Pacific Hills provides an innovative and relevant educational experience resulting in capable, confident students able to respond with passion and reason to all aspects of life and eternity.
Learning Programs using Biblically based principles and values are designed to help students prepare for the changing demands of the work place and the wider community.
A consistent School Wide Learning Framework is used across the school to plan effective, powerful learning experiences. It honours the importance of:
- The place of the Bible as God’s measure of all truth
- The activation of prior knowledge and experience
- The critical role of engagement through relevance and challenge
- Embedded lateral thinking skills and relational thinking
- Learning with and from others in community
- The value of reflection
- The power of service as an integral part of the learning experience
Teachers plan learning activities that use many different approaches to learning, intentionally including real world examples and experiences. This makes lessons relevant to each student and genuinely prepares them for learning and service throughout their life.
Technology, including online and social media, is used as a tool to enhance learning. It is used to allow better interaction with content and with others.
Learning Enrichment Programs
The Augustine Program operates across each of the three sub schools catering specifically for academically able students. It is based on our belief that all students, the most able included, deserve learning experiences that challenge and extend.
This program involves:
- enrichment – challenge and interest activities that broaden students’ experience
- extension – activities that allow for specific concepts to be covered at greater depth
- acceleration – completing courses and units ahead of the usual schedule
These strategies are used differently in each of the sub-schools according to the needs and the ages of students and in response to individual progress and development.
Independent Learners Class - Years 2, 3 & 4
Streamed classes for students who show:
- an aptitude for self directed/managed learning
- well developed social ability
- appropriate reading and literacy skills
- ability to undertake individual set work with a reduced level of teacher instruction/direction/intervention
- different work for different groups of students within the class
- working independently
- enrichment of learning in preference to extension
Advanced Learners: Years 5 to 8
Streamed classes for students who show more general academic ability (Literacy and Numeracy). This might include the gifted underachiever or the gifted student with other learning difficulties.
The program includes a form of acceleration - Curriculum Compacting - but will not usually involve grade skipping and Course Acceleration.
Instead time gained through compaction of the curriculum will be used to extend and enrich the KLA's (Key Learning Areas) within the class.
In addition to streamed classes other programs are available to enrich the learning of Gifted and Talented students.
|Year 5||Year 6||Year 7||Year 8|
* The Augustine Accelerated Programs allow advanced Year 8 students to begin a compacted curriculum in Science and Mathematics in anticipation of formal Acceleration in Year 9.
Accelerated Classes: Years 9 to 12
Augustine Mathematics and Science classes continue the curriculum compaction that began in Year 8. In this way they complete three "years of schooling" over two "calendar years". In the accelerated course these students meet all requirements of students completing Year 10 by the end of Year 9.
Options then available during Year 10 include:
- Repeating the Year 10 course to try for an improved result
- Commencing a Preliminary course in that subject area
If the accelerated program is continued, the student would complete requirements for the HSC in that subject at the end of Year 11 – a full year ahead of non-accelerated students.
This strategy allows:
- Students to be consistently challenged in their learning by completing coursework at a faster rate
- Students to gain experience in HSC assessment and examinations in only a few subjects initially
- "Banking" results with the Board of Studies in areas in which they excel
- A reduced subject load in Year 12 allowing more effort in other subjects
Possible scenarios are listed below:
|Year 8 & 9||Completion of Stage 5 Courses||Completion of Stage 5 Courses|
|Year 10||Prelim. Chemistry||2 Unit Prelim. Maths|
|Year 11||HSC Chemistry||2 Unit HSC + Ext. 1 Prelim.|
|Year 12||Ext.1 HSC + Ext.2 HSC|
More information can be obtained by contacting the School.
Learning Support Program
In each of our three schools special learning needs are identified by collaborative consultation with Classroom Teachers and qualified Resource Teachers.
The Learning Support program assumes that different students will progress at different rates. It tries to give equal priority to the needs and progress of each student.
Depending on the nature of the learning need, the learning area and the experience of the student identified, special learning needs are supported using:
- Withdrawal strategies – involving the student in separate targeted learning programs
- Inclusion strategies – involving modification of work and in class support
Intervention to support students facing difficulties in their learning is done:
- As early as possible
- In consideration of "normal" delays in learning
- Without inflexible categorising of the student
- With regular review of progress and provision.
Identification of students in need of support is usually done:
- By class teachers in collaboration with specialist Resource Teachers
- Via our in-house diagnostic testing (including enrolment assessment)
- Occasionally in consultation with external tests
Using the results of this testing an Individual Learning Plan is developed to map the:
- areas of need of the student
- available resources within the school and the staff
- best strategies to support the student in their learning
The school's general policy is one of Inclusion. This means students with Special Learning Needs are catered for within the context of the regular class. The regular class teacher:
- provides modified work, appropriately differentiated to give the student suitable challenge
- is supported by a Resource Teacher, trained in Special Education, who is available for consultation and guidance
- often has provision of a Teachers Aide inclass support of the students
English As A Second Language
English as a Second Language (ESL) Programs across the three sub-schools are available to help students whose background language is other than English.
These programs use:
- Withdrawal support
- In class support using clustering of ESL students
- Separate ESL English options (Preliminary and HSC)
Study Skills Program
This program is available to Senior School students as part of their preparation for the Higher School Certificate. Not all elements are compulsory. Some are delivered through the Pastoral Care program while others are available as optional additional support.
The optional program structure includes a significant level of student participation and interaction.
Elements of the program include:
- What is this all about?
- Doing the HSC: The Big Picture
- Goal Setting (Short, Mid & Long Term Goals)
- Managing My Life
- Specific Study Tips
- Exams (Preparation, Completion & Recovery)
- Life After School.
Leadership training helps develop our student leaders for lives of service, both within and beyond the school community.
This develops a deeper understanding of effective leadership and the knowledge that leadership is not something that happens as a result of position or title but is something that is experienced through interaction with others.
Through leadership development we encourage a culture of service and mission amongst all staff, students and parents.
Leadership development at Pacific Hills includes three important and related elements:
Students are given opportunities to:
- participate in acts of service to the community
- develop relationships with staff, students and parents
- become people of influence
Acts of service might include:
- working in the school canteen
- providing a valet service to assist younger students enter the school grounds
- working with staff at school functions such as sporting carnivals
Formal training components of the leadership program include:
- public speaking seminars
- leadership training days
- weekly leaders' meetings
- mentoring by senior staff