The Junior School at St. Michael’s offers a safe, nurturing environment where care and concern for the individual is of paramount importance. We also foster integration and co-operation with other children. Help is given to students to gain the social skills necessary to become compassionate, caring contributing members of their class, school, family and society.
We don’t believe in a checklist, as each child is an individual with unique experiences that they bring to the learning and school, takes children from where they are at and work from there. We like to see that children are happy, loved and feel part of the St. Michael’s family with an older pupil as a buddy.
We teach in the Junior School using a variety of techniques to cater for the different ways children learn – auditory, visual and kinesthetic. Classes are very much activity based learning with gradually increasing time and focus.
The key rule in the junior school is “Treat others as you would like to be treated.”
Respect and responsibility are very high on our list of desirable personality traits and we teach the students how these skills are developed in a cooperative learning environment. Introducing and encouraging the New Zealand Curriculum Key Competencies: Thinking, Participating and Contributing, Relating to Others, Managing Self and Using language, symbols and texts.
Home and school communication is valued and staff will discuss academic and pastoral issues as soon as possible. We encourage parents to read to their children, listen to them and make them know they are loved unconditionally.
The Junior School also contributes to the whole school’s Spiritual, Cultural and Academic activities.
After 4-8 weeks at school we assess the knowledge and skills of New Entrants through:
- Assessment of letter recognition and sound;
- Reading level tests (running records)
- Math assessment (including forward and backward rote counting, 1:1 matching ability, number recognition, before and after knowledge)
- Handwriting – ensuring correct pencil grip and letter formation, writing name
- Anecdotal notes gathered from observations, discussions with child, work in books
- Social skills with peers, following instructions and routines