Our Beliefs about Teaching and Learning
We believe that students learn best when:
- When they believe they can learn
- When the classroom and school environment supports their emotional, social, cultural and educational needs
- When learning is authentic (i.e. involves real world problems)
- When teachers provide clear expectations and explicit feedback on their learning, designed to reduce the gap between a student’s current level of understanding, and a higher level of understanding
- When learning is an active process involving a conscious intention and reflection on the student’s part to make sense of new ideas or experiences
We believe as educators we must:
- Believe all children can learn, and maintain high expectations of our students
- Display enthusiasm and passion for what we teach using explicit teaching activities that stimulate students’ interest
- Set achievable but challenging tasks through differentiated learning activities
- Provide explicit feedback that helps students develop independence, and move to a higher level of understanding
- Work together as a professional learning community intent on improving students’ achievements
- Be Engaging. Students are motivated to learn when they are engaged with exciting and stimulating ideas and experiences.
- Be Active. Learning is an active process involving a conscious intention on a student’s part to make sense of new ideas or experiences. Learning involves action (the trying out of new ideas) and reflection (based on feedback). Learning should develop a student’s capacity for independent thought and action. Whether working individually or in groups, a student should become increasingly autonomous in their scholarly endeavours.
- Be Situated and Authentic. Learning is situated and authentic when students develop their knowledge and capabilities in meaningful disciplinary, professional, and personal contexts.
- Build Connections. Learning experiences should connect new ideas with students’ existing knowledge, skills and values, while extending and challenging their current ways of thinking and acting. Learning should build connections between teachers and students and between students themselves.
- Be Guided by Clear Expectations and Academic Standards. Learning is effective when it is purposeful, when the reasons for study are explicit and attractive, and when students understand what is expected of them.
- Be Challenging and Supported. Effective learning is supported by a climate of enquiry where students feel challenged, while being supported to take sensible risks in their learning.
- Be Inclusive of Diversity. Learning is enhanced when students feel valued and respected, and engage with, and are challenged by, a diversity of ideas and perspectives within an environment that is respectful of this diversity. Students learn in different ways and their learning is best supported by the use of multiple teaching methods and modes.
We need to provide young people with the capacity and motivation to:
- develop a love of learning;
- be literate, numerate and technologically skilled;
- be culturally sensitive and aesthetically aware;
- be environmentally and globally aware;
- select and evaluate information and be intellectually curious;
- be problem solvers;
- be able to think creatively and critically;
- work in teams with skills in cooperation, communication and negotiation;
- be independent of mind, self-regulating and reflective;
- be flexible so they are better able to adapt to change;
- be community builders, with strong social competencies, resilience and self-esteem;
- know how to learn and want to continue to learn;
- move from being supported learners to autonomous learners.
Our Lady of the Way offers a comprehensive curriculum in the following areas of the Victorian Curriculum:
- Religious Education
- The Arts – (Visual & Performing)
- Critical & Creative Thinking
- Ethical Capability
- Health & Physical Education
- The Humanities (Economics & Business, Geography, History)
- Intercultural Capability
- Interpersonal Development
- Personal & Social Capability
- Technologies (Design & Technologies, Digital Technologies)
Adherence to the Australian Democratic Principles
The programs of, and teaching in, at Our Lady of the Way School support and promote the principles and practices of Australian Democracy, including a commitment to:
- elected Government;
- the rule of law;
- equal rights for all before the law;
- freedom of religion;
- freedom of speech and association;
- the values of openness and tolerance.
Our Lady of the Way School displays posters of democratic values. The flying of the Australian flag is a regular observance in our school at assemblies and important events. Through the integrated inquiry units of work the students undertake studies in the two dimensions of the Civics and Citizenship domain of Victorian Essential Learning Standard: civic knowledge and understanding and community engagement
Our role as educators is to provide the foundations for students to participate effectively in workplaces and communities of the future.