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Learning & Teaching

St Mary's Primary School Mansfield

Our Vision for Learning

To provide a balanced educational program, based on current pedagogical practice, via a stimulating and caring learning environment. 


Our Guiding Principles

  • Whole school approach to classroom management, planning and teaching and learning practices based on a sound knowledge of how students learn.

  • The adoption of evidence based programs that build strong foundations for our students.

  • Early, targeted intervention that meets the needs of the individual.

  • Whole school approach to assessments and data collection.

  • High expectations of teachers and students and the embedded knowledge that all can achieve given the right environment

  • Teachers as lifelong learners

  • Putting faces on the data through adopting a case management approach

  • Empowering student agency through inquiry based learning


Shared Pedagogical Model

  • Explicit teaching through clear learning intentions and co-constructed success criteria.

  • Activate prior knowledge with daily, weekly and monthly reviews.

  • Effective use of questioning techniques

  • Check for learning, set goals and provide feedback

  • Assessment to inform teaching



English Assessment (Formative and Summative)

  • Assessment is ongoing

  • Summative assessment- Conducted in Term 1 and Term 4 (prior to end of year report writing) using the tests listed in the ‘F-6 Assessment Schedule’.

  • All children need to complete the tests, including those that have been enrolled at the beginning of the year or during the school year.

  • Extra tests can also be completed on children to provide additional information to the teacher, e.g. a teacher could test a Level 3 student using the Letter ID test. 

  • Results need to be recorded by classroom teachers for St Mary’s records.  Some test results are required by  ‘Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools 

  • Formative assessment-  

  • Conducted in Term 1, Term 2, Term 3 and Term 4.

  • Various forms of assessment such as Cold Write, Text levels are implemented constantly throughout each term to inform explicit teaching and learning.

  • Moderation- The Term 2 and Term 4 work samples will be moderated in levels and also across levels using Cold Write Samples and Text Levels-these will be updated on the Data Wall in Term One and then at regular intervals throughout the year.

  • Vic Curric English curriculum documents will be used to assess writing samples through the use of the Australian Criterion Scale from VCOP with constant cross checks with Vic Curric documents


Maths Assessment (Formative and Summative)

  • Assessment is ongoing

  • Essential Assessment is used for Pre and Post testing

  • Pat Maths- Conducted in Term 1 and Term 4 (prior to end of year report writing) 

  • All children need to complete the tests, including those that have been enrolled at the beginning of the year or during the school year.

Extra tests can also be completed to provide additional information to the teacher


MACS Vision for reading instruction

Reading is the gateway to meaning and knowledge. Yet, teaching children to read is complex. Fortunately, reading instruction is one of the mostly widely researched topics in education, and hundreds of studies have refined and consolidated a strong evidence base for reading instruction (Moats 2020).

MACS Vision for writing instruction 

One of the most fundamental responsibilities of schools is teaching students to read and write. Reading and writing are foundational literacy skills, and foundational to all other learning areas. Implementing evidence-based instructional practices enhances students’ writing skills and confidence while fostering a deeper understanding, enjoyment of, and appreciation for the writing process.

At St Mary’s students learn to be competent users of English in Reading, Writing and Speaking.  They learn to appreciate, enjoy and use language efficiently.  This aims to develop the potential of each learner to fully participate as active and engaged citizens. Through the study of English students learn to analyse, understand and communicate with others.

Our school program places emphasis on Literacy learning skills in all areas of the curriculum.  The Victorian curriculum is implemented through our English Program including:

  • Two hour daily Literacy Block for Foundation to Year Six

  • Explicit and informed teaching of reading, writing, speaking, thinking and listening

  • Ongoing assessment and reporting

  • English learning that is based on analysis, critical thinking, reflection and responding in all modes of English

  • Early intervention programs such as, ERIK, ERIKSEN, LLI & MacqLit

  • Ongoing Literacy coaching of teachers in contemporary approaches to teaching and learning in all areas of English



MACS Vision for Mathematics Instruction 

“Mathematics involves developing an understanding of numbers and quantity, operations, patterns, space, measurement, and shapes. It builds in complexity, which means that early performance in mathematics relates to future performance. Access to high-quality mathematics instruction can improve student attitudes towards mathematics and change trajectories of student outcomes and pathways (The Meadows Center 2017). High-quality mathematics instruction is essential.

The structure of the numeracy block at St Mary's Primary School is guided by MACS Vision for Instruction to reflect the latest findings on how students learn. This is based heavily on our understanding of Cognitive Load Theory along with Barak Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction.

  1. Daily Review

  2. Present material in small Steps

  3. Asking a large number of questions

  4. Providing models

  5. Guiding student practise

  6. Check for understanding

  7. Obtain a high success rate

  8. Provide scaffolds

  9. Require and monitor independent practice

  10. Engage students in weekly and monthly reviews


Each of the classes complete a 1 hr numeracy block P-6 on at least four days per week.

  • P-6 Implementation of Maths Vic Curriculum 2.0

  • P-2 participating in Teach Well TIMS (Teaching for Impact in Mathematics Series)

  • 3-6 use OCHRE resources supplemented by Learning through Doing and other resources

  • Essential Assessment is used for Pre and Post assessments 

  • PAT M is used for tracking student progress

Education in Faith

St Mary’s Mansfield is a Catholic primary school.  As part of the Mansfield Parish our Catholic Identity is central to our mission.  We are proud to profess that we are a Catholic school and that our practice is embedded in Catholic traditions.

Upon entering our school our Catholic identity in which visitors our community receive a welcome based upon Christian and Gospel values. Our children receive a faith education.

As part of the Catholic Tradition the children are invited to continue their Sacramental journeys by making their sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation.  At times we also support the journey of parents and other family members celebrate their own Sacraments as the need arises.  The Sacramental program is developed in conjunction with the wider Mansfield Parish community.
Our education in Faith is overseen by the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.  Our curriculum approach to faith education is supported by our Religious Education Guidelines in Horizons of Hope through programs such as, ‘To Know Worship and Love,’ which are based on current pedagogical practices.

Our students in Prep to Year Two follow the Good Shepherd program which has a focus of Jesus as our good shepherd.  This program helps the students become familiar with Jesus through stories, play, prayer and the Arts.  The students in Years 3-6 follow an inquiry-based approach to their faith development and Religious Education and they are introduced to the rich traditions of the Catholic Church, our missionary responsibilities, scriptural and liturgical knowledge. 
Experiencing education in Faith at St Mary’s will offer our children the opportunity to know God and believe that they are loved by God and welcomed into a relationship with Jesus.  They are called to share the ‘Good News’ and act as Christians in their daily lives.



At St Mary’s we encourage our children to question the world around them and that forms the basis of the process of implementing an inquiry based curriculum. As a curriculum approach, inquiry-based learning builds from a natural process of inquiry in which students experience a 'need to know' that motivates and deepens learning. ... developing student skills in self-direction, research, critical thinking and problem solving, and developing discipline knowledge and skills. At St Mary’s we believe that inquiry-based learning motivates students to learn and advance their problem solving and critical thinking skills in all areas of the curriculum, including STEM. This approach to learning provides opportunities for the children to be creative, independent, responsible and actively involved in their own learning.  This approach also caters for a range of learning styles and helps children to feel confident in taking risks in their learning.

Learning Adjustments/

At St Mary’s the staff is dedicated to ensuring every child achieves their own potential. This means we have a robust system of teaching and support that caters to the needs of all students.

Diversity encompasses all learners across cultural, academic, social, emotional and physical attributes noting these are not mutually exclusive.

‘Learning Diversity’ refers to the infinite variety of life experiences and attributes a child brings to their formal learning at school.

At St Mary’s, we believe that all children can flourish when given the right environment. For learning to take place we need to ensure that every child feels safe, happy and confident within themselves. The Learning Diversity Department uses targeted assessments to identify students’ strengths and challenges to enable an individualised approach to intervention/extension.



At St. Mary’s we are lucky enough to have our own well-stocked school Library and Library Teacher. The students have a Library lesson each week for an hour that consists of a Literature focus and time for the students to be guided in their individual reading choices. The students can borrow books each week to either take home or back to their classroom and are supported to choose books they both enjoy and are a good fit for their reading ability.

Students spend time getting to know the Library, including the various locations of different sorts of books including Picture Books, Junior Fiction, Senior Fiction, and Non-Fiction. The students’ lessons are often enriched using various technology including their laptops or interactive stories on the screen. The Library also supports classroom learning by providing resources for the Units of Inquiry and Literacy topics.

The Library is open for half of lunchtime on Wednesday and Thursday, from 11.35 am until the music. This provides our students with an opportunity to have some quiet play including games, lego, drawing or craft. Some students also seize the chance for some silent reading during this time. We find this an important option for some of our students who at times find social situations challenging and can reset in our beautiful Library space. 


At St Mary’s we want our Art students to enjoy making artworks while exploring a variety of media. The course is largely skill based and the older students begin to understand the design process. While the course caters for students with a wide range of ability, all students are expected to produce their best quality of work to ensure they meet their potential. All projects are based on a brief discussion about Art history and the practical works the students complete are a response to these discussions.



At St Marys, our primary goal is to help students build confidence and competence in acquiring motor skills to improve their participation in various physical activities. We strive to offer all students the chance to adopt a healthy lifestyle through skill development and exposure to a diverse range of team sports and individual physical activities. By introducing students to new activities and experiences, we aim for them to develop a lasting interest in engaging in activities that promote a sense of community and belonging. Taking part in physical activities not only boosts mental health and emotional growth but also helps students gain confidence, resilience, and perseverance through both competitive and non-competitive events.

In our Physical Education classes, we focus on making learning enjoyable and equipping students with physical skills that can be applied in real-life situations. We recognise the multiple benefits of physical activity, such as relaxation, recreation, fitness, social interaction, and friendly competition. From Foundation to Year 3, we concentrate on honing Fundamental Motor Skills (FMS). Moving on from Year 3 to 6, we continue to refine FMS and introduce game awareness while providing opportunities for both team games and individual activities in competitive and non-competitive settings.

We offer various avenues for students to engage in School Sport Victoria sports pathways like Swimming, Cross Country running, and Athletics carnivals. Students are encouraged to participate in these events, competing against other schools locally and even at the state level. Swimming carnivals, cross-country running, and athletic sports days are open to students from Years P to 6. Students can try out for the Swimming Carnival and take-part in morning sessions during the summer swim season. Our annual St Mary's cross country run allows students to explore the beautiful local surroundings outside the school premises. The St Mary's Athletic Sports Day fosters school spirit and involves all students in a mix of traditional athletic events and team games, with special consideration given to students with special needs.

Additionally, we occasionally collaborate with sporting organisations to conduct programs and sporting clinics, enriching students' experiences with specialised activities.


Our ‘Music and Performing Arts’ program runs weekly, 1 hour for every class.  It involves learning music theory, singing, playing instruments, dancing, and performing. Our senior students also utilise technology in music making, on their School devices, using a variety of music apps and websites.  Students learn songs and dances from all over the world, including the songs and dances of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Our school has a dedicated music room, instruments vary from African drums, keyboards, numerous percussion instruments and glockenspiels for our students to learn and enjoy.


Performing Arts

At St Mary’s we want our Art students to enjoy making artworks while exploring a variety of media. The course is largely skill based and the older students begin to understand the design process. While the course caters for students with a wide range of ability, all students are expected to produce their best quality of work to ensure they meet their potential. All projects are based on a brief discussion about Art history and the practical works the students complete are a response to these discussions.


Welcome to the exciting world of STEM! STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and it's all about exploring, discovering, and solving problems. In STEM, you get to be a scientist, an engineer, a mathematician, and even a little bit of a detective! Imagine building robots, designing roller coasters, or even creating your own video games—all while learning about how the world works. STEM helps us understand the wonders of the universe, from the tiniest atoms to the vastness of space, and it's all about asking questions, trying new things, and having fun along the way.


In our dedicated STEM lessons at St. Mary’s, students get to do hands-on activities, work in teams, and use their imagination to tackle challenges big and small. Whether mixing colours to make new ones, building structures that can withstand earthquakes, or discovering the secrets of the stars, STEM is all about curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking. So get ready to dive in, explore, and unleash your inner scientist, because in STEM, the possibilities are endless!


At St. Mary’s, our STEM program integrates with the Science, Digital Technologies, Design and Technologies, and Mathematics curriculum. Our school has a well-resourced set of STEM resources and learning tools, including Beebot, Sphero and Edison robots, 3D printers and programming tools including Scratch and Microbit controllers. These are all used by students in their regular STEM and ICT lessons.



In Information and Communication Technology (ICT), we use technology to communicate, create, and explore the world around us. In our school, students have the opportunity to learn how to use computers, tablets, and other devices to discover new things, solve problems, and express themselves in exciting ways. From learning to type their first words to creating digital artwork and exploring educational apps, ICT opens up a whole new world of possibilities for our students. 


In Grades Prep-2, students use shared sets of iPads to complement their learning.

In Grades 3-6, students participate in a 1:1 laptop program ensuring they have immediate access to digital resources when instructed by the teacher.


As we dive into the digital realm, it's important to remember the importance of cybersafety. We teach our students how to navigate the online world responsibly, showing them how to protect their personal information, interact safely with others, and make smart choices when using technology. Through lessons on digital citizenship and online safety, we empower our students to be smart and savvy digital citizens, ensuring that they can enjoy the benefits of technology while staying safe and secure in the digital landscape.


St. Mary’s is an accredited eSmart School, ensuring our policies, lessons and school environment create a safer and more supportive learning environment where students can thrive both online and offline.

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LOTE French

The French course at St Mary’s is designed to ignite an interest in French culture and landmarks. Students complete Art activities that support this intention. Basic vocabulary is taught with the use of computers and the students revise by playing games both in the classroom and online. The older students work at their own pace on DinoLingo, a language learning app that is used internationally.


Extra Curricular Activities 

Co-curricular programs are defined as those activities that enhance and enrich the regular curriculum during the normal school day. Extracurricular programs are defined as those activities that broaden the educational experience which usually take place beyond the normal school day.


At St Mary’s we offer the following extracurricular activities throughout the year;


  • Swimming program

  • Athletics program

  • Dental Program

  • Resilience Project

  • Bike Education

  • Ski Program

  • Sacramental reflection and preparation sessions

  • Mission Fair - organised by year 6

  • Gardening

  • Safe on Social

  • Dr Michael Carr Gregg - Cyber Safety

  • Inter-school sports at Shepparton

  • Bully No Way Day

  • Day for Dolly

  • Talent Quest

  • Mothers Night

  • Fathers Night

  • Grandparents/Special Friends Day

  • School Canteen – managed by our year 6 leaders

  • School Camps – P to 6

  • School Excursions – P to 6

  • Are you  okay day

  • White Ribbon Day

  • Harmony Day

  • Parent evenings




The Arts











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