physical and emotional development.
We believe that quality education enriches and empowers the individual to move towards broader lifestyle choices and enables them to utilise their God-given gifts for the good of the community and that children need to look to the future with hope, aware of God's loving guidance in their lives.
At St Bernadette's, we base our educational practice on the sound educational research of the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Key Learning Areas using flexible, innovative and creative teaching practices, which cater for students' differing learning styles and needs, as such, we view technology as an essential tool to assist learning in all areas.
Our staff encourage a sense of responsibility and justice in the students promoting positive relationships between students, initiating outreach programs to encourage a sense of global responsibility for the less fortunate.
Ultimately, we believe learning is a continuous process and a lifelong journey.
Technology in Learning
Technology at St Bernadette's Primary continues to thrive with the purchase of Apple laptops, iPads and Apple TVs for student use in their learning.
These complement our existing PCs so that students are exposed to a different platform. All students have access to these computers through the library and their classrooms.
The Key Learning Areas
As with most aspects of learning in life, learning at school is not something that can easily be separated into different boxes. Teachers are aware, for example, that when a child is working with a group on a science experiment, he or she might well be operating and working in a variety of ways - questioning and explaining, making, sharing and writing observations, drawing graphs, calculating results, consulting references and much more.
For this reason, teaching and learning is often integrated across several curriculum areas rather than taught as separate and discrete subjects. Class teachers ensure that their teaching program follows the guidelines set by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) and covers all curriculum areas - Religious Education and the six Key Learning Areas mandated for primary schools and specified in the NSW Education Reform Act (1990).
The Key Learning Areas covered at St Bernadette's are Religious Education, English, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Human Society and Its Environment, Creative Arts and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education.
Language is central to students' intellectual, social and emotional development and has an essential role in all Key Learning Areas (NSW Education Standards Authority [NESA], English K-6 Syllabus).
English learning at St Bernadette's is grounded in the content and processes outlined in the NSW English Syllabus. Students are specifically taught in the areas of Talking & Listening, Reading, and Writing through a balanced literacy model. Students learn though a combination of teacher modelling and demonstration, shared or guided activities and independent activities.
Learning in English is supported by an extensive range of high-quality reading and library resources and technology. Learning programs are provided for students with special education and communication needs. St Bernadette's has a particular focus on early intervention, using the school's assessment and teaching resources to identify and assist students in need of support before the end of Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2).
The NSW Mathematics syllabus organises and directs learning in Mathematics across four content strands, namely Number, Patterns and Algebra, Measurement and Data, and Space and Geometry. It also has a process strand, Working Mathematically. Learning in Mathematics is grounded in the principles of working mathematically - developing the skills necessary to apply mathematical concepts in new and varied ways.
The continued development of Mathematics learning at St Bernadette's has been a particular area of focus since 2002. Teachers have completed a professional development process called REaL Maths (Reflection, Empowerment and Learning in Maths) to better understand the demands of the contemporary Mathematics curriculum. Significant acquisitions continue to be made to build upon the school's collection of teaching and learning resources.
We are continually looking at new ways to improve the delivery of instruction in this area in order that the students receive the best possible understanding of the necessary concepts, knowledge and skills. We actively involve all students in Maths learning groups, where the teachers work with the students in their groups at their level of understanding, knowledge and skill, and challenge them to move to the next level. The students are very excited and challenged in these groups.
Science and Technology
In Science and Technology students learn about natural and built environments. Study of these environments leads to a greater understanding of buildings and structures, information and communication, living things, physical phenomena, products and services, and the earth and its surroundings. The NSW Science and Technology curriculum facilitates learning about the subject matter of natural and built environments through the learning processes of investigating scientifically, and designing and making.
Subject matter in Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE) and Science and Technology can sometimes interrelate and often provides a meaningful context to facilitate learning of content and skills in other Key Learning Areas such as English, Mathematics and Creative Arts. Most grade excursions are chosen to support learning in either HSIE or Science and Technology.
Human Society and Its Environment
Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE) seeks to develop within children an understanding of the social and physical world in which they live, enabling them to function within it as just and active citizens. The NSW HSIE K-6 syllabus organises the curriculum content across four strands, namely Change and Continuity, Cultures, Environments, and Social Systems and Structures. Students learn in HSIE through using an inquiry process of gathering, analysing, synthesising and applying information.
Subject matter in HSIE and Science and Technology can sometimes interrelate and often provides a meaningful context to facilitate learning of content and skills in other key learning areas such as English, Mathematics and Creative Arts. Most grade excursions are chosen to support learning in either HSIE or Science and Technology.
A strong influence in teaching in this Key Learning Area and in Religious Education is the Values for Australian Schooling
The NSW syllabus for Creative Arts includes four strands - Visual Arts, Music, Dance and Drama. Each develops its own skills in making, composing, performing, listening, organising sound and appreciating, as appropriate.
The Music and Dance strands of the Creative Arts curriculum are provided for in weekly lessons with the school's music teachers. The music program is further enriched by instruction in band instruments and quarterly performances by the school band, ably led by their teachers from Teaching Services Australia.
The school participates in a number of extracurricular activities involving Creative Arts. We have participated in the Diocesan Creative Arts Festival held every three years, and have a wonderful school choir which sings at Masses and liturgies, concerts and end-of-year celebrations. We have also participated in the Voice of Youth Speech and Dance Fever competitions held throughout the Diocese.