Junior School - Head of Junior School

Walk around our Junior School on any school day and you will see the energy and enthusiasm of children. Our wonderful staff tap into this creativity and encourage girls and boys to give their best effort. We all have a commitment to respect and care for each other, and see learning as a privilege. This attitude helps the Junior School to be a place where students can ‘find their place’, whether it be in academic studies, creative arts, sport or community service. Growing children need teachers who understand where they are at and what is possible for the future. From the start of Kindergarten to the end of the primary years, the students in the Junior School are cared for, understood and challenged. In the Junior School our Stage classes and specialist programs allow diversity and encourage working together with classmates and teachers.

It is a great place to learn. Children starting at the College in Kindergarten are beginning a wonderful learning adventure and the start of a new phase of life away from home and preschool. We advise parents that children who have already turned 5 years of age by the start of their first year, learn better, socialise better and cope better with the demands of school life. Boys and girls often join us in other grades at the beginning or during the school year, subject to availability of places. Our class teachers are the primary carers for the girls and boys in the Junior School. Matters of discipline, pastoral care and learning are all part of the class teacher’s role, with the support of the K-2 Coordinator, 3-6 Coordinator and Head of Junior School. Learning in a variety of subjects and through a variety of ways is a foundational part of the Junior School day.

We follow the NSW Board of Studies curriculum and include specialist Music and PE classes from Kindergarten, and Italian from Year 3. Our K-12 library is a wonderful resource, enjoyed by everyone. Chapel and Christian Studies lessons take place every week. Each student learns about the main message of the Christian faith and how we are to live in our world. Chapel is lively and full of great songs, creative talks and student involvement. It is one of the highlights of the week. The Junior School organises classes from Year 1 to Year 6 in Stages. This allows us to group together Years 1 and 2, 3 and 4, and 5 and 6 into three Stages that follow the NSW curriculum and allow for peer tutoring, a wide social base and targeted grouping in academic subjects. Stage classes work together in a variety of activities each day.

We encourage family involvement, whether it is through the regular classroom helper rosters, special event volunteers or support at home with homework or encouragement. It is our privilege to work with families in the vital primary years of their children. Opportunities for outdoor education camps, excursions, sport, clubs and interest groups continue to grow in the Junior School. We have a vibrant choir, debating and Da Vinci Decathlon teams, as well as a school based and representative sport program. Excursions take advantage of many of the wonderful facilities in the Illawarra and beyond.

A smooth transition from Year 6 to Year 7 is offered at the College. Introductions to specialist subjects and teachers, familiarity with the buildings and routines of the Senior School and regular whole school assemblies all contribute to our senior primary students being ready for the step to Senior School. School Growth in the years ahead is planned so that eventually the Junior School will have 14 classes and access to a variety of excellent facilities. Above all, it is the students who bring life to our school. They are energetic, love learning and have an optimistic outlook.

There is always something to learn at the Junior School. I would be delighted to meet you and show you our wonderful school.

Mr Andrew McPhail

Head of Junior School