Focus on Learning
St John Vianney's Mulgrave
At St John Vianney’s we believe that student learning is our core business. We believe that every child should be provided with opportunities to realise their full potential. We endeavour to create positive relationships between school and home in an effort to maximise every student’s learning.
The Victorian Curriculum and the CEM Horizons of Hope, Learning and Teaching documents are the basis for all our teaching programs. Our policies and practices are child-centred and are designed to consider the needs of all students. Improved student outcomes, monitored progress of learning and differentiation of the curriculum for all students are at the forefront of our work. Literacy and Numeracy have a strong focus throughout the school. At St John Vianney’s we also recognise the importance of the social, emotional, physical and spiritual growth of students. We strive to provide an environment where all students feel safe and are able to develop skills and practices that are needed to succeed as lifelong learners.
Our Faith Identity
Developing a Faith Identity
As part of the St John Vianney’s Parish we endeavour to build a faith filled community in which all members respect each other and live out the Gospel values. We provide opportunities for students to recognise the wonder of our world and to share their gifts with others.
In conjunction with the Integrated Inquiry, students are exposed to the Scriptures, traditions, stories and teachings of the Catholic Church. The Religious Education program includes opportunities to learn about the major events of the Liturgical calendar and at St John Vianney’s there is a school based Sacrament program. In terms 2 & 3 each class prepares a Class Liturgy which is celebrated at the Friday Parish Mass. Parents are invited to attend the Class Mass and morning tea is shared after Mass.
The Religious Education program aims to guide our students in their relationship with God when encountering others, the church and their wider world.
Literacy is Central to All Learning
At St. John Vianney’s Primary School, literacy is central to all learning and staff are committed to implementing evidence based programs which have a positive influence on the learning progress of all students. All classes implement a daily two-hour literacy block which comprises of Reading &Viewing, Writing and Speaking & Listening.
We follow the ‘Science of Reading’ (SOR) approach to the teaching and learning of reading. The SOR refers to a large body of research and evidence about how the brain learns to read and how educators should teach reading to ensure maximum outcomes for all students.
Here at SJV, we use ‘Sunshine Decodable Readers’ and the associated scope and sequence of letters and sounds to complement our structured, systematic synthetic phonics approach to teaching reading in the junior years. This method of reading helps children to learn the relationships between the 44 speech sounds (phonemes) of spoken language and the letter symbols or spelling choices (graphemes) of the written language. Being able to match the speech sounds with their corresponding letter symbol or symbols helps children to simultaneously learn to read and spell words. Research tells us that a sound knowledge of phonemes and graphemes in the early years are a strong predictor of a child’s reading ability in later years.
In years 3-6, there is a strong focus on ‘reading to learn’. Once a student has learned how to ‘crack the alphabetic code’ and is proficient in decoding, emphasis is placed on extending students ability to comprehend texts. Teachers in the middle and senior school concentrate on developing student’s skills in this area.
Our main aims for essential learning in literacy are for students to:
read with fluency and understanding
speak with fluency, expression and confidence
develop and extend their vocabulary
communicate their ideas in writing
develop their multi modal communication skills
At St John Vianney’s, we use the ‘The Writing Revolution’ (TWR) approach to explicitly teach evidence based strategies to our students. TWR is based on the Hochman Method which begins with explicit instruction in how to write sentences, through to compositions. We know students need explicit instruction in writing, beginning in Foundation, and that sentences are the building blocks of all writing. We use The Writing Revolution method to enable students to master the skills that are essential to become competent writers.
The school recognises that for many of our students, English is their second language so appropriate teaching strategies are applied to support those students with their learning of English.
We are fortunate to have specialist Literacy Interventionists and Literacy Leader who assist students requiring additional support in Reading, Writing and Listening & Speaking. This intensive instruction allows students to work with a specialist teacher in a small group setting in addition to classroom teaching.
Students in years 3-6 who continue to require additional support with their decoding skills receive small group intervention using decodable readers for older students. Students are able to work in small groups where they receive explicit teaching in Literacy.
SJV runs a Modelled Reading Program on Monday – Wednesday in Terms 2 -4 beginning at 8:30 until 8:45am. This allows students who would benefit from extra reading practice the opportunity to work with a tutor or mentor. Often the tutors or mentors are senior students or parents/ parishioners volunteering their time.
Building Confidence and Connection with Mathematics in Everyday Life
At St. John Vianney's we recognise that Mathematics is an important part of everyday life. Number & Algebra, Measurement and Statistics & Probability are common aspects of most people's mathematical experience in everyday personal, study and work situations.
Through the teaching of Mathematics we aim for our students to:
demonstrate efficient and accurate mental computation strategies which enable successful functioning in everyday life
solve practical problems with mathematics
develop a positive attitude to Mathematics and a desire to investigate Maths concepts in everyday life
see mathematical connections and be able to apply mathematical concepts, skills and processes in posing and solving mathematical problems
be confident in one's personal knowledge of mathematics, to feel able both to apply it, and to acquire new knowledge and skills when needed
The school provides a Maths intervention Program for selected students in years 1-4 who require extra support in developing mental computation skills.
Participation in the Maths Olympiad Competition is offered to selected students in Years 5 & 6.
Science & Humanities
Knowledge Rich Curriculum
At St John Vianney’s Primary School, we teach Science and Humanities knowledge and skills through our Literacy Program. This approach to learning provides students with a knowledge rich curriculum that deliberately builds students' knowledge and vocabulary, reading comprehension and critical thinking. Our knowledge rich curriculum approach embraces ideas from cognitive science about memory, forgetting and the power of retrieval practice. This approach enables students to deepen their content knowledge and literacy skills.
Developing Digital Literacy Skills
At St John Vianney’s students have the opportunity to develop digital literacy skills and enhance their learning across all curriculum areas. Students at all levels have experience in using coding programs such as Scratch and Scratch junior. The students use a range of hardware (including iPads, laptops, desktops, Chromebooks and Interactive white Boards) which are used extensively as tools to enhance learning.
Students have access to a wide variety of software to support teaching and learning. The Seesaw application is used by students to share their learning with their families in an effort to strengthen the relationship between school and home.
St John Vianney’s is recognised as an eSmart school. Programs related to cybersafety are implemented across all levels. We aim to develop skills and understandings which will enable students to become safe, responsible and respectful digital citizens.
Providing a Diverse Curriculum
At St John Vianney’s the specialist programs are Library, Digital Technologies, Visual Arts, Indonesian, Physical Education/Sport & Performing Arts which are offered to students from Prep –Year 6.
Each Specialist Class is held once a week for 40 minutes.
Encouraging Movement & Music in our Students
The Performing Arts program at St John Vianney’s includes drama, music and dance. Students are exposed to a wide variety of music and movement and are encouraged to participate in activities to enhance and develop their skills. Students at St John Vianney’s look forward to demonstrating their performance skills at the bi-annual school production.
Students in Years 2-6 at St John Vianney’s are invited to join the school choir. The choir sing at the Friday class masses as well as special events throughout the year.
Indonesian classes are held weekly for each class. Students learn basic Indonesian language, gain some understanding of Indonesian customs and culture as well as some geographical features of the country. Indonesian Day is celebrated bi-annually.
A Wide Range of Literature for Students to Enjoy
The Library at St John Vianney’s is a contemporary learning space which provides a wide range of literature for students to enjoy. The space has computer access for up to 28 students. The program offered in the Library is literature based with ICT tools used to enhance student learning. Students are encouraged to borrow from the library often and enjoy the facilities the space has to offer during class time and at lunchtimes.
Physical Eduction is an Integral Part of Development
Health and Physical Education is an integral part of our students’ development. Physical Education lessons provide coverage of all fundamental motor skills and through ‘Sporting Schools’ students have experience of specialist training in a range of sports.
Students in Years 3-6 are involved in Cross Country and Athletics carnivals. Year 5-6 students participate in District Interschool Summer and Winter Sports and District Gala Days. All students are involved in our annual ‘Sports Day’.
A Little Extra Support For Our Learners
St John Vianney’s has on its staff a Speech Pathologist who works with students individually or in small groups utilizing a range of language programs particularly around building vocabulary development.
The school employs the services of an Occupational Therapist who works with students one day per week.
The school employs the services of a counsellor who works with students one day per
week. (See Student Wellbeing page)
Maths Intervention Teachers
Invention programs in Maths are offered to support students requiring assistance. (See Mathematics).