LEARNING AND GROWING IN FIONA—Years 3 to 6

A love of
learning

Fiona is a vibrant place with eager students engaged in exciting classroom learning and fun activities in sport, music, arts and community service.

Brave, bold and independent

Welcome to Fiona

As our girls’ journey through their years in Fiona they grow in independence and their confidence to take risks with their learning. We blend a broad curriculum and wide range of activities that allows each girl to follow her individual passions.

It is vitally important that each girl understands how she learns, and Fiona staff work with and mentor our girls individually about their learning, with critical thinking as a core focus. We pay close attention to our girls’ development as they deepen their knowledge and begin to define their learning skills.

Active and involved

Fiona girls are busy and engaged, taking part in interschool competitions including Debating, da Vinci Decathlon, Chess and the Tournament of Minds, and sporting activities increase with the start of interschool sport, swimming and gymnastics competitions.

Music and the Arts come to life in Fiona: our specialist teachers expand girls’ cultural horizons and develop their skills in Music and Art through our exciting programs. All girls in Year 3 learn an instrument and can join bands and ensembles. Enjoy singing, or want to give it a try? Choirs are an Ascham institution! Every girl belongs to one and also gets the chance to audition for advanced choirs, musical and drama productions.

Venturing outside the classroom further deepens our girls’ learning: they take part in immersive excursions including overnight camps, cultural and academic tours and visits to Ballarat and Canberra.

Judi Butcher
Head of School Junior School

Preparing for the Dalton Plan

One of the many great strengths of the Dalton Plan is its approach for developing excellent organisational skills and building girls’ capacity for self-directed learning.

Dalton teaches students to break down their tasks, plan their time and reflect on their learning, to build greater resilience and academic buoyancy for when the busy final years of Senior School arrive.

Fiona girls are introduced to some of the Dalton 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 as well as reflect on their own work and then discuss this with peers.

In Year 5 girls begin the Dalton Study, where they work independently and collaboratively, making decisions about how they will best use this time to complete tasks, revise topics, or seek teacher assistance.

Students build a positivity about their academic progress and feel encouraged to continue learning. The Dalton Plan caters perfectly to this and enables teachers to address the girls’ different learning needs.

The Fiona
curriculum

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

Fiona girls feel connected and valued, and as a result they thrive in their academic environment. Each girl manages her individual educational journey, and builds her passion for learning as she prepares for successful transition to her Senior School years.

Our focus is for girls to develop the ability to think critically about their learning and to set new learning targets each term. We encourage each girl to reflect on their work, be empowered to voice their opinions and to take risks in their learning in a positive environment based on mutual respect.

As girls progress, they take further charge of their own learning, supported by an increasing range of independent learning activities. This approach develops the skills necessary for a Dalton education, culminating in their first Dalton Assignments.

The Fiona curriculum comprises English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Music, PDHPE, Visual Arts and Languages. Girls learn French and Mandarin and German is available from Years 5 and 6. 

Girls work at their own level and pace in differentiated groups in English and Mathematics.

Ascham girls are true global citizens, immersed in a broad range of cultural studies. In each year, girls analyse different cultural perspectives, which concludes with a Human Rights unit and underpins their commitment to local and international charitable works.

Girls have many different talents and strengths: where they might excel in one area, they may need support in another. Fiona girls receive holistic academic support and thanks to the unique framework of the Dalton Plan, they benefit from regular interaction with teachers at an individual level.

Teachers know the girls well, understand how they work and can support them in a focused manner, providing constructive feedback to align with regular homework so girls understand where they need help.

Vi et Animo—wellbeing in Fiona

We encourage each Fiona girl to respect herself and others, be honest, work with others co-operatively, take responsibility for her actions and join a wide range of activities to build a supportive network.

Through our wellbeing framework, Vi et Animo—with heart, soul, strength and courage, girls are introduced to the principles of trust, respect, co-operation and concern for others, and we foster an understanding of our School values so girls develop positive attitudes and respectful behaviours.

The wellbeing program in Fiona is implemented through a mix of lessons, workshops and activities, including Our Friendly Schools Plus Program which allows Fiona teachers to assess the girls’ social and emotional wellbeing, examine existing strategies for bullying prevention and identify areas for improvement.

Positive leadership fosters independence and team spirit and not least, builds optimistic attitudes and outlooks for wider academic and social development. We offer girls the chance to carry out a Leader role and all Year 6 students take on a prefect role and responsibility for a portfolio of activities.

Each girl also belongs to a ‘POD’, a group of girls from each Year who meet with their POD teacher fortnightly. Year 6  girls lead the activities in each session and together they develop a strong network of support across their primary years and into the future.

STEAM and innovation in Fiona

Our Junior School STEAM lab is brimming with innovation and opportunities. STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education is vital for students if they are to embrace their professional lives with confidence and success.

Girls undertake project-based learning, combining the components of STEAM that challenge them to develop their capabilities in authentic, real-world problem solving, project management and teamwork.

Digitally connected

Computational thinking skills are increasingly important in our digitally connected world and to ensure this is embedded as early as possible, we integrate the Digital Technologies curriculum across key learning areas in Fiona and offer Coding and Robotics Clubs in addition to classroom activities.

Our Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Program allows students in Years 5 and 6 to work seamlessly on a single device, whether they are at School or at home.

Co-curricular
activities

Life outside the classroom is busy and there is plenty to explore! Sport, Music, Drama and the Arts are all on offer and actively embraced by Fiona girls. Being involved in co-curricular pursuits builds our girl’s personal and emotional wellbeing, which in turn promotes a positive sense of balance in School life.

Ascham girls take full advantage of the enjoyment and benefits of these activities and learn to work together in sporting teams, Music groups and Drama productions. Fiona girls also enjoy opportunities such as Debating, STEAM, Tournament of Minds, da Vinci Decathlon, French Extension, Mandarin Extension, Debating, Chess and numerous Clubs.

“Being a good teammate isn’t about recognition. I do it because it makes me whole and complete.”
Dwyane Wade (Basketball)

There is plenty of sport on offer in Fiona! Girls can participate at any level in Basketball, Football, Sailing, Hockey, Netball, Touch Football and Tennis. Years 5 and 6 students interested in Water Polo can also take part in a Flippa Ball competition.

Every girl participates in swimming, athletics and cross-country carnivals and they have the opportunity to represent Ascham and progress to State and National competitions in their particular strength.

Girls can also join Snowsports, Athletics and Cross Country, Tennis, Swimming and Gymnastics classes.

“Music can change the world because it can change people.”
Bono

The opportunities for Fiona girls to extend their creative abilities through music are offered in a wide variety of forms and styles, including choirs, chamber ensembles, instrumental tuition, special events, music camps and open days.

Our professional instrumental and musicianship teachers provide private lessons for an extensive range of instruments while the instrumental program in Year 3 provides every girl with the experience of playing an orchestral instrument and participating in an ensemble.

Fiona girls can participate in drama and theatre productions, both onstage and backstage and we integrate professional directors and designers with our teaching staff to further enhance the creative team.

Girls have many different talents and strengths: where they might excel in one area, they may need support in another. Fiona girls receive holistic academic support and thanks to the unique framework of the Dalton Plan, they benefit from regular interaction with teachers at an individual level.

Teachers know the girls well, understand how they work and can support them in a focused manner, providing constructive feedback to align with regular homework so girls understand where they need help.

Fiona in the community

Supporting a number of charities and encouraging social awareness and responsible citizenship is a vital part of connecting with our wider community. Girls develop a direct understanding of the importance of giving to and caring for others.

Girls work together to raise money through various activities, charity and mufti days and also serve as ambassadors for SchoolAid’s KidsGive, Australia’s first crowdfunding platform for young people which inspires girls to make a tangible difference to the 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 weekday afternoon in a fun and safe environment.

This engaging program runs from 3pm to 6pm Monday to Friday and offers supervised homework time, and activities including art, craft, games and cooking, organised by experienced childcare staff.

The After School Care Program is provided at an extra cost and attendance can be on a permanent or casual basis.

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Since 1886, Ascham has continually evolved to suit the changing demands in teaching and learning for the 21st century.

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Live and learn in an exciting, vibrant environment that nurtures self-confidence, resilience and participation. Begin the enrolment process now or find out more about our approach.

We look forward to welcoming you.

Acknowledgement
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ABN: 69 180 683 767

CRICOS: 00380E