At St Benedict's Catholic School, traditional and contemporary approaches to learning will be used to actively engage our students in the learning process. Our curriculum program and teaching strategies will incorporate opportunities appropriate to the development needs of each learning stage, including play in the early years, hands on experiences, community engagement and opportunities to apply academic knowledge as learning progresses.
Modern facilities and innovative programs will provide learning experiences that discern connections between our unique place as human beings in this world and our relationship to our surroundings. To ensure the curriculum comes to life for our students and offers opportunities to connect with learning, St Benedict’s Catholic School immerses students in flexible learning spaces, indoor and outdoor learning and in learning experiences connected to the wider community including excursions and project based learning.
All schools in the Townsville Diocese work from the Learning Areas of the Australian Curriculum to develop classroom learning programs. St Benedict’s Catholic School enacts the Australian Curriculum through maintaining the integrity of individual subjects while also providing opportunities for purposeful connections between learning areas in fun and meaningful ways. Important twenty-first century skills, such as critical thinking, communication, problem-solving, collaboration and creativity are also included across our curriculum, as we endeavour to ensure the curriculum is accessible for all students learners.
At St Benedict’s we believe that some learning is best done with a hands on inquiry based approach where students are engaged in projects. The ‘e’ in eProjects stands for Environment, Engagement and Educational, While we still develop our learning experiences based on the expectations of the Australian Curriculum, we use the eProjects concept to draw on certain aspects of some subjects together to create a deeper more enriched learning experience. Typically, this can be called STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) or STREAM (which adds Reading or Religion and the Arts) but we have preferred to develop our own name so we can be more flexible and maintain the integrity of subject areas. Specifically we have applied concepts from the Australian Curriculum that promote learning about Stewardship, Sustainability and Creation (from Religion Curriculum) to at least one long year level project per grade. Different year levels draw on different subject areas for their projects.
Most research into homework in a primary school setting would suggest that the benefits of homework are simply in communicating to families what is being learnt at school or establishing good routines around study. Homework does not necessarily contribute to improved student learning and can in fact create a negative relationship with learning for some students. We believe we can provide valuable communication for families about student learning in various other forums including Parent Information Nights and class newsletters and we believe that developing the sense of an Active Responsible Community contributes to students being able to become more independent and responsible for their learning.
At St Benedict's, we believe in providing an environment where students can be engaged in learning and work to the best of their ability throughout the day. We believe that our students' 'work day' is complete at the conclusion of the school day and therefore, we do not assign formal or regular homework. We encourage our students to engage in after school activities that bring them joy, inspire their curiosity and or meet their artistic or physical interests. We also encourage our students to enjoy their family time and assist in being a proactive member of the household.