Religious Education Curriculum
Religious Education is a lifelong process. Its foundations are laid in the home and built within the school/parish community. The Catholic school plays an important part in this lifelong quest. Its first contribution to the student’s Religious Education is through the culture and climate of school life. The religious dimension is present everywhere in the school: the playground, assemblies and the classrooms themselves, where every Key Learning Area contributes to a genuinely religious way of understanding the world. Based on contemporary research, a new Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta curriculum will speak not only to our students but to the world they live in. In transforming the way we teach Religious Education, we seek to transform students' lives as well as our schools and society.
Initiation into the life of the Church is a gradual process that takes place within the community of the faithful. The whole community is responsible for passing on its faith, story, values, and tradition to the next generation; and introducing its children into the sacramental life of the Church. The preparation for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and First Eucharist are parish-based. The parish-based, family-centred process is to provide opportunities for parents to come together to inquire and reflect upon the faith into which their children are being initiated.
Literacy learning at Holy Cross is an exciting and stimulating time. It is incorporated into the school timetable for a dedicated two hour block each day. The daily literacy sessions include opportunities for the students to engage in talking, listening, reading and writing activities in a series of whole class, small group, pair and individual experiences. Students are exposed to a variety of literature through the forms of spoken, print, visual, multimedia, and digital texts.
Our mathematical communities are dynamic places of learning where Mathematics is seen as being specific to life. Students are given the opportunity to investigate, explore and manipulate both concrete materials and abstract ideas through open-ended tasks. The process of their learning is expressed orally, pictorially and symbolically. Reflective practice plays a significant part in all the school’s curriculum areas.
In Mathematics, the students articulate their thinking and reasoning, enabling deeper conceptual understandings. This allows them to learn to apply learning and skills to other areas. During the first two weeks of the year every student participates in a one-on-one interview (approx. 30 minutes) with their classroom teacher. They determine the mathematical strengths and areas for development, and they set goals. These are continually reviewed throughout the year.
The study of History allows students the opportunity to know the past, and to understand the present in order to shape our future. Students will explore human actions and achievements in a range of historical contexts. Students will become aware that history is all around us and that historical information can be drawn from the physical remains of the past as well as written, visual and oral sources of evidence. Students will begin investigating changes in lifestyles of people over time, moving from families to local communities to national and world history. The idea that History is many stories and that there is never only one uncontested version of the story.
Geography is the study of places and the relationships between people and their environments. It integrates knowledge from natural sciences, social sciences and humanities to build an understanding of the world. Students learn to question why the world is the way it is, reflect on their relationships with and responsibilities for the world, and suggest actions designed to shape a socially just and sustainable future. Geography emphasises the role, function and importance of the environment in supporting human life from local to global scales. It emphasises the important interrelationships between people and environments and the different understandings of these relationships.
Science & Technology
Science and Technology are of increasing importance to our rapidly changing world. A student’s sense of wonder and curiosity about the natural and made world is developed through actively engaging in the processes of Working Scientifically and Working Technologically. Through questioning and seeking solutions to problems, students will develop an understanding of the significance of their contribution to and influence on society. The study of Science and Technology enables students to develop confidence as learners and it is through active participation in challenging and engaging experiences they will become self-motivated learners.
Personal Development, Health & Physical Education (PDHPE)
The aim of the Personal Development, Health and Physical Education curriculum is to develop in each student the knowledge and understanding, skills, values and attitudes needed to lead healthy, active and fulfilling lives.
Music plays an integral part in the life of Holy Cross. It enhances the prayer life of the community; it is a source of entertainment at events such as school assemblies, discos and end-of-year functions; and it provides students with an opportunity for meaningful self-expression. Each student participates in formal music lessons with a specialist music teacher. Students at Holy Cross have the opportunity to participate in the school’s choir and school band.
The children at Holy Cross are fortunate in that their artistic talents are expressed, fostered and valued. Every student is given the opportunity to participate in Visual Arts lessons with a specialist teacher. The children are exposed to a variety of art-making techniques, a variety of artists and create striking artworks using various forms.
Students from K-6 participate in lessons that explore many aspects of dramatic experiences, including mime, improvisation and movement. Lessons incorporate specific skill teaching and performance opportunities. Students are encouraged to develop and extend their skill both individually and in groups, and respond constructively to others.
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