Learning & Teaching


At St. Malachy’s School, we aim to promote the personal, academic and spiritual development of our students so that they are ‘pursuing fullness of life’.  To do this, we promote the holistic development of our students through the curriculum, learning experiences, feedback and teaching approaches so that students can develop into active and socially conscious citizens that integrate well into faith and life.  Integral to improving student outcomes is learning and teaching, curriculum, assessment and reporting.

At St. Malachy's School, we believe that a quality education will prepare our students for the world of tomorrow.  We aim to promote creative and reflective thinking in a safe and personalised environment so that our students grow into well adjusted and active participants in society.


At St. Malachy's School, we believe that a strong literacy program provides a good basis for all other learning.  With this in mind, we have a strong focus on literacy learning.  Students have a daily, uninterrupted literacy block that focuses on the areas of spelling, reading and writing. During the literacy block, each classroom has a 'Boost Teacher' to provide extra support and ensure students are given the attention they need to thrive in literacy.


Spelling is a key focus area at St. Malachy's School.  Each student has an individualised weekly spelling program that is underpinned using elements from THRASS, a well-regraded phonics program and SMART spelling.


Each student participates in a daily reading program structure using the early years guided reading principles, in which students receive individual attention through guided reading groups to reach their individual reading goals.  Our reading program uses the OLSEL (Oral Language Supporting Early Literacy) principles of:

  • Phonemic and Phonological Awareness (the sounds that letters and combinations of letters make)
  • Vocabulary Development
  • Story Grammar
  • Understanding and using longer and more complex sentences​​


The writing program at St. Malachy's School is based on the Victorian Curriculum. At the beginning of each new genre, students complete a writing sample that allows the teacher to develop a program suited to each student's needs.  The students are then able to celebrate their learning progress through comparing their initial writing sample with the sample they create post learning the new genre.​



The students at St. Malachy's School study a daily mathematics program that follows the Victorian Curriculum and is rich with hands on learning, real life examples and problem solving.

The students begin each mathematical unit with a pre-test so that each unit targets their individual learning goals.  The mathematics program is structured to provide activities at different levels so students are given tasks that suit their individual needs.  Each Friday, the student's study an enrichment program so that students work with other students from different classes on tasks that extend and enrich their learning.



Complementing our high standards of teaching in the core areas of literacy and mathematics, here at St. Malachy's, we believe that the holistic growth of our students is equally as important as their academic development.  Incorporating classes such as music, art, LOTE (Language Other Than English), physical education and religion, we aim to allow our students to flourish in all aspects of their education.  By teaching these more interactive and lateral classes, we cater to the learning needs of all students and we see the results of this in their personal and their academic progress. 



St. Malachy's School Edenhope, St. Joseph's Coleraine and Sacred Heart Casterton are the three schools which form the Western Trinity.  Our three rural Catholic schools are located in Western Victoria.

Teams from each of the schools collaboratively work to plan student learning using the PLC model (Professional Learning Communities).  There is a Junior Team made up of teachers who teach students in F/1/2 in each of the three schools and the Senior Team is made up of teachers from Year 3-6.  These teams meet weekly via video conferencing to plan together. Towards the end of a term, the Junior and Senior Teams meet face to face for a whole day of planning for the upcoming term.

Teams have set up CFAT's (pre and post tests) for writing and mathematics learning cycles, essential learnings, marking guides and proficiency scales. 

More recently, the Learning Support Officers and Specialist Intervention Teachers have formed a LIST (Literacy Intervention Support Team) group which will meet once a term to discuss intervention strategies and programs being used across the three schools. At St. Malachy's School, our focus is on excellence in learning.  We want to provide our students with a learning program that is the best it can be.  To achieve this, our teachers have banded with other teachers from like schools to ensure that our learning programs are not planned in isolation.

Through the Western Trinity, our teachers meet weekly with the other teachers from the other schools to share learning programs and ensure that our teaching program comes from a wider pool of ideas.  This results in a highly engaging, more targeted learning program.

​Students from each of the three schools combine to form three Houses - MacKillop, McAuley and Mercy.

In first term, they compete in a Swimming Carnival in Casterton; in term two, Coleraine hosts the Cross Country and St. Malachy's organises the Athletics Sports in term 3.  At the end of term 4, the three schools combine for a social day together.