JUNIOR SCHOOL OVERVIEW
At Alexandra College Junior School, we can accommodate up to 325 girls aged between 3-12 years in classes ranging from Preschool (age 3) up to our Senior Year, J6. Currently, we have two preschool classes (3 and 4-year-olds), one KGLr, KGUpr and J1 class and two of class groups in J2-J6.
It is during these years that our girls learn they are part of a diverse, vibrant community and they form strong and lasting friendships. They are in a safe environment where they learn to be independent thinkers, to work with others, to love learning and to think widely about the world beyond the school gates.
We have a broad approach to learning and development, covering academics, creative arts, music and sport.
Our teachers have a deep understanding of the stages of child development, which is why we offer a broad curriculum that reflects the needs and abilities of the girls as they grow.
Each of our pupils is unique and we pride ourselves on helping them to be the best they can be.
Avril Lamplugh – Head of the Junior School
The Junior School provides a holistic education based on the principles of Friedrich Froebel which emphasises cross-curricular and interactive creative play learning whilst following the National Curriculum as set by the Department of Education & Skills.
It is at this early stage that girls develop learning habits that will last a lifetime, which is why we encourage them to have enquiring minds, to seek understanding and to never be afraid to ask questions. At Alexandra College they will learn to be challenging, curious and develop their potential from their first day at school.
Attending Alexandra College Senior School is a natural progression for the girls as they complete their Primary education in J6. It is there that the values, skills and habits they have learnt with us prove a true foundation for success in their formative teenage years.
We would be delighted to introduce you to life at our school, so please contact us and arrange to visit at a time that suits you best.
TEACHING AND LEARNING ETHOS
In our Junior School, each girl progresses through Lower and Upper Kindergarten and through years J1 to J6 during which she will enjoy a creative and holistic system of education that allows her to feel valued and trusted so that she enjoys her learning experience at Alexandra College.
Our philosophy of teaching and learning is child-centered and based on the principles of Friedrich Froebel, the German educator and founder of the Kindergarten method, who recognised the importance of childhood to healthy human development. At Alexandra College Junior School we promote play as a life affirming activity for children. We place importance on activity and creativity, singing, dancing and gardening as a community.
As well as being in their traditional year groups, the girls are also organised into ten ‘family groups’ that each contains a mix of pupils aged from three to twelve years. These groups promote and encourage cooperative and interactive learning across the school, as the girls learn and explore together and present their findings to each other.
Within the groups, the girls learn to express their own ideas and to have respect and patience as they work together. Great emphasis is put on exploring, recording, experimenting with language, and formulating and exchanging ideas in the group. The older girls are given leadership roles that help them develop a sense of responsibility toward the younger girls, which enhances their self-esteem. While the younger girls benefit from their sisterly connection to those who are senior pupils. The family group system aims to stimulate collective working, develop social skills, create a sense of responsibility and respect and so create a bully-free environment in the school. Each year the composition, theme and name of each family group
The family group system aims to stimulate collective working, develop social skills, create a sense of responsibility and respect and so create a bully-free environment in the school. Each year the composition, theme and name of each family group is changed. This allows each pupil to work and develop with other girls throughout her passage through the Junior School.
Progressive, Innovative, Fun and Successful
We believe that education at Alexandra College Junior School is progressive and centred on the girls. Our teachers use an innovative blend of learning techniques that encourage the girls to explore and share in a very open manner. They learn to work and interact within their own peer group and across all years in the school. They benefit from a broad curriculum and excellent facilities. They form great friendships within a diverse group. They have fun every day and they grow to love learning – something that will stay with them forever.
Across Alexandra College we have a strong ethos and values. Whether you are here to work or learn, the development and contribution of every individual is acknowledged and valued. It is a place where staff and pupils work together to benefit personal growth and common good.
Within the groups, the girls learn to express their own ideas and to have respect and patience as they work together. Great emphasis is put on exploring, recording, experimenting with language, and formulating and exchanging ideas in the group. The older girls are given leadership roles that help them develop a sense of responsibility toward the younger girls, which enhances their self-esteem. While the younger girls benefit from their sisterly connection to those who are senior pupils.
THE SCHOOL DAY
The Junior School is open from 7.50am. Students may stay in the hall and are supervised by a teacher. At 8:30 am students go their classrooms.
Preschool: 8.45am – 1.00pm (After Care available from 1.00-6.00pm)
KGLr- J6: 8.45am – 3.00pm
Prep: 3pm to 4pm (J2 – J6)
After Care programme: 3pm -6pm
We understand how important it is for children to have breadth and variety in their education, which is why we have a curriculum that is both informative and fun here at Alexandra.
As symbolised in our College crest, we have always believed that academics, the creative arts, music and sport are equally important in school life.
We cover the national curriculum from the Department of Education & Skills. This includes core subjects such as English, Irish, Maths, History, Geography, Science, Social, Personal and Health Education and French from the KGlower class onwards.
We encourage the girls to respond to art in a positive manner and to express their own creativity and imagination in the process of creating art. Art and crafts are used throughout our curriculum to enhance the girls’ work using a wide variety of materials and techniques, including drawing, painting, printing and working with clay, fabric and fibre. Finished work is put on display in classrooms and throughout the school.
Music has always had a very important place in Alexandra College Junior School with our school crest indicating that it shares equal status with sporting, creative and academic education. Indeed music can be heard as you walk through the Junior School Hall at most times of the day.
Each class is allocated a singing period, and everyone participates in a weekly music class. It is in these classes that the younger girls learn games, songs, and poems highlighting musical elements; they work with body percussion (clapping, tapping…) and untuned percussion instruments (drums, tambourines etc); and they respond imaginatively to music using movement and art. As we move up the classes the girls continue to develop their musical literacy and experience in a fun and varied way. A big part of the musical adventure for Kg Upper to J6 is Orff. Music making through Orff encourages creativity and offers a real hands-on experience of music to every child.
Our choir is made up of students from J5-J6. Highlights over recent years have been performing at the special Alex 150 concert in the National Concert Hall and also getting the chance to sing with the Three Tenors. We have also been prize winners at Feis Ceoil and the Wesley Music Festival on many occasions.
Our orchestra rehearses on Tuesdays at lunchtime. The makeup of the orchestra changes every year and typically would include strings, some woodwind, several saxophones and the Orff instruments. We welcome players who learn an instrument outside school.
Instrumental Classes/Solo Singing
From KGLr, tuition is available in singing and a wide variety of instruments. Lessons take place during the school day. We currently have students taking Solo Singing, Violin, Cello, Harp, Guitar, Flute, Saxophone, Drum kit and Piano.
Making Music With Others
We have forged musical links with several other schools including St. Joseph’s School in Ballymun, and St. Michael’s House school for children with intellectual disabilities. We also regularly perform with other Junior Schools at the yearly AIJS (Association of Independent Junior Schools) Music Day. We share our love of music with these schools and always enjoy our collaborations.
ICT has become an integral and accepted part of everyday life for all of us. ICT literacy is a functional requirement for people’s work, social and personal lives. The use of ICT adds value to teaching and learning in the Primary School curriculum. In Alexandra College Junior School, we promote, recognize and encourage excellence in the use of technology in the school. Every classroom is equipped with an interactive whiteboard and cases of iPads and MacBook Airs are available throughout the school.
Specific aims of the use of ICT in the classroom include:
- To enable the child to use a range of ICT tools in a relevant curriculum context
- To enable the child to develop and use ICT skills in the attainment of curriculum learning objectives
- To foster the child’s confidence in her use of ICT, through enjoyable learning experiences
- To develop the child’s understanding and practice of the safe use of ICT
- To enable the child to overcome barriers of access to learning resources caused by geographic location, culture, or language
- To enable the child to use ICT to support her learning effectively and creatively
- To inform the child’s attitudes regarding the role of ICT in society, including the benefits and challenges of ICT use
- To support the development of the child’s social skills through cooperative learning and problem-solving.
Preparation for the Future: ICT prepares students for the future. By learning to use technology in the classroom, both teachers and students will develop skills essential for the 21st century. But more than that, students will learn the critical thinking and workplace skills they will need to be successful in their futures. Education is no longer just about learning and memorizing facts and figures; it’s about collaborating with others, solving complex problems, developing different forms of communication and leadership skills, and improving motivation and productivity.
In Alexandra College Junior School, we have a very strong Learning Support programme with a full-time LS teacher. The class teachers and the Learning Support teacher work very together to optimize the teaching and learning process in order to enable students with learning difficulties to achieve their full potential in literacy and numeracy. Students work individually or in small groups with the Learning Support teacher who is aided by a wide range of up-to-date resources and continuous professional development.
Our programme is based on the following principles:
Inclusion and respect for all, irrespective of their ability level
Early identification and early intervention
Direction of resources towards pupils in greatest need
Collaboration between class teacher, Learning Support teacher and parents.
Miltown, Dublin 6