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Learning & Teaching Framework

Learning & Teaching Framework

Our Catholic school communities believe all learners are created in the image of God and viewed as unique individual learners who are supported to achieve their highest potential.

Our schools are committed to providing high quality learning and teaching through the implementation of the Australian Curriculum. Every student must develop strong literacy and numeracy skills in their earliest years of schooling, and go on to develop broad and deep knowledge across a range of curriculum areas.  

• confident and creative individuals

• successful lifelong learners

• active and informed members of the community.

Teachers have high expectations of all learners and implement effective evidence-based pedagogy that leads to student growth.   

We believe that learning happens best within supportive partnerships in which learners feel valued, connected and engaged in their learning. Schools create an inviting and inclusive learning environment that dignifies all learners.


St Mary’s School seeks to provide an education which recognises the God-giftedness of all children and supports them spiritually, intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically.

With Jesus as our model, we believe our Catholic ethos best enables us to live happily as a Christian Community.

At St Mary’s School we have a wide range of student competencies and needs, in respect of literacy and numeracy. In keeping with our Mission Statement, every child is nurtured to reach his or her full potential. A student’s education will not be limited by individual circumstances, such as their socio-economic status, gender, ethnic/cultural background, impairment or special talents they have. In pursuit of this aim, teachers on St Mary’s staff recognise and acknowledge the different circumstances and they attempt to cater for all the educational implications of these differences, in order for the children to achieve to the best of their ability.

Parents and community members are an important part of the St Mary’s School's community. Parental support in classroom activities, for example, support-a-reader, camps and excursions, is encouraged and welcomed.

Our goal at St Mary's School is that children learn things that are of value. We hope that this value is both for the present and for the future. We hope that their learning will be of interest to them today and of use to them in years to come.

Religious Education

Religious Education

Religious Education is an integral part of Catholic Education. At St Mary’s Catholic School, we promote Christian values and encourage these to be evident throughout all learning and social situations.

The Religious Education curriculum is based on the Archdiocese of Brisbane program and focuses on four strands:

  • Beliefs
  • Christian Life
  • Church
  • Sacred Texts

Children are given an opportunity to build on their relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit through a variety of activities and experiences. They are brought to an awareness of themselves, of others, of the world and the Christian faith and tradition. They also participate in:

  • Daily prayers
  • Christian meditation
  • School masses

Children are able to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation. Parents wishing for their child to receive these sacraments are asked to contact with the Parish Coordinator or School Office. The sacraments are usually celebrated at the end of Term 2, however dates vary according to the availability of the Bishop.



At St Mary’s School we aim to develop the children’s competency in:

  • reading
  • writing
  • speaking and listening.

We believe that the acquisition of skills in these areas are vital to all other learning and that through them students can be assured of access to the full range of opportunities offered by society.

Within their daily English lessons, students participate in a range of activities including:

  • Guided reading tasks
  • Listening posts
  • Comprehension activities
  • Literacy games
  • Show and Tell
  • Oral presentations

These activities ensure that students are given the opportunity to:

  • Experience a broad range of literature
  • Reflect on literature
  • Participate in spelling activities
  • Read, write, listen and speak for various audiences

Through participation in a range of activities and careful planning and programming to meet students needs, teachers are able to create a learning environment that is:

  • Busy
  • Exciting
  • Challenging
  • Fun
  • Engaging.

St Mary’s School works in conjunction with the Townsville Catholic Education Office to ensure that the most up-to-date and effective literacy teaching practices are implemented.



Mathematics is an integral part of St Mary's School students' ability to operate competently and confidently in their daily lives.

Our Numeracy Program aims to develop proficiency in:

  • Number
  • Algebra
  • Measurement
  • Space
  • Statistics
  • Probability

Daily Maths lessons provide students with a range of activities that are:

  • Interactive
  • Engaging
  • Challenging
  • Interesting
  • Hands-on
  • Fun

A range of strategies and programs are used to support student learning. These include:

  • Learning Through Doing
  • Yumi Deadly Maths mats
  • RoleM
  • Mathseeds

The development of mathematical strategies is the focus of all Numeracy lessons to better equip students when tackling mathematical problems. These include:

  • Doubling
  • Tens facts
  • Near doubling
  • Fact families
  • Bridging to 10
  • Skip counting
  • Subitising (immediate recognition of a small number of items in a group)
Overall, the Numeracy Program at St Mary's School provides graded and sequenced activities that complement concepts taught in the classroom. Teachers aim to develop the talents and capabilities of all students by providing a challenging curriculum that is comprehensive, balanced, and student-centered.

Specialist Teaching Areas

Students enjoy three hours of specialist subjects each week, which includes the arts, PE and Italian.

The Arts

St Mary's School recognises and whole-heartedly supports the fact that: "The Arts have the capacity to engage, inspire and enrich all students, exciting the imagination and encouraging them to reach their creative and expressive potential.

The five Arts subjects "provide opportunities for students to learn how to create, design, represent, communicate and share their imagined and conceptual ideas, emotions, observations and experiences." - Australian Curriculum

Research has shown that involvement in the arts can improve engagement in learning, increase self-esteem and develop social, communication, team work and self-expression skills. Children also learn to connect and empathise with others through exposure to different societies and cultures within arts programs.

Every Thursday students have lessons given by our specialist Arts teacher, Mrs Antonio. Throughout the year they explore Visual Arts, Music, Drama and Media Arts. Dance is taught separately by external providers. Students have the opportunity to experience a wide variety of activities including:

  • printing, painting, drawing, textiles and modelling
  • listening, creating and responding to a variety of different music
  • role-play, improvisation, movement and performing plays
  • production of animations, photography and making videos with the integration of ICT equipment.

Various additional activities which encourage and showcase the arts are also offered throughout the year. These include:

  • Arts Councils and School Performance Tours
  • Choir and hymn practice
  • Tournament of Minds
  • ‘St Mary’s Factor’, school discos, musicals and Christmas concerts
  • ‘Music Count Us In’ and Mulkadee (TCEO Arts Festival).

Physical Education (PE)

Fundamental Motor Skills, such as throwing, catching, kicking and striking, are taught in Prep and further developed in Years 1 to 3. These are then applied in a range of different sports, such as netball, football, soccer, tennis, touch and cricket, in Years 4 to 6.

All students learn track and field techniques in preparation for the Athletics carnival and have swimming lessons in Term 4. Students also participate in another hour of Sport with their class teacher during the rest of the week.

On a biannual basis, we outsource specialist Dance or Gymnastics instructors who deliver lessons to all students, generally in Term 3.

Every child has the opportunity to take part in the school's Athletics Carnival in Term 2 and also the Swimming Carnival in Term 4.

Homework Policy

Homework is an integral part of a child’s education. It helps maintain communication between school and home on the child’s academic growth and it reinforces basic skills and concepts taught in class.

Homework should be regular, relaxed and non-threatening.  Children should be given homework which involves familiar concepts or skills.  Parents should not be required to ‘teach’ anything to their child as part of homework set.  Homework which creates stress in the child and/or parent should be discontinued and a note of explanation sent to the teacher the next day.  Homework should provide a time for parents to positively reinforce and encourage their children’s efforts.


Homework will be set for Monday to Thursday evenings only, leaving weekends free.  All homework requirements are to be handed in to the classroom teacher on Friday mornings.

Homework Outline

Year Level
Expected Time Limit

No more than 10 minutes

Nightly reading aloud
Term 1 – parents sharing with child
Term 2 – To/With/By with child

2 – 5 Sight Words/week
DIPL homework sheet – completed orally with parent; working towards child completing

Year 1

No more than 15 minutes

Nightly reading aloud to parent

Sight Words/Number Words
DIPL homework sheet

Number chart - counting

Year 2

No more than 20 minutes

Nightly reading aloud to parent


Sight Words/Number Words/Mathematical Terms
DIPL homework sheet

Number chart - counting

Year 3

No more than 20 - 30 minutes

Nightly reading aloud to parent

DIPL homework sheet
Oral Language activity
(Show and Share topic)

Tables/Number Facts
Revision Activities

Year 4

No more than 20 - 30 minutes

Nightly reading aloud to parent

DIPL homework sheet


Tables/Number Facts
Revision Activities

Year 5

No more than 30 minutes

Nightly reading (aloud 2 nights)

DIPL homework sheet

Tables/Number Facts
Revision Worksheet

Year 6

No more than 30 minutes


Nightly reading (aloud 2 nights)

DIPL homework sheet


Tables/Number Facts
Revision Worksheet

Any student who has not completed their homework requirements and handed it in to their classroom teacher on Friday morning will be excluded from Funtastic Friday activities for that week unless a written note is provided by the parents.

Reading requirements are four nights a week for all year levels (minimum).  At least two of these nights for students in Years 3 – 6 should be aloud to parents for at least 10 minutes to develop reading expression and fluency.

Students in Years Prep – 2 should read aloud every night. Parents are to sign a nightly record to indicate that their child has read to them.  Students who consistently do not complete their four nights of reading may be excluded from Funtastic Friday activities to complete reading requirements.