Our Pedagogical Approach
The world is ever-changing, and at St Benedict’s we believe that education must continue evolving if we are to provide our students with the skills they need to be active participants in the 21st century.
In order to provide both skills for life and skills for curriculum, St Benedict’s is strongly influenced by the Walker Learning Approach. This is an effective, contemporary pedagogy, allowing children to be active participants in their learning. Learning is personalised for each child, based on the student’s interests, skills and knowledge. Through the establishment of strong relationships, with both their peers and teachers, students are encouraged to take risks, to think critically and to problem solve so that they grow to become emotionally intelligent, discerning and articulate members of society. This is an effective, evidence-based approach to developing skills for life and skills for learning.
In the junior years, St Benedict’s provides students with the opportunity to investigate and learn through purposeful play, balanced with explicit teaching. Our junior primary classroom environments include a variety of learning spaces that are both calming and highly engaging, providing children with the opportunity to play and explore the world in which they live.
As students transition to the middle/upper primary years, they undertake ‘Project Based‘ learning experiences, alongside formal instruction. Our senior classrooms reflect an environment that fosters meaningful relationships and high levels of academic engagement by providing spaces for students to work both independently and collaboratively.
Religious Education has a mandated and formal curriculum for classroom learning and teaching for Years K-12. The curriculum is distinct from but complements faith formation. All students in Catholic schools in Western Australia are required to learn Religious Education.
The Religious Education Curriculum is modelled on the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) Western Australian curriculum. As with other curricula, the Religious Education curriculum specifies the knowledge, understanding, skills, values, and attitudes that students are expected to acquire and provides guidelines for the assessment of student achievement.
Religious Education plays an important part in developing the knowledge, understanding, values, attitudes, skills and capabilities of those who will take responsibility for Australia’s future as a multicultural and multifaith society.
Gifted & Talented Program
At St Benedict’s, our Gifted and Talented Education Program (GATE) allows us to appropriately challenge and prepare our gifted and high achieving students for a future of innovation, critical thinking and problem-solving. Students are supported in developing their academic passions and talents through a range of disciplines by undertaking engaging problem solving and enquiry-based tasks. Our unique approach relies on the effective identification of students and matching them with highly talented and passionate educators who create and implement an engaging program of work.
Outside of the school environment, our GATE students compete in a variety of competitions, giving them exposure to an array of demanding extracurricular activities designed to challenge both their academic and intra-personal skills. Overall, our multi-level program fosters an environment whereby our gifted and high achieving students are able to support and challenge each other in their thinking, thus encouraging them to reach their full potential.
At St Benedict’s, our STEM Program has a Science Curriculum focus and is built on hands-on learning with real-world applications. Through this approach, students develop a variety of skill sets that are invaluable in the 21st century. These 21st century skills include technology, literacy, productivity, social skills, communication, flexibility and initiative. Other skills attained through STEM education include problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, curiosity, decision making, leadership, acceptance of failure and more.
The STEM approach to education fosters creativity and divergent thinking alongside the fundamental disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Students learn via a combination of experimentation and inquiry–based tasks, encouraging them to explore and experience the world around them. STEM education goes beyond school subjects. This approach, coupled with our Catholic Identity, develops in our students a skill set that governs the way they think and behaves as contributors to society.
St Benedict’s has a long, rich tradition of Music, stemming from the legacy of our founding Parish Priest, Fr Albert Lynch. The St Benedict’s Music Program follows a dynamic approach to experiencing music in their world, through playing, singing, listening and responding to a wide range of music forms from both Australia and around the world. Students will play both tuned and untuned instruments, with Ukulele being taught from Yr 2. They will gain an appreciation for how music effects their everyday life and how it can be a useful tool in enriching their physical and mental wellbeing.
Singing forms a large part of the musical tradition at St Benedict’s. All students participate in weekly Liturgical Singing sessions and from Yr 3 onwards, have the opportunity to join the St Benedict’s Choir. We participate in the Catholic Performing Arts Festival and join community initiatives such as the local Jacaranda Festival. Every second year we stage a musical production, which involves our senior years in singing, dancing and acting. Many of our past students continue in Parish musical endeavours such as joining Parish Choirs as singers and musicians.
Visual Art Program
ENGAGE, INSPIRE and CREATE MAGIC
In the Visual Arts classroom, students create artwork that communicates and expresses their own and others’ ideas, both as artists and audience members. They develop understanding and practical skills through exploring a range of art movements over time from around the world. Looking into the lives of artists, they expand their understanding of their world through the study of art over time. Students develop a cultural appreciation of visual arts in the past and contemporary contexts through exploring and responding to artists and their artworks.
Visual Arts engages students in a journey of discovery, experimentation and problem-solving relevant to visual perception and visual language. Students learn to build trust in their own abilities and take risks in a safe, encouraging space. They develop life-long skills which bring balance to their lives now and in the future.
日本語 – にほんご
The Japanese language program at St Benedict’s School is delivered to students from Pre Primary to Year 6. Students come to the Japanese classroom once a week for a 50-minute lesson. Our Japanese room has many authentic recourses to help our students experience Japanese culture. Our Japanese language program is based on the Western Australian Curriculum with adjustments made to personalise learning experiences for our students. The Japanese language program is designed to provide students with communication skills in Japanese, including an understanding of not only the Japanese language but also the unique culture and customs of Japan and its people.
The content is presented to the students using resources that make meaningful connections with their personal world and developmental interests. The content also encourages the students to explore contemporary and traditional Japanese culture. Students in Japanese classes have many opportunities to speak, listen, read, write and understand Japanese, stories, practical tasks, role play, presentations and technology. The students enjoy songs, making origami, and quizzes. Our Japanese language program is designed to make students excited about their learning and to make it a meaningful and interactive experience.
Our Physical Education programs are designed to ensure all children engage in meaningful activities which develop important skills that can be used throughout life to maintain fitness, health and wellbeing.
Our Junior program encourages the development of physical, mental and social skills by exposing students to a wide range of physical activities (locomotor, fitness, balance, eye/hand/foot coordination). All skills are taught in a safe and supportive environment offering children challenging experiences and opportunities to experience individual and team success.
Our Senior PE Program consolidates the skills learnt in the junior school and provides opportunities to use these skills in an extensive range of sports such as Soccer, Cricket, Australian Rules Football, Softball, Hockey, Basketball, Volleyball, Netball, Tennis, European Handball, League Tag, Ultimate Frisbee and Bike Education.
In conjunction with our PE program, St Benedict’s offers a comprehensive intra-school and inter-school sporting program. Our Intra-school sporting program gives opportunities for our St Benedict’s Community to gather together and support each other through the Faction carnivals of Swimming, Cross Country, Athletics and Ballgames. In these carnivals, both junior and senior school students benefit from participation in age-appropriate activities designed to offer individuals and teams to challenge themselves and learn the importance of communication and teamwork.
St. Benedict’s is a member of the Catholic Association of Sporting Schools. Our senior students have the opportunity to represent their school in Swimming, Cross Country and Athletics. Competitions in team sports are offered to our year five and six students throughout the year.