The Junior School curriculum provides our younger students with a range of experiences that cater for their academic, social, physical, emotional and cultural needs.
The high quality of our curriculum reflects our commitment to the development of the whole child, as well as our very real passion for the role we play in young people’s lives.
All Junior School students have opportunities to conduct research into local and global issues of significance so that they can develop deep understanding of important concepts. This is achieved through the explicit teaching of key skills including instruction in how to apply philosophical thinking based on a Community of Inquiry approach. This approach invites students to explore BIG questions as the basis for understanding the different experiences they will encounter in life.
To achieve this, the framework for the Junior School curriculum has been designed with two core elements – units of inquiry, and subject-specific learning experiences. Together these two elements provide a comprehensive and well-balanced curriculum. Subject content and skills are taught in both the stand-alone subject areas and the integrated program units.
Units of Inquiry
Units of inquiry include the knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions students will need to live and work successfully in the twenty-first century. General capabilities embedded in the Program are:
- Information and communications technology
- Ethical understanding
- Critical and creative thinking
- Personal and social capability
- Intercultural understanding
Subject-specific Learning Experiences
We provide a balanced curriculum that covers each of the traditional stand-alone disciplines:
- English, including Information Literacy and Computing Skills
- Science and Technology
- Personal Development/Health/Physical Education (PDHPE)
- Human Society and Its Environment
- Visual Arts
- Faith and Life
Including both units of inquiry and subject-specific learning experiences in the Junior School curriculum encourages students to examine their experiences from different perspectives. Learning experiences cater for different intelligences and offer different levels of challenge. Strategies for problem solving, organising and sorting, thinking creatively and reflecting are an integral part of each child’s learning.
The classroom teacher is responsible for teaching the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science and Technology, and Human Society and Its Environment. They are supported by specialist teachers in all other areas of the curriculum including Learning Support and Enrichment programs.
The teaching of Philosophy directly addresses many of the general capabilities in the Australian Curriculum and involves developing a Community of Inquiry that is based on the values of care and respect for all students.
- enables children to participate in facilitated philosophical discussions about the big questions of life
- provides children with the skills to share ideas, thoughts and beliefs
- encourages children to develop hypotheses, give examples and reasons, build on each other’s ideas, justify decisions and recognise inconsistencies in arguments
- values the ability to change one’s mind in response to a justified reason
- helps children to think deeply, make reasoned judgments and deal appropriately with conflict
- allows children to apply their knowledge more effectively
Our program supports:
- student and teacher documentation of learning journeys
- classrooms which are reflective of our outside environment
- small groups of students researching questions of interest
- parents being involved in the process of learning
- high expectations of all learners
- recognition of individual learning needs and styles