Junior School - Signature Programs

Posted 1 March 2019 12:50pm

In late 2018, Head of Junior School - Angela Whitaker wrote about the Junior School’s signature programs and offered a brief explanation of each unique offering.

With 2019 in full swing, students in Years 3 to 6 are enjoying new experiences specific to their year level. Let’s explore with them…

Year 3 - Girls TALK

Through our Girls TALK program students will learn the importance of caring for themselves, their friends and their community and they take action to assist others. Now in its second year, Girls TALK kicked off the year with orienteering and this week, our Year 3 students have been on camp – a perfect opportunity to practice empathy and focus on positive health, emotions and relationships.

Here are some comments from Year 3 students about the benefits of Girls TALK:

“Girls TALK means to make friends and to make yourself more confident in yourself.”

“It's about how we connect with our friendships and how solve the problems.”

“It is helpful for making new friends to play with on the playground.”

“It is helpful when I feel stressed and helps me with my emotions and friendships.”

Year 4 - smART Girls

Our Year 4 students have had the opportunity to start developing deep understandings and positive dispositions through their participation in performing arts. Already this year, girls took part in a poetry workshop with Harry Laing, a poet, writer and performer. He is full of humour and energy and girls came out of the session beaming with joy, having thoroughly enjoyed the session. To add to this experience, our smART Girls had the opportunity to take part in a National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) workshop AND spend time with Australian performer, Rachael Beck! So many activities and we’re only in Week 4!

Year 5 - Girls with Grit

Girls with Grit is our original signature program and it continues to be a major talking point for students, parents and staff alike! The program was developed to foster perseverance and resilience (grit). Each year, our Year 5 girls look forward to their first big ‘grit’ experience at BFirm in Symonston. The girls conquered the course - commando crawling through muddy trenches and working cooperatively in order to finish the obstacle courses – all the while maintaining enthusiasm and a positive attitude.

The girls learnt about the importance of trust and working together to reach group goals. The Year 5 teachers willingly took on the challenge, alongside Mr Peter McDonald (Director of Junior School) in order to model true grit in all its forms!

When asked what they took from the experience, one student reflected: “I faced the challenge of being wet, dirty and tired but I still ran on to try and work for my team. I remembered that my team was counting on me and that everybody was managing to complete the course, all going through the same, tough experiences.”

Year 6 - Girls Who Lead

The Girls Who Lead program acknowledges the potential of our senior primary students to make an impact on their community. Starting with our Leadership Day on 7 February at our wonderful Yhuuramulum building, students started their year-long program by participating in a series of team activities designed to enhance the confidence, positivity and empathy they will need to recognise that they can be a catalyst for positive change in their world.

As 6R student Lilly Spalding says, “You can’t just expect others to do things to change the world. We have to step up as individuals and take action.”

We have been lucky to have one of the School’s very own trailblazers – Rugby player Grace Kemp (Year 12) spend time with some of our students. They had the opportunity to interview her and discover how her determination, perseverance and initiative have helped her become an elite rugby player in the Brumbies women's squad. Grace also talked about how she is using her talents to influence young women to reach their goals.


All students benefit from learning experiences that provide the right amount of challenge and our inspireHER suite of programs are delivered with challenge in mind for our high potential learners. Through problem-solving, critical reasoning, creative thinking and inquiry, our students engage in opportunities that allow them to work with ‘crunchy eyebrows’ and stretch themselves as learners.

Thank you to everybody who contributed to this article, in particular Julie Jobson, Jessica Blin, Lucy Bennett, Peter McDonald and Jillian Shaw.

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