Co-curricular programs to complement classroom learning
Every Barker student enjoys the benefits of a broad, well-rounded co-curricular program that includes creative and performing arts, sport, STEAM, debating, service and leadership development. Our focus is on providing the best possible co-curricular programs to complement the learning that occurs in the classroom. Our IGNITE program runs twice a week and enriches the learning of our students.
For our Junior School students, compulsory Saturday sport commences from Year 3. All students participate in skill development sessions every week, with a gross motor skills program for our youngest members of the Junior School. In 2019 two new initiatives for our Pre-K to Year 3 students were introduced that focus on developing the core fundamental movement skills in our students. These are the building blocks for more complex and specialised skills our students will need throughout their lives to participate in different games and sports. The Girls Got Game program has been uniquely designed for our Year 3 female students and focuses on improving movement patterns through fun games and challenging obstacle courses. Barker is part of the Independent Primary School Heads Association (IPSHA) and students participate in a range of sports with other schools. IPSHA provides a pathway for our talented sports people to progress to representative levels beyond the School.
Barker has one of the largest school ensemble programs in Australia. The School employs excellent instrumental and vocal teachers and our Junior School students are involved in the Music program from Pre-K with lessons by experienced Music staff every week. A compulsory instrumental program commences in Year 2 and continues until Year 6. All students are encouraged to sing as part of their classroom music curriculum and students may also audition for the Copeland Choir, which in 2018 received a Platinum award for their performance in the Open Choirs section of the National Eisteddfod held in Canberra.
All students are involved in the Outdoor Education program and these experiences include:
- Pre-K to Year 1 – Crusaders onsite program (1 day)
- Year 2 – Parent and child Camp at Somerset (1 night)
- Years 3 & 4 and Darkinjung Barker– Galston (2 nights)
- Year 5 and Darkinjung Barker– Attunga (2 nights)
- Year 6 – Somerset (3 nights)
Two afternoons per week, students from Years 3 – 6 can participate in the IGNITE co-curricular program which offers students a diverse range of activities that are built around the concept of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths). Activities such as Drama, Hip Hop Dance, Chess, Learning to Code, Robotics, Woodwork and Taekwondo are offered in this program.
Pre-K to Year 2 students participate in activities including swimming, chess, tennis, dance, gardening, choir, art, cooking and music lessons and these take place either during lunch times or after school.
Robotics in the Junior School provides students with the opportunity to design, build, and program robots to meet design challenges. Robotics is provisioned through the Ignite Program in Prep and Junior School and provides additional time and guidance for interested students to advance their skills.
Robotics encourages creative thinking, problem solving and computational thinking skills. Students work together in teams which helps grow skills in communication, co-operation and negotiation.
Barker is proud to organise and host the VEX Robotics Competition events in Sydney, for which we welcome parent volunteers to assist in running the events. It is a privilege to provide an amazing service and opportunity for not only our own community, but also for schools and teams across Sydney.
PreK – Year 2 Program:
FIRST Lego League (FLL) Explore is an exciting, age appropriate program for students in Year 2. The program uses the Lego WeDo 2.0 platform and Lego parts to allow students to create simple, age accessible and exciting robots to solve a problem. FLL Explore encourages teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving.
Years 3- 6 Program:
VEX Go introduces students in Grades 3-4 to building simple robots with multiple sensors and motors. Students design and program robots to achieve a game challenge, working in small teams. Students learn the basics of programming using a block-based programming language and start to implement programmed code on their robots.
FIRST Lego League (FLL) Challenge introduces students in Grades 3-6 to building robots with multiple sensors, motors and mechanisms using the Lego EV3 robot platform. In Semester 1 the program focuses on teaching core concepts and skills, including the basics of programming with the block-style language Lego provides, as well as designing mechanisms to achieve a purpose.