Curriculum in the Junior School
Developing a Community of Internationally Minded Learners.
At Canberra Girls Grammar School, our approach to teaching and Learning reflects an understanding that the meaning of “knowing” has shifted from being able to remember and repeat to being able to locate, apply and synthesise information and knowledge. Our aim is to develop independent, reflective and globally aware, lifelong learners.
The curriculum in classes from Preparatory to Year 6 flows naturally from the curriculum used in the Early Learning Centre. A diverse, globally significant curriculum which spans the ages 3-12 has been embraced by our community of staff, parents and students. The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP) is being phased in following intensive research and our subsequent acceptance as a Candidate School.
In our Junior Primary Years (Preparatory to Year 2) there is a commitment to the education of both boys and girls and, from Year 3, girls learn in an environment that specialises in the education of girls. There is a commitment to the establishment and mastery of foundation skills in literacy and numeracy and, as students develop, they are increasingly encouraged to risk-take in their learning, identify with strong role models and engage in higher-order thinking.
The development of curriculum at CGGS is school-based within the ACT curriculum framework, Every Chance to Learn, which will be fully implemented from the beginning of 2010.
Core Curriculum Areas
Home class teachers are responsible for:
- Units of Inquiry (which integrate English with Studies of Society and Environment and/or Science
The prime resource for the Mathematics and English curricula are the NSW English and Mathematics syllabuses. The Units of Inquiry are developed within the six transdiciplinary themes for the PYP:
- How we express ourselves
- Where we are in place and time
- Sharing the planet
- How we organise ourselves
- How the world works
- Who we are
The major resource for the Science-focused inquiries is the Primary Connections Program which is being developed by the Academy of Science under the auspices of the Department of Education, Science and Training.
Specialist Curriculum Areas
Specialist teachers teach:
- Religion and Philosophy
- Physical Education and Health
- Visual Arts
Subject integration is used where appropriate and ICT is integrated across the curriculum. All students have specially focused sessions in the library every week and
Catering for Individual Needs
All classroom programs are differentiated to cater for a range of abilities and learning styles. The Learning Support team works with children requiring additional assistance in literacy, numeracy and where English is a second language. Members of the team also work with children identified for extra extension. These extra programs may be in-class or on a withdrawal basis.
CGGS takes a broad view of reporting to parents about their child’s progress. Reporting is spread over the year and includes two formal written semester reports, sharing sessions between teachers and parents, parent-teacher interviews, learning journeys and, sometimes, special work exhibitions. Interviews may be arranged at any time by parents or staff.