Meriden is committed to inspiring young minds and nurturing each student to reach her potential. The Junior School offers far more than the standard curriculum requirements of the New South Wales Education Standards Authority (NESA) and the Australian Curriculum. The school's approach to teaching and learning is designed to equip students with skills for life-long learning, facilitated by the expertise of outstanding teaching staff.
The Fidelis Model, which is the framework for teaching and learning at Meriden, facilitates broad, enriching and holistic educational programs for students across the entire school. It is student-focused, based upon current research and the strategies of best educational practice.
All students from Kindergarten to Year 6 study the subjects of English; Mathematics; Science and Technology; Human Society and its Environment (HSIE); Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE); and Creative Arts (Music, Visual Arts, Dance and Drama).
The acquisition of literacy and numeracy skills is a key focus across the Junior School and the timetable provides for daily, uninterrupted time devoted to both areas. As a result of thorough teaching and learning programs, Meriden students consistently excel in national testing and educational competitions. Students in Year 6 participate in Meriden's Maths Learning Centre program which is designed to enhance logical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Students have regular lessons in Christian Education and a language other than English, visit the Selim Library and participate in assemblies and Chapel services. Subjects such as French and Mandarin, Music, Christian Education and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education are taught by specialist teachers.
Key Features of Teaching and Learning at Meriden Junior School
Meriden's guided inquiry approach provides an exciting and flexible framework for student learning, a highly effective teaching methodology based on constructivism and inquiry, and fruitful assessment strategies. Teachers and students use key, concept-based questions, to structure units of study and complete associated research at the level that suits their abilities and interests.
Guided inquiry builds upon students’ individual knowledge, interests and questions, and as students develop skills, they take increasing responsibility for their own learning. The approach of structured inquiry facilitates learning for all students, right across the academic spectrum.
Where appropriate a guided inquiry approach is implemented across the Key Learning Areas and through the use of both traditional and contemporary media, it fosters development of practices such as:
- knowledge acquisition through research
- forming and completing inquiry
- developing deep understanding
- sharing and presenting findings
- responding to and valuing learning and
- reflection and metacognition
Acquisition of general, transferable skills is an important part of the teaching and learning at Meriden. Such skills provide a vehicle for learning and facilitate effective interaction and relationships within the learning environment. These skills encompass the areas of communication, thinking and reflection, research and problem solving, and personal and interpersonal capacities. Skills are applied across learning and social experiences, providing a consistent and developmental approach during the primary school years.
Students learn at varying rates, in different ways and have diverse educational needs. For optimal learning, it is important for students’ educational experiences to be pitched appropriately. Teachers plan appropriately for differentiated instruction and students work at levels appropriate to their needs, often within class or grade groups. Students may work at grade, modified or extension levels. Our Learning Enrichment and Learning Support staff provide general oversight of differentiation, ensuring our students are catered for appropriately.
Looking Beyond Ourselves
Meriden students are encouraged to be outward-looking. Several units of study have internationalism as a point of focus, ensuring that students develop a broad, global outlook and perspective, in addition to an appreciation of local, state and Australian issues.
Where appropriate, students are encouraged to put what they have learned into practice through service to the school community, the local community, and the global community. Awards that students may earn within the School reflect developing attitudes of Christian service. Meriden girls proudly support several sponsor children, and several school families have adopted their own sponsor children.