At McAuley, we strive to continually improve our teaching practice and pedagogy to ensure best learning outcomes for each learner. Our teaching is informed by contemporary research from the fields of education, neuroscience and psychology.

Our educators are highly skilled and can deliver the curriculum in a variety of ways so that your child shows growth in learning.

We use explicit instruction for the delivery of literacy and numeracy on a daily basis. Practice, repetition and the development of neural pathways are three principles for effective teaching.  

Explicit Instruction

Our approach to teaching follows the principles of Explicit Instruction. 

Our educators support learning by breaking tasks into smaller, manageable chunks and offering guided practice followed by opportunities to independently practice.  By reducing their cognitive load, children find it easier to focus their mental resources on learning and retain information more effectively.

Cognitive Load Theory

The most important outcomes for learning are when we can transfer information from our short-term memory to our long-term memory and retrieve as required.  

The optimal learning environment requires a quiet learning space, minimal visual distraction and consistent routines.

Learning Routines

We have established consistent routines for learning across the school supporting learners to feel safe, secure and confident. They know what to expect and we know they have capacity and capability to meet these expectations. Learning routines also reduce learner's cognitive load and enable them to focus on learning.

Our Learning Neighbourhoods have been set up to support this with set seating during literacy and numeracy, tables and chairs for each learner and designed in a way that enables learners to focus on their educator.  

Assessment and Engagement Schedule

At McAuley, we have developed clear assessment schedules from Reception to Year 6.  This describes when, what and how we monitor the progress of your child.

Assessments are broad and include monitoring of learner progress. We use NAPLAN, DIBBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills), PAT-R (reading) and PAT-M (maths) and Classroom Pulse Survey.

As a result, we can determine if your child is on track or if intervention and additional support is required. 

Case Management meetings between Pastoral Care Educators and Leadership, held each term, are an opportunity to closely review a child's progress.

Diversity & Inclusion

We listen to the parents and caregivers on their hopes and aspirations for their child. Any learning challenges and/or disabilities are discussed at the enrolment meeting. We acknowledge that not every child meets their developmental milestones and together we can determine the best level of support and any adjustments that may be needed.

At McAuley, we have a Diversity & Inclusion Leader. In developing a Personalised Plan for Learning, or PPL, we work collaboratively with families.  When Allied Health Professionals are involved, we seek their expertise. These PPLs provide information for educators to ensure appropriate adjustments are implemented to support the child.

In 2024, our whole school is undertaking professional learning to better understand and cater for learners with a disability or on the autism spectrum.  We are the only school in SA to partner with the Positive Partnerships organisation.  Please click here to access the Positive Partnerships website.

We encourage you to have a conversation with us today.


We have whole school approaches in Literacy to ensure consistency in teaching practice and to ensure every child receives high-quality instruction. 

Learners from Reception to Year 6 engage in a daily literacy block which includes:

  • Word Study (phonological awareness, phonology and morphology) using the Heggerty and Playberry Laser structured synthetic phonics resources to support our teaching.
  • Reading Fluency Pairs where learners read an 'at year level' text with a partner and provide feedback to each other on their reading including rate, expression and reading punctuation.  This supports comprehension which is the ultimate goal of reading. 
  • Reader's Workshop where learners explore the habits, behaviours, skills and strategies of strong readers through the exploration of a variety of text types.
  • Writing where learners create multimodal texts of different genres with attention to language and grammar features.


This year we are focusing on explicit instruction and have engaged in a learning project with the Australian Education Research Organization (AERO).

This project has a specific focus on the area of numeracy. The benefit of being selected for this partnership, is there is a consistent approach to teaching numeracy across the year levels. 

The benefit of this approach is your child is focused and engaged in learning. 

Our numeracy block includes: 

  • Daily review of previously taught concepts
  • Explicit teaching of skills and concepts in number, algebra space, measurement, statistics and probability
  • Opportunities to transfer through real-world applications, investigations and discovery

Reporting on Learning

At McAuley we recognize parents and caregivers are the first educators of their child and invite a Family Conversation at the start of each school year with the Pastoral Care Educator. 

We welcome the opportunity to share learning by holding Open Mornings or Afternoons for existing families twice per annum.

Seesaw is our learning app and celebrates and shares with families, learning in Neighbourhoods and whole school events.

Family Conversations with Parents or Caregivers are held at the start of each school year with your child's Pastoral Care Educator. This is an opportunity to meet and share insight about your child, hopes for the coming year and to begin in building a strong partnership with our child's Educator.

Learning Conversations with Parents or Caregivers are held in Terms 1 and 3 to provide information about your child's learning progress.

connect and collaborate about your child's learning.

Written Reports with A to E grades are issued at the end of Terms 2 and 4.

Specialist Lessons

At McAuley, we have a specialist educator delivering the curriculum subjects of Physical Education, Music, AUSLAN as our second language and The Arts incorporating Visual & Media Art, Dance and Drama. Each year level participates in one lesson per week for each specialty subject.  

Physical Education introduces Reception to Year 2 learners to fundamental movement skills through collaborative games including tennis, soccer, football, basketball, tee-ball, cricket and athletics. 

Year 3 to 6 learners are exposed to sport-specific skills and strategies that prepare them to participate in team sport.  Tennis, volleyball, soccer, football, netball, touch football, athletics and European handball or tee-ball and cricket. 

Music focuses on the ability to perform and compose music by developing your child's aural and theory skills. This includes your child exploring, responding and creating to reach their expressive potential. Opportunities are provided to develop listening and practice skills to enhance musicality.

Please click here for Extracurricular Music opportunities at McAuley. 

AUSLAN is the language for the deaf and hearing-impaired community.  By including AUSLAN as our choice of curriculum language, your child develops the knowledge, understanding and skills to communicate and develop an appreciation of the diversity of Deaf experience.

The Arts encompasses one term of Visual Art, Media Art, Dance and Drama

Visual Art explores knowledge and skills in observations and feelings about art. Your child will create an art portfolio in response to inspiration from play, imagination and literature. Learning will be shared on our education app Seesaw.

Media Arts is underpinned by Visual Arts and learners will learn about all forms of media using media language, technology and production processes.

Dance is an expressive movement with purpose and form.  It can engage, inspire and enrich all learners, exciting the imagination and encouraging them to reach their creative and expressive potential.

Drama develops empathy and explores basic body movement, shape and rhythm.  Your child will explore performance in a range of improvised and scripted forms and styles working individually and collaboratively.


There are consistent timetables across Learning Neighbourhoods to provide optimal conditions for learning and collaboration between educators and learners.

English/Literacy is in the morning followed by Maths/Numeracy and Religion in the middle block. Integrated studies which include Science, HASS, Health and Design Technologies are in the afternoon. Extra fitness activities, school events and other are scheduled after lunch where possible to ensure Literacy and Numeracy is prioritised.

Please click on the link below to see an example of our 2024 timetable for a Year 2 Pastoral Care Group: