Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program
The fundamental philosophy that underpins the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program is that by setting good examples and engaging children’s curiosity, as well as their energy and their taste buds, we can provide positive and memorable food experiences that will form the basis of positive lifelong eating habits.
Students across some year levels will participate in Kitchen/Garden lessons where they will learn skills which will extend beyond the kitchen and garden across the whole curriculum. The skills that students learn by participating in this program will last them a lifetime. There will also be Kitchen/Garden lessons offered to interested students at lunchtime.
Chess Program – Optional In-School Program
Extensive findings of world-wide research reveal the huge benefits for children learning to play chess. Participation in the chess program aims strengthen a child’s mental clarity, fortitude, stability and overall health through high quality chess coaching. We believe that chess can be used as a metaphor for life – You must be responsible for your actions, make a move, and plan ahead.
Coaching is based on the following pillars:
Determination: It is vital that we remain active and resourceful and never give up. We strive to teach the values of relentless determination.
Patience: An important attitude throughout life, which sets the foundations for success.
Discipline: A disciplined approach always comes with huge rewards. Applying ‘good practice’ principles provides an excellent foundation to build from.
Responsibility for our Actions: Take pride in your achievements with your wins and understand how you can improve with your losses.
Respect: Chess is a courteous game and the respect we give to our players is paramount both during a game and in the street.
An opportunity to participate in the Far North Queensland Chess tournament in Cairns are offered in Terms 1, 2 and 3
Instrumental Music Program – Optional In-School Program
Instrumental music lessons are an elective offered to students wishing to develop instrumental skills.
Learning to play an instrument is not only a rewarding experience, but a proven method of enhancement for academic studies and the rounded development of young students.
The program offers tuition on stringed instruments, keyboard, woodwind, brass and percussion.
Students attend lessons either individually or in a small group during the school day. The lesson times may be rotational or constant at the principal’s discretion. Lessons are delivered by either private tutors or staff employed with Catholic Education Services.
Junior and Senior Choir – Optional In-School Program
Research has shown the many benefits of learning music. It can help students’ self-confidence, self-discipline and team work. Music helps students progress
in other important learning areas such as Maths and English. Indeed, countries with a strong focus on music education tend to have higher scores in literacy and numeracy. Engaging music programs have been shown to help with attendance and can be particularly beneficial for students who are not achieving well in school. All this evidence for music’s extrinsic benefits make a strong case for music education but should not overshadow the sheer joy people experience making music, nor the value of the art form itself.
“I would teach children music, physics and philosophy; but more importantly music; for in the patterns of music and all the arts, are the keys to learning.”
Robotics and First Lego League – Optional After School Program
LEGO Robotics is a body of teaching and learning practice based on LEGO Robotics kits, popular sets of materials that enable individuals without formal training in engineering and computer programming to design, build, and program small-scale, robots. LEGO Robotics materials and practices represent a highly motivating, highly engaging basis for standards-based learning across the curriculum, with particular value in the four STEM subject areas. LEGO Robotics enables and facilitates progressive approaches to instruction, such as project-based learning and problem-based learning, hands-on learning (learning by making things), collaborative learning, authentic learning and assessment, and constructivist learning.
Guided by adult Coaches, FIRST LEGO League teams research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design, build, program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology, then compete on a table-top playing field.
It all adds up to tons of fun while they learn to apply science, technology, engineering, and math concepts (STEM), plus a big dose of imagination, to solve a problem. Along their discovery journey, they develop critical thinking and team-building skills, basic STEM applications, and even presentation skills, as they must present their solutions with a dash of creativity to judges. They also practice the Program’s signature Core Values.
The FIRST LEGO League Core Values are the cornerstones of the program. They are among the fundamental elements that distinguish FIRST LEGO League from other programs of its kind. By embracing the Core Values, participants learn that friendly competition and mutual gain are not separate goals, and that helping one another is the foundation of teamwork.
- We are a team.
- We do the work to find solutions with guidance from our coaches and mentors.
- We know our coaches and mentors don’t have all the answers; we learn together.
- We honor the spirit of friendly competition.
- What we discover is more important than what we win.
- We share our experiences with others.
- We display Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition® in everything we do.
- We have FUN!
(taken from FIRST LEGO LEAGUE http://www.firstlegoleague.org/ )
STEM Club – Optional After School Program
STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. (can also be referred to as STEAM with the inclusion of art). Students gain and apply knowledge, deepen their understanding and develop creative and critical thinking skills within an authentic context. It may include inquiry and project-based learning.
At St Thomas’s, students in Years 4-6 have the opportunity to participate in an after school STEM Club. The students choose an activity within one of the disciplines that they complete over the course of one term. Students need to apply and be accepted to participate.
Alternatively, a lunchtime STEM Club is open to Prep to Year 6. The activities differ and change each week.
St Thomas’ has a designated STEM Hub. This is located in building (K BLOCK).
These three spaces include:
- K1 (Coding Corner): open plan classroom with minimal furniture. Contains Spheros, Dash and Dots and 10 iPads for use.
- K2 (LEGO Land): classroom with high benches and large work table. Contains various construction LEGO kits, EV3 robotics kits and laptops for programming EV3s.
- K3 (Garden Oasis): large, outdoor (undercover) table space and garden.
Sporting Schools Program – In School and After School Programs
Sporting Schools is all about fostering a lifelong interest in sport among Australian children.
Its key purpose is to encourage more children to do more sport-based activities, and empower schools to help them do that. Central to schools achieving that outcome is the expert, enthusiastic involvement of sporting organisations, clubs and coaches.
Sporting Schools is committed to helping sport, schools and communities work closer than ever before to grow sport activity in primary schools.