How We Teach & Support

It's the little things we do to support an individualised learning program that get us the big results

How we teach and support

Our entire teaching staff is dedicated to the detail and we want to ensure every child achieves to their own potential. 

This means ensuring we have a robust system of teaching and support that not only caters to the average (or middle student) – but also the advanced student or the student that needs some extra support. 

For learning to take place we need to ensure that every child feels safe, happy and confident within themselves – and so a huge emphasis is placed on a strong wellbeing and support program that achieves just that!

Intervention Programs

Explicit and systematic teaching is used in the Intervention sessions.  During each session, time is provided for extensive practice in the new strategies and skills, providing each student with immediate feedback.

This information is then shared with the classroom teacher and colleagues so all have a better understanding of the student and how they learn.

Literacy Intervention

We facilitate Literacy Intervention Programs, including ‘Little Learners Love Literacy’ and other explicit instruction programs to further assist and meet the individual needs of students, to improve their decoding, phonics and spelling skills.

Maths intervention

At St Thomas the Apostle School, we implement a Maths Intervention program, to boost confidence, knowledge, skills and strategies especially in number. 


Learning Diversity

At St Thomas the Apostle Primary School, we believe that all students can learn and that all students can experience success.  We embrace differences and diversity. Our curriculum is differentiated to cater for the individual needs and abilities of all students. We are committed to teaching students at their point of need, using assessment data, research and evidence to ensure progress and growth in learning areas.

As a school we differentiate learning for students, providing Personalised Learning Plans for students who require additional support; academically, physically, socially and/or emotionally.  We ensure that students are provided with equitable access and opportunity. 

We do this by: 

  • organising Program Support Group Meetings for students; that include teacher and parents
  • developing, implementing and monitoring Personalised Learning Plans for students
  • developing, implementing and monitoring Behaviour or Safety Support Plans for students if required
  • working collaboratively with consultants from MACS and private specialists: Speech Therapists, Educational Psychologists and Curriculum Advisors 

“‘Learning diversity’ refers to the infinite variety of life experiences and attributes a child brings to their formal learning at school. All students with diverse learning needs have a right to access a full and engaging education on the same basis as their peers. Catholic schools seek to empower learners by celebrating difference and providing educational opportunities aimed at eliminating discrimination and focused on growth and progress for all.”
(Excerpt taken from CECV Horizons of Hope Foundation Statement: Learning Diversity in Catholic Schools, 2017)

Social and Emotional Learning

At St Thomas’ we recognise that Student Wellbeing is fundamental to successful learning. We aim to meet the spiritual, physical, intellectual, social, and emotional needs of our students. We are committed to ensuring a positive environment where students feel safe and respected.A whole-school approach to promoting student wellbeing assists students to be confident, resilient, responsible and resourceful individuals.Our school is committed to the following strategies that nurture this environment.

⦁ Respectful Relationships: student-student, student-teacher

⦁ Support through Learning Diversity

⦁ LSO support in classrooms

⦁ Leadership programs for Senior Students

⦁ Lunchtime Clubs and Activities

⦁ Buddy program for Prep and Year 6 students

⦁ Student Representative Council P-6

⦁ Student Action Teams

⦁ Student Awards at Assembly

⦁ Orientation to school (for new Preps)

⦁ Transition to secondary school (for Yr 6)

⦁ School garden program

⦁ Community involvement with local organisations such as Regis Aged Care

Transition Programs (Pre Prep)

Following enrolment acceptance the Kinder students are invited to attend three visits to become more familiar with the school – a Library, Art and PE session.

In Term 4, two Orientation sessions are held in late November.  The Year Five students and soon to be Prep Students meet, beginning the Buddy connection. 

Kitchen Garden

St Thomas’ has a community garden and chicken coop, which connects parents, students and members of the community together in a shared learning space to participate in Environmental Science and sustainability learning experiences. This garden is maintained by our Year 3/4 students as their special responsibility.

The Kitchen Garden Program is an important part of Year 3 and 4 at St Thomas’.  From planting seeds, the students learn how plants grow, and how to look after them until they are ready to harvest and then cook. The students are taught propagation, and how to transplant seedlings and plants, as well as looking after the chickens we have in the garden. We also need to get a bit dirty sometimes by mixing compost, and weeding, but it’s all good fun!

In the kitchen, the students make everything themselves – cutting, grating, mixing and baking. The students learn measurements, procedural writing and maths all while having fun and getting to eat the finished product. We try and use as much produce out of the garden as possible, so we are also learning about seasonality and sustainability.

Other Special Activities

  • Swimming and Water Safety Program (Prep – Year 6)
  • A one day Beach Safety Program for Years 3-6
  • School Camp (Years 5 and 6)
  • Leadership Program in Year 6
  • School Transition Programs for Prep and Year 6
  • Excursions and Incursions
  • Biennial Performance and Art Show
  • External providers offer coding and tennis coaching during lunch breaks and instrumental music lessons (during the school day)



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