Junior School Prep to Year 6

Excitement and wonder characterise the Junior School years: skilled and passionate staff inspire and develop inquisitiveness and curiosity to enable students to build new knowledge and better understand the wider world.

Learning experiences are enhanced by our state-of-the-art Junior School facilities, designed to meet the requirements of primary aged students. Within this supportive and challenging environment, students feel a strong sense of belonging and purpose.

Our lively curriculum is designed to:

  • embrace diversity
  • facilitate key foundation skills
  • encourage the development of personal spirit
  • foster citizenship.

Prep to Year 2

The early years are critical to the foundation of literacy, numeracy, thinking and social skills. We place great emphasis on the development of these skills throughout the Prep to Year 2 program.

In small groups and with individual attention, students work from beginning literacy skills to developing fluency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. In the development of numeracy, students move from working with concrete materials in mathematics towards more abstract understandings.

Through discussion, role-play and real problem solving, students develop a wide range of thinking strategies and group participation skills.

Students gradually develop independence and responsibility, from carrying their own school bags and being organised for the next day to staying late at the Year 2 ‘Night at School’.

The Prep classroom is located in a beautiful Edwardian house where the transition from home to school is easy to make.

Years 3 & 4

Effective and productive social skills are essential for successful participation in daily life. In the middle years of primary schooling, students become more aware of the needs, views and contributions of others.

Our educational, pastoral care and outdoor education programs aim to:

  • enhance the natural development of social skills
  • teach resilience
  • foster friendship skills
  • encourage team spirit
  • encourage cooperation
  • foster a love of learning.

Positive social and play skills assist students to develop healthy friendships and make effective contributions to group activities. Teachers are aided by excellent resources and materials for extending students’ literacy and numeracy skills.

The benefits of small class sizes

Small class sizes enable each teacher to give individual attention when needed to assist students with:

  • reading
  • speaking
  • listening
  • writing
  • working with complex numbers
  • mathematical concepts
  • creative thinking
  • specific thinking strategies.

Years 5 & 6

Learning through leadership

Students in Years 5 and 6 are ready for the next challenge. In the primary years, these students are the leaders of our School and role-models for the younger students. They are given opportunities to be selected as leaders and to be ‘big buddies’ to ELC and lower primary students.

All of our older students explore the characteristics of leadership in detail. These include:

  • organisation
  • public speaking
  • confidence
  • responsibility
  • good communication skills
  • teamwork.

Such activities reinforce and extend the early foundation of social skills development.

Our double class structure

With two classes at each year level, many opportunities are given to the students to mix with others and work with other teachers.

  • Folding doors provide spaces that change to suit the needs of the learner.
  • Small groups and independent investigations make way for year level meetings where big ideas are debated and analysed.
  • Technology in each classroom supports learning the everyday curriculum.
  • Class sets of laptops are available to students when required.
  • ICT skills and research techniques are taught in meaningful contexts.

Our approach to learning

Students in upper primary years have an increased awareness of world events. Their experience is taken beyond the local community and their personal world to explore the history of Victoria, the government of Australia and the countries and cultures of Asia and Europe.

Reasoning and questioning are fostered by the teaching of thinking skills through:

  • discussion
  • clarifying issues
  • listening to others’ opinions
  • developing personal viewpoints
  • articulating viewpoints clearly and respectfully.

The teaching of literacy, numeracy, thinking and communication skills is still essential through these later years to consolidate and extend student development. Students learn to:

  • critically analyse text
  • become more aware of context, purpose and audience
  • become increasingly independent in creating texts for a range of purposes.

Mathematical understandings increase to involve more complex numbers and concepts, still linked to the purposeful use of mathematics in real-life situations.

We celebrate diversity and excellence in each of our students.

Class gatherings, assemblies and the weekly newsletter provide opportunities to publicly acknowledge the wide variety of achievements and efforts of our students.

Music at Mellor House

Strathcona’s commitment to a rich music program provides all girls with an opportunity to develop the musician within. In addition to co-curricular music activities, classroom based activities include all Year 2 students learning a string instrument and playing in ensembles. Older students can learn a brass, percussion or other instrument and participate in ensembles – the Mellor House String Orchestra, Chamber Strings, Brass Ensemble and Concert Band.

There are choirs for Years 3 and 4 and Years 5 and 6. Together with solo musicians, these choirs perform during concerts and soirées, at whole-School events and at community events. Students involved in the co-curricular Speech and Drama program also take part in concerts, soirées and eisteddfods.

Transition to Year 7

While starting a new school at Year 7 can be a challenging time, Mellor House students have the advantage of familiarity with the Senior Campus.

They use Senior Campus facilities each week for:

  • swimming
  • physical education
  • lunch play
  • assemblies.

Senior School staff also give regular lessons in:

  • Science
  • Languages
  • Art
  • Swimming
  • Physical Education

During Semester 2, all Year 6 students participate in a transition program including activities in the Year 7 classrooms, Senior Library and the Food Technology area led by the Year 7 Coordinator and Senior School staff.

Overview of Curriculum

The Fundamentals

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Integrated studies (including Science, Geography, History, Design, Creativity and Technology)
  • Thinking skills
  • Communication skills
  • Information and Communications Technology

Art

  • Creating and making art
  • Artist in Residence program
  • Art displays and exhibitions
  • Lunchtime Open Art
  • Drama and Dance productions
  • Set development
  • Appreciating and Responding to Art
  • Art extension programs

Being a citizen of the world

  • Family Life
  • Environment
  • Societies and Culture
  • Politics and Government
  • Civics and Citizenship
  • Australia as a nation
  • Local Community
  • Global Community

Personal Spirit

  • Christian Education
  • Social service
  • Social justice
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Goal setting and reflections

Music

  • Musical productions and performances
  • Singing
  • Creating and making music
  • Appreciating and responding to music
  • Instrumental Concerts
  • Bands
  • Choirs (Pre-Prep – 2, Years 3 & 4, Year 5, Year 6 and an auditioned choir)
  • Theory
  • AMEB Examinations
  • Chamber Strings
  • Junior Strings
  • String instrumental tuition (Year 2)
  • Brass instrumental tuition
  • Beginner Strings
  • Advanced study

Languages

  • Italian (Prep & Year 1)
  • Mandarin (Years 2 & 3)
  • French (Years 5 & 6)

Cross-age Programs

  • Year 11/Prep, Yr 1 and Yr 2 Big Sister/Little Sister Program
  • Year 5/Prep
  • Year 6/younger classes
  • Year 4/ELC
  • Physical Education
  • Athletics
  • Swimming
  • Perceptual Motor Program
  • Inter-House and Inter-School competitions
  • PE Skill lessons
  • Cross-country
  • Gymnastics
  • Basketball
  • Netball
  • Soccer
  • Softball