Learning Excellence

At St Joseph's School we value the excellent learning opportunities that students are exposed to every day that help develop their knowledge, skills and capabilities. Check out some of the awesome things that have been happening in classes recently in the articles below!

Business Innovation Comes to Life!
16th March 2021

Students in Year 11 Business Innovation have been investigating design principles to meet the user's needs. To do this, Mr Morris had them complete 'The 5 chairs challenge' where they had to meet the design brief from their customer to design a chair to meet someone's needs. Students were required to draw what their chairs would look like before making real life models out of 4 different products (cardboard, pipe cleaners, clay and pop sticks). The students had a lot of fun working through the different models, where they ended up with a variety of results. Finally, students were required to reflect on their learning about the design process to gauge the different challenges involved with creating a product to meet the needs of the consumer. Isn't it great to see that it is not just the Primary Students who get to have fun and get dirty with their learning! 

St Joseph's R-6: new year, new beginning.
26th February 2021

In the preliminary weeks of 2020 we witnessed floods, fires and a global pandemic. Fast-forward a year to today and we might be struck by the radical changes the past year has thrust upon us. Surely, amongst all the chaos, we can say two things with absolute conviction: change is the only constant and; our educators, learners and families are always up for a challenge.  

The 2021 school year at St Joseph’s has begun with an uplifting sense of hope and enthusiasm. Our theme of ‘Come and Stay’ has been evident in the hospitality of our Primary classrooms. Our community continues to drive us towards positive change.

The school year began with an R-6 health hustle, accompanied by some loose dance moves by staff and Fr Ben. When walking around our school we can witness classes learning language and Japanese culture with Mrs Izzo and Mr Brown. Ms Kuerschner’s Reception music class can be seen dancing around the school with sweet ukulele melodies trailing behind. Our Shrove Tuesday pancake day, Ash Wednesday and Welcoming Liturgies have shown our learners’ need to continue to explore their spirituality and sense of justice. Our Year 5 and 6 are trailblazing new ways of driving their own learning with collaboration. One can’t help but be excited by our ongoing commitment to evolution. One can’t help but be excited by the direction our school is leading.

Looking forward, our calendar is brimming with activities and opportunities for our thriving learners. Our new, state-of-the-art Primary facility has begun its construction and our educators and learners are working in continuous partnership to develop the learning that will define this building.

Change is here to stay. It is how we accept and drive these changes that determines our success. Bring on 2021 - we are thrilled to be sharing this journey with you.

Hands on Learning to Concrete Ideas
28th August 2020

The students in Year 8 Geography are working on constructing 3D models of different landscapes. Students have been focusing on different landforms and their purpose. Rich tasks like this encourage a high level of collaboration and idea generation. Students have also been further developing their skills in planning and designing. A component of this task is to also enable students to develop their own critical thinking skills by designing a range of questions based on the landscapes. These types of tasks are certainly engaging and allow students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding and learning in different ways. We are looking forward to seeing these finished.

Play-based Learning in Action
23rd July 2020

This week in Jacki Bailey's Reception Class, the students came up with the idea and were inspired to make a bag shop. They have explored different types of bags and what they are used for. Students have been making money and signs for their shop that tell you when it is opened and closed. They have investigated the different sizes of bags and how big they have to be to fit different items in them. It was delightful to see such amazing excitement and enthusiasm. A fantastic example of student agency and voice by our young 5 year olds. Great job!!

R - 2 Patterning
16th March 2020

This term the Junior Primary teachers and students have been working on extending their understanding of pattern. The teachers have worked collaboratively in staff meetings to deepen their own knowledge of pattern and its importance to students’ numeracy development. They have planned for and provided a range of teaching and learning experiences which support their learners to develop some of these important big ideas about patterning.  

Did you know …Many people believe that all of mathematics is about finding, explaining and linking patterns. Patterns are especially important in early mathematics learning. They can be fun and creative, and they lead into many fundamental ideas. The concepts of multiplication, even and odd numbers, and area measurement all arise from repeating patterns. The concepts of division, fractions, time lines, measurement of length, and numeration all involve equal partitioning — which also relates to repeating patterns. Describing how the terms change in a growing pattern can lead to simple algebra. Exploration of spatial patterns leads to simple geometry.  

Our Junior Primary students have been noticing, identifying, creating, explaining and extending patterns in a wide variety of contexts. The following questions have been used to lead their inquiries into pattern. WHAT is a pattern? How do you know it’s a pattern?   

HOW do patterns work?   

What patterns do you know in REAL LIFE?   

WHY is it important to understand patterns? 

STEM Fridays
6th March 2020

Miss Norton’s Year 4 students have the opportunity to combine their knowledge and skills every Friday afternoon in a STEM challenge. In Week 5, this involved creating pendulums from a limited list of resources. The challenge was to then alter different elements of the pendulum and measure the effect it had on its trajectory. This process of predict, measure, alter, re-test allows students to really refine their problem solving and critical and creative thinking skills. 

Shapes and Patterns
6th March 2020

Students in Mrs Hunt’s Year 1 class have been learning how to recognise different patterns. They began by looking at identifying various shapes and then seeing where these repeat in the real world around the school. Students took photos of their examples and wrote about the patterns they saw in their folios. What a great way to get students making connections between their school work and how it is applied outside the classroom.

History in the Making
3rd March 2020

Students in Year 7 HaSS are currently learning about artefacts in History. One student discussed why it's important to understand about history and how it has impacted and influenced today's society. They are currently investigating different artefacts and how they tell a part of history. They are now combining their new knowledge with developing their IT capabilities inline with the Catholic Education Living, Learning, Leading Framework.

6G Expert of the Week
2nd March 2020

6G celebrated the first week of being an ‘expert’. The purpose behind having a student be an expert each week is to celebrate the diversity, skills and knowledge of the class. Presenting and teaching the class enables students to develop confidence in speaking to a range of different audiences. The class was delighted by Holly’s expertise in the area of ‘scrunchy making’. They all had the opportunity to sew a scrunchy and learnt that it isn’t quite as easy as Holly made it look. 

It took patience and persistence and very good fine motor skills. 

One student thinks…… 

‘It was great to teach something I like to the rest of the class. I learnt that if you know how to do something quickly not everyone can. It was quite difficult teaching the class because everyone needed me at the same time. I just kept going one by one'.

Creativity in the Outdoors with Music
2nd March 2020

In primary Music classes, students have been learning about rhythm and working together as a team. Miss Kuerschner's creativity around using the outdoor learning space to create music was fantastic. The students reported how much they enjoyed the lesson as they could express themselves and work together..... Great work everyone!

Hands On, Visual Learning
2nd March 2020

In Year 8 Mathematics with Mr Price, students were learning about adding and subtracting negative numbers. Students were outside drawing number lines on the pavement and walking the number line to solve problems. 

The students reported that this was helping them to learn as it was a practical, visual task that they could then apply back in the classroom to solve problems. They were very positive and engaged about the activity. 

Super learning and great example of a 'hands-on' task in Mathematics.

Science in action
2nd March 2020

Mr Hosking's Year 7 Science class have been learning about what makes a 'fair' test. Students have been completing various practicals where they identify specific variables, before collecting data and representing this in a scientific report. Everyone was extremely focused on the minor details, which will no doubt hold them in good stead come future practicals. The boys can be seen here creating a pendulum, where they timed the number of swings after altering different variables, including; weight, height of release and length of string.

Another great example of learning through hands on experience! 

Sounding Out Words
2nd March 2020

In Mrs Wilson's Year 1 class, students have been demonstrating their knowledge on how to sound out 3 letter words. This was a great activity that allowed Mrs Wilson to gauge student's knowledge instantly and correct their writing straight away. One of the students said how much she enjoyed writing the words because she can now use them in her bigger writing tasks. 

This instant affirmation allowed Mrs Wilson to see what students know and where to go next......