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Junior School

Pre-Prep to Year 2

Image: Children Gardening

Education in the Early Years acknowledges that learning is developmental and provides for the child’s physical, social, emotional, intellectual and cultural development. Each student is recognised as an observant, capable and productive individual with skills, abilities and a sense of wonder about the world around them.

Our learning programmes consider that students have a variety of learning styles and the classroom environment encourages students to enjoy their learning and develop personal, achievable goals. A strong commitment to the development of essential literacy and numeracy skills allows students to grow in knowledge and understanding through authentic inquiry based learning.

In the Early Years, students learn an additional language from Pre-Prep and all students are involved in Physical Education programmes. The Strings Programme is introduced in Year 2, giving all students the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. The Performing and Visual Arts are also a valued part of the curriculum at all year levels.

Evolving technologies are embedded in daily learning with laptops, iPads and tablets supporting the learning. At selected Year Levels, students participate in specialised technology classes to further develop skills in this area.

Social and emotional learning is a focus for all ages, and evidence based programmes such as You Can Do It, and the FRIENDS programme are part of the curriculum. Combined with the values of the International Baccalaureate learner profile, students are encouraged to be proactive in managing their personal behaviour.

The holistic development of each student is important. To achieve this, learning experiences need to be dynamic and relevant to the individual needs and talents of each young person. The Early Years at Somerset College strives to nurture the growth of all young students.

Pre-Prep

Pre-Prep at Somerset College is the first year of the Primary Years Programme (PYP) of the International Baccalaureate.

In the Pre-Prep class, learning is viewed as a journey that values the natural process of inquiry. Through the child’s thoughts, ideas and observations, many questions emerge. Connections are made between these ideas and the environment and teachers become facilitators who co-explore learning experiences with the children.

The PYP acknowledges that development is unique for each child and occurs at varying rates from child to child. Adjusting to new environments is supported by the development of safe and trusting relationships and the development of self-esteem and confidence. The Pre-Prep environment at Somerset College allows children to be active inquirers and life-long learners.

The Pre-Prep Programme will follow the Queensland Early Years Curriculum Guidelines and will provide a natural progression to Prep.

A typical week in Pre-Prep would see the students enjoying the following activities:

  • Motor skills
  • Circle time
  • Visits to the College Library
  • Swimming (from Term Four)
  • Literacy and numeracy learning engagements
  • Visiting Koala House
  • Playing in the lower playground
  • Books, puzzles, games drawing

Throughout the year they will also be a part of selected special events. They are introduced to technology and to support social and emotional learning undertake the You Can Do It programme.

Kindergarten Approved Program

Prep

Prep students are introduced to various elements of numeracy, literacy, technology, geography, history and science through their various Units of Inquiry. In addition, they will have their weekly music and art lessons.

The You Can Do It social and emotional learning programme continues in Prep.

Prep students weekly activities include the following

  • Weekly swimming lessons
  • Visits to the College Library
  • Music lesson
  • Motor skills
  • Special events such as Book Week, Book Character Day, Beachathon, Science Competition

Years 1 and 2

In Years 1 and 2, the Units of Inquiry allow students to continue their literacy, numeracy, technology, geography, history and science studies. Weekly physical education, art and music lessons are enjoyed by the students as well.

In Year 1, the Friends Programme commences, promoting the development of resilience in all students. This programme continues until the end of Year 5.