Growing great learners

The early years of schooling are regarded some of the most important as children develop the foundational skills they require to grow as great learners.

In the primary years at St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School, learning contexts are created to engage, inspire and challenge girls to optimise achievement across all domains of learning.

A strong emphasis is placed on developing foundational literacy and numeracy skills and the school’s Literacy Coordinator/Coach and Mathematics Specialist support students and educators in achieving this objective.

A custom Systematic Synthetic Phonics program for the school’s youngest learners, has been designed to embody the most recent research and the most effective elements from a range of approaches to and theories of early literacy instruction.

While the school’s differentiated approach to teaching and Cluster program, allows literacy and numeracy learning to occur within vertical groups, across year levels and based on like abilities and needs.

STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning in the early years builds the independent, critical and creative thinking skills of students. Right from Pre-Prep at St Margaret’s, students are engaged in STEM through a weekly, timetabled lesson which takes place in the dedicated ‘Atelier’ space featuring robots, iPads, recycled materials, loose parts and construction materials, cooking facilities and more.

There are many advantages to attending a primary school combined with a secondary school

and for St Margaret’s joint Primary Leader Charlie Bain, this is realised in the access to a wide range of extracurricular experiences and state of the art facilities.

“I came to St Margaret’s in Year 5, and I have really enjoyed trying different sports so far including soccer, basketball, touch football and netball as well as competing against other schools in Andrews Cup. We didn’t have the opportunity to play extracurricular sport at my previous primary school, so I have jumped at the chance to make the most of these opportunities.

“Through these sports I have learnt a lot about teamwork, commitment and practice and have been pushed outside my comfort zone,” Charlie said.

Charlie’s classmate and joint Primary Leader, Olivia Robson has also enthusiastically involved herself in a range of extracurricular activities including cross country, netball, gymnastics, athletics, cricket and water polo which she trains for in the school’s water polo sized, heated swimming pool.

“There is a big range of sports available, but the primary music program is also a great way to try out different instruments. I was in the choir in Year 2, I played the Cello in Years 3 and 4, the trumpet in Year 5 and now I am playing the guitar.

“My involvement in sport and music has helped me to feel confident in my capabilities,” Olivia said.

As Primary Leaders this year, both Charlie and Olivia are positive role models for the younger students, upholding and demonstrating the school values and both girls take this responsibility very seriously.

“As a primary leader, I am a role model for my peers but also a voice for them as well,” Charlie said.

“When I was in Pre-Prep at St Margaret’s, I really looked up to the primary school leaders and I knew that I wanted to be one too one day. To me, being a leader means modelling passion and spirit through participation and involvement and leading by example,” Olivia said.

Looking to the future, both Charlie and Olivia are excited about starting secondary school next year and know their transition will be smoother as the environment and teachers are already familiar to them and their friends will be there to support them as well.

A St Margaret’s primary school education not only grows great learners, giving girls the best start to their schooling journey, but also secures a place in the secondary school with limited places available in Years 7 to 12.