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Junior School Curriculum

Overview

The Form II (Grade 4), Form III (Grade 5), Lower IV (Grade 6) and Upper IV (Grade 7) classes form the Upper Junior School at Roedean. Each class is looked after by a class teacher and a co-teacher. There are two classes at each level and the girls stay in their classes for most subjects. For English and Mathematics, the two classes are divided into three groups, so that the individual learning needs of each girl is met.

The curriculum at Roedean is guided by the National Curriculum Statement and subjects offered in the Junior School include: Mathematics, English, Afrikaans (First Additional Language), isiZulu (First Additional Language), Social Sciences (History and Geography), Natural Sciences (Physical Science and Biology), Technology, and Information Skills. The vibrant Arts and Culture Department at Roedean plays a critical role in enhancing the creativity of our girls and Visual Art and Music are highly valued subjects. Physical Education lessons are an important part of the Upper Junior School day and our dynamic Sports Department also ensures the girls have many opportunities to grow their personal fitness by participating in a range of individual and team sports.

Understanding the learning needs of each girl is central to establishing a positive learning environment. Throughout the year, the girls are exposed to different forms of formal and informal assessment tasks. Continuous assessments are part of a process of gathering information to determine each girl’s academic progress. When a formal assessment is appropriate, the class is well informed and given time to prepare.
Our participation in external tests which include the IBT (International Benchmark Testing), Conquesta Language Olympiads, and the Independent Schools’ Shared Assessments, serve as benchmarks for our own educational standards. Our girls also successfully enter the Commonwealth Essay Writing Competition.

The most important focus in Upper Junior School is to create an environment that will develop, in each girl, a passion for learning. It is a passion for learning, or a love and enthusiasm for a particular subject, that will give each girl the energy and confidence to persevere and persist, and enable her to achieve her personal best. Sustained success at Roedean is not only in the passion and talent we find in our teachers, or in the girls around us but also in a strong value-based educational approach. Our school values, ‘Truth, Honour, Freedom and Courtesy’, are the foundations for encouraging resilient, life-long, self-directed thinkers, who are able to work collaboratively in living a truly honest ‘Life of Significance’.

Grade 4 (FII)

Form II is an exciting year for the girls. They leave St Margaret’s (Foundation Phase) and are introduced to the Upper Junior School (Senior Primary).

The Form II girls have a class teacher and a co-teacher to look after them and to assist with the new challenges and opportunities the big move into Upper Junior School brings. The class gets together in the morning for registration, before the day’s activities start. The girls and their teachers get to know each other during Circle Time conversations and enjoy early morning activities such as cognitive education lessons, assemblies, and chapel services together.

In Form II, the girls have the opportunity to move classes during the day for lessons with different subject and specialist teachers.

Form II girls prepare to participate in their first public speaking experience, called Chatterbox. These evenings are hosted once a term by different participating schools. Soirée performance evenings celebrate the girls’ achievements in all subject areas and every girl is encouraged to take part.

The Form II camp is a three day, two night outing and an ideal opportunity for the girls to get to know one another and experience the great outdoors. New friendships are formed and the teachers enjoy interacting with the girls in an informal environment.

Grade 5 (FIII)

Form III is an exciting and fun-filled year, focusing on the development of each girl. The girls are more familiar with the routine of the Upper Junior School, and now build on the solid foundation of skills developed in previous years. Emphasis is placed on the cognitive development of language and number manipulation skills. Girls are encouraged to develop a sound independent work ethic and they begin to learn effective time management.

The Form III camp is a highlight. The girls enjoy their Chatterbox public speaking events, class soirée evenings, music concerts, assemblies, and the many other opportunities on offer to demonstrate their growing talents and confidence.

Form III is a busy year that offers much in terms of diversity, growth of skills and knowledge, and individual development. All in all, it is a wonderful time in each girl’s life!

Grade 6 (LIV)

In Lower IV, the girls build strongly on the foundations of personal independence and confidence developed in previous years. They are encouraged to participate responsibly in academic, cultural, and sporting events, which include Chatterbox public speaking evenings, the Commonwealth Essay Competition, class soirée evenings, music concerts, assemblies, and extra-curricular hockey, netball, and swimming.

In Lower IV, two formal assessment weeks are introduced. These are scheduled towards the end of the second and third terms. ‘Habits of Study’ are explored and study skills are developed further by a dedicated and committed team of Lower IV teachers in preparation for these more formal assessments.

Lower IV is an exciting year of growth, development and change in every girl’s life.

Grade 7 (UIV)

Upper IV, the first year of the Senior Phase, is also the girls’ last year in the Junior School. This is the year captains and vice-captains of sporting and cultural teams are announced. Meaningful leadership and the essential skills and characteristics it demands are the focus of many Upper IV discussions.

The year begins with a class camp, the focus of which is to identify and develop individual and team leadership skills.

The Upper IV Leadership Development Programme encourages the girls to focus on achieving their personal best in as many aspects of school life as possible. The programme builds leaders on all levels and the girls develop their personal leadership skills by setting personal goals in academics, sporting, and cultural activities. They also commit themselves to a number of school duties and social responsibility projects.

As part of the Junior School Leadership Team, the Upper IV girls are encouraged to be good role models by setting a good example and inspiring one other, especially the younger girls, to be involved and to be committed to making a positive contribution to their school life.