Kindergarten to Year 6
The Junior School is a busy, vibrant, happy, and welcoming place, where students from Kindergarten to Year 6 are cared for in a special way. The teachers are well-known for their willingness to encourage the children under their care and go above-and-beyond the normal call of duty.
Opened in 1993, the Junior School has rapidly grown to its current size of nearly 600 students. With the purpose-built Early Learning Centre for Pre-Kindergarten children, a continuity of education is provided within a caring and close-knit Christian environment.
In 2002 the Junior School was the first in NSW to introduce the Primary Years Programme (PYP) of the International Baccalaureate. The school is a fully accredited IB World School and a member of the Association of International Baccalaureate Schools (AAIBS). Many other schools are now seeing the enormous benefits of the program and heading in the same direction.
The PYP provides a framework for learning based on extensive research and best-practice. Each student is encouraged to learn specific attributes throughout the program. At the Junior School our students are encouraged to be ‘inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk-takers, knowledgeable, principled, caring, open-minded, balanced and reflective’. The program culminates in the PYP Exhibition in Year 6. The exhibition represents a significant event in the life of a PYP school and student, synthesizing the essential elements of the PYP, and sharing them with the whole school community.
The program, with its emphasis on ‘guided inquiry’, seeks to ensure lessons are relevant and engaging for the students. The program complements the integrated Christian learning across the school. With its emphasis on ‘action’, or practically applying lessons learnt, students are encouraged to make a difference, locally and globally. It provides a common language for learning across the school. Teachers, students, and parents are all able to contribute in meaningful ways. The program seeks to develop children who think globally. All students in the Junior School, including our Pre-K children, learn Mandarin Chinese, adding to the global perspectives of the PYP.
Extensive, relevant, and stimulating professional development is undertaken by all teachers, both locally and internationally.
The PYP provides a superb platform for learning. Fine academic results in state-wide testing in recent years, as well as strong performances in the UNSW Academic competitions (Maths, Science and Technology, English, Computing), the National Chinese Eisteddfod, the Maths Olympiad, the Penrith History Challenge, and the National History Challenge, all point to a culture of high expectations and results.
Technology is integrated into the learning program through the use of interactive whiteboards, classroom computers, and a dedicated computer laboratory. There is a well-resourced Inquiry Centre (Library) with thousands of titles and a fully qualified teacher librarian.
The school’s specialist Music teacher runs a busy program that includes a comprehensive classroom curriculum that builds on musical knowledge from year to year. Many students choose to learn individual instruments from our peripatetic Music teachers, and these children often make up the various groups and ensembles that regularly meet, rehearse, and perform. All Junior School students also participate in a Strings program, where they are introduced to the violin, and many choose to continue tuition and involvement.
The school’s Sport Coordinator is busy all year round organising our students’ involvement in PSSA sport every Friday afternoon, the pathway to higher representation in sports such as cricket, netball and soccer. Those who achieve excellent results in our swimming, track and field, and cross country championships can also move through to higher representation. Teams are often seen practising at lunchtimes and after school.
Chess, concerts, outdoor education, Grandparents’ Day, mother-daughter and father-son activities, Book Week, Christian Fellowship groups, leadership training and camps, make up just some of the other activities offered.