Holy Family Learning and Teaching

​​​Education Context

The overarching goal for learning in Brisbane Catholic Education schools is to empower learners of all ages to shape and enrich our changing world, by living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. All phases of schooling are informed through Brisbane Catholic Education's Learning Framework; Religion Curriculum; Queensland Studies Authority publications; the Australian Curriculum and government regulatory compliance requirements.

The Religion Curriculum P-12 and materials are the source for all planning of Religious Education in Brisbane Catholic Education Schools.

The Australian Curriculum will be the source of all curriculum planning, assessment and reporting for all Learning Areas covered by the Australian Curriculum.

The Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Declaration of Educational Goals for Young Australian identifies the import role education plays in building a democratic, equitable and just society.

School Curriculum Overview

At Holy Family, all learners are at the core of what we do. Our teachers plan, teach, assess and report using the Australian Curriculum, and the Religious Education Curriculum from the Brisbane Archdiocese. At Holy Family, a contemporary Catholic perspective and a worldview is celebrated and embedded throughout the whole curriculum. Catholic Education aims to grow and develop the whole person, informed by an understanding that all are made in the image and likeness of God, therefore worthy of innate dignity. The aim of Catholic Education is to prepare all community members for active and faith, faith informed participation in an ever-evolving society.  

The Australian Curriculum is three dimensional - it includes learning areas, general capabilities and cross curriculum priorities. It sets out the core knowledge and understandings, skills and general capabilities that are important for all Australian students. It describes the learning entitlement of students as a foundation for their future learning, growth and active participation in the Australian community. It makes clear what teachers should teach and students should learn as they progress through their schooling. It is the Foundation for high quality education to meet the needs of all Australian students.  
This all contributes to a well-rounded education of all Australian students, providing the knowledge, understanding and skills for life and work in the 21st century.  

ACARA has developed Foundation - Year Six Australian Curriculum in the following areas. English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS), The Arts, Technologies, Health and Physical Education and Languages. 

Key Learning Areas

Holy Family provides learning from BCE Religious Education and P-10 Australian Curriculum in the following areas: ​

​Curriculum Area
Religion ​
​Taught each year across P-6 by classroom teachers.
​Taught each year across P-6 by classroom teachers.​
​Taught each year across P-6 by classroom teachers.
​Taught each year across P-6 by classroom teachers.
​HASS (Humanities and Social Sciences​)
​Taught each year across P-6 by classroom teachers.
​HPE (Health and Physical Education)
​Health is taught each year across P-6 by classroom teachers
Physical Education is taught across P-6 by specialist coaches and classroom teachers. 
Languages (Italian) 
​Taught by specialist teacher P-6. 
​Media Arts and Visual Arts is taught by a specialist teacher for P-6 (Visual Arts). 
Music, Dance and Drama is taught by a specialist teacher P-6 (Performing Arts). 
​Digital Technologies and Design Technologies are taught in each band P-2, 3-4, 5-6 by classroom teachers. Both Technology subjects can be taught in each year level or in nominated year levels in a band. 
​© Brisbane Catholic Education, 2022.

Holy Family’s organisation of the curriculum reflects ACARA’s emphasis on the priority development of literacy and numeracy foundations through English and Mathematics and across the curriculum. This is continued in the middle and upper primary years while also emphasising a broader education through planning across all curriculum areas. 

Learning and Teaching within the School Community

Learning in Brisbane Catholic Education schools is underpinned by the beliefs that all learners require:

  • ​Multiple and varied opportunities to negotiate, observe, engage in, reflect on, demonstrate and enact their learning; such learning opportunities will occur in individual, small group and whole group contexts;
  • Encouragement to learn both independently and collaboratively;
  • Challenges to build upon current knowledge and understandings in order to create new knowledge - be co-creators of learning through supported, structur​ed inquiry;
  • Opportunities for learning which are intellectually, socially and physically conducive to learning;
  • Ready access to and use of appropriate technologies and resources to create, collaborate and communicate learning;
  • Personalised learning;
  • Essential skills in literacy, numeracy and ICT;
  • Ability to solve real world problems in ways which draw upon a range of learning areas and disciplines.

Learning and teaching in the Holy Family School Community, embraces the spirit of the Brigidine Sisters as expressed through the vision and mission statement, and engages the aspirations of the community in which the school is situated.

Holy Family Catholic Primary School is committed to planning and providing a high quality, 21st century Catholic education; an education focussed on development of the human person created whole in the image and likeness of God, bring faith, life and culture into our school life. Our dedicated and professional staff deliver personalised and authentic learning opportunities for all students. 

Holy Family's staff want every child to achieve a high stand of learning and be given opportunity to celebrate their success and talents. 

Teachers at Holy Family plan collaboratively with the Primary Learning Leader, Learning Support Teacher and BCE Curriculum Consultants using the learning and teaching Cycle to create unique, meaningful and challenging learning for our learners.

​​Expectations of Whole School Planning

Holy Family's curriculum outlines how it provides "the entitlement of each student to knowledge, understand and skills that provide a foundation for successful and lifelong learning and participation in the Australian community" (Shape of the Australian Curriculum, v3.0)

Teachers will plan, teach, assess and report using the Australian Curriculum for:-

  • English, Maths, Science and HASS

  • Health and Physical Education

  • Technologies (Digital and Design)

Specialist lessons planned from the Australian Curriculum include:
  • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Italian (Prep to Year​ 6) 
  • Library

Teachers will plan, teach and assess using Brisbane Catholic Education's Religious Education Curriculum for:
  • Religious Education

Furthermore, Holy Family is providing professional development for teachers in all the above to continue to build teacher capacity in effective and precision pedagogy to ensure all students are learning and achieving.

Students and Community

The school's curriculum is responsive to the needs and aspirations of the students and community and proves viable pathways and transitions for all students. Whole school curriculum planning and identifies and articulates:
  • Who our students and community are and how these influence and inform the development of the school's curriculum.
  • Beliefs and values of our Learning and Teaching Framework and how these are enacted within our school curriculum.

Quality Teaching

The school's curriculum outlines whole school approaches to align learning and teaching across the curriculum; these approaches are developed, communicated, professionally supported and reviewed. Whole school curriculum planning identifies and articulates;
  • Wholes school pedagogies that ensure continuity of learning for all students across the curriculum and within learning areas;
  • The school's principles and guidelines for effective assessment practices within and across learning areas;
  • Use of Data Walls;
  • Processes to ensure consistency of teachers' judgements about student achievement within and beyond the school;
  • Processes for reporting student progress, achievement and development to students, parents, caregivers, and the community.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The school's curriculum outlines whole school planning for all students that is informed by student data and monitors student achievement and development to ensure high expectations for all students. Whole school curriculum planning identifies and articulates:
  • Processes for how the school monitors, reflects on and evaluates student achievement and development;
  • How this data informs decision making for whole school, year level, class and individual planning;
  • Promoting Professional Learning: Using the Inquiry and Knowledge Building Cycle;
  • Using assessment data for improving teacher practice;
  • Using student assessment for professional learning: Focussing on students' outcomes to identify teachers' needs;
  • Using student assessment for teacher professional learning;
  • Elements of whole school planning.

Early Years Pedagogy (Prep to Year 2)

Enable children to use their skills and understandings as capable learners; Enable children to have ownership of learning (locus of control/agency); Provide opportunities for choice, play-based learning; Provide opportunities for learning associated with the factors for success in schooling; these factors are identified as social and emotional competence, health and wellbeing, language;

Teachers advocate for the various types of play by providing opportunities for families and colleagues to dialogue and make connections between their priorities, understandings and values and the explicit learning that occurs when play is skilfully and deliberately scaffolded.

Principles of Early Years Learning

  • Children are capable and confident and have been learning since birth.
  • Children build deep understandings when they learn through all senses and are offered choice in their learning experiences.
  • Children learn best through interactions, active exploration and experimentation, and by representing their learning through a variety of modes.
  • Children's positive dispositions to learning, and to themselves as learners, are essential for success in school and beyond.
  • Children learn best in environments where there are supportive relationships among all partners in the learning community.
  • Early childhood programs are most effective when they recognise, value and build upon the cultural and social experiences of children.
  • Building continuity of learning as children move to and through school provides foundations for their future success.
  • Assessment for young children is an integral part of learning-teaching process and is not a separate activity.
Contexts for learning in the Early Years:
  • Play
  • Real life situations
  • Investigations
  • Routines and transitions
  • Focussed learning and teaching

Middle Years Learning (Year 3 to 6)

The child at this stage of development is undergoing a period of transition. They seek greater independence as they try to 'branch out' yet require structure and modelling and set expectations to achieve this over time.
Through this transition the movement from concrete to abstract thinking and change to friendship concepts and relationships marks a formative time.

Principles for Middle Years Learning (Year 3-6)

Children are curious, enthusiastic, easily motivated and distracted, want to please, are reward driven and excited about learning new things and learning how "I" learn;
Children discover and define friendship groups more amid a less tactful disposition, but some thrive on individual responsibility.

Pedagogy of Middle Years

The pedagogy that best supports these children's learning:
  • ​Matures as the students require less s​caffolding, modelling, immersing and guiding and achieve greater independence in their learning;
  • Needs to match developmental age of child as they move from learning explicit skills about cooperation with others to learning how to adjust in a pre-adolescent environment;
  • Requires adaptability in spaces which pre-determine the scope of many activities i.e. limited available​ spaces forces more fixed place / desk learning modes while greater space allow for increased flexibility, variation in learning modes and increase in practical applications of learning through the use of a combination of such areas as desk, floor, wet areas and outdoor areas;
  • Requires a different approach according to the various learning areas and consequently different forms of classroom physical layouts to facilitate groups, individual and whole class work as well as explicit teaching spaces structur​ed around tasks;
  • Requires the teacher's ability to negotiate tasks and be flexible - different for different students (suit individual expression).