Junior School Kew – 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 these FAQs.
If you have further queries which are not addressed here, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Admissions team:
1. How many classes are there in each year level?
2. How big are the classes?
3. How many teachers are there per classroom?
4. What is the gender balance in classrooms?
5. What time does the school day start and finish?
6. How do you teach literacy and numeracy? What is Carey’s philosophy on learning?
7. Do the children have any specialist classes?
8. What are Integrated Studies?
9. What languages are offered at Carey Junior School?
10. Do Junior School students do homework?
Other learning programs
11. What is your school’s approach to talent development and learning development?
12. What is the Kitchen Garden program and who gets involved in that?
13. What camps are there at Junior School? Are they compulsory?
14. What does the Junior School Outdoor Education program entail?
15. Does Carey offer international school tours or exchanges?
16. Is there religious education in Junior School and what does that entail?
Co-curricular activities at Junior School Kew
17. What bands, choirs, musical ensembles are available and are they compulsory?
18. Can my child learn an instrument and how and when do they have lessons?
19. Does the school produce a musical each year?
20. Are there regular PE classes and where do they occur?
21. Carey is part of the APS association, what does this mean?
22. What types of sports can you choose from in APS?
23. Does the APS Program run throughout the year?
24. What days are sport competitions and do parents drive the children?
25. Where do they train?
26. Is it compulsory?
27. What if my child doesn’t like sports?
28. How much of a focus is technology at Carey? Do the children use iPads or laptops?
29. How much time would they spend on an iPad device during the day?
30. What is your policy on devices such as mobile phones in Junior School?
31. Does Carey offer after school clubs/activities?
32. Does the School provide before and after care?
33. Does Carey have onsite holiday programs during school holidays or is the School closed?
34. Do you have parent help in classrooms?
35. What is available to parents wanting to get involved within the School community?
36. Where do we buy uniforms?
37. Can children wear PE uniform all day on PE days?
38. What are your intake years at ELC and Junior School levels?
39. Can I transfer my child from one Junior School campus to the other?
40. Are there scholarships for Junior School?
There are three classes per year level from Prep to Year 4 and four classes at Year 5 and Year 6.
Our Prep to Year 2 classes have 23 children. At Year 3, the class sizes increase to 24 and in Year 5 and Year 6 to 26 per class.
Each class is led by the class teacher. In Prep, the class teacher is assisted in the delivery of a differentiated learning program by an Allied Educator teacher every day until 1.00pm. Our Allied Educators work with small groups of children as directed by the class teacher.
We maintain as close to an even gender balance as possible in all classes and year levels.
The school day begins at 8.30am and finishes at 3.15pm.
We have a balanced approach to teaching literacy and numeracy, combining explicit direct teaching of skills and knowledge with an inquiry approach. For example, students are taught explicitly the 44 sounds of the English language and how to spell them as they learn to read and write.
Yes. Aside from daily literacy and numeracy sessions, students also have specialist lessons in Art, Music, Chinese (Mandarin), PE, Library, Integrated Studies and CARE (Community and Religious Education) throughout their timetable.
Year 3 students also participate in the Kitchen Garden program throughout the year where students partake in cooking classes and gardening sessions with specialist teachers. See question 10 below for more information.
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.
Chinese (Mandarin) is a compulsory language taught from Prep. From Year 7, children also have the choice to learn French or Indonesian.
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.
Other learning programs
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. Depending on individual needs, exceptional students may be catered for through extension withdrawal groups, particularly in mathematics.
Through individual programs, small groups, whole-class and whole-school activities, students are supported to reach their academic and personal goals.
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. A schedule of explicit withdrawal classes working with the Learning Development teachers is also created when needed. The Learning Development teacher is a resource to the classroom teacher, who is the main assessor and pastoral carer for the students. They meet with classroom teachers weekly to plan for the needs of all students, including those with special needs.
- Read more about Talent and Learning Development in the Junior School.
Our Year 3 children lead the recycling program across Junior School. They learn about and practise sustainable habits for living in an urban environment through their participation in a Kitchen Garden program through the year. Every three weeks students rotate through two garden sessions and one cooking session. Specialist teachers lead these sessions. In cooking, the children learn practical food preparation skills as well as nutrition and history of food. In the gardening sessions, they learn how to compost, prepare, grow and maintain an onsite extensive vegetable garden. The students enjoy the benefits of harvesting homegrown food and appreciate the importance of sustainability.
Parents are also encouraged to help facilitate these weekly sessions. Working with Children checks must be completed prior to participation.
Our camp program begins in Year 3 with an overnight camp at Portsea. Year 4 students then progress to a two-night camp at Mount Evelyn.
Year 5 students attend two camps a year – the first is a residential camp at Sovereign Hill which supports the history integrated unit of learning, and the second is an Outdoor Education camp at our Toonallook campus. Year 6 students also attend two camps a year – a Toonallook camp as well as a Canberra trip to support the Government unit.
Carey’s Outdoor Education program begins in Year 5. Our Toonallook campus, a four-hectare tract of land on the Gippsland Lakes, hosts programs throughout the year. In Year 5, students attend a four-day camp and a one-night expedition. Year 6 students also attend a week-long camp at Toonallook and participate in a two-night expedition. During both programs, students participate in activities such as kayaking, bushwalking, bike riding and various team-building activities.
Carey has a close relationship with an Indigenous community in the Northern Territory. All Year 6 students are invited to apply for participation to be involved in an exchange program with students from the Robinson River School in NT, involving a week in Robinson River and a week at Carey. Every second year, our Junior School also runs a 10-day cultural tour to China to further support our language and cultural program. Year 5 and 6 students can apply to participate in this tour which visits Beijing, Xian and Hangzhou.
The Junior School, Middle School and Senior School all have their own school Chaplain who provides religious education. Children learn about Christianity as well as other faiths. There is a strong focus within these classes of social justice, community outreach and charity.
Co-curricular activities at Junior School Kew
Junior School Kew offers a diverse range of opportunities for students interested in the performing arts. Our Year 1 and 2 students participate in our Piccolo Canto Choir. Years 3 and 4 students join our Bumble 3 and Bumble 4 Choirs. As these choirs are compulsory, lessons and practices are held during school hours.
Bel Canto is an optional Choir for Years 5 and 6 students, and our Vivace Choir is an audition-based group for those really keen singers in Years 4 to 6. Practice for the Bel Canto and Vivace Choirs occur before school from 7.30am one day a week. Throughout the year, Carey holds concerts and performances so that families have the opportunity to enjoy the efforts of our choral students.
We also offer a strong instrumental program for Kew Junior School students. Students can elect to participate in private instrumental lessons. These lessons can occur before, during or after school with an instrumental teacher. Those wishing to join an ensemble or band can do so. To introduce children to a broader music program, all students in Year 2 participate in a semester of lessons with a string instrument.
The Music Tuition Program is available for children in ELC to Year 12. Other than for Year 7 when instrumental participation is a required component of the curriculum, it is an optional extra for other year level students. Lessons are scheduled outside of the literacy and numeracy blocks, unless permission is given by the Deputy Head of Student Learning, or before and after school. Lessons are usually timetabled into the week in consultation with the family, classroom teacher and signed off by the Junior School Deputy Head of Student Learning. For children commencing school in Prep, we recommend they settle in to the school day before starting an individual music lesson. One of our instrumental teachers will collect students from Prep to Year 3 from the Junior School for a lesson in our performing arts building at the allocated lesson time and walk them back to the junior campus at the end of the lesson. Older students will make their own way to the performing arts building for their lessons.
Whilst Carey Junior School does not perform a musical each year, there are many opportunities for students to perform in front of an audience across the various music and choir programs. Junior School has an annual Summer and Winter Concert and participates in a whole-school choral concert. In Year 5, all students participate in a production as a part of their curriculum. The theme of the production is linked to their History unit in Integrated Studies.
The regular PE program is timetabled into the class schedule. PE classes are sometimes held in the Marion Metcalf Hall as well as utilising our school ovals, Cluny Green and Sandell Oval. We also have a Bulleen Sports Complex where we hold various House sports competitions such as Athletics, Swimming and House Cross Country.
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. Competitions are held during school days on Wednesday afternoons. Carey buses will transport teams to competition venues which may be at the Carey Bulleen Sports Complex or other APS Schools’ venues.
The APS program introduces our upper primary students to the spirit of team sports, encouraging and providing students with the opportunity to try and explore various sporting activities before they move into Middle School.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In Junior School, all children from Prep to Year 6 use a compulsory school-issued iPad device that is leased through the school. iPads remain at school for use only during class time for Prep to Year 4. From Year 5, students can bring their own iPads home to complete home tasks.
There is no fixed time for iPads as they are a learning tool and are only used when they will enhance the students’ learning. The time used would vary according to age and stage, so for instance in Upper Primary, students would most likely use their iPads for part of each core English and Maths lesson, whereas Prep might not.
Carey’s policy on personal technology devices is that they should remain in the student lockers during school hours. The only exception is the school iPad which is used solely for learning purposes.
Whilst the school does not offer after school activities, we do offer various lunchtime club activities such as our Chess Club and our Tech Tinkers Coding Group.
The School offers a before care program in our ELC from 7.45am and an afterschool program for both ELC and Junior School until 6.00pm for the ELC and Junior School. The aftercare program is run by OSHClub (Outside School Hours Club), an external operator, who use the Carey premises to deliver the program. Families will need to register with OSHClub directly if they would like to take up the after school care service.
The School is closed each term break. Families wanting to enrol their children into school holiday programs will need to do so through an external provider.
Carey welcomes parent helpers during some literacy and numeracy sessions in the lower primary classrooms. Parent training is compulsory for those interested in participating and a Working With Children’s check must be obtained for any parent involvement in School activities. The Year 3 Kitchen Garden program also welcomes parent volunteers to support this program. All House events are also open to parent attendance at our Bulleen campus.
We encourage parent involvement within 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, year level based social events, as well as end of term sausage sizzles for the children. 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.
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.
On PE lesson days, Junior School students can attend school in their PE uniform – this uniform is also purchased at Bob Stewart.
Our main entry levels for the Junior School are 3-year-old ELC, Prep and Year 5.
No. Transfer of enrolment between Junior School campuses is not School policy.
No, we do not have scholarships for Junior School.
A final word
The Junior School is special environment that allows children to grow and thrive in a caring community with an exceptional heart. They feel known and cared for in their classes and through belonging to their extended Carey House family. When this very question is posed to the Year 6 students in their final year, they commonly tell us it is the quality of their teachers, learning experiences and friends they have made along the journey.