At St Mary MacKillop Primary, we devote significant time to building relationships with others.
Our students are encouraged to be welcoming and invitational, while respect and dignity are the basis of all our interactions. The strong sense of community promotes a sense of belonging and identity for parents, teachers and especially the children. We work to create an environment of genuine care and concern for one another.
St Mary MacKillop Primary is a restorative school committed to the implementation of the Restorative Practice framework. The MacKillop model of restorative practice is one which includes students, staff and parents who are all trained to use the framework.
This framework is based on building and maintaining healthy relationships by focusing on repairing the harm that is caused. The school is committed to the philosophy of separating the act from the actor, or as scripture states "hate the sin while loving the sinner."
The principles of the framework are based on the elements of:
- fair process
- restorative questions
- the Relational Window
- behavioural research
- explicit practice
- circle time
All stakeholders are trained to listen to each other, promote fairness and to know that all wrong doing will be repaired. We work on the basis that individuals are most likely to trust and cooperate with others when the process is fair, whether they themselves win or lose.
The classroom is a community of learners where those who fail to follow agreements know they will be helped to find the right way—through think time, circle time and challenging questions. Following these strategies they will be reintegrated into the community of learners. The playground provides an opportunity for the implementation of social, team and interactive skills. The children at school are learners, and mistakes are often made. However, restorative practice provides a process where these occasions are seen as opportunities for learning.
Training sessions in restorative practice are held annually for parents, new students and new staff members.
Inclusive Educational Approach
At St Mary MacKillop Primary we have adopted an inclusive educational approach in relation to students with disabilities. Through this approach we strive to provide appropriate support, resources, funds and teacher training to ensure that students with disabilities can have their learning and social needs met where possible in the regular school and classroom.
This may include students who experience difficulties in literacy and numeracy, and perform at a level that is two years below their chronological age.
Gifted & Talented Students
We aim to provide developmentally appropriate programs for gifted and talented students.
Teachers may use a variety of teaching and learning strategies. Programs may incorporate:
- various group strategies
- extension activities within and across classes
- contract work, with students negotiating the components of the contract
- open-ended questions, activities and assignments
- online learning
- hypothesis testing and problem solving
- individual research investigation
- opportunities for peer tutoring and assessment
- mentors with specific expertise
There is a Three Phase Orientation program for entry to Kindergarten which is linked to the school Peer Support program. Students with specific needs entering Kindergarten are tracked from preschool and experience a number of school visits.
Students with specific needs entering secondary school from Year 6, are prepared with individual orientation programs.