Teaching and Learning
All school programmes are based on National Education Goals, the NZ Curriculum, St Joseph’s Curriculum and the National Religious Education Curriculum. It is the school’s intention that all staff work together to deliver a balanced curriculum which reflects “best practice” in education. For this reason, programmes are constantly reviewed and refined.
Teachers are continually involved in professional learning and there is a strong commitment to provide quality Catholic education for the children. A high emphasis is placed on literacy and numeracy teaching, as skills learned in these areas underpin all school activities.
Children are treated as individuals, and are carefully monitored via a personal file (Profile) which accompanies the child from class to class during their time at St Joseph’s School. At various times during the year, parent information sessions, parent/pupil/teacher conferences and Sharing the Learning will be held.
Teachers are willing to discuss a child’s progress, talk about any aspect of the programme or school organisational details at any point during the year. There also set conference dates twice a year. Because teachers are fully occupied preparing for the teaching and learning for the day, we ask that parents contact teachers prior to 8.30 am or by making an appointment.
Learning programmes are based on The Key Competencies (Thinking – Managing Self – Relating to Others – Understanding Texts and Symbols – Participating and Contributing) and the Essential Learning Areas:
Mathematics and Statistics
Health and Physical Education
Languages including Te Reo Maori – Te Reo Tuatahi Maori Language Assistants support the learning of Te Reo in our school.
Each classroom has an ActivPanel and several devices (laptops, chromebooks and i-pads). The school has a Digital Technology Safety policy and all children and staff sign an internet safety agreement. Parents and children are asked to sign the Digital Technology Safety Agreement when the children start at our school. Children will re-sign this agreement at the beginning of each year, in class. Children from Year 3 upwards, with the consent of their parents, may bring a device to school to use for learning purposes only.
Education Outside the Classroom
This is an important dimension which enhances our in-class programmes. Experiences outside the classrooms include such activities as a biannual Year 5-6 Camp, sporting and musical trips, local walks and visits, education programmes at the museum, Art Gallery, Stardome, beach, zoo and farms. Wherever possible, all school excursions are directly related to current classrooms programmes and, as such, arranged visits are not optional for children. Usually, the children travel by bus on these trips.
- The compulsory aspects of “homework” or, as we now say, “home learning”, is focussed primarily on numeracy and literacy.
- The numeracy focus is basic facts, times table, and Mathletics.
- The literacy focus is normally reading and spelling. In the junior school children normally re-read materials covered at school and record these in a reading log.
- The middle and senior school children use a variety of reading resources including independent reading from Libraries, and may record these in a reading log.
- Spelling: most classes, from Year 2 upwards, have weekly spelling lists and sometimes small tasks to follow up, using the “You Can Spell” programme.
- Religious Education home learning relates to the strand or topic that is being covered at the time.
- Current Events may be required as part of home learning.
In addition, students in the senior school have the option of participating in the Challenge programme which provides considerable learning opportunities. This progarmme provides a significant amount of additional, meaningful, relevant and community base home learning challanges. The main difference between this format and what parents may traditionally used to in the past, is that children “choose” to participate and can pursue interests to a deeper level. This programme is aligned with the revised New Zealand Curriculum’s vision of developing lifelong learners and developing the key competencies in the children. Further information will be provided by the class teacher through Google Docs .