Teaching & Learning
St Michael’s College encourages each student to grow as a person in an environment where mutual respect and learning are held in the highest regard. In keeping with its Lasallian ethos, our curriculum embraces all key learning areas and gives special attention to literacy and numeracy. It is responsive to the changing demands of a modern, forward-looking education system and strives to give all students the opportunity to reach their full potential.
There are six essential elements to our curriculum:
- Accessing an inclusive curriculum, which caters for differing learning styles and abilities, learning individually and collaboratively and communicating effectively.
- Thinking creatively and critically to gain knowledge and apply skills.
- Participating in a community of learners that contribute to the development of and are enriched by each individual member.
- Being a child of God, valued for the contribution made to the social and cultural diversity of the College.
- Being informed citizens who act with integrity.
Our curriculum is enhanced by our innovative learning spaces and the continued development of pedagogy that promotes academic, spiritual, social, emotional, and physical growth.
Learning at the Primary Campus is further enhanced through our Primary Values that support students to develop skills and attributes that contribute to their success in many aspects of life.Primary Teaching and Learning Handbook 2022
The Australian Curriculum
The Australian Curriculum is designed to teach students the skills and knowledge necessary to be confident and creative individuals and become active and informed citizens for a 21st Century learning environment. In the early years, priority is given to literacy and numeracy development as the critical foundations for future learning. As our students progress through the primary years, an increasing focus is placed on developing the knowledge, understanding and skills of all eight learning areas. In addition, we utilise the CESA Frameworks of ‘Crossways’ and ‘Made in The Image of God’ for developing teacher programs in the subject of Religious Education.
Assessment and Reporting
Term 1 Students and parents participate in a Learning Conversation
Term 3 Portfolio Conference Evening and Expos
Term 2 and 4 parents are provided with reports that provide a summary of achievements for that semester.
- Humanities (HASS)
- Religious Education
See below for detailed specialist programs:
Visual Arts and Design Program
The Visual Arts and Design Program aims to teach students how to observe, interpret and create the world around them, including imagined worlds. By using the Australian Curriculum as a framework and museum resources this program encourages students to make and respond to Art from a variety of times and places. Students learn how to explore Visual Art and Design styles and implement a variety of techniques and processes to create a body of artwork.
Students use a variety of techniques and materials to create 2D, 3D and digital artworks that provide students with an opportunity to express their emotions and create objects. The processes taught help students to communicate using visual conventions and convey emotion and or purpose using visual arts and design techniques. Students learn how to share and exhibit their artworks with their peers, a wider community and global audience.
Programs and Projects:
- Drawing Skills
- Painting using a variety of materials
- Multimedia Artworks
- iPad apps 2D and 3D
- iPad apps to share and respond to artworks – including ePortfolios and eBooks
- 3D modelling using clay and plasticine; including ceramics using hand and thrown techniques as part of Outdoor Classroom activities
- Zoom and Livestream learning events using video conferencing with Galleries and other art students internationally
- Coding and Robotics in Art- using ProBots, Blue Bots and Spheros
- 3D Design and Printing –Makers Empire app and 3D Printers with involvement in Global Design Projects
- Emblaser Laser cutting used for STEAM and design links in Art
- Student involvement in local and global Art Exhibitions is encouraged and various opportunities are sought each year, such as SALA, Brickworks Market Place, Royal Adelaide Show, International Flipgrid and Makers Empire project
Languages - Italian
Italian, a specialist subject, is an integral part of our overall curriculum. This is the heritage of many members of our College Community, where Italian language is widely spoken at home. The program is enriched by our shared culture and utilises the many opportunities to hear and use the language in real-life situations as well as making connections through shared community partnerships.
Learning a language gives students the opportunity to further develop their skills in respect, social awareness, collaboration and expression. Italian lessons also support and enhance the strands of Language and Literacy in our English program. We strongly encourage the use of bi-lingual labelling throughout all classrooms. Students experience the learning of culture, traditions, comparison of lifestyle, listening, speaking and writing in Italian through the Australian Curriculum achievement standards in ‘Communicating’ and ‘Understanding’.
We utilise technology through:
- Languages On-line
- Education Perfect
- iPad applications Italian Cards, My First Italian Words & Showbie
- Adapting apps such as Puppet Pals, Book Creator, Keynote, Explain Everything and iMovie to suit the learning activity in Italian
In 2019 we were successful in receiving a grant to implement the Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) Program in our Reception classes. This is a three-year project which will extend to Year 2 by 2021.
ELLA is an exciting Digital Language Learning Program for early learners. It opens up a world of cultural possibilities for children early in life.
Students learn the Italian language using play-based apps called THE POLYGLOTS (a polyglot is someone who is multilingual) designed with help from language, early childhood and technology experts.
Our cultural diversity and Catholic Identity is also promoted through major events such Italian Day, Harmony Day, Carnevale and Ristorante Italiano.
Health and Physical Education
We offer an extensive sporting program that focuses on student’s intellectual, physical, spiritual and social wellbeing. This is enabled through forming new friendships within the community; building self-esteem and confidence within each individual as well as developing new sporting fundamental movement skills, critical thinking and leadership qualities in addition to keeping fit and active.
We incorporate Health into the curriculum to develop and enhance students health, wellbeing, safety within school life. Health topics targeted throughout the year include analysing key aspects of food and nutrition, health benefits of physical activity, drugs & alcohol and safety. These topics are aligned with the Australian Curriculum and support the Child Protection Curriculum.
Students in Reception to Year 2 are provided with an opportunity to participate in a variety of different sports such as St Michael’s ‘Joey’ Cricket, Auskick, Junior Soccer and Tennis Hot Shots program. In the middle years further opportunities arise with the introduction of Swimming, Chess, Basketball, Soccer and AFL Football. The Upper Primary Years students further broaden their sporting opportunities with Cross Country, Athletics, European Handball, Touch Football and Tennis.
All students are provided with specialised Physical Education programs of Gymnastics with an opportunity to develop key fitness components of muscular strength, flexibility, balance and coordination in addition to specialist movement sequences.
Music and the Performing Arts
We combine traditional and contemporary educational practices and prepare students for the broader community by developing artistic skills, as well as self-esteem and the ability to work well within a team environment. Together the skills learnt, increase self-confidence and camaraderie. These learning areas have the capacity to engage, inspire and enrich all students, exciting the imagination and encouraging them to reach their creative and expressive potential.
The following Co-curricular activities are also offered through this program:
Instrumental Music Program – Currently students may choose to learn any of the following instruments: piano, voice, guitar, bass guitar, drums, saxophone, clarinet, trumpet and trombone. Students who choose to learn an instrument participate in 30 minute individual lessons with a tutor once a week.
Year 4 and 5 Brass & Woodwind Program – All students in Years 4 and 5 learn either the trombone, trumpet, clarinet or saxophone as part of the Brass & Woodwind Program. From 2020 onwards this program will be offered to Year 4 students only.
Primary Stage Band – The Primary Stage Band consists of students from Years 4 to 6 who have demonstrated musical aptitude and passion through the Brass & Woodwind Program. Students who play bass guitar, drums or piano are selected through an audition process. The Stage Band performs throughout the year at Assemblies, Instrumental Concerts, Primary Music Concerts and at the College Music Night -Pulse.
Festival Choir – The Festival Choir consists of students from Years 5 and 6. The Choir prepares for and participates in the annual Catholic Schools Music Festival.
Ensembles – Students who are involved in the Instrumental Music Program have the opportunity to be involved in small ensembles including a Rock Band, Saxophone Ensemble, and Vocal Ensemble.
Primary Campus Musical – Students in Years 4 to 6 have the opportunity to audition for the Musical. Students audition for performance roles or train to be part of a backstage crew. The Primary Musical began in 2015 and since then our Music & Performing Arts Teacher, Miss Talia Gaertner-Jones has been writing original musicals. The students rehearse twice a week with a professional Choreographer and Vocal Tutor. Students who apply to be part of the backstage crew are able to learn technical skills such as lighting & sound and work with professional theatre technicians. Students from the Secondary Campus, former SMC Primary students are invited back to assist in senior backstage roles.