JUNIOR SCHOOL – PREP TO YEAR 6
We believe that for effective learning to occur, trust is an essential starting point in the vital three-way relationship between students, teachers and parents. We work hard to earn the confidence of our students and parents; we place trust in them and we expect their trust in return.
A generosity of spirit and authentimarkc friendliness permeates our community and becomes obvious when you spend time here. We warmly welcome diversity and our students feel safe, supported and a strong sense of belonging. The Grammar Junior School is a happy community. Learners are encouraged to explore the world and develop meaning through challenge and inquiry and they are supported to develop a love of learning.
OUR COMMITMENT STATEMENT
Our approach to wellbeing, teaching and learning is best summed up in the Junior School Commitment Statement for students and teachers…
“In the Junior School…
We work hard, try new things and always aim to be our best. We are inclusive and friendly, we are a community of learners and we are respectful of each other and our environment. We approach life with a positive mindset, engaging with our peers and our teachers in ways that maximise both accomplishment and relationships. We make principled decisions, show courage in our actions and always reflect on what we have done. We enquire about the things we don’t understand and don’t expect to be handed all the answers. We respect the views of others even when they are different to our own. We commit to solving problems by listening to the feelings of those who are hurt so as to determine what actions we can take to make things better. When we are hurt or upset we focus on what needs to happen to make things right. We know that together we can become inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who will work to make a better world.”
INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE PRIMARY YEARS PROGRAMME
Ballarat Grammar is authorised as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School to deliver the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP). IB World Schools share the common philosophy of a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that Ballarat Grammar believes is important for our students.
THE PRIMARY YEARS PROGRAMME (PYP)
The PYP prepares students to become active, caring, lifelong learners who demonstrate respect for themselves and others and have the capacity to participate positively in the world around them. It focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer both within and beyond the classroom.
The PYP promotes deep learning. PYP schools develop their students’ academic, social and emotional wellbeing with a focus on international mindedness and strong personal values. The PYP nurtures independent learning skills, encouraging every student to take responsibility for their learning.
The program incorporates local and global issues into the curriculum, asking students to look at six related, transdisciplinary themes and to consider the links between them. The themes include ‘who we are’, ‘where we are in place and time’ and ‘how the world works’.
THE LEARNER PROFILE
The attributes of the ‘Learner Profile’ help our students to become great learners. ‘Attitudes’ help them to become great people. At the heart of the PYP, the Learner Profile puts the student at the centre of everything we do. The ten Learner Profile Attributes provide a set of aspirational learning outcomes that inspire and motivate the work of our teachers and students as we strive to become truly internationally minded citizens of the world.
In the Junior School we strive to be:
THE PROGRAM OF INQUIRY
The Program of Inquiry presents schools with a comprehensive plan for high quality, international education. It provides schools with a curriculum framework to develop a rigorous and challenging curriculum to equip students for successful lives based on five essential elements — knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes and action. It aims to create a curriculum that is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant for young learners.
TEACHING AND LEARNING
Inquiry is at the heart of our curriculum in the Junior School with our students exploring traditional subjects in rich and meaningful ways, focused on structured inquiry. However, we believe that for students to become successful inquirers, explicit teaching is vital in key skill areas such as literacy, numeracy and other subject areas. Equipped with these skills, our students are challenged and trusted to pursue their learning through a structured inquiry-based program rich in opportunities and experiences. This approach helps them to develop enduring understandings that are transferable and universal at personal, local and global levels.
We believe that the students are the most important stakeholders in their learning. We have seen that shared goal setting and reflection based on learning portfolios and three-way conferencing between student-parent-teacher inspires our students to take action and leads to powerful learning.
As an important part of our commitment to the Anglican traditions and values, all Junior School students attend a service tailored to them in the Chapel of Saint Mark or the Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts each week. Special services for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and our own Easter and Christmas Services are highlights of the Junior School year.
PREP – AN IMPORTANT FIRST YEAR
We believe in getting the basics right first – learning to read and write and to work with numbers – with a highly structured literacy and numeracy program. From the very beginning we work hard to help our Preps feel happy and secure. Then, when they’re ready, we love challenging them.
BELONGING TO SOMETHING BIGGER
We see how much our Preps love being part of a bigger community of learners at Ballarat Grammar. To help them build relationships across the whole school we provide a range of opportunities, from participating in Chapel and assemblies to working with their Year 6 Buddies and doing reading activities with Year 12 students.
YEAR 4 PROGRAM - MOUNT ROWAN FARM CAMPUS
Based 10 minutes away from the Junior School campus in a purpose-built facility at our spectacular Mount Rowan Farm Campus, our Year 4 students are immersed in rich learning experiences through exploration and inquiry. Our Year 4 Program encourages students to connect with the natural environment and develop a deep respect and appreciation of the interdependence of the human and natural worlds around them through caring for life.
Each week the students spend four days at the Mount Rowan campus (transported by Grammar buses) and one day at the Junior School campus, where they undertake the majority of their specialist classes, such as Physical Education, Art, Dance & Drama, and Music, along with attending the Years 4 to 6 Chapel service.
YEAR 4 CURRICULUM
Students are immersed in rich learning experiences that have been carefully linked to the Australian Curriculum and the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program. The natural environment acts as a springboard for the explicit teaching of skills in core academic subject areas.
The Junior School is actively committed to the Round Square six IDEALS of Learning.
Internationalism: The study of language and culture is a key feature of the PYP’s focus on international mindedness and we are committed to nurturing a love of learning another language through our French Program along with cultural awareness activities such as International French Language Day and International Mother Tongue Day. We also support our students to participate in the annual Young Round Square conference.
Democracy: We are committed to a culture of fairness and equal opportunities for our students.
Environmental Responsibility: Our commitment to developing environmental awareness is evident throughout the Junior School and is a special focus of our Year 4 Program at the Mt Rowan Campus.
Adventure: Starting at Year 2 our developmental Outdoor Education Program is designed to give our students the opportunity to build connections with others and the environment while developing important life skills.
Leadership: As part of Grammar’s commitment to ‘Leadership as Service’ we take a team approach to leadership where every Year 6 student is given the opportunity to be part of a leadership committee aligned with Round Square values.
Service: We want to build independence in our students so that they develop an understanding that even one person’s actions can make a positive difference in the world around them through small actions. Each year there are many great examples of action initiated by students in the Junior School ranging from leading awareness campaigns on global issues, organising and running major fundraising efforts and building connections with local charity organisations.
WE LEARN FRENCH!
We take a fun approach to teaching French and look for authentic ways to use it in our everyday life at school. French is taught from Year 2 and our students love using the language inside and outside curriculum time.
Our students are exposed to a very broad range of opportunities in the Arts. Within the curriculum every student has weekly exposure to Visual Arts, Music, Dance and Drama at all year levels with specialist teachers. As part of our co-curricular program students have a wide range of experiences from Music Theatre to Ballet, from Textiles to Ceramics and from Dance to Drama. Highlights of the year include the Junior School Production where every student performs on the stage and the Junior School Art Exhibition where every student’s work is displayed.
As well as having specialist spaces within the Junior School such as our dance studio with mirrors, dance bars, stage and full lighting system and full sound system, our students also have easy access to the incredible range of specialist facilities on campus, notably the Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts and the Beckworth Centre for the Arts.
Year 2 Strings Program – Learning a string instrument is part of the weekly Year 2 curriculum, as we recognise that playing music has a powerful effect on brain development. The year of learning culminates in a performance to an appreciative audience of family and friends.
As well as teaching PE and Sport within the curriculum we offer have a wide range of co-curricular sporting options after school with huge participation rates – ranging from traditional team sports to athletics, triathlon, track cycling, equestrian and many more. Our students have easy access to the incredible range of facilities on campus and a large number of specialist coaches who are members of the Junior School teaching staff.
Competition Opportunities – We proudly support a huge participation rate in inter-school competitions in a wide range of sports and a large number of our students qualify for State selection in a wide variety of sports. Students also have the opportunity to participate in various House competitions at School.
We use technology to enhance teaching and learning across the Junior School. Smart Boards are used in every classroom by teachers and by students as an interactive tool to support their learning program with a strong focus on large-scale interaction. Desktop computers in each classroom giving students immediate access to support their inquiry-based learning program. A set of tablets is available for use in years Prep to Year 4, Windows devices are shared in Year 5, as well as individual devices provided for each student in Year 6. Coding is a great point of interest for our students, and we incorporate learning about coding and robotics where it makes sense to do so. Cutting-edge technology tools are used by students from Prep to Year 6 to support their inquiry-based learning program, with expert guidance from the School’s eLearning Co-ordinator.
In the Junior School, we love to celebrate special occasions. Our full and rich calendar of events includes the Junior School Production, Gala Concert, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Breakfasts and Grandparents’ Days, Family Welcome Picnic, Mt Rowan Expo, Family Mountain Bike Weekend, Parents’ Evenings, Art Exhibition, Sporting days such as Swimming, Athletics and Cross Country, Year 6 Graduation Ceremony and many more across the year.