Upper Primary

At Melbourne Grammar School, we consider Upper Primary to encompass students in Years 3 - 6.

As Grimwade House students progress through Years 3 to 6, we continue to provide a personalised approach to learning and emphasise the role of strong relationships. We also introduce opportunities to experience leadership and establish independence.

Changes during upper primary

In Upper Primary, many children start to develop their natural capacity for formal and abstract thinking. This means we’re able to introduce new concepts into our lessons, such as symbolism and metaphor in English, and more abstract mathematical ideas. Improved fine motor skills mean we can also introduce different instruments into our music lessons – all upper primary students will spend time learning a stringed instrument.

Across each discipline we maintain the emphasis on growth established in junior primary, offering personalised challenges and support for each student group.

Independence, leadership and understanding

As they get older, Grimwade House students have more opportunities to take on leadership activities including mentorship of younger students and responsibilities at the class and School level. Continuity is also important during this period – major changes in the school environment can lead to delayed academic progress.

These are also the years when students spend short periods away from home through our outdoor education programme and school excursions interstate. Importantly, upper primary is also a time when students display an awareness of gender differences, presenting new opportunities to build empathy and understanding.

Our upper primary curriculum

In Years 3 to 6 we focus on explicit teaching in English and Mathematics while further exploring the Humanities, looking into History, Geography, Economics & Business, Civics and Citizenship. We continue to take an approach that allows for different learning needs and interests. 

Specialist subjects during these years include Music, Mandarin, Art, Science and Technology, Health and Physical Education, Religious and Values Education (RAVE) and Library studies.

These are also the years in which we introduce ‘design thinking’ – a powerful model for problem solving that encourages empathy and optimism in finding solutions. As in junior primary, we continue to emphasise ‘visible thinking’ practices that make each child’s progress clear.