The fourth of six defining features of Catholic schools calls the Shalom College community specifically to "Offer a relevant and holistic curriculum of quality teaching and learning . . . designed to meet the identified needs of the students in terms of their present and future role in society as active, informed and critical contributors." (Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton, 2004)
Shalom College responds to the challenge of offering a relevant and holistic curriculum that prepares students to become successful learners, creative and confident individuals and active and informed citizens. To achieve this our curriculum aims to develop the capabilities of: Literacy; Numeracy; Information and communication technology (ICT) competence; Critical and creative thinking; Ethical behaviour; Personal and social competence; Intercultural understanding. Underpinning this response is an emphasis placed on the development of the cross-curricular priorities of: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures; Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia; Sustainability.
These capabilities and priorities are translated into teaching and learning roles and experiences that are integrated throughout our curriculum programs in both the Middle and Senior Schools.
The study and application of ICT is integrated across the curriculum to support teaching and learning. ICT is also offered as a discrete learning area in Years 7 to 12.
The integration of ICTs across the curriculum is predicated on the notion that all teachers and students have a responsibility to develop capacity in the appropriation and application of new and dynamic technologies to facilitate learning. Fundamental to this notion is a belief that the needs of the curriculum drive the appropriation and application of technology rather than the converse and, further, that these curriculum needs are as personal and varied as the members of our learning community.
Core Studies as a curriculum organizer applies much of the research into the "Middle Years of Schooling" and seeks to improve the learning outcomes for all students between the ages of 10 and 15. Core Studies allows students to spend most of their time in a home class shared by a team of two teachers. Teachers in each team specialize in both Mathematics and Science or English and Humanities & Social Sciences. These teaching teams are encouraged to plan together to facilitate integration both across Core Studies and the curriculum generally where opportunities can be identified.
Students entering Year 7 (the first year of the Middle School) are divided into multi-ability classes. All classes follow a common programme of core learning areas covering religious education, Core Studies A (mathematics and science), Core Studies B (English, and humanities & social sciences) and health & physical education and future elective learning areas sampled for one term each including art, business education, catering & hospitality, ICT, industrial technology and design, LOTE (Japanese) and performing arts (dance, drama and music).
In Years 8 and 9, students continue to study the core learning areas of religious education, Core Studies A and Core Studies B. In Year 9, four elective subjects are chosen.
Students requiring extra tuition in literacy and numeracy are supported by the Learning Enhancement Unit. Provision is also made for those students ascertained with special needs. A "Focus" class is available to students with identified learning difficulties in Cores Studies A and B in Years 8 and 9.
Year 10 is part of the Senior school. It is a transitional year where students continue and complete core studies with a focus on "filling gaps" and "building bridges" toward future studies and work. In Year 10 all core subjects are treated as discrete subject areas. The Year 10 core subject areas are: Religious Education; English; Humanities & Social Sciences (currently History, Geography and Social Science); Mathematics and Science.
In the core learning areas of English, Humanities & Social Sciences, Mathematics and Science modules are offered in Semesters One and Two to allow students to continue to make the necessary transitions into relevant Senior subjects. The Australian Curriculum is taught in the core subject areas of English, History, Mathematics and Science from Years 7 to 10.
Year 11 and 12 students select seven subjects from a variety of Authority, Authority-registered, vocational and school subjects. The study of an English, mathematics and religious education course are compulsory. Allowance is also made for senior students who wish to undertake work placement, a traineeship or an apprenticeship while completing school.
Before Years 11 and 12, both students and parents are given advice on the organization of the curriculum, requirements for tertiary study, pathway options and career opportunities.