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Exciting new learning program happening at St James Primary School

School Principal Ann Dawson, shares exciting new learning program happening at St James Primary School

I visited Kindy today…

I visited Early Stage One (Kindy) today to deliver a message to the class teacher. I was immediately struck by the engaged, focused and happy learners in the spaces. 

I should have gone back to my office and finished writing the school report, but I sat down to watch.

In one corner a group of children were using the soft toys to retell the story that the class has been sharing (The Gruffallo). A group of children were at the class LEGO table making their sight words with 3D materials while another group were moving around collecting data from their friends for a maths task. Three boys were at the nature bench investigating leaves with the magnifying boxes. 

On the learning centre tower there is a restaurant, where children were designing a new canteen menu and recording their plan on a clipboard. Some children were outside in the ES1 garden recording themselves reading on the iPads.  

The children in the “animal hospital” learning centre offered me a dog to hold and asked me to book him in for his sore paw and x-ray (band-aids and bandages provided.)

In the quiet area, on the portable tables, another group of children were independently writing about their new strawberry patch while the teacher ran a guided reading group at the jellybean table.

The early learning team are engaged in something special here. To have every learner on task and working collaboratively across three spaces (garden, seated classroom and quiet area) takes careful and deliberate planning. To maintain our focus on every child being accountable for their learning while having voice and choice takes a skilled team with boundless energy and passion. 

I did go back to complete my work eventually and reflected on how the efforts of the whole early learning team to support learners to “achieve the fullness of life” is evident in Early Stage One. I am very pleased to be able to offer such an innovative way of learning at St James Primary School for our local community.

Ann Dawson, Principal, St James Primary School Yamba 

Enrolments are closing soon for 2021, get in touch to plan a private tour and view our enrolment package E:[email protected] P: 6646 3266


Aerial photography of St James Primary School created by Ex Student Jackson Daley


Inside learning space for ES1-Kindy