Deputy Head of Junior School News

By Sandie Bray,

  Filed under: Uncategorised

2019 brings with it a number of exciting opportunities in the Junior School and it is fantastic to see these initiatives turn from 2018 plans into innovative programs that will have a positive impact on the learning outcomes for Junior School students.

This year we have introduced a number of new specialist programs into the Junior School, to achieve this we have aligned the strengths and passions of our existing staff with a specialist subject area in Year 3 -6. In addition to this two of our expert secondary staff, Riccardo Rossadoni and Carlee Mitchell, will work on the Junior School campus to develop and support our Digital Technologies and Wellbeing programs.

The new Specialist subjects being offered are:

Wellbeing, Digital Technologies, and Specialist Science.


Wellbeing for our staff and students is so important and involves many skills and aspects that need to be explicitly taught. This year Mrs Vicky Mackenzie and Mrs Carlee Mitchell will be our Year 3-6 Wellbeing specialist teachers. As well as teaching Wellbeing, they will also be involved in developing a whole school Wellbeing Framework that will be launched at a special Week 3 Whole School Assembly. The framework will then continue to be developed in order to improve the Wellbeing of not just our students but our whole school community.

Digital Technologies

Digital Technologies as a specialist subject will also be introduced this year. This will be taught and driven by Mr Riccardo Rosadoni and Mr Michael Fowler. Both are passionate and skilled users and teachers of technology and they are very excited about developing skills in areas such as animation, coding, augmented reality and 3D design and printing. These programs will help to prepare our students for a future where they can confidently be producers of technology rather than just consumers of technology.

Our Digital Technologies program will be further enhanced by the introduction of 1:1 HP devices from Year 4-6. This has enabled each Year 3 students to have access to a device also but in a different capacity from Year 4-6. As well as this Ipads will be introduced into the Junior Primary classes in place of the Surface Pro’s.

To complement the increased Digital Technology program a robust Digital Citizenship program will be introduced and will ensure our students become responsible users of technology in a technology rich world.

Specialist Science

In 2018 the Junior School developed a comprehensive plan to increase our utilisation of Belair National Park and improve learning outcomes in Environmental Science. In order to further improve our Environmental Science program we have introduced Specialist Science lessons in Years 3-6. These lessons will be taken by Ms Bronwyn Sharpe and myself. We will continue to work with National Resource Management and the park to develop this program and have additional support from Declan Page our “Scientist in Schools”. Declan currently works for the CSIRO and has a special interest and association with the park. In 2019 all year levels will undertake signature learning experiences in the park throughout the year. You will find out more about many of these as they happen.

Mathematics Extension and Support.

Our Mathematics extension and support program will be further enhanced by the introduction of increased Mathematics Extension lessons. Amanda Hinton will oversee the Mathematics Support and extension Program and Mr Richard Anderson will teach the Year 5/6 extension class on Fridays. Students from Year 3 to 6 that are part of the extension program will receive 4 extension lessons per week. This will allow for further differentiation for extension students as well as the students that will remain their class teachers. A Junior Primary extension program will also be introduced. The support program will remain the same as 2018.

Learning Teams

The Learning Teams program has proven to be a successful genre based literacy program and will continue this year. This program runs across all year levels and is coordinated by Mrs Joyanne Gardner and supported by Ms Podgorski and Mrs Bell from the Learning Support Team.

Junior Primary

This year in the Junior Primary we are putting an additional focus on the development of Literacy and Numeracy skills and the rigour surrounding these areas. In order to achieve this we have been able to adjust the timetable so that the majority of morning sessions from 9-11am will be uninterrupted Literacy and Numeracy sessions. In addition to this, we have been revising and improving our Literacy framework and will be introducing a Junior Primary Maths extension program. Strong literacy and numeracy programs in the Junior Primary are so important and set our students up for future success across all learning areas.

Nicholas Smith

Deputy Head of Junior School