In the Junior School, we see the building of strong relationships as vital. The relationships between students, staff, parents and the community are all highly valued. Through these strong relationships and with effective communication we get to know and understand your child. In this way we are able to cater for the individual needs of each child. We focus on each individual, with our goal being the development of the whole child.
The Junior School offers pastoral care, exceptional teachers, engagement with our community, co-curricular activities and a disciplined, nurturing learning environment. In every aspect, we strive to develop in each student the pursuit of academic excellence, self-confidence, community service and leadership.
Our Junior School is dedicated to providing a rigorous learning environment founded on global research that engages all learners. We continue to seek out innovative ways to further support the thinking skills, creativity and digital literacy of our students and staff. We provide them with the means and motivation to excel, to be adaptable and to develop problem solving skills.
Learning is personalized and class sizes are smaller than average. Teachers use various forms of assessment to build each student’s learning profile and determine what is needed to move their learning forward. Opportunities for extension and support are provided.
Specialist teachers work with students in the areas of Music, Art, Physical Education, Languages and Swimming.
We strive towards equipping students for the future
Our world is constantly changing. We realize that the essential skills to effectively research information, think critically and apply higher order thinking skills must be developed throughout the curriculum. Students are encouraged to ask questions and to form values, ideas and opinions. With an emphasis on creativity, resourcefulness and independent learning we help students strive to reach their full potential.
NAPLAN Student Gain Analysis | 2016 – 2018 data
One way of measuring the quality of teaching and learning at a school is to compare student gain in NAPLAN.
Data from the Myschool website was analysed to measure student gain between 2016 and 2018 (the most recent available data) in selected Cairns schools. Growth between 2016 and 2018 was analysed between Year 3 to 5 and Year 7 to 9. The Year 5 to 7 data was not analysed due to the large number of students who change schools at the beginning of Year 7, which makes the data non-indicative.
2 measurements were created. The starting mean score across the 3 main strands in Year 3, 2016 gives a starting score. Then the student gain over 2 years was measured as a comparison to the national mean gain across Australia to give a gain score. Student gain is a useful tool as per the ACARA website: “Student gain is a way to measure the impact the school has had on student progress. That is, … it is more likely that any differences in gain made by schools are related to the teaching and learning capabilities of the school”. We use the gain measured between students at the same starting score across Australia which minimizes the impact of socioeconomic background as a variable. This then leads to a total score. It should be noted that the higher the starting score the more difficult it is to create student gain. In addition, it is not possible to analyse the reasons for Year 3 NAPLAN outcomes (high achieving enrolments or effective teaching and learning)
NB: the 3 main strands analysed are Reading, Writing and Numeracy (as per the My School website data availability)
Summary of student gain scores for Cairns area schools
The subject areas offered within our Junior School academic program are:
- English – Language, Literacy, Literature and Communication.
- Mathematics – Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, Statistics and Probability and Problem Solving
- Humanities – History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Business Achievement
- Christian and Values Education
- The Arts – Music and Visual Arts
- Health and Physical Education
- Languages – Japanese
- Digital Technologies – Design and Technologies
The First Year of School
TAS Preparatory Program offers:
- Cutting-edge teaching and learning technology supports your child’s learning success. This includes the Perceptual Motor Skills Training Program to link body and mind together for better learning; coding and robotics using devices such as Cubettos, Bee Bots and iPads. Students access to online learning programs such as Reading Eggs and a computer lab with Adobe and Microsoft products.
- A focus on Inquiry Learning provides students with opportunities for input into the layout of their learning space and activities.
- Specialist Music, Japanese, Art, Swimming and Physical Education programs.
- Genuine open door policy and parent engagement.
- Opportunities for parents to be involved in the school through the Parents and Friends Committee, Parent Community groups and parent run activity groups for students.
- Specialist Early Years curriculum development of literacy and numeracy skills.
- A focus on sustainability, the environment and life-cycles with students having opportunities to grow herbs and vegetables in the Prep garden, look after wildlife, hatch and care for chicks.
While the Australian Curriculum provides a framework for the TAS Preparatory Program our teachers move beyond this to provide our students with a unique and rich educational program. Throughout the year the students are carefully monitored with differentiated programs to ensure the transition to Year 1 is successful.
Meeting the Needs of Our Early Adolescents
Transition activities play an important role in preparing our Year 5 and Year 6 students for their Senior School years. Some of the activities that have been arranged to support this transition include:
- TAS Taster: Students experience a ‘taste’ of Senior School for a day. Year 5 and 6 students are divided into groups, led by senior students, where they ask questions about Senior School. Afterwards, they rotate through different subject areas and create an artefact as a souvenir of the day. Students are provided an opportunity to share lunch with the Principal and other school leaders.
- The Year 7 Familiarization Day takes place in Term 4, at which time students are welcomed by an honour guard of senior students.
- During ‘Science Week’ teachers from the Secondary school run exciting activities for the Primary students. The students also access the Secondary School science labs under the guidance of the teachers.
Middle Years Activities
In addition to the co-curricular program, students in Year 5 and 6 are involved in an activities afternoon once as week that moves beyond the normal curriculum and provides opportunities to learn new skills or give service to the community. The Middle Years Activities program is structured within the Round Square framework and students are able to choose one of the elective on offer.
All Year 5 and Year 6 students are issued with a Round Square Passport where completed activities that meet the criteria for each of the Round Square ideals are recorded. Each year students can apply to attend the Junior Round Square Conference. participate in service projects or be part of a Round Square Exchange to Radford College in Canberra.
Extension and Enrichment
TAS offers all students in Prep to Year 6 opportunities to be involved in extension and/or enrichment activities. These activities take place in break times, before school, after school or during the holidays. Please contact the Heads of Junior School for further information.
At TAS we place special emphasis on the importance of mixing Physical Education training with education, to achieve success at all levels. The TAS Aquatic Program is a compulsory part of the Junior School curriculum. All Junior School students participate in swimming lessons and water based activities during the school year, and develop their swimming skills through an intensive, well-structured program.
Outdoor Education at TAS is seen as an essential part of each child’s development. The outdoor environment provides added stimulus and confidence which contribute to the personal development of each student.
Through Outdoor Education experiences we aim to develop in each child
- A deeper self-knowledge and greater sense of self-worth
- A clearer understanding of one’s place in the community
- A strong bond with the natural environment
Learning Support provides assistance for students who have special needs or specific learning difficulties. For those children experiencing difficulties, areas of concern are identified and the Learning Support Teacher works with parents and the class teacher to develop an appropriate Individual Learning Program to address areas of need. Under the direction of the classroom teacher, teacher aides work in classrooms to support students.
Student Leadership Opportunities
Each year two Year 6 students will be appointed to each of the following positions – School Captain, Arts Captain, Junior Round Square Captain and Sports Captain. These students lead school assemblies and represent the school at appropriate functions. In addition to the above student leadership positions, two Year 6 students are also elected to the positions of Junior School House Leaders by their peers. House Leaders lead their house during sporting carnivals and events, organise house meetings and assist TAS staff in setting up carnivals and events.