Specialist Learning Areas at Junior School

The educational journey through the Junior School is holistic and is enriched by a strong specialist program.

Art

'Art bridges the space between the inner self and the exterior world'. (Wendy Allen, 1989)

Creativity and imagination are fostered through the Art program and provide opportunities for students to develop skills in the core areas of painting, drawing, ceramics, construction, mixed media and technology. The history of Art is embedded in the projects that students complete and gallery visits are used to motivate and inspire.

Just like learning to read and write, students need to be equipped with specific skills before they can paint and draw with confidence. The children are not left to just explore materials but are explicitly taught how to use them so they can make informed choices when expressing themselves visually. An Artist-in-Residence program gives students the opportunity to work with a variety of professional artists. Students work alongside the visiting artist, to create and complete a project that is left to enhance the Junior School environment.

CARE (Community and Religious Education)

The Community and Religious Education program provides students from Prep to Year Six with an understanding of the Christian faith and the way it relates to our community life. It also focusses on significant events in the Christian calendar. Students will be introduced to comparative world religions to develop an understanding of the beliefs of others.

Students are given opportunities to think through varied life issues and helped to explore ways in which these can be applied to their lives. The children will examine ways in which they can make a difference in the world, especially for those less fortunate than themselves. One way they can do this is to take part in the 40 Hour Famine, participating at a level appropriate to their age. We encourage the students to believe that they are of infinite value and that they are important to God who has given them special gifts and talents.

Library

The Junior School Libraries are a relaxing, warm and welcoming open space for students and parents to enjoy.

Each class participates in weekly lessons covering authors, genre, location of books, use of our online catalogue, new releases, and so much more. Our ELC and Prep students enjoy their classes in the Library; a small, inviting space for intimate sharing of books. Students from Years 1-6 use the Library for their classes.

To support the development of critical literacy and form a lasting habit of reading for enjoyment, students in Years 3–6 are also a part of Reading Rap, similar to small group book clubs. A selection of reading challenges are presented to the class and students choose a book to read, take notes and participate in focussed group discussion.

'Carey Celebrates Literature' is one of our annual events celebrating a love of literature in the form of stories from ELC right through to Year 12. Authors and illustrators present to every year level during this Term 2 School event, with workshops following bi-annually in our Junior School. A lunchtime Carnival is the exciting pinnacle of this rich literature experience.

Both the D. R. Brown Library and the L. H. Evans Library are open before and after school for students to return and borrow books, and it is also open during the first half of lunchtime for relaxation, quiet games and passive play. Staff assist with selection and recommendations for all primary levels.

LOTE (Languages Other Than English): Chinese

Carey recognises the importance of Australia’s relationship with China both now and in the future. Chinese is our LOTE language and is taught from Prep to Year 6, laying firm foundations for the mastery of this language as students move through the School. Just as we learn to speak before we read and write, the same applies with the learning of Mandarin Chinese. The focus is initially on equipping students to speak fluently before learning reading and writing. In order to develop students' oral and written fluency, we use AIM (the Accelerative Integrated Method) and the Better Chinese program. Through movement and the use of gestures linked to the language, the program develops and stimulates the students' interest in learning the Chinese language and culture. Parents often comment how quickly the children spontaneously speak and understand Chinese when exposed to Chinese in the community. If you were to walk into a Chinese lesson in any year level you will see the children speaking in Chinese, using gestures to aid their acquisition of key verbs and nouns. You would see them practising plays and songs that engage and motivate participation.

Music

'Real art is one of the most powerful forces in the rise of mankind, and he who renders it accessible to as many people as possible is a benefactor of humanity'. Zoltan Kodaly

In line with Kodaly philosophy, music is made accessible for all at both our Junior Schools.

In the Lower Primary years, students are introduced to Music by exploring  space, movement, time and mood. Students discover and explore their first and very personal musical instrument – the voice. They learn elementary music skills through puppetry, literature, songs, games, dance and movement. As they progress, students refine their understandings of music by playing orff percussion instruments and then the recorder in Year 2. Students participate in an orchestral string program in Year 3 playing either violin, viola, cello or double bass. They learn specific string techniques as well as a progressive repertoire of music to present to the school in public performance.

In the Upper Primary years, music continues to utilise the student’s voice and classroom music instruments in the creation, arrangement and performance of music. The understanding of music’s universality is challenged as students learn about and make music in response to musical stimuli. During Years 4 and 5, students are invited to participate in the Training Band program for Wind and Brass players.

On a biennial cycle, all students in Years 5 and 6 combine to become the cast of a fully staged Musical Production. The students learn songs, choreography, script, and dramatic elements prior to performing in our theatre with full staging, makeup and costume. At Donvale the biennial production involves everyone from Prep to Year 6 with the lead roles allocated to Year 5 and 6 students following an extensive audition process.

Instrumental Tuition

Instrumental tuition is offered from Years 2-6 (Students in Prep may participate in the Suzuki program). Students learn instruments during School hours with professional instrumental tutors and are withdrawn from classes when suitable. Instruments offered include:

  • Orchestral Brass (trumpet, french horn, trombone, tuba)
  • Orchestral Strings (violin, viola, cello, double bass)
  • Fretted instruments (mandolin, bass guitar and guitar)
  • Orchestral Winds (bassoon, oboe, saxophone, clarinet, flute)
  • Percussion
  • Piano

Choirs

Students in the Lower and Upper Primary years are involved in a choral program that allows them to experience singing in a large group. All Year 1 and 2 students are members of the Piccolo Canto Choir and all Year 3 and 4 students combine to form the Bumble Bee Choir. These introductory choirs feed sequentially into elective choirs that operate in the Upper Primary years. Bel Canto is our non-selective choir that performs a wide-ranging repertoire of choral music from world music, Broadway to contemporary and classical genres, that is open to all students in Years 4-6. From our open entry choir, choristers can audition for our select chamber choir group, Vivace, that sings works of greater complexity and performs at formal School events.

Similarly at Donvale the children participate in weekly choir sessions at Prep-2, Years 3 and 4 and Years 5 and 6.  Starting from Year 4, auditions are held for our two School Choirs Musique de Cour and the Chamber Choir.

Ensembles

Instrumental ensembles rehearse weekly in preparation for major concert events. Wind and percussion players play in smaller ensembles as well as Concert Band. Graduates of the Year 3 String program form No strings Attached (Kew) and Wire on Fire (Donvale), our training orchestras by invitation they then join the String Orchestra. Students in our larger ensembles perform regularly outside of the school. Groups such as Concert Band, String Orchestra and Bel Canto participate in the Melbourne Schools Band and Strings Festival and compete regularly in local eisteddfods for the choral, strings and band sections. 

Physical Education

The prime objectives of the Physical Education program are to foster in children a love of physical activity and play, instil a need for physical fitness and develop a sense of fair play and co-operation. The program gives each student the opportunity to develop a range of fundamental motor skills and apply these to games. It contributes to the healthy physical, social and emotional development of students. Fundamental motor skills are incorporated through specific sports where skills and rules are taught. In Years 5 and 6, this knowledge is put into practice through the students’ participation in the weekly APS (Associated Public Schools) sport competitions and training sessions.

Sport

Sport in Junior School combines House carnivals including Swimming, Cross Country Running and Athletics and for Years 5 and 6 weekly training sessions and competitions with other APS (Associated Public Schools).

The emphasis is on physical development and participation, and an improved understanding of sport specific 'Game Sense' approaches to sports, which aid individual and overall team performances. Our aim is to encourage the children to develop a positive attitude to physical activity and team-based sports, which will provide them with social and health benefits throughout life.