Specialist Learning Areas

At St Catherine’s we encourage the natural curiosity of our students and support them to become lifelong learners, equipped with the necessary skills to solve problems in a contemporary world.

The disciplines explored through our specialist classes play a crucial role in providing opportunities for our students to become confident learners who appreciate Every student at our school learns to develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, practices and attitudes to be an engaged, robust digital citizen capable of shaping our future in the increasingly globalised and interconnected 21st Century.

In addition to the core curriculum, St Catherine's School runs specialist classes which are typically provided to all students for 40 minutes per week.

Specialist Classes

Once a week students enjoy Specialist classes in the areas of:

  • Physical Education
  • LOTE (Japanese)
  • Performing Arts , and
  • STEM (Science, Technology,Engineering and Maths)

Physical Education

Participation in Physical Education is an important part of the education journey for students at St Catherine's School. The Physical Education program places a strong emphasis on developing fundamental motor skills, strategies in game situations as well as physical fitness.

Prep students participate in activities that improve their essential motor skills. These activities are aimed at developing fitness, balance, hand eye co-ordination, spatial awareness and body control. Learning opportunities are designed to develop fine and gross motor skills through mini games and activities.

The students in Years 1 and 2 build on their existing fundamental motor skills. They learn new skills that they practise when participating in minor games.

In Years 3 to 6 the students work on mastering fundamental motor skills. They focus on developing game sense and learn strategies that will enhance their skills, when playing a variety of sports. They develop their ability to perform skills under pressure.


Students from Years 3 to 6 compete in Swimming, Cross Country and Athletics Competitions, where they have the opportunity to represent the school and compete against other schools at the District, Division, Regional and State levels.

Year 5/6 students participate in Interschool Sport during Term 1 and 2 competing against schools in our district area. They have a choice of participating in one of six different sports each term. Weekly training sessions take place to hone skills and practise strategies used in game situations.

Each year the Year 6 students participate in a Hooptime Basketball competition.

Fitness sessions take place before school on specified days, focusing on improving fitness while incorporating different sports into the sessions.

LOTE (Japanese)

The Language Other Than English program (LOTE) taught at St Catherine's School is Japanese. The core focus of the program is to expose the students to learning and communicating in a language other than English and to develop intercultural knowledge and language awareness.

The major focus is to help students to see themselves as global citizens of the future with greater sensitivity and a deeper understanding of the Japanese people, their language and culture.

Students are encouraged to practice conversational language, and to identify and imitate culturally appropriate language. The students repeat words and learn to ask and answer questions related to themselves, building a personal profile in Japanese. Students are also encouraged to join in songs, dance and art projects and be able to demonstrate awareness into the immersion of the Japanese language and culture.

Participation in Japanese enables students to develop their knowledge, understanding and skills to: 

  • communicate in the language they are learning
  • understand the relationship between language, culture and learning
  • develop intercultural capabilities
  • understand themselves as communicators.

Performing Arts

The Visual Arts program incorporates both art making and art appreciation in association with developing a visual arts language. Arts specialists take weekly lessons across the school where students learn to explore their creativity and imagination through a skills based visual arts program. Clear instructions on the correct use of tools, materials and techniques support the process of art making. Over the course of the year, students experiment with a variety of media including painting, drawing, construction, textiles, modelling and collage.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)

STEM is an approach to learning and development that integrates the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Through STEM, students develop key skills including:

  • problem solving    
  • creativity
  • critical analysis
  • teamwork
  • independent thinking
  • initiative
  • communication
  • digital literacy.

STEM is a curriculum-based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines, integrating concepts that are usually taught as separate subjects - science, technology, engineering and mathematics - in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications and emphasises the application of knowledge to real-life situations. What separates STEM from the traditional Science and Maths education is the blended learning environment and showing students how the scientific method can be applied to everyday life. It teaches students computational thinking and focuses on the real-world applications of problem solving. A lesson or unit in a STEM class is typically based around finding a solution to a real-world problem and tends to emphasise project-based learning.