LOTE and Asian Studies

Asian Studies

Asian Studies opens up an understanding of our nearest neighbours and our place in the world. At St Therese our LOTE and Asian Studies programs offer students the opportunity to learn the Indonesian language and to investigate the spiritual, social and cultural context of the many countries of Asia.

The Australian Curriculum establishes that, by the time they leave school, all young people will have developed Asia literacy through gaining foundational and in-depth knowledge, skills and understandings of the histories, geographies, societies, arts, literatures and languages of the diverse countries of Asia and their engagement with Australia.
 

We believe Australian students benefit if they are able to relate to and communicate across cultures, especially the cultures and countries of Asia. The development of a striking, Asian inspired garden at St Therese has stimulated mindfulness of our Asian neighbours and its development was one of the many diverse opportunities we offer at St Therese for students to explore cultural diversity.


LOTE - Languages Other Than English

Learning another language extends opportunity for communication and appreciation of differences. At St Therese we will develop the students’ trans disciplinary skills as a learner in these areas:

  • Thinking skills- Acquisition of knowledge, facts, ideas, vocabulary
  • Communication skills- Speaking, Listening, Viewing, Presenting, Reading, Writing
  • Social skills- Respecting others, recognising others have beliefs, viewpoints, religions and ideas that may differ from their own.

 

St Therese and India

The Nadukuppam village is located in one of the most underdeveloped districts in the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India. There are 738 families below poverty line in this panchayat (with a population comprising of 1144 households). The population is predominantly rural, and just under a third belongs to Scheduled Castes. According to the 2001 census, only 22 percent of villages in this district have access to electricity and safe drinking water and over half the households are living in temporary housing.

Pitchandikulam Forest is located thirty kilometres from Nadukuppam and has been working in the villages in this region for the past twelve years. Initially the focus of programs was on providing the community with knowledge on sustainable land use, planning and eco-friendly practices, however in later years with funding support from Australia, the program has expanded to include environmental education, women’s empowerment and health. 
 

For many years, Pitchandikulam has explored opportunities to establish a functioning library at Nadukuppam High School. Due to high levels of poverty and geographical isolation from other town centres, students’ access to books has been extremely limited to date. Each student receives one book per year in line with the National Curriculum for reading and writing activities. In August 2010 Pitchandikulam sought support and assistance from St. Therese, Torquay, Australia to raise funds to implement the Library Project.

Initially it was proposed that students and families of St. Therese, Torquay would undertake some fund raising activities to buy books for the students in Nadukuppam High School. However with wide community support and enthusiasm the project expanded into the following areas:
Students and families in St. Therese, Torquay undertook numerous fund raising activities including sausage sizzles, raffles, dancing competitions and one Year 1/2 class began producing their own cleaning products for sale with all proceeds being donated to the Nadukuppam library project.
 

The wider community was also engaged and funds were also received from the following organisations, schools and individuals:
• Parents and Friends of St Therese, Torquay
• Christ the Priest School, Caroline Springs
• Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Sunshine
• St James the Apostle School, Hoppers Crossing
• St Clement of Rome, Bulleen Staff
• St Theresa’s School, Albion
• St Anthony’s, Lara
• St Thomas Aquinas, Norlane
• St Francis Xavier’s, Corio
• Geelong School Secretaries
• Sullivan Family
• Arnel Investments
• McCausland Family


A group of 8 teachers from St. Therese paid their own way to come to India and volunteer in setting up the library in Nadukuppam High School. They also conducted a series of teacher-training workshops with Nadukuppam Environmental Education Centre (NEEC) teachers and Government teachers in Nadukuppam and Kottikuppam.


With funds received from Australia for the school library project, St Therese was able to contribute: electrical works, painting of the library, furniture, cushions with covers for children to sit on while reading, decorative items, stationery items, borrowing pockets, and purchased over 1000 books, many of which contained both Tamil and English text. In addition to the library resources purchased in India, the teachers from Australia brought with them many great resources for use in the Nadukuppam library and wider school community, including 5 digital cameras, 5 small video (flip) cameras, puppets, big books (also big books about Australia produced by children at St Therese), literacy games, sand trays and materials, plus some sports equipment.
 

The process of converting the room into a library generated much excitement amongst the students, teachers and village people. The transformation required the united efforts of the St Therese teachers and local teachers, who worked in partnership to have it all finished (despite the 40degree heat!). It was amazing to see the wonder of the children as the bright array of books and teaching materials was revealed.


                   

                               Before                                                                             After

The staff from St Therese at all times felt welcomed, appreciated, valued and well looked after, and because of the work done in preparation for our visit as well as while we were there, the whole program ran amazingly smoothly. ‘None of us had ever taught in another country before so we did not know what to expect, but it was a fantastic adventure for all of us and we learnt so much from our time with the staff and students in the schools in India. The Project Organisers (Jo and Lourdes) are both very skilled people and it was great for us to know how fortunate the children in their schools are as a result of their care for them. It's very rewarding for us to see the photos that show the library operating so well since we left, especially that it's being used both before and after school hours. Our parents here and the other schools and individuals who contributed financially to the project are amazed by it all.’
 

 

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