High priority is given to the use of Information Technology at Notre Dame Catholic Primary School. Information Technology offers exciting and challenging ways of enhancing student learning. IT tools such as 1:1 iPads focus teaching and stimulate learning interaction in the classroom which in turn, can improve student understanding and personal productivity. Information Technology at Notre Dame Catholic Primary School is utilised in the context of meaningful tasks, so enhancing its effectiveness. Information technology has a high profile in the school and in 2017, the decision was made, after significant research and consultation with relevant stakeholders, to move to a 1:1 tablet device across all grades from Year One to Year Six. Appropriate provision of tablet devices is made in Kindergarten and Pre-Primary to accommodate their needs.
The one-to-one program has an emphasis on the iPad as a learning tool to foster and promote students with their capability to collaborate, share information, share experiences, work across the domains of our curriculum and to lead students to be able to be self-directed in their learning. The program is supported by teachers who have skills and expertise in understanding the curriculum that is to be covered and who are able to ensure that this curriculum is delivered in a manner that engages every child.
Our major responsibility in the next few years is not only to provide all students with an appropriate level of access to these tools, but also to change to a new and effective teaching and learning environment that incorporates these new technologies.
In the spirit of innovation and 21st century learning, the Makerspace program has evolved to meet the learning needs of our students; it has become a place to develop future skills such as problem solving, critical and creative thinking, digital fluency and innovation through exploration of electronics, coding, designing and making.
The school’s strategic plan focuses on providing a contemporary approach to learning, maintaining a strong focus on meeting individual needs and integrating technology into the learning program. We saw the introduction of the Technologies curriculum as an opportunity to integrate digital and design technologies across other learning areas. Makerspace has been the vehicle in being able to engage in various components of STEAM education beyond that which is provided in the classroom.
One day per week the library transforms into a contemporary space that supports and encourages hands on activities and fosters creativity, problem solving and computational thinking. The open-ended tasks and creative challenges encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent as they engage in a range of STEAM-related activities.
During Makerspace sessions, the library space caters for students from Kindergarten to Year 6 who are challenged to seek solutions to problems. Students use their Makerspace time for collaborative group work, trial and error, and discovering and creating new ideas with tools and materials.
Science is taught as a specialist subject at Notre Dame Catholic Primary School. In the Science Learning Area students learn to investigate, understand and communicate about the physical, biological and technological world and value the processes that support life on our planet. Science helps students to become critical thinkers by encouraging them to use evidence to evaluate the use of science in society and the application of science in daily life.
Students experience and explore the concepts of artists and artworks in a visual arts program that is taught by our Art Specialist, Mrs Annette Flexman. Students learn in, through and about visual arts every term through their classroom teacher. They also have one Term a year with our Art Specialist who enables students from Kindy to Year 6 to continue to develop practical skills and critical thinking which inform their work as artists.