24 Jul, 2018
Associate Head (Teaching and Learning), Mr Tim Dorning, recently provided an update to St Michael’s families on some exciting new changes to our curricular and co-curricular offerings that have been implemented at the School this year or that are being introduced next year.
Below is a summary of the updates to our curricular and co-curricular offerings in Kindergarten to Year 6 and Years 7 to 12.
Kindergarten to Year 6
This year, we have implemented a range of new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) programs in Kindergarten to Year 6, including:
- Our Maker Space program where we experiment with new technology and STEAM based materials, which enables students to develop skills, knowledge and understanding.
- Basic iPad skills; using Book Creator to document their inquiry learning
- Digital Technologies skills; weekly classes in basic programming using Scratch Jnr and Blue Bots
- Use of Kodable, Bloxels and Blue Bots to explore basic programming concepts.
- Students in Year 2 and 3 combine once a week to participate in STEAM workshops in mixed year level groupings.
- Exploring forces in Year 4 by designing and constructing devices to navigate a hypothetical planet exploration
- In Year 5 students use Chibitronics paper circuitry to explore basics of electrical circuits as an extension to understanding energy.
We have updated our spirituality curriculum which is now called Anam Cara Learning (Anam meaning ‘soul’ and Cara meaning ‘friend’), and our health and wellbeing curriculum has also been revised in the junior years. Excitingly, we continue to see the benefits of combining our Year 6 and Year 7 mathematics programs to encourage our budding mathematicians to work beyond the Year 6 curriculum.
Students in Years 3 and 4 are offered Friday afternoon clinics in basketball, AFL and netball, run by coaches from Melbourne Sports Institute, to prepare them for interschool sport in Years 5 and 6. For boys in Years 3 and 4, we have also introduced a Hip-Hop class that runs each Friday lunchtime.
Our partnership with Melbourne City Football Club has allowed our youngest students the opportunity to improve their soccer skills through the weekly Kindergarten to Year 1 soccer clinics.
Years 7 to 12
In Years 7 and 8, the curriculum reflects the belief that students in early secondary schooling benefit from participating in a broad range of core learning opportunities.
At Year 7, our core program has been expanded this year to include digital technology and food technology. Digital technology is taught through a semester of robotics, and food technology is taught as a language immersion using food from the culture of the language being studied.
In Year 8 this year we have introduced an elective program so that students can choose to take one of the core elements from Year 7 and develop their skills in greater depth. As the Year 8 curriculum now contains the study of our parliamentary system, commencing this year the well-known “Mock Election” will become a Year 8 fixture. Year 7 students also have a three-day elective program during the final week of Term 3.
As students move into Year 9, the curriculum provides more opportunities for choice via options offered within core areas of study and the elective program. This year, students were given a voice in the development of their program. A committee of students brainstormed ideas for their end of year Theme Days, which were voted on by all Year 9 students. The most popular programs will be offered to students as electives in the last week of Term 4.
Year 9 students also voted for a revised set of Year 10 Immersion Programs for 2019, which they will be able to undertake at the end of Semester 1 next year. The Year 9 Exodus Program was also refreshed. Students have a choice from 3 different trips, and the program moved this year to the end of Term 1 to great success.
In Years 7 to 9, our curriculum in health and wellbeing has been expanded to include Positive Learning alongside Anam Cara and Health, and each of these subjects is taken by a specialist teacher.
For students in Years 10 to 12 we continue to expand the large list of subjects already available to students in the Year 10 elective program and in VCE. In 2019, Year 10 students will now have the option of commencing Photography as part of the Visual Arts program, and VCE Media has also been introduced for Year 11 and Year 12 students.
At VCE, our students are now able to choose from 41 different subjects in the key areas of English, Health and Physical Education, Languages, Mathematics, Performing Arts, Science, Technology and Visual Arts. We are extremely proud of the depth and breadth of opportunities available to our students completing VCE at St Michael’s, that reflects the diversity of interests and abilities of our students.
We look forward to sharing further curriculum developments with you as we continue to enhance our programs.