Our award-winning Junior School, at Campbell House, is a dynamic community for students from Early Learning to Year 3. Children are encouraged to be curious in their learning, to ask questions and explore answers through a range of experiences based on the world-renowned Reggio Emilia approach to learning.
When children first enter the Junior School, they learn the language of
learning, and explore what productive learning feels, sounds and looks
like. Children discuss problems, ask questions and learn how to learn.
This culture of thinking and learning comes to life when the children
explore ideas and themes that expand their knowledge of the world.
Our approach to educating young minds harnesses natural curiosity, developing strong communication and a lifelong love of learning.
Linked to our Reggio Emilia approach to education, the English curriculum is purposeful and rich learning through a range of activities designed to develop the fundamentals of literacy. Through a program of guided reading, word study, writers’ workshops and speaking and listening children build and develop their literacy skills as individuals and within the group. Our aim is to develop word recognition, reading fluency, handwriting skills, written and verbal expression, but more importantly to impart a love of reading and expression, and confidence.
Children learn mathematical skills through a range of practical applications, games and learning tasks designed to help young children gain confidence and experience with mathematical principals. Children learn to recognise numbers, to group objects, model basic equations with physical materials and make patters, and learn to express their thinking. Our aim is to make mathematics fun and interesting so that children are engaged and excited to further develop their skills and understanding.
Inquiry covers a multitude of learning areas including science, history, geography and civics and citizenship. Heavily influenced by the Reggio Emilia approach inquiry offers children the opportunity to direct their own learning within a whole school project based on a provocation. The provocation is meaningful and relevant theme that is the basis for learning across many areas. The children bring their wonderings and ideas through meetings and class activities; these influence the direction of the class projects.
Children explore Chinese and French language through song, games, role-play, speaking and listening. The children also learn about the culture of each country, exploring food, geography, history, national holidays and special events. The AIM method, in which educators speak primarily in the language, using gestures to support the children’s' understanding, is used in twice weekly LOTE lessons.
Children visit the Library weekly where they are read stories and develop their love of books. The librarians carefully select stories which complement the themes of learning projects. Children listen, discuss and question the themes through each story and make connections to learning in other areas. Each week children choose books to borrow and take home to read for enjoyment with their families. Library is fundamental to the development of literacy skills at this level.
Learning to enjoy all types of physical activity is a great way to develop health, well-being and fitness for our children. Each week children participate in activities such as swimming, team games, gymnastics, running, jumping and throwing and ball skills. They develop fundamental motor skills, fitness and enjoy team spirit and physical activity with their friends.
Singing, percussion, movement and improvisation are all explored through creative and fun activities in music. Children build their creative movement vocabulary and use these skills to respond expressively to a wide range of music. Echo songs, in which children listen and imitate pitch, and repetition encourages pitch memory. Children have participated in pitch exploration activities such as vocal glissandos. Children also explore rhythm and beat and improvisation as well as having the opportunity to learn musical instruments outside of class and join a wide range of performance groups.
Drama is about exploring, discovering, creating and performing. Dramatic play is one of the central ways in which young children learn about the world, themselves and especially human nature. The drama curriculum aims to provide opportunities for students to develop their imaginations, expressive, and cooperative skills. The students have opportunities to perform in front of their peers and are encouraged to give and receive feedback to enhance their performances. Creativity and individuality are also nurtured and valued by staff and students.
Strongly influenced by Reggio Emilia and the 100 languages children explore visual art using different mediums and techniques. They experiment with different drawing implements including pencils and markers, they explore the sensation of using water colour, food dye and acrylic paint with different sized brushes on paper, calico fabric and an MDF surface, as well as investigating the possibilities of arranging colourful and tactile embellishments. The aim of the program is to give children the tools to express their ideas visually and to select appropriate materials to support their creative ideas.
Children explore Christianity and their identity through values based Godly Play. The children read and tell stories through which they learn to make good choices and to live our values of kindness, courtesy and respect. While we are a Uniting Church School, we explore all faiths and learn to respect, understand and embrace these wonderful differences. As a Junior School we have a chapel service each term where we pray, sing and reflect.