How We Teach & Support

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

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!

Extending Students

At St. Jude’s we have a Learning Diversity Team, a specialised team of school leaders and teachers who monitor student learning.  The Learning Diversity Team plan with teachers to help extend students in the classroom through more advanced and challenging activities and these staff also work with children out of the classroom.

Our Learning Diversity Team have designed a Learning Extension and Achievement Program (LEAP) which includes support for students who need extension in the following areas:

  • Mathematics
  • English
  • Italian
  • STEM
  • Music

Staff also work with groups of children who would benefit from extension in group activities that take us out of school to engage in opportunities such as STEM challenges, Tournament of the Minds, and mathematics, debating and chess competitions.

Additional Support

At St. Jude’s we have a Learning Diversity Team, a specialised team of school leaders and teachers who monitor student learning, this includes a Speech Pathologist and Occupational Therapist.  The Learning Diversity Team plan with teachers to help support students in the classroom and work directly themselves with students who have additional needs. St. Jude’s also has a dedicated team of Learning Support Officers who work intensively in and out of the classroom to support student Individual Learning Plans.

Examples of additional support include:

  • Individual and group speech therapy sessions
  • Individual and group occupational therapy sessions
  • Small group mathematics intervention programs over 6-10 weeks
  • Small group literacy intervention programs over 6-10 weeks
  • Music therapy
  • Mixed Martial Arts therapy
  • Peaceful kids program for children needing support with anxiety/stress

All of the additional support programs are offered in consultation with parents.

Building Resilience

Building Resilience in children and families is an important component of our work at St. Jude’s.  Many of our Student Wellbeing programs develop resilience, none more so than our partnership with the Resilience Project – St. Jude’s is an official partner school.

At the heart of the Resilience Project curriculum and initiatives is a focus on Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness.

Gratitude – Practise noticing the positive things and moments in your life. This helps you overcome the many negative messages your brain receives in any given day.

Empathy – The act of thinking of others before you think of yourself. Doing something kind for other people.

Mindfulness – Being present in the moment. Taking the time to be still and in control.

When we talk about resilience, we are talking about the ability to cope with life’s ups and downs – for example moving home, changing schools, dealing with family violence, the death of a pet or loved one.  Supporting children and families is important work and that is why we ensure our staff are well trained – all of our staff have completed the Disability Standards for Primary Education course, are well versed in the PROTECT Protocol and use the Rights, Responsibilities and Respectful Relationships learning materials.

Underpinning all of our efforts to develop resilience is our work strengthening  Social-Emotional Literacy.  Our partnership with Berry Street is critical to this end; all staff are trained in the Berry Street Education Model.  The building blocks of resilience are helping students to effectively:

  • Regulate emotions and moods
  • Build relationships with others
  • Develop a strong sense of self-worth
  • Achieve goals they set for themselves
  • Develop independent thought
  • Respond to situations rather than just react out of emotion
  • Engage in thoughtful decision-making
  • Foster a sense of self-acceptance.

Student Leadership

Our Student Leadership program is supported by GRIP Leadership Australia.

GRIP stands for:

GENEROSITY – Willingness to use what you have been given (time and resources) on behalf of those you seek to influence.

RESPONSIBILITY – We all have a responsibility to develop what we have and help others to live well.

INTEGRITY – A commitment to truth and honesty in dealings.

PEOPLE – Every human being is of great significance, and has a purpose to fulfill.

 As a Catholic School we believe that we are made in the image of God and we are called to serve others, we are all called to lead in different ways.  In addition to the learning outcomes from the Victorian Curriculum that are taught through student leadership initiatives, there are many other benefits of cultivating student leadership right across the school, including:

Opportunities for student leadership in the classroom:

  • Staff encourage students to develop and share their own opinions about current issues and to engage in debate, discussion and critique of those issues
  • Staff engage students in conversations and decisions about class rules and behavioural boundaries and expectations
  • Staff engage students in conversations and decisions about teaching, learning and assessment

 Opportunities for student leadership in the school and community:

  • Staff engage students in the governance and decision-making bodies of the school, including in the area of Child Safety
  • Staff engage students as school ambassadors or representatives beyond the school
  • Staff engage students in peer support and buddy programs
  • Staff invite and enable students to develop and implement projects to change and improve school operations, culture or practices, including the recent outdoor upgrades to our school
  • Staff invite and enable students to engage with local government and the wider community, including our recent partnerships with Aboriginal Catholic Ministry, Have a Ball Foundation, Dolphin Research Institute, Caritas Australia, St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Resilience Project, our state and federal parliamentarians, the Knox Disability Services branch and GRIP Leadership Australia.
Kinder to Prep Transition

The Staff of St Jude’s warmly welcomes your child to school. It is our hope and wish that your child:

  • Enjoys school
  • Is happy
  • Grows in confidence
  • Has a sense of achievement and responsibility

The Foundation/Prep year is the beginning of formal schooling and it is important that the transition from home or kindergarten to school is a smooth one. At St Jude’s each child is visited by their Prep teacher at kinder prior to commencing school. These personal visits provide children and teachers with the opportunity to become acquainted with each other, thereby ensuring a smooth start to the year.

Commencing Prep

There are many things that you, as a parent, can do to help your child’s introduction to school be a happy one:

Discuss with your child the fact that school will be a place to make new friends, to play games, sing, make things and learn. 

Encourage your child to look to others for help. Remember you won’t be at school with them and they must learn to gain confidence in someone else.

Encourage your child to finish tasks. A child who never sees a task through is going to be disadvantaged at school.

Give your child a sense of responsibility. They need to do things for themselves, for example, carrying their own schoolbag.

Transition to Secondary

Students from St. Jude’s move onto a variety of secondary schools. The majority of our students transition to Catholic secondary colleges including Emmaus College Vermont South, St. Joseph’s Ferntree Gully, Mater Christi Belgrave, Avila Mt. Waverley and some occasionally go to Mazenod, Whitefriars, Aquinas, Nazareth, Sacred Heart and Killester which are all in suburbs a little further from Knox.  A number of students also transition to local government secondary schools or receive academic scholarships to Grammar schools.

Enrolment at St Jude’s will give students automatic placement at Emmaus College, Vermont South.

Families are encouraged to tour secondary schools before children are in Grade 5, as catholic secondary schools confirm enrolment when children are in Grade 5 – effectively creating a 2 year transition process.  St. Jude’s staff are very happy to support transition programs and are always actively involved in the transition of students with additional needs.

Moving Schools

Every year there are a number of students who transition to St. Jude’s from other schools. There are many reasons for moving schools and teachers at St. Jude’s are always considerate of a new student’s anxiety or over excitement about making the transition.  Mid year enrolments are welcome and a family’s transition is supported by a number of staff:

  • Principal and Deputy Principal – initial parent meeting and individualised support if needed
  • Administration Team – logistics/documentation support, such as school uniform, school apps, operational procedures for drop off/pick up, linking into groups such as our Out of School Hour Care provider
  • Family School Partnerships Leader – connecting you with current families and groups, such as Parent Business Partners, Playgroup and Parents and Friends Association
  • Learning Diversity Leader – academic and wellbeing needs
  • Level Leaders and Classroom Teachers – orientation and transition programs.

If you are considering moving to St. Jude’s follow these 3 quick steps:

Step 1 – Sign up to an online video tour on our website

Step 2 – Contact the school office for a tour – (03) 8761 9600

Step 3 – Start to collate documentation, such as, Birth Certificate, Immunisation Records and your child’s most recent school report.

Meet a couple of students who have done a school move and transitioned into our school after Prep: 

St Jude’s Primary School is committed to the Victorian Child Safety Standards - Click here for more info

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