Junior School

Year 0-6

At Columba College Junior School, you can expect the very best education for your daughter or son taught by dedicated staff who embrace the Christian values in a family environment. The Junior School comprises seven co-educational classes from New Entrants to Year Six. In the Junior School your child will have access to a wide range of co-curricular activities and opportunities. Columba will give your daughter or son the opportunity to try different sports, play an instrument and perform on stage. We believe that it is important to nurture your child’s strengths and abilities both inside and outside the school community.  Our Junior schools aims:

To ensure all members of our school community and beyond are treated with respect regardless of their cultural or religious background.

To provide a sound academic grounding for all students.

To provide stimulating, rich and relevant learning experiences.

To inspire our students to learn, to help them discover their talents and to challenge them to strive for excellence.

To provide a happy, safe, nurturing environment where girls and boys experience a curriculum that encourages them to question and explore and use technology effectively.

To encourage all students to achieve their full potential.

Student Life and Learning

Our approach to teaching and learning is underpinned by a seamless, integrated curriculum promoting life-long learners. Both girls and boys are encouraged to strive for personal excellence and become responsible members of Columba College and the wider community. Children have a wonderful capacity to learn. They are curious, imaginative, capable and creative. Stimulating environments are vital to their learning. Our parents, caregivers and members of the wider community are actively involved in the life of the Junior School.

All students from Years 0 to 6 study the following subjects:

 

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Social Sciences
  • Science
  • Technology/Digital Technology
  • The Arts: Visual Art, Drama, Music, Dance
  • Physical Education and Health

In addition to these core subjects, all students learn Mandarin Chinese and Te Reo Maori.

Students conduct most of their learning in their own classroom, and visit specialist teachers in dedicated learning areas for Chinese, Te Reo and Music.

Private Music and Speech tuition is also available for Year 4-6 students.

Our sporting philosophy emphasises fun and participation across a wide range of activities.

We provide the opportunity for girls and boys to develop skills in their chosen sporting strengths. At this age, we believe sport is not all about winning, but is about students learning to bring their best efforts to their sporting endeavours, to dig deeper, not to give in and to be resilient in adversity. In doing so, our students learn good habits which transfer into other areas of their lives.

In Years 0-2 the focus is on fundamental sport skills and movement. Students are involved in modified games and exercises through Physical Education classes to let them practise skills and movement.

From Year 3, our Director of Sport oversees a variety of sporting codes. She organises our ‘Have a Go’ programmes in both winter and summer codes to introduce students to different sports.

Team sports are introduced and students have the opportunity to represent the College in inter-school competitions. Students discover their own aptitudes and passions through these programmes and can decide which sports they wish to follow in future years.

Years 5 and 6 students participate in a wider competitive environment and are provided with skill development in several sports.

In addition to these sports, students participate in a competitive sports programme through the Junior School Swimming Carnival, Athletics Sports and Cross Country events.

Columba Junior School offers a wide range of sports opportunities for active students which include: athletics, swimming, miniball, futsal, flippaball, netball and tee ball.  The students in Years 4-6 also have the opportunity to participate in tennis and badminton Coaching.

A programme of gymnastics for all students is provided for six weeks in Term Three.

Performing Arts

  • All students in the Junior School participate in a one hour Music lesson on a weekly basis with a specialist Music teacher. The Junior School years offer opportunities to start learning an instrument and we offer private tuition in piano, clarinet, flute, guitar, recorder, violin, cello and percussion.
  • There is an all-comers choir for students in Years 4-6. The students have the opportunity to perform at our Spring Service, Carol Service and end-of-year Concert and Prize-Giving.
  • Our Junior School musicians in Years 4-6 are able to join our Junior Orchestra. This caters for students who have been learning an instrument for a year or longer. They perform at an end-of-year Concert and Prize-Giving.
  • All students are involved in Drama from Year 0 up and it is a dedicated subject in their curriculum. Each year the Junior School puts on a Musical Production in which all students participate. The students work hard to learn songs and dances and the performances are always of a very high quality.
  • We believe the ability to communicate effectively is an essential skill for all students. Private Speech and Drama tuition is available for Years 4-6 students. Speech and Drama students are involved in Trinity College and Speech New Zealand examinations.

An opportunity for Students to discover more about the Christian Faith

The Junior School has a caring and supportive Christian character which provides the platform for the Religious Education curriculum. We provide an opportunity for students to discover for themselves what the Christian faith is. Students in the Junior School take part in weekly Religious Education programmes as part of the school curriculum.   Each year the Junior School participates in two Church Services – a Spring Service of Praise and the College’s annual Carol Service at First Church of Otago.

Education Outside the Classroom

 

Our outdoor education programmes provide students with opportunities to challenge themselves mentally and physically, to work as a team in outdoor situations and to experience the natural environment of New Zealand.

A biennial outdoor education camp for Years 5 and 6 is held at Berwick, an outdoor education facility on the outskirts of Dunedin.

Student Support

All staff contribute to the pastoral care of the Junior School students who at each level have the support and guidance of a classroom teacher and the Junior School Dean. The Year 6 students provide a great support network and ‘buddy system’ to the younger students. The College acknowledges the particular needs of some students in the Junior School by appointing specialist staff as and when required. In fulfilling our pastoral care role, we emphasise the importance of the partnership between school and family.

After School Programme

The After School Care Programme runs every afternoon in term time.  It is located in one of the Junior School classrooms.  For busy parents, knowing that their child is supervised and well cared for in a familiar and safe environment is invaluable. The children have afternoon-tea followed by a variety of creative activities and on fine days go out to play before beginning homework or activities. Children are welcome on a regular or casual basis. The programme runs from 3.00 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. every week-day in term time.

Leadership

Leadership is a skill that can be taught and fostered. Our students are given opportunities to build leadership skills and to practise and refine those skills.