Curriculum design at St Brigid’s is based on the Understanding by Design framework (UBD framework) by Wiggins and McTighe.
High expectation is essential in all stages of learning and is linked to high achievement. Teachers at St Brigid’s have high expectations of the students they teach. Positive teacher student relationships thrive on constructive feedback, explicit instruction, differentiated approaches and strategies that support student wellbeing. We ensure all students are continuously challenged. We understand there is a diverse range of needs in the classroom and we design learning to allow for high expectations of all learners.
Understanding by Design
Key to our teaching and learning is to design learning using the Understanding by Design framework (Wiggins and McTighe). Using evidence-informed data and our context we develop our student’s learning opportunities with the end in mind. Two key ideas are focusing on teaching and assessing for understanding and learning transfer, and to design curriculum “backward” from those ends. Using Understanding by Design, teachers focus more on the activities and explicit instruction to determine what is important to learn. Therefore emphasis is placed on the student’s goals and learning and not solely on the teaching.
Evidence-informed practice is used to check student understanding and support the development of a learner-driven curriculum. Effective feedback provides students with relevant, ongoing and constructive appraisal. It is these processes and structures that guide our curriculum, assessment and feedback. We aim to build a culture whereby all students can learn, grow and are future focused. We believe in setting targeted goals that challenge, support, empower and ultimately allow students to celebrate their successes.
At St Brigid’s we have a collaborative culture where we teach in teams to support continuous improvement in student learning. Teaching teams in our learning spaces are committed to providing rich experiences that provoke students’ thinking and curiosity. The learning is carefully constructed using a range of learning strategies that allow teachers to manage multiple student investigations at the same time. Using a team approach students have the opportunity to develop relationships with a diverse range of teachers in their subjects. Furthermore, this allows students to access a variety of teaching styles and learning strategies in every lesson.
Feedback is core to good teaching practice. It provides teachers and students with a gauge on understanding and performance. At St Brigid’s we aim to give both regular and adequate feedback so students can clearly identify areas to improve and understand the expectations moving forward. Feedback is important in providing self-confidence and motivation for continued effort and engagement. Ongoing feedback and review of student progress allows students to effectively meet the requirements of their subjects, build confidence and influence their level of achievement.
Assessment plays a primary role in establishing student progress and understanding. At St Brigid’s we design assessment that allows students to effectively engage at their point of challenge. We use a range of assessment methods that combine both learning in the classroom and summative tasks and projects to ascertain learning gain. In all assessments of student learning we provide opportunities for ongoing feedback with explicit goals and criteria established. This allows students to demonstrate continual growth across the assessment period.
Stage 6 assessments are conducted in line with NESA guidelines. Students will receive grades in the Preliminary course and contribute to their RoSA grade. The HSC course will require teachers to award marks and ranks in accordance with NESA. Stage 6 curriculum handbook YEAR 12 YEAR 11
“Literacy is the means through which every person can realise their full potential”
Raising the literacy outcomes of learners will ultimately lead to a better life both now and in the future. Being literate enables students to engage in deep learning experiences and develop skills that will help them throughout their journey as lifelong learners. At St Brigid’s Catholic College, we aim for our students to leave us with dignity, purpose and choice. With this in mind we have dedicated lessons to address literacy for all students so they can continue to grow and be better prepared for both senior studies and life after school.
Using a data informed approach, we in teams support students’ literacy levels and help them demonstrate individual growth as they progress through each of the year groups. The purpose of the literacy program is to engage with current student data to ascertain targets that will yield the best value outcomes for students.
The courses offered are intended to provide students a balanced and diversified experience with an emphasis on extending literacy and numeracy competence. Students complete a range of mandatory courses as set out by the NSW Education standards Authority (NESA):
- Religious Education
- Human Society & Its Environment
- Technology and Applied Studies
- Creative & Performing Arts
- Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
Stage 5 electives
- Design and Technology
- Industrial technology
- Food technology
- Child Studies
- Marine Studies
- French Beginners
- Visual Arts
Key Learning Areas
At St. Brigid’s we strive to “Inflame our Hearts and minds in Christ” through our Religious Education courses from Years 7 to 12. To achieve this we need to know Christ, experience Christ’s love and recognise God’s actions in their lives.
- Stage 4 overview is looking at who Jesus is through scripture, history and Catholic beliefs.
- Stage 5 we look at Catholic development and impact in Australia and the Joy of the Gospel.
- Stage 6 students further develop either their understanding of a Christians Catholic lifestyle or the NESA Studies of Religion.
After studying these courses we would hope students would be able to see how they can use their talents to make a difference in our world.
St Brigids recognises the ways in which the 21st century life for our students is full of changes and challenges that we once did not imagine could exist. For this reason, our innovative English curriculum breaks down the barriers of traditional teaching; through a strong focus on inquiry-based learning, combined with an emphasis on fostering creativity, critical thinking and collaboration enhanced by the contemporary use of technology. Through this approach, students have the unique opportunity to read, view, speak, write, create and reflect on a wide scope of spoken, written and multimodal texts across a range of historical, cultural and social contexts. These texts may be fiction or nonfiction, classics or more recent works and comprise of a variety of written, spoken and visual texts, including:
- Poetry and performance poetry
- Plays and films
- Short stories
- Multimodal texts
- Media, multimedia and digital, including graphic novels.
Through this exploration, students grow in their appreciation for the English language while developing an understanding of its potential to communicate for a range of purposes. As a curriculum that embraces diversity and is inclusive of the learning needs of all students, each individual student’s learning experience is maximised as they foster the ability to think critically, conduct clear communication, have successful collaborative practices, develop creativity, and make great use of connectivity.
Mathematics at St Brigid’s takes students on a learning journey. We all start at different points of challenge and move at different paces and in Mathematics our main focus at St Brigid’s is student growth. Where did we start? What is our goal? Where do we want or need to be? Then we can plan as to how we are going to get there?
In Stages 4 and 5 we are using a program called Maths Pathways and this helps us to assess where students are starting and where we need to help them to fill in the gaps in their learning. In Stage 6 Mathematics our focus is to enable students to leave our College with the knowledge and understanding to take on a career that interests them from engineering to money and financial skills so that they can effectively run their own budget or even a small business.
Science at St Brigid’s encourages students to explore and engage with the world around them, to make it a better place for their having lived. Students are challenged to investigate everyday phenomena and design experiments to test their ideas. They are encouraged to research and build the depth of their understanding and use this knowledge to propose solutions to current issues that they identify. Not all of our students will become practicing scientists however as global citizens they have a moral responsibility to be informed with the skills to engage with current social issues and be able to make educated choices about how they live, their health, safety and their impact on the environment. Our ‘WHY’ in the science department at St Brigid’s is to grow our next generation to be critical thinkers that use reliable evidence to make informed decisions about their contributions to the global community.
Personal Development, Health and Physical Education at St Brigid’s allows for holistic development in terms of the cognitive, social, emotional and physical development of our students. We provide opportunities for students to learn about ways of adopting and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. Students learn through movement experiences that are both challenging yet enjoyable, and improve their capacity to move with skill and confidence in a variety of contexts across a variety of sports. We promote the value of physical activity in our students’ lives. Our units of work reflect the multidimensional nature of health in the context of a diverse society. PDHPE and associated subjects such as PASS, Child Studies, Community and Family Studies, Sports, Lifestyle and Recreation and Exploring Early Childhood, provide the opportunity for the young people in our setting to explore issues that are likely to impact on the health and wellbeing of themselves and others, both now and in the future.
Students at St Brigid’s Catholic College are given the opportunities to solve multiple challenging technological problems in a contemporary, dynamic learning environment. Students’ knowledge and understanding is tested as they are met at their point of challenge through inquiry-based and project-based learning activities with limitless outcomes. Through these projects students discover the world of Engineering, Design, Textiles, Food, Agriculture and Digital Technologies. Students are then given the opportunity to expand their knowledge of these fields through our increasingly popular Stage 5 and 6 elective courses.
CREATIVE and PERFORMING ARTS
St Brigid’s has a dynamic Creative and Performing Arts Department with a focus on contemporary pedagogy, a learning environment that fosters curiosity in a framework of Inquiry and Project Based Learning.The learning experiences we provide aim to develop the whole person in addition to a “work ready” transferable skill set, preparing students for an ever changing world: communication, collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving.
Students are provided with opportunities to engage with industry experts and experience authentic application of the Arts outside of the classroom.These opportunities include:
Art Exhibitions, Competitions, Concerts, Community Events, Contemporary Bands, Musical Theatre and Drama/Dance festivals. An experienced team of teachers work alongside students identifying their point of challenge in order for them to learn. As facilitators of students’ learning, we nurture and guide them in their individual passions and interests, to become their very best.
At St Brigid’s Catholic College, we believe in creating ‘world citizens’ and life-long learners.
Our HSIE faculty incorporates real world skills and knowledge to prepare our students for life after school.
Stage 4 HSIE subjects are Geography and History. Year 7 and 8 students are taught fundamental skills in developing key concepts in these subjects.
In Stage 5 HSIE, students broaden their knowledge and skills within the History and Geography subject areas, preparing them for potential senior study. We also offer Stage 5 Elective Commerce, to help build students’ confidence, skills and knowledge in consumer, economic and financial decision making.
The Stage 6 HSIE subjects offered at St Brigid’s are:
- Modern History
- Ancient History
- Senior Geography
- Business Studies
- Society and Culture
- Legal Studies
All HSIE subjects are taught by passionate and experienced teaching staff, dedicated to sharing their passion and knowledge with our students.
At St Brigid’s Catholic College our students study French in Year 8, as a 100 hour mandatory language. Students are then able to choose French as an ‘Elective’ in their STAGE 5 studies.
The way in which we teach language at St Brigid’s allows our students to learn at their own pace and skill level, as well as practice ‘real-life’ scenarios in many projects and in-class tasks. Students who wish to choose a language for their HSC at St Brigid’s can choose between French Beginners or French Continuers (taught at school), Japanese Beginners (taught via CSBB online), as well as any language they wish through the NSW School of Languages, supported by our Language ‘Leader of Learning’.
Stage 6 students at St Brigid’s have the option of studying VET courses at school. The role vocational education and training (VET) courses play in helping students prepare for further education, training, employment and lifelong learning is widely recognised by key stakeholders in education. Students receive recognition towards their school qualification (Record of School Achievement or HSC), as well as a nationally recognised VET qualification.
VET courses offered at St Brigid’s include:
- Certificate III in Entertainment Industries (Live Production and Services)
- Certificate II in Hospitality (Kitchen Operations)
- Certificate II in Construction