Learning Support in the Junior School is named LEAP (Learn, Enhance, Aspire, Progress) and aims to ensure that each girl is fully supported throughout all areas of her schooling so that she can reach her full learning potential, whilst being challenged with new ideas and experiences. The LEAP team works together with teachers, parents and specialists (Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists etc.) to create a collaborative network between home and school.Learning enrichment in the Junior School is named LEAP (Learn, Enhance, Aspire, Progress). It aims to ensure that each girl is fully supported throughout all areas of her schooling, whilst being challenged with new ideas and experiences. For some girls this will be a boost so they can achieve age appropriate benchmarks. For other girls it will be experiences to enhance their existing competencies and masteries. The LEAP team consists of a trained Special Education and primary teacher, and trained Learning Aides. They work together with teachers, parents, counsellors and allied health professionals to create a collaborative network between home and school.
We recognise that each student learns differently; being ready at different times, and so our programs reflect this. Our teachers and LEAP team work collaboratively to create programs and activities that are suitable for each and every learner in the classroom, prioritising the need for every girl to feel success.
It is our goal that “learning support” has no negative connotations. We understand the impact of mindset in learning, and therefore we aim to minimise the degree to which a child is withdrawn from her regular class into special programs. As much as possible, interventions are offered in-class, often by the class teacher, with the LEAP teacher working with other groups. This aims to ameliorate any sense in a child, who is fragile in her learning, that she is ‘different’. This growth mindset approach sees the girls focus on achieving their ‘next steps’, replacing an ‘I can’t’ attitude with a ‘I can’t yet’ view of their progress.
For students who have strengths across the curriculum, there are special enrichment events throughout the year. However, we acknowledge these girls are talented every day, not just on special occasions. Therefore all teachers are trained to identify and enrich the learning needs of all girls every day. This happens through an inquiry approach to learning, where girls can contribute to the direction of learning by posing quandaries and hypotheses which are then incorporated into the learning sequence. Our goal is to enrich girls’ areas of strength and interest through stimulating and creative learning opportunities both within and outside the classroom.
Tara employs a range of assessment tasks which allow for each student to show the best of what they can do. These range from standardised assessments, class assessments, work samples and ongoing anecdotal records. We recognise that a child’s progress needs to be tracked over their time in the Junior School and so we have a system in place which allows this to occur. All staff regularly maintain and refer to these documents to cater to their students’ needs accordingly.
- Individual Education Programs (IEPs)
- Life Skills mathematics program Macquarie University literacy programs – PreLit, MiniLit, MultiLit, MacqLit
- Spelling Mastery (Years 3-4)
- Repeated Reading program
- APSMO - Maths Olympiad and Maths Games (Years 5-6)
- Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Competition
- Write a Book in a Day Competition
- Write On Competition
- Opportunities to work with other schools on themed days, for example: mathematics problem solving day, creative arts day
- Debating (IPSHA interschool competition)
- Movie club
- Lego robotics
- ICAS - International Competition and Assessments for Schools (Years 3-6)
- Saturday Sport program and Snowsports
- Talkfest – speaking and listening festival
- Bands – Roseneath, Cedars
- Arcadia Strings
- Ellangowan and Mary Elizabeth Choirs
- NATA Science Awards
- Premier’s Reading Challenge
Enrichment/co-curricular activities are available and encouraged for all Tara Junior School girls as we believe all children have their own gifts and talents. For more information about opportunities in Junior School visit the Tara Girl pages.