Primary Years - Reception to Year 5
The Primary School section at St Dominic's Priory College comprises single classes for years Reception to Year 6. There are approximately 185 students in the seven classes. Many facilities are shared with the Secondary section of the College and there are many opportunities for events, celebrations and outreach which are inclusive of Years R-12. We are located in a discreet part of the College allowing our students to have the freedom of playing and socialising within their own area if they wish. St Catherine's Courtyard and the Adventure Playground are just two areas where only Junior Primary and Primary students play.
While our Year 6 students are involved in the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme in their teaching and learning, they are a valued and integral part of our Primary School. There is an opportunity for these students to lead in many areas of school life.
We strongly value our connections across the school and work collaboratively with the Administration and Teaching staff of the Secondary area while recognising the differences in the needs of our younger students.
We are very aware of the social and emotional development of our students as well as the need for a strong academic program. All students are encouraged to live up to our motto of 'Veritas' (Truth) - to be true to themselves in all ways, to work hard, to be kind to and respectful of others, to understand that with rights comes responsibilities and that we have a duty to care for ourselves, others and our environment.
In our primary classes we have adopted the International Baccalaureate Learner Profile, an important part of our Middle Year Programme within the school, believing that these strongly reflect our Dominican Ethos.
We strive for our students to be:
Communicators - to be able to share and receive ideas and information in many ways
Principled - to be fair, honest and responsible
Inquirers - to be curious, ask questions and to develop a love of learning
Reflective - to think about their own learning, their strengths and weaknesses in a constructive way
Risk Takers - to be brave and courageous and to explore new roles, ideas and strategies
Thinkers - to apply their thinking skills critically and creatively to make good decisions and to solve hard problems
Balanced - to take care of their bodies, minds and feelings
Open-minded - to appreciate their own cultures and the views, values and traditions of other individuals and cultures
Caring - to show sensitivity towards the needs and feelings of others
Knowledgeable - to recognise and value their own capacity to learn and to know about their world near and far.
The Primary Curriculum is designed so that students are all able to access learning that is appropriate, challenging and engaging. Our curriculum is largely determined by the content of the Australian Curriculum which is under constant review and change. Our Primary Curriculum is constructed by classroom teachers using these documents, in consultation with the Curriculum Coordinators of the Primary, Middle and Senior School.
The building of a caring community is blended with the formal teaching of our Religious Faith and Tradition, and our Catholicity is evident in a number of ways. In common with all Catholic schools, St Dominic's Priory College's first priority is to foster the knowledge and the living of the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels. The Dominican way of approaching our motto, Truth, is also to encourage in our students a love of learning. In doing this we endeavour to integrate the truths of the Gospel and the value of truth in all learning. The formal Religious Education program is guided by Crossways, The Religious Education Framework for Catholic Schools, and the MITIOG Program (Made in The Image of God).
Prayer is a daily activity in all classrooms. Students also are involved in school and class masses, whole school times of Stillness and Silence and other shared liturgies. During the year there are many activities involved with Social Justice and helping others in need.
At St Dominic's Priory College we believe:
- Students learn best when school and home work in a mutually supportive way
- Students feel valued in a safe and secure environment
- Parental involvement is important
- Teachers should be well skilled, well informed, enthusiastic and positive role models
- Students, teachers and parents should treat one another with respect and courtesy
- Our learning environment should be one where students are encouraged to take risks, develop independent learning and organisational skills, and promote individual excellence so that each student is able to achieve to their own potential.
Good literacy skills underpin learning in all curriculum areas and all subject teachers are involved in developing these skills. The Literacy and Curriculum Coordinator and the Inclusive Education Coordinator work with teachers in identifying students at risk, ensuring good literacy practices, developing new programs, as well as overseeing the overall curriculum and evaluating literacy components.
Mathematical learning is central to Numeracy. Numeracy is the ability to understand, and to use mathematics in different social, cultural and work contexts. This includes an understanding that Mathematics can be used in other learning areas and in everyday life. We have a Numeracy Coach who works alongside teachers and students and ensures that there is evidence of numerate practices across the curriculum.
While all subject areas require specialist skills most subjects are taught by the classroom teachers. Specialist teachers are responsible for the teaching of Italian, Music and Physical Education across our Reception to Year 5 classes.
All teachers are required to attend Professional Development sessions to keep abreast of curriculum changes, to ensure they are aware of the best and latest practices, procedures and educational thinking. Many staff meetings are aimed at skill development and consultation across the Reception-Year 12 range of our College. Our teachers are highly skilled and passionate educators and learners.