How we teach and support
Our entire teaching staff is dedicated to the detail and we want to ensure every child achieves to their own potential.
This means ensuring we have a robust system of teaching and support that not only caters to the average (or middle student) – but also the advanced student or the student that needs some extra support.
For learning to take place we need to ensure that every child feels safe, happy and confident within themselves – and so a huge emphasis is placed on a strong wellbeing and support program that achieves just that!
We offer external opportunities for learning and participation in extending our learning through offering the Bebras Challenge; the Australian Maths Trust Mathematics Competition and Mathematics Challenge; writing competitions including ones that students have the chance of being published; and Debating events. This list is not exhaustive and opportunities are given as indicated by students interests and strengths.
Video Below: Our Literacy Intervention Program
Caring and Nurturing
At the core of what we do at St Philip’s is a belief in the inherent dignity of every person. The size of our school allows every student to be known and nurtured by every staff member of our school. Our students are every staff member’s students and our students do not just belong to one grade.
We offer social and emotional interventions through our Better Buddies program (Years Prep and Six), Seasons for Growth program, Student Representative Council and our class meetings. These programs aim to give all students a voice and the feeling of being in a safe environment where difference is accepted and uniqueness is celebrated. We offer a variety of student lunchtime clubs including Games Club on Mondays, Library open Tuesdays and other days, play/activities under the verandah outside the Tuckshop.
On different occasions, the students work in multi-age groups to develop working relationships between the students through a range of shared activities. This creates a strong community feel in the school and a caring attitude in the older children for their younger counterparts. These can be organised informally by the class teachers and also during our range of special event days.
The Prep students have a designated Year 6 “buddy” for the year. New preps will get an opportunity to meet their buddy at the Prep Orientation Sessions before beginning school.
We value student leadership and there are many opportunities for our students to express their voice and ideas. Initiatives for Student Leadership and Student voice includes: Student Representative Council (SRC) where members meet regularly with the Principal to provide students with a voice on various matters stemming from the weekly classroom meetings including safety and initiatives; Year Sixes have the opportunity to take on special leadership responsibilities in the school as School Captains and as House Captains; Year Five Leadership Day; Senior Leadership Groups where the Year Five and Six students are engaged in various teams to promote and develop teamwork, cooperation managing times and resources and student voice; and all Year Sixes are encouraged to take on the responsibility of leadership by setting a good example for younger students and representing our school at events such as Open Days.
Positive Parent Partnerships
St Philip’s school community believes that staff and parents are co-educators. We value relationships and connectedness with our parents and families and our staff prioritises building relationships with students and families. Research suggests that when parents are actively involved in their children’s education, student results show marked improvements. We welcome parent helpers and encourage parents to volunteer around the school. Legislation requires that schools have very strict protocols in place to protect children from abuse in all its forms. All parental involvement must adhere to the Victorian Government’s Child Safe Standards and St Philip’s Child Safe Code of Conduct. Parents are also required to obtain a Working With Children Card before volunteering. Applications for WWCC are Online at: http://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au/home/applications/. It is essential that a copy of your WWCC be given to the office. Helpers/volunteers are expected to keep their WWCC updated.
Ways that parents can actively participate include:
- The School Education Board
- Parents and Friends
- Sports Committee
- Classroom and Excursion helpers
- Parent Class Representatives
Kinder to Prep Transition
As it is such an important time in a child’s and family’s life, we aim to provide a smooth transition for all of our students from Kinder to Prep. We liaise with a number of local kindergartens regarding Prep enrolments and foster a relationship with the kindergarteners through our year 5 visits where our students have the opportunity to participate in activities and read to them – a highlight for our year 5s who have the potential to be their Year 6 buddies. The year before Prep, we hold 4 orientation sessions with our students so that they begin to feel comfortable with our school and some of the teachers that they will be working with in the following year. Orientation sessions include storytime with the Teacher-Librarian, an introduction to Italian, Performing Arts, Physical Education and STEM with the Specialist teachers and of course spending time with the Prep Teachers and meeting their Year 6 buddies, a very rewarding program that helps our Year Preps feel comfortable at school. Our new Prep students will also meet their new classroom teacher in their orientation sessions and meet their new class in the whole school transition day. Parents have the opportunity to participate in a Parent Information Night where they have the opportunity to meet one another and be guided through the requirements and expectations by our Principal.
Primary to Secondary Transitions
We liaise with secondary schools to ensure a smooth transition for our Year 6 graduates into Year 7. This includes our Year 6 teacher working with our students during this transitional time, our feeder Catholic Secondary schools visiting the students at school and our students going to their schools as arranged and staff liaising with the staff from secondary school about each student. We recognise that this can be exciting and unsettling at the same time for our students and each student’s wellbeing is paramount.
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Meet our principal, teachers, current students, parents, learn about our curriculum opportunities and tips for a smooth start to school.