At MECS Primary we genuinely aspire to build a love of learning, of awe and wonder at the magnificence of creation, and a sense of the uniqueness and potential of each and every one of our students.
‘Strong Hearts, Strong Minds’ - We embrace the idea that students will develop ‘Strong Hearts and Strong Minds’ over the course of their schooling:
Our key words underpin our values as a community of learners. We aim for our students to be:
The Primary School has 4 clusters: Foundation, Junior Primary, Middle Primary, and Senior Primary. Each has a distinctive flavour related to the development of the child. At all levels, students are challenged and supported to gain mastery of literacy and numeracy skills and to explore and enjoy our world through our Core Studies units. We love our school and hope you do too!
Mrs Janet Anderson
Assistant Principal - Primary
The first year of school is an exciting time to foster a love and passion for learning. Our Foundation program has a focus on developing relationships and managing school routines as the children embark on their journey into formal education. We see young children as powerful learners who delight in the process of playing, curiously exploring the world, gaining knowledge and skills, and building on the wealth of learning they have already acquired since infancy in the home and kindergarten. There is a strong emphasis on ensuring every student gets underway with reading, writing, and numeracy skills. We love both a systematic approach to skill development, in line with the rest of the school’s academic program, and the opportunity for our students to play and explore their new learning in a developmentally appropriate manner.
Junior Primary students are growing toward independence in their learning, friendships and social skills. Students are building on their fundamental literacy and numeracy skills as well as their ability to work and play with others. There is a strong emphasis on targeted learning and ensuring every student’s needs are being met so that they have the best opportunities to become capable readers and writers. Junior Primary students are curious and inquisitive and see and enjoy wonder everywhere in God’s world. They further explore this through a range of interesting and exciting Core Studies topics which blend a mix of inquiry and structured learning.
In Middle Primary our students enter ‘the bridge’ between Junior Primary and Senior Primary; dependence and independence; the middle child between the youngest and oldest of Primary School, and what a beautiful stage of change it is! Middle Primary is a place of unearthing God given strengths, skills and passions. Our Middle Primary students exude joy. They uncover and discover what brings them joy – it could be science experiments; solving a maths problem; it could be reading with their friends or becoming an independent reader; it could be a new sport or a new understanding of the world they live in. There is flexibility for students to discover their learning styles with a range of seating options and flexible learning spaces; this is well supported by clear structures and directives. Middle Primary students lead the school in caring for our environment and MECS National Park. The ‘Tough Brudder and Sista’ program and ‘Courageous Kids’ at Year 4 assist our students to develop self care, community spirit, resilience and perseverance.
In Senior Primary the focus is on responsibility, maturity and celebrating differences and community. This applies to both student behaviour and learning. Senior Primary students are encouraged to become aware of themselves as learners and to embrace and celebrate their learning styles. We provide many opportunities and choice in our curriculum for different learners to flourish and utilise their God-given gifts. A highlight of Senior Primary are our programs ‘Empowering Girls’ and ‘Positive Boys’, which assists Year 6 students in negotiating their social world positively and competently. The students of Senior Primary are role models to the younger primary students. One of our highlights is our much loved Buddies program that we have with our Year 6s and our Foundation students. We also have Year 6 students in leadership roles and encourage all of our students to contribute to the life of both our Senior Primary, and wider MECS, communities in as many ways as possible.
MECS Primary school provides curriculum, teachers and a learning environment that recognises Christ as Lord of all of life. We are committed to ensuring that all learning is related to our Christian faith. The distinctiveness of MECS as a Christian school, which we are explicit about, is found in the biblical perspective from which we source our teaching. We see each child as having unique gifts that are to be celebrated and developed.
Our Primary school follows a multi age structure:
The multi-age class structure provides students with the opportunity to build a diverse network of relationships with a variety of students, allowing them to develop in their abilities and relationships. It allows for a flexible approach to learning, encompassing a wide range of abilities where each learner and their unique gifts are valued and celebrated. Each child learns and develops at their own pace, guided by teachers and Learning Assistants who care deeply.
MECS Primary’s approach to discipline follows the principles of Restorative Practice which recognises and helps students understand that relationships are damaged when behaviour goes wrong, or poor choices are made. MECS students are learning to respect themselves and their fellow students, teachers and parents. Students learn to take responsibility for their actions and understand that there are consequences for our behaviour. This approach acknowledges each person’s perspective, helps to build relationships and helps students work towards restoring the problem. Students learn that issues and problems can be worked through resulting in forgiveness, healing and restoration. We believe that this process is in line with a Christian perspective - we forgive each other as God forgives us. We seek restoration of relationships, as God does with us.
All classes use a positive and explicit model for behaviour that affirms the school’s key values. Each class establishes ‘Anchor charts’ for behavioural expectations, defining explicit behaviour that is expected within the classroom and school. Students are modelled the behaviour and practice it until it becomes automatic. Classrooms operate on mutual respect and high expectations.
Many parents worry about how their child will be treated at school by their peers, and how their child will treat others. During the primary years, children are learning and developing the skills of getting along with each other and treating each other with respect and kindness. We see these as essential aspects of each child’s education and we enhance this through specific social skills programs at each level.
We have a 30 minute morning recess where all our Primary school enjoy each other’s company. We have a 40 minute lunch play time. We intentionally stagger lunch playtime so everyone has the opportunity to play with peers and enjoy all aspects of the playground. Younger students in Foundation to Year 2 have first lunch play and Years 3-6 have second play time. Children can play on the oval, asphalt area for down ball, amphitheatre, or seek quieter areas where there are picnic tables for card games, drawing or imaginative play. Younger children enjoy the MCG (MECS Creation Garden) and sand pit.
We are often asked by parents about our approach to ‘Bullying’. Bullying is, by definition, ongoing and repeated, resulting in some sort of trauma and sometimes physical harm to a person. In no way does this type of behaviour fit into MECS, and into our commitment to love one another, as God has called us to do. However, all children are learning, and there will be times when they get it wrong. This is not necessarily bullying. It may be just trying to work out an issue or learn how to interact appropriately. We take any reports of bullying and cruel behaviour seriously and listen to all children involved to establish what happened or is happening. In keeping with our partnership approach, parents are involved where appropriate. We value assisting our students to become caring, cooperative problem solvers through counselling, parent input, professional assistance and teacher input. We are proactive in teaching and developing positive relationship building in our school.
We have a strong commitment to our environment and caring for God’s world - including our bodies! We support and encourage our students to be eating healthy, unprocessed food with minimal or no wrappings. MECS Primary is like a ‘National Park’. We have a ‘rubbish in, rubbish out’ policy. Students are encouraged to bring rubbish free lunchboxes, and whatever personal rubbish is brought to school, also goes home.