We Help Each Other to Be Successful
Our Lady Help of Christians Primary School Eltham
At Our Lady Help of Christians we provide a high quality contemporary learning environment in which all students are challenged and supported to experience ongoing success, which leads to higher levels of student engagement and improved student outcomes.
We are a student centred school where our students are valued, build authentic relationships, develop a love of learning, have access to a comprehensive and contemporary curriculum and become responsible citizens and confident lifelong learners.
We build our students' capacity to be great communicators, thinkers, collaborators and researchers who manage themselves effectively and are invested in the ownership and success of their learning.
We ensure a personalised approach to our student’s learning based on their strengths, challenges, interests, talents, experiences and background. Learning and Teaching is explicit and scaffolded to establish learning intentions, success criteria and feedback to ensure access and success for all.
The provision of the school’s curriculum is arranged so that each class has a two-hour Literacy block and a one-hour Numeracy block each day. The other learning domains from the Victorian Curriculum are taught using an Inquiry Approach, where the content and focus is selected from one or more areas of the curriculum each term.
By using an Inquiry Approach, we are able to provide learning experiences for our children that are not only engaging but also allow for the development of skills such as: problem solving, creative thinking, critical thinking, the generation of new ideas, the ability to analyse and evaluate information and to plan for the future.
At Our Lady Help of Christians we focus on the development of the whole child – spiritually, morally, socially, emotionally and intellectually. We seek to develop students who feel accepted and have an appreciation of the world and their place within it. A positive sense of wellbeing supports a base for rich learning that enables the children at Our Lady’s to flourish.
We embrace the teachings of Jesus and endeavour to practise the gospel values of honesty, forgiveness, justice, compassion and inclusiveness. Our focus on Social Justice makes strong connections with these teachings and embeds these values even further.
We celebrate together in the form of whole school masses and liturgies and embrace the opportunities to gather together with the parish. Through these opportunities, we are able to strengthen our faith community. We utilise the Religious Education Curriculum and other programs and materials to support our teaching.
At Our Lady Help of Christians we believe that active and effective participation in society depends on the ability to speak, listen, read, view and write with confidence, purpose and enjoyment.
We have high expectations for all children and provide opportunities for each individual to demonstrate their skills and talents in all areas of English, including Reading and Viewing, Writing, Speaking and Listening. Each day in Prep to Year Six, we have a two-hour literacy block, with one hour each of Reading and Writing.
Children in Prep to Year Two are taught the foundations of English. This allows the students to gain literacy skills through explicit teaching of phonics, reading strategies and writing skills. During the literacy block, children are given the opportunity to develop their understanding of the power and richness of language and literature, and how it is used to convey information, evoke feelings, communicate ideas and express opinions.
Intervention Programs are provided during school hours to those students who need further support to develop effective reading and writing strategies. At Our Lady’s, we aim to personalise the curriculum in order to meet the individual learning needs of each student at our school.
At Our Lady’s, our goal in Mathematics is to assist children to understand and work with numbers and to apply logical reasoning and creative thinking to solve problems.
The Mathematics curriculum covers the content strands of Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, Statistics and Probability. Included within these strands are the proficiencies: understanding, fluency, problem solving and reasoning.
We use pre and post testing to inform the teaching and learning of Mathematics. Both formal and informal assessments enable us to support the children as they develop a deep understanding of mathematical concepts.
Rich, open-ended learning tasks and focussed teaching is used within each classroom to cater for the various levels of understanding and enable children to build upon and extend their current knowledge. Students work on tasks that include problem-solving, investigations and reinforcement of computation skills through the use of modelling materials, concrete tools and games.
In the early years there is a strong focus on students learning the fundamentals in number. Regular assessments and targets are set for individual students in Years P-6 to support children in their mathematical learning program.
An Inquiry approach develops the attitude and habits of life-long learning. Inquiry is a dynamic approach to teaching and learning. It recognises that children bring with them prior knowledge and experiences and seeks to build upon these. It actively involves the children in exploring their world, asking questions and inquiring into issues or ideas that are relevant to them. Inquiry is a constructive process with the learner making connections and developing new understandings that are transferable to a range of contexts in their world.
At Our Lady’s we are committed to equipping our children with the skills necessary to engage in the contemporary world.
Today’s children live in a world that has seen an information explosion, marked by rapid change not only in science and technology but also in many aspects of our everyday society. It is therefore essential to provide our students with powerful learning opportunities that allow them to adapt, apply and transfer new skills and knowledge, show respect towards others, embrace technological and social change, equip them with skills that will meet the challenges of 21st century learning and allow them to develop a love of learning and foster creativity, problem solving and imagination.
Information and Communication Technology
At OLHC, we are on our journey to become an eSmart school. The eSmart framework will support our school community in preventing and managing a wide range of cyber safety and bullying issues, as well as helping us to build a connected social environment on and offline. The Alannah & Madeline Foundation is a leading national not-for-profit organisation working to protect children from the effects of violence and bullying. We are building a community of like-minded individuals to identify, prevent and respond to the modern challenges children face.
In addition, Information and Communication Technology focuses on providing children with the tools to transform their learning and to enrich their learning environment.
The knowledge, skills and behaviours enable students to:
develop new thinking and learning skills that produce creative and innovative insights
develop more productive ways of working and solving problems individually and collaboratively
create information products that demonstrate their understanding of concepts, issues, relationships and processes
express themselves in modern and socially relevant ways
communicate locally and globally to solve problems and to share knowledge
understand the implications of the use of ICT and their social and ethical responsibilities as users of ICT
Learning Diversity - Intervention & Extension
‘Learning diversity’ refers to the infinite variety of life experiences and attributes a child brings to their formal learning at school. All students with diverse learning needs have a right to access a full and engaging education on the same basis as their peers. Catholic schools seek to empower learners by celebrating difference and providing educational opportunities aimed at eliminating discrimination and focused on growth and progress for all.”
(Excerpt taken from CECV Horizons of Hope Foundation Statement: Learning Diversity in Catholic Schools, 2017)
At Our Lady Help of Christians we recognise that sometimes a student’s academic, physical or social and emotional learning needs can be very different from those of their peers. These differences may relate to:
physical, cognitive, social and emotional or sensory disability.
We value a collaborative approach to student learning and seek effective ways to meet the needs of all learners, so that every student experiences success. The curriculum is differentiated in each classroom to cater for the individual needs and abilities of all students.
Furthermore, the Learning Diversity Leader works in collaboration with classroom teachers to develop Individual Learning Plans for students requiring additional support academically, physically, socially or emotionally. Program Support Teams including teachers and parents meet regularly to develop, implement and monitor the Individual Learning Plan for students. Intervention programs further assist identified students across the school. Members of the Intervention team work collaboratively with classroom teachers and parents/carers to design intervention that is based on relevant student assessments, is research-based and targets the specific need of the student.
Consultants from the Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools such as Speech Therapists, Educational Psychologists and Curriculum Advisors provide advice on the implementation and monitoring of students with an Individual Learning Plan.
We have an innovative approach to language learning where students from Prep to Year Six participate in two Italian sessions each week, one of which is supported by an Italian Assistant in the classroom, with the classroom teacher learning alongside students.
There is an emphasis on understanding and producing oral language and the use of a gestured approach that allows children to quickly learn and retain language. Children learn functional language that can be used in their everyday lives and are immersed in the Italian language throughout the school, with every opportunity taken to practise what is learnt.
Physical Education and Sport are an important part of school life and the development of the whole child. Each week the children participate in a Physical Education lesson and a sport session. The Physical Education lesson deals primarily with the development of gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination. During the sport sessions, children participate in game-based activities.
Students at Our Lady’s attend weekly classes that cover performance and the artistic elements of Music, Dance and Drama with the focus being on children developing the skills and confidence in a range of areas including musical performance, singing, vocal presentation, physical acting, script writing and dancing.
The Library at Our Lady’s is an extremely well equipped and modern facility, providing students and staff with a resource that is invaluable for their continuous learning. Children are encouraged to view the library as a place that is welcoming and responsive to their needs both educational and recreational. We aim to produce happy lifelong readers. Every class has a formal session each week during which children are introduced to a variety of literature genres and the workings of a library. They also enjoy robotics, coding and other STEM subjects during this time.
Visual Art involves students learning specific skills and techniques. They create and design art works from an idea. Students imagine, learn to use and manage a variety of materials and tools to prepare, develop, produce and present art.
Students respond to art works through their senses, thoughts and emotions. They come to understand and appreciate art works through discussion and reflection. As students respond to what they see and feel, they learn to appreciate and explore others’ art works. Students also develop aesthetic knowledge through their Arts learning.
At Our Lady Help of Christians, we have a designated Art room where children create art works on a regular basis with their class and also during SWELL sessions. The room displays the children’s artwork and this brings about a passion and excitement about art. Everyone who enters the Art room feels happy and delighted to see such great talent demonstrated by the students.