Education in the primary school is driven by the philosophy of the IB Primary Years Programme and underpinned by our learning principles, a set of shared beliefs about how learning best takes place.
- We learn in different ways, depending on abilities, preferences and interests.
- Learning takes place through inquiry: questioning, exploring, experimenting and problem-solving.
- Learning includes acquisition of skills and knowledge, constructing meaning and transfer to different contexts.
- Learning is active and social and is enhanced by collaboration and interaction.
- Learners need to feel secure, valued and able to take risks.
- Learning needs to be challenging, meaningful, purposeful and engaging.
- Learning includes metacognition and reflection, which support learners taking ownership of their learning.
Click here to hear Greg Hannon reflecting on Scopus.
With these principles in mind, we seek to educate the whole child, not just academically, but through the development of a broad range of skills and dispositions including social, self-management, communication, thinking and research skills. The arts, physical education and the kitchen garden add layers to the development of the whole child and are a vehicle for the development of these lifelong, transdisciplinary skills.
Inquiry, as the underpinning pedagogical approach of the PYP, recognises students as being actively involved in their own learning and as taking responsibility for that learning. Inquiry extends students’ learning when the exploration of initial curiosity generates new questions and wonderings. Explicit teaching, in Literacy, Mathematics and Hebrew as well as other areas, has an important place within inquiry-based learning. As the International Baccalaureate says in PYP: From Principles into Practice (2018): “In an inquiry classroom, explicit teaching occurs ‘just in time’ (Hmelo-Silver, Duncan, Chinn 2007) not ‘just in case.’”
The Garden program allows children from Prep to Year 5 to connect with nature and learn about sustainability, whilst building and maintaining the garden according to organic gardening principles, growing and harvesting a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs. Years 3, 4 and 5 students also learn about nutrition and prepare meals from seasonal produce they have grown. The Kitchen Garden Program touches on key learning areas for primary children and has potential for our students to enhance their mathematical, literacy and inquiry skills. Knowledge and skills pertaining to their Jewish identity are also furthered and connections made with Kashrut as well as preparing traditional foods for the different chagim.
Technology is incorporated seamlessly to enhance learning, including communication, creativity, design thinking and digital citizenship . Students also have the opportunity to extend their learning with enrichment activities such as coding, robotics and 3D printing.
The Arts are viewed as a powerful medium through which students explore and construct a sense of self and develop an understanding of the world around them. Music and Visual Arts provide students with a wide range of opportunities to respond to their experiences and engage with the world. As well as providing opportunities for self expression and building confidence through connecting with the audience, learning about and through The Arts is fundamental to the development of the whole child, promoting creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving skills and social interactions.
Our Teaching and Learning team collaborate to guide pedagogy and to ensure that teaching practice aligns with the standards and practices of the IB PYP and with our learning principles. Their roles include mentoring and coaching teachers, ensuring the needs of every student are met, overseeing professional development and parent support.
The Primary Curriculum Handbook outlines the scaffolding throughout the different curriculum areas such as Maths, English, Inquiry and Ivrit from the ELCs through to Year 6.
The Deputy Principal regularly visits each primary campus and is on site three or four times each week.
The Campus Coordinators at GBH, Monica Brivik, and at SFPS, Dana Rosenzweig, run the campus on a day to day basis and represent the deputy principal onsite. The lead teacher of the FKI Discovery Centre holds the same role there for the Year 3 children and parents.
Support for students and parents
The Learning Support Centre’s teachers provide a range of support services for students in Years Prep to 6 requiring additional assistance with literacy and numeracy on a withdrawal or in-class basis dependent on the students’ needs.
There is a provision for children to access speech and language therapy by a qualified speech pathologist during the school day. Similarly, children may also have access to occupational therapy by qualified therapists during the school day.
Each of our primary campuses has a qualified psychologist on site. Counselling services are based on the principles of care, respect, responsibility and confidentiality. School Psychologists are therefore the people to consult when there is a concern about a child’s social, emotional and educational development. Contact with Psychologists can be initiated by students, parents or teachers.
|Campus||Primary year levels|
Gandel Besen House (GBH)
Prep to Year 2
Fink Karp Ivany (FKI)
Year 3 Discovery Centre
Smorgon Family Primary School (SFPS)
Year 4 to Year 6