Our goal is to ensure all our students learn to be their best within a setting that encourages a high level of engagement, understanding, collaboration and reflection.
Finding Her Voice
Welcome to our Junior School, a place we call ‘Barbreck’.
The Primary years of education are crucial to build the foundations for lifelong, independent learning. We believe nurturing children through the formative years of Prep to Year 6 means surrounding them with a learning environment enriched with experiences, opportunities and an atmosphere of individual care and attention through our whole School wellbeing program.
In July 2018, Stage 1 of the new Junior School building was complete with our student settling into their wonderful new classrooms. While educational inspiration is not dependant on the physical environment alone, we are pleased to able to offer our girls light and colourful learning spaces that inspire, as well as the most up to date technology and classroom resources to enhance their learning journey at St Catherine’s. To better cater for a range of needs and learning modes, the new classroom deliver flexibility—the capacity for spaces to capture the needs of individual or small group work, team teaching and open shared space for collaborative program work.
The new Junior School features:
- A dedicated Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Language Learning,
- A 21st Century School library and resource centre located at the centre of the campus, preparing students to be critical thinkers, evaluators and entrepreneurial creators of information and knowledge, and
- A purpose built auditorium equipped with a designated rehearsal space, a well-equipped Music classroom with private instrumental tutorial spaces and a new Art Studio and gallery.
The beginning of 2019 will see the final stage of our Junior School redevelopment completed with the opening of the Village Green, playing and sports precinct within the grounds of the School campus to provide a safe, secure and private space for our girls with close and visible proximity to staff offices, enabling vigilance and care.
We are also pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Karen McArdle as the new Head of the Junior School at St Catherine’s School commencing in January 2019. With extensive experience in primary years schooling, including 18 years’ experience as a Head of Junior School, Ms McArdle brings to the role considerable expertise in school leadership, curriculum development and leading exemplary practice in teaching and learning.
Commencing School with competence and confidence
A large number of our Junior School students commence their education in our Early Learning Centre, providing them with an enriching early learning experience equipping them with the necessary skills to commence School with competence and confidence.
At St Catherine’s we ensure the transition to Prep is seamless and comfortable for all our students. Our sequential teaching program ensures all our students – from Prep to Year 6 – develop curiosity, inquiry and investigation skills.
Our small class sizes, together with input from our Head of Extension and Learning Support and various small group activities, help to cater for the individual needs of our students. We provide a comprehensive program for learning support and extension, depending on individual needs.
The St Catherine’s expansive curriculum is based on Best Practice teaching and is carefully planned with our students’ knowledge, needs, interests and varying abilities in mind. It is underpinned by the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) and is both rigorous and sequential.
Key curriculum areas for our students include:
- Literacy and Numeracy
- Science and Technology
- Physical Education
- Philosophy (Years 5 and 6)
- Outdoor Education – Beyond Boundaries
- Perceptual Motor Program
- STEM in the Mornings
- Write on Wednesday
- Choirs, Instrumental Music, Concert Band, Percussion and String groups and Choral groups
- Sport (Athletics, Gymnastics, Tennis, Netball, Snowsports, Swimming, Cross Country Running and Joggers’ Club)
- Drama and musical theatre
- Bodyworks – comprehensive health program
- Dance (Classical, Jazz and Ballet),
Opportunities to build self-confidence, resilience and encourage positive risk-taking is provided in our Outdoor Education program available to students from Year 2.
Out of School Hours Care
Out of School Hours Care is provided by Camp Australia and is available from 7.00am until the commencement of the ELC program at 8.45am. This service is also available in the afternoons from 3.00pm until 6.00pm. The Out of School Hours Care Program operates within the ELC building in a shared space known as the Piazza.