Teaching and Learning at Emmaus

Emmaus Catholic Primary School is a learning community.

All members of our community are learners – children, parents and educators. Our moral purpose, Like Christ, we believe in empowering and nurturing so all can flourish, is at the core of all that we do. We aim to motivate and enable students to act, flourish and enrich the world around them.

We acknowledge the capacity of all members of our community as learners and teachers. Every one of us is a home to a story. A story filled with talents, strengths, celebrations and challenges. Celebrating the expertise and talents of the individuals in our community is recognised and encouraged through various opportunities.     

As educators, we know it is our responsibility to have a strong knowledge of each child in order to provide appropriate learning opportunities. Our learning and teaching programs are designed to foster growth of the ‘whole child’; spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially and academically. We hold high expectations of all of our students and support them to achieve their personal best.

We are influenced by UNESCO’s four pillars of education (2001):

  • Learning to know;
  • Learning to do;
  • Learning to live together, and:
  • Learning to be.

Our rich curriculum has a balance of explicit and direct instruction and learning opportunities which foster and encourage curiosity and wonder in our students through opportunities for hands on and multi sensory learning. 

Each week our students engage in a “Discovery Day” where they have the opportunity to discover more about themselves, each other, their world and our God. On Discovery Days the students participate in specialist sessions in the learning areas of Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Physical Education, Outdoor Discovery and STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics).

It is during these times that our classroom teachers engage in a day of planning. This provides the opportunity for teachers to work collaboratively to plan teaching and learning sequences, engage in professional conversations about evidence based practices and share expertise. This allows our teachers to build a low variance curriculum across all classes at a year level so that all students in each cohort are presented with the same learning experiences. Teachers also work together to use the data that has been gathered about each child to personalise the learning for students to ensure that we provide additional support and/ or extension so that each child can flourish.

Teachers at Emmaus are committed to engaging in a continuous professional development cycle where needs are identified, professional learning is undertaken and reflected upon and then this learning is applied to the planning and delivery of teaching programs for our students. Currently, some of our key areas of professional development are:

  • Building a restorative school culture through our three year partnership with Real Schools
  • The Science of Learning- exploring the implications of cognitive science on how students learn. Our main areas of learning have been in the areas of  spaced and interleaved retrieval practice “Daily Review” and the Science of Reading
  • Explicit and Direct Instruction- Early in 2023 our team was fortunate to work with John Hollingsworth and his team at Dataworks to learn how to apply the pedagogical approach of Explicit and Direct Instruction to our teaching and learning. We were taught a number of engagement strategies and techniques which we apply in our daily teaching from Prep to Year 6.