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Our Learning

St Simon the Apostle Primary School Rowville

Religious Education 

St Simon the Apostle’s approach to Education in Faith is based on understanding, experiencing and evaluating what it is to be a Catholic in our contemporary world. Pedagogy of Encounter is used as a basis to plan for learning in Religious Education. As part of the planning process the children are given opportunities to take their knowledge and understanding outside the

classroom, into their community and into the real world.


Sacramental learning is incorporated as part of the classroom programs. Educators work in collaboration with the Parish to deepen and explore the Sacraments of Reconciliation, First Eucharist and Confirmation and together as a worshipping community we celebrate our students receiving their Sacrament. As members of the parish community our families are involved with Parish Celebrations and events and we often come together to celebrate special Feast Days.


Students are prepared for reception of Sacraments by their teachers, in collaboration with the Parish. Children are prepared for Reconciliation in Year 3, First Holy Communion in Year 4 and Confirmation in Year 6.


As members of the Parish, parents are expected to participate actively in the Sacramental programs, including attendance at Parent Information Sessions and Parent/Child Commitment Masses.


At St Simon the Apostle, we follow the evidence based practice of the Science of Reading. We follow the Victorian Curriculum to teach English in the areas of Reading and Viewing, Writing and Speaking and Listening.


At St Simon the Apostle, our Science of Reading knowledge is embedded in two reading models;

  • The Simple View of Reading by Gough and Tunmar (1986) and

  • Scarborough’s Reading Rope (2001)


Our approach to teaching English has been informed by four key Reading Reviews; USA National Reading Panel: Teaching Children to Read (2000), Australian National Inquiry by Ken Rowe (2005) and the UK National Reading Panel by Jim Rose (2006) and more recently the Grattan Institute Report: The Reading Guarantee: how to give every child the best chance of success by Hunter, Stobart & Haywood (released in February 2024).


We incorporate the five pillars of reading into our planning for, and teaching of, English across Foundation - Year 6. This ensures we cover phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. All of these pillars are underpinned by explicitly planning for, and providing opportunities to, develop students’ oral language.


At St Simon the Apostle, we use the InitiaLit program from Foundation to Year Two.

  • Foundation students focus on systematically taught basic alphabetic code in a set sequence, vocabulary, oral language and listening comprehension through children’s literature.

  • Year One students are systematically taught the basic and advanced alphabetic code following a set sequence, vocabulary, oral language and listening comprehension through children’s literature

  • Year Two students are taught spelling, reading comprehension and fluency, grammar, vocabulary and comprehension through children’s literature


We have an extensive English assessment schedule across the whole school to capture student growth. As a result, we use this data to identify students who require extra support. Our Intervention programs ensure that all students can achieve success in learning to read. The Intervention Team also follows the Science of Reading principles as we use a combination of InitiaLit, University of Florida Literary Institute (UFLI) and MacqLit. Extension activities are part of the differentiated teaching offered within our classrooms.


When teaching English throughout Foundation to Year 6, we are continuously developing expertise in delivering lessons using Explicit/ Direct Instruction. Daily Reviews are also an important component of daily lessons to ensure that concepts and skills are given maximum opportunity to become embedded in student knowledge.



At St Simon’s we believe that it is essential to equip our students with mathematical knowledge, understanding, skills and a positive attitude


We empower our students to become confident, competent and critical thinkers and enabling them to make connections with the real world.


We have a “Hands on” approach to learning Mathematics assisting students to develop their mathematical reasoning and understanding


We plan and deliver daily comprehensive sequences of learning , aligned with the F-10 Victorian Curriculum 2.0 and the Key Ideas for Mathematics Our Prep to Year 6 Mathematics curriculum ensures learning in:

  • Number and Algebra

  • Measurement and Geometry

  • Statistics and Probability


Teachers focus on teaching each child at their point of need and supporting each child to develop confidence in the understanding and application of Mathematical concepts


The use of concrete materials and visual representation during the learning of mathematical concepts is vital and a core practice used by our staff to assist in student learning.


This is achieved by embedding the following proficiencies into their learning:

  •  Understanding

  •  Fluency

  •  Problem Solving

  •  Reasoning

  • Our emphasis is on linking student’s learning with the understanding that Maths is a critical area of knowledge and skill in the real world

  • We aim to enable our students to not only understand mathematical concepts but to recognise how they are used in our world and to apply them in problem solving situations based on real life experiences

  • St Simon’s offers our students and families in Prep and Grade 1 unique experiences where we take our Maths lessons to the streets of Rowville. Maths On the Move highlights for students the many ways that we can make and use numbers in our everyday lives and how Maths surrounds us.

  • Our students participate in maths trails outside the school grounds around Rowville. A Maths Trail is an organised walk through an area close to St Simon’s where students experience maths in the real world. 


St Simon’s  Prep and Grade 1  students investigate various Mathematical concepts in small groups with the guidance of teachers, the School Maths Leader and of course our wonderful families. 


The main aims of the Maths On The Move are:


  • foster family engagement in maths

  • share the methodology of teaching maths in the early years

  • help children to see maths in everyday life

  • connect with the wider community

  • build a spark for maths


Physical Education

St Simon’s Physical Education program aims to develop in children an enthusiasm for physical activity while maintaining and encouraging enthusiasm. 

Our program is divided into the following components: fitness, dance, games and sports, swimming and water safety, outdoor adventure, athletics and ball skills.

The children experience a balance of enjoyable hard work and play; cooperation and competition; individual and group involvement; relaxation and adventure.


Outdoor Education

St Simon’s Outdoor Education Program provides a range of school and outside school based experiences for students from Prep to year 6. The Outdoor Program provides all students with experiences that strengthen social development, independence as well as developing leadership & outdoor skills. Our aim is to provide the best camp experience for all students to go home feeling confident in themselves with what they have achieved on camp. 

Each camp (even those held during the day on school grounds) are a great way of building respect and rapport. The opportunities these camps provide assist in preparing the students for the real world, increasing confidence and challenging them to participate and give their very best. The students develop an understanding of how to participate safely in the outdoors, an awareness of the environmental issues associated with outdoor environments, they experience a basic introduction into various outdoor pursuits and learn to understand and appreciate the relationship between people and outdoor environments.

Our camp and outdoor education program is delivered through the follow experiences:

  • Prep-Year 2: School based days where the teachers design a full day of camp activities to engage the students in new environments or challenge students to develop deeper knowledge in the outdoors.

  • Year 3 students attend an all day excursion.

  • Year 4 students have a 2 day and 1 night experience

  • Year 5 students attend a three day and two night experience that involves a variety of activities that explore new challenges.

  • Year 6 students attend a four day and three night camp that seeks to build resilience and give meaningful experiences where teamwork and strong interpersonal skills are put to the test with lots of engaging outdoor activities.


Visual Arts

At St. Simon the Apostle, our young learners delve into the exciting realm of Visual Arts. They have the opportunity to learn various skills, techniques, and processes while creating art using different materials. They also get to study a range of incredible artists and emulate some of their works. Our senior students get to leave their mark on St Simon’s by creating legacy pieces that are spread throughout the school. Through exploring a variety of forms, styles, and contexts, our students unleash their creativity.


We also host an enchanting biannual Art Show that showcases the amazing masterpieces crafted by our students. This event not only highlights their incredible talent but also fosters a deeper connection with our school community.



St Simon’s offers a developmental music program from Prep to Grade 6. Our music education program offers all students the opportunity to be actively involved for a 40 minute session each week per semester in learning music through singing and playing. 


Students at St Simon’s have opportunities in the music classroom to compose, create and perform music while developing a repertoire of songs that target specific skills appropriate to their level of learning music. Students learn traditional notation in rhythm and melody. 


Our music classes in Prep to Year 2 focus on beat, rhythm, tempo, pitch, instrument families and create their own beginner rhythms. Our Year 3 to 6 students receive tuition on recorder, keyboard and drumming as part of the classroom music education program to further develop and enhance music literacy skills and music language. 


Through individual and collaborative experiences that engage and enrich, students are given opportunities to continually develop their music skills and knowledge. Students are encouraged to use their music skills, imagination, creativity and expression. These experiences assist students to appreciate and engage in music, as well as laying a foundation for ongoing music learning and development throughout their lives.

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At St. Simon the Apostle, our students have the opportunity to learn Japanese, opening doors to a world of personal, social, and cultural experiences. By immersing themselves in the Japanese language, students embark on an exciting educational adventure, delving into the vibrant culture of a unique land. Join us in exploring the wonders of Japanese language and culture!



Welcome to Our STEM Program at St. Simon the Apostle!

At St. Simon the Apostle, we believe that STEM skills and capabilities are essential for our students, both now and in the future. Our school offers engaging STEM lessons for Prep to Grade 6 students that range from Digital Technology lessons to Engineering, aviation and more! 

Through our STEM program, students at St. Simon the Apostle develop important skills such as:

  • Problem-solving

  • Creativity

  • Critical analysis

  • Teamwork

  • Independent thinking

  • Communication

  • Digital literacy


In today's rapidly evolving world, technology is shaping how students learn and interact. The skills gained through STEM education not only help students succeed in school but also prepare them for future challenges.

Within our Catholic framework, we also focus on fostering ethical thinking and acting for justice and the common good within our STEM curriculum.


Join Us at St. Simon the Apostle to Explore the Exciting World of STEM!


Inquiry Learning

St Simon’s Inquiry Based Learning unit of work aims to give a level of ownership and responsibility to students, as well as fire up their imagination in creative ways as they investigate the questions they have about the world around them. They are encouraged to ‘take action’ that makes a difference to the lives of others around them, using what they have discovered in their investigations. Learning in this area capitalises on the students’ experiences and allows them to develop their personal learning styles and thinking skills.


Integrated Inquiry units of work allow students to investigate shared topics or questions over a period of time. A number of key Learning Areas are best taught within these units of work. These include Health, Civics and Citizenship, The Humanities, Science and Technologies.  


Inquiry learning is inclusive of:


The Humanities

  • Geography

  • History

  • Civics and Citizenship

  • Economics and Business


The Capabilities

  • Personal and Social

  • Ethical

  • Intercultural

  • Critical and creative thinking


Digital Technologies

At our school, we empower young minds to be fearless and imaginative creators of digital solutions! Through our engaging curriculum, students will explore information systems and fun problem-solving techniques. They will dive deep into the world of digital systems, data, and information. By learning how to create digital solutions, our students will be ready to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow with confidence. Join us on this exciting journey towards a digital future!


Research & Evidence Based Learning

As educators we are committed to being lifelong learners and we continuously ensure we are familiar with contemporary teaching methods and best practice so our students can be given the best opportunities to learn.


We are a Science of Learning school and we use these principles across the  teaching of the English and Mathematics curriculum in particular. These principles are based on John Sweller’s Cognitive Load Theory, Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction, Lorraine Hammond’s research into Explicit/Direct Instruction as well as High Impact Teaching Strategies to name a few. 

We undertake professional development that is aligned to our school goals. New staff are inducted into our culture of learning to ensure that we remain clearly focused on achieving our goals.


Learning Adjustments

Learning Support for Your Child

At St Simon’s, we understand that each child is unique and may have different learning needs. Our programs are designed to support every student individually, ensuring they receive the attention and guidance they require to thrive in the classroom.


Tailored Learning Plans

Students are assessed regularly to determine their abilities and tailor teaching methods accordingly. They are placed in groups based on their skills, allowing for personalized support and challenges within the class setting.


Diverse Support Programs

We offer various support programs to cater to the diverse needs of our students:

  • Personalized Learning Plans (PLPs) and group teaching

  • Assistance from our dedicated Learning Support Staff

  • English as an Additional Language (EAL) support


Inclusive Classroom Environment


We provide additional help or advanced tasks to all students in the classroom through targeted teaching and engaging activities. Our goal is to create a supportive environment where every child can succeed.


Diverse Learning Needs

‘Learning diversity’ refers to the infinite variety of life experiences and attributes a child brings to their formal learning at school’ (Horizons of Hope, 2017). At St Simon’s we have built an inclusive culture in which we embrace and support the inclusion and equity of all students with diverse learning needs in our school community. These diverse needs may include specific learning challenges, physical disability, gifted and talented students, new arrivals or ongoing illness or allergy. 

As part of our ongoing commitment to our students and families at St Simons, we have a Learning Diversity Leader who facilitates our Learning Diversity Service. This service provides support to these students, along with families and teachers, to ensure active engagement and enriching learning experiences for all students. This may involve initiating referral processes, assisting teachers to develop and implement individual learning programs for students, assisting with policy development and facilitating professional development for staff. 

The Learning Diversity Service will also liaise with specialists including Speech Pathologists, Psychologists, Occupational Therapists and Counsellors. The Learning Diversity Service ensures the effective use of resources, strategies and programs to cater for the needs, uniqueness and dignity of all students.

Extra Curricular Activities



Students are able to attend a range of lliturgies around the liturgical year as well as be immersed in Sacramental programs. Students and families are also welcomed to attend weekly services.  



Students academic excellence are recognised through a range of awards both from the School and local community groups including Tilly-Aston Award, Rowville Endeavour Excellence award and the SSV Academic and sporting award Students are also able to participate in a range of competitions such as the Australian Maths Competion. 



Students are involved in extra curricular Sporting Schools Victoria events including events such as cross country, athletics, swimming, winter and summers including football and soccer. 



In Visual Arts, students are able to create masterpieces through specialist classes that are displayed through our biannual Art show. In Music, students can join the school choir who have the opportunity to perform in front of our school and local communities.  

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Students in all classes across the school nomiate leaders to serve on the School Representative Council who meets throughout the term to discuss students needs. Our Grade 6 Students are also able to lead the school in Student Action teams representing different academic and social areas. 



Students are able to attend the Seasons for Growth program which is an evidence-based change, loss and grief education program that uses the imagery of the seasons to illustrate the experience of grief.  

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