Teaching & Learning
At St Francis of Assisi, we have a school chaplain, Mrs. Susan Harris, who works at school every Monday and Tuesday to help support students with various day to day wellbeing matters. The programs offered are voluntary and consent from parents is sort before students commence working with Susan. Requests for students to see Susan can come from parents, staff or the students themselves, however, written consent is required from parents before the students can participate in any of the sessions offered. The types of supports Susan offers include small group social skills workshops, playground support, friendship building groups, Seasons for Growth, emotion regulation sessions. Susan’s role is not one of school counsellor, however, she does have access to the school counsellor for support with ideas for conducting her programs and at times has worked together with the school counsellor in programs such as URFab.
If you would like more information or would like to request Susan support your child in some way please email the school via the Contact Us link on this website (https://www.stfa.act.edu.au/contact).
All children can opt not to work with Susan at any time and their right to do so will be explained to them in their first meeting and at the commencement of all following sessions. If you or your child is not happy with any aspect of the Chaplaincy program or a session/s with Susan, please either lodge a complaint using the link on the school website below the Complaints Policy (https://www.stfa.act.edu.au/policies-publications) or contact the front office directly on 62924500 to make an appointment to meet with either the Principal or Assistant Principal.
Our Library is an integral part of St Francis of Assisi, serving as a digital resource centre for all curriculum areas and encouraging students to develop a love of reading. Each class attends a weekly Library lesson and we have ‘story time’ each Monday morning at 9am.
Students have access to laptops and iPads in classrooms which are supplied with interactive white boards and panels. Years 4-6 have access to the BYOD iPad program to develop digital competencies across key learning areas.
Extra-Curricular Activities / Clubs
Teachers supervise a number of exciting and fun clubs throughout the school at lunchtimes. Below is a roster for what's on each day and children can join in the activities every day if they wish! Students are able to participate in creative and craft activities, games and gardening and they particularly enjoy socialising and learning new things that are separate from the playground.
The lunchtime clubs offer the opportunity for the teachers to work with different age groups and share their wonderful skills. Activities include choir, meditation, growing vegetables, looking after the chickens, drawing, Irish Dancing, coding, Scratch, Spheros, guitar, drumming, craft and Mini Vinnies.
As St Francis of Assisi is the Patron Saint of the Environment we here at St Francis of Assisi pride ourselves on looking after the environment. We are constantly working on ways to become a more sustainable school.
Our Green Gang program, which is run at lunchtimes, involves students in understanding the processes of growing food in an organic way. We learn how to deal with pests, how to nourish our soil, and how to promote strong plant growth. By participating in planting and cropping, our students are shown the value of fresh food and the work that goes into producing it. Students learn about and help care for the chickens which are part of our Green Gang area. Through this process, they develop an understanding of the needs of the chickens, how to maintain the habitat, and things which impact on the health of the chickens.
Sustainable activities students participate in include:
- Care of the garden beds such as weeding and turning the soil
- Planting and maintaining seeds and seedlings in pots to use in garden beds
- Planting and caring for seedlings in the main beds
- Harvesting plants and gathering eggs
- Selling produce to the school community
- Waste Management: using allocated chicken and worm bins for scraps and feeding the scraps to the chicken and worms or using the compost areas.
- Energy Management: making sure doors are closed, lights and computers are off when not being used, heating and cooling are at sustainable levels
- Participating in activities such as: Clean up Australia Day, World Environment Day, National Tree Day, Earth Hour.
- Nude Food Day every Tuesday
Music and Dance Program
We provide students with the opportunity to participate in many musical experiences including singing, movement, and listening to a wide range of music. Students in Year 3-6 also learn to play the ukulele and descant recorder. In Year 2 students are invited to join our Music Tuition Program provided by Musicorp Australia. Available lessons include piano, strings, woodwind and brass.
Gross Motor Program
We are committed to developing the whole child at St Francis of Assisi and this extends to physical education. The Gross Motor Program starts in Kindergarten and extends to Year 1 and is complemented by our outdoor adventure playground.
Learning Support Programs
Our Learning Support team works with the teachers to ensure the students are achieving their best. Students who are experiencing difficulties with maths, reading, handwriting and writing may receive extra support from a member of the learning support team or their classroom teacher. The children work in small groups or individually, using a targeted intervention approach to help achieve success. We work in partnership with parents to develop individual personalised plans to ensure these children have specific achievable goals that help them to move forward from where they are currently at.
Excursions are designed to enhance students’ experiences while working on a particular unit of work. Excursions and Incursions are included within the school fees and all year levels plan an incursion or excursion at least once a semester. Kinder to Year 4 also participate in a ‘Learn to Swim’ program, and Year 5 and 6 participate in an annual overnight camp.
Religious Education at St Francis of Assisi Primary School is based upon the new direction of Conceptual Inquiry in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn. It is designed to invite people to a deep personal relationship with God, inspired by Jesus and sustained by the Holy Spirit. Religious Education at St Francis of Assisi Primary School is grounded in the exploration and celebration of Sacred Scripture and Tradition to inform a deeper understanding of Catholicism and what it means to be a Catholic in the contemporary world.
The classroom teaching and learning in Religious Education encourages theological inquiry through a contemporary, engaging and experiential curriculum. The Religious Education curriculum at St Francis of Assisi is designed to centre on the learner and promote an expectation of high achievement and critical thinking. The student applies their understanding and skills to explore religious questions and various religious perspectives. It leads to a sense of wonder and connection to students’ lives.
Religious Education therefore aims to transform the students of St Francis of Assisi Primary School to become missionary disciples who proclaim a spirit of hope and respect in contributing to a just world.
Our school has a dedicated two-hour literacy block every day, where students spend an hour on writing and an hour on reading. Students are emerged in activities that range from explicit modelling from teachers through to inquiry tasks using iPads to explore the love of literature and literacy.
We encourage all children to read a range of free choice books, and support and motivate them through a variety of competitions and challenges. Parents and community members are welcomed as partners in learning during literacy time, and we encourage families to offer assistance when they are able to, especially during the formative years.
Through the quality Mathematics teaching provided at our school, we aim to develop numerate students. Mathematics underpins numeracy ‘…as numeracy is about using mathematics and this implies you must know mathematics before you can use it. Numeracy is not just number work but also includes geometry, statistics and algebra. Therefore the more mathematics you know and are able to call on the more numerate you will be’ (Faragher, 2013).
Mathematics and its application across the curriculum are of critical importance to the development of numeracy. Within Numeracy blocks, activities are differentiated to cater for the various levels present within each class and a strong focus upon investigative and experiential learning is present. Opportunities for reflection and discussion are key components of effective mathematics teaching and are encouraged during activities. Parent support in numeracy education is vital for academic growth. Therefore, parental assistance, as part of the weekly numeracy homework routine, is strongly encouraged and is supported through the provision of take home maths activities and online resources.