Introduction of Inquiry Learning
The introduction of Inquiry Learning in the Junior School, has its focus on developing young learners and preparing them to succeed. In 2017, a new timetable was introduced in the Junior School with learning as the key motivator for change. Hour blocks of literacy and numeracy in each class are provided every day. Each year group incorporates units of inquiry into their teaching and learning programs. These units focus on the development of knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes and actions particularly in the areas of Science and Technology, Geography and History.
Developing students who are able to question, investigate, analyse and synthesise information, and then communicate their understanding is a key learning goal in the Junior School.
In 2016, the ‘Seven Steps to Writing Success’ program was introduced across Pre-K to Year 6. This program has seen a marked improvement in the output of our young writers, with additional teaching staff working with the classroom teacher at least one period each week.
In 2017, an explicit Phonics program for Pre-K to Year 2 was introduced. This new phonics program uses a multi-sensory approach that includes actions, singing, dancing and puppets. It is child-centred and fun and essential grammar, punctuation and spelling skills are taught explicitly by the staff, who have all undergone extensive specialist training in phonics.
The Aspire program in the Junior School offers a compacted curriculum, enabling students to move at a faster pace through core work, as well as offering increased academic challenge and opportunities for personal interests and inquiry learning. In the Junior School, students are identified as being suitable for academic extension through a range of measures: teacher nomination, external objective measures, internal assessment measures and above level testing.
Pre-K to Year 2
Underpinning our learning and teaching framework for our youngest students is the philosophy that places the child at the centre of all learning. Children are encouraged to be active learners who communicate, collaborate and develop skills of independence and resilience. Small groups for literacy and numeracy are a focus. For our Pre-K students the emphasis is on play-based learning and experiential learning.
The main student enrolment points in the Junior School are in Pre-K, Kindergarten, Year 3 and Year 5.