Teaching & Learning - Curriculum Profile

BCE Beliefs about Learning and Teaching

The overarching goal for learning in Brisbane Catholic Education schools is to empower learners of all ages to shape and enrich our changing world, by living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. All phases of schooling are informed through Brisbane Catholic Education’s Learning Framework and Strategic Renewal Framework, State statutory curriculum authority publications, the Australian Curriculum and government regulatory compliance requirements.

The Religious Education Guidelines and Source Documents are the source for all planning of Religious Education in Catholic Schools.

The Australian Curriculum will be the source of all curriculum planning, assessment and reporting for all Learning Areas covered by the Australian Curriculum. Key Learning Areas not covered by the Australian Curriculum will be sourced from the relevant state statutory body. Materials developed by these authorities are mandatory sources for all curriculum planning in Archdiocesan Catholic schools.

The Australian Curriculum developed by the Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority will be adopted progressively over the coming years and will eventually become the key point of reference for curriculum planning in relevant learning areas in accordance with government requirements.

The Melbourne Declaration of Educational Goals for Young Australians identifies the important role education plays in building a democratic, equitable and just society. The document endorses two goals to:

  • Promote equity and excellence for all
  • Provide opportunities for all young Australians to become successful learners, confident and creative individual, active and informed citizens

Approaches to learning and teaching adopted by Brisbane Catholic Education schools are learner centred, data informed, outcomes oriented and future focussed. Such approaches are: inquiry based; individualised and collaborative; experiential; building on prior learning; self-managed and cumulative; authentic and directed to higher order problem solving. As such, these pedagogical approaches recognise and accommodate diversity and are responsive to student needs and the various modes of learning. These are developed throughout the major stages of student development in the various phases of schooling.

Brisbane Catholic Education promotes a Middle Years of Schooling which is a connected, transdisciplinary and interconnected approach to curriculum development and delivery, being responsive to the needs of learners in this phase of development.

Learning in Brisbane Catholic Education schools is underpinned by the beliefs that all learners require:

  • Multiple and varied opportunities to negotiate, observe, engage in, reflect on, demonstrate and enact their learning; such learning opportunities will occur in individual, small group and whole group contexts
  • Encouragement to learn both independently and collaboratively
  • Challenges to build upon current knowledge and understandings in order to create new knowledge – be co–creators of learning through supported, structured inquiry
  • Opportunities for learning which encompass the diverse aspects of all life experience
  • Classroom and school environments which are intellectually, socially and physically conducive to learning
  • Ready access to and use of appropriate technologies and resources to create, collaborate and communicate learning
  • Personalised learning
  • Essential skills in literacy, numeracy and ICLT
  • Ability to solve real world problems in ways which draw upon a range of learning areas and disciplines

The Australian Curriculum also pays attention to how the general capabilities and cross-curriculum dimensions (listed below) contribute to, and can be developed through, teaching in each learning area.

The 7 general capabilities are:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Information communication technology (ICT) competence
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Ethical behaviour
  • Personal and social competence
  • Intercultural understanding

The three cross-curricular dimensions are:

  • Indigenous history and culture
  • Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia
  • Sustainability

Learning and Teaching within the School Community

Learning and teaching will embrace the spirit of St Columban’s College as expressed through the school’s vision and mission statement and engage the aspirations of the residential community in which the school is situated.

The school will follow the Brisbane Catholic Education Learning Framework, Queensland statutory authority documents and the ACARA Australian Curriculum.

St Columban’s promotes the good news of the Gospel, the formation and development of the individual, and enhances the good of society. It is our strategic intent to improve learning outcomes for all students. The work of learning is promoted, facilitated and affected by teachers, supported by a network of ancillary staff members, in partnership with parents and an extensive community and parish network. Operating from a Connected Learning Model where all activities organised by the College contribute to supporting students in their journey of lifelong learning

St Columban’s Learning Frameworks make explicit the core purposes of the College as a Catholic College in educating and equipping students with distinctive qualities that enable them to contribute to our ever-changing global context in a meaningful and positive way.

Learning opportunities in the classroom, through the cultural and sporting programs, during work placement and in the strong relationships of pastoral care are all guided by these Learning Frameworks in an intentional effort to grow and form young people.

At St Columban’s College, we:

  • Form persons of spirit who actively explore our personal relationship with God, celebrate our uniqueness and live a life of moral integrity
  • Educate persons of tradition who recognise the importance of honouring and learning from the past, live authentically in the present and engage transformatively with the future
  • Build persons of community who live in quality relationships amongst all members of the school, parish and wider community, make individual contributions, honour diversity and live in a just and inclusive manner
  • Utilise Literacy for Life strategies in all aspects of the College community life to enhance a student’s chances of being a literate and informed citizen
  • Provide a supportive College environment where all students are able to develop in a socially responsible, equitable and respectful manner
  • Enhance a student’s employability skills through their development as life-long learners who demonstrate self management, interpersonal skills, initiative and resilience
  • Provide structured learning opportunities that enable all students to actively acquire knowledge and demonstrate that knowledge in a clear, skilful, accurate and articulate manner
  • Foster student engagement in creative and critical thinking tasks which extend their knowledge and equip them with learning that has value beyond school
  • Promote collaborative and empathetic learning where students work and think interdependently, value and support one another’s individual differences and experience positive, constructive and respectful feedback from their teachers and peers
  • Develop reflective, self directed learners who are confident, responsible, reliable, persistent and independent
  • Provide learning environments that are student centred, flexible, adaptable, supportive and inspirational and which effectively integrate innovative pedagogical practices, including technology
  • Promote and support the acquisition of professional learning by staff, which extends their knowledge and skills in teaching, learning and subject specific material
  • Recognise staff professionalism which is characterised by continuous collaborative learning (through professional conversations and connected learning teams), reflection, passion and personal growth
  • Affirm the essential nature of building partnerships of excellence with students, parents, the wider community and the local parish.

Cocurricular programs are broad and mandatory for students, who earn cocurricular points for participation. The Partnership of Excellence underpins the expectations of students, parents/carers and the College.

Catholic Ethos and Spirituality

A practical spirituality characterised by a Mission and Immersion Program, Retreat programs at every year level, Certificate III in Christian Ministry classes in Year 11 and 12, a strong spirit of service and social justice, Rosies Outreach and Friday Parish mass in the College Community Chapel. These are some of the elements of our Catholic ethos, calling forth an active Catholic evangelisation and justice leadership.

Sporting Pathways

The TAS Sporting program and Comprehensive Sports Program is a continuation of the College’s significant roots as a sporting school, and has seen St Columban’s emerge as a leading school in TAS and the promoter of sporting excellence, nurturing students to maximise their sporting and health potential. Certificate programs in Fitness have proved exceedingly popular and this has unique future outcomes and potential in the area of health.

Arts Precinct

More recently, the College has been able to build an effective profile in the Arts with a suite of Dance, Music, Drama and Visual Arts subject offerings complemented by a comprehensive co-curricular cultural activities program. The diversity of the creative and visual arts programs offers all students avenues to achieve excellence and grow in self confidence as they find expression through the arts.

Pastoral Care

The House Structure and Pastoral Care Programs are key anchor points of support and care for students, linking families and school together in effective partnerships. There is a strong house system with 4 houses and 8 House coordinators enabling an integrated pastoral and curriculum approach with a division between Middle and Senior years to better meet the needs of those differing ages. A Restorative Justice philosophy is used to maintain positive relationships and students are provided with many fun and engaging opportunities to participate in House Activities that build a rich sense of community and belonging.

Comprehensive Study Programs

Balanced curriculum offerings are effective in providing diverse pathways for students of the district, offering a range subjects incorporating academic and vocational pathways. The College learning organisation is based around Middle and Senior Phases of Learning, providing age and stage of development appropriate learning. Supported by Careers exploration and a SET planning process, students have every opportunity to discover their strengths, interests and abilities. Multiple opportunities exist for students to excel and be acknowledged for their efforts.