Key Learning Areas

The Board of Studies NSW sets the learning requirements for each stage of primary school. The four stages are:

(Years 1 & 2)
(Year 3 & 4)
(Years 5 & 6)

The Board’s syllabuses state what must be covered in these six Key Learning Areas:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science and Technology
  • Human Society and its Environment (HSIE)
  • Creative Arts
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE).


The NSW Board of Studies provides the English K–6 Syllabus upon which the students’ learning in English is based. The outcomes in this syllabus describe the knowledge, skills, understandings and strategies that students demonstrate when learning to talk, listen, view, read and write. English is the most critical academic key learning area in the primary school. St Francis Xavier’s School has an ongoing commitment to high quality literacy teaching and learning which will assist the students in becoming competent when using language in a range of situations.

English also has a wider role as a means of achieving success in all of the Key Learning Areas. A variety of strategies are used to teach all aspects of reading in each class on a daily basis. The children’s progress in reading is carefully monitored by classroom teachers and children are encouraged to set goals and personal challenges in their learning.


Children at St Francis Xavier’s are actively involved in discovering and learning Mathematics in a stimulating and challenging environment. Mathematics is outcomes-based with a hands-on and open-ended approach catering for all ability levels. A range of appropriate resources are available such as smartboards, student-centred concrete materials, teacher references, all of which are based on the NSW Board of Studies K-6 Mathematics Syllabus.

Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE)

HSIE ensures the development of understandings, skills, attitudes and values about people and their religious, social and physical environments, which enhance each student’s sense of personal, community, national and global identities and enables the student to participate effectively in maintaining and improving the quality of their society and environment. This comes through exposure to the world and its people through studies of the following four strands:

  • Change and Continuity
  • Cultures
  • Environments
  • Social Systems and Structures

Students are provided with first-hand experience to enhance their learning through excursions and guest speakers. Students are provided with opportunities to use technology to enhance their learning experiences.

Science & Technology

This subject involves the students investigating scientifically, designing and making and/or learning about natural and man-made environments. Students are encouraged to explore their immediate environment by using their senses, and by questioning and sharing ideas. All Science units are linked to outcomes and, where possible, are integrated with the other KLAs.

Science & Technology is an important Key Learning Area in the Catholic School and is highly valued by the wider community. The rate of technological change in our world means that the study of Technology is vital for our children. Young people need to be well equipped to be active participants in a scientific and increasingly technological society. Teaching & Learning strategies promote the care of our world and its natural resources and inspire hope and a positive vision for the future.

In Science & Technology students develop competence, confidence and responsibility in their interactions with science and technology. Children in all grades have access to modern computer facilities and other IT equipment including Smartboards, laptops, Ipods and Ipads.

Personal Development, Health & Physical Education (PDHPE)

Physical Education

Sports skills and fitness are taught across all grades from K-6. Various programs operate throughout the year.


A health program is followed by all grades, following guidelines from the NSW Board of Studies’ PDHPE Syllabus.

Personal Development (PD)

PD is integrated into the Religious Education program and is also linked to Science and Technology, and to various Health units.


St Francis Xavier’s School has a long tradition of sporting achievement and participation across a wide range of sports. Interests and ability levels are catered for with children able to participate in a variety of sports including netball, cricket, softball, athletics, football (league, touch, soccer and union). We offer opportunities for students to compete against other schools in a selection of local and regional events such as Gala Days as well as Diocesan athletics, swimming and cross country carnivals.

Creative Arts (CAPA)

Music / Visual Arts / Dance / Drama

St Francis Xavier’s prides itself on our high standard of music instruction, with an accomplished specialist Music teacher, Mrs Julie Fawcett teaching classes for Music and Choir across K-6. Our school has a well-resourced Music room with a range of percussion and other instruments which make music an enjoyable experience and one that is keenly anticipated by all of the students. Students have the opportunity to develop their skills in appreciating and creating music, singing, listening and percussion. We regularly participate in the local Narrabri Eisteddfod with outstanding results. Dance is taught by specialist teachers in Term 3 with a whole school Dance Extravaganza held each year. Students also have an opportunity to learn an instrument and be part of the St Francis Xavier’s School Band, taught by Mrs Rosemary Smith (see Extra Curricular activities).

Learning Support

St Francis Xavier’s caters for students with identified additional needs through the Learning Support Team. A Student Support Teacher is employed two days per week to support teachers with students who have recognised learning disabilities. These students are usually identified at enrolment and may be eligible for funding for support by a Teacher Assistant. Classroom teachers and the Student Support Teacher are also available to meet with parents to discuss the best way to support their child with any learning difficulties.

The school provides support for students through:

  • A Student Support Teacher and Education Assistants who work with Integrated students
  • School based one-on-one assessments when requested
  • Assistance provided for teachers in the form of programs of work and/or resources
  • Consultation with recognised therapy providers and community support groups