Year 4–6 curriculum
Our Junior School curriculum is inspired by the Reggio Emilia inquiry-based approach. This is an innovative, and inspiring learning philosophy for early childhood education which values each child as strong, capable, and resilient.
In Year 4 -6 the focus has changed from learning to read, to reading to learn. Girls are focused on crafting writing for a range of audiences and in a variety of genres. They will have a greater awareness of style and purpose in their writing, while as readers they will be more independent and be seeking to expand their reading interests. Becoming confident researchers will be a key component, as will be becoming articulate speakers in a number of settings.
Our emphasis is on teaching Mathematics as a sense-making process and ensuring all girls are numerate, have opportunities to be innovative in problem-solving and can make mathematical decisions. Students are given opportunities to enter maths competitions and challenges.
Social Sciences: P.E.A.C.E.
With a curriculum structure that involves studying Identity, Culture and Organisation, Place and Environment, Continuity and Change and the Economic World, the objective is to develop students’ understanding of the way people participate in society. This includes studies from the past, present and future within and beyond New Zealand.
PEACE has seen the introduction of Philosophy, Ethics, Attributes, Character/Citizenship, and Exploration (PEACE) to all Junior School classrooms at a level appropriate for each girl’s age and stage.
PEACE is an extension of our Social Sciences investigations curriculum, and is an inquiry-led approach which deepens each girl’s understanding of topics. Teachers introduce topics, which are then steered by the girls’ interests. We see this nurturing awareness of the world around her, and inspiring her curiosity and thinking skills.
Classes may be learning from the same curriculum, but the experiences of each class will be different, determined by the girls’ thinking, questions, and approach. This is turn supports each girl to develop the inner confidence to express her views, ask questions and critically examine current affairs and social studies.
Science provides an opportunity for our girls to make sense of the world around them through a variety of hands-on experiments, investigative inquiries and collaborative problem solving. In Year 5 and 6 we introduce a specialist Science teacher to further support our girls’ love of science.
At Year 4 our one-to-one programme begins with all girls having their own iPad for use in all areas of the curriculum. At Year 6 girls progress to using individual laptops for everyday classroom learning.
Girls are guided by specialist teachers in all areas of technology learning and explore nine key modules addressing digital citizenship concepts as part of a structured programme.
The Stretch programme in Year 4-6 enables girls to explore key STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) areas. Units explore context, identify a need or opportunity and promote the design and creation of an outcome to address this need through technological processes. Girls at this stage choose their STRETCH topic themselves, which they study for two terms, before choosing another topic.
The Arts is prioritised in the Junior School, with girls learning through classroom and specialist teachers in the disciplines of Visual Art, Dance, Drama and Music. Our Stretch programme links into this curriculum area, emphasising collaboration and awe in learning through the Arts.
Taught by specialist teachers, the PE programme incorporates activities such as ball skills, aquatics, dance and movement, running, jumping and throwing, gymnastics, games and activities from other cultures. Our students are encouraged to be part of team, participating in the many sporting codes on offer within the school ranging from diving to netball, hockey and flippaball.
Girls explore what they can learn from the past to enhance their journey going forward. Reflection and embracing the school motto, By Love Serve, are central to the programme.