Junior School

Curriculum

Director of Studies

Mr Brian Sampson

The Junior School curriculum ensures that students develop as people who take increasing responsibility for their own physical wellbeing, for their own learning, for their relationships with others and their developing role in the local, national and global community.

The range of subjects taken and experiences offered within the Junior School are considerable. The programs are planned on an integrated basis across subject areas and are usually based on a topic, which embraces an inquiry approach to learning. Concepts are incorporated and conceptual thinking skills are developed and encouraged from Preparatory to Year 6. Student learning is seen as a continuum from prep to year 6 and they will develop at different rates through these stages of learning within the Junior School. Years Prep to 4 are seen as years to 'lay the foundations' by focussing the curriculum on developing fundamental literacy and numeracy skills, knowledge and behaviours. Years 5 and 6 is where the curriculum recognises the need to build the 'breadth and depth' of learning.

The knowledge, skills and behaviours that are considered essential for all students are formulated under three key strands:

  1. Physical, Personal and Social Learning
  2. Discipline Based Learning
  3. Interdisciplinary Learning

1. Physical, Personal and Social Learning

The Junior School curriculum ensures that students develop as people who take increasing responsibility for their own physical wellbeing, their own learning, their own relationships with others and their role in the local, national and global community.

The learning Domains are

a) Health and Physical Education (Outdoor Education)

The Health and Physical Education program places an emphasis on promoting an understanding of physical activity and movement, food and nutrition, health and safety, human development and human relations.

Students develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours that enable them to:

  • maintain good health and live a healthy lifestyle
  • understand the role of physical activity in ensuring good health
  • engage in physical activity.

Teaching and learning practices should:

  • assist boys to develop knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that promote regular participation in physical activity
  • enhance fitness levels
  • develop the boy's abilities to relate to others effectively
  • result in an awareness of individual, group and community safety and health requirements
  • encourage boys to maintain a healthy lifestyle

The Outdoor Education program places an emphasis on the personal development of the boys through responsible interaction in and with the natural environment.

Teaching and learning practices should :

  • involve the acquisition of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values required in camp and adventure situations
  • emphasise aspects of safety and care
  • develop an understanding and appreciation for the outdoors
  • be designed to develop the boys' initiative, leadership, co-operation and problem solving skills

b) Interpersonal Development

Students learn to work with others by:

  • building positive social relationships
  • working and learning in teams
  • managing and resolving conflicts.

c) Personal Learning

Students take greater responsibility for their own learning and participation at school. This involves developing as learners who:

  • acquire self knowledge and dispositions which support learning
  • can learn with peers, seeking and responding appropriately to feedback
  • increasingly manage their own learning and growth, setting goals and managing resources to achieve these
  • recognise and enact appropriate values within and beyond the school context.

d) Civics and Citizenship:

Students need to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours that enable them to take action as informed, confident members of a diverse and inclusive Australian society. The understanding of the political and legal systems and processes is highlighted. Students focus on:

  • understanding their identity and roles in their community
  • knowing their rights and responsibilities as citizens
  • appreciating Australia's role in global community
  • effectively participating in society and taking responsible action in relation to other citizens and the environment

e) Christian Education

The Christian Education program aims to maintain a Christian perspective, along with moral and religious values, and to establish a strong sense of spirituality. Input comes from the following areas:

  • regular Assemblies
  • special Assemblies and Chapel services conducted by the School Chaplains
  • class teaching programmes - based on Peter Vardy's 5 strand model:
  • The Bible and Christian Faith
  • Religions other than Christianity
  • Values/Ethics
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Affective and experiential education in religion
  • contact with teachers and peers and informal discussions arising from this
  • pastoral care and values education

Teaching and learning practices in all classrooms should:

  • use Bible stories and readings to encourage the boys to discuss and reflect on areas of social justice and to develop their own spirituality.

2. Discipline-based Learning

The Junior School curriculum should form a body of knowledge with associated ways of seeing the world and distinct methods of exploring, imagining and constructing that world.

Students need to develop a deep understanding of the concepts contained in the discipline-based domains and be able to apply their knowledge in many different ways. The degree to which they are able to transfer their knowledge depends largely on the degree to which students have achieved mastery over Physical, Personal and Social and Interdisciplinary learning. Deeper understanding of concepts are able to be achieved when students are encouraged to reflect on their learning, take personal responsibility for it and relate it to their own world.

The learning Domains are:

a) The Arts: Drama, Music, Visual Arts

The Arts program encompasses Drama, Art and Music. Each program will be presented in a developmental and, where possible, an integrated manner. It involves creating and making , as well as exploring and responding to a range of experiences.

  • Drama programs are designed to develop the boys' personal awareness and to build confidence. Classroom drama activities, special lessons, year level productions and professional performances are provided for all boys.
  • Music programs include literacy, aural and performance skills. These are developed in class lessons, assemblies, workshops, choral and instrumental ensembles, group and individual singing, concerts and instrumental studies.
  • Visual Arts programs provide creative experiences for the boys to develop their individual skills. Opportunities to participate in painting, drawing, printing, threads and textiles, collage, paperwork, construction and clay activities are provided.

b) English

The English program places an emphasis on the acquisition of literacy across all curriculum areas as well as the development of English skills through a range of meaningful purposes and contexts which enrich boys. The boys learn to enjoy and use language and to develop a sense of its richness.

Reading and Viewing

skills: understanding, interpreting, reflecting upon and enjoyingwritten and visual print and nonprint texts

Writing

skills: the process of conceiving, planning, composing, editing and publishing fiction and nonfiction texts

Speaking and Listening

skills: various formal and informal oral language is used to convey and receive meaning

 

Teaching and learning practices in all classrooms should :

  • develop the boys' ability to speak, listen, read, view and write with enjoyment, purpose and confidence
  • enhance the boys' knowledge and use of language according to context, purpose, audience and content
  • increase the knowledge and use of linguistic patterns used to construct and comprehend a range of texts
  • enable boys to become aware of the different influences on individual interpretations of English material and more actively and critically involve themselves in the process of clarifying and expressing their interpretations
  • provide experience at reading, writing and viewing a broad range of texts and text types
  • cater for individual abilities, needs and interests

c) The Humanities

The Humanities program places an emphasis on developing an awareness, knowledge, understanding and appreciation of human societies, people and their cultures in the past and the present and an insight into how people organise their world. The content is related to:

  • General humanities (Years Prep - 4)
  • History, Geography, and Economics (Years 5 & 6)
  • Teaching and learning practices in all classrooms should :
  • encourage students to act rationally, sensitively and responsibly in a changing world
  • develop knowledge, skills, attitudes and values relevant to the topic
  • enable students to make informed decisions and to take appropriate action
  • use an inquiry approach to develop concept formation and thinking skills that include the following strategies: listing, grouping, categorising, generalising, hypothesising, drawing conclusions, making judgements

Research Projects

Research Projects are to reflect the basics of inquiry learning;

  • Investigation - locate, research, gather relevant information, process findings
  • Communication - spoken, written, visual and multi-media
  • Participation - collaborative, decision making

Teachers should assist the boys in their progression from dependence to independence. This assistance should include the development of research skills and skills in presenting information.

Explicit instruction in and appropriate scaffolding for the planning, defining, locating and presenting of information is to be provided. Regular opportunities to practise and apply skills is expected.

The evaluation of research projects is to include the planning, the process, the product and the list of resources. An equal balance of school and homework time is to be provided.

Parents should be encouraged to make judgements on how best to assist their sons in moving towards independent research.

d) Languages Other Than English (LOTE): German

The LOTE program aims to motivate boys towards the learning of a second language. The German program is based on participating in regular classes from Year One to Year Six. These classes are conducted in the German room, while also taking advantages of out of class facilities. Key components are communicating in a language other that English and intercultural knowledge and language awareness.

  • Teaching and learning practices in all classes should promote:
  • Communication - for a range of purposes and in a range of contexts
  • Sociocultural understanding - an understanding of the culture linked with the language
  • Language awareness - an understanding of the way language works, its structure, role and effects
  • Learning how to learn - students progressively learn to manage their learning
  • General knowledge - student's acquire knowledge of a range of subjects and concepts

e) Mathematics

A sequential mathematics program has been developed for all levels from Prep to Year 6. The programme covers the core areas of mathematics and provides ample opportunity for consolidation and extension activities.

The content consists of:

  • Space
  • Number
  • Measurement and Chance Data
  • Structures and Working Mathematically

The teaching and learning of mathematics at Scotch, recognises that whilst there is no one best way to teach mathematics, several common themes are evident in recognised approaches:

  • learning in mathematics occurs from a base of concrete experiences
  • whilst mathematical ideas can be abstract and general in nature, it is expected that boys will apply general methods and algorithms systematically to problem solving situations
  • mathematics should be taught using a variety of modes of classroom activity
  • there is a need to appreciate the learning rates and individual differences of boys
  • there needs to be an emphasis placed on using and applying mathematics in everyday contexts
  • mathematics should be, wherever possible, linked and applied to practical situations
  • mathematics is best learnt when adequate time is provided for boy's understanding and growth to occur
  • mathematics should be fun to learn

f) Science

The Science program places an emphasis on a hands on inquiry approach to capture and build on the boys' interests and to develop related knowledge, skills, attitudes and values. The goal is stimulate, respond to and nourish curiosity, wonder and questioning.

Science investigations should be based on:

  • Chemical Science
  • Physical Science
  • Earth and Space Sciences
  • Biological Science
  • Environmental Science

Teaching and learning practices in all classrooms should develop an understanding of the skills and procedures required to successfully undertake scientific investigations that include:

  • Observing
  • Communicating
  • Estimating
  • Measuring
  • Collecting Data
  • Classifying
  • Inferring
  • Predicting
  • Making Models
  • Interpreting Data
  • Creating Graphs
  • Hypothesising
  • Controlling Variables
  • Defining and Investigating

 

3. Interdisciplinary Learning

The Junior School curriculum provides a range of knowledge, skills and behaviours which cross disciplinary boundaries and are essential to ensuring students are prepared as active learners and problem-solvers for success at school and beyond. Students focus on ways of thinking, communicating, conceiving and realising ideas and information. They develop the capacity to design, create and evaluate processes as a way of developing creativity and innovation.

The learning Domains are:

a) Communication

Communication is involved in all learning. It involves developing skills, behaviours and knowledge related to listening, viewing and responding in a range of contexts, using a variety of content . Presenting information is critical to enhancing the process of learning. The student displays the capacity:

  • to demonstrate and convey what one has learned in different contexts and to different people.
  • to understand that language and discourse differ in different disciplines and that there is a need to learn the particular literacies involved in each area.

b) Design, Creativity and Technology

The Technology program develops concepts that prepares boys for the changes and advances that the modern world will present.

Teaching and learning practices should involve boys in programmes where:

  • the phases of the technology process are used in the acquisition of knowledge and skills about materials, systems and information
  • the technology process includes: investigating, designing, producing and evaluating.
  • Technology provides a stimulus whereby students:
  • generate and act on new ideas
  • learn skills to operate materials, systems, information, equipment, machines and tools, and to reduce wastage
  • gain an understanding of past and present technologies

This will enable boys to:

  • develop problem solving skills and generate technological solutions to questions
  • develop knowledge and skills using a variety of equipment, resources and materials
  • discover how to use a range of appropriate equipment, machines and tools safely and efficiently for each situation.

Students:

  • investigate and design using appropriate planning processes and design briefs;
  • create and develop ideas, apply information, and seek and test innovative alternatives
  • produce, including the selection and safe use of appropriate tools, equipment, materials and/or processes to meet the requirements of design briefs
  • analyse and evaluate both processes and products including, where relevant, any broader environmental, social, cultural and economic factors.

c) Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Information Literacy is applied throughout the curriculum and should be seen as a key tool to encourage learning and skill acquisition to meet contemporary needs and outcomes. Information can be gained from electronic and other print sources.

Students use ICT:

  • to access, process, manage and present information; model and control events; construct new understandings; and communicate with others.
  • and strategies to monitor learning patterns, to process data to create solutions and information products that demonstrate understanding.
  • To share their work with others in ethical, legal and respectful ways.

Electronic Activities should be planned that utilise the following sources of information: the Internet, C-D Rom, data base, spreadsheets and E-mail.

Boys and teachers should be equipped with the skills to use the available technology in purposeful ways.

These sources of information should support active learning, questioning and problem solving through research, analysis, communication and production.

 

The boys will develop the ability:

  • to communicate electronically, in words and pictures
  • to enter, save and retrieve information using a variety of information technology tools and applications
  • to organise and manage stored electronic information
  • to apply a variety of software applications to solve problems
  • to use appropriate terminology when using the technology
  • to develop keyboarding skills that enable efficient and accurate data entry

Other Sources

These sources include non fiction material, magazines, journals, specific organisations, guest speakers and excursions. The use of these sources of information will widen the base of information and enhance the boys ability to create their own interpretations and generalisations from more than one source. Opportunities to practise skills associated with the information process will be provided in the context of curriculum based work.

Boys will use the information process of:

  1. Defining
  2. Locating
  3. Selecting
  4. Organising
  5. Presenting
  6. Evaluation

d) Thinking Processes

Thinking encompasses a range of cognitive, affective and metacognitive knowledge, skills and behaviours. These are essential for effective functioning in society both within and beyond school. The study of thinking enables students to:

  1. acquire strategies for thinking related to inquiry, processing information, reasoning, problem solving, evaluation and reflection.