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Welcome to Fiona

Years 3 to 6

Fiona is an energetic, exciting place to learn and grow. We look to develop independent girls, eager to take a risk with their learning, in a cooperative and responsible way.

It is vitally important for each girl to understand how she learns so Fiona Staff work with and mentor each girl individually.

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Average class size, allowing for a caring, supportive approach to teaching and learning.

Judi Butcher, Head of Junior School

We pay close attention to the development of girls with a broad curriculum and activities that allow each to follow her interests. It is vitally important for each girl to understand how she learns so Fiona Staff work with and mentor each girl about her learning, with critical thinking as a core focus.

We believe that all girls need to develop skills in leadership so Fiona provides opportunities for a variety of leadership roles in all year groups.

Active and involved

Fiona girls begin to participate in interschool competitions, including Debating, da Vinci Decathlon, Chess and Tournament of Minds. Sporting opportunities also increase with the beginning of interschool sport and swimming and gymnastics competitions. Fiona girls are strong and enthusiastic participants in these programs.

Our specialist teachers work to expand girls’ cultural horizons and develop their skills in Art and Music through our well-established programs. All girls in Year 3 learn an instrument and then have the opportunity to enter bands and ensembles. Every girl belongs to a choir and there are opportunities to audition for advanced choirs and musical and drama productions.

Learning is not confined to formal classroom activities. Each term all girls participate in excursions to support their learning, including overnight camps. Girls in Years 5 and 6 visit Ballarat and Canberra respectively, and travel overseas on cultural and academic tours.

Preparing for the Dalton Plan

The philosophy of the Dalton Plan begins in Junior School, when girls are introduced to the concepts of independence and responsibility while they learn and complete tasks.

Fiona girls are introduced to some of the Plan’s framework, in readiness for their eventual transition to Senior School. By Year 3 we have introduced the Diary, with students actively learning how to plan their week. In addition, the girls reflect on their own work and then discuss this with peers.

By Year 6 the girls have study sessions, where they work independently as well as collaboratively. They are required to make decisions about how they will best use this time to complete tasks, revise topics, or seek teacher assistance.

The curriculum

Each Fiona girl is empowered to develop and manage her educational journey, fostering a passion for learning and beginning the transition to the Dalton Plan.

Empowering learning

Individual guidance coupled with rigorous expectations encourage each girl to achieve her personal best. Our ongoing emphasis is to develop an ability to think critically about learning and to set new learning targets each term. Girls are encouraged to be reflective, empowered to voice their opinions and to take risks in their learning in a positive learning environment based on respect for each other.

Girls progressively take charge of their own learning, supported by an increasing range of independent learning activities. As girls move through their Fiona years they develop the skills necessary for a Dalton education, culminating in their first Dalton Assignments.

The curriculum follows NESA (NSW Education Standards Authority) and covers English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Music, PDHPE, Visual Arts. Girls learn French and Mandarin from Years 3 and 4 and German is available from Years 5 and 6. In English and Mathematics, girls work at their level and pace in differentiated groups.

Throughout their time in Fiona, girls are encouraged to become global citizens and are immersed in a broad range of cultural studies. Each year girls analyse a different culture culminating in a human rights unit in Year 6. This underpins their commitment to local and international charitable works.

Academic Support

Girls have many different talents and strengths. Where they may excel in one area, they may need support in another. Fiona girls receive holistic academic support, with regular interaction between student and teacher, aligning with the framework of the Dalton Plan.

Teachers know the girls well, understand how they work and can help them at an individual level in a focused, supportive manner. Regular homework and constructive feedback help the girls understand where they need help.

STEAM and Innovation

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education is vital to the future of our girls, and complements the Dalton Plan well. We expand on this critical teaching platform with a range of programs and activities.

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Average class size, allowing for a caring, supportive approach to teaching and learning.

Inspired learning

Projects combining elements of STEAM engage girls in project-based learning, working on fun and challenging projects that introduce authentic problem solving, project management and collaboration.

Computational thinking skills are important for future learners and many Mathematics classes apply knowledge in geometry, direction and angles to design animations while developing coding skills in lessons throughout the year. To support this, we offer Code and Robotics Clubs, in which girls can develop skills in coding and explore activities such as Space Robotics and design their own robots.

Our Personal Device Programs provides students from Year 5 with the opportunity to bring their personal laptop to School, where our high speed wireless network provides access to the Ascham Hub, our school intranet and Canvas, our learning management system.

Co-curricular

Sport, Music and Drama are important aspects of life in Fiona and we extend a wide range of activities to girls.

All girls are encouraged to experience the enjoyment and benefits of co-curricular activities, and learn to work together in sporting teams, Music groups and Drama productions. Active involvement helps promote the growth of well-rounded students and ensures that girls are able to maintain a balance in School life through academic pursuit, co-curricular activity and free play.

There is a very high participation rate in all co-curricular activities and girls learn to work together in sporting teams, music groups and drama productions. Fiona also offers co-curricular opportunities in Debating, STEAM, Tournament of Minds, da Vinci Decathlon, French Extension, Mandarin Extension, Debating, Chess and numerous Clubs.

An average class size of

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in Junior School, allowing for a caring, supportive approach to teaching and learning.

Fiona Sport

Supporting our House system, every girl participates in swimming, athletics and cross country carnivals. Girls have the opportunity to represent their School and progress to State and National competitions in their particular strength.

As the emphasis is on participation and the development of options for future sporting opportunities, girls can choose to participate in a different sport each term. These include: Basketball, Football, Sailing, Hockey, Netball, Touch Football (Years 4–6) and Tennis (Years 4–6). Years 5 and 6 students interested in Water Polo may participate in a Flippa Ball competition.

In addition girls can participate in Snowsports, Athletics and Cross Country. Regular Tennis, Swimming and Gymnastics classes are well-supported by Fiona girls.

Music in Fiona

Fiona offers a vast range of structured programs and activities, both in and outside the classroom. These include choirs, chamber ensembles, instrumental tuition, special events, music camps and open days.

Fiona Classroom Music is based on the Kodaly method, through which girls receive stimulating and enjoyable music lessons while teaching them as a whole in a logical manner.

The instrumental program in Year 3 provides every girl with the experience of playing an orchestral instrument and participating in an ensemble. Music is divided into a 30-minute choir rehearsal, a 30-minute classroom lesson and a 45-minute group instrumental lesson.

Ascham is fortunate to have a large number of excellent instrumental and musicianship teachers. Fiona girls are offered private lessons in Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello, Double bass, Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon, Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium, French horn, Percussion and Guitar.

Productions in the Junior School

Fiona girls have many opportunities to participate in drama and theatre, both onstage and backstage. Professional directors and designers along with our teaching staff contribute to the creative team.

Involved with the
community

Ascham has a strong sense of community, and Fiona is proud to play its part in helping girls understand the importance of caring for others.

Fiona supports a number of charities, encouraging social awareness and helping girls learn to be responsible citizens. Girls work together to raise money through various activities, charity and mufti days.

Girls also act as ambassadors for SchoolAid’s KidsGive, Australia’s first crowdfunding platform for kids which empowers school-aged children to make a tangible difference in lives of others.

After School Care

The Ascham After School Care program caters exclusively to Ascham students and is available for all Fiona girls every afternoon in a safe and secure environment.

This program is provided at an extra cost and runs from 3–6pm on weekdays. As well as supervised homework time, activities including art, craft, games and cooking are organised by experienced childcare staff. Afternoon tea is provided.

Attendance can be on a permanent or casual basis.

Ascham School