A Jesuit education promotes intellectual achievement and encourages its students to pursue strong academic results. It also inspires each student to discover his unique gifts and develop them fully. St Aloysius’ College is committed to graduating young men who seek understanding and the truth, to be intellectually curious and to develop a lifelong love of learning. This love of learning will begin in the Junior School where students are provided with a diverse range of learning experiences.
St Aloysius’ College is a small community and we know and care for each of our students. In Years 3 and 4 there are two classes of 26 students and in Years 5 and 6 there are four classes with an average of 29 students. As an academically-oriented school most of our students have demonstrated that they will flourish in an academic environment, as such classes are not graded and are of mixed ability. The following core subjects are taught by the class teacher who allocates an appropriate number of lessons per week to each subject:
• Geography and History
• Religious Education
In addition to the core subjects, the following specialist subjects are taught by specialist teachers:
• Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
• Visual Arts
Extension and Enrichment Program
Generally, the College has favoured an extension approach rather than acceleration, placing more importance on the formative/relational aspects of schooling over simple academic progress. Learning Enrichment teachers are responsive to the needs of students in helping them reach their academic potential. These teachers coordinate extension and enrichment opportunities for all students according to need, provide support to the classroom teachers for strategies to assist individual students in their learning and provide professional development opportunities for staff.
There are a range of activities to develop gifted and talented students. These include Chess, Da Vinci Decathlon, Lego Robotics, Debating, Drama, lateral thinking groups, poetry and art workshops with Loreto Kirribilli, Tournament of Minds and a number of Gifted and Talented workshops offered by the University of NSW and the Independent Primary School Heads of Australia (IPSHA). These programs are conducted both during and after school hours.
The College's Learning Enrichment staff work closely with Junior and Senior School teachers and parents to collaboratively develop individual plans for students with specific learning needs. There are Teacher Assistants available to support individual students in the classroom as needed.
Classroom teachers also liaise with outside agencies such as speech therapists, occupational therapists and health practitioners to best support the needs of individual students.
Good study habits are not acquired overnight and regular home study is one way of developing a student’s ability to use his study time constructively. Sound study skills lead to self discipline and organisation. Thus, the College has developed a policy to ensure there is adequate attention paid to developing these skills. It is the expectation of the College that all teachers will set homework on a regular basis. The form this will take may vary according to the skills and content material being assessed at the time.
Each student is issued with a College Diary. In it he must record the day and date for submission of written homework and for the checking of assigned revision. Parents are encouraged to check the diary and make comments in the space provided. Classroom teachers will monitor diary use often and use it to communicate with parents. The role of parents is an important one. They should see that the student is working towards setting good home study habits. A quiet, well equipped place, free from interruptions and distractions, coupled with enough quality time, should be conducive for developing these good habits. Below is a schedule of approximate daily home study times for various years:
Year 3 - 30 minutes written work; 15 minutes learning and reading
Year 4 - 40 minutes written work; 20 minutes learning and reading
Year 5 - 45 minutes written work; 30 minutes learning and reading
Year 6 - 50 minutes written work; 30 minutes learning and reading
Mrs Jennifer Walker, Head of Teaching & Learning in the Junior School, is responsible for the Campion booklist which itemises the required texts and stationery for your son. Years 3 to 6 booklists will be available late in Term IV 2019 at www.campion.com.au. You will be given the access code at Orientation Day.
Please read the booklist carefully and ensure you tick all the required items (ensuring you include any compulsory levies to be paid to Campion ie. compulsory Mathletics levy and compulsory Department of Education School Magazine levy). The College encourages booklists to be submitted online.
The College’s preference would be for you to order the package as this ensures that your son arrives at the College with the correct items for his grade level. This is very important as it underpins all his academic tasks, activities and challenges. Having the correct texts and stationery ensures a smooth, relaxed start to the school year for your son.
Perhaps, even more importantly, is the covering, naming and marking of personal items, textbooks, exercise books and stationery. It is very important to label, mark or name all of your son’s stationery and items of clothing so that all lost, dropped or misplaced items can be returned to their owner.
We advise students to bring in their covered texts and exercise books over the first few days of school. There is no need to bring all books on the first day.
Use of ICT
Students are exposed to a wide variety of Information Technology at St Aloysius' College. Every student is provided with an iPad, all classrooms have interactive screens. The Junior School has a computer lab with thirty iMacs and multiple mobile laptop trolleys with MacBook Airs. There is also access to a variety of multimedia hardware, including digital cameras and video cameras.
The College's software range is extensive, including video and photo editing and the Adobe and Microsoft Office suites. Students use a wide range of Apple software, including iMovie, Photo Booth and Garageband.
The College also offers LEGO Robotics in Year 5 where students receive an introduction to basic programming by completing a variety of challenges. This programming knowledge is extended into Year 6 with more traditional coding (i.e. text based). For Years 5 and 6 students there is also the opportunity to participate in a LEGO robotics competition (Robocup Rescue) through the Lego Robotics Club.
All students in the Junior School will have access to their own College-issued iPad for educational use. These educational tools can be of enormous use within a structured classroom environment. To facilitate the usefulness of the iPad, the College has full control of the applications that are installed and students are not able to modify what is available. There are a number of guidelines provided to students for the use of their iPads and technology in general (these are all in the ICT Responsible Use Policy that is mentioned below).
Detailed information about the Use of ICT in the Junior School can be found here.