General Capabilities

General capabilities comprise an integrated and interconnected set of knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that students develop and use in their learning across the curriculum, in co-curricular programs and in their lives outside school. There are seven general capabilities: literacy; numeracy; information and communication technology (ICT) capability; critical and creative thinking; personal and social capability; ethical understanding, and intercultural understanding. In Archdiocesan schools, the general capabilities are developed within the Brisbane Catholic Education Vision to Teach, Challenge, Transform and the beliefs underpinning the BCE Learning and Teaching Framework (2012).

Students become literate as they develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions to interpret and use language confidently for learning and communicating in and out of school and for participating effectively in society. Literacy involves students in listening to, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and creating oral, print, visual and digital texts, and using and modifying language for different purposes in a range of contexts.

In religion, students develop literacy capability as they learn how to build religious knowledge and how to explore, analyse, question, discuss and communicate religious concepts and ideas. Students use and create a wide variety of print, visual, oral and digital texts. They recognise how contextual information and language features of a variety of religious texts assist in making meaning of these texts.

Students become numerate as they develop the knowledge and skills to use mathematics confidently across all learning areas at school and in their lives. Numeracy involves students in recognising and understanding the role of mathematics in the world and having the dispositions and capacities to use mathematical knowledge and skills purposefully.

In religion, students develop numeracy capability as they learn to interpret, analyse, respond to and create texts involving quantitative and spatial information (e.g. texts that present issues or arguments based on data; visual texts that incorporate graphic organisers such as Venn diagrams or flowcharts). They learn to organise and interpret historical events and developments in the Church, analysing numerical data to make meaning of the past (e.g. to understand cause and effect, and continuity and change). Students learn to use scaled timelines, calendars and dates to locate and record information on topics of historical significance in the Church.

information and communication technology (ICT) capability
Students develop ICT capability as they learn to use ICT effectively and appropriately to access, create and communicate information and ideas; solve problems and work collaboratively in all learning areas at school and in their lives beyond school. The capability involves students learning to make the most of the technologies available to them, adapting to new ways of doing things as technologies evolve and limiting the risks to themselves and others in a digital environment.

In religion, students develop ICT capability when they investigate, create and communicate religious ideas and concepts. Students employ ICT to access, interpret, modify and create a range of print, visual and multimodal texts including texts developed in digital publishing. They use their ICT capability to access, share and exchange information; to collaborate and communicate with others electronically; and to communicate, present and represent religious ideas and concepts.

critical and creative thinking
Students develop capability in critical and creative thinking as they learn to generate and evaluate knowledge, clarify concepts and ideas, seek possibilities, consider alternatives and solve problems. Critical and creative thinking are integral to activities that require students to think broadly and deeply using skills, behaviours and dispositions, such as reason, logic, resourcefulness, imagination and innovation, in all learning areas at school and in their lives beyond school.

In religion, students develop critical and creative thinking as they investigate and develop understandings of religious concepts and ideas through active inquiry that involves imagining and exploring possibilities; shaping new ideas and theories; planning and selecting appropriate information; evaluating sources of information; and developing an argument using evidence.

Students learn the value and process of developing creative questions and the importance of speculation. Students are encouraged to be curious and imaginative in their inquiry. Students evaluate and use evidence from a variety of sources; analyse different arguments, viewpoints, attitudes and perspectives; articulate and justify a response to moral issues; present a cohesive and logical argument; and think deeply about questions that do not have straightforward answers.

Through reading, viewing and listening, students critically analyse the opinions, points of view and unstated assumptions embedded in religious texts. Students employ critical and creative thinking through the creation of their own written, visual and multimodal texts that require logic, imagination and innovation.

personal and social capability
Students develop personal and social capability as they learn to understand themselves and others, and manage their relationships, lives, work and learning more effectively. Personal and social capability involves students in a range of practices including: recognising and regulating emotions; developing empathy for and understanding of others; establishing positive relationships; making responsible decisions; working effectively in teams and handling challenging situations constructively. 

In religion, students develop personal and social capability as they investigate and develop understandings of religious concepts and ideas through active inquiry that provides them with opportunities for directing their own learning; initiative taking, goal setting, decision making, planning and carrying out investigations; working independently and collaboratively; expressing and reflecting on their own opinions, beliefs, values and questions; and appreciating the different insights and perspectives of others.

Through close reading and discussion of a variety of religious texts, students experience and evaluate a range of personal and social behaviours and perspectives and develop connections and empathy with others in different social, cultural, historical and religious contexts. They make connections between religious texts and their own experiences; consider the wellbeing of self, others and all creation; analyse implications for their own actions and those of the wider community; and make informed choices about issues that impact their own lives and that of contemporary society.

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ethical understanding

Students develop capability in their ethical understanding as they identify and investigate the nature of ethical concepts, values, character traits and principles, and understand how reasoning can assist ethical judgment. Ethical understanding involves students in building a strong personal and socially oriented ethical outlook that helps them to manage context, conflict and uncertainty, and to develop an awareness of the influence that their values and behaviour have on others.

In religion, students develop ethical understanding as they study the issues and dilemmas present in a range of religious texts, and explore how ethical principles affect the behaviour and judgment of those involved in issues and events. Students use points of reference in formation of conscience to inform ethical decisions about a range of emerging issues. These points of reference include: the teachings of Jesus; sacred texts; the Church’s living tradition; authoritative Church teaching including Catholic social teaching; interiority; and prayer and reflection on the Word of God. Students analyse the connections between ethical frameworks of a religious tradition and responses to contemporary

Students apply the skills of reasoning, empathy and imagination, consider and make judgments about actions and motives and speculate on how life experiences affect and influence people’s decision making and whether particular ethical positions are reasonable or not. They critically explore the actions and motivations of significant people in the history of the Church that may be the result of different standards and expectations and changing societal attitudes.

intercultural understanding
Students develop intercultural understanding as they learn to value their own and others’ cultures, languages and beliefs. They come to understand how personal, group and national identities are shaped, and the variable and changing nature of culture. This capability involves students in learning about, and engaging with, diverse cultures in ways that recognise commonalities and differences, create connections with others and cultivate mutual respect.

In religion, students develop intercultural understanding as they learn about religious concepts and ideas and the ways these have been influenced by different cultural groups, past and present. Students learn to appreciate the contribution that diverse cultural perspectives have made to the development of religious knowledge.

Through a study of the origins and development of the Church, students are exposed to a range of cultural traditions, past and present, and learn about the perspectives, beliefs and values of these different cultural groups, and the importance of understanding their own and others’ histories. Students learn how particular cultural infl​uences have led to differences across Church communities (e.g. liturgical practice, sacramental life, church architecture). They learn about the influence on the beliefs, values and practices of Church com​munities, past and present; of particular cultural groups (e.g. Vietnamese communities, Sudanese communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples); and individuals such as founders of religious orders; significant reformers; and lay and religious leaders.

Students learn to appreciate and interpret different perspectives, challenge stereotypical or prejudiced representations of cultural groups, and demonstrate respect for cultural diversity and the human rights of all people.​