Australian Curriculum

The Australian Curriculum sets out the core knowledge, understanding, skills and general capabilities important for all Australian students. The Australian Curriculum describes the learning entitlement of students as a foundation for their future learning, growth and active participation in the Australian community. It makes clear what all young Australians should learn as they progress through schooling. It is the foundation for high-quality teaching to meet the needs of all Australian students.

The development of the Australian Curriculum is guided by the Alice Springs Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, adopted by the council of state and territory education ministers in 2022. The Alice Springs Declaration sets out a vision for a world-class education system that encourages and supports every student to be the very best they can be, no matter where they live or what kind of learning challenges they may face.

The Australian Curriculum describes a learning entitlement for each Australian student that provides a foundation for successful, lifelong learning and participation in the Australian community. It acknowledges that the needs and interests of students will vary and that schools and teachers will plan from the curriculum in ways that respond to those needs and interests. The Australian Curriculum acknowledges the changing ways in which young people will learn and the challenges that will continue to shape their learning in the future.

The Australian Curriculum will eventually be developed for all learning areas and subjects set out in the Melbourne Declaration: initially for English, mathematics, science and history; followed by geography, languages, the arts, economics, business, civics and citizenship, health and physical education, and information and communication technology and design and technology.

NSW Curriculum

Schooling in NSW is based on the mandatory NSW syllabuses for students from Kindergarten to Year 12. The syllabuses are developed and endorsed by NESA. 

St James Primary follows the approved syllabuses with the exception of Religious Education, which is approved by the Bishop.

Please visit the New South Wales Education for more information on the NSW syllabuses: Standards Authority (NESA) website

Subjects are called Key Learning Areas (KLAs).

They are:

  • Mathematics
  • Science and Technology
  • English
  • HSIE
  • Personal Development Health and Physical Education
  • Creative Arts
  • Religious Education

As a Catholic school, Religious Education is both a Key Learning Area and integral to our way of life.  

As a school of the 21st century, St James Primary provides students with learning environments that encourage investigation, exploration, and creativity. Students are provided with opportunities to develop technological information and higher-order thinking skills as they develop an understanding of how they learn. Through reflection and evaluation, the children are empowered to independently extend their learning.

Fullness of Life Framework

Guided in Gospel values and grounded in the Catholic tradition, our Fullness of Life Framework enriches each student's learning experience.

The Fullness of Life Framework defines the essential domains of Catholic education in the Diocese of Lismore. We believe that every child is created in the image of God and is the focus of all we do. Each member of our passionate learning and support staff is committed to this statement through their role in Catholic education.

Our Mission at St James' is 'to enable each student to achieve the fullness of life' (John 10:10). This inspires our Fullness of Life Framework.

The Fullness of Life Framework guides all we do in St James' to realise the Mission the Church has entrusted to us. Every domain of this framework seeks to support the student by ensuring quality learning experiences, a pastorally caring environment, strong partnerships with families and the community and leadership in the school that supports and promotes the Catholic Mission of our school.

fullness of life

The framework domains, as illustrated to the right, are:

  • Mission
  • Pastoral Care
  • Catholic Leadership
  • Learning and Teaching
  • Family, School and Community Partnership

At the centre of the framework is the student, who is the focus of the policies, practices, programs and decisions we make. Our efforts in all of these domains are aimed at supporting students' hopes, and aspirations for a life lived well.

The St James Learner

At St James Primary we are committed to creating positive learning experiences based on Christian values.

We strive to engage, motivate and inspire children.  As well as promoting the learning of key skills a strong emphasis is placed on discussion, research, investigation, collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving.

At St James Primary we aim to maximise student potential in a safe and caring community in which academic achievement, positive self-esteem, resilience, cultural diversity, and the rights of all are highly valued and respected.

Our educators work collaboratively and take collective responsibility for student learning within our flexible learning spaces.  Our collaborative teams that work in each learning community are the driving force of the school's efforts to achieve its mission of high levels of individual student achievement.  This supports our mission for all to 'achieve the fullness of life.'

St James Teaching & Learning

The relationship between curriculum and pedagogy is fundamental. The curriculum is essentially a design, or roadmap for learning, and as such focuses on the knowledge and skills that are judged important to learn. Pedagogy is the means by which learning will be achieved.

As educators in Catholic schools, the person of Jesus Christ should be at the heart of what we teach and how we teach it. Good teaching helps students to understand better themselves and what is important to them. Good teaching inspires and engages students.

At St James Primary, our teachers work collaboratively and take collective responsibility for student learning within flexible learning spaces.  We have adopted the philosophy, and are guided in our practice by the work of Dr Lyn Sharratt and her text ‘Clarity - What Matters Most in Learning, Teaching and Leading’.  Our teachers are deeply committed to developing their own capacity and efficacy in order to improve student achievement outcomes.  Our work at St James is in collaborative partnership with the Lismore Diocese where we are all committed to 'maximising the learning potential of our children and young people to be lifelong learners who are actively engaged with a range of people, places and disciplines as they grow as critical and creative problem-solvers who embrace society in all its diversity,' (Diocesan Literacy & Numeracy Strategy, 2021 - 2024). 

At St James Primary, we apply the principles of Visible learning to all educative practice; visible learning, “Involves impacting on the love of learning, inviting students to stay in learning, and seeing the ways students can improve their healthy sense of being, respect for self, and respect for others, as well as enhancing achievement.” (John Hattie, Visible Learning for Teachers, 2012). As learning progresses it becomes more complex. At James Primary the SOLO Taxonomy is applied to create the visible learning environment. SOLO, stands for the Structure of the Observed Learning Outcome, is a means of classifying learning outcomes in terms of their complexity, enabling teachers to assess students’ work and provide clear directions for students.