Our junior primary class will be the foundation for your child’s education. We work closely with our local kindergartens to ensure there is a smooth transition not only to familiarise themselves with our school, but also with the style of learning that occurs here at school. We have a balanced approach to providing your child with the opportunities to access the Australian Curriculum using research based strategies such as synthetic phonics (Jolly Phonics) and a problem-based and hands on approach to learning mathematics.
We are incredibly fortunate to have two nature play spaces here at school, with a third just down the road, and provide opportunities for our students to engage with nature and learn through play based activities. The research around learning outdoors and using investigation or play is incredibly strong. The following quote from Dr Karyn Purvis speaks for itself: “Scientists have recently determined that it takes approximately 400 repetitions to create a new synapse in the brain – unless it is done through play or hands on investigation, in which case, it takes between 10-20 repetitions.”
We support your child’s transition through the school with a consistent approach to teaching the core subject areas. Once your child has developed strong understanding of phonics via the Jolly Phonics program, we transition them into the Jolly Grammar. This is supported by a range of other key teaching resources to ensure they continue to develop a high level skills set in the “Big Six of Reading” (oral language, vocabulary, phonics, phonemic awareness, comprehension and fluency). Across the whole school we have an assessment and reporting procedure to track the progress of your child and provide the appropriate support or interventions if required.
Our middle primary teaching team includes our STEM 500 specialist and our Arts specialist who draw on their strengths to provide an outstanding balance of creativity and academic achievement. Our middle primary students have the opportunity to work with such a high quality teaching team who focus on rigorous hands on learning that spans the curriculum.
Following their final transition into our upper primary class, your child will work in a composite class which provides high levels of challenge, collaboration and problem solving for your child. We focus on ensuring students are “high school ready” by continuing to build the independence, resilience and grit which is a focus throughout the whole school. Our upper primary students develop a strong voice in their learning and are provided with high level structure, but also choice in their learning. This is evident in the “genius hour” program, where students are allocated a portion of their time to follow a passion and develop their own unit of work that links to the curriculum. Our class teacher works with students to identify an area of interest and then unpacks how this fits into the Australian Curriculum. A few examples of this include:
- Linking early childhood education to oral language and English: two students linked their passion for early childhood education and developed a unit of work that they then went and taught at Lobethal Kindergarten. They met with kindy staff to negotiate key learning areas and then planned and taught a number of sessions at the kindy.
- Understanding pneumonics (Science) and building a skill tester: Three students were interested in building a skill tester that actually worked. They researched pneumonics and created a skill tester that was fully operational. The science and problem solving involved was high quality and was a hit throughout the whole school.
When you visit our school for a tour you will have the opportunity to talk with our senior students about some of their genius hour projects.