Teaching and Learning at Tenison Woods Catholic School

At Tenison Woods Catholic School the teaching and learning practices are underpinned by two things: Wellbeing and Evidence-informed pedagogy (how we teach).
We believe in the importance of explicitly teaching wellbeing strategies to all children (Reception to Year 6), before they need to use them. Positive Psychology informs our whole school wellbeing teaching programs, we believe in Feeling Good by Doing Good.

The second key element of our Teaching and Learning is using evidence-informed practices in all curriculum areas. An example of this is our Reception to Year 6 Literacy practices. Using approaches designed to support the dyslexic brain, all children are taught using these strategies.

Our literacy approaches at Tenison Woods are based on a structured literacy model. Explicit instruction entails directly teaching students the content or skills to be learned. This model is systematic, with a carefully planned progression from simple to complex goals. Our guided instruction and practice is multisensory in nature, with the scaffolding of 'I do, we do, you do'. Being multisensory in nature ensures that all children are provided the learning information in a way that is accessible and processable by their learning brains.

Using a Structured – Synthetic Phonics program from Reception to Year 6 that incorporates a strong emphasis on oral language development in the Early Years, means that all children are provided evidence-informed learning opportunities. Supporting the development of every learner, is a multi-tiered response to intervention model with dedicated Intervention Staff.

Our approach is to ensure every child succeeds as a leaner.

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Positive Education and Wellbeing

Feeling Good by Doing Good

We are a Positive Education school, utilising research based on neuroscience, education and psychology. Positive education teaches children the strategies and dispositions they need to flourish in today's world. We believe flourishing is feeling good by doing good. Children are encouraged to use their character strengths to develop resilience, grit and success. The word FLOURISH is at the core of all that is Positive Education.

The 6 Elements of our Positive Education model are explicitly taught to all children throughout the year. Positive Education supports your child to be growth minded.

With a structured approach to our wellbeing curriculum, children are explicitly taught the skills and strategies they may need throughout their lives. This is delivered through a sequential curriculum utilising the resources of the Grow Your Mind and Wellbeing Distillery programs. We believe in a pro-active approach to wellbeing, where children have the toolkit to flourish when challenged.


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The SELF-MANAGED LEARNER is able to consciously & selectively use the LEARNER QUALITIES to help them get out of the LEARNING PIT (James Nottingham).

THE LEARNING PIT looks like:

Struggle, Failure, Giving Up, Not Getting It, Can’t Do It, Not Seeing Connections, Not Understanding, Avoiding.

Setting High but Achievable Goals
Knowing when and how to use the “LEARNER QUALITIES” Strategies 
Seeing Failure as Feedback
Responding to Feedback
Deciding when to collaborate with others & when to work independently

In the midst of a world of educational, social and economic change the focus on the holistic growth of the child remains the surest way our school can prepare students for the uncertainties of the future. At Tenison Woods Catholic School we want to bring the Good News of Jesus to all our community through learning about the lives of St Mary MacKillop and Julian Tenison Woods.

Our Religious Education Program also includes the Child Protection Curriculum, Cyber Safety and Made in the Image of God (M.I.T.I.O.G.).

We offer a comprehensive curriculum package which is designed to be inclusive of all students in assisting them to grow and develop to their full potential. In line with all schools in the country, our school uses the Australian National Curriculum to support students in their learning.

Our learning community aims to develop safe, contemporary, sustainable, stimulating and innovative learning environments by:

Providing contemporary learning from the Australian Curriculum that is creative, innovative and which supports the learning needs of all students.

Integrating Information and Communication Technologies to enhance learning and creative possibilities.

Valuing creativity and sustainability throughout our learning programs.

Attending to the safety and well-being of all by meeting compliances and accountability expectations, through policies, procedures and practices. 

Making connections with organisations, agencies and businesses in the wider community to enhance and support student learning; along with their development as global citizens.

We place emphasis on English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography & The Arts. Physical Education is highly valued at our school and we have specialist teachers in this curriculum area.