Each day starts with class prayer – karakia. Teachers then schedule Reading, Writing, Mathematics and Religious Education through until lunch time. At St Mary’s we play then eat which has shown the benefits of children eating more, drinking more and having improved readiness to learn in the afternoon. After lunch we begin with meditation and conclude the day with integrated learning subjects.
Learning Areas and Curriculum Design.
St Mary’s is a Catholic school. The Gospel values underpin and drive our curriculum focus which is then reflected throughout our curriculum. All learners have religious education instruction time along with experiencing the Gospel values in all of the learning areas – English, Mathematics, Science, Technology, Social Sciences, The Arts, Health and Physical Education, and learning languages.
Underpinning our strength based curriculum is the desire for every child to reach their full potential. To support this, we use a school wide approach to structured literacy. We offer explicit, systematic teaching that focuses on phonological awareness, word recognition, phonics and decoding, spelling, and syntax at the sentence and paragraph levels across all year levels. We screen all children when they arrive at school as a baseline for development.
Our multi-level classes mean that children stay with the same teacher which develops a strong relationship and also means the teacher becomes very familiar with individual learner strengths and needs. Our small classes mean that all children get the support they need, when they need it. All of our teachers are trained to identify and support the needs of our dyslexic children.
Our Vision for learners.
St Mary’s Learners – Belong, Believe and Achieve through demonstrating their; Faithfulness, Perseverance, Justice and Stewardship.
Our learners encompass the NZ curriculum vision for young people as described on page 8 of the curriculum document.
Each curriculum subject area is defined in the St Mary’s School Curriculum Delivery Plan. The structure, strand delivery and the assessment and reporting practices are clearly detailed for each curriculum subject area and are supplemented by extracts of The New Zealand Curriculum.
In addition to this the school supports the plan by setting a learning culture where children learn in a supportive, positive and enthusiastic environment where they feel valued and secure.
The principles for curriculum decisions are consistent with the eight expectations of the NZ Curriculum (page 9) and encompass: High expectations – Cultural diversity – Inclusion – Coherence – Future focus – Treaty of Waitangi – Community engagement and Learning to learn.
“Catholic education is above all a question of communicating Christ, of helping others to form Christ in the lives of others” “…a place to encounter the living God who in Jesus Christ reveals his transforming love and truth”
The Catholic Education of School-Age Children – NZ Bishops Conference 2014
“Teaching and learning programmes are developed through a wide range of experiences across all learning areas, with a focus on literacy and numeracy along with the development of values and key competencies.”
The New Zealand Curriculum Ministry of Education (2007), p.41
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