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TEACHING AND LEARNING

with heart, soul, mind & strength

The Junior School

Lakes Grammar takes a holistic approach to learning, and views students as 'the whole child' considering and planning for their growth academically, socially, emotionally and spiritually.

The Junior School experience provides students with:

  • A Christian foundation that supports students in fostering their God given gifts.

  • Explicit and direct instruction in the fundamentals of literacy and numeracy and in the content, skills and processes of each curriculum area

  • The integration of inquiry based and problem based approaches to learning.

  • A technology rich environment including a well resourced STEM centre for practical Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education, that prepares students well for the digital world they are immersed in.

  • Specialist teachers in the areas of Music, personal development and health, PE and Christian Studies.

  • Outstanding student wellbeing and pastoral care programs.

  • A strong social and emotional perspective in our learning, emphasising the importance of community mindfulness, global perspectives and the personal responsibility, and importance, for establishing true Christian values, good habits of mind and positive behaviour.

  • A strong co-curricular program for which enables students to experience success and to grow as individuals

  • Music, performing arts and cultural activities including Choirs, Training and Concert Bands, String, Percussion and Guitar ensembles, drama lessons performing arts festivals, debating and public speaking. Private music lessons are also available on site, conducted by the Central Coast Conservatorium of Music.

  • A broad PE and sport program, including a range of team sports in which Years 3 – 6 compete against other local and regional independent schools, as well as the diversity of offerings which include athletics, netball, equestrian and snowsports.

Building Learning Power

The nature of teaching and learning has shifted dramatically in the 21st century, and the kinds of skills that students require both to engage with the world as they are learning at school and in their careers as they graduate as life long learners are dramatically different to those which allowed for success in the past.

Success will come to be reflective of each child’s capacity to know what to do with what they know, rather than just what they know. Our Junior Schools students still need a grounding in the fundamentals in their Junior School years, however they also need to be able to be adaptable and flexible if they are to adjust to, and thrive with, the rapidly changing world they will encounter.

Professor Guy Claxton’s Building Learning Power framework, shifts the emphasis of school from students being passive learners and having education “done to them” to empowering them to be learners who can meet the challenges of a changing world with confidence. Through infusing this model into our teaching and Learning at Lakes Grammar, we actively teach sixteen learning dispositions which enable students understand how they learn best and to take ownership of their learning.

Claxton’s model has four domains which are linked with our school motto of ‘with heart, soul, mind and strength’. These are:

  • Resilience – strength – belief in ourselves as learners
  • Resourcefulness – mind – thinking clearly as learners
  • Reciprocity – heart – reaching out and learning with one another, and
  • Reflectiveness – soul – looking at oneself as a leaner.

Encompassing the intellectual, emotional and relational aspects of personhood, each disposition area encompasses a number of specific learning capacities.

Claxton’s work is well researched and there are a number of schools throughout the UK and Australia who have become ‘building learning power’ schools as they face the challenge of developing students who will be able to flourish beyond school because they are people of character.

Our teachers design learning experiences not only with knowledge, content and process outcomes but with an explicit opportunity for students to develop the learning capacities.

Cambridge International School

Lakes Grammar is the first accredited Cambridge School in the Central Coast and Hunter regions of NSW. The Junior School offers the Cambridge Primary Global Perspectives program, an international education program taught in more than 1300 primary schools in over 11 countries across the world.


Cambridge Global Perspectives is a cross-curricular subject which integrates History, Geography and Science Learning with the Arts, English and Mathematics, inspiring learners to be curious and to think independently.

The Global Perspectives program develops our students’ skills in the areas of research, analysis, evaluation, reflection, collaboration and communication. These skills are taught through a wide range of topics that students can study each year, using a personal, local and global perspective.

The Cambridge approach will continue to support us in developing learners who are: confident in working with information and ideas – their own and those of others, responsible for themselves, responsive to and respectful of others, reflective and developing their capacity to learn, innovative and equipped for new and future challenges and engaged intellectually and socially, ready to make a difference.

Kids Matter Accredited and Be You

Lakes Grammar adopted the Kids Matter Primary Framework in 2013 and after three years of implementing this framework we were recognised as an Accredited Kids Matter School.

The KidsMatter framework has been proven to make a positive difference in the lives of Australian children by providing the methods, tools and support to help schools promote and improve mental health in children. KidsMatter was an Australian mental health and well-being initiative set in primary schools and early childhood education and care services, aiming to improve the mental health and wellbeing of children, reduce mental health problems amongst children, and achieve greater support for children experiencing mental health difficulties, and their families.

Our social and emotional learning which was initially implemented as part of the KidsMatter framework has now transitioned under the umbrella of the Be You program. It continues to support children to learn how to cope with their emotions, to bounce back from problems, and to develop positive relationships.

Happy School Accredited

Lakes Grammar is a member of the Happy Schools Program where we support our staff team to work in a school culture where morale is high and staff feel supported.


We know that great staff want to work in schools where they feel valued and are part of a team that is making a difference, and this is one way that we can attract and retain excellent teachers who make a huge difference to the outcomes achieved by students, our school and to our school’s culture. This initiative supports our dedicated, hardworking, talented staff who have a great work ethic and a terrific attitude.

SchoolAid Accredited

The Board of the SchoolAid charity have endorsed Lakes Grammar for National School Accreditation for Empowering Young Philanthropists.


This reflects a number of initiatives that our children have been involved in over the years, including fundraising for Ronald McDonald House Foundation with the OC class a few years ago, the Kids For a Cause Charity work that children do have done Monday morning assemblies and throughout the week to follow for some time, additional fundraising that we’ve done for different national disasters, Samaritans and the like, and the way in which students engage in school and community service activities, particularly through the Ulimiliko program in Years 5, 6 and onwards.

The Board is very impressed with our focus on encouraging students to undertake campaigns and fundraising events to support others in need. They also recognise our positive and proactive approach to empowering young philanthropists.

Junior School Curriculum

Lakes Grammar has developed a K-6 learning continuum which is of the highest standard and supportive of quality teaching and learning practices. While our school is structured to use the New South Wales curriculum, we do so in our own unique way.

We want to ensure that our structured curriculum both teaches students the fundamentals of English, Mathematics, Science, History and Geography, PDHPE and Creative Arts in a way that also supports and nurtures their natural love of learning.

We also adapt and include many other innovative programmes, providing unique learning opportunities. This is a key benefit of an Independent education.

Our Building Learning Power framework provides a clear direction for the exciting learning journey in Junior School. To prosper in the learning age, our students must learn the capacities to approach the future with curiosity and optimism and to embrace chance in the world with confidence.

We draw on a range of research, including that of John Hattie, to encourage children to ask questions and to understand why they are undertaking the tasks we have for them at school.

Our programs, including Cambridge Global Perspectives, encourage teachers and students alike to consider about the big ideas that the children will need in their lives and for us to plan our teaching to be sure those ideas are what the children will be learning. Our classrooms are places where exciting discoveries are made on each child’s learning journey.

Students are encouraged to take ownership of, and contribute direction to, the learning experience. The school facilitates this learning by providing timely and purposeful feedback and learning environments which promote a positive atmosphere of trust and safe risk taking.

We provide learning experiences in each of the key learning areas in the K – 6 curriculum at Lakes Grammar for each child during each year of primary schooling.

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science and Technology (including Design Technology with Woodwork)
  • Human Society and Its Environment
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
  • Creative Arts (including Music, Dance, Drama and Visual Arts)
  • Christian Studies

English

English is the key learning area where students develop knowledge, skills and understanding about English language and literature. English also has a wider role as a means of learning in all key learning areas.

Mathematics

Mathematics involves students in analysing and solving problems in the areas of space, measurement and number. It involves the study of patterns and relationships and provides a means of communication.

Science and Technology

Science and Technology provides opportunities for students to learn about natural and made environments by engaging in scientific and technological activity. Science and Technology involves students in investigating, designing and making, and using technology.

Human Society and It's Environment (including History and Geography)

This area deals with the interactions of people with one another and with the social, cultural and physical environments as they attempt to meet their needs.

Creative Arts

The Creative Arts key learning area includes the art forms of dance, drama, visual arts and music. Learning in these art forms provide opportunities for students to develop their capacities to make works and appraise their own works and the works of others.

Music is directed by Mr Nathan Fepuleai, an internationally acclaimed music teacher, conductor and choirmeister. Students enjoy a weekly music lesson with their class as one of their specialist subjects, as well as the opportunity to participate n Choir, Band, Strings and a range of musical ensembles.

Visual Arts is taught throughout the Junior School with access to a specialised Art Room for Years 2 – 6. Students have the opportunity to develop artworks in a range of media, including drawing, painting, sculpture and ceramics. Our teachers integrate this subject into core themes being taught in mainstream lessons.

In Drama, our students are offered a range of opportunities in class as a component of the curriculum as well as at our biennial ‘Showcase’ production for K- 6 where all students perform and some of our older students have involvement in directing, stage management, lighting, sound, technology and acting.

Our Dance program invites in a specialist dance teacher for a term’s block of learning dance.

PDHPE (Physical Development, Health and Physical Education)

The Personal Development, Health and Physical Education key learning area helps students develop self esteem, social responsibility, personal fitness and the ability to make informed decisions about health and lifestyle.


Personal Development and Health

A specialist teacher delivers a range of personal development and health lessons to each class for 45 minutes per week. This enables us to have a clear framework for the personal development and health of each student from Kindergarten to Year 6 where we can build on key themes as students move through higher grades in areas including child protection, cyber safety, healthy habits and social skills programs using the ‘Friendly Schools Plus’ framework. Our specialist PDH teacher works closely with the Co-ordinator of Student Wellbeing, our Junior School psychologist and a with range of external providers (including the Life Education Program for K - 6, and the ‘Amazing Me’ and ‘Interrelate’ growth and puberty programs for primary students.


Physical Education

Our physical education program is also delivered on a weekly basis by specialist PE teachers for all Junior School students. Our weekly 45 minute lessons for each grade are held on site using a variety of equipment to support the focus areas of Gross Motor (K – 1, Term 1), Athletics skills (Years 2 – 6, Term 1), Gymnastics (K – 6, Term 2) and Dance (K – 6, Term 3).

During Term 4, K – 6 students participate in our swimming program, with Kindergarten to Year 2 engaging an intensive 10-day swimming school program, which is consolidated in Years 3 – 6 with lessons once a week throughout Term 4. During Year 5 and 6, students can also complete the Bronze Star, a component of the Royal Life Saving Association Bronze Medallion Award, and Year 5 and 6 also participate in surf awareness sessions at a local beach with the Surf Life Saving Association.

Christian Studies and Chapel

Students at Lakes Grammar come from various religious and cultural backgrounds. Their beliefs are respected and acknowledged. As an Anglican school, a Christian emphasis underlies all that is done within the school.

Christian Studies lessons are a key component aspect of the curriculum whereby our Chaplain or a specialist teacher delivers a 30 minute lesson each week to each class.

The scope of the programme guides students in learning about religion, the Lord Jesus and God’s word by studying the Bible, discussing topical ideas, reviewing world religions, and relating their own experiences to the Christian message. Christian values are also embedded throughout the Key Learning Areas.

Our Junior School Chaplain and a team of teachers co-ordinate school ministry, which involves our weekly assembly program, chapel services, Primary Cru Groups, and other student and parent activities.

Camps and Outdoor

Students undertake a camping program from Year 3 onwards which includes:

  • Year 3 attend a local, overnight outdoor education camp at Morisset, enjoying sailing, canoeing and bushcraft activities
  • Year 4 attend a three day, two night camp in Sydney, exploring the history of our early settlement from both an Aboriginal and European perspective.
  • Year 5 attend a three day, two night camp to Bathurst and Hill End to support their study of the discovery of gold and the gold rush in Australia
  • Year 6 attend a four day, three night excursion to Canberra to learn about the history and function of Australian democracy.

Learning Support

In honouring each child’s individuality, the school provides rich educational programs which offer appropriate and targeted learning opportunities for all students, including those who require additional intervention. This aligns with the school’s notion of inclusive education - to meet the diverse learning needs of all students within a mainstream context.

Collaborative teaching teams are responsible for the individualised teaching and learning programs of all students. At each year level, the teaching team consists of class teachers, Learning Support teachers for Literacy and Numeracy and teachers’ aides.

The Learning Support team members teach during English and Maths classes to support the provision of differentiated instruction and support their colleagues by using detailed information on each student to guide teaching and learning. They also contribute to the monitoring of assessment results and documentation of any adjustments required. Specialised lessons using the MacLit suite of programs (Prelit, MiniLit and MacLit) and some small group support for Mathematics are also offered.

Sport

Student from Kindergarten to Year 2 participate in a range of sports at school in class or grade groups.Students in Year 2 upwards who have turned eight years or older are also able to participate in the annual Swimming, Athletics and Cross Country Carnivals with the opportunity to progress through to Hunter Region representation and higher. We also offer modified versions of these activities for students in Kindergarten and Year 1.

Years 3 - 6 have the opportunity to participate in additional during and after-school sport programs. Some of these are conducted at school whilst others are user-pay activities, and are run by qualified external coaches or providers which include Indoor Rock Climbing, Mariners Soccer, Oztag, Running, Tennis, Cricket, and AFL.

Students in Years 3- 6 also have the opportunity to represent the school in external competitions including soccer, netball, hockey, AFL, rugby league, rugby union, basketball, tennis, Oztag, and touch football.

Gifted and Talented Programs

The Junior School features a range of gifted and talented programs to enrich and extend students. Our High Potential and Gifted Education Co-ordinator, Mrs Amanda Holland, works with teachers, students and parents to support the integration of enrichment and extension tasks into our teaching programs and to oversee the development of individual plans to support gifted students in their learning.

For students in Years 5 and 6, the school offers an OC class for gifted and talented children which provides  a challenging and academically rigorous program, and a fast-paced differentiated curriculum, where students develop a greater depth of knowledge and apply abstract reasoning skills to complex issues. The OC class aims to provide an intellectually stimulating learning environment which challenges and inspires students and fosters their love of learning.

Modifications to the curriculum are made through adjustments to content, process and product in order to meet the needs of high ability learners. As for all students, the curriculum is engaging, relevant and challenging, as well as developmentally appropriate. Students are provided with opportunities to participate in a range of opportunities to further extend their learning, including:

  • UNSW EAA competitions for Digital Technologies, English, Spelling, Mathematics, Writing and Science
  • Newcastle Permanent Mathematics Competitions
  • Mathematics Olympaids and Challenges
  • Computational and Algebraic Thinking competitions
  • DaVinci Decathlon
  • Tournament of Minds
  • Literary Festivals and Workshops
  • Debating
  • Virtual Debating
  • Public Speaking
  • Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Competititon
  • National History Challenge
  • Write On competition

Contact Us

Cnr Sparks Road &
Albert Warner Drive
Warnervale NSW 2259

PO Box 6069
Gorokan  NSW  2263


Tel: +61 2 4393 4111
Fax: +61 2 4393 4133
Email: admin@lakes.nsw.edu.au


 

A school of the Newcastle Anglican Schools Corporation in the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle