How We Teach & Support

It's the little things we do to support an individualised learning program that get us the big results

How we teach and support

 

At St Paul’s Primary School Monbulk, we are dedicated to detail and we want to ensure every child achieves to their own potential. 

This means ensuring we have robust systems that not only cater to the average (or middle student) – but also the advanced student or the student that need some extra support. 

For learning to take place we need to ensure that every child feels safe, happy and confident within themselves – and so a huge emphasis is placed on a strong wellbeing and support program that achieves just that!  At St Paul’s we have a Youth Worker on site every day to provide counselling and support services for students, parents and staff.

Extending Students
Students who consistently demonstrate that they have mastered standards and skills through their tasks are challenged with explicit teaching in the classroom to progress to the next level of work. This can include a range of tasks designed to extend these students, including:
  • Reading more extended and complex texts, and discussing these with peers in guided groups and literature circles
  • Developing knowledge of more advanced vocabulary and elements of grammar and punctuation
  • High order thinking tasks
  • Extension through creativity such as art or music projects
  • Being challenged to solve multi-step mathematical problems
  • Special programs such as G.A.T.E.W.A.Y.S.
Additional Support
St Paul’s applies a personalised learning approach to all we do.  In a personalised classroom, teachers design and structure learning to meet the needs of every student. This means each student works toward achieving their potential with the individual support they need along the way. Each child is taught at their ‘point of need’.  

The learning progress of individual students that require support is tracked through a Personal Learning Plan.  This plan is developed by the teacher in consultation with parents and our Learning Diversity Leader.  Learning Support Staff are vital to successful intervention and also work with staff and families on Personal Learning Plans.  At St Paul’s we run Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) to assist students with reading.  Among the intended benefits of this intervention is the belief that students receive effective early literacy instruction and intervention, avoiding the ‘wait to fail’ scenario so common among struggling learners. Instead, St Paul’s promotes high expectations for all children. This is communicated through the ‘Principles underpinning Intervention’:

  • All students at St Paul’s can learn.
  • Effective teachers are critical to student learning success.
  • Learning and teaching are inclusive of all.
  • Teaching support matches the needs and talents of the student.
  • Effective teaching practices are research-based.
  • St Paul’s school will actively engage and work in partnership with the wider community.

St Paul’s reflects the values of Catholic education with the aim of fostering a sense of community and belonging for all. We demonstrate a commitment to welcome, partnership and service. We develop the potential of each individual.

Resilient Kids

In today’s rapidly changing world, many children encounter daily adversity. At St Paul’s we have a strong emphasis on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).  Fortnightly, the teachers timetable lessons on specific social skills.  We draw on the Berry Street Education Model as our main resource and we teach specific lessons on resilience. The Personal  and Social Capability contained in the Victorian Curriculum is high on the agenda at St Paul’s.  The Personal and Social Capability is focussed on enabling students to understand themselves and others and manage their relationships. The St Paul’s SEL curriculum teaches children to recognise and regulate emotions, develop empathy for others, develop positive relationships, work effectively in teams and develop leadership skills.  We teach students how to handle challenging situations constructively and we develop their resilience.

Kinder to Prep Transition

Prep Transition Sessions

We offer prospective Prep parents a variety of opportunities to visit and tour our school with open days, information evenings and a number of school orientation sessions for incoming children.  Each family that is enrolled at St Paul’s is welcomed with an informal interview with the Principal and a community activity during Term 1.

Communication With Kindergartens

Transition to school for new Prep students is supported by the whole school community. The Principal, along with the Prep teaching team, communicate closely with the local feeder kindergartens and childcare agencies to ensure all Transition Statements are obtained and passed on to the relevant teachers. This communication ensures that relevant information is exchanged to maximise student readiness and facilitates the placement of Prep students into classes. At the end of the school year, members from the Prep Transition Committee visit local kindergartens to discuss the individual needs for all enrolled students.

Buddy Program

A buddy system is in place to assist the new Prep students to settle into the school routine in a caring and supportive way. The children are introduced to their Year 6 buddies during Transition sessions in Term 4. The buddies are available during the first few weeks of Term 1 to assist the Preps with finding friends to play with and generally providing support. They continue this friendship throughout the year and participate in a number of designated ‘buddy’ activities.

Designated Play Area

Prep students are supervised closely in a designated play area at both recess and lunch at the beginning of the year. This creates a safe, caring and supportive environment for the Preps as they become familiar with new school routines.

Moving Schools
There are several St Paul’s students that began Primary School in another setting. Whether a child is making the transition from primary to secondary school or starting a new school because the family has moved to a different area, they are likely to need extra support from parents and other family members at first. How a child copes with change can very much depend on the kind of support she or he receives.  Some ways that St Paul’s assists and supports children to settle in to their new school include:
*Families are welcome to visit St Paul’s to meet teachers beforehand. 
*Transition sessions or transition days where the child spends time in their future class or with their future classmates in the weeks leading up to starting at St Paul’s.
*Finding out which teacher to contact, when and how, in case you have any questions or problems.
*Giving the teachers advance notice of any particular needs of the child so that we can be ready with any support that is needed.

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