Junior School (K-6)
Welcome to our Junior School
St Andrew’s Junior School is a place where all students are known and valued, where a strong emphasis on quality teaching and learning spans from the very first days of Kindergarten to the final days of Year 6, and beyond.
A school in the heart of Sydney
There’s something special about attending a coeducational Junior School in the heart of Sydney’s CBD
. Easily and safely accessible, our Town Hall setting means we have a diverse intake, with families coming from all over Sydney. Our students experience vibrancy both in and out of the classroom: with a specially designed semi-open plan learning space and city excursions that range from visits to the many galleries and museums at our doorstep, to expeditions through the historical precinct of The Rocks or outdoor discovery in the Botanical Gardens and Darling Harbour. We use the city’s educational resources whenever possible – whether it is watching the Sydney Symphony Orchestra performing live, viewing Town Hall’s city model or attending the Apple Store’s iPad launch, our students are active, engaged citizens in the broader Sydney community.
Engagement, growth and opportunity
We pride ourselves on offering a range of opportunities for every student, with an intensive focus on best practice in teaching the fundamentals of Literacy and Numeracy (explicitly) and supplemented by a desire to equip students for learning in the 21st Century. Our commitment to genuine engagement is complimented by specialised teachers and support staff and programmes offering growth and opportunity across Sport, Music, Drama and Language, as well as Outdoor Education (from Year 3 onwards). Christian Education and values of integrity and tolerance are folded into the framework of daily life. We share our rooftop playground with Gawura
, a K-6 school within our school that caters specifically for Indigenous students.
The skills to think and inquire
We strive to see our students instilled with higher order thinking skills so they can make connections across subjects. We help them become aware of broader global issues and start to build the foundations of independent thinking and critical inquiry. Class sizes are deliberately kept small and classrooms are well equipped with the latest learning technology.
The Junior School teachers believe that an optimum learning design involves a gradual release of responsibility from the teacher as the learner transitions from dependence to independence. In the early years the emphasis is on the explicit teaching of key foundational skills (Reading, Phonics, Mathematics, Writing, Spelling and Handwriting), with an introduction to concept based and inquiry-based opportunities for learning across the curriculum. As the learner gains automaticity and fluency of the essential skills, then learning becomes more student-led and less explicit in nature. Underpinning the entire program is the intention to foster deeper and higher order thinking, where a visible thinking culture is the routine. Teaching and learning experiences are designed to embrace understandings gained from the current research into neuroplasticity, focusing on what learning is and how the brain works, with the aim to nurture a growth mindset (Dweck, 2010).
The curriculum is differentiated to meet the wide range of learning needs of the children.
Library and recreation space
The Junior School and Gawura School’s library areas are have an unrestricted view of the Cathedral’s main doors. Students have access to a large mainly interest-based non-fiction collection; a genred fiction collection, which includes a very large number of NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge titles; graphic novels; support readers for those starting their reading journey and picture books. The library is K-12 and as such, Stage 3 students also have access to age and content appropriate extension titles within our secondary fiction collection, as well as having the ability to read up, with access to Years 7-9 Premier’s Reading Challenge titles. Our Junior and Gawura students also experience collaboratively prepared and taught research based units and lessons designed to strengthen their research and information literacy skills as well as their academic honesty. Students have 24-hour access to World Book Encyclopaedia and Story Box Library and can enjoy a quiet moment on a bean bag or join in the activities on offer during lunchtimes.
Gifted Education opportunities
Extension Classes in the Junior School attract high ability students to the school interested in learning in classes with other high ability students, so that learning can occur with other like-minded students. These are essentially structured like Opportunity Classes in the public system. Scholarships are available for both Academic and Music from Year 4 to Year 6 upon application. These students are supported by three staff in the Junior School who have Post Graduate Qualifications in Gifted Education, including Mrs Emily Edwards who is the Coordinator of Gifted Education K – 10.
We seek to enable all students to experience broader skill development, confidence in self-expression and a sense of genuine belonging. We believe in a team approach to teaching – using school staff across Gifted Education, Learning Support and Counselling, as well as consulting outside experts, to ensure students received the most individualised and supportive learning opportunities.
If you would like to learn more about our Junior School, book a school tour
and see it in action!
If you would like to know more about our weekly happenings in the Junior School read our newsletters