Teaching And Learning

Students are actively engaged in learning experiences based on the Western Australian Curriculum. Balanced in breadth and depth, this curriculum outlines the essential knowledge, skills, values and behaviours our students will need to confidently face the challenges of the C21st.


Our programs reflect the school mission of educating, respecting and nurturing each child in an environment that promotes excellence and encourages students to become successful, confident and creative learners and active and informed citizens.


Dedicated Literacy and Numeracy blocks throughout the school support a commitment to helping each child reach their potential. In order to cater for the diverse range of needs evident across classes, teachers have the opportunity to work at a whole class, small group and individual student level during these times. A strong focus on explicit teaching is also evident throughout the school.


Support and enrichment are offered in class for students achieving below the expected level as well as for those students requiring extension.

 

Reading Support
Reading Support has experienced much success at Whitford Catholic Primary School since the introduction of Reading Recovery in 2006. 


In 2016 we introduced the Fountas & Pinnell Levelled Literacy Intervention Program for students from Years 1 to 6. Levelled Literacy Intervention is short-term and intensive, with flexible entry and exit points so that individual needs may be accommodated in a small-group situation. This program is supported by excellent classroom instructors and it is the combination of high quality classroom teaching and intensive small-group intervention lessons that enables learners to make accelerated progress.

 

Mathematics Support
Learning support is offered in the area of Mathematics for students experiencing difficulty from Years 3 - 6. This program involves working with small groups of students and focussing on the content covered in class as well as in other areas of difficulty. The focus of this intervention is to improve mathematical skills in the area of place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The aim is not only to support the students but to develop positive attitudes to mathematics through both practical and mental mathematics activities.

 

Library
The school Library is a well-resourced hub and hive of activity. Lessons immerse students in the wonders of the library system and help them to navigate effectively the variety of resources available to the researcher. With ample technology on hand, our library aims to enrich the search for knowledge and enliven a love for literature and an appreciation of award winning authors and illustrators. Productive research skills within the library and via the internet together with responsible and ethical use of copyright are taught as part of the curriculum.


The library is abuzz at lunchtime with games and activities, but is also a place in which one can find a quiet corner to curl up with a book.
The library is also a place where the History and Geography curriculum is taught as a specialist teaching subject for students from Years 1 to 6.

 

LIGHTS
The Gifted and Talented Program, known as LIGHTS (Lively Intelligent Group Here to Study) provides a withdrawal program for students in Years 4 - 6 who have scored highly in the Acer Test of Learning Ability and the Acer General Ability Test.


This program provides greater depth and challenge to students by offering ‘extension’ and giving them additional or higher order thinking tasks with a multidisciplinary focus on creative and critical thinking skills. There is also a strong focus on catering for the socio-emotional needs that are unique to gifted children.


Integral to the program are competitions such as the Tournament of Minds, Australasian Problem Solving Mathematical Olympiads, the Scitech Challenge and the Year 5 Academic All Stars Competition. These opportunities are also offered to members of the general student body whose strengths lie in specific areas.

This diverse, challenging and differentiated program enables students to progress beyond standard curriculum requirements, so as to take risks and build knowledge and skills in a safe and flexible context.

 

The Arts - Music
During Music lessons with a specialist Music teacher, students are encouraged to sing, move, create and play instruments in response to a variety of music genres.


Children in Years 4, 5 and 6 are invited to participate in the school choir. This offers a range of performance opportunities throughout the year, both at school and at community events.


All children get to perform as a class choir in the Catholic Schools Performing Arts Festival at some stage of their time at Whitford Catholic School.
Singing is an important part of school and parish liturgies. To learn songs and enhance enthusiastic participation, the whole school meets on a fortnightly basis for liturgical singing.


After-school instrumental lessons provided by Keyed Up Music provide students with an opportunity for individual or small group lessons on either keyboard or guitar.

 

The Arts - Dance
Complementary to the Music Program are our Dance and Drama lessons with a specialist Dance teacher. Throughout the program, students have the opportunity to develop fundamental movement skills and experiment with elements of dance, choreography and performance.

 

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Students are provided with opportunities to develop ICT capabilities as they learn to use ICT effectively and appropriately, to access, create and communicate information and ideas, solve problems and work collaboratively across the curriculum.


At Whitford Catholic Primary School we provide students with a 21st century learning environment so that they have the opportunity to experience and engage in a variety of learning technologies.


In 2016 the school introduced the 1:1 BYO iPad Program as a part of the school booklist in both Years 3 and 5. All other students throughout the school have access to banks of shared iPads, laptops and desktop computers to support classroom learning.

 

Science
At Whitford Catholic Primary School we believe that Science provides opportunities for students to develop an understanding of important science concepts, processes, practices and applications in our lives.


Science lessons across the school are conducted by a specialist Science teacher in our dedicated Science Room.
The Science Program is integral to the Environmental Education and Sustainability practices that are developing within the school.

 

Languages Other than English (Italian)
Students participate in weekly Italian lessons with a specialist teacher. Students throughout the school learn to read, write and speak in Italian and are also immersed in Italian culture and traditions.

 

Health and Physical Education
Health Education is taught by classroom teachers during weekly lessons and supported by the school social worker. Focus in this area is on developing inter and intra personal skills, promoting resilience and fostering social skills. A range of programs are utilised within the health learning area including Friendly Schools, Program Achieve, Fun Friends for Life, Seasons for Growth, Rainbows, Girl Power and Good Guys.


Students participate in a physical education lesson each week with a specialist teacher. These lessons focus on the skills needed to lead healthy and active lifestyles and to provide opportunities for students to develop the skills to be involved in individual and team sports. Students participate in fitness activities and an Animal Fun Program operates in Kindergarten.


All year levels are involved in annual school athletics and swimming carnivals, with our students having the opportunity to participate in interschool swimming, athletics, interschool sport and cross-country events.


The school also offers a range of extra-curricular sporting activities such as running club, school netball and squad training for the swimming team.

 

Outreach
Kids of Mercy is a popular outreach program for students from Years 1 – 6 who share their time with the ladies and retired Sisters of Mercy, living at Mercyville Aged Care Facility, situated next door to the school. On a roster basis, children are encouraged to bring their show and tell, make craft items or perform their special talents for the residents. This informal chat at lunchtime on a Friday brings much joy to all parties and is enthusiastically anticipated.


Kids of Mercy heed Catherine McAuley’s call: Meet all with peace and ease

 

Seasons for Growth and Rainbows
Change and loss are issues that affect us all at some stage in our lives. As a school, we recognise that when changes occur in families through death, separation, divorce or related circumstances, young people benefit from learning how to manage these changes effectively. We therefore offer children the opportunity to be involved in either the Rainbows or Seasons for Growth programs.