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“A Primary School with the benefits of a Secondary School”

Starting your son at our first entry point of Year 5 offers significant advantages. In fact, having your son start in a high school environment two years earlier, ensures his formative educational years are in the one school and prepares him for a seamless transition into his secondary education.

With a breadth of resources unique to our Primary School education, boys are positioned to develop into successful and confident learners, gaining a sense of optimism, which in turn promotes emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. Our learning programs support teachers to nurture wonder, ignite passion and provide your son with knowledge, skills and attitudes that will help prepare him for a lifetime of learning.

The Good Counsel Primary School is a tailored environment that includes collaborative flexible learning spaces, specialised music and drama rooms and sophisticated science laboratories. Your son can explore these facilities to his full potential with a team of specialist teachers to guide him.

Good Counsel Primary School

Quality Primary School Teachers

All of our Primary teaching staff are exceptional educators, planning engaging and exciting activities pitched at the instructional level of all students.

The key to improved learning outcomes is the quality of the teacher. Central to teaching is engaging learners so that they are not only ‘on task’ but also ‘in task’. We all know that when we are motivated, time seems to ‘fly’ and we become so engaged in the activity that we don’t even notice the time.

The Year 5 and Year 6 class teachers display a strong commitment to working as part of a team, and are capable of developing positive relationships that ensure all students nurture a desire to learn, embrace challenges and see effort as a path to mastery, finding inspiration in the success of others. They ensure that all students are engaged in quality, innovative and creative activities, right up until the last day of the year.

Primary School Curriculum

Student life in Primary School is based on the principles of cooperative learning, with an innovative curriculum encouraging collaboration, problem-solving, critical thinking, communication and creativity.

The Primary School offers a significant point of difference to young boys’ learning. In addition to the mainstream educational curriculum, with a specific focus on Numeracy and Literacy, we offer an extensive variety of significant and specialised learning programs, supported by highly qualified teachers, skilled in delivering lessons in a host of Key Learning Areas including:

  • Practical science laboratory program
  • Creative and Practical Arts
  • Languages (Chinese and Italian)
  • Drama – Theatre sports cocurricular option
  • PDHPE (Personal Development, Health, and Physical Education)
  • Music Instrumental Program
  • Computer Coding
  • STEAM lessons incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics
  • Positive Psychology (AWE)
  • Sport and Co-curricular options
  • Specialised Library and research

Here are some examples of recent units of work:

  • Year 5 art unit using gold scratch board to illustrate life on the Goldfields. The students study several shading techniques.
  • Year 5 write scripts and then produce, direct and star in their own movies using ‘Movie Maker’.
  • Year 6 investigate female artists and study painting techniques used by these artists.
  • Year 6 write scripts and make their own movies using ‘pop up’ studios and green screening software.

Science Lab Program

Utilising the sophisticated science laboratories, students are involved in practical, high-interest laboratory lessons, not normally offered until high school, with a focus on experimentation, observation, and construction. This is a field that most boys are naturally excited and eager to engage in.

Writing Coaching

The College has actively promoted writing as an essential component of expression, by employing a writing coach, our former Primary School teacher, John O’Brien. John has been a published author of children's novels and picture books for nearly 45 years, and is currently a guest author for the NSW School magazine series. He visits all classes and explicitly teaches writing from an author’s perspective, where the boys learn what it means to read like a writer and write like a reader. By using quality literature, we inspire growing writers in Years 5 and 6 to develop the skills necessary to become critically literate. The program assists our students to become enthusiastic, confident, and capable writers.

Robotics and Coding

This is a popular technical program offering a variety of computer coding including Imagine Logo, Scratch, EV3 Robotics, Minecraft, Block Based Coding, JavaScript and Tinkercard using the 3D printers. Your son also access to the coding club which meets every Monday morning at 7.30am to program drones to complete complex obstacle courses.

Integration with Senior School

We offer several programs to foster positive relationships amongst students and provide your Primary School-aged son with excellent Senior School role models. In the Big Brother Reading Program, students from Years 11 and 12 spend time reading with our Primary School students to help them develop a love of literature and strengthen their support networks.

This is an important part of the college’s Augustinian Wellbeing program (AWE) which focuses on positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishments. It is also a wonderful way to build connections with our senior students.

Year 6 Buddy Program

The Year 6 Buddy Program begins before day one, when incoming Year 5 students receive an introduction letter from their future buddy before meeting for the first time. This letter is received over the Christmas holidays and has proven to be a wonderful way of building connections and community amongst the youngest students at the College.

Orientation Camp

Your son has the opportunity to attend Orientation Camp to meet other students and encourage social bonding from the start of his educational journey at the College. This overnight camp has a range of exciting activities, including raft building, canoeing, archery, challenge course and swimming. The ferry ride across from Palm Beach to Patonga sets the scene for two days of action and excitement.

Reflection Days

Our Primary Reflection Days are designed to awaken your son to his spiritual dimension as well as foster a sense of community and a heightened awareness of his own giftedness and that of others. Leaving the regular College routine allows him to strengthen friendships and provides time for reflection.

Music Instrumental Program

The music instrumental program for Yr 5 students offers a different instrument each term to trial and then continue in Year 6 with their preferred choice. More specifically, music is considered important in the development of listening and concentration skills and has been found to improve language development, comprehension, creativity, memory, spatial awareness, communication and higher order thinking skills. Flow-on benefits also include improvements in student engagement, self-esteem, citizenship and emotional expression.

To maximise learning outcomes the teacher to student ratio has been capped at 1:8 with lessons taught by specialist music teachers during school time. There is no better sound than listening to the boys improve their musical expertise and confidence over their 2 years in the Primary school.

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