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Junior School: An introduction

 

The Junior School is renowned for its high standard of individual attention to each student’s needs, as well as a focus on a shared partnership with parents in the formation and education of their son. A caring environment is provided, with emphasis on self-discipline and acceptance of challenge.

Mr Graham Leddie, Principal

The Junior School

In Years 5 and 6 we aim to make teaching and learning engaging and inspiring at a time when boys need extra care and new challenges to assist their development. Learning in this environment will also prepare your son for a seamless transition to Year 7.

The Junior School caters for approximately 300 students and is located on a separate campus in Henrietta Street, which is a five-minute walk from the Senior School.  

Your son will primarily be taught by his base teacher at the Junior School, but his learning experiences will engage him in a varied curriculum that includes subjects taught by specialist teachers in STEM, Innovation & Literacy, PDHPE, Performing Arts, Spanish, Art, Science and TAS.

Moving from the Junior School to Senior School

We strive to make the move from our Junior School to the Senior School as streamlined as possible. We embrace our College as one, but as we are physically separated across two facilities, the distinction between the two can still highlight the pivotal moment in a student’s life when they leave primary school and transition into secondary school – the ending of one and a new beginning in the other.

We understand the challenges that Year 6 students can face. While some are excited by this transition, others may experience heightened anxiety and uncertainty. Our transition program ensures a seamless transition from Stage 3 to 4.

Our nurturing transition program commences at the onset of Year 5 in the Junior School and continues throughout Year 6. This includes introducing students to the physical spaces in the Senior School, meeting Senior School teachers, their Head of House, their mentors, and other students, while involving them in a myriad of engaging activities. 

‘One School’ Approach

Our ‘one school’ policy ensures students moving to the senior campus already feel part of the community by being welcomed to major College events such as whole College Assemblies, Opening Mass, Track and Field Carnival, the May Procession and the Year 12 Graduation.

As part of the same House from Year 5 until their graduation, students at the Junior School experience all of the major House activities such as House Masses, House suppers and House meetings. This ensures a continuity of care throughout their journey at the College.

Our Big Brother, Little Brother program sees Year 5 students spend time connecting with their Year 10 mentor and buddy at the Senior School, surrounding beaches and parks. The College facilitates four visits throughout the year.

Big Brother Little Brother 2022

Heads of House play an integral role at Waverley. Their primary responsibility is to oversee the wellbeing, care and protection of the students in their allocated House. Each week, the Deputy Principal – Student and Staff Wellbeing, Mr Patrick Brennan, and one Head of House, visit the Junior School to meet their particular House members and other students. This enables the boys to familiarise themselves, in a relaxed, familiar and authentic setting, with their own House leader and the leadership team from the Senior School.

Stage 3 strategically use the facilities at the senior campus ensuring further exposure, familiarisation and inclusion. Examples include the Junior School Swimming Carnival held at the Senior School Swimming Pool, PDHPE and music lessons, and for their own co-curricular training games, as well as the use of the Performing Arts Centre (PAC).

Additional Exposure Sessions

We recognise the wellbeing needs of every child. During Terms 3 and 4, we proactively identify a select group of Year 6 students who we feel may have greater angst or apprehension about transitioning from Junior School to the Senior School. 

For this particular group, extra exposure sessions are organised at the Senior School that include drama classes, swimming pool activities, and a comprehensive orientation escorted by our cadet leaders.

Feedback indicates that students find these events enjoyable and also a positive experience. They often report a “looking forward to Senior School”, rather than heightened anxiety or worry.

Our Orientation Day led by the leadership team and Heads of House gives new students a taste of what they can look forward to in the following year.

At the start of the school year, we ensure a staggered return to school. On their first day of school, Years 5, 7 and 12 spend an entire day on campus before the rest of the students arrive. This allows students to familiarise themselves with a quieter campus, organise their locker, obtain timetables and textbooks, meet their mentor, and spend time alongside students in Year 12.

During week one we have a Pop-Up Wellbeing Centre located in the Centenary Quad. This is supported by Year 12 Prefects, Heads of House and the College Leadership Team. The marquee provides a safe place and an information hub for new students to the College.

Our Year 7 Camp takes place in Term 1, where students participate in a range of stimulating outdoor activities aimed at building friendships and teamwork. Boys are in House groups with their teachers and their Head of House. Within a tranquil, natural setting, students have numerous opportunities to get to know one another better, whilst building independence, resilience, friendship and teamwork.

Click here to view a 2022 Nurrunga article authored by five Year 7 students who thrived at beautiful Camp Somerset on the glorious Colo River.

Year 7 Camp 2021

Year 7 Camp 2021

Flexible Learning Spaces

At the heart of the Junior School is our Learning Hub – a flexible, student-directed space that encourages collaboration. The Learning Hub is equipped with reconfigurable furniture, which means that our students can arrange the area to suit a whole host of activities.

Ms Gabrielle Bransby, (Acting) Director of Junior School

It’s also home to our Waverley Masterclass: Lunchtime Talks initiative, where we invite inspirational guest speakers in to share their stories with students. 

Wingara Garden Interview with Graham Leddie and Gabby Smith

The Junior School Campus (on Henrietta Street) is located a short, five minute walk from the Senior Campus (on Birrell Street)