Key Learning Areas

At St Margaret Mary’s Primary we believe that education should value the uniqueness of students and empower them to reach their full potential

Education should enable children to value and respect cultural diversity and encourage tolerance education is a lifelong process that values the past and meets the challenges of the future. Education needs to develop in children the skills of cooperation, independence and interdependence. At St Margaret Mary’s Primary we promote a caring and accepting learning environment that encourages individuality and resilience. As 21st Century educators we arenenthusiastic and open to new ideas, ensuring best practice.

At St Margaret Mary’s we follow seven Key Learning Areas (KLAs) as outlined below. Excluding Religious Education, studies of these Key Learning Areas are based on the syllabus and support documents set by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA).

What we teach

This curriculum area covers Music, Visual Art, Dance and Drama. These areas make a valuable contribution to a students’ overall understanding of themselves and their environment. We aim to incorporate this Key Learning Area into many aspects of our school. It is taught by all class teachers as well as extra time being taught by specialist Creative Arts teachers.


Music is used throughout our day at St Margaret Mary’s. We use music to celebrate our faith during Mass and during class prayer times. Songs are also used in various learning spaces to facilitate gathering, moving between activities and packing up. We have a developing school band and choir, where students are encouraged to display their talents during school and at out of school performances, such as liturgies and Mass.

Visual Arts

Visual Arts often forms an integral part of other Key Learning Areas and assists children in expressing their knowledge in another way. Students use many forms of media to develop a range of items that are showcased in their learning space and also during school assembly. Students are encouraged to appreciate different artists and their styles, such as Aboriginal artists, and develop their own unique style to display to others.


Dance gives students an understanding of the way their body works and allows all students to perform, compose and appreciate dance using a range of skills. Students are encouraged to participate in a wide range of styles and dance activities, including performing for others to develop self-confidence, and in groups to strengthen teamwork skills. Performances may be in class situations or for wider audiences, such as during liturgies and school assemblies. 


In Drama, students learn how to investigate their world through devising plays, role-plays and imagined situations. During performances, they develop an understanding of dramatists, actors and playwrights, and the skills of being a good audience to others. During Drama, students are given the opportunity to be something or someone else in a fun, safe and structured environment.

At St Margaret Mary's Primary, the study of HSIE is seen as crucial for the future wellbeing of our society. Therefore students are provided with opportunities to interact with each other and with their cultural, social and physical environments.

Learning in HSIE should result in:

  • developing empathy with others
  • exploring the society to which they belong
  • developing a sense of personal identity and where they stand in the wider community
  • acquiring skills needed to improve the quality of our society and our environment.

At St Margaret Mary’s we place a strong emphasis on quality teaching of literacy. Our open-learning spaces provide a rich focus for all strands of the English syllabus. We are aware of the rich diversity of the cultural backgrounds from which our students come. The English K-6 (1998) Syllabus provides students with the foundation for learning that will enable them to participate fully in society.

Open learning across all Grades K-6 show evidence of containing all elements of a balanced literacy program.

We recognise that we must cater for students’ individual needs, abilities and skills in order to lead our students to become independent learners. Our open learning spaces lead to flexible and connected English learning. We support the use of technology and our students are encouraged daily to challenge themselves.

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At St Margaret Mary's Primary we focus on four core strands from the Australian Curriculum. We integrate technology into our lessons, focus on cooperative learning strategies and base our teaching practices on open learning tasks.

Structure of the Numeracy Block

Our numeracy block is structured in three sections, which includes:

  • Number Warm Ups
  • Open/Rich Tasks
  • Reflection

Working Mathematically

Students will develop understanding and fluency in mathematics through inquiry, exploring and connecting mathematical concepts, choosing and applying problem-solving skills, and mathematical techniques, communication and reasoning.

Number and Algebra

Students will develop efficient strategies for numerical calculation, recognise patterns, describe relationships and apply algebraic techniques and generalisation.

Measurement and Geometry

Students will identify, visualise and quantify measures and the attributes of shapes and objects, and explore measurement concepts and geometric relationships, applying formulas, strategies and geometric reasoning in the solution of problems

Statistics and Probability

Students will collect, represent, analyse, interpret and evaluate data, assign and use probabilities, and make sound judgements.

PDHPE develops the knowledge, skills, understanding, values and attitudes students need to lead healthy, active and fulfilling lives.

The three broad strands of PDHPE are:

  • Fundamental Movement and Physical Activity
  • Healthy Choices
  • Self and Relationships.

This Key Learning Area increases the awareness in our students of the importance of a healthy lifestyle and a growing recognition of the need to be active, responsible and informed decision makers.

Our PDHPE program offers the students the knowledge and practical skills to develop personal fitness, the ability to make informed decisions about health and lifestyle, and promote growth in self-esteem and social responsibility.

The study of PDHPE is an important area within our primary curriculum as it is concerned with:

  • adopting an active lifestyle
  • body movement and coordination
  • physical, social, cognitive and emotional growth
  • personal health choices
  • living and learning in a safe secure environment
  • developing and maintaining positive interpersonal relationships.

The PDHPE program implemented at St Margaret Mary’s provides opportunities for students to explore and form positive attitudes about themselves and others, to communicate effectively, work cooperatively with others, and to develop and maintain positive relationships. It promotes physical activity and emphasises informed decision-making leading to effective and responsible actions. This learning area follows the course of studies for Primary schools prescribed by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA).

At St Margaret Mary’s school we believe that we are on a lifelong journey of faith development. Therefore, the study of Religious Education forms an integral part of the school curriculum. This education enables the children to:

  • know and love God
  • develop awareness that God is our friend who loves us and walks with us
  • grow as an active and supportive member of our Catholic faith community
  • develop an understanding of the traditions and doctrine of our faith
  • know, share and respond to Jesus’ message of love, by exploring and understanding the scriptures.

As with all Catholic schools in the Diocese of Parramatta we use the diocesan Religious Education program called Sharing our Story. This program incorporates life experiences, scripture, Catholic doctrine, reflection and prayer.

At St Margaret Mary’s we strive to model a loving faith community where prayer is integral to the daily life of the school and the children regularly actively participate in liturgies.

St Margaret Mary’s sacramental programs are parish-based with the school supporting and assisting the program.


Science & Technology

Science and Technology is the study of both natural and man made elements within our world. The four main focus areas for student study of Science and Technology are Investigating Scientifically, Designing and Making, The Natural Environment, and the Made Environment. Through the study of Science and Technology students will select and safely use a variety of resources including computer-based technology and communicate messages using a variety of media.

Investigating Scientifically

Kindergarten (Early Stage One)

Students explore their immediate environment by using the senses, questioning, sharing ideas and identifying simple cause and effect relationships.

Years 1 and 2 (Stage One)

Students conduct guided investigations by following a series of steps that include questioning, making and testing predictions, collecting and recording data, observing patterns and suggesting possible explanations.

Years 3 and 4 (Stage Two)

Students begin to take a more independent role in implementing scientific investigations. Elements such as observing, questioning, predicting, testing, recording accurate results, analysing data and drawing conclusions are all areas of focus for these investigations.

Years 5 and 6 (Stage Three)

Students are expected to take a fully independent role in developing and implementing questions for scientific investigation. Students will also begin to identify deeper into their investigations looking for trends in data, evaluate findings and prepare possible explanations.

Designing and making

Kindergarten (Early Stage One)

Students explore ideas, manipulate materials and trial designs through play to develop products and built environments.

Years 1 and 2 (Stage One)

Students follow a guided design process to create products, including information products, services and built environments. They draw and model design ideas using accepted methods and practices.

Years 3 and 4 (Stage Two)

Students are guided through opportunities to develop and evaluate a design idea that meets certain needs of users or audience with growing independence. They implement the design process and evaluate solutions using functional and aesthetic criteria.

Years 5 and 6 (Stage Three)

Students are given the opportunities to independently plan, implement and manage the design process and evaluate the results using design criteria. In the design process they consider many factors such as the implications of design and production on the environment, aesthetic, cultural, ethical, safety and functionality.

The Natural Environment

Kindergarten (Early Stage One)

Students identify and group, living and non-living things and recognise the different needs of living things. They recognise different forms of energy and identify their use in daily life.

Years 1 and 2 (Stage One)

Students identify and describe ways in which living things grow and change. They identify a variety of energy forms and describe their use in the community.

Years 3 and 4 (Stage Two)

Students are asked to identify and describe structures and functions in living things and how they interact with each other and their environment. In doing this they are asked to identify various forms and sources of energy and identify ways in which these can cause change. They also identify features of the solar system and interactions that affect conditions on Earth.

Years 5 and 6 (Stage Three)

Students are asked to identify, describe and evaluate interdependent relationships between living things and the environment within ecosystems. These are looked at through identifying and describing various sources, forms, uses, transfers and changes in forms of energy. Students explore how natural forces and human interactions can causes changes to the Earth. Students recognise that the Earth is the source of most materials and resources and must be managed for sustainability.

The Made Environment

Kindergarten (Early Stage One)

Students identify ways in which familiar products, including information products, services and built environments meet the needs of people.

Years 1 and 2 (Stage One)

Students identify the difference between natural and built environments and model built environments designed to suit the needs of the users.

Years 3 and 4 (Stage Two)

Students identify the ways built environments products and services are constructed and produced. They communicate design ideas to specific audiences through a variety of techniques, media and information and communication technologies. Students explore the properties and uses of both natural and made materials and components.

Years 5 and 6 (Stage Three)

Students recognise that built environments are created to meet needs and requirements of people and communities. They identify techniques used to engage an audience and convey meaning when creating information products. Students identify and explain changes that have occurred over time to manufacture products and provide services.

Come and see learning in action at St Margaret Mary's!

We'd love a chance to show you how learning works for young people in our school. Our dedicated teachers plan the learning in detail to help each student do their best.

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