Carey Donvale – Frequently Asked Questions

To assist you in making a decision about your child’s education, we have compiled a list of questions frequently asked by our prospective families.

You can also download a PDF of thes FAQs.

If you have further queries which are not addressed here, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Admissions team:

admissions@carey.com.au
9816 1242

FAQ directory

Class structure

1. How many classes are there per year level?
2. How big are the classes?
3. What is the gender balance in each of the classes?
4. How many teachers are there per classroom?

Academic program

5. Do the children have any specialist classes?
6. What are Integrated Studies?
7. What is your school’s approach to talent development and learning development?
8. What languages are offered at Carey?
9. Do Junior School students do homework?

Co-curricular activities at Donvale

10. What camps do Donvale students attend?
11. Can children learn an instrument?
12. Do you have musical productions?

Sport
13. Carey is part of the APS association, what does this mean?
14. What types of sports can you choose from in APS?
15. Does the APS Program run throughout the year?
16. What days are sport competitions and do parents drive the children?
17. Where do they train?
18. Is it compulsory? 
19. What if my child doesn’t like sports?

Transport and locality

20. Are there any bus facilities between Donvale and Kew campuses?
21. Where do most Donvale families live?

Transition

22. Can my child move to the Kew campus once they start at Donvale?
23. Do Donvale students interact much/have much to do with Kew campus?

General

24. What time does the school day start and finish?
25. Does the school provide before and after school care?
26. Does the Donvale campus have an ELC program and if so, how many days does the program offer?
27. How much of a focus does Carey have on technology? Do the children use iPads/laptops?
28. What is available to parents wanting to get involved within the School community?
29. What are your intake years at ELC and Junior School levels?
30. Where do we buy uniforms?
31. Can children wear PE uniform all day on PE days?
32. Are there scholarships for Junior School?

A final word

33. What else distinguishes Carey Donvale from other schools in the local area?

FAQs

Class structure

1. How many classes are there per year level?

There are two classes in each year level at Carey Donvale.

2. How big are the classes?

The average class size at our Donvale campus is 18. The classes are smaller than at the Kew campus.

3. What is the gender balance in each of the classes?

We endeavour to maintain an even gender balance in all classes and year levels.

4. How many teachers are there per classroom?

Every class has one classroom teacher supported by a member of our Learning Development team.

Academic program

5. Do the children have any specialist classes?

All year levels, including the ELC, enjoy Art, Library, Music, Integrated Studies and PE (or PMP – Perceptual Motor Program – in Prep to help with the development of motor skills). In addition, our students participate in choir, Languages and CARE (Community and Religious Education). A string instrument program at Year 3 and a band program at Year 5 are integral elements of the Music course.

6. What are Integrated Studies?

Integrated Studies address skills, concepts and understandings from the disciplines of Humanities (History, Geography Economics), Physical, Personal and Social Learning (Health, Interpersonal Development, Civics and Citizenship) and Science. The purpose of each unit is to develop the students’ understanding of their world. Integrated Curriculum is delivered through an inquiry-based approach that explicitly teaches the skills, knowledge and values within each key learning area. Students are taught skills to help them identify their information needs, pose their own questions, select appropriate resources, locate, organise and present relevant information and assess the effectiveness of their research.

7. What is your school’s approach to talent development and learning development?

Talent Development

Talent Development is primarily delivered within curriculum programs at Carey. It is designed to allow students to maintain curiosity, creativity and motivation by fostering their skills in thinking and research, and providing extension in their individual areas of talent.

Through individual programs, small groups, whole-class and whole-school activities, students are supported to reach their academic and personal goals.

Learning Development

We monitor all of our students’ development very closely. The classroom teachers, with the support of Learning Development staff and allied educators, cater for children who are identified as having special learning needs. This includes students who have genuine difficulties with their learning, including problems with literacy, numeracy and organisational issues.

Individual Learning Plans are created, with clearly defined learning goals where appropriate. Learning Development teachers meet with classroom teachers weekly to plan for the needs of all students, including those with special needs. 

8. What languages are offered at Carey?

Chinese (Mandarin) is a compulsory language taught from Prep. From Year 7 onwards children also have the choice to learn French or Indonesian.

9. Do Junior School students do homework?

We have a Junior School homework program that aims to provide positive communication between the School and the home, promote an understanding of the School program, and foster independent, regular study habits. From Prep to Year 2, this involves daily reading to the student, by the student and with the student. In Years 3 to 6, homework tasks will be set to help students develop regular study habits, but we set time limits on this work: Years 3 and 4 – 20 minutes, Year 5 – 30 minutes, and Year 6 – 40 minutes.

Co-curricular activities at Donvale

10. What camps do Donvale students attend?

In Year 2, students attend a sleepover event hosted on the Donvale campus. External camps start with a Portsea camp for Year 3 students, followed by Mount Evelyn in Year 4, Toonallook and Sovereign Hill in Year 5 and trips to Toonallook, Canberra and Robinson River Year 6. In Year 5 and Year 6 there is also the opportunity to participate in the biennial study tour of China (10 days).

11. Can children learn an instrument?

The Carey music program offers a wide and inclusive music education across all school sections, and includes various kinds of instruments for students to learn. Families can also request additional private instrumental classes with extra fees. A rich classroom music program feeds into a host of ensembles and choirs.

12. Do you have musical productions?

All students at Carey Donvale collaborate to develop and perform in a musical production every two years.

Sport

13. Carey is part of the APS association, what does this mean?

APS stands for Associated Public Schools of Victoria. This is an association of independent schools who have had a long history of participating in friendly competitive sporting programs.

APS is introduced to our Junior School students from Year 5. Year 5 and 6 students will choose a different APS sport each term. They are allocated into teams within those sports and are provided with training usually every second Thursday. Competitions are held during school days on Wednesday afternoons. Carey buses will transport teams to competition venues which may be at Carey Bulleen campus or other APS venues.

The APS program introduces our upper primary students to the spirit of team sports, providing students with the opportunity to try and explore various sporting activities before they move into Middle School.

14. What types of sports can you choose from in APS?

Typical Junior School APS sport options include Basketball, Tennis, Soccer, Volleyball, Netball, Swimming, Badminton, Touch Footy, AFL Football, Cross Country, Cricket and Dance Aerobics. Our Year 5 cohort also participate in a Term 1 program involving a bike education program, indoor rock climbing and swimming, culminating in a mini-triathlon for students.

15. Does the APS Program run throughout the year?

For Junior School students, the program runs every term. However, for Middle and Senior School students, APS starts with a summer season in Term 1 and finishes with a winter season usually around early August, followed by an optional spring season.

16. What days are sport competitions and do parents drive the children?

APS competition days for Junior School students are every Wednesday. These are held during school hours and no parent involvement is required. As students progress through to Middle and Senior School, competitions are held on Saturdays and parents are expected to drive their children to competition venues. For competitions held outside of metro Melbourne, the School will provide bus transportation.

17. Where do they train?

Training for Carey students is held at our Bulleen Sports Complex for Junior School. As students move through to Middle and Senior School, training can occur at various venues outside of Carey. Carey buses will transport students to and from all training venues.

18. Is it compulsory? 

Yes, APS participation is compulsory for students in Years 5 through to Year 12. Carey believes strongly in its co-curricular program and the role it plays in developing independent, well balanced students. All students are expected to attend all training and competition events. 

19. What if my child doesn’t like sports?

Carey’s philosophy on sports is to build on core principles around teamwork, resilience, giving things a go and having fun whilst doing it. Therefore, we believe it is important that all children participate in the APS program. Our APS sports programs cater for all levels of skills, fitness and interest. As students progress to the senior years at Carey, there are other non-competitive options such as Fitness Gym, Football Umpiring and First Aid.

Transport and locality

20. Are there any bus facilities between Donvale and Kew campuses?

The bus service between Donvale and Kew campuses is operated by bus company Transdev. The school bus timetable can be found on a dedicated page on the Transdev website. This service is convenient for our Year 6 graduates who transition to Year 7 at Kew.

Carey Donvale also provides a free bus service for Donvale students, with two routes running and reaching as far as Kew, Bulleen and Balwyn.

21. Where do most Donvale families live?

Many of our families live in the Doncaster, Templestowe, Donvale and Balwyn North areas, with approximately 20 per cent coming from suburbs close to Kew.

Transition

22. Can my child move to the Kew campus once they start at Donvale?

We do not no transfer students between Junior School campuses; however, once your child completes Year 6 at our Donvale campus, they will then gain automatic entry into the Kew Middle School for Year 7.

23. Do Donvale students interact much/have much to do with Kew campus?

This interaction takes place mainly at Year 5 and Year 6. APS sport provides links here, as does the Year 6 ‘Creating Tomorrow’s Leaders’ program which involves students working in collaborative cross-campus groups.

General

24. What time does the school day start and finish?

The school day begins at 8.25am and finishes at 3.15pm for Lower Primary (Prep to Year 2). Students in Upper Primary (Year 3 to 6) finish at 3.30pm. Our ELC operates from 8.30am to 3.00pm.

25. Does the school provide before and after school care?

Our After School Care (OHSClub) operates everyday until 6.00pm and is available for all students beginning at 4 year old ELC.

26. Does the Donvale Campus have an ELC program and if so, how many days does the program offer?

Carey Donvale offers a two-day program (Wednesday and Friday) for three-year-old ELC children and a three-day program (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday) for four-year-old ELC children.

27. How much of a focus does Carey have on technology? Do the children use iPads/laptops?

The ELC children enjoy an experiential program based on the Reggio Emilia approach hence iPads are not a feature at this time. In the Junior School every child has an individual iPad which is seen as a creative learning companion. The device is used when it has the capacity to enhance learning. This blended approach takes into consideration the need to monitor screen time whilst also recognising the transformational capacity of this technology.

28. What is available to parents wanting to get involved within the School community?

We encourage parent involvement withing the School community. We have a Parent Association for each school section as well as our CLOSA group (Carey Local and Overseas Student Association). This group is particularly beneficial to join if you are a family that has recently moved to Melbourne from interstate or overseas.

From a social point of view, our Parent Association members are very active in organising fun events such as Mothers and Fathers Day events and year level based social events. Every second year, all parent Associations also work together to bring the Carey Ball to life and this has become a much anticipated community event in the Carey calendar.

29. What are your intake years at ELC and Junior School levels?

Our main entry levels for the Junior School are 3-year-old ELC, Prep and Year 5.

30. Where do we buy uniforms?

Carey has a Junior School summer and winter uniform. Uniforms are purchased at Bob Stewart.

Carey also runs a Swap Shop where families can buy high quality pre-owned uniforms. The shop is run by parent volunteers and is open at various times across the week and on some Saturdays.

31. Can children wear PE uniform all day on PE days?

On PE lesson days, Junior School students can attend school in their PE uniform – this uniform is also purchased at Bob Stewart.

32. Are there scholarships for Junior School?

No, we do not have scholarships for Junior School.

A final word

33. What else distinguishes Carey Donvale from other schools in the local area?

  • We blend our uniquely natural Australian environment with the feel of an independent school. We have an expansive section of local bushland called ‘The Flat’ which we have developed as a mini oval and soccer area. The Flat adds active play options but also allows for creative hut building and facilitates our ELC Bush Kinder program.

  • The ELC Bush Kinder program:  The wide open spaces of our parkland provide an opportunity to feel a wild sense of freedom, creativity and autonomy. The children are able to smell and touch real examples of nature. They explore, collect, sort, and share in a sense of wonder and awe. Through outdoor play in this natural environment the children learn the skills of social interaction and friendship. They are taught the Indigenous heritage of the local area and together they learn to respect living things and care for their environment.
  • Beautifully creative artwork on campus and in the local community that reflects the outstanding quality of the School’s visual arts program. Donvale art features in over half a dozen local playgrounds. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of ELC will create another opportunity for a community art project in 2020.
  • Archie – our therapy dog – provides unconditional acceptance and emotional support for the children, parents and staff.
  • An environmental program that sets Carey Donvale apart from most primary schools. This includes our Kitchen Garden program which was expanded in 2019. Additional garden beds were installed to further support the cooking element of the program and also provide an opportunity to run a fresh produce market on campus. Small groups of children share a collective responsibility for each vegie patch.
  • Our reputation in the Mathematics Talent Quest as an ‘Outstanding School’. The Mathematics Talent Quest provides an opportunity students with a passion for mathematics to apply their skills and understandings to an individual or small group investigations. Mentored by a teacher, these projects are judged at school level and have the potential to proceed to the State competition. Over the past 15 years, based on the success of our students, Carey Donvale has received the ‘Outstanding School’ award on no less than 13 separate occasions.
  • A commitment to positive learning and a whole-school approach that seeks to build on a student’s strengths while developing areas seen as a challenge.
  • The free bus service that extends to East Kew and Bulleen as well as catering for our local catchment.
  • A full range of support services, including speech therapy, school counsellors, occupational therapists, our Learning Development Team and individual learning plans for our students.