Building a strong foundation in the primary school years
At Caulfield Grammar School we believe in developing the whole child – not just their knowledge, but their interests, attitudes and values.
One of the key differentiators of our Junior School is our approach to teaching and learning led by our highly skilled educators. We enable children to be curious, confident and critical thinkers who can forge their own pathway and contribute to life with passion and purpose.
Our Junior Schools are located at our Wheelers Hill Campus and Malvern Campus, giving students access to an extensive range of world-class resources and learning environments.
Cultivating Capable and Curious Learners
The inquiry-based International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) framework guides the delivery of the Australian Curriculum. It is designed for 3-12 year olds and provides a comprehensive research-based curriculum framework of global significance. It is an international, transdisciplinary, concept-driven, inquiry-based programme.
Our Approach to Teaching and Learning
We believe students learn best when they understand the ‘why’ and ‘how’, not just the ‘what’. By focusing on the development of conceptual understandings and transdisciplinary skills, students understand core concepts so they can apply them in other areas. This not only helps in grasping ideas, it also encourages students to extend their thinking as they build on what they have learned.
An example of conceptual understanding in practice would be a student’s ability to transfer their understanding pf place in Mathematics (place value of numbers) to the broader concept of place and belonging in other subjects. Through this transdisciplinary approach, students learn how to transfer and apply knowledge to all areas of their lives.
Multiple Pathways for Each Child
Our inquiry approach to learning is underpinned by students gaining a strong core knowledge of literacy and numeracy. Core learning areas provide broad and balanced pathways that support each child to find and develop their strengths and passions.
Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM)
Our comprehensive STEM program reinforces the value we place on concept-based transdisciplinary learning. Specialist STEM Teachers assist students to build their knowledge and skills – through both classroom units of inquiry and stand-alone learning experiences from ELC to Year 6. As an extension of learning within the classroom, students undertake investigations and design challenges that allow them to transfer and synthesise knowledge and skills. Students reflect on the process utilising the key aspects of the units of inquiry that have driven each experience. Students also participate in a range of STEM programs, events, competitions and extension opportunities, providing deep and varied opportunities.
Classroom Music is taught at each year level from Early Learning to Year 6 with students engaged in many enriching and unique musical experiences. Singing is used as the fundamental vehicle for musical development. All students are involved in a comprehensive and engaging instrumental program, learning a string instrument in Year 2 and either a wind, brass or percussion instrument in Year 5. A wide range of opportunities exist to join a music group, choir, ensemble, or music production. Private instrumental lessons are available and taught by specialist teaching staff. Students are given the opportunity to perform on campus and in incredible concert venues around Melbourne throughout the year.
Health and PE classes reflect our commitment to developing the mind-body connection. Students learn essential human character traits like courage, humility, collaboration and self-confidence. Through our House Sport program, which includes House Swimming, Athletics and Cross-Country carnivals, along with participation in Associated Public Schools (APS) interschool competition in the upper Junior years, students can further refine their sporting skills with the support and guidance of expert coaches.
APS competition begins in Year 5 and all students take part in four terms of Sport against other APS schools. Students experience a range of sports at overall development and creating connection with the Middle School Sport program.
Through integrated Drama sessions that extend what is being learned in their classrooms, students are provided with opportunities to develop their confidence, communication skills and ability to collaborate. A range of performance opportunities are on offer throughout the year, culminating in annual theatrical productions for Prep, Year 5 and Year 6 learners. When it comes to musical productions and drama, there are as many opportunities to be involved backstage as there are on the stage itself. Caulfield Grammar School productions are rigorous and focused, fun and inclusive.
After exploring the basic elements of art in Early Learning classes, a specialist art teacher is introduced from Prep onwards. At times, artists-in-residence work with learners to provide unique and diverse perspectives. Learners are encouraged to experiment with art mediums and processes to express their ideas and feelings.
We recognise that learning another language helps a child’s social and cognitive development. Students take Mandarin Chinese lessons with a specialist teacher from Early Learning and these can be continued right through to VCE level. They are encouraged to ask questions about the Chinese language and culture and are supported as they research and work collaboratively to develop a deeper understanding. Comparisons are made from the English language to Mandarin and beyond as we develop international mindedness in our learners.
Community Life is a curriculum of wide-ranging learning experiences that build community connectedness, develop transferable life skills, and provide pastoral support for all students. Dedicated sessions for all members of our School community provide opportunities to participate in Assemblies, Chapel, Special Events, Buddies, House activities, student leadership development, and experiences that develop social and emotional learning.
Yarra Junction Campus is a place where our Junior School students explore their natural environment and are challenged to consider the effect of their actions and lifestyle upon it. Fond memories are formed from eye-to-eye encounters with newborn calves to experiencing the Australian bush with Wurundjeri elder Ian Hunter.
Through planned and purposeful experiences in the junior years, your child is equipped with the social and emotional toolkit they need to feel good, function well, relate better with others, and navigate life’s changes and challenges.
Learners develop the skills and dispositions to enhance their wellbeing and safety, as well as those around them. They are supported to embrace attitudes and behaviours that are reflective of our School Values.
Learning in nature is a wonderful way to gain an appreciation of the world and our role within it. We have close and regular access to neighbouring parks, providing children with outdoor spaces that promote creativity, curiosity and connection.
Jells Park, on the doorstep of Wheelers Hill Junior Campus, offers exploration and adventure. It has also influenced our campus environment, with outdoor spaces designed to connect children and nature.
At Malvern Campus, students enjoy the benefits of our resident wellbeing dog, Monty, and free range chickens. They immerse themselves in the local community through regular walks, sporting events at Central Park and picnic outings to Hedgeley Dene.
Friendships for Life
We help children develop the skills they need to make positive friendships.
The Junior School years not only lay the foundation for secondary school, they also provide the beginnings of meaningful friendships. This makes the transition to Year 7 an easier one, and often leads to the development of lifelong friends.
A Warm and Inclusive Community
More than a place of learning, our School is a place of belonging.
The House System provides children with a sense of community, connection and belonging. Students compete in House events and work together in common programs, creating close relationships within and across year levels. Our Buddies program and special events such as assemblies, Sports days and Book Week celebration also encourage connection across year levels.
Supporting Emotional Needs
A strong connection with parents, guardians and caregivers is a key part of our School. We work in partnership with families to support each child’s needs, emotionally and academically. Students from Wheelers Hill Junior Campus and Malvern Campus also come together for events such as Junior School camps and interschool APS Sport competitions, extending the feeling of being part of a community.
We encourage children to think about how they want to improve the world. With their inherent optimism, the Junior School years are an ideal time to think about how to make the world a better place.
We value their input and actively seek it out when making decisions on school matters. Students have influenced areas like new play space design, uniform choices, furniture improvements and excursions. By giving them choice and a voice, they feel a sense of ownership in the decision and naturally develop a desire to take action in areas that impact the world.
Children are encouraged to take ownership of their learning, ask meaningful questions and set goals. The enquiries conducted at all year levels provide real-life contexts to evoke student-initiated action. This commitment to action is highlighted in the final year of Junior School with all students participating in our Year 6 PYP Exhibition – a student-led enquiry into an area of interest for them.