Our Lady of Sacred Heart International School
Curriculum at OLSH International
OUR SCHOOL CONTEXT:
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart International School is located in Kavieng, in the Province of New Ireland. OLSH was opened in 1958, by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSCs) as the first Catholic School in town. Since the time of its opening, it has been recognised as an “integrated school” – as all races have always been accepted. Initially operating as a P-6 school for close to 50 years, 2004 saw the first Year 8 class graduated from OLSH. In 2008, the first class of Year 9 was introduced, and subsequently, 2009, the first group of Year 10 students will receive their international education at OLSH. Every year since Year 8 began at OLSH, the school has topped New Ireland province in the year 8 National Examinations. OLSH International is widely known for providing quality and affordable private education to the people of New Ireland for 50 years. OLSH International celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2008.
Since opening in 1958, OLSH has prided itself on the extensive implementation of an international curriculum, predominantly following the N.S.W syllabus. Besides the formal education which takes place in the classroom setting, students are presented with ample opportunities for sports, entertainments and other extra-curricular activities.
In 1986, OLSH was registered as a ‘permitted school’ under section 100 of the 1983 Education Act, with the special condition of ‘International School’. After this move, the government stopped funding of International Schools. This being the case, the Catholic Mission was unable to fund the operation of the school and pay the teaching staff. During this time, OLSH was faced with closure. Along with this, the MSC sisters had decided to relocate their sisters elsewhere leaving no more sisters at OLSH. During this difficult time, the Board of Management negotiated with the Catholic Mission personnel to take full control of the school, increase school fees and manage the school’s finances. The bishop agreed to this and this is the current arrangement at the school. By the 1990s the Board of Management had negotiated with various volunteer groups to continue to staff the school with both expatriates and national teachers.
As the enrolments have increased over the years, more teachers have been employed, with a number of these being expatriates. Over more recent times, with the support of the school’s Board of Management, the school has moved forward in leaps and bounds, with an enrolment of close to 350 students in 2010. Currently, students in the Prep-4 years have full-time teacher aides, and another teacher is given release time to serve to the students with special needs.
The school takes its name ‘Our Lady of the Sacred Heart’ in the light of Our Lady’s special relationship she shared with her son, Jesus. In all images of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Mary is pointing to the heart of Jesus. The charism of the MSCs (as founded by Fr Jules Chavelier) encourages the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the intercession of Mary. Some of the core values which underpin our school ethos include:
- There is no learning without the learners’ activity
- No action without motivation
- Mastery is attained by using, applying, even teaching what has been learned and understood.
- Strenuous Effort: If you really want something, you will use the means to get it, so there is no growth possible either in religious or secular learning without strenuous effort. Education based on MSC spirituality, encourages individuals continually strive to be and achieve their very best.
- The development of critical analysis; the skills of analysing, evaluating and communicating, rather than knowledge for its own sake.
- An apostolic focus. Fr Chavelier sought to assist those in need, and do so with an attitude of charity and kindness. For this, members of the OLSH learning community need to be generous and charitable.
Our community features an ongoing connection with the MSCs. These connections have been recognised in the inclusion of our school’s house system, and our school motto, “Growth through Learning”, an ideal at the core of the MSC charism. We anticipate that this relationship with the MSCs will continue to be fostered and strengthened as we grow together.
WHAT WE BELIEVE – Learning for life
Education is a journey:
- in which we walk together in faith to discover the knowledge and wisdom that is consistent with the truth of the Gospels.
- of self-discovery and fulfilment where such qualities as personal holiness, peace, justice and commitment promote a sense of values and spirituality.
- which is hope-filled and ensures that all learners are provided with opportunities to succeed.
- which is taken in partnership with and promotes the community.
- which is world affirming, assisting in the total formation of each individual within the human community.
- It includes a religious dimension that permeates the entire education and it is an apostolic instrument, promoting dialogue between faith and culture.
- which insists on individual care and concern for each person, emphasising activity on the part of the student and encouraging life-long openness to growth.
- which is value-oriented, encouraging a realistic knowledge (of the world in which we live), love and acceptance of self.
- which proposes Christ as the model of human life. It provides superior pastoral care, celebrating faith in personal and community prayer, worship and service.
- which is preparation for active life commitment, serving the faith that does justice. It seeks to form "men and women for others", manifesting a particular concern for the poor.
- which is an apostolic instrument, in service of the church as it serves human society. It prepares students for active participation in the Church and the local community, for the service of others.
- which pursues excellence in its work of formation and witnesses to excellence.
- which recognises and supports parents in their role as prime educators of their children.
- which is future focused, flexibly structured and outcomes oriented.
- which will enable each student to make sense of their experiences, construct understandings, and operate effectively in the world around them.
Every person in our community is a learner: our belief and vision is for all members of our community to become lifelong learners.
A lifelong learner is:
• a knowledgeable person with deep understanding
• a complex thinker
• a creative person
• an active investigator
• an effective communicator
• a participant in an interdependent world
• a reflective and self-directed learner.
An outcome is a statement of what learners know and can do with what they know. Outcomes for learning consist of:
1. Overall learning outcomes which are ‘Big picture’ learning outcomes for the whole curriculum to which all key learning areas contribute through the ten years of compulsory education.
The OLSH International curriculum is designed to assist students to become lifelong learners. The overall learning outcomes of the curriculum contain elements common to all key learning areas and collectively describe the valued attributes of a lifelong learner.
2. Key learning area outcomes are learning outcomes for each specific key learning area as stated in the NSW Board of Studies syllabi.
Key learning area outcomes highlight the uniqueness of each key learning area and describe each key learning area’s contribution to the curriculum. These outcomes are the intended results of extended engagement with the learnings described by the core and discretionary learning outcomes for each specific key learning area.
3. Core learning outcomes ‘Immediate picture’ learning outcomes in strands and levels that describe specific learnings.Core learning outcomes describe what learners know, and do with what they know at a particular level.
The Outcomes approach taken by the Board of Studies represents one particular outcomes approach that is intended to contribute to curriculum coherence and continuity. The nature of learning outcomes in NSW curriculum materials has evolved through extensive processes of statewide consultation with regard to the implementation needs of NSW teachers, schools and school authorities.
LEARNING & TEACHING
Learning and teaching at OLSH International will be learner centred. It will be achieved through a variety of learning experiences, teaching strategies. Our aim is to cater for the learning needs and styles of all learners. Learning outcomes should not be seen in isolation as the product of a single KLA or learning experience; instead, where appropriate, outcomes from a variety of KLAs should be integrated in such a way as to complement and support each other. Learning experiences involve a commitment of the learner to continuous reflection and re-evaluation.
The 6 stages do not match year levels but a close comparison is as follows:
Early Stage 1 Prep
Stage 1 Years 1 and 2
Stage 2 Years 3 and 4
Stage 3 Years 5 and 6
Stage 4 Years 7 and 8
Stage 5 Years 9 and 10
Stage 6 Years 11 and 12
Primary - Prep to Year 2 (Early Stage 1 and Stage 1)
At OLSH International, the year levels from prep to Year 2 will be referred to as the Early Stage 1 and Stage 1. Curriculum for these year levels is derived directly from the NSW Syllabi, Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 Guidelines and the Key Learning Area (KLA) Syllabus documents.
All curriculum programs developed at OLSH International are closely linked to our stated values and beliefs about learners and learning. The programs promote the following elements in all year levels:
- integrated units of work
- planning occurring between teachers of the same year / Stage level and including other resource personnel.
- ongoing monitoring and assessment based on clearly stated criteria
- adequate coverage of outcomes as expressed in our curriculum documents and KLA syllabus documents.
- Teacher decisions are guided by our School Literacy and Numeracy plans which are still in the developmental stages.
Primary – Years 3-6 (Stage 2 and 3)
In all curriculum areas other than Religious Education, OLSH International will follow the guidelines and syllabuses of the NSW Board of Studies. Religious Education guidelines are prepared by Brisbane Catholic Education and form the basis of the Religious Education Program.
There are several nationally agreed key learning areas that are comprised in the NSW common curriculum for the compulsory years of schooling. In NSW they are:
Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE)
Science and Technology
Human Soceity in it’s Environment (HSIE)
In a Catholic school Religious Education, is also included.
Middle School - Years 7 and 8 (Stage 4)
Year 7 and 8 program will be developed and structured in such a way as to provide a seamless transition for learners from year 7 to year 10. This middle school program will promote and continue the development of pedagogies already established in the Early and Primary Years. Programs will develop multi-literacies, enquiry-based learning and will engage students in the complete process from planning to assessment.
During Years 7 and 8, students will study outcomes from the Stage 4 Syllabi. The subjects studied will be:
High School - Years 9 and 10 (Stage 5)
· Religious Education
· Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
· Visual Arts
Secondary School - Years 11 and 12 (Stage 6)
Study of Religion
· Language and Literature
· General Mathematics
· Advanced Mathematics
Elective Subjects - 3 to be chosen
· Business Studies
· Legal Studies
· Tourism Studies
· Marine Biology
· Information Processing Technology
Religious Education is an important dimension of all Catholic schools. In the early years, children will be introduced to the two dimensions of Religious Education; namely the classroom teaching of Religion and the Religious life of the school. The focus of the classroom teaching of Religion is educational as it aims to develop your child’s Religious literacy. Guidelines for the teaching of Religious Education are prepared by Brisbane Catholic Education and are used by all teachers in constructing meaningful and relevant integrated units. Children will also experience the Religious life of the school through the expressions of its lived Catholic Christian ethos and values, and its Religious celebrations and prayers.