Parent Handbook

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General School Information

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Primary belongs to the Catholic system of schools in the Diocese of Parramatta. The school caters for girls and boys from Kindergarten to Year 6 in the Mercy tradition. Our Lady of Mount Carmel (formally known as St Columba’s School) was established by the Sisters of Mercy in 1922. The Carmelites came to the parish of Wentworthville in 1956, and the school and parish were placed under the patronage of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The Mercy leadership remained in the school until 2004 with the retirement of Sr Margaret Harrison rsm. The first lay Principal, Mrs Anne Marrins, began in 2005.

The Community of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is guided by our belief that ‘Jesus is the cornerstone of our church, and our faith in Jesus is the cornerstone of our community’. Our mission, in the Mercy and Carmelite traditions, is to provide quality Catholic education that nurtures and challenges the individual learner. The school’s motto, ‘Sub Tuum Praesidium’ (Under Your Protection), is a Mercy legacy and refers to the protection of Mary our Mother.

The school’s educational philosophy is based on a belief that quality education takes place in a collaborative community of reflective and co-operative learners. The curriculum is child-centred, recognising individual needs and the importance of skill development. Opportunities are provided for inquiry learning, problem solving, group interaction, creative thinking, and decision-making.

The learning environment provides security, freedom to take risks, self discipline, challenges, and stimulation to learn. There are quiet times for prayer, reading and individual work while there is also considerable discussion time where children express their understanding of various experiences. Provision is made for the many individual differences in the class. At any one time, children may be working on different tasks and activities at levels which reflect and challenge their ability.

Students experience success and opportunities in the pursuit of personal excellence. They interact co-operatively in groups where they plan, share ideas and help each other. Our students are encouraged to ask questions, relate experiences and express opinions and feelings.

Positive relationships between home, school and parish are integral to the learning process and to building community. Parents are significant members of the community and are invited to participate in the life of the school and parish through a variety of formal and informal activities.

School Hours 9:00am – 3:10 pm (Monday to Friday)

Morning Supervision From 8:30 am
Recess 11:00 am - 11:30 am
Lunch 1:30 pm - 1:40 pm (supervised eating)
1:40 pm - 2:10 pm (playtime)
Dismissal 3:10 pm

School Office Times 8am – 4pm (Monday to Friday)
Term 1 29 January - Teachers Only
30 January - First day for Year One - Year Six
29-31 January - Kindergarten individual assessment interviews
1 February - First day for Kindergarten
30 March - Good Friday 
1 April - Easter Sunday
2 April - Easter Monday
13 April - School concludes
(Wednesday 25 April – ANZAC Day) 
Term 2 30 April - School commences  
6 July - School concludes

Term 3 23 July - School commences
28 September - School concludes  

Term 4 15 October - School commences
19 December - Last day for students
21 December - School concludes

School attendance is extremely important as it provides ongoing instruction and continuity of learning. The school and Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta, will continue to be focusing on regular school attendance by all students in 2017. If your child is absent from school due to illness or other unavoidable circumstances, you must either phone the school, send a note, email or Skoolbag message to the class teacher/school. This should contain the following information —

child’s name
date(s) absent
reason explaining absence

The Attendance Roll is a legal document and written documentation to support a child’s absence from school is required. If your child is on extended sick leave, that is, over two days, please inform the School Office via email, phone or Skoolbag on the third day. Please ensure that upon your child’s return to school that a note is sent containing the above information. Too often staff waste time following up these notes. After 7 days upon your child’s return to school, should no written documentation be received by the school your child will be marked on the attendance register as unexplained absence. If your child has continued unexplained absences and/or a significant number of days absent or partially absent (late to school or leave early from school), there will need to be a meeting with the school Principal to discuss this issue.

The Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta, has issued all schools with procedures for the approval of leave applications consistent with amendments made in June 2009 to the Education Act 1990. First and foremost, under the Education Act of 1990, I must remind all parents that you have a legal responsibility to ensure your child(ren) attend school. In the Act, the delegated officers (Principal, Executive Director of Schools or the Minister for Education) are the only officers who may grant exemptions from school attendance.

As such, Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta, has developed the following procedures for the application of leave. Please note, this application has been updated this year.

Step 1:
At least two weeks prior to the planned date of leave parents are to complete an Application for Exemption from School Attendance – Holiday (Form A1)
(available on the school website (school notes/leave applications).

Step 2:
Send to school the completed Application for Exemption from School Attendance – Holiday (Form A1) for approval.

Step 3:
If leave granted, the Principal will sign the Certificate of Exemption from Attending School (Form C1) and send home.

Please note that the certificate cannot be granted retrospectively, and if the application is not received with at least two weeks notice, the Certificate of Exemption from Attending School (Form C1) may not be granted.

The Minister for Education announced in 2015 the following changes in accordance with the ACARA National Standards for Student Attendance Data Reporting.

Holidays/Leave:
A ‘Certificate of Exemption from School’ can no longer be granted for this purpose. As such:

  • If the Principal accepts the reason for the absence, the absence will be marked as ‘ (Leave)
  • If the Principal does not believe the absence is in the student’s best interest and does not accept the reason, the absence is unjustified and will be recorded as ‘A’ (Absent).
  • If the period of absence is in excess of 50 days, your child may be eligible to enrol in “Distance Education” and rescind their enrolment at OLMC Wentworthville during this period.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Primary Health Canteen is outsourced to a Manager who is responsible for the operation of the school canteen. The manager is assisted by volunteers who are placed on a roster system. The primary function of the canteen is to:

  • provide a healthy food service for the students
  • reflect the classroom Health Education program
  • provide an opportunity for parents to be involved in the life of the school

Lunches may be ordered and healthy snacks may be purchased at recess and lunchtime. A price list is sent home early in the year or is available from the office. Lunches can be ordered either through the canteen. Our Lady of Mount Carmel canteen complies with the government’s Healthy Canteen Policy. The Fresh Tastes Healthy Canteen Strategy is all about giving students a taste for healthy foods.

The canteen is open Monday to Friday  for recess and lunch 5 days a week (Monday to Friday). The Canteen is operated by Farideh Moussa.

The school will be responsible for the care and safety of students between the hours of 8:30 am and 3:30 pm.

In the event that it is necessary to collect your child from class during school hours (e.g. doctor/dentist appointment) we ask that you notify the teacher in writing beforehand. When picking up your child early from school, please call at the school office. 

The secretary will notify the class teacher, who will send your child to the office to meet you. Children arriving at school after the bell are required to be signed in at the school office by a parent or guardian. If your child arrives late without a parent/guardian to sign them in an explanation notice will be sent to parents. If your child is to be collected at any time by someone other than a parent, please notify the office and if possible provide a Letter of Authorisation. Late arrival or early departure are marked on the roll as partial absences and count towards a child's overall attendance record.

For the safety of all students and staff members, parents/visitors entering the school grounds during school hours must sign in at the office and wear a visitor’s badge. The school gates are locked at 9:00am and reopened at 3:10pm.

Access to the school during school hours is via the school office in Bennett Street.

The following procedures are in place to provide structures for the effective communication of issues and concerns:

  • Parents are advised to make an appointment with the class teacher through the school office
  • If further assistance is required, parents are advised to make an appointment with the stage coordinator in the first instance, then the Assistant Principal or Principal

 

Early Stage One (Kindergarten) Coordinator: Mrs Elisa Speranza
Stage 1 (1-2) Coordinator: Mrs Elisa Speranza
Stage 2 (3-4) Coordinator: Mrs Jodie Meares
Stage 3 (5-6) Coordinator: Mrs Bernadette Nolan
If you have a note to send to the school office, place it in an envelope with your child’s name, class and nature of contents on the front. Your child will then place the envelope in the office pouch provided in each classroom.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel is committed to developing a Catholic school community based on mutual trust and respect. Whilst most issues can be resolved through direct discussion with the parties, there will be instances in which this is not possible. The school has formal written protocols in place to address complaints and grievances. A copy of the Complaint Handling Policy is available from the office on request or downloadable from the school website under the Catholic School Community tab.

Excursions are an important part of learning and are planned to support the curriculum. It is important that all students participate. Separate notices will be forwarded by the school seeking your permission and outlining the nature of the excursion.

An excursion fee is included in the school fees.

Occasionally the school will conduct an Evacuation Drill or Lockdown. Please do not be alarmed if you hear of this practice as it is a training exercise.

If your child is ill and requires medication in school hours they must remain at home until the prescribed course is completed. If your child needs to take ongoing medication during school hours, it must be administered by the office staff.

All prescribed medication must be sent to the office in the original container, clearly marked with the student’s name, the name of the medication, dosage, frequency of administration, and prescribing doctor’s name.

For long-term medications, there are four forms that must be completed before administration of the medicine can take place. These are available from the office and will be sent home on request. A formal action plan will then be established. Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta advises that Our Lady of Mount Carmel staff will not administer non-prescribed medicines, such as cough mixture or pain relievers, bought over the counter.

The school may be accessed via Bennett Street or Smith Street. In the interest of Child Protection, parents are asked to remain in the parent area (yellow line) unless signed in as a visitor through the office.

Children are supervised on the front playground in the morning from 8:30am. Students should not be dropped off before this time. The Smith Street gate is opened at 8:40am for the first bus. This gate is locked at 9:00am after the last bus has arrived. The Bennett Street gate is closed at 9:00am (or after the arrival of the last bus should it be after 9am).

At 3:10pm, children are walked from their classrooms to the bus lines in the back playground or to the parent pick-up area in the front playground, where they are dismissed. The children are not permitted to exit the school grounds unless accompanied by a parent. Teachers help students cross the road in Bennett Street, Garfield Street and Station Street.

It is important to telephone the school office if you are going to be late. The Smith Street gate is locked after the last bus at approximately 3:40pm and the Bennett Street gate is locked at 3:30pm. If you are running late you will need to collect your child from the office foyer.

The OLMC School Newsletter is emailed and skoolbagged each Wednesday. It includes an editorial from the Principal, and may include an article from the Religious Education Coordinator, a letter from the parish priest and information about teaching and learning, school events and our school/parish community.

Notes are sent home as a means of communication between school and home. In some cases notes have ‘tear off’ slips to return to the school—generally permission slips. School notes on yellow coloured paper and other information are sent out on Wednesdays and Fridays only. Please check your child’s school bag on these days for notes. On the rare occasion there may be a note sent out on another day. All notes sent out each week are noted on the left hand column of the school newsletter each week.

When a child attends a specialist for eyes, ears, speech therapy etc. a copy of any reports provided should be sent to the school so that any specific needs of the child are known.

Children experience a wide range of sports at Our Lady of Mount Carmel and may compete in swimming, athletics and cross country at zone, diocesan and inter-diocesan levels. Students also have access to all levels of representation, from local to national, in their particular sport. Details about representative sport opportunities are distributed in Term 1 and Term 4.

We are committed to maintaining the highest level of privacy in handling the information you provide. The Standard Collection Notice advises you about the reasons for collecting information and the way the information will be used.

For more detailed information about privacy in at Our Lady of Mount Carmel refer to our privacy page.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel teachers are available throughout the year to discuss any of your concerns. Teachers are usually available before or after school. You are advised to make an appointment through the school office or via a note to your child's teacher.

Teachers are not available:

  • during face-to-face teaching time
  • during playground duty
Our Lady of Mount Carmel is easily reached by public transport. Details of buses that service the school are available from the school office. Students in Kindergarten to Year 2 are eligible for free public transport to and from school. Students in other years may be eligible depending on the distance from home to school. Students in Years 3, 4, 5 & 6 need to apply for a new pass. Please come to the office to collect an application form if you require a bus/train pass.

Glossary of Terms

This list has been compiled so that you will understand some of the terminology that your child comes into contact with at school, and that is used in the school newsletter.

Athletics carnival
This is usually held in Term 2. All the children from Kindergarten to Year 6 participate. The children may nominate to participate in longer distance races or field events such as long jump, high jump, shot put etc.

Buddies for Kindergarten and Year 5
At the end of each school year our Year 5 students for the following year are assigned a Kindergarten ‘buddy’. Their first task is to write to their buddy over the Christmas holidays to welcome them to our school. The Year 5 students play a vital role in the first few weeks of school helping their buddy to settle in, learn the routines and procedures of school life while gaining confidence in a new environment. Structured activities are conducted weekly to facilitate interaction between buddies and enable the Year 5 students to take on a ‘mentor/tutor’ role. These buddies continue in Year 1 and Year 6.

Book club
Once a term we distribute Scholastic Book Club’s specially compiled list of reasonably priced books to the children. Details on how to purchase the books are included on the forms. This is an entirely voluntary purchase.

Cross country
This event is usually held towards the end of Term 1. The children undergo training in the weeks leading up to the event by gradually building the distance they run. Just prior to the cross country the children's level of fitness and ability to participate in this event is evaluated. The cross country is held on a school day and all students in all grades are expected to attend this event.

Fruit & Friend break
As part of our ‘Health Promoting School’ program, a supervised fruit, veg & water break is held every day from 10:00am for approximately five minutes. All students are asked to bring a piece of fresh fruit or vegetable and water to have at this time. Research into the brain and learning confirms the importance of oxygen and hydration for the effective functioning of the brain through diet, exercise and drinking plenty of water. As most children eat breakfast at 8:00 am or earlier this break assists their concentration, their wellbeing and their understanding of healthy eating. The usual recess break takes place at 11:00 am for 30 minutes. During this time the children pair up with a different partner each day to discuss a set topic and development their speaking and listening skills. This is an opportunity to develop and expand the social bonds between the class group.

Health promoting school
Our Lady of Mt Carmel is a ‘Health promoting school’ and aims to develop an understanding of the factors that influence a healthy lifestyle. The following lists were developed with a recommendation that the unsuitable foods are not to be brought to school except on special occasions.

Suitable foods Unsuitable foods
  • Sandwiches
  • Lebanese bread
  • Pita bread
  • Pikelets/pancakes
  • Fresh and dried fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Cheese sticks
  • Muffins
  • Snack packs
  • Muesli bars
  • Popcorn
  • Chips/Cheezels/Twisties etc
  • Lollies
  • Chocolates
  • Sweet biscuits
  • Roll-ups
  • Carbonated (fizzy) drinks
  • Cream cakes
  • ‘Cereal/Health Bars’ containing sugar and condensed milk
  • Cereals such as Coco Pops and Fruit Loops
  • Fast foods such as McDonalds/Hungry Jacks

Key Learning Areas
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Primary follows the curriculum documents from the NSW Education Standards Authority for the six Key Learning Areas of English; Mathematics; Human Society and its Environment; Science and Technology; Creative Arts; and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education; and Religious Education, Sharing Our Story, from the Parramatta Diocese of Catholic Education.

Library
Once a week every class has a library borrowing session supervised by the class teacher. After children return their previously borrowed books they may borrow some new books to take home. The children must have a library bag (to safely transport the books to and from school).

  • Kindergarten students may borrow 1-2 books per week
  • Year 1 & Year 2 – 2 books per week
  • Year 3 & Year 4 – 3 books per week
  • Year 5 & Year 6 – 4 books per week

The library is open on Monday - Friday from 1:40-2:10pm for quiet reading, research work, board games, educational videos, and borrowing.

Lost Property
Your child's name should be sewn or marked clearly on all items including clothing (especially hats and jackets), raincoats, drink bottles, lunch boxes, pencil containers, school bags, shoes, and sandshoes. If names are placed on all items they can be quickly returned before upsets occur.

Mufti
When the school has a mufti day it means that the children do not have to wear their school uniform. They may wear smart casual clothing to school and a hat that covers the head and shades the ears and face, on that day. Often we have a mufti day as a fundraising event, as a special celebration or as a reward. On a fundraiser mufti day each child is asked to bring along a gold coin for the privilege of wearing ordinary clothes. This money would then be sent to the missions, or another charity such as Mercy Works.

Smart casual clothing must be tasteful and does not include tops or pants that reveal extensive parts of the body, t-shirt or tops displaying inappropriate logos, the promotion of inappropriate products or displaying rude, explicit or offensive language or phrases. Footwear must protect the whole foot and should not include rubber thongs.

No Hat/Play in Shade Policy
The school has this policy in place to protect the children from the harmful UV rays of the sun. If a child does not have their school hat on before school, at recess, lunch or for outside activities/sports, they must sit and or play in the shade. School hats are available for purchase from the school office.

Outcomes-based education
The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) introduced stage outcomes into its syllabuses in 1991. It defines outcomes as ‘explicit statements of the knowledge, skills and understandings expected to be learned by students’.

Parent-Teacher Interviews
Formal parent-teacher-student interviews occur twice a year. In February, a goal setting conference takes place where goals for your child are set for the year. In the middle of the year a parent-teacher (student) interview is held where your child’s progress is discussed and goals reviewed.   

School hall (COSHC) - formally Parish Hall
The school hall is a double demountable building owned by the school and is located on school grounds in the back playground. It is used by Catholic Out of School Hours Care (COSHC) each day. On Fridays this room is used for Playgroup.

Playground Rules

Basketball Court

  • Use netballs, basketballs, soccer and footballs
  • Kick the ball no higher than knee height
  • Play safe games
  • Take turns

Car Park Area

  • Use soccer and footballs on the asphalt area only
  • Kick the ball no higher than knee height
  • Play handball on concrete areas

Playground Rules

  • Be Respectful
  • Be Safe
  • Hands Off
  • Always wear your school hat
  • Put all rubbish in the bin
  • Walk on pathways

Grass Areas

  • Sit and play
  • Talk
  • Relax
  • Enjoy the environment

Canteen Area

  • For students buying food and drink only
  • Sit patiently and wait your turn
  • Always use good manners

Kindergarten Playground

  • A designated playground area for Kindergarten children to play

Pupil free day/staff development day
All schools in the Parramatta Diocese are allocated six pupil free day per year by the Catholic Education Office. The staff engages in professional learning and students do not attend school on that date. This allows staff an opportunity for spiritual reflection, to review new curriculum changes, study new methodology, or brainstorm and formulate a policy for relevant issues. The day may be shared with staff from another school which broadens the input. The focus of the staff development day is usually discussed in the school newsletter and parents are notified in advance of the date. The first pupil free day each year is always the first day staff return before school resumes for students.

Student banking
Students are able to open Commonwealth Bank Dolomite accounts through the school. Children bring their bank books in to school on a Tuesday with the deposit they wish to make. Books are returned to them on Wednesday.

Swimming carnival
This is usually held in Term 4. Students from Year 2-5 and competent Year 1 swimmers attend and nominate their preferred event. There are novelty events to cater for beginner swimmers.

Swimming program
The swimming program is a component of the Personal Development, Health and Physical Education syllabus. Students are taught skills in the area of aquatics dealing with water familiarisation, water confidence, water safety, floating and movement skills, basic swimming strokes, water safety and rescue skills, stroke development, diving, and emergency procedures. The program takes place in Term 4 for all students. The 10-day intensive swimming program is run by the Aquatic Safety Academy, Best Road Seven Hills.

Second-hand clothing pool
This is run by the parents on a voluntary basis. You may purchase second-hand school uniforms in good condition and at a reasonable cost. The second-hand clothing pool is open on Monday from 8:30 am- 9:15 am and Tuesday 2:30-3:30pm in the uniform shop (please note these times may vary).

Uniform shop
The uniform shop orders are prepared by the office staff. You may purchase/order all items of school clothing through this shop. Price lists and order forms are available from the school office or by clicking on the New Uniform Order Form on the 'School Notes' page of our website under 'Whole school notes'.

Health and Safety

Infections are common in early childhood. Below are regulations with regard to the time any student should remain away from school should a particular illness occur.

Chicken Pox Exclude until fully recovered—minimum exclusion for 7 days after the first spots appear

German Measles Exclude until fully recovered—minimum exclusion for 5 days from appearance of the rash

Infectious Hepatitis Exclude until medical practitioner certifies recovery

Measles Exclude for at least 5 days from appearance of the rash

Mumps Exclude until fully recovered—minimum exclusion for 10 days from the onset of the swelling

Streptococcal Infection Exclude until fully recovered

Whooping Cough Exclude until fully recovered—minimum exclusion for 3 weeks from onset of the whoop

Conjunctivitis Exclude until discharge from eyes has ceased

Impetigo Exclude until sores have fully healed. The child may return provided that appropriate treatment is being applied and that sores on exposed surfaces such as scalp, face, hands or legs are properly covered with occlusive dressings.

Head Lice Exclude until hair is completely cleaned, neither nits (eggs) nor lice being present. Children who have such problems may not be readmitted to the school without a note from parents or guardian indicating that appropriate treatment has been given and the eggs and/or lice have been removed.

For more information visit www.chw.edu.au

Age Immunisation
Birth Hepatitis B
2 months Diptheria/Tetanus/Whooping Cough/Polio/Hepatitis B/Hib
4 months Diptheria/Tetanus/Whooping Cough/ Polio/Hepatitis B/Hib
6 months Diptheria/Tetanus/Whooping Cough/Polio/Hepatitis B
12 months Measles/Mumps/Rubella/Hib
18 months Diptheria/Tetanus/Whopping Cough
4 years or prior to school entry Diptheria/Tetanus/ Whooping Cough, Polio/ Measles/Mumps/Rubella

 

An Immunisation Certificate is required for all children starting primary school.

In the event of a slight accident such as a graze or knock, simple first aid, such as saline and a bandaid strip will be administered. If an ice pack is required and the injury may need a further check at home, a phone call or letter is forwarded to you.

However, in the case of a more serious accident, such as suspected sprains, fractures, bumps to the head etc, immediate first aid procedures will be put into action whilst attempts are being made to contact parents to inform them of the accident.

If parents are unable to be contacted in the case of an emergency, the school will seek immediate medical care on behalf of them. Written permission for the school to take this action is requested at the time of enrolment. An ambulance is always called in the event of an emergency.

If a student becomes ill in the classroom, he/she is sent to the office. If after 30 minutes the student does not respond to the special care given, parents are contacted and requested to come to the school and take the child home.

In cases of asthma attacks, the student, with the express permission of the parents, may be given an asthma puffer. The actual medication, as well as the level of dosage and any other relevant details concerning the medication and its use must be given by parents before action is taken at the school office. In the case of a serious asthma attack where medication has not been supplied, the school would attempt to contact the parents and then follow its emergency asthma procedure using the school’s asthma kit.

In compliance with CEO policy, all head injuries either minor or major will be reported to parents.

Personal accident insurance is provided at no cost for all students enrolled in systemic schools in the Parramatta Diocese. The insurance policy, known as school care, covers students while at school and includes travel between school and home, and any activities sponsored by the school (such as school organised excursions and sport). The cover is broad and includes up to $5000 towards medical and hospital costs not covered by Medicare, up to $1000 for emergency transport, up to $1000 for home tuition, and varying amounts for compensation of a range of serious injuries.

A copy of the insurance brochure is available from the school office.

Learning & Teaching

The Catholic Education Office has an indigenous education unit located at Mt Druitt. If you would like to learn more about the student support programs, parent awareness programs, and homework centres, please feel welcome to phone Jarara Indigenous Education Unit on 9677 4301.

Our Lady of Mt Carmel School is organised into sixteen aged learning groups that reflect the Stages of Learning from the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Key Learning Area curriculum documents.

The stages of learning are:

Early Stage One Kindergarten
Stage One Years 1-2
Stage Two Years 3-4
Stage Three Years 5-6

Learning groups are organised into the following:

Kindergarten 2 class groups
Year 1 2 class groups
Year 2 2 class groups
Year 3 2 class groups
Year 4 2 class groups
Year 5 2 class groups
Year 6 2 class groups

 

The teaching and learning at Our Lady of Mount Carmel is based on a belief that learning takes place in a reflective and collaborative community where each person is nurtured and challenged to explore, investigate and problem solve through explicit teaching and rich learning and assessment tasks.

The key elements of our Educational Belief Statement are:

  • a foundation based on Gospel values and the Mercy and Carmelite traditions
  • a Christ-centred environment that acknowledges and celebrates gifts and differences
  • a partnership with home, school and parish
  • a collaborative community of parents, staff and students
  • quality teaching and learning that is learner centred
  • learning that fosters personal responsibility and an inner spirit of delight in life and learning
Co-operative or collaborative education is much more than an effective instructional methodology—it is an enabler of learning, relationships, values, education and importantly, building a faith community (Phil Billington).
Co-operative learning is the instructional use of small groups so that students work together to maximise their own and each other’s learning (Johnson, Johnson & Holubec).
When children feel that they are among friends in their schools and classrooms, they make the school community their own. And in committing to the school community’s values, they become more engaged in learning and more thoughtful and caring in their behaviour. Friendly classrooms don’t just happen, of course. They take considerable effort on the part of both teachers and students. But increasingly, this new emphasis on building community is being recognised as valid and important (Dalton and Watson).

Co-operative learning happens within the context of community. This reflects the population at large allowing the students to learn the attitudes, knowledge and skills that benefit all in the community.

Some of the strategies for teaching the skills of co-operative and reflective learning at Our Lady of Mount Carmel are:

  • G.E.M. Groups
  • The Quiet Sign
  • Team Roles (Co-operative Learning Groups)
  • KWL Charts and Y Charts
  • K.I.S.S.E.S
  • Think Pair Share
  • Three Stars and a Wish
  • Hands Up Pair Up
  • Give One, Get One
  • Sharing Circle
  • Reflective Learning Journal
  • Self Assessment
  • Rubrics

Co-operative Learning Groups is a strategy whereby all students engage in group activities with each student undertaking a role.

Roles for Co-operative Learning Groups —

Manager Organises group. Keeps group focused on task.
Encourager Positive feedback to the group enables all group members to join in.
Reporter Communicates group’s findings to the class. Clarifies responses.
Recorder Scribes the ideas offered. Defines and clarifies answers.

Quality Teaching Framework
At Our Lady of Mt. Carmel the NSW Quality Teaching Framework (QTF) is the preferred model of teaching and learning (pedagogy). The core business for teachers is pedagogy and it is evident in the activity that takes place in the classrooms or other educational settings and in the nature or quality of the tasks set by teachers to guide and develop student learning.

This model of teaching and learning was developed by Professor Jenny Gore from Newcastle University. The model is based on sound research understanding of how teaching can promote improved student learning outcomes. QTF can be applied across all years of schooling, K-12, and all curriculum areas.

The following three dimensions form the basis of the QTF model of pedagogy:

  • Pedagogy that is based on high levels of intellectual quality
  • Pedagogy that is based on promoting a quality learning environment
  • Pedagogy that develops and makes explicit to students the significance of their work

Intellectual Quality
This refers to teaching that is focused on producing deep understanding of important, substantive concepts, skills and ideas. This requires students to engage in higher-order thinking and to communicate substantively about what they are learning.

Quality Learning Environment
This refers to pedagogy that creates classrooms where students and teachers work productively in an environment clearly focused on learning. Such pedagogy sets high and explicit expectations and develops positive relationships between teachers and students and among students.

Significance
This refers to pedagogy that helps make learning meaningful and important to students. Such pedagogy draws clear connections with students’ prior knowledge, with contexts outside the classroom, and with multiple ways of knowing or cultural perspectives.

Four Ways of Knowing is another teaching/learning strategy that covers the four quadrants of the brain and the way in which we learn. The Four Quadrants are:

Yellow Creative, Artistic, Big Picture
Red Feelings, Emotions, People
Green Organised, Prepared
Blue Management, Administration
All Australian schools are now required to use a common A-E grade to describe student achievement in all subjects, including formal Religious Education, for Years 1-10. This is part of the Federal Government’s plan to achieve greater national consistency in education. Students’ Learning Reports (except those for Kindergarten) account for individual students learning achievement according to the A-E scale below.

A Excellent Achievement
The student has an extensive knowledge and understanding of the content and can readily apply this knowledge. The student has achieved a very high level of competence and can apply these skills to new situations.

B High Achievement

The student has a thorough knowledge and understanding of the content and a high level of competence in the processes and skills. The student is able to apply this knowledge and these skills in most situations.

C Sound Achievement
The student has a sound knowledge and understanding of the content and an adequate competence in the processes and skills.

D Basic Achievement
The student has a basic knowledge and understanding of the content and limited competence in the processes and skills.

E Elementary Achievement
The student has an elementary knowledge and understanding in a few areas of the content and very limited competence in some of the processes and skills.

The teacher librarian and the classroom teacher collaborate to develop units of work from the various Key Learning Areas such as History, Geography, Science and Technology, and English. Learning technologies (computers, digital camera, scanner, video camera, data projector), are just some of the technologies successfully integrated into the curriculum.

Resource-based learning (RBL) is the preferred model of research at Our Lady of Mt Carmel. The students engage with a variety of resources (paper based as well as electronic). RBL is used in order to aid students in their journey in the information process as they acquire the necessary information skills in their quest for lifelong learning.

Benefits of resource based learning:

  • teaching research and information skills in context
  • small groups - collaborative teaching and planning (class teacher and teacher librarian)
  • lessens the inequity of students with little or no information technologies at home
  • all students achieve / succeed - small groups (emphasis on the learner)
  • students learn the responsibility and skills of completing research assignments (on their own or collaboratively within a group situation).
Each family is asked to spend time perusing our Acceptable User’s Guidelines. Students in all classes together with their parents are requested to acknowledge that they have read and agree to follow the guidelines by signing the slip and returning it to school. The Acceptable User’s Guidelines form is sent home at the beginning of each school year.

At Our Lady of Mount Carmel student workbooks are sent home during Week 8 of Terms 1, 2 and 3 for parents to see achievement, growth and a record of learning achievement.

Why send home student work books?

  • It will assist us to focus on the whole child, looking at each child’s individual progress.
  • It will be the focus for the mid-year Parent/Teacher meetings.
  • It will assist parents in discussing learning progress with their child.
  • It will keep parents informed of their child’s progress.

What is my role as a parent at the Parent/Teacher meetings?

  • Discuss any questions you have about your child’s learning.
  • Explore with the teacher the ways you can help your child at home.
  • Review the goals set in Term 1.
  • Involve your child in the discussion
  • Your child is invited to be present at the Parent/Teacher meetings. Depending on matters discussed it may be preferable for your child not to be present.

What will happen when the workbooks are sent home?

  • Parents are asked to look through the workbooks with the child.
  • Parents are asked to write a comment on the sheet in the child’s workbook.

When are the Parent/Teacher/Child meetings?

  • At the beginning of Term 1 to set goals for students in Kindergarten to Years 6.
  • At the end of Term 2 to discuss the reports for students in Kindergarten to Years 6.

When do we receive a Report?

  • Twice a year in June and December in accordance with the Commonwealth Government reporting procedures.

What do I do if I have concerns about my child’s learning?

  • Make an appointment through the school office to meet with your child’s teacher/s.

When do we receive a report?

  • Reports are sent home twice a year in June and December in accordance with the Commonwealth Government reporting procedures.

What do I do if I have concerns about my child’s learning?

  • Make an appointment through the school office to meet with your child’s teacher/s.

Uniform and Grooming

  • The sports uniform is worn on set sports day and sports shoes are to be worn only with the sports uniform.

  • The school has a "No Hat, No Play" Policy for the children's protection and school hats must be worn whenever they are outside.

  • Regulation hairstyles for school have been included in the uniform information below.

  • The wearing of jewellery or decorative jewellery other than a watch and sleepers or studs for students with pierced ears is not permitted. If ears are pierced, one plain sleeper or stud per earlobe is permitted. No rings, bracelets, bangles or necklaces may be worn.

  • Coloured nail polish is not acceptable.
Summer Uniform
GIRLS BOYS
Dress Blue and white check dress Shorts Navy blue shorts
    Shirt School blue shirt with collar, short sleeves and school crest
Zip
Jacket
Royal blue with school crest (also part of the sports tracksuit) Zip
Jacket
Royal blue with school crest (also part of the sports tracksuit)
Jumper Fleecy royal blue jumper
Wool/Nylon jumper - optional
Jumper Fleecy royal blue jumper
Wool/Nylon jumper - optional
School
Socks
White turn-down school socks School
Socks
Short grey school socks with blue/gold band
Sports  Shorts Royal blue sports shorts with school crest Sports 
Shorts
Royal blue sports shorts with school crest
Sports
Top
Short sleeve royal blue polo top with school crest Sports
Top
Short sleeve royal blue polo top with school crest
Sports
Socks
White turn-down school socks or ankle socks visible above shoe Sports
Socks
White turn-down school socks or ankle socks visible above shoe
Sports
Shoes
Mainly white with white tie up laces
or coloured shoe that matches uniform eg:royal blue, navy, black
Sports
Shoes
Mainly white with white tie up laces
or coloured shoe that matches uniform eg:royal blue, navy, black
School
Shoes
Black school shoe with low heel School
Shoes
Black school shoe (no boots)  
Hair Shoulder length or longer hair must be tied back. No hair colouring is permitted. Hair ties, ribbons and headbands must be white, navy blue or school uniform pattern. Hair Neat and simple haircuts.
No undercuts, number ones, rat tails or hair colouring, for example. (Principal discretion re extreme styles).
Hat Royal blue school hat with school crest Hat Royal blue school hat with school crest
Bag Royal blue posture support backpack with school crest on front. Optional library bag. Bag Royal blue posture support backpack with school crest on front. Optional library bag.

 

Winter Uniform
GIRLS BOYS
Tunic School tartan tunic Trousers Navy blue half elastic backed trousers
Blouse Lemon long sleeved blouse with Peter Pan collar Shirt
Tie
School blue long sleeve shirt with school crest with blue/gold striped tie
Zip
Jacket
Royal blue with school crest (also part of the sports tracksuit) Zip
Jacket
Royal blue with school crest (also part of the sports tracksuit)
Jumper Fleecy royal blue jumper with school crest
Wool/Nylon jumper - optional
Jumper Fleecy royal blue jumper with school crest
Wool/Nylon jumper - optional
Tights or
Socks
Navy blue ankle or knee high socks or navy blue tights School
Socks
Short grey school socks with blue/gold band
Sports
Top
Short sleeve royal blue polo top with school crest Sports
Top
Short sleeve royal blue polo top with school crest
Sports
Track Suit
Royal blue & gold long sleeve jacket and pants with school crest Sports
Track Suit

Royal blue & gold long sleeve jacket and pants with school crest

Sports
Socks
White turn-down school socks or ankle socks visible above shoe Sports
Socks
White turn-down school socks or ankle socks visible above shoe
Sports
Shoes
Mainly white with white tie up laces or coloured shoe that matches uniform e.g. royal blue, navy, black Sports
Shoes
Mainly white with white tie up laces or coloured shoe that matches uniform e.g. royal blue, navy, black
School
Shoes
Black school shoe with low heel School
Shoes
Black school shoe (no boots)  
Hair Shoulder length or longer hair must be tied back. No hair colouring is permitted. Hair ties, ribbons and headbands must be white, navy blue or school uniform pattern. Hair Neat and simple haircuts. No undercuts, number ones, rat tails or hair colouring, for example. (Principal discretion re extreme styles).
Hat Royal blue school hat with school crest. Hat Royal blue school hat with school crest.
Bag Royal blue posture support backpack with school crest on front. Optional library bag. Bag Royal blue posture support backpack with school crest on front. Optional library bag.

Parents are requested to clearly label all school clothing with the child's name.

All student summer and winter school uniforms are now available from Oz Fashions.

To order and pay for your uniform items, download the 'QKR App from Mastercard' using these links:
Please note that the App will need to be downloaded on a phone or tablet device.

 appstore  googleplay

Orders must be made by 4:00pm on a Wednesday to be received on the Thursday of the same week.

Click here to see note regarding changes to uniform policy.

Uniform Appointments

If your child/ren needs to try on uniforms, this can be done at the school.  Click here to make an appointment.  The school code is: pccjj

A Second Hand Clothing Pool operates at the school on Mondays and Fridays between 8:30am-9:15am.