PLC Sydney Junior School, a springboard to the rest of their lives.
PLC Sydney’s Pre-Kindergarten Program was specifically designed for children who are ready for something more than a long daycare or childcare type arrangement. Childhood experts all agree that attending a high-quality program prepares kids for Kindergarten and beyond.
‘There's increasing evidence that children gain a lot from going to preschool,’ says Melissa Watters, Head of Junior School at PLC Sydney. ‘It not only provides children with strong foundations in literacy and numeracy, but more importantly, it provides learning opportunities such as social and emotional learning - they learn how to socialize, to get along with other children, share and contribute to the group. We look at things like confidence, we want them to find their voice and ensure that they can speak up for themselves, that they know they can use their voice in their learning, but also in their relationships. We teach the girls friendship skills, as their relationships are key to the work that they do each day. And their transition into Kindergarten and the following years of junior school is seamless."
That is something that PLC Sydney prides itself on, that all students have a sense of belonging to the school community. Every student is known and they see themselves as being connected to the school very quickly. They know the teachers, they are used to the spaces and the learning environment. The culture of the school is very much set from those very early years.
At PLC Sydney, the Junior School students have access to incredible facilities and resources. ‘We're very blessed with fantastic physical resources and the facilities that we have here. But it's also the human resources, people who are incredibly passionate about what they do. The teaching and learning is paramount’ says Mrs Watters.
Mrs Watters thinks that Junior school is about the opportunity to try and experience new things. There is a lot of support and encouragement so that students can develop and individually grow with their passions throughout junior school and then into the senior school years. ‘If you have a passion for Speech, you can begin in Kindergarten with the Speech Program and then take that right through your schooling. We have girls who've come through the Junior School and who have ended up representing Australia at the World Public Speaking and Debating Championships. The girls know that they're supported in every way to be the best that they can be.’
PLC Sydney has two campuses in the Junior School. Junior School Evandale is the Pre-K to Year Two campus, with Junior School Hamilton, for Years 3 to 6, within the main area of the College. The campuses are linked, not only physically, but with staff who work across both areas. The students have full access to all the PLC Sydney facilities and venues.
Watters said ‘as Head of Junior School, I have had the wonderful opportunity to be part of the design of of the new Junior School buildings. PLC Sydney is a school with over 130 years of history, so we have a range of building from very old, beautiful heritage buildings, to brand new state of the art facilities where the architects have really tapped into what it is that we want to achieve in the spaces’.
‘The main aim is to have flexibility, so the learning spaces reflect that. We have areas that have been designed so that children have quiet, intimate spaces where they can work in small groups with their classroom teachers. And yet the spaces and walls are flexible, to ensure that they can spread out for collaborative activities. It's really been purpose built and designed for a range of pedagogy, which is quite exciting for all the girls and the teachers’.
Art Specialists works with Pre-K students.
Kindergarten students learning the violin.
Pre-K and Senior students alike have access to the Invertebrate House, a geodesic dome housing a variety of invertebrate species.
‘We are a school with a long history and lots of beautiful traditions that are maintained, but we’re also a school that has great vision for future’, says Mrs Watters. ‘The innovation that happens here on a day to day basis is incredible. To our girls that’s just normal, they grow up with that, but that's what's available to them in their learning.’
Junior School students use the specialist Science and Innovation Labs, the Croydon Art and Technology Centre, the Performing Arts Theatre, the Aquatic Centre and Gymnasium. Everything is available to every year group in the school. Junior students get to mix with their ‘senior school buddies’ and have lots of opportunity to socialise and transition to the new environment.
From an educational perspective, PLC Sydney follows the New South Wales Education Standards Authority (NESA) syllabus, and yet, as an independent school they have a lot of flexibility to put their own stamp on that and deliver it in ways that they want to. So not only do they ensure that they reach the NESA outcomes, but they are able to deliver that content, those skills, that knowledge and understanding in different ways, with a lot of human resources and amazing facilities provided for the girls. They are used to collaborating, used to the inquiry base learning, asking questions. They work with specialist teachers in the classrooms, alongside their classroom teachers. So often you'll find the children have two teachers working with them. For example, the Art or Music specialist might be leading the lesson, but the classroom teachers is there supporting the children.
‘We want the girls to to love their learning. And, alongside that, learn to love as well. Love what's available here for them and one another. They are taught from a very early age that being part of a community is important. It's an exciting journey. Evandale builds those firm foundations. It’s the springboard for the rest of their life.’ says Mrs Watters.
TO FIND ABOUT MORE ABOUT A PLC SYDNEY EDUCATION AND ENROLMENTS:
Families interested in a PLC Sydney education for their daughter are invited to attend one of our 2022 Parent Information presentations on:
These sessions allow you to to:
Social and collaborative learning.
Enquiry based learning and real world experience engage PLC Sydney's youngest students.