Junior School subjects

“Great learning is joyful, intrinsically motivating and opens worlds of opportunities. As educators, we are deeply committed to seeing each girl become an empowered and persistent learner in pursuit of personal excellence. With courage to tackle the unknown, compassion to respectfully meet the needs of others and integrity to engage with truth, anything is possible for our girls.” -Sally Ruston


Being literate means being able to read, write and orally communicate your understanding. Differentiated instruction is possible through the close collaboration between the class teacher, literacy specialists and, where appropriate, the EAL/D specialist teacher. It is through specific and targeted goals for each student, that strengths in vocabulary, literature appreciation and foundational literacy skills are fostered.

The Teacher Librarian is also involved along with the Class Teacher in fostering a love of reading and building of information literacy skills, essential for research.


Being numerate involves acquiring the skills, knowledge and conceptual understanding to apply basic skills to compute and problem solve. The Class Teacher works collaboratively with the Mathematics Specialist to provide grouped differentiated instruction enabling the girls to view themselves as mathematicians.

Human Society and Its Environment including History and Geography

The skills of enquiry are explicitly taught by the Class Teacher so that historic and geographic concepts can be acquired, and girls build a sound knowledge and critical understanding of our past and physical environments. Frequently learning will be attained through experiential activities where girls are immersed in role play, engaged in excursions and incursions and through the lens of an expert guest speaker. The facilities on campus are used to enhance this learning, including the Abbotsleigh Centre for Environmental Education, the Archives, STEM Street and the Library and Innovation Centre.


Specialist Science Teachers collaborate with the Class Teacher to team teach Science. Ensuring a correct conceptual understanding and knowledge of scientific principles are essential to building a love of enquiry. Equally, we recognise the importance of highlighting to the girls the connection between all Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) based subjects. For more information about our approach to STEM please access our publication, Full Steam Ahead Clippings articles.

Visual Arts

The Art Specialist works collaboratively with the Class Teacher in the delivery of a very hands-on program that builds artistic skills and appreciation. Girls will engage with different types of art forms including drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, fibre, photography and digital works. Being able to express ideas in a multitude of artforms sees each girl build skills across mediums and connect with artists from across time and style.


We believe that every girl is a musician. All girls learn music and sing in a choir as we recognise our voice as our first instrument. In weekly music lesson girls learn to compose, perform and appreciate music. In Year 2 our String Program sees all girls playing a string instrument. In Year 3 all girls play a woodwind, brass or string instrument as part of our Instrumental Program.

We also offer over twenty ensembles in the form of choirs, string groups, handbells, bands and orchestras so that every child skilled in an instrument and keen to collaborate in the making of music is able to do so. For more information visit our Junior School music page.

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education – PDHPE

The PDHPE Teachers ensure physical movement skills are explicitly taught so that all girls can experience success in active pursuits that focus on the development and wellbeing of the whole child. Skills enabling swimming, bike riding, dance, teams sports, cross country, athletics and gymnastics are built to promote a lifelong love of exercise and sport. For more information, download our Junior School PDHPE and Sports Program booklet, or visit our Junior School Cocurricular Sport page.

Underpinning all learning at Abbotsleigh is the wellbeing of our students. Our specialist PDHPE teachers ensure close collaboration with Class Teachers to deliver a strong and agile pastoral program that sees our girls shine socially and emotionally.

Our Outdoor Education Program sees all girls from Transition going out on full day excursions into natural environments. From Year 2, our girls camp out overnight, with this program culminating in a weeklong camp for our Year 6 girls including them climbing Mt Kosciuszko as their pinnacle outdoor education experience in primary. Central to this program is our commitment to developing the girls’ perseverance, interpersonal skills and problem solving through progressively more challenging outdoor education opportunities.

LOTE (Languages other than English)

Girls learn an additional language from Transition to Year 6. French is taught to girls in Transition to Year 4. Chinese (Mandarin) is taught to girls in Years 5 and 6. Both programs aim to build language skills and cultural knowledge through experiential activities.

Christian Studies and Chapel

Our Christian faith underpins all we do here at Abbotsleigh. To build biblical knowledge and familiarity with Christian principles, our Christian Studies Teachers and Chaplains engage weekly with the girls through class-based lessons and through stories, prayers and songs shared in Chapel. Our values of compassion, courage, integrity, perseverance and respect encourage us to model a Christ like existence. Our girls respond with student-initiated service projects that see them looking outwards to have positive social impact.