Junior School Subjects


Visual Art

Somerville House offers a developmental Visual Art program, taught by Visual Art specialists.

The Visual 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 for many of the Visual Art units studied. The aim is to enhance each student’s observation skills and an awareness of the world around them.

Students are involved in a wide range of activities to explore and respond to artworks, develop practices and skills, and to create, make and present artworks.  Students work with diverse art processes including drawing, painting, printmaking, textiles modelling, construction, and time-based visual arts forms. 

InSight, our Biennial Visual Art Exhibition, provides an opportunity for the School community to view artwork by every student from Prep to Year 12 who studies Visual Art.


Chess lessons are a compulsory curriculum component for students in Prep to Year 4. Prep and Year 1 classes continue lessons throughout the year, and Years 2 to 4 students have lessons for one semester.

Christian Education

Christian Education is an integral part of the curriculum. The weekly lessons from Prep to Year 6 are presented in a range of formats, including group work, discussion, drama, Bible reading, singing, craft and bookwork. Students from Prep to Year 6 are also involved in Chapel and assembly presentations.


Students in Years 5 and 6 engage in Drama through regular whole class lessons with a specialist teacher. Students have the opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of a wide variety of dramatic styles, to experience 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 create roles and dramatic action and share these with others through performing, participating, listening and viewing.


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 on 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.  

Health and Physical Education

Basic fundamental skills are developed to encourage student participation in a healthy and active life. This is promoted through developing self-confidence, enhancement of physical development, identification of each student’s potential and their ability to work with others in cooperative and positive group activities.


The Interhouse Swimming, Cross Country and Athletic carnivals are an integral part of the School’s Health and Physical Education program. They foster a sense of belonging, team spirit, participation and competition. Physical activities are designed for the students to participate to the best of their ability with a sense of achievement and enjoyment. From Year 2, students are eligible for Andrews Cup selection. The main focus is on participation, working as a team and achieving personal best.

Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS)

The Humanities and Social Sciences in Prep to Year 6 encompass the knowledge and understandings of History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship, and Economics and Business. This gives students a deep understanding of the world they live in from a range of perspectives, past and present, and encourages them to develop an appreciation and respect for social, cultural and religious diversity.

Through studying Humanities and Social Sciences, students are given opportunities to develop their ability to question, think critically, solve problems, communicate effectively, make decisions and adapt to change.

The following concepts underpin understanding: significance, continuity and change, place and space and perspectives and action (Prep to Year 6); roles, rights and responsibilities (Years 1 to 6); cause and effect and interconnections (Years to 6). 


In Geography, 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 these places are used 
  • their 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. 


Through their units of work, students develop knowledge and understanding of the world around them, while 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
  • 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.

Civics and Citizenship

The Civics and Citizenship curriculum (taught in Years 3 to 6), is about ensuring students have the skills and values to become active and informed citizens. Students investigate political and legal systems and explore the nature of citizenship, diversity and identity in contemporary society.

Economics and Business

The Economics and Business curriculum (taught in Years 5 and 6), explores aspects of economics and business that affect daily life. Students learn about the role that individuals, businesses and governments play in the economy, the way they make decisions about how to allocate resources, and the effects of these decisions.

Information Literacy

The Information Literacy curriculum is built around the three interrelated strands of reading for pleasure, reading for information and the research process. Together, the strands focus on developing students’ love of reading, knowledge, understanding and skills in locating resources within a library, locating information within text, comprehension skills and the knowledge of the stages of the information process and online resources that support researching. Students’ learning in Information Literacy ensures they have solid foundations in becoming lifelong learners who navigate an information-rich society with confidence and integrity.

Prep to Year 4 students have weekly Information Literacy lessons with a Teacher Librarian, while Years 5 and 6 have fortnightly lessons. Information literacy skills are taught using the information process of Define, Locate, Select, Organise, Create, Present and Evaluate.

A passion for reading is nurtured and students develop an understanding and appreciation of a wide range of literature.


The teaching of languages begins in Prep and continues through the Junior School. Students study a specified language from Prep to Year 5 (either French, German, Chinese or Japanese).   

The languages program expands for students in Year 6.  Students are exposed to French, German, Japanese and Chinese. Each language is studied for one term. The students are taught by specialist language teachers.

Learning Development

The Learning Development teachers and specialist teacher aides operate within the school community by supporting and enriching programs to cater to individual learning needs. Learning Development support may occur in a variety of ways including:-

  • Team teaching with class teachers
  • Teachers working with students in small groups
  • Individual student sessions
  • Specialised withdrawal programs
  • Targeted development of skills to further enhance the capabilities of more able students
  • Before/after school activities to provide opportunities for consolidation and enrichment

The Mathematics curriculum comprises three content strands - 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, 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.


Somerville House offers a comprehensive Curriculum (Classroom) Music program for all students in the Junior School. All Prep to Year 6 class groups receive lessons from specialist music teachers.

The Junior Music Program is organised sequentially, catering for the developmental needs of students. Central to the philosophy of teaching is the view of ‘students as musicians’ 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 program.

Curriculum (Instrumental) Music

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 (provided by the School) 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 one year.


The science curriculum provides opportunities for students to develop an understanding of essential 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 constructing knowledge and, 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 laboratories 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.


Technologies draw together the distinct but related subjects of Design and Technologies, and Digital Technologies.

The Technologies curriculum provides students with opportunities to consider how solutions that are created now will be used in the future. Students will identify the possible benefits and risks of creating solutions. Students benefit from learning about, and working with, traditional, contemporary and emerging technologies that shape the world in which we live. In creating solutions, as well as responding to the designed world, students contribute to sustainable patterns of living for themselves and others.