Curriculum and Integrated Learning at Holy Family Catholic School

Our Vision: Faith, Family, Future.

Mission statement: We at Holy Family Catholic School will provide a safe, stimulating and supportive family environment that ensures students will be the best they can be with the Holy Family as our model.

Our Gospel Values: Respect, Care, Honesty and Excellence

Integrated Learning: At Holy Family Catholic School children are at the centre of all teaching and learning.  Each child is encouraged to be an active learner, using their prior experience to engage in learning and democratically decide as a class what they will study in an integrated way.

Our school community has established strategic goals, which reflect the essential learning it believes children need to operate successfully as life long learners. These goals are embedded in the school's charter and form the basis of learning in the school.

Learning intentions with learning outcomes give guidance to what we want children to learn. Involving children in selecting authentic learning contexts, which reflect both the NZ Curriculum and the needs and interests of the children and the community, provides opportunities to identify and build on prior knowledge, develop strategies and apply knowledge, skills and attitudes that create life long learners.   

Using professional judgement that takes into consideration children's voice and interests, the national curriculum, teacher interest and strengths and national and world events, learning questions are developed with the children at the beginning of each unit.  From there, the staff develop a long term plan, organised term by term, to give a range of authentic learning contexts.

Literacy and numeracy remain at the foundation of all learning. Curriculum coverage is monitored over a three year period by the Principal and staff to ensure the children do not miss out particular Essential Learning Areas, Curriculum Strands, Key Competencies or Vital Skills that they are required to cover.  This is done at the beginning of each year as part of the Assessment, Recording and Reporting cycle and, in the third year, any gaps in curriculum are incorporated into the Integrated Curriculum (Inquiry) units. Teachers will explain to children that there are certain requirements essential for their learning and these must be included in as authentic a way as possible.

Implementing learning programmes will reflect the diverse cultural and learning needs of the children by providing a range of opportunities. Special character values (3-4 per year) and key competencies (thinking, participating and contributing, relating to others, managing self and using language symbols and texts) will be an integral part of the learning programmes.

Assessment is an ongoing process to guide learning. Assessment covers both individual and group effort. Rubrics and success criteria will be developed to reflect the integrated processes of learning and to guide next learning steps and give an indication of progress. Nationally referenced assessment tasks, teacher tasks, self and peer assessments, and anecdotal evidence in the way of photos, video clips and annotated samples of work will serve as evidence of learning.  Each child will have a portfolio available to provide evidence of their learning journey.

Our school relies strongly on the involvement of its parent, parish and wider community to support the learning journeys of its students. We are committed to the notion of home school partnership as we believe that learning is the responsibility of all those involved in children's lives.