Teachers aim to help students develop ways to learn effectively and deeply by realising that their efforts play a big part in their achievement; by developing learning habits such as perseverance, managing distractions, making links between concepts, reflecting on their learning, planning their learning and learning constructively with others.
Students are ultimately at school to learn. An excellent education is a crucial foundation for a satisfying and enriching life. At Lakes Grammar we aim to assist students to be the best they can be and to achieve the best they can. We do this in the context of positive support for students' academic growth and their wellbeing.
The overall shape of the Junior School is three classes per year group from Kindy to Year 6 plus a mixed Year 5/6 Opportunity Class. Class sizes start with 25 per class in Kindy and increase to a maximum class size of 28 per class from Year 3 onwards.
The Junior School is led by Head of Junior School, Mr William Wallace, who is responsible for the oversight of curriculum, welfare and discipline of students. Mr Wallace is supported closely by our Co-ordinator of Teaching and Learning, who oversees the effective tracking of student progress, and planning for the ongoing learning growth of each child along our carefully mapped continuums of learning.
The first few years of your child’s schooling are special and require lots of support and nurturing. In the lead up to that big first day of school, lots of time is spent getting children prepared to ensure our new Kindy starters feel comfortable and ready.
‘Getting to know you’ sessions take place about six months out. The two orientation half days are spent in the classroom environment with our Kindy teachers.
Then just prior to starting school ‘Finest Beginnings’ sessions take place with one-on-one time with their teacher in the few days leading up to their first full day of school.
A playgroup also runs each Monday morning onsite and new Kindy families are invited to join as part of the school transition program.
Our new Kindy starters are each assigned a ‘Buddy’ who spends recess and lunch with them on their first day to help them settle in, find their way around, and then over the coming weeks look out for them in the playground to make sure they are doing OK. A special bond is often formed through this program and often the connection lasts long after the settling in period is over and the younger students use their buddies as role models.
The academic emphasis stresses the development of literacy and numeracy skills with core subjects of Mathematics, English, Science, Technology, History, Human Society and Its Environment, Personal Development Health and Physical Education, Creative Arts and Christian Studies being taught under the NSW curriculum.
The Opportunity Class for gifted and talented students in Year 5 and 6 commenced in 2007. During their time in class, students are provided with a challenging and academically rigorous programme. It provides a fast-paced, stimulating curriculum which is differentiated, facilitating students to develop a greater depth of knowledge and to apply abstract reasoning skills to complex issues.
Students are challenged and inspired to grow their love of learning and their knowledge of learning capacities to help them grow on the journey as life long learners.
Students in the OC are expected to be actively involved in the wider life of the school and to use their capacities for the benefit of others through participation in extra-curricular activities and school and community service.
Entrance testing for the OC class takes place annually. Whilst students typically apply to enter the program either from the beginning of Year 5 or from the beginning of Year 6, applications to join the program through the year are also considered.
Our Learning Support Team in the Junior School addresses the emotional, educational, and physical needs of children who require differentiated support to address learning outcomes.
Our whole-school approach to this endeavour includes a team that may consist of the Learning Support Teachers', classroom teacher, Learning Support Teacher in Mathematics, teachers' aide and School Counsellor where appropriate.
Together we organise individual learning programs and behaviour support programs so that children can develop holistically in an inclusive environment. Students may receive support as part of a group withdrawn from class, within a class or individually. Help with assessment tasks and the use of assistive technologies can be provided. Close contact with parents is an essential part of this process.
Teachers use up-to-date technology to enhance students' learning, including the use of computers and interactive whiteboards in every classroom. Students also have access to iPads, Macbooks and PC laptops and desktops to ensure they are equipped for the ever changing digital world.
Our K – 2 students enjoy their own playground which caters for their needs, including toys and stimulation activities being brought out at recess and lunch to assist with their playtime interactions. They also enjoy their own dedicated time on the play equipment on the school oval.
Each term a physical activity is run to help keep children active. This is in addition to regular sports lessons. Activities include gymnastics, dancing and an external swim program. Keeping children active is important on many levels and can assist in improving their productivity in the classroom.
After school sport also provides an outlet for students to try new things including sports such as tennis, golf and rugby.
Students particularly in Years 3 to 6 become very familiar with the Senior Campus through regular visits for Chapel and other special occasions. Our Year 6 orientation program for current students allows for close interaction and time spent in classrooms in the Senior School to make the transition period as seamless as possible. Becoming familiar with the concept of changing classrooms for subjects is a big change and preparing students means they are well-equipped when the time comes.
Students are given the opportunity to have their first experience of an overnight camp starting in Year 3 with a Sydney two day excursion. In Year 4, a three day excursion is undertaken at an outdoor adventure camp at Morisset. Year 5 enjoy a three day trip to Goldfields and Year 6 make the big trip to Canberra for three days. All costs of camps are included in student fees.