Learning at Grimwade House | Melbourne Grammar School

Learning at Grimwade House

Students in class
Capturing and developing the natural wonder and curiosity of young minds is an exciting adventure for students, families and teachers alike.

At Grimwade House, the educational pathways are as unique and individual as the students themselves, catering for a wide variety of developmental steps and stages. Our broad and engaging core curriculum is enhanced by a range of co-curricular activities to ensure that our girls and boys learn about themselves, each other and their world while building the foundations of literacy, numeracy and cognitive skills.

We believe that coeducation has great advantages in the primary school setting, providing optimal learning and development for young children. At Grimwade House we believe in delivering a balanced learning experience that focuses on building both strong foundations in literacy and numeracy, as well as building students inquiry skills, to so that students have the building blocks for life-long learning. As part of our commitment to encouraging students to become socially aware, independent thinkers, the development of leadership skills is built into the curriculum, and there are countless opportunities for students to take on responsibility. At all year levels our Learning Strategies Department provide extra support based on individual needs, including Reading Recovery and enrichment programmes.

Throughout Grimwade House, motivated and committed staff enable our students to discover the joy of learning and the sheer fun of working and playing together as they celebrate each step towards academic excellence.

 

We believe it is important for young boys and girls to play and grow together in a warm, supportive atmosphere where they learn from one another. A mixed-gender environment provides optimal learning and development, allowing all children to benefit from a positive and strong beginning to schooling.

Our decision to provide coeducational learning for younger students stems from our belief in the importance of family. Parents of primary school students are highly involved in their children’s education and we recognise that this support and organisation is easier to provide if all young children in a family attend the same school.

Students at Grimwade House – which has been coeducational since 1979 – develop resilient attitudes that stand them in good stead for life-long learning. By learning to work and play together, our girls and boys see how they can succeed together. By embracing diversity we have created a culture where acceptance of others is paramount and understanding, tolerance and “putting yourself in someone else’s shoes” are implicit.

Sound coeducational teaching practice provides a wide range of activities that cater for all styles of learning. Our girls and boys are given many opportunities to experience success in some form. By being able to achieve in so many ways, they grow in confidence and are able to take initiative and lead others as well as themselves.

We believe for success in learning it is essential for students to build strong foundations in literacy and numeracy. These foundations are built through the delivery of a sequential learning program from Prep through to Year 6.

Students are taught literacy and numeracy knowledge and skills through explicit learning engagements, and are then provided with opportunities to display their understanding by applying them in other contexts, such as inquiry and problem-based problems.

Inquiry allows students to engage and make connections between learning and the world around them. Through Inquiry units, specifically and uniquely designed for Grimwade House, students investigate, link, communicate and reflect around big ideas which in turn promotes a deeper level of learning.

To achieve this we use an Inquiry-based approach to aspects of our teaching and learning. An inquiry approach encourages children to discover more about the world around them through curiosity and exploration. This approach encourages students to explore, observe, ask questions, discuss ideas and opinions, work collaboratively, seek answers to their own wonderings, and transfer their knowledge to different situations.

Teachers meet the individual needs of students through the delivery of differentiated learning programmes. However, we also recognise that some students may require additional support or extension, further to this. Teachers with specialised qualifications work closely with classroom teachers to identify, plan, support and deliver specific programmes if required.

Our Learning Strategies Department provides additional support to students who may require further assistance in their learning through a number of different approaches and programmes. These programmes may include the creation of individual learning plans, intervention programs, assisting with adjustments to facilitate optimal learning, small like-ability groupings and implementation of targeted programmes. The Learning Strategies Teachers also liaise with specialists such as Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Educational Psychologists.

The enrichment programme provides flexible enrichment and extension programmes for identified students. These programmes may include like- ability groupings, individual learning contracts, acceleration, withdrawal programmes, out of hour’s programmes, mentoring, classroom enrichment and extension and the provision of varied teaching strategies. 

 

At Grimwade House, leadership and the joy of learning go hand in hand. From visible leadership positions like School Captain, House Captain, sports teams, music and class captains, to the less obvious personal leadership of self, girls and boys have many opportunities to incorporate leadership skills into their daily routines. This means they are encouraged to be independent thinkers, to be socially aware, to take responsibility for themselves and others and to have a go, preparing them for all that life will bring.

Every activity involving groups of students requires some to act as leaders and to take on responsibilities. Class captains from Years 2 to 6 form the Junior Council, and these girls and boys meet regularly to talk about and advise on the values and ethos of the School.

At all Year levels, students lead the way in major fundraising events by taking responsibility for the organisation of the activities and who it will benefit. Recent projects include the Year 5 Community Action Research project, building of possum boxes for the RSPCA, making teaching resources for a school in Nepal and assisting schools in tsunami-affected areas.

 


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