Learning and Teaching

Holy Spirit Primary St Clair has an approach to learning based on leading educational research which makes us one of the best Catholic primary school in Sydney area.

The learning program at Holy Spirit Primary School covers seven key learning areas:

  • Religious Education
  • English - reading, writing, talking, listening
  • Mathematics - working mathematically, number, measurement, data, space and geometry, patterns and algebra
  • Science – using technology, investigating, designing, and algebra
  • History and Geography
  • Creative Arts – music, visual arts, dance and drama
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education.

Key Learning Areas

Catholic values underpin all areas of the curriculum and school life. We provide a positive environment to support our students to grow in their own self-belief and to give them the confidence to cope with whatever life challenges they might face. We instil in our students a sense of social justice, allowing them to reach out to others.

Our Religious Education program, Sharing Our Story, enables our students to come to know Jesus and the Catholic tradition. We encourage students’ appreciation, creativity and participation in our prayer program. We are blessed to share a site with our parish Church, and work closely with the parish to enable us to participate regularly in Mass, prayer and a number of liturgical celebrations. A variety of prayer experiences are also provided in classrooms. Sacramental programs for the preparation of students for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation, are conducted in our parish.

Students also have the opportunity to participate in charitable works and social outreach, allowing them to give back to their communities. We develop in our students a keen love for God, themselves, others, and their world. 

The Creative Arts syllabus is the basis of our Creative and Performing Arts Program. Some of its key learning areas are integrated within other key learning areas. The school has a specialist music teacher and choir, allowing students to express themselves through music and develop their talents in an encouraging environment. We offer opportunities to participate in the school choir, music, band, CAPTIVATE Strings programs, and drama. Students are also given opportunities to showcase what they have learnt.

In accordance with the K -10 Curriculum Framework, the English syllabus takes into account the diverse needs of all students. It identifies essential knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes. It outlines clear standards of what students are expected to know and be able to do, in Kindergarten to Year 10. It provides structures and processes by which teachers can provide continuity of study for all students.

Open learning across all grades from Kindergarten to Year 6 shows evidence of containing all elements of a balanced literacy program. These include:

  • modelled reading
  • shared reading
  • guided reading
  • independent reading
  • modelled writing
  • joint construction
  • independent writing
  • modelled talking and listening
  • guided talking and listening
  • critical literacy.

History, Geography, Science and Technology are highly valued at Holy Spirit and integral for today’s learning. We have made a significant commitment to the ongoing implementation of information communication and technologies. We encourage 'hands on' experiences, so that our students might explore and develop as independent and effective users of scientific and technological information relevant to their lives. Learning technologies are integrated throughout the curriculum, with students and teachers increasingly using a range of technologies and multimedia to enrich learning and teaching.

The Mathematics curriculum makes clear, the links between the various components of mathematics, as well as the relationship between mathematics and other disciplines. Students learn to apply their mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding, in a broad range of contexts beyond the mathematics classroom, including in such core learning areas as Science, Geography, History, and English.

The religious dimension of our school is very much reflected in our relationships, and is expressed through our celebration of community. We make a conscious effort to build the self-esteem of students, staff and their families. As a parish school, we are responsive to the hopes and dreams of the local faith community. We see ourselves as very much part of the parish and are happy to find ourselves with the spiritual guidance and support of the Augustinians, who pastor this community.

At Holy Spirit, student wellbeing is expressed through: 

  • the development of quality relationships
  • satisfying and engaging learning experiences
  • an effective care network
  • experiences and structures that provide for the integrated spiritual and human growth of students.

Children are guided in being responsible for their own learning behaviour and the choices they make. Children are always given an opportunity to be heard, developing a sense of justice in their relationships with each other.

There is a whole-school approach based on ownership of behaviour, clear expectations and boundaries. This includes rewards, both extrinsic and intrinsic, and is proactive, positive and non-discriminatory.

Sport is an integral part of the Personal Development, Health and Physical Education curriculum, which promotes fitness and a healthy lifestyle. It teaches and encourages the development of specific motor skills such as running, kicking, throwing and catching; all essential basic concepts of movement.  

Students in Kindergarten to Year 2 participate in a tabloid sports carnival each year, where they are involved in a variety of sporting games and activities in a fun environment.

Years 3 to 6 have the opportunity to participate in a Swimming Carnival, Athletics Carnival and Cross Country run during the year, and may be selected to represent at a zone, diocesan and inter-diocesan level.

There are also other opportunities for primary students to represent in their chosen sport of netball, touch football or soccer.

For more information on representative sport, ask your child's teacher or visit the PDCPSSC (Parramatta Diocese Catholic Primary Schools Sports Council) website.

Holy Spirit House System

Within our school, there are four House Groups :

MARSDEN (Red) - named in honour of the Reverend Samuel Marsden, a local magistrate and pastoralist. Through his work at Mamre Farm, Samuel Marsden pioneered the Australian wool industry by importing and breeding Merino sheep. 

LAWSON (Green) - named in honour of William Lawson, pastoralist and explorer, who in 1813 along with Blaxland and Wentworth, discovered a passage through the Blue Mountains from Sydney.   

CHISHOLM (White) - named in honour of Caroline Chisholm, one of Australia's greatest women pioneers. Known as the 'Emigrants' Friend', Caroline Chisholm is remembered for her humanitarian work with emigrant families, young women and rural families.
DURACK (Blue) - named in honour of Sarah 'Fanny' Durack, who was Australia's first female Olympic gold medallist. Sarah Durack broke the world record and won the 100 yards Freestyle event at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics.

The annual Athletics Carnival is an opportunity for inter-house competition, with the emphasis on the importance of participation and teamwork. Students of all athletic ability are encouraged to support their House Groups in colour, song and event participation; be it as a competitor or a supporter.