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 strive to create an inclusive environment where all students and families feel welcomed. We recognise that students with a disability have the same needs, hopes and rights as other students and young people.
We work in partnership with families and support agencies to provide a coordinated approach encompassing the individual needs of all students, including those with learning disabilities, highly able students and children with student welfare needs.
We provide specific staffing, resources and programs to meet the individual needs of all students and their families including:
- Learning Diversity Leader
- Student Support Team
- Speech Pathologist
- Educational Psychologist
- Learning Support Officers
- School Counsellor
- Program Support Meetings
- Personalised Learning Plans
- Transition Program
- Intervention Programs
- Acceleration Programs
We understand that students learn in different ways and not at the same pace. We use data and build relationships with students to establish their strengths, areas for support, skills and interests in order to establish learning pathways which ensure active engagement for all students.
Social & Emotional Learning
We strongly believe that building on our students Social and Emotional knowledge and skills has a significant impact on our students’ learning outcomes and promotes essential life skills that can have a positive effect on their wellbeing now and in the future.
Children learn social and emotional skills most effectively when they are reinforced at school and especially at home. “Children who have developed social and emotional skills ﬁnd it easier to manage themselves, relate to others, resolve conﬂict, and feel positive about themselves and the world around them.” Kids Matter (Social and Emotional Learning Program- Australian Government Department of Health).
Our Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) program is based on the Personal and Social Capabilities from the Victorian Curriculum (Victorian State Government) and Social and Emotional Learning Competencies.
The SEL Competencies include:
- Relationship Skills
- Responsible Decision Making
- Social Awareness
Throughout the program our students learn to:
- Understand themselves and others
- Manage their relationships, lives, work and learning more effectively
- Learning to recognise and regulate emotions
- Develop empathy for others and understand relationships
- Establish and build a framework for positive relationships
- Work effectively in teams and develop leadership skills
- Manage challenging situations constructively
There are three SEL cycles in a school year. All classes explore the following foci explicitly and implicitly.
Cycle 1: Building Positive Relationships
Cycle 2: Bounce Back: Building Resilience and Growth Mindset
Cycle 3: Be Safe – Building a tool kit to keep ourselves and others safe
Our “Buddy Program” pairs students from Year Prep and Year Five together. The students are highly motivated and engage in the program and benefit enormously.
- Prep students are made to feel more welcome and safer at school
- Prep students see a familiar face in our school
- Senior pupils develop leadership, maturity and communication skills
- Positive role models are established
- Relationships between buddies continue to be nurtured the following year
Peaceful Kids Program
Peaceful Kids is a Mindfulness and Positive Psychology based program to lessen anxiety and increase resilience in children. It is a developmental program that gives children the skills, practise and support to utilise coping strategies that lessen symptoms of anxiety and stress.
This program helps children to build their emotional resilience so they are better equipped to deal with the day to day stresses that life brings them. The program also involves parental involvement and commitment to supporting strategies at home.
The students are chosen in consultation with classroom teachers, school leadership and families.
- There are a maximum of 10 students in each group
- The program runs for approximately 8 weeks
- The group will meet for one hour a week or fortnight
- An overview of the learning is shared with families and teachers so that knowledge and skills can be reinforced
Peaceful Parents Program
Peaceful Parents’ is a Mindfulness and Positive Psychology based parenting program to increase resilience in both parents and children. ‘Peaceful Parents’ is a strength-based parenting workshop that is engaging, practical and supportive of parents. Parents learn strategies to lessen stress, enjoy parenting more as well as learning practical strategies to build resilience in their children.
Peaceful Parent Program Facilitators have experience and training in the Peaceful Kids and Peaceful Parents Programs.
- There are a maximum of 8-10 parents in a group
- The program runs for 4 weeks. There is one session each week
- Sessions run for 2 hours
- Weekly emails are sent to participants between sessions. These include reminders, readings, session summaries and follow up resources
Developing social skills through Social and Emotional Learning is how children and adults learn to interact with the world. We learn to understand and manage emotions, set goals, show empathy to others, establish positive relationships and make responsible decisions.
- Social Skills Program is a 10 -18 week program
- It is held at school in small groups of up to 8-10 students
- Sessions run between 30 mins – 60 minutes a week
- Sessions include stories, fun activities, mindfulness strategies, effective coping strategies and goal setting
- Children can set a goal each week to practice
- An overview of learning is shared with families and teachers so that knowledge and skills can be reinforced
English as an Additional Language
At St Peter Chanel students that are newly arrived from overseas are able to access a program of targeted teaching to help them in the initial stages of acquiring English.
This program is run by specialist English as Additional Language (EAL) educators who provide English classes and support within the classroom. The program also includes students that were born in Australia, who are exposed to languages other than English within the home and require extra Literacy support.
‘Our House Spirit’ house system is an unique opportunity for our students and families to further enrich our school culture, elevate student’s well being and create valuable connections. Fundamentally there are four coloured teams, these teams are referred to as ‘houses’ and offer all students opportunities where they can experience a true sense of belonging. The range of experiences organised by the student House Spirit Leaders are fun, diverse, inclusive, vibrant and engaging opportunities for all students, from Year Prep through to Year Six.
Each house has three Year Six leaders. To apply to be a House Spirit leader the Year Six children deliver a speech that reflects on their leadership qualities. The leaders also express an initiative they would like to lead. The House System definitely gives the students a chance to express their student voice and engage the participation of the whole school community.
Kinder to Prep Transition
At St Peter Chanel School, we connect with families and preschools to make a child’s transition from preschool to school as smooth as possible.
To assists pre-schoolers and their families in making a successful transition to the school environment we provide:
- School visits during term 4
- Storytime sessions
- Experiences in the school setting
- Information sessions and support for families
Once students commence school, we support them in their learning spaces and playground through:
- Flexible class groupings
- Prep Play Program – Year 5 students support Preps in the playground
- Buddy Program – with Year 5 students
Year 6 to Year 7 Transition
Transition is the process we undertake when we experience change in our lives. For children and families, times of transition and change can be particularly stressful and challenging. Managing these obstacles by even the smallest amount can make a big difference.
At St Peter Chanel, we believe that by initiating conversations, building strong relationships and implementing a range of purposeful strategies that we can equip our students with the necessary skills to experience an effective transition into secondary school. From the beginning of the academic year, transition is embedded into the daily ins and outs of learning for our Year Six students.
At the beginning of each week, students are given a weekly timetable that is broken down into sessions. Students use this timetable to ensure that for the morning, middle and afternoon block, they have the things out that they need. This is to simulate a timetable that students will use in secondary school. Codes are used like in secondary school to represent subjects.
We acknowledge that students need to acquire and apply technology skills to be capable of functioning. It is also evident that students need to manage their learning with the use of technology independently in secondary school. In response to this we have ensured that technology underpins learning wherever possible. The use of the Google Suite has allowed our students to apply technology as a tool to learning. Students create, upload, edit and organise their work while collaborating with their peers and teachers.
The ability to interact with and make new friends is a major skill students need to know and use in the first weeks of beginning secondary school. We endeavour to have two transition days as a way for students to develop these skills and meet students that are going to the same secondary school as them. Workshops are run throughout these days to expose students to a range of strategies including ice breakers that students can implement in secondary school. Past students also come along with representatives from the different secondary schools to chat to the students about their experiences at secondary school and answer questions Year Six students may have.
Part of the transition process involves informing the secondary schools that our students are attending of student academic ability, individual student needs, family consideration and potential groupings of students attending the same school. We ensure that we complete these forms thoroughly to ensure that our students are best catered for.
Term Four is crucial in preparing our students for the leap into secondary school next year. Our Term Four unit has a specific focus on transition and learning opportunities are tailored to the needs of our students in moving onto secondary school. Given that our learning environment is conducive to collaborative learning, we provide opportunities for students to work in groups to develop communication and teamwork skills in preparation for the future.
At St. Peter Chanel we acknowledge that transitioning to a school may be a time of uncertainty for families and students. Our enrolment processes include school tours and conversations with the Principal and school leadership staff and our transition program ensures that children and families feel welcome and have a sense of belonging to our school community.
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