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Head of Junior School

Mr Daniel Sandral is a passionate and dedicated educator, with extensive experience as a P–6 school leader.

Mr Sandral has a Bachelor of Education from the University of Sydney and a Masters Degree of Education from the University of Technology, Sydney. He also has a Diploma of Teaching and a Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language. As well as being highly experienced as a P–6 school leader, Mr Sandral possesses solid knowledge of curriculum and pedagogy.

Mr Sandral has held significant roles including as a Curriculum Consultant in the Catholic Education Office, at the Association of Independent Schools NSW (AISNS), executive roles in several Primary Schools, and Deputy Head of Junior School at Wenona prior to his appointment as Head of Junior School at MLC School in January 2018.

His love of teaching, enthusiasm and dedication is aimed squarely at encouraging  students to reach their full potential. He has a keen interest in evidence-based practice and its use in improving student learning outcomes.

 

Junior School 
Pre-Kindergarten to Year 6

Life in the Junior School is exciting, fun and inclusive. Our flexible open studios are designed to enhance creativity and collaboration in learning, and our girls thrive.

The atmosphere is warm and friendly, at times energetic, yet there is always time for quiet reflection, mindfulness, music, physical activity and more. Each girl's learning in English and Mathematics is personalised, ensuring instruction is targeted to her specific learning needs, regardless of her level.




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Life in the Early Years

Girls in the Early Years enjoy full and varied days, packed with experiences that develop the whole person. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, learning is personalised and our students thrive as they progress through these important years.

Life in Pre-Kindergarten

The Pre-K program is modelled on the Reggio Emilia philosophy, recognising the hundred languages of children, and honouring each child as a knowledgeable and capable learner. Our task is to elicit this knowledge, develop her understandings and stretch her imagination, giving her confidence in her abilities to tackle challenging tasks independently. Oral language is so important in the Early Years, and provides a window for us to understand how our littlest girls see the world. Pre-Kindergarten is a time of vivid imagination, rapid skill development and an opportunity to develop the social skills that are so important for life at school. Our Pre-K girls engage in coding and computational thinking, in fine and gross motor activities and a myriad of other stimulating activities. Mandarin, Art and Library lessons further enrich their program and contribute to their abilities to make connections to all aspects of their world. For more detail on a day in the Life of Pre-K, please click here.

Life in Kindergarten

Life in Kindergarten is fun and exciting as more structured time at school begins. Building on the concepts developed in Pre-K, the girls begin more formal instruction in literacy and numeracy activities, always targeted at their individual next steps in learning. Students begin the Bounce Back program, which is a resilience building program based on core values and strong interpersonal interactions. The world opens up and students are immersed in problem finding and solving, leading to student action, which is highly valued. Kindergarten girls have access to many co-curricular offerings, including robotics and engineering clubs, as well as gymnastics and dance classes in various styles.

Life in Year 1 and Year 2

Year 1 and Year 2 are engaging years, during which students thrive as they become proficient language users, and fluent and expressive speakers. Early Years girls are immersed in the world of music, with each student involved in the Strings program and Choirs. Students continue to learn Chinese (Mandarin) and enjoy the cultural aspects of the program. MLC School is a proudly diverse community, and we celebrate many important culturally significant occasions (such as Diwali and Lunar New Year) alongside the significant aspects of the Christian calendar, such as Easter and Christmas. An important unit in the Year 2 program is based on Celebrations. During this unit, the girls study many multicultural celebrations, involving a number of members of our community in a wonderful celebration of our diversity.

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"I love coming to MLC School because I have such a wonderful time learning new things with my friends".

– Year 2 student.

Life in the Junior Years

Integrated units of work are studied through a conceptual framework, which requires girls to explore, investigate, research and respond to their learning.

Collaborative Learning Projects integrate multiple subject areas and perspectives to ensure a rich understanding of the content being studied, with digital technologies used to deepen the level of understanding of the concepts being studied. There are many opportunities for parents to be involved in their daughters' learning, with Celebrations of Learning and Parent Learning Events scheduled throughout the year. Our personalised instruction approach, ensuring each girl is learning at the level that is right for her, with the support she needs to reach her potential.

Life in Year 3 and Year 4

Year 3 marks the beginning of life in the Junior Years. Girls in these years are encouraged to approach their studies with greater independence, and to approach all opportunities with a spirit of adventure, understanding that mistakes are a vital part of the learning process. Students explore new concepts and ideas in greater depth and make deeper connections between concepts they are learning about each day. We are able to take each girl through her optimum learning trajectory, providing support, encouragement and extension where required, for each student. Girls become more involved in the House system and expand their interests in a myriad of cocurricular offerings - everything from dance, gymnastics and the arts, through to STEAM initiatives such as coding, robotics and engineering; and a wide variety of sporting options. Girls are encouraged to play sport on Saturdays to widen their friendship circle and to interact with others. The girls are encouraged to try as many new things as possible and explore their world with a fearless thinking attitude and adventurous spirit. With this in mind, the outdoor education programme begins in Year 3, with girls attending camps designed to stretch them outside of their comfort zones and, in turn, increasing their confidence in their abilities to tackle challenging tasks.

Students become increasingly confident and begin to express their natural leadership abilities, as they are provided with many opportunities for public speaking and interaction with a wider audience. MLC School acknowledges the many forms of leadership expression including our regular Citizen of the Term awards, conducted entirely by students. A number of collaborative groups, committees and projects are offered, that appeal to the wide range interests of our girls.

Life in Year 5

Leadership opportunities abound for girls in Year 5, with all students allocated to a particular position of responsibility in the Junior School. Year 5 is a step up in terms of independence, responsibility and organisation - it is all about the students stepping up to their full potential and becoming role models for the younger girls. Year 5 girls attend an outdoor education camp, as well as an immersion experience in Ballarat, where they experience life on the goldfields and gain a deeper understanding of the history of Australia. Their confidence in themselves and their learning blossoms, and they are ready to step forward into the next phase of their school lives. When girls enter Year 6, they move onto the Senior Campus, in what is an immersive transition year, in readiness for high school the following year.

Innovation

Integrated units of work are studied through Collaborative Learning Projects, where powerful learning meets powerful learners - students explore, investigate, research and respond to their learning through a conceptual framework of knowledge, skills and understandings, expressing their learning through the languages of the arts, drama, dance, music, writing and speaking.

Digital technologies are explored to deepen the understanding of the concepts being studied. Library research and IT management skills are developed through explicitly teaching and then applied across the curriculum, particularly during Collaborative Learning Projects. The opportunity to connect with children across the globe and innovate on introduced programs makes interactive learning with technology all the more powerful. Students from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 2 use both iPads and laptops to create content and engage with digital material. From Year 3, students have access to a 1:1 program, and from Year 4, students own their own iPad, enabling them to learn anywhere and any time, and transition to a laptop in Year 5.

We aim to target instruction to the specific needs of each student, personalising the learning and providing 'just right' content. Each student learns differently, and their rates of growth are also different. Some girls pick up particular concepts more quickly and others require more time to consolidate their learning. We continually reflect on the nature of each learner; and use the data gathered through formal assessment and observation to group students according to their particular needs. In Mathematics, in particular, this means that each student is grouped according to her next steps in learning for each strand of the curriculum, acknowledging that the various strands of Mathematics are all quite different, and that girls may have skills in some areas that are stronger than in others. For teachers, it means knowing students better, and using different strategies and tools to guide each learner to her next level of understanding or skill. This ensures strong growth for learners of all levels of ability and performance.

Co-Curricular

Our co-curricular offering builds independence and a spirit of adventure in our girls, as well as being a lot of fun and a great way to make new friends. There is a very wide range of activities on offer, including

Creative and Performing Arts

  • Dance
  • Speech and Drama

Music

  • Instrumental Program
  • Bands and Orchestras
  • Choirs

Outdoor Education

  • Abseiling
  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Archery

Co-Curricular Clubs

  • STEAM Clubs
  • Robotics
  • Engineering
  • Minecraft
  • Coding
  • Science
  • Kitchen Garden
  • Knitting
  • Board Games
  • Quiet Club
  • Chess

Academic Competitions

  • Debating
  • Tournament of Minds
  • da Vinci Decathlon
  • Mathematics Olympiad

Sport

  • Swimming
  • Diving
  • Track and Field
  • Gymnastics
  • Netball
  • Hockey
  • Tennis
  • Basketball

Our Environment

At MLC School, we understand that the learning environment has a powerful influence on student achievement.

Our flexible learning studios, aesthetic design, seamless connection between carefully planned indoor and outdoor environments, all play a role in encouraging and enhancing relationships between children, teachers and families; and between children and the environment.

The inspired design of the Junior School utilises the relationships between space, colour and light to create wonderful places that encourage children to develop their full range of senses and experiences, to nurture their intellectual and creative development, and to capture the young, playful and imaginative world of the inquisitive and powerful early learner.

The MLC School Junior School offers opportunities for recreation by large groups in a busy stimulating environment; opportunities for individual learning in quiet contemplative spaces; opportunities for instant communication both locally and globally; opportunities for making connections, and building and managing relationships. The building and its surrounds enables us to connect girls and teachers to the outside world in new ways, and to collaborate effectively.

The Junior School is stimulating and welcoming. We invite you to find out more about MLC School and the opportunities that abound for your daughter's future.

MLC School Underground Car Park

The streets around the School are very crowded especially just before and after school. The School underground car park is a multi-purpose facility serving staff, parents and visitors with dedicated parking spaces for each user group.

Book a tour today

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Pre-Kindergarten

In Pre-K, fearless thinking exists in a spirit of adventure and discovery, an understanding that the world is there to be explored, and that our four year olds are fully qualified to take on the challenge.

The Pre-Kindergarten program is shaped by our understanding that young children are capable, rich learners, able to master important concepts and skills in a supportive environment where inquiry, discovery and learning are celebrated. The Pre-Kindergarten learning environment is purpose built within our state of the art Junior School. The vibrant studio flows seamlessly to the outdoors, supporting our understanding that the girls' learning does not exist solely within the four walls of a classroom.

Pre-K girls learn quickly. They inquire into concepts related to their interests, supported by highly qualified and experienced teachers, skilled in the art of documenting the process of their learning. Our staff facilitate the process of the inquiries and document the girls' learning, understanding that mastery is a process. Oral language skills are a vital step in literacy learning. Whilst four year olds do not often have the skills to record their thoughts in written form, they have the skills to verbalise these thoughts, capturing the extent of their oral storytelling skills. Research tells us that encouraging this, and developing oral skills to their full extent before introducing the pencil, is so important for later literacy mastery. Our teachers are skilled in the art of documenting and celebrating the girls' literacy learning.

In addition to working closely with our early childhood teachers, Pre-K girls learn from MLC School specialist teachers in areas such as Visual Arts, Drama and Dance, Library, PE, Music and Mandarin. Importantly, the transition to Kindergarten from Pre-Kindergarten is smooth as teachers and parents work together to understand the needs of each student. For the girls, the familiarity of the Junior School learning environment creates a sense of confidence. Girls entering the School at Pre-Kindergarten continue their education at MLC School and as such, progression into Kindergarten happens automatically.

Philosophy

At MLC School, we take special care to ensure your daughter’s first year in school is enjoyable and the transition to formal schooling is as smooth as possible. We achieve this by partnering with parents/guardians.

We provide our Pre-Kindergarten girls with ample opportunities and guide them to a lifelong love of learning. With an emphasis on play-based learning, PreKindergarten fosters discovery at your daughter’s own pace with a curriculum that is interest-based, stimulating and informed by current research and framework. Simply stated, we take a holistic view of each girl in our care; nurturing her social, emotional, physical, cognitive, language and spiritual wellbeing.

The Pre-Kindergarten learning studio and playground act as the third teacher and is thoughtfully designed to spark our girls’ curiosity as they begin to explore, discover and wonder. The educators in Pre-Kindergarten know precisely when to step in and out of play-based experiences to elevate and enhance girls’ learning. The Pre Kindergarten girls are connected to the rest of the Junior School as they make use of the facilities around the School including visiting the music studios, library, Chapel and at times, the gymnasium.

Each day our girls experience a plethora of play-based activities and the explicit teaching of literacy and numeracy that meet the needs and attention span of three-and four-year olds. We complement our Pre-Kindergarten program with a diverse range of specialist classes that assist in developing each girl’s academic and personal growth. These specialist lessons include Music, Art, Library, Physical Education (PE), and Mandarin. These classes run each week and are taught by specialist teachers. STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics) and Dance and Drama are run two terms per year.

In Pre-Kindergarten, girls are encouraged to wonder about the world and their place in it. Expanding their numeracy and literacy skills is important but we place equal value on nurturing a girl’s identity, together with her social, physical and creative capabilities.

We empower our girls to discover their true potential as they create meaning in their world, stretch their creative thinking and practise social skills, meet new challenges
and build resilience. We teach the girls about diversity and acceptance and celebrate each child’s individuality on a journey of learning, friendships, collaboration, wonder, inquiry, creativity, expression, experimentation and reflection.

Curriculum

The Junior School learning programs are characterised by their depth, flexibility and focus on the connections between learning areas. In Pre-Kindergarten, teachers focus on the development of communication, early numeracy and literacy skills, and the exploration of scientific concepts. Developing social skills is also fundamental. Specialist teachers work with students in the areas of PE, Sport, Visual Arts, Drama and Dance, Music, Languages and Library.

Structure of the Day

After signing your daughter into Pre-Kindergarten each day, she will experience a myriad of wonderful learning opportunities. While each day promises to be different, set structures give a familiarity and sense of belonging to each girl. The program is designed to ensure that girls attending on both three and five days have similar specialist program opportunities.

Enrolment Information

Pre-Kindergarten is a one year program designed for girls in the year before Kindergarten. As such, they must turn 4 by the 31 May in Pre-Kindergarten. Parents may choose a three or five day program. As places are limited and highly sought after, we do advise families to enquire early. Once a place has been offered, all other conditions and procedures of enrolment apply. Find out more about how to Enrol.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the Pre-K day? What are the start and finish times?

Pre-Kindergarten operates between the hours of 9:00am and 2.40pm during school term time. Before and After School Care is available for Pre-Kindergarten girls.

How old does my daughter need to be to enter Pre-K?

Pre-Kindergarten is a specific program for girls in preparation for their formal schooling. Girls need to turn four years of age by 31 May in the year of Pre-Kindergarten.

What does she wear? Is there a uniform?

The Pre-Kindergarten girls wear the following uniform:

  • Summer – MLC School PE short-sleeved polo shirt, MLC School culottes, MLC School floppy hat, MLC School white socks and predominately white sport shoes.
  • Winter – MLC School PE tracksuit, ie. pants and jacket, MLC School PE long-sleeved polo shirt, MLC School floppy hat, MLC School white socks and predominately white sport shoes.

What if I need before and after school care?

Before and After School Care, run by Uniting Children’s Services (UCS) provides a planned program of play and leisure activities for MLC Junior School students. Programs are designed to contribute to the children’s ongoing development and wellbeing and include opportunities for positive peer relationships, physical activity, building life skills and a positive sense of identity.

How many staff are there per student? How many students?

Our staff-student ratio is in line with staffing levels at other prep-schools and Pre-Kindergarten schools. As a minimum, each class will be staffed by an Early Childhood teacher and a qualified classroom assistant.

Where will she play in the school playground? Are there spaces?

Girls in Pre-Kindergarten have access to their very own outdoor play area, flowing directly from their indoor learning area. Sometimes, break times will allow Pr-Kindergarten students to play with Kindergarten students. Pre-Kindergarten use the larger outdoor landscaped areas for learning and playing throughout each day.

Pre-Kindergarten Fees at MLC School

View the full schedule of MLC School fees