Waverley College’s Elizabeth Watson speaks to Director of Junior School Gabrielle Smith about the importance of Years 5 and 6 in a boy’s education.
As your son starts to develop into a young man, his needs will begin to shift. Making sure he’s in a forward-thinking environment that is specially designed to identify and support those needs will help him transition, both academically and socially, into a productive young student at high school.
Waverley College Junior School offers a Year 5 and 6 preparatory pathway to the College’s Senior School. Director of Junior School Gabrielle Smith believes these years set the stage for future achievement.
“Year 5 and 6 are an important stage in a boy’s education,” Ms Smith says. “A school like ours provides them with challenge and opportunity and fosters a love of learning – and these are the framework for future success at school.”
She suggests that parents ask themselves the following questions about their son when considering whether it is worth moving him for Years 5 and 6:
Could he benefit from more teaching attention?
The Waverley College Junior School focuses on students as individuals. We understand that many boys this age need an active learning environment and sitting quietly doesn’t always work. In preparation for high school, we split learning streams by ability level and use a team-teaching approach, so every child can access the individual attention they need, when they need it. This helps the students focus on their learning and prepares them for the transition to the high school.
Will he understand how high school works?
We use a variety of teachers who specialise in particular subjects so the boys begin to understand what will be expected of them at high school. The junior boys often visit the senior campus and their school days follow the same teaching cycle and diary as the high school. We also begin to raise the standards of discipline and academic achievement. So, bright boys don’t get bored and active boys begin to understand the boundaries that will apply as they progress. There is also a strong Learning Support System that is designed to seamlessly transition to the high school, if your son needs more attention paid to key skills like spelling or vocabulary.
Should he be exploring his sporting potential?
Our Year 5 students can choose from basketball, cricket, softball, tennis, touch football, water polo and swimming in summer; and AFL, football, rugby and athletics in winter. It’s all organised by the school and each student gets to represent Waverley at sport, no matter his skill level, giving all our junior students the chance to explore their potential as well as just have fun.
Is keeping him busy keeping you busy?
At Waverley College the two weekly training sessions and Saturday games are all just part of the school program. The same goes for public speaking, debating, musical ensembles and choir. Private music tuition costs a little extra, but is organised by the college with lessons before or after school, or even during the school day. In the summer months, Waverley College also runs a swim school on-site at its aquatic centre. All of these options are designed to take the organisational pressure off parents, and give your son the freedom to explore his potential and take advantage of the world-class facilities of the school.