I love the children, it’s just really rewarding. They come in really young and you see them mature, you see them develop in their skills and their maturity in their relationships with one another. Having an opportunity to share the Bible stories with them is a real privilege. – Linda Gaffney, Kindergarten Teacher
Our Primary School recognises the strength of every individual child within our loving community. This has seen our Primary School become one of the strongest in the region in terms of academic results.
In Kindergarten, a lot of our lessons are centered around relationships and how we get along with others. Often integrated into the life of the class, lessons are opportunities for children to understand, learn and practice how to get along, based on a Christian world view. Kindergarten is committed to a close relationship with parents and welcomes the opportunity to talk with parents both formally and informally one-on-one.
We are passionate in seeing children go from limited literacy at the beginning of Kindergarten to starting to flourish. It’s important for children’s activities to be hands on and interactive. Children learn far more when they enjoy learning. The strengths of phonics based Explicit Instruction enables a child to learn the skills to enable the child to be lifelong learners.
Kindergarten is laying foundations for good socialisation, starting the move from dependence on Mum and Dad into more independent little people and becoming part of a larger group, moving from being a little baby into a little person who is confident in themselves.
Healthy eating habits are also important for a child’s development. We have a fruit break each day where children are encouraged to bring a piece of fruit and water. We work closely with families to help the children learn good habits as we know that the diet of a child is critical positive learning.
I get so much joy seeing the children progressing through school and helping them conquer problems; seeing the light bulb moment for children; that yay moment. – Cathy Wanganga, Primary Coordinator
Children knowing that they are cared for allows them to strive harder. The relationship between the students and their teacher encourages them to achieve. We desire for children to reach their potential in Christ; who they are designed to be; to become lifelong learners; and to establish good habits that will serve them through High School and beyond.
At our school, we use a method of teaching called Explicit Instruction. Explicit Instruction is a systematic, structured, highly effective way of teaching new concepts to students. It is a direct approach to teaching, whereby a series of supports are given to students as they are guided through the learning process. Students receive clear statements about what they are learning and its purpose, what they will need to be able to do to be successful, clear explanations and demonstrations of the skill or knowledge taught and supported practice with feedback until the concept has been mastered.
The results being achieved by our students are being recognised externally as a model for other schools.
At our school, a strong emphasis is given to teaching Literacy, with data regularly collected to ensure every student is mastering the content as required. We use a phonics-based, Explicit Instruction approach to teaching Reading where the students are systematically taught sounds, sound blends and sight words. The ability to decode words is essential, but reading fluently and being able to comprehend the text are also vital skills. Our students are comprehensively taught across all areas of Literacy and participate in regular Reading, Writing, Spelling, Comprehension and Grammar lessons.
At our school, Primary Mathematics is streamed so that each student can learn at a pace and level most suited to them. We use Explicit Instruction to teach content, as this provides a firm scaffold for students in their learning. Warm-Ups are a key part of our Mathematics program. These help to transfer previously taught concepts into long-term memory, where students can access them when needed. Our Mathematics classes include engaging activities that are designed to teach the concepts from the NSW Mathematics Syllabus.
Programs used in Primary include:
When a child is cared for, learning becomes a rich environment. It allows them to engage with their learning without fear of failure. – Jill Sculthorpe, Primary Coordinator