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Teaching & Learning

Teaching & Learning

St Mary’s College is an engaging and supportive learning community that reaches well beyond the classroom walls.

We offer diverse educational opportunities for boys in Years 5 to 12.

Our curriculum is student-centred, catering to the specific needs and interests of boys. Teachers focus on stimulating and challenging students, developing problem-solving skills and fostering higher order thinking and questioning skills. Whilst the College challenges and extends students, it also sets realistic expectations so that all boys experience a sense of achievement and self-worth. 

Excellence in Teaching 

The teachers of St Mary’s College are a group of enthusiastic, passionate teachers who are committed to the pursuit of excellence and ‘Striving for the Crown’ in all aspects of College life, especially academia. They are a highly qualified and experienced staff who consistently contribute beyond expectations to ensure that St Mary’s boys have the best opportunities and educational outcomes. These people are passionate about their specialised teaching area and aim to enliven this passion in the boys of the College. 

The Catholic Curriculum 

St Mary’s College is a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition. At its heart, it is God-centred, and so too, is our College Curriculum. The Catholic ethos of the College is lived through every aspect of College life, including the diverse curriculum offered.

In the classroom, the Catholic tradition is expressed in numerous ways, in the religion classroom, but also beyond it. We embrace the Gospel values in curriculum through prayer, through values taught, discussed and explored, through specific text selection, through the relationships built and maintained and by the way we treat each other. This ensures that education at St Mary’s is authentically Catholic and delivered in the Edmund Rice tradition. 

Boys’ Education  

Educational performance at school can vary depending on the gender of the student – but there can be a wide range of contributing factors, many of which can be improved by an effective learning environment. In addressing the educational needs of boys, our aim at St Mary’s College is to provide an environment where the widely-held social perceptions of men and boys can be challenged, and boys can embrace a healthier, more constructive definition of what it is to be male. 

The curriculum at St Mary’s is designed to engage the interests of boys and the teaching strategies are chosen in order to meet the needs of all learners. Our understanding of boys allows them to undertake risks at stages appropriate to their development and within a supportive, encouraging environment. 

In the recent past, the College has been able to access the expertise of many experts and advisors in the area of boys learning, including Steve Biddulph and Ian Lillico. The College and the teaching staff have incorporated many of the suggestions from these and others, in order to create a school where boys learning, and engagement is maximised. 

Key strategies include: 
  • Curriculum design that connects with boys’ interest areas
  • Careful design and scaffolding of assessment tasks
  • Programs that enable the demonstration of care and concern for others
  • Classroom planning that emphasises dynamic learning (such as interactive or hands-on resources)
  • Optimal ‘teaching to doing’ ratios
  • Opportunities for reflection and self-analysis to enable realistic planning
  • Building relationships
  • Consistency and fairness

2023 Subject Selections