Every Child Matters
Learning is a journey. Teachers have a significant impact on a child’s enjoyment of school and how much they learn. The teachers at St James’ Anglican School are all steadfast in their belief that every child has a right to learn in a safe and stimulating environment. They take the time to become familiar with every students’ strengths and weaknesses and then develop programs which reflect this. Collaboration and communication occur continually as the teachers strive to ensure that every day, every child learns and connects with their learning experiences.
As the students grow and develop, they are encouraged to take more responsibility and ownership of their learning. They begin to understand how they learn and, ultimately, become lifelong learners. With this philosophy in mind, the students are provided with experiences and opportunities – both of which are key factors in the development of a successful, happy and independent adult.
How we learn
Creating opportunities for questioning, problem solving, critical thinking and creating are essential in developing the higher order thinking skills which can be transferred between all learning areas and applied in life. The teachers at St James’ Anglican School understand the need for students to develop a schema, or body, of knowledge which can then be challenged and developed. The benefits of this are numerous and include confidence, initiative, agency, ambition, foresight and curiosity. Developing knowledge from surface learning into a deeper, transferable body of knowledge is the driving force behind the learning experiences at St James’ Anglican School.
Each student comes into a classroom with a different level of knowledge, different learning experiences and different styles of learning. The teacher’s role is to deliver a lesson that enables every student to engage, learn and understand. This can involve presenting information in a variety of ways. It can be the physical environment of the classroom or a ladder of learning tasks which have a variety of outcomes. Differentiation is planned for and ensures that every student is involved in the lesson and that every learning goal is individualised.
Students need to believe that their abilities are not fixed and that just because they cannot achieve a specific goal right now, it does not mean that they will not be able to after working on it. At St James’, the staff provide opportunities for the students to focus on their potential rather than their limitations.
A school’s curriculum is the total of all activities, both formal and informal, which take place inside and outside the classroom, and before and after the hours of instruction. The Principles of Teaching, Learning and Assessment focus on the provision of a school and class environment that is intellectually, socially and physically supportive of learning.
In the Primary sector, emphasis is placed on communication skills, literacy and numeracy skills, physical education and spiritual and cultural development.
For Senior school students, the goal is to provide a broad general education, within which there is a range of educational possibilities, including studies for tertiary admission and studies which do not have tertiary entrance as a main emphasis. St James’ Anglican School is passionate about supporting students to develop skills that will place them in the best position for employment.
Proactive Pastoral Care
St James’ is focused on quality teaching and learning, fostering positive relationships amongst students, teachers, school staff and the wider school community, offering a wide variety of extra-curricular activities and developing specific pastoral programs and support systems. These are recognised as essential in developing positive self-esteem, a sense of belonging, goal setting and risk taking, resilience and overall health and wellbeing.
Within the Senior School, in addition to the above, each student belongs to a Pastoral Care Group, led by a Pastoral Care Tutor. The Pastoral Care Tutor is responsible for monitoring each child within their care for personal, social and academic development. As part of the Pastoral Care Program, there are also weekly planned activities which promote belonging and social cohesion. Outstanding effort, attitudes, behaviours and achievements are recognised regularly and in a number of ways including certificates, emails home, individual and house reward points and reward excursions and activities.
Each student and staff member is also part of a House – Cervantes, Eglinton, Twilight or Sydney. The House Group is a constant throughout the school journey. The House System is designed to foster a sense of belonging and encourage a friendly competition between the Houses. Activities are designed to foster this and the House Tutor, or Pastoral Care Tutor, is the first point of contact for students each day and for parents and carers also.
Over the year, parents, carers and family members are invited to events which recognise the important role they play in the holistic development of the child. The celebration of the family is a way of recognising how important the relationship is between the student, parents/carers and staff and contributes to the overall sense of belonging that the child feels at school.
The Pastoral programs at St James’ are constantly reviewed and developed. The focus is on pro-action, prevention, development, support, collaboration, effective reaction and management of pastoral care. The Pastoral Program ensures that students are provided the support and encouragement they need to develop into successful, happy and independent adults.
Students will receive a Christian education in the Anglican tradition and be encouraged to use it as a basis for living. The School will expect students to show the highest possible standards of courtesy, dress and behaviour.
Everyone has the opportunity to understand the importance of beliefs and values and to learn about the many ways different cultures express their faith.