Our upper primary class is named SWORDTAILS, after the swordtail family of butterflies. There are more than 100 species of swordtail butterflies spread throughout Eurasia, Africa and Oceania.
Upper Primary - ages 11 to 12
In upper primary school our aim is to create an active, collaborative learning environment for students to take ownership of their learning.
The majority of tasks are open-ended, allowing children to work to their potential. Group work here increases perceptions, point of view and empathy while developing vocabulary and appropriate social skills. The focus is on fun and challenging tasks that address the National Curriculum, while using Montessori methods and philosophy (where appropriate) to reinforce the main concepts.
Through observations and empowering the child to identify and ask for assistance, they are provided with individual or small group support targeted to specific areas. As a class at least twice each year students are given the opportunity to 'take control' of their learning. This includes how to pose questions, research, collate information and present findings on a topic they are passionate about. In second semester, students are set homework in order to prepare them for high school.
Students in the upper primary years have the opportunity to participate in surfing classes, camps and graduating students undertake our famous Vision Quest Challenge.
Take a look at this short video of Emily one of our 2018 Year 6 graduates giving her farewell speech
Zana has been our Swordtails teacher since 2017. Zana graduated from Murdoch University with a Bachelor of Primary Education in 2004. Zana has extensive teaching experience across all year levels and has found her most rewarding teaching with upper primary level students. She has developed skills, and a very strong understanding of this cycle that help her engage with this age group.
Born in Former Yugoslavia, Zana has experienced a lot in life, from the time she was displaced by war from immediate family as a 14 year old, living in unwanted refugee in a foreign city, hungry most days, only to return to a war torn home. Later coming to beautiful Australia taking and exploring opportunities and using her experiences to give and return to others, her passion for teaching. Zana’s experiences have given her a great sense of empathy, love for life, curiosity, critical thinking and the awareness of the strength of her spirit. On entering the Swordtails classroom community, it is a space that always inspires, with students working towards their specific goals.
“I have a strong, natural desire to love and care for my students and I tend to see the adult in them, just like I always look for the child in an adult.”