Our Junior Primary school is headed up by Laura-Jane Colepeper and a very capable, experienced and committed team of teachers. Wendy Fryer-Dudley and Lauren Corcoran are the Grade 1 teachers, Joanna Lourens teaches with Dorrianne Julius in Grade 2 and Laura-Jane Colepeper and Hayley Tweedale are the Grade 3 teachers. These ladies provide a caring and nurturing environment for our young charges, where boys are extended and developed and given a real academic, social and emotional foundation before moving into the Senior Primary phase of the school.
The beginning of the 2015 academic year heralded an exciting move into the magnificent, Junior Primary building, which was officially opened on 6 February 2015. We have spent 3 happy years in this section of the school and it has developed its own character and atmosphere. All 6 classrooms are situated together in this purpose-built building, with the classrooms wrapped around a beautiful central, grass quad. The classrooms are big, modern, light and airy and a perfect setting for all the learning to take place. The dedicated Reading Room within the Junior Primary building is most useful. Our sandpit and wonderful jungle gym are also a real hit with the boys at break time.
The Junior Primary phase of Cordwalles is a happy, vibrant place with lots of activity, fun and interactive learning happening. There is always a busy hum as boys are guided to new knowledge in a structured, organised environment. The development of a positive self-esteem is of paramount importance. The exploration of creative ideas is a focus and the development of problem solving and critical thinking skills through activities makes this school an ideal learning environment for young boys. They begin to work co-operatively with their peers and develop their language skills as they communicate their ideas and learn tolerance and acceptance of others in group situations. Additional languages – Zulu and Afrikaans are introduced from Grade 1.
Every Junior Primary classroom is equipped with 7 computers and an interactive Smartboard, as well as having access to iPads. This technology is used extensively as an integral part of many lessons, especially group work and during Numeracy lessons. Cordwalles has adopted the Number Sense programme as the core approach to the teaching of Numeracy. All Junior Primary classes make use of the CAMI Maths programme as a vital element of Numeracy lessons. Boys also use the Mathletics programme for homework each day to support the learning which takes place in the classroom. The boys love the competitive element in this programme. On a weekly basis, each class attends an hour long IT lesson in one of the Computer Labs, taken by our specialist IT teacher. During these lessons, the boys learn the fundamentals of working with specific programmes and honing the most necessary skills, all in relation to their classroom themes and applications.
Boys learn best when they are actively involved and therefore the Environmental classroom in the Cordwalles forest is utilised extensively at Cordwalles. Every week, one of the Junior Primary grades goes down into the forest for a lesson with Sam Hubble – a passionate advocator of outdoor education. During these lessons, the boys are learning outdoor skills and gaining knowledge about the environment and the fauna and flora of the area. The boys also go on many outings where they can benefit from experiential learning and knowledge gained from experts in their fields. These ‘Magic Moments’ make school a memorable and exciting place to be, where friendships are shared and boys’ strengths and passions are identified and enhanced.
Boys who require academic support are able to benefit from the services of several experienced remedial teachers, an occupational therapist and a speech therapist. These professionals work within the school and the boys attend therapy during the school day. In all Junior Primary classes the teachers are supported by a student intern. This additional support ensures that all boys receive the best possible attention.
Because at Cordwalles we are concerned about developing the whole child and providing a balanced, dynamic curriculum, both the spiritual and physical aspects of our boys are important to us. Our boys attend assemblies and chapel each week where our faith in God and the development of a strong value system is emphasised. Grade 1 and 2 boys have sports practice bi-weekly and the emphasis on enjoyment, participation and good sportsmanship makes these practices a firm favourite with the boys. A variety of sports – rugby, cricket, hockey, soccer, tennis and swimming are offered at different times during the year and the boys are given the opportunity to enjoy the challenge of matches against opponents from other schools. Grade 1 and 2 boys may also attend a weekly Rugby Cubs programme on a voluntary basis throughout the year. Our Grade 3 boys take part in a fuller sports programme where longer sports practices and some weekend matches are the norm.
Each year our Grade 3 boys take the lead in one of our annual school productions. This is always a highlight of their Junior Primary school careers and is one which they look forward to with excitement and anticipation. The younger boys participate in supportive roles and great fun is had by all with colourful costumes and happy music being the order of the day! Art, music and recorder and violin lessons are offered by specialist teachers. These lessons allow our boys to experience a full cultural programme where they can identify their skills and passions early in their school careers and develop their areas of personal excellence. Individual tuition on a variety of musical instruments is offered as they become age-appropriate.
Once a year, the boys in every Junior Primary class share a very special time with their Mums and Dads during either a, “Mums and Sons” or a “Dads and Lads” activity. These consist of a variety of different activities during which some vital one-on-one bonding time takes place between parent and son. Grandparents’Day is one of the happiest days on the calendar, when we are reminded how much it means to the boys to host their grandparents to a fun-filled morning of entertainment. Every class also participates in an Outreach project of their choice as well as numerous ongoing Outreach activities which the whole school is involved in.
The Junior Primary really builds on the initial foundation laid by the Pre-Primary teachers. It is a happy, exciting place and a perfect boy-centred environment for a boy to lay his “Foundation for Life”.
Recommended Educational Links
Collection of various educational links that your boys can try at home.