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Curriculum Areas

St John XXIII Primary School Thomastown East

At St John XXIII we offer a range of curriculum areas to support the academic, spiritual, social and emotional development of all learners.

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Religious Education

Religious Education at St John XXIII Primary School operates in the context of the Catholic faith. It develops children's understandings of living as a person of faith within their family, school, parish and the wider community. Learning intentionally seeks to develop the spiritual development of each person, inviting a personal relationship with God and others, that is animated by the Gospel. Through learning, celebrating and reaching out to others, our students encounter and discover God’s presence in their daily lives.



At St. John XXIII Primary School, we have high expectations for every child in developing essential literacy skills and strategies, in order to actively participate in an ever changing world. We use the Victorian Curriculum to plan, teach and assess in the areas of Reading and Viewing, Writing and Speaking and Listening. 


We believe that effective literacy is:

  • Engaging and explicit - promoting a love of reading and writing through teacher modelling

  • Providing opportunities for oral language development through real life experiences and encounters  

  • Developing skills in both social and academic language and interactions

  • Ensuring a minimum growth of one year, for every child.

  • Encouraging all students to be authors and equipping them with the skills to do so

  • Highly structured and research based teaching which ensures success for all students

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At St. John XXIII Primary School we believe the proficiencies of Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving and Reasoning are fundamental to learning mathematics and working mathematically. As a consequence they are applied across all three stands, Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability. In Foundation to Year 2 the teaching of mathematics is based on challenging tasks. These include open ended problems which promote the four mathematical proficiencies. In Year 3-6 we use a Programme called MathUp which builds on learning in the junior school through the provision of collaborative open ended tasks. We are of the belief that assessment forms an integral role in our teaching and is therefore collected before, during and post mathematics units.

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Inquiry-based learning at St John XXIII encourages a student centred and active approach to learning. All students participate in Inquiry which sees them engaged with their learning and ultimately taking action for change. Students work through a two year cycle of Inquiry which is based upon rich concepts including Identity, Rights and Responsibilities, Innovation, Change, Systems, Sustainability and Culture and Tradition. Through the use of concepts to guide our Inquiry rather than pre planned units of work, the inquiring mind of each child is encouraged to explore the concept within the context of the Victorian Curriculum, our school and community contexts as well as the passions and interests of the students. It also allows for Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical, Intercultural and Personal and Social Capabilities to be embedded.


Students use the LAUNCH Process of Design Thinking to engage with Inquiry concepts. This is a student friendly model of the design thinking process that is widely used internationally, in a range of industries. Through the LAUNCH Cycle, students come to deeply understand the context of their learning, consider its purpose, critically reflect on their learning process, design and create solutions and LAUNCH their learning to a wider audience. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) learning is also incorporated into Inquiry at St John XXIII Primary School. 


Through participation in Inquiry and engagement with a STEM approach and Design Thinking, students are motivated and empowered to learn about real world issues and see that they can make a positive change in our world. This promotes inspired and passionate students who are lifelong learners and agents of change.

Kitchen Garden

As members of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation, we are proud to offer a dynamic and engaging Kitchen Garden program at St John XXIII Primary School . 

The kitchen garden program at St John XXIII Primary School has many benefits. It provides an engaging and hands-on educational experience for children. The core learning of the program is underpinned by the development of skills in the areas of Literacy, Numeracy, Science and Civics and Citizenship. 


The kitchen garden promotes healthy eating habits. Students learn about the benefits of fresh, healthy produce and how to prepare it. This supports the development of lifelong healthy habits. Students also learn about composting, recycling, and the importance of preserving natural resources such as water and soil.

The social benefits of our program are extensive. There are many opportunities for teamwork and leadership development as students work together to maintain the garden and create culinary delights. This can help build a sense of community within the school.



Volunteers are an extremely important component of the program. If you are able to assist in the kitchen or garden, under the supervision of one of our teachers, please contact Emma Canning at or ring the school

Kitchen Garden Program Donations

While we use produce grown in our garden during lessons, we always appreciate donations of non-perishable items such as flour, UHT milk, sugar, olive oil, rice, baking paper, foil etc. Please feel free to drop these items into the office, or send them to school with your child. 


Visual Arts

The Visual Arts program at St John XXIII is designed to provide an exciting and creative environment. Students are encouraged to take risks and challenge themselves to express their artistic abilities to create, make and respond through a variety of mediums. They learn to make choices when experimenting with materials, tools and techniques. Students participate in visual arts lessons once a week. 

During their time at St John’s XXIII the students will explore a wide variety of art mediums such as drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, construction, textiles and photography. Students will learn to communicate through their art, respond to the artworks of others and gain an appreciation of famous artists.


Physical Education

At St John XXIII our Physical Education program is designed to introduce students to a variety of sports and activities to engage and nurture their interest in active participation. Students develop physical skills such as balance, agility, coordination and stamina as well as ball and other sports specific skills such as throwing, catching, kicking, running and jumping based on the Victorian Curriculum requirements. Social skills in sport and activity are also developed through team, individual and multiplayer activities that focus on taking turns, playing with others and good sportsmanship. Also including encouragement of good habits such as warming up and hydrating during activity, the St John XXIII PE program provides a good foundation for students to build on to become, and continue to be, healthy and active individuals.


Language Other Than English - Italian

At St John XXIII students from Prep to 6 participate in a 60 minute weekly session learning the Italian language. A range of different experiences and activities are provided to foster a love of the Italian culture and language, engage students and develop knowledge and understanding of how the structure and grammar of the Italian language works as well promoting communication skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing.


Activities include listening to stories, singing, learning games to consolidate vocabulary introduced, role-playing and using ICT to research and play interactive games. Where possible the Italian program works alongside the classroom Inquiry units of work.


Each year at St John XXIII the students participate in Italian Day in which culture and language is celebrated. On this day the students dress up, attend a performance and immerse themselves in Italian cultural activities including music and dancing and eating pizza and gelato.

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Digital Technologies

At St John XXIII, we have a Digital Technology curriculum designed to help equip students with the necessary skills to succeed in the digital age. Our program fosters confident and capable users of digital technologies, enabling them to solve complex problems, think critically, and work collaboratively.

Digital Technology is taught as a specialised subject area and is also integrated across other key learning areas. Students have access to a range of hardware, including a bank of  shared iPads across classrooms, Chromebooks for 1:1 use in Years 3-6, and an interactive BenQ screen in each classroom. Additionally, students are taught other skills such as coding, robotics, and digital media production.


At St John XXIII, we recognise the importance of cyber safety and have partnered with the Cyber Safety Project to explicitly teach our students about online safety. Our lessons empower students to navigate the online world safely and become positive digital citizens.   


Extra Curriciular Activities

At St John XXIII Primary School we have an extensive extra curriculum including but not limited to:

  • Yr 5/6 Inter-school Sports Program

  • Yr P -4 Swimming Program

  • P-Yr 6 Outdoor Education Program which includes a P-2 Extended Day, Yr 3/4 Overnight Camp and Yr 5/6 Camp (3-5 days).

  • Music Bus (Instrumental Lessons)

  • School Concert

  • P-2 Gymnastics 

  • Student Representative Council (SRC)

  • Social Justice/Liturgy Group

  • Annual School Christmas Carols

  • School/Year Level Masses

  • Mini Vinnies Team

  • Lunch Time Clubs 

  • Sacramental Programs

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