Faith and Life

School Prayer

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy.
Watch over us as we gather together each day
Help us to love through truth
We are blessed to have our school founded in the tradition of St Francis and in the name of Mary.
Help us to feel your love in it and in us.


As people of peace and hope the Gospels are the foundation of all that we do.

All students, from Foundation to Year Six, participate in formal Religious Education classes through which they come to know the scriptures, especially the Gospels, and learn about the traditions, history and sacramental life of the Catholic Church. Whilst faith is a gift from God, we aim to nurture the children’s faith journey by assisting them to develop a relationship with God through which they come to know Him and His teachings. It is our aim to provide learning experiences for the children which enable them to respond to the world in the light of the Gospels so that their actions, decisions and relationships draw deeply on the example of Jesus Christ. Our hope is that throughout their lives they preach the gospel always through their actions in relationship with others.

During their primary school years, the children of Our Lady of the Nativity School receive three sacraments:

  • The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.
  • The Sacrament of Holy Eucharist
  • The Sacrament of Confirmation.

The sacraments of Penance and Eucharist are received in Year 3 and the Sacrament of Confirmation is received in Year Six. Throughout their primary schooling, however, all children are brought to a deeper understanding of the sacramental life of the church.

Prayer and liturgy are important elements of the children’s faith development as they provide opportunities for the children to deepen their relationship with God and experience being part of a faith community. Each day begins and ends with class prayer and the children are encouraged to contribute their own prayers of petition or thanksgiving at these times. The focus of our Assemblies is communal prayer and classes take turns to prepare and lead the community in a short prayer service that is an expression of their current RE unit, Church season or feast day, or in response to a current issue that requires people of faith to respond or stand in solidarity with those in need.

Participation in sacramental liturgy (Mass) is also an important element of the children’s education in faith. Each Friday a year level prepares, and participates in, the regular parish mass, joining with members of our parish community to celebrate the Eucharist. On major feasts and special days, the whole school attends mass, again with parishioners, to celebrate, remember, pray and give thanks.

Student Liturgy leaders play an important role in the preparation of prayer services and masses and highlighting significant seasons, feasts or social justice actions and causes.

As a school community we are committed to the promotion of the principles of Catholic Social Justice. St Francis of Assisi lived a life true to the Gospels and as such the plight of the poor, the outcast and those in need of peace in their lives were of prime importance to him.

In living out Franciscan charism we actively support the following organisations:

  • Our local St Vincent de Paul Society through food donation and a Christmas gift collection.
  • Caritas Australia.
  • The work of the Franciscan community of St Peter and Paul Parish, South Melbourne.
  • Franciscan communities abroad who work with the poor.

Throughout the year our children are encouraged to take action to help those less fortunate. This may involve ‘raising awareness’ campaigns, activities to raise money, action linked to their Inquiry units (one group of students made cakes for distribution at the Franciscan food van). A highlight of our social justice commitment is the annual student-run social justice fair where all students contribute…..

Inquiry Learning- The Primary Years Programme (PYP)

Teachers select units of inquiry by considering its relevance, significance and meaning through structured, purposeful inquiry, which enables students to investigate themes of universal importance across all curriculum areas. This allows for exciting, purposeful and challenging learning.

Students are encouraged to work together and share what they know, what they want to know and what they have learnt. They achieve this by formulating questions, based on the key concepts, which will direct the inquiry. The responsibility of the learning is shared between the teacher and the student through the development of attitudes, and the learning of essential skills and knowledge in order for students to find out about and understand ideas of global importance.

Why is learning like it is?

Current education research shows that children learn best when they are encouraged to actively ask questions and participate in finding answers or solutions to problems. The inquiry approach helps students to make connections between different areas of knowledge, rather than by learning things in isolation. Certain areas of knowledge may have to be taught as a stand-alone unit where appropriate.

How is it changing?

The curriculum is a living and growing document. This is why we as a staff are constantly reviewing and updating our curriculum through ongoing professional development both internally and externally. Facilitated planning (classroom teachers led by a curriculum leader) plays a vital role in the development of our program. It enables us to reflect on our programs and make appropriate changes for the benefit of our students.

Transdisciplinary Themes

Throughout the course of each year, six transdisciplinary themes are studied which are considered to be of lasting significance for all students and for all cultures. These themes provide a framework for teachers to design units of inquiry that incorporate national curriculum standards as well as opportunities for students to develop the skills, attitudes, concepts and knowledge needed to become internationally-minded people and life-long learners.

Inquiry based learning is transdisciplinary in nature. Teachers use structured inquiry to guide students through each unit while incorporating perspectives from a variety of fields of knowledge (science, mathematical, literacy, the arts, musical, historical, and so on) to build on their past experiences and reach new understandings.

The six transdisciplinary themes are addressed at each grade level, even though the individual units of inquiry based upon them are all unique and explore different aspects of the knowledge contained under each theme. In addition to six yearly transdisciplinary units of inquiry based upon transdisciplinary themes, students have experiences with explicit teaching in Reading, Writing and Maths, to ensure that they continue to develop their skills in fundamental areas.

The transdisciplinary themes are as follows:

Who we are An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health, human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.

Where we are in place and time An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.

How we express ourselves An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.

How the world works An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.

How we organize ourselves An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact of humankind and the environment.

Sharing the planet An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationship within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.

2019 Program of Inquiry

How Will You Know How Your Child Is Learning?

Students and teachers are actively involved in assessing students’ progress. Assessment involves the gathering and analysis of student performance and is designed to inform teaching and learning. It identifies what students know, understand, can do, and feel at different stages in their learning.

We use a balanced range of assessment tools and strategies, carefully designed to give students, parents and teachers a clear picture of a student’s progress.

Some of these strategies are:

  • Observations
  • Performance assessments such as presentations, debates and role-plays
  • Teacher-student/student-student conferencing and conversations
  • Open-ended tasks such as written answers and drawing illustrations and diagrams.

Some of the assessment tools are:

  • Rubrics: student and/or teacher-designed criteria
  • Benchmarks
  • Checklists

Anecdotal records: brief written notes based on observations of students


At Our Lady of the Nativity School we believe that active and effective participation in society and in the world at large is supported by the ability to speak, listen, read, view and write with confidence, purpose and enjoyment. In other words we can successfully participate when we are literate. We believe that Literacy is the foundation for effective learning in all areas of the curriculum. Our Literacy program aims to ensure that students achieve success through a rigorous and balanced program.

Our English curriculum follows Victorian Curriculum and is organised into three dimensions: Reading & Viewing, Writing and Speaking & Listening. Within these broad areas skills and strategies taught include:

  • Reading texts with fluency and phrasing
  • Comprehending (both literally and inferentially) texts read, viewed and listened to
  • Composing, editing and publishing written and spoken texts
  • Spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • Handwriting
  • The use of technology as a means of communication
  • Oral language activities including oral presentations and performances

To make practical use of the skills taught, authentic opportunities to integrate English with other curriculum areas is essential and explicitly planned for.

Our Literacy program is personalised to address the needs and interests of all students within the classroom through a range of individual, small group and whole class activities. Ongoing monitoring of student achievements assists teachers to identify student needs and to set goals for future learning in collaboration with each individual student. We boast a large contingency of classroom parent helpers and always welcome any assistance offered by the school and parish community.


At Our Lady of Nativity Catholic Primary School we believe we teach Mathematics to equip our students with skills, strategies and knowledge to actively participate and successfully function in society.

We believe students learn from each other and so we offer opportunities to work with others and discuss their thinking. We integrate concrete materials, cooperative tasks, computers and real life contextual problems into our Mathematic lessons.

We encourage and value children’s reasoning, strategies, and thinking. We believe in nurturing every child’s confidence in mathematics and teaching each child at their point of need.

Involving parents in their child’s education is important and we work closely with the parents and involve them in their child’s mathematics education.

Wall Documentation:

At Our Lady of Nativity Catholic Primary School it is our belief that the walls serve as the second teacher. Documentation is purposeful showing the process of learning and annotated providing further insights into learning.

As a community of inquiry we are encouraged to document our own wonderings and discoveries and to engage in professional dialogue sharing our professional practice.


Click here to view our latest Sustainability Newsletter.

Visit our sustainability site

Sustainability Vision Statement

Our Lady of the Nativity aims to reduce our ecological footprint by making conscious choices in our everyday actions following in the footsteps of St Francis. As stated on our school website, we want to be ‘concerned for the environment and committed to stewardship’ in our everyday endeavours living out our values for caring for God’s creation. Through actioning our shared values we hope to inspire others to do the same.

Sustainability Goals

  • To develop an environmentally conscious culture at Our Lady of the Nativity School and to filter that out into our surrounding community.
  • To reduce the amount of energy through smarter practices and greater efficiency as well as working towards using carbon neutral energy sources: Electricity – 5% decrease per year, Gas – 5% decrease per year, Greenhouse Gas – 5% decrease per year.
  • To minimise landfill waste output per year and increase the percentage of material that is reused, recycled and composted.
  • To minimise the consumption of mains water 5% decrease per year through maintaining improvements of plumbing systems and water conservation programs.
  • To improve biodiversity by increasing our school’s habitat quality index score as close to 70 as possible by planting indigenous species of plants and increasing the habitat area for local and indigenous wildlife.
  • To ensure our ‘green purchasing’ policy is implemented at our school and the wider community to reduce environmental impacts and educate the community on making environmentally friendly choices for life.

OLN Sustainability Expectations 2023

  • Switch off lights when not needed especially at recess and lunch – have a light monitor assigned in each classroom (this could be part of the Class rep’s role).
  • Open windows for cross flow ventilation before using the aircon units. If used, switch off the aircon unit when not needed (ensure it is between 22-24℃ in summer and 20 – 22℃ in winter; every degree costs a lot of energy) – have an aircon monitor assigned in each classroom (this could be part of the Class rep’s role).
  • Switch off the fan when not in use especially at recess and lunch – have a fan monitor assigned in each classroom (this could be part of the Class rep’s role).
  • Switch off the air purifier when not in use especially at recess and lunch – have a purifier monitor assigned in each classroom (this could be part of the Class rep’s role).
  • Use the black food waste bin for ALL food waste and sharpenings.
  • Use the soft plastics box for ALL eligible soft plastics to be recycled.
  • Use the scrap paper boxes for any paper that can be reused for example one sided paper can be used on the other side.
  • Use the blue paper recycling bin for any double sided paper that can no longer be used as scrap paper.
  • Use a refillable water bottle and reduce your waste in your lunchbox if possible.

Sustainability Coordinator

Alison Lappin

Current Recycling Programs

Wonder Recycling Bread Bag and Tags Program

Colgate Recycling Program

Student Wellbeing

Student wellbeing is at the heart of what we do at our school. Our vision statement proclaims that we provide a nurturing environment inclusive of all our members, striving to uphold the dignity of the human person. Through our holistic approach to education, we also profess a commitment to social justice and we encourage our members to be active participants in the global community. Pastoral care programs at our school are an expression of the vision of our school. Our whole school approach to wellbeing programs and practices are based on our understanding that the promotion of wellbeing is strongly linked to student academic outcomes.

The Student Services coordinator oversees the process of identifying those children who require extra assistance within the classroom. This assistance may be academic, behavioral or social and emotional. A Student Welfare Group operates to provide strategy support for teachers in assisting these students. Referrals may be needed to access further support. This can be done through the Catholic Education Office within the areas of Psychology, Speech Pathology or Educational Academic support. Referrals are also made to other outside agencies.

Program Support Group Meetings are scheduled regularly for the support of students with disabilities. These meetings are for parents, classroom teachers, the student services coordinator and learning support officers to set goals for these students.

We provide the services of a school counselor one day a week. Counseling is available for students in Prep –Grade 6 and the service is provided through Centacare Catholic Family Services. This service is provided by a probationary psychologist under the supervision of a registered Centacare psychologist.