Developing all dimensions
At St Cuthbert’s Junior School your daughter’s development happens just as much outside the classroom as inside.
She will be part of a culture where it’s normal to follow routines, take initiative, show kindness to others and live by our school motto: By Love Serve. Her mental, emotional, physical and social dimensions all develop simultaneously. With our wraparound pastoral approach any issues will be identified early and support and extra assistance put in place to help her when she needs it.
As an independent school we are fortunate to have the freedom to design, implement and refine our own ground-breaking programmes below. These are a part of our girls’ lives every day in the Junior School and they help to develop the crucial qualities of joy, curiosity and physical, emotional and intellectual rigour.
An innovative programme we researched, developed and implemented in 2015. This builds on each girl’s existing strengths, but also provides a framework for her to develop areas she would not otherwise have the opportunity to explore. Choosing from the core subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and the Arts, the girls experience activities as diverse as modern dance and robotics, water colour painting and movie making, or Mathex problem solving and debating.
Through encouraging the girls to step out of their comfort zone and exposing them to new things, we give them the opportunity to discover their unique strengths and passions. The Stretch programme gives each girl the opportunity to take risks in a safe and supported environment, to learn how to work well with others and to also be confident to work alone.
Stretch is my favourite time of the week. Ï love Bug Bytes, and I think we should do it every day. It got my brain working!
Children’s sensory and physical development affects their ability to remember what they see, hear and do. Therefore, it affects their ability to learn and achieve. Foundation Fitness enables our girls to develop these skills so that when they move into formal learning situations they will find success more readily and be more ‘switched on to learning’.
Our Foundation Fitness programme runs for 15 minutes at the beginning of each day and develops each girl’s fine and gross motor skills. The girls move on a weekly rotation from each of the skill based activities; these include balance, hand/eye co-ordination, skipping, locomotion movement and specific fine motor skills such as cutting, beading, piecing Lego together and picking up objects with tweezers. The girls love the variation throughout the week and they are also developing their social skills by working in mixed level groups with girls in Y1-3.
The MovinCog initiative was set up by the University of Auckland and the Centre for Brain Research. It focuses on developing the critical area of working memory, and in 2017 our Year 5 girls were invited to be part of the trial. Our staff have worked closely with Dr David Moreau and his research team. This initiative has now been implemented across Year 4-6, and involves 20 minute sessions of physical and mental agility activities throughout the week.
Our Values Programme
In the Junior School our girls learn kindness, belonging and sharing. They also understand that no matter how big or small, it’s okay to ask for help. By Love Serve is at the heart of all we do at St Cuthbert’s, and in particular, our Values Programme, gives all our girls a chance to contribute to their community.
In the Junior School the focus is on kind and thoughtful acts that each girl can do and feel good about. These range from caring for their own school grounds through our Flowers for Giving garden to assisting the wider community via foodbanks for Presbyterian Support Northern and fundraising for the Mobility Assistance Dogs’ Trust.
Girls earn their donations for Values projects through chores at home and events they organise and run at school and so are justifiably proud of the difference they help to make.
Services in our Old Girls’ Chapel also form part of our Values programme and provide an excellent opportunity for our girls to reflect, give thanks and gain a deeper understanding of what it means to live By Love Serve.