Somerville House offers a developmental Art program from Pre-Prep through to Year 12, and this is taught by Junior School Art specialists.
The Art program in the Junior School aims to foster and encourage young children’s innate enthusiasm for working with art materials and their desire to express themselves visually. A strong emphasis is placed on drawing as a foundation to many of the art units studied. The aim being to enhance the student’s observation skills and an awareness of the world around them.
Students are involved in a wide range of art-making activities including drawing, painting, print-making, mixed media, textiles and three dimensional studies. These are approached thematically as Looking, Feeling, Imagining, Thinking and Working Together.
‘InSight’ our Biennial Art Exhibition provides an opportunity for the school community to view an art work by every student from Prep to Year 12 who is involved in the art program.
Chess lessons are a compulsory curriculum component for students in Prep to Year 4. Each class has lessons for one semester.
Christian Education is an integral part of the curriculum. The weekly lessons from Pre-Prep to Year 6 are presented in a range of formats including group work, discussion, drama, Bible reading, singing, craft and workbooks. Students from Prep to Year 6 are involved in Chapel and Assembly presentations.
Students in Years 5 and 6 engage in the subject Drama through regular whole class lessons with a specialist teacher. Students will have the opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of a wide variety of dramatic styles, to be exposed to a number of dramatic conventions, to use appropriate terminology and language for this context and to experience live theatre and dramatic action through performances and workshops. Using scripted texts such as plays, poetry and illustrated books, students will create roles and dramatic action and share these with others through performing, participating, listening and watching.
The English Curriculum is built around the three interrelated strands of Language, Literature and Literacy. Teaching and learning programs balance and integrate all three strands. Together the strands focus on developing students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in listening, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and creating.
The Junior School classrooms are literacy-rich environments. Students engage with a variety of texts for reading, writing, listening and creating. These literacy-rich environments have a significant impact upon what takes place in the classroom and set the stage for interactions with a wide variety of genres. A literacy-rich environment not only supports the standards, but also provides a setting that encourages and supports speaking, listening, reading and writing in a variety of ways.
The learning area of Geography is a component of the Australian Curriculum - Humanities and Social Sciences. There is a focus on both knowledge and understanding,
and inquiry and skills. Students question, research, analyse, evaluate, reflect and communicate their knowledge of the world.
Through their units of work, students explore how people and places have changed over time, how places are used, they connection between people and places,
particularly the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, how migration has occurred in Australia throughout history and how our society operates.
At Somerville House Health and Physical Education is recognised as an integral part of the development and education of all students from Pre-Prep to Year 6.
We endeavour to develop basic fundamental skills to encourage participation in a healthy and active life. This is promoted through active participation, developing individual self-confidence, enhancement of physical development, identification of the student’s individual potential and their ability to work with others in co-operative and positive group activities.
The Interhouse Swimming and Athletic carnivals are an integral part of any school Health and Physical Education Program. They foster a sense of belonging, team spirit, participation and competition. Physical activities are designed for the girls to participate to the best of their ability in these carnivals and with a sense of achievement and enjoyment. All girls are rewarded for participation, and from Year 2 girls are eligible for Andrews Cup selection. However, the main focus is on participation, working as a team and achieving their personal best.
History is a component of the Australian Curriculum - Humanities and Social Sciences. Through their units of work, students develop their knowledge and understanding of the world around them, whilst enhancing their historical inquiry skills. Students question, research, analyse, evaluate, reflect and communicate their understanding of people, places and events.
There is a focus on traditions and values, how people and places have changed over time, how people and places are connected through community, as well as how societies have been shaped, including the development of democracy. Students begin by exploring people and places most familiar to them, for example their family,
before expanding to investigate the wider community and then the nation and the world as a whole.
Somerville House offers a comprehensive curriculum (classroom) music program for all students in the Junior School. All Pre-Prep to Year 6 class groups receive lessons from specialist music teachers.
The Junior Music Program is organised sequentially, catering for developmental needs of students. Central to the philosophy of teaching is the view of ‘student as musician’ and that learning music occurs best via active involvement in musicianship processes. Activities are engaging, rigorous and fun, catering for all levels of musicianship.
The Junior Music Program aims to develop the ‘whole musician’. Students engage in and develop a wide range of skills - singing, playing instruments, aural
musicianship, analysis, reading and writing, and improvising and composing. This work complements, supports and connects with instrumental learning in the
Co-Curricular Music programs.
Year 3 String Program
Running concurrently with Curriculum (Classroom) Music in Year 3, is the Year 3 String Program. All students in Year 3 receive instruction on a stringed instrument during curriculum time.
Year 5 Instrumental Program – Band and Strings
Running concurrently with Curriculum (Classroom) Music in Year 5, is the Year 5 Instrumental Program (*Band or Strings). Each student receives instruction on an instrument leading to the formation of a concert band or strings group, giving to its participants the valuable experience and enjoyment of performing in an ensemble.
*In the band program each student is provided with an instrument for 1 year.
The Library has an educational function central to the teaching and learning programs at Somerville House. It has an extensive collection consisting of fiction, non-fiction, reference and digital resources. Resources aim to meet the challenges of teaching and learning in an information rich society as well as cater to the recreational and literacy needs of students.
Each class from Pre-Prep to Year 6 has a timetabled Library lesson with the Teacher Librarian. Information literacy skills commence at the Prep level, using the information process of Define, Locate, Select, Organise, Create, Present and Evaluate.
The Languages programme at Somerville House begins in Pre-Prep and continues in the Junior School. The aim of these lessons for our youngest students is to have fun singing, playing and speaking a language.
The Languages programme expands for students in Years 5 and 6. These students are exposed to the Languages of French, German, Japanese and Chinese. Each language is studied for one semester each year. The students are taught by specialist Language teachers
The Mathematics Curriculum is comprised of three content strands which are Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability.
Mathematical learning creates opportunities for and enriches the lives of all students.
Through their engagement in relevant, challenging and differentiated numeracy learning experiences the students develop their conceptual understandings, mathematical skills and proficiencies. These proficiencies of understanding, fluency, problem solving and reasoning are an integral part of mathematical content across all areas of the Mathematics curriculum. They reinforce the significance of working mathematically and applying conceptual knowledge and skills to problem solving situations that have ‘real-world’ meaning.
The Learning Enhancement teachers and specialist teacher aides operate within the school community by supporting and enriching students to ensure programs cater for students’ learning needs. Standardised testing is done at the beginning and also throughout the year in Literacy and Numeracy and this, along with professional teacher observations and judgments, informs our planning.
Learning Enhancement support may occur in a variety of ways including:-
Parents are kept up to date through a range of communication methods including school reports, parent teacher interviews and additional meeting times as required.
The Science Curriculum provides opportunities for students to develop an understanding of important Science concepts and processes. The learning area content is divided into the four areas of Biological Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Earth and Space Sciences and Physical Sciences.
Students explore a variety of concepts and topics, with the focus on not just constructing knowledge but importantly developing scientific inquiry skills that enhance their understanding of the world around them and the application of Science to their daily lives.
In Science, students observe, communicate, question, predict, evaluate and discuss. They work in our dedicated Junior School Science laboratory to conduct investigations where they are thinking, communicating and working scientifically. Students make connections between concepts and the application of scientific knowledge and skills in their world.