Key Learning Areas

Learning at Our Lady Queen of Peace is often integrated across several curriculum areas. The classroom teacher ensures that the program follows the guidelines set by the NSW Board of Studies and covers all Key Learning Areas:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
  • Creative Arts
  • Science and Technology
  • Human Society and Its Environment
  • Languages Other than English

There is, however, a strong religious dimension across the curriculum which is most obvious in the subject of Religious Education.

Curriculum Framework

At Our Lady Queen of Peace Primary, we offer each child the opportunity to come to know Jesus and our Catholic heritage.

The essential goal of Religious Education in a Catholic school is to encourage and assist children in their growth to Christian maturity.

This education enables children to:

  • know and love God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit
  • develop an awareness that God is our friend who loves us and walks with us every day of our lives
  • experience, within a secure school environment, the confidence to cope with life
  • grow as active and supportive members of our faith community
  • know, share and respond to Jesus' message of love

The children are involved in organising and attending class and school liturgies; with parents most welcome to join our celebrations.

OLQP Sacramental programs are family-based within the parish. The school’s role is to support the parish sacramental program. As a parish primary school we exist to provide the children with the opportunity of living in a caring, Christian community that gives witness to the Gospel values it proclaims. The parish school exists to support you, the parents, with the development of faith and Christian values in your children.

Daily prayer and regular liturgical celebrations are crucial dimensions of our Religious Education program.

Religious Education

English is one of the seven Key Learning Areas in the school curriculum K-6. As well as being a key learning area in its own right, English has a wider role as a means of learning in all curriculum areas.

By studying, responding to and creating a variety of texts, children will learn to:

  • communicate effectively
  • use language to make meaning according to their purpose, audience and context
  • think in ways that are imaginative, creative, interpretive and critical
  • express themselves and their relationships with others in their world
  • reflect on their learning

Students will value and appreciate the:

  • importance of English to learning
  • personal enrichment to be gained from a love of English, literature and learning
  • power of language
  • role of language in developing positive relationships
  • diversity and beauty of language
  • independence gained from thinking imaginatively, creatively, interpretively and critically.

At OLQP we aim to develop the competence and confidence of all students in learning and using English, thus enabling them to effectively participate in our society. We also support this through:

Reading Recovery

Reading Recovery is an early literacy intervention that provides one-to-one teaching for children who need greater assistance in learning to read and write following their first year of school. It is a daily, individualised program delivered by a specialist teacher that engages children in reading books and writing their own stories. It enhances classroom programs and enables children to quickly ‘catch up’ to the average level of their class. Reading Recovery builds on the strengths of each child and encourages them to become independent, strategic readers and writers.

Literacy Support

Literacy Support is an effective intervention programme designed to support children from Kindergarten to Year Six who need greater assistance in order to develop the appropriate literacy skills for their stage. In addition to their classroom programme, eligible children receive extra support within a small group situation.

Case Management Meetings

Case management meetings provide an opportunity for additional support for students who require further modification of classroom programs. This meeting would involve the class teacher and a member of the leadership team. It could also include a learning support teacher or a former teacher of the student. The aim is to address the specific needs of a student in order to further support their learning in the classroom.

Library

OLQP’s library has a large collection of fiction and non-fiction books to suit all reading and interest levels in the school. It is fully computerised and the children are encouraged to use the computers to search for reference material as well as for borrowing and returning of books.

The library serves as a support to the learning processes of the classroom, as well as being an important recreational facility. Each class has a library borrowing time each week, as well as time for co-operative lessons that support learning across all curriculum areas. The library is open from 8:30am till 3:05pm, as well as being rostered for various grades during lunchtimes, when children can use the library for quiet reading, working or mixing in a passive environment.

Library

The aim of Mathematics is for children to:

  • be confident users of mathematics
  • be able to investigate, represent and interpret situations
  • develop an increasingly sophisticated understanding of concepts and fluency
  • be able to pose and solve problems
  • be able to reason
  • recognise connections between areas of mathematics and other disciplines
  • appreciate mathematics as an important and relevant part of life
  • demonstrate interest, enjoyment and confidence in using mathematics
  • demonstrate perseverance in undertaking mathematical challenges

Students will develop knowledge, skills and understanding in:

  • Working Mathematically – students will develop understanding and fluency through inquiry, exploring and connecting concepts, choosing and applying problem-solving skills and mathematical techniques, communication and reasoning
  • Number and Algebra – students will develop efficient strategies for numerical calculation, recognise patterns, describe relationships and apply algebraic techniques and generalisation
  • Measurement and Geometry – students will identify, visualise and quantify measures and the attributes of shapes and objects, and explore measurement concepts and geometric relationships, applying formulas, strategies and geometric reasoning in the solution of problems
  • Statistics and Probability–students will collect, represent, analyse, interpret and evaluate data, assign and use probabilities, and make sound judgements

At OLQP we aim to develop the competence and confidence of all students in learning and using Mathematics, thus enabling them to effectively participate in our society. We also support this through Extending Mathematical Understanding (EMU).

EMU is a research-based early numeracy intervention that provides small group teaching for children who need greater assistance in understanding mathematics following their first year of school. It is a daily program delivered by a specialist teacher that engages children in mathematical tasks designed to deepen understanding. It enhances the classroom program and enables children to quickly 'catch up' to the average level of their class. EMU builds on the strengths of every child and encourages them to become independent and strategic learners.

Science and Technology aims to develop students’ wonder and curiosity about their world, as well as helping them to recognise the importance of science and technology in their lives now and for the future. Science & Technology aims to develop understanding and skills to enable students to:

  • work scientifically
  • work technologically
  • learn about natural and made environments

Human Society and Its Environment incorporates the strands of Change and Continuity, Cultures, Environments and Social Systems and Structures. In 2016 we will be implementing the new History syllabus. In this Key Learning Area students are provided with opportunities to develop:

  • understanding about Australia’s history, geography and people
  • skills to help acquire information, use an inquiry process and participate in social and civic life
  • values and attitudes related to social justice, cultures, stewardship, democracy, beliefs and morals.

Human Society and Its Environment also includes the study of languages other than English. At OLQP we currently offer a program in Japanese language and culture in Years 5 and 6, together with an enrichment class for students displaying strength in this area.

Creative Arts aims to provide students with basic learning in the artforms through the subjects of Visual Arts, Music, Drama and Dance. Many of the experiences provided lend themselves to integration across other Key Learning Areas.

The curriculum is designed for students to develop knowledge, skills and understanding in:

  • making and appreciating artworks
  • performing and appreciating music (singing, playing and moving)
  • performing (taking on roles and creating imagined situations) and appreciating dramatic works
  • composing and appreciating dance

Visual Arts

In Visual Arts, students engage with the concepts of artists, artworks, the audience and the world. In making they learn how they can investigate the world through selected subject matter (eg people, objects, places and spaces) and work with the forms (eg painting, drawing, digital works) in expressive ways. These investigations of subject matter and the forms are further developed in their appreciation of artists, designers, craftspeople, architects and their works.

Music

Two specialist teachers are employed to implement the music program. Children in Years 3 to 6 have the opportunity each year to audition for the school choir, which performs at events, including eisteddfods. The opportunity for individual lessons in playing various instruments is available for those children in Years 3 to 6 who are interested in becoming part of the school band. A fee is charged each term to cover the cost of tuition and instrument hire. Further details are available from the school office.

Dance

Dance is a specialised subject that is taught by tutors from DanceFever. Students from Kindergarten, Year 1, 3 and 5 take part in the program as part of a staged approach – ie, all students learn this subject over a two-year period. Dance is a mandatory syllabus requirement.

Drama

In Drama, students will develop knowledge and understanding, skills, values and attitudes in making, performing and appreciating by engaging in role, dramatic contexts, elements and forms. Learning in Drama is most effective when learning experiences in making, performing and appreciating are integrated in a planned and sequential process of teaching and learning.

“Personal development, Health and Physical Education is in keeping with the Catholic ideals of education of the whole person. Thoughts, sensations, emotions and physical activities all have an influence on each other and on the individual’s growth towards personal maturity. Catholic education aims to mould these elements into a harmonious unity, in the light of human understanding and faith”
(Most Reverend P.L. Murphy DD, Chairman, Catholic Education Commission, NSW)

This program supports the development of the student as a whole person by:

  • encouraging an understanding and valuing of self and others
  • promoting physical activity and
  • emphasising informed decision-making leading to effective and responsible actions.

The study of PDHPE is concerned with:

  • Growth and Development - physical, social, cognitive and emotional
  • Personal Health Choices - making, communicating and acting upon health decisions
  • Interpersonal Relationships - forming and maintaining positive relationships
  • Safe Living – living and learning in a safe, secure environment
  • Active Lifestyle - knowing how to enhance personal and community health and wellbeing and
  • Games and Sports, Dance & Gymnastics –the composition, performance and appraisal of movement.

All students are involved in weekly sport and/or physical education lessons, with a specialist Physical Education teacher employed four days a week. Students in Kinder, Years 1, 3 and 5 also participate in dance lessons run by DanceFever, while students in Years 2, 4 and 6 take part in a specialist gymnastics program run by Flexi-Kids.

In addition to this, students have the opportunity to be selected, trained and entered into many competitions across the school, Zone, Diocesan, inter-Diocesan and Stage level in swimming, athletics, cross-country, soccer, netball, etc.

We currently receive an allocation to provide a program in Japanese in our school. This program operates in years 5 and 6.

At Our Lady Queen of Peace Primary School, in addition to our classroom learning programs, we offer a range extra-curricular activities and programs to support the engagement and extension of all students. Listed below is a list of opportunities we offer our students.

The most important homework of all is family living:

  • Lots and lots of family conversation - story telling, jokes, discussions about books read, etc
  • Shared bedtime stories with mum or dad reading to the child or the child reading to parents
  • Quiet reading in bed before lights out
  • Family games, activities and hobbies
  • Regular visits to the local library
  • Selective viewing of TV shows and discussion of these
  • Outings to all kinds of places of social, historic and natural interest and
  • The kinds of imaginative play that comes naturally to children of all ages.

Such activities encourage and help children become better learners and happier human beings. Whilst homework is a valuable aid, it is not the most important aspect of a child’s education.

Homework is helpful when:

  • It gives the chance to consolidate what has been learnt at school
  • It allows for the fact that children learn and work at different rates and have different needs
  • It increases a child’s confidence in, and enjoyment of, learning
  • It gives parents opportunities to encourage, express approval and, in general, relate positively to their child/children and
  • It develops productive long-term habits of learning and planning.

Our Homework Policy

  • All children (K-6) are expected to read each night
  • Children in Kinder, Year 1 and Year 2 should be reading for 15-20 minutes every night. This includes the child reading and being read to by an adult. Discussion of what has been read is important to ensure understanding. Any extra homework given should take no longer than 15 minutes. Structured and/ or imaginative play should be actively encouraged.
  • Homework is given regularly to Years 3, 4, 5 and 6. Along with reading this may include spelling, carrying out an experiment, finding answers to problems posed at school or working on a current theme or project.
  • Children in Year 3 and Year 4 spend approximately twenty to thirty minutes on set work and children in Years 5 and 6 between thirty and forty minutes
  • Homework will not necessarily be the same for every child in the class. Just as children are taught in the classroom based on their needs, their homework will also be set with this in mind
  • Homework should not be a source of worry or frustration for the pupil, teacher or parent. Students are encouraged to complete the assigned work to the best of their ability and to seek their teacher’s help if they are having any difficulties.
  • Set homework should be acknowledged by the teacher
  • Parents can be of great help to their children by:
    • showing an interest in their activities
    • listening to their reading and
    • being sympathetic and patient.
  • Homework is of little value to the child if the parent completes it or if it is not supervised. Please help and encourage your child, but allow him/her to do his/her own work.
  • Please sign your child’s homework. If your child is unable to complete their homework for any reason please acknowledge this through a written note.
  • Homework is not given when families choose to take holidays during term time – our recommendation is for the child to read daily and keep a journal while away. Homework is not given when children are absent from school due to illness.