Head of Junior School

Mr Leigh Symons

From their very first day, Cathedral College Wangaratta students belong to a thriving community that’s shared values help to support each child in striving to become a better person.

From Prep to Year Five, the Junior School at Cathedral College Wangaratta offers a rich, diverse curriculum with a strong emphasis on personal and collective wellbeing. Developing and supporting each child to become respectful learners and positive contributors to school life is of paramount importance. Through the development of strong fundamental literacy and numeracy skills, a broad Performing Arts and Sports program and a commitment to developing a strong work ethic, our students receive the foundations from which to become lifelong learners and informed citizens.

The teaching staff are enthusiastic, caring and focused. Emphasis is placed on the development of the whole child, with teachers supporting students to grow into confident and happy individuals who become responsible members of the school community and beyond. Strategies to promote independence, collaboration, adaptability, resilience, creativity, optimism and responsibility are embedded in the curriculum. In essence, the well-being of every child is important to all members of staff.

Underpinning this inclusive environment is the strong sense of belonging and cooperation that exists both in the classroom and in the playground. From their very first day, Cathedral College Wangaratta students belong to a thriving community that’s shared values help to support each child in striving to become a better person. House activities, assemblies, Chapel services, musical experiences and sports carnivals all contribute in a meaningful way to this feeling. An atmosphere such as this helps to create a harmonious and cohesive environment, which translates to a culture of learning that is critical in the classroom.

Homeroom teachers are responsible for English, Mathematics, Science, Technology, History, Geography and Health. The curriculum is designed to ensure significant focus is applied to the learning of basic literacy and numeracy skills for all students. To deepen understanding, higher order thinking skills and concepts are integrated through a comprehensive, student-based approach to teaching and learning. This focus is geared to stimulate and encourage inquiring minds, nurture natural curiosity, and develop critical thinking skills. Wellbeing is an integral part of a child's education, and I am fortunate to be able to deliver a Wellbeing program to every class in the Junior School.

To complement the core subjects, students participate in the specialist subjects of Art, Music and Library to further develop their artistic and creative talents. The Years One and Two Keyboard program, supported by the Junior School Choir and Instrumental Ensembles enriches our Performing Arts curriculum. German and Indonesian are the LOTE (Languages other Than English) offerings, with an emphasis on enjoyment, participation and the acquisition of basic vocabulary, skills and knowledge relevant to each language. An appreciation of both cultures is fostered with students engaging in both subjects until Year Six, when they elect to focus upon only one LOTE subject. Outdoor Education and Physical Education are also important programs in developing resilience, self-efficacy and an enjoyment of movement in the child's environment.

All Junior School students have access to an individual iPad, which they use to support their learning and, when necessary, demonstrate their skills and knowledge. The iPads are housed in each class, providing teachers and students with an ‘anytime, anywhere’ approach to technology.

The Junior School engenders an atmosphere of care and support from Senior School students and a close and consistent connection with all staff from both the Middle and Senior Schools. Cathedral College Wangaratta creates a collaborative whole-school framework that we strive to nurture and cherish.

I extend an invitation to all families to attend the many assemblies, Chapel services, curriculum events, sporting carnivals and Performing Arts activities that occur each year.

I look forward to working with each and every student and their families, as we continue to support our children in their educational journey.

Mr Leigh Symons
Head of Junior School