Curriculum Overview

Teaching and Learning

With people, no one approach works all the time. With adolescent students (and adults) the professional educator functions in the space of ‘what works.’ Capturing student interest and providing effective instruction to bridge gaps and build skills is a significant part of the job. Just as important is getting students to understand how they learn, along with the development of personal qualities such as persistence and self-belief that underlies life-long learning.

So, how will teachers teach at Catherine McAuley College? Using the below pedagogical approaches staff will work in collaborative teams to ensure all students experience high-quality learning practices in the classroom.

Visible Learning

Students understanding how they best learn with regular feedback to guide progress. Structured lessons with clear ‘Learning Goals’, lesson transitions and measures of learning success.

Technology Enhanced Learning

Integrated use of technology in all subject areas. Automated robotic applications to data gathering and controlled systems to advanced research capabilities and online tutoring. Emphasis in some subjects; available in all.

Direct Explicit Instruction

Teacher expert input. Students’ practice of new skills and concept application. Keeping students curious.

Inquiry-based Learning

Application of learning to investigate questions or solving of a challenging problem. STEM approach that develops General Capabilities.

Homework at Catherine McAuley College

In education circles there is much debate about the efficacy of homework in actually assisting students to learn.  Homework should not be excessive so it substantially disrupts home life or requires extensive parent support. Parents can certainly help in communicating the expectation that it is completed and a routine established. If there is no homework, then reading during that usual time is just as important. Students in Years 7 & 8 should engage in approximately one hour of homework per night for each of the weekday evenings. Homework should not be new learning but  consolidation of skills and concepts recently learned in class. (eg to practise Maths problems, to revise definitions in Science, to expand vocabulary in English, to create a timeline in History).

Learning is best promoted by frequent and timely revisiting of concepts. It is an active process. Homework can help here.

“Always walk-through life as if you have something new to learn, and you will.” – Vernon Howard