Cranbrook Junior School provides learning opportunities for every student that not only encourages self-confidence and intellectual development but instils a sense of independence, responsibility and consideration of others.
Our programmes are based upon academic, cultural and personal development to ensure that the potential of each boy is realised in accordance with his particular abilities and aspirations. The construction of knowledge, understanding and the importance of skill development are central to all that we do at Cranbrook.
One of the key tools for success in learning is a person’s capacity to read, write and be numerate. At Cranbrook Junior School we recognise that skills in English and Mathematics need to be taught purposefully, directly and sequentially. The teaching of these skills should be individualised to meet the specific needs of each boy at the point at which he currently is, so as to build on his prior knowledge and skills.
To embed literacy and numeracy skills effectively we have introduced an innovative approach to the teaching of literacy and numeracy. Every day, each Year Group has one hour each of English and Mathematics. Extra staff join each year level to form a larger teaching team. The larger teaching teams mean we can group the boys in small numbers, based around the specific learning needs of the boys. The teacher-student ratios we utilise in the core subjects are unusually low and help us to be able to genuinely meet the needs of every boy at Cranbrook Junior School.
We are excited by the way literacy and numeracy has developed and how this approach to learning continues to help our teachers honour each boy’s individuality.
The curriculum basis for all students, Kindergarten to Year 6, is the prescribed Australian Curriculum in New South Wales. We use the International Baccalaureate, Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) curriculum framework to deliver the curriculum. The programme promotes global mindedness and a focus on students making a difference and taking action.
The PYP is designed for students between the ages of 3 and 12 years of age. It is an international, inquiry-based, transdisciplinary programme designed to foster the development of the whole child, not just in the classroom, but also through other means of learning. The PYP focuses on the total growth of the developing child, encompassing social, physical, emotional and cultural needs, in addition to academic welfare. Knowledge, concepts and skills alone do not make an internationally-minded person. It is vital that there is also focus on the development of personal attitudes towards people, towards the environment and towards learning.
The PYP draws on research and best practice, and a wealth of knowledge and experience from schools worldwide, to create a relevant, engaging, challenging and significant educational framework for all children.
Cranbrook’s teaching staff are a team of dedicated, passionate and capable teachers. Teachers engage, support and challenge each boy’s potential, to draw out their best, and to instil a sense of pride in their achievements.
Our teachers are all Junior School specialists and understand how young people learn, providing the boys with the necessary confidence and skills to ensure they embrace the new challenges that await them in their more senior schooling years. All our exceptional educators ensure that as each child continues their journey through the School, they grow in independence, question and learn.
No matter what is being taught, all teachers at Cranbrook Junior School use a similar teaching-learning cycle to ensure every boy is being catered for as a learner, so that we can honour his individuality and help him aspire to excellence. We do not stream our classes. The boys are grouped into smaller clusters based around what things they need to be taught next, to help each grow in their knowledge, skills and understanding. Reflecting on their pre-assessments, the boys, with teacher guidance, decide what they really want to learn and set some learning goals.
Teachers continue to observe and reflect on the boys’ grasp of what is being taught as the boys participate in their learning experiences. This continuous assessment process allows the teachers to give verbal as well as written feedback to the boys, often daily, to help them strengthen their understanding of what is being taught. It also allows teachers to modify and adjust what will be taught tomorrow, so that it stretches the boys and reinforces their learning, helping them build on their understanding.
Towards the end of each unit, a final activity will help staff evaluate how much the boys have grown within that learning area and pre-assessment begins for the next unit.
As well as academic excellence we aim to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through inter-cultural understanding and respect. We put our children at the centre of their own learning and place great emphasis on nurturing skills and attitudes such as resourcefulness, resilience and co-operation. The construction of knowledge, understanding and the importance of skill development are central to all that we do at Cranbrook.
We believe that learning is life’s greatest adventure and we challenge and foster the individual talents of each boy to help them fulfil their potential.