Junior School Team

  • Assistant Principal – Joanne Cucchiara
  • Years 7-8 Junior School Leader – Marney McLean
  • Year 7 Coordinator – Heidi Gunn
  • Year 7 Coordinator – Josephine Thomson
  • Year 7 Coordinator – Max Smith
  • Year 8 Coordinator – Tara Dickson
  • Year 8 Coordinator – Stephen Jones
  • Year 8 Coordinator – Sam Trevethan
  • Junior School Assistant – Tania Taylor

Year 7 & 8 Pastoral Care Program

Within the Junior School every student is allocated a Pastoral Care Teacher. The Pastoral Care Program is instrumental in building positive relationships, developing resilient young people with a strong sense of belonging and connectedness and ensuring the total wellbeing of each individual.
 As students have significant contact time with their Pastoral Care teachers, teachers are able to collect appropriate academic data and background information. Pastoral Care teachers get to know and understand each student in their class, enabling them to implement strategies and a differentiated curriculum to best suit the needs of each individual. This secure environment fosters positive social, emotional and academic outcomes.

Pastoral Care teachers are more aware of any special needs that their students may have. Pastoral Care Teachers are therefore able to provide effective support to ensure the safety and wellbeing of each student. The Pastoral Care Program is most effective when teachers and parents act in strong partnerships. Parents are regularly contacted to inform them of their son/daughter’s progress. Also, parents are continuously encouraged to contact their son/daughter’s Pastoral Care Teacher should they have any queries or concerns.

Curriculum

Year 7 & 8 Core Subjects:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Humanities
  • Science
  • Health and Physical Education (HPE)
  • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) – German
  • Life Skills

Year 7 & 8 Elective Subjects:

  • Art & Design Technology (including Digital Technology)
  • Drama
  • Music

Year 7 & 8 English

The study of English helps to create confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens. English is strongly focussed on developing the essential skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Throughout Year 7 and 8 students will be expected to complete a variety of activities within each domain, which will include writing in a range of styles as well as reading, analysing and discussing various texts.

Students will study a selection of texts and complete extended writing units. They will use Education Perfect which is an online resource, to assist them to develop greater understanding of grammar, spelling and vocabulary. Students will be assigned to the Library Reading Room for one period per week, where, with the support and commitment of the highly experienced Library staff, students will be encouraged to partake in wider reading and complete activities to build reading strategies. Students are expected to develop more extensive reading habits as they progress through secondary schooling, equipping them with strong literacy skills.

Literacy is an important part of the College’s Strategic Plan so that students develop the knowledge and skills needed for education, training and the workplace.  With the help of a range of assessment tools, teachers will work with students to set meaningful goals to develop their literacy skills so that they can improve the quality of their reading and writing.

Students will be provided with opportunities to develop their speaking and listening skills through a variety of formal and informal oral tasks. These include debating, book reports, speech presentations and oral comprehension activities.

Year 7 & 8 Mathematics

The Mathematics course initially reinforces and builds upon the four basic operational skills – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division – taught in primary school. All students are required to have a scientific calculator for use throughout the year.

Every attempt is made, where possible, to link mathematical concepts to real world applications. Students are encouraged to present work clearly and logically through skills and practice exercises in class. They also complete a number of problem solving tasks in our dedicated Numeracy room and then reflect on the methods used in attaining the solution.Students will also undertake On-Demand Testing in the various numeracy dimensions, enabling teachers to identify their skill levels and work extensively to assist students to improve on their Victorian Curriculum progression scores. During the allotted period per week students too will partake in higher order thinking Mathematical ideas, broadening their thinking of how Mathematics applies to everyday situations. 

In Year 7 concepts of Algebra are first introduced, involving index laws, equation solving and graphs. Introductions to plane geometry, area and volume, measurement and methods of representing statistical data also form an important part of the course.

Students work from College produced workbooks for each topic studied, and they are also expected to keep their own workbook in an organised format. The online Mangahigh computer program is used by students in all classes to reinforce coursework and to differentiate their learning. Students receive a password and have access to this program at home via the internet.

Students will be required to complete one scaffolded Common Assessment Task (CAT) per term. This will be presented to students at an appropriate level and will focus on assessing each students’ capacity to demonstrate skills in fluency, understanding, problem solving and reasoning in relation to numeracy tasks.

The college offers a Numeracy support program staffed by specialist teachers and tailored specifically to meet the needs of students requiring intervention in Mathematics.

As a means to further extend Mathematics students, the College annually participates in the Australian Westpac Mathematics Competition. All students are welcome to sit this test and compete against students from across Australia.

Year 7 & 8 Science

In Year 7 Science, the students’ main focus is to build on the Science Inquiry Skills and literacy skills. Science Inquiry skills involves identifying and posing questions, planning, conducting and reflecting on investigation processing, analysing and interpreting evidence, and communicating findings. There are five sub strands of Science Inquiry skills that students will learn:

  1. Questioning and Predicting: Students will identify and construct questions, propose hypotheses and suggest possible outcomes.
  2. Planning and Conducting: Students will make decisions regarding how to conduct an investigation or solve a problem, including the collection of data.
  3. Recording and Processing: Students record and represent data in meaningful and useful ways.
  4. Analysing & Evaluating: Students will consider the quality of available evidence and the merit or significance of a claim, proposition or conclusion and identify trends, patterns and relationships in data, with reference to evidence.
  5. Communicating: Students will convey information or ideas to others through appropriate representations, text types and modes.

At the end of each unit students will be expected to complete a CAT (Common Assessment Task) which will test what inquiry skills the students have learnt in class for each term. The CAT will run for approximately two weeks. With an additional one week of feedback from teachers to each student on how they performed to help improve their learning.

Each student in Term 1 will study the Earth and Space Science sub-strand entitled ‘Earth and Beyond’ in which students will focus on five essential questions related to the Science Inquiry Skills with a focus on literacy to improve student literacy skills. Students will look at moon phases, tides and seasons within this unit.

Term 2 focuses on the Physical Science sub-strand entitled ‘Gravity: a Force to be Reckoned With’. Students will gain an understanding of the nature of forces and motion, including how an objects motion (direction, speed and acceleration) is influenced by a range of contact and non-contact forces such as friction, magnetism, gravity and electrostatic forces.

Term 3 sees the students studying the Chemical Science sub-strand entitled ‘The Matter of States’. Students will gain an understanding of the composition and behaviour of substances. Students will classify substances based on properties, such as solids, liquids and gases.

Term 4 is the study of the Biological Science sub-strand entitled ‘Interactions between Organisms’. Students investigate living things, including animals, plants and microorganisms and their interdependence and interactions within ecosystems.

Year 7 & 8 Humanities

Humanities involves the study of people and their place in the world. It includes the areas traditionally covered by History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Business.

In Civics and Citizenship and Economics and Business, students explore the systems that shape Australian society, with a specific focus on legal and economic systems. Students learn about Australia’s role in global systems, and are encouraged to appreciate democratic principles and to contribute as active, informed and responsible citizens.

In History and Geography, students explore the processes that have shaped and which continue to shape different societies and cultures, to appreciate the common humanity shared across time and distance, and to evaluate the ways in which humans have faced and continue to face different challenges.

The Year 7 and 8 course is a two year program designed to prepare students for greater specialisation in their subject choices as they move through the middle school into senior years. Students are expected to work at a high level, developing and producing projects, research assignments and comprehensive workbooks.  Computer technologies and other multimedia resources are commonly used in Humanities classrooms at all year levels.

Year 7 & 8 Health and Physical Education

For PE practical classes, students are required to change into their College PE uniform to enable them to participate.  In PE, a wide variety of games and sporting activities are undertaken, such as basketball, athletics, soccer, volleyball, softball, cricket, netball and hockey. Students will also undertake a range of physical tests including the 20m beep test and 1.3km full school run. These tests determine a student’s fitness level and will be retested in the second semester to observe any fitness improvement.

PE games and activities are designed to develop hand-eye coordination, balance and general movement, fitness and a basic knowledge of game strategies and rules.

Health theory classes will focus on health-related topics and personal development.  Students will also be required to complete one theory Common Assessment Task (CAT) per semester in Health.

Year 7 & 8 Languages Other Than English (LOTE) – German

In Year 7 and 8 each student is required to study German.

The course aims to provide students with an introduction to Germany and its surrounding countries through learning about the language and culture. Students will complete a range of writing, speaking and listening activities based on a variety of language themes. Themes studied include greetings and introductions, hobbies, animals, colours, numbers, seasons and family. Special attention is given to students speaking German in a range of contexts.

Cultural themes include a study of German and German speaking countries’ geography, flag, coat of arms, special celebrations and unique features.

To support students with the theory component, they will work from a range of resources supplied by the teacher as well as Education Perfect, which contains useful vocabulary, comprehension smart lessons and listening lessons.

Students are expected to maintain an accurate record of the semester’s work and complete all set activities in a student workbook or on worksheets. Students will regularly be involved in role play activities, dialogue creations and class presentations. Regular testing also forms part of the student’s assessment.

Year 7 & 8 Art & Technology Program

The Art & Technology program runs over two years providing students with the opportunity to experience a wide range of subjects in these areas. Students will work intensively for four periods per week in Visual Arts for one semester in Year 7 and again for a semester in Year 8. In the other semester each year, they will study the different technology subjects.

Year 7&8 Art Program

Visual Arts encompasses all aspects of the arts, including Ceramics, Printmaking, Visual Communication and Design, Painting, Drawing and 3D form.   Students learn ways of experiencing, developing, representing and understanding ideas, emotions, values and cultural beliefs through the visual arts.

Year 7&8 Technology Program

The Technology program runs over two years providing students with the opportunity to experience a wide range of subjects in these areas. Students will work intensively for four periods per week in Food Technology, Materials (wood, plastic, metal) and Digital Technology for one semester in Year 7 and again for a semester in Year 8. In the other semester each year, they will study the different technology subjects

They will develop their skills using The Design Process by designing, planning, making and evaluating a variety of products. The course will focus on the development of both theory skills and practical skills, techniques and confidence in use of a range of tools, machinery.

Digital Technologies

In Years 7 & 8 all students undertake Digital Technologies where they study coding, learn about programming language and explore how the internet is developed. This equips them with the skills to negotiate ICT throughout their life.

Year 7 & 8 Music

One class at Year 7 and at Year 8 is a specialist Music class in which each student has received a scholarship for the year covering Instrumental tuition and instrument hire. These students are working to become the school band.

For everyone else, Music in Year 7 and 8 is of a semester’s duration each year, and in that time students will be introduced to all areas of the subject. They are made aware of the links that Music has with other subjects such as Graphics, Mathematics, Languages and the Arts. More specifically they will explore the practical side of the subject by playing the drum kit, the keyboard and the guitar, learning basic coordination skills as well as mastering different melodic and rhythmic patterns.

Overall, the subject is to be seen as a starting point for many students to explore music as either a leisure activity or an avenue for further study and, ultimately, a career. Some students have the opportunity to apply for and become accepted into our Instrumental Music Program to further develop their instrumental skills and join the school band.

Instrumental Music 

Instrumental Music tuition is available and takes place during class time. The fees are $125 per term (subject to change) for drums, percussion, piano, voice, violin, clarinet, flute, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, bass and guitar tuition, subject to the availability of private teachers. Students involved in learning a musical instrument are expected to participate in ensemble practice and performances. Some instruments are available for use during lessons at school although it is desirable for students to obtain their own instruments.

Year 7 & 8 Drama

In Drama students learn the skills of non-competitive teamwork. They get to know each other as a class through warm up activities Students develop their expressive qualities through movement, gesture, vocal and non-vocal skills and learn to read and explore body language.

The units of study cover Characterisation and Melodrama, Stage Craft, Music and Sound Effects and Stereotypes.

Based on the Australian Curriculum students also learn to “shape drama for audiences using narrative and non-narrative dramatic forms and production elements, build on their understanding of role, character and relationships, use voice and movement to sustain character and situation and use focus, tension, space and time to enhance drama”.

Assessment

Teachers use a variety of techniques for assessing student achievement and progress. These include class tests, folios, projects, homework, assessment tasks, assignments, essays, oral presentations and examinations. All results are recorded and used to determine whether the student has satisfactorily completed each subject. 

Students in Year 7-10 are to complete Key Learning Activities that are set by every teacher each Term. Parents are able to view the work their children have set via the COMPASS program. All Students from Years 7-10, who have outstanding KLA’s due, are required to attend Redemption sessions every Monday from 2.30pm to 4pm & Wednesday afternoons from 3pm – 4.30pm in C7 to complete their work with the assistance of teachers. 

Homework

Regular meaningful homework is an important aspect of the learning process and contributes to the development of good work ethic and sound study habits. With appropriate time management, homework should not adversely affect the participation of students in other activities outside the College.

Your child should not inform you that “I don’t have homework”, as there will be tasks, such as:

  • Class work revision,
  • Read of a book,
  • Completion of work that is due at a later date
  • Preparation for class the next day (see homework tasks listed below).

An organised home study routine will ensure your child has every opportunity to achieve success throughout secondary schooling. As the demands increase students should have the ability to adapt quite easily, should they have a sound work ethic and study routine.  

Expected Homework tasks include:

  • Completion of class work, skills practice and Assessment Tasks,
  • Diagnostic, remediation, enrichment and consolidation exercises;
  • Reading, study and research;
  • Collection of resources and constructing models;
  • Correction, improvement and organisation of earlier work,
  • Preparation for oral performance presentations;
  • Revision and preparation for tests and examinations
  • Mangahigh (Numeracy) activities

Homework is assigned in each subject on a regular basis. A reasonable expectation of the total time that should generally be spent on homework on each of the five nights is:

  • Years 7/8:  one to one and a half hours
  • Year 9: one and a half to two hours
  • Year 10: two to two and a half hours
  • Year 11: two and a half to three hours
  • Year 12: three to three and a half hours

If parents feel that their child is spending excessive or too little time on homework, contact should be made with their Pastoral Care Teacher. Parents should encourage such activities as reading, viewing current affairs television programs and revision when set homework is light.

On occasions when legitimate reasons prevent students from completing homework, a written explanation from parents is required. In junior levels in particular, parents should regularly check the student diary to see the homework set. If students are not using their diary contact should be made with the Pastoral Care teacher.

Reports

Students receive academic reports via the program COMPASS regularly throughout the year. At the end of each Semester reports are generated. Parents are encouraged to read carefully through reports and attend Parent/Teacher interviews, which are conducted in Term 1 and Term 3. 

Should you, as parents be concerned about your child’s academic progress it is essential that you contact the College immediately to discuss and work through your concerns with the Pastoral Care teacher or sub-school leadership team. By working together, we can ensure successful outcomes for students and implement effective strategies to support the education of the student.

Promotion to Next Year Level

It should never be assumed that promotion to a next year level is automatic. When determining which students may need to repeat a year level, overall performances, attendance and achievement of satisfactory levels of work will be considered.

All students should have access to a challenging, purposeful and educational experience at an appropriate level. Where students are at risk of not meeting one or more of the criteria, the College will notify parents, and all reasonable attempts will be made to provide the student with the opportunity to address the areas of concern.