Junior Primary

"For education is the kindling of a flame not the filling of a pail." - William Yeats
Cowan House > Junior Primary
JUNIOR PRIMARY

Why Cowan House Children Want To Be At School

We’re a small school which means we genuinely know every child and what makes them ‘tick’. This, together with living our Cowan House values, creates an nurturing environment where children can grow in ability and confidence.   

One of the most exciting things about a child’s first day in Grade 1 at Cowan House is meeting their Grade 7 mentor, who will always be on hand to help them get to know the ropes of ‘big school’. 

Primary Importance

Each child learns differently from the next so we use the entire 47-acre Cowan House campus creatively in order to provide a learning environment that is interesting and fun.  

Junior Primary Fun

When asked why he had started his own school in 1948, David Black (founder of Cowan House) answered ‘I am going to open my own school and make it interesting, make it fun.  I am going to make them (the pupils) want to learn so you can’t stop them.  I want them to get so excited about learning that they don’t want to stop.’  The corridors of Cowan House still resonate with the values instilled by the school’s founding principal – echoing a sense of fun, curiosity and discovery. 

JUNIOR PRIMARY

GRADE 1 - GRADE 3

Thinking skills are central to learning at Cowan House. Our highly qualified and committed team of teachers shape our academic curriculum to develop each pupils’ ability to think individually, collectively, analytically and creatively.

In the Junior Primary, Cowan House pupils are provided with a learning environment, inside and outside the classroom, which is both engaging and stimulating. Small classes, with a dedicated teacher assistant per grade, enable our teachers to provide pupils with the individual attention they deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Curriculum does Cowan House follow in the Junior Primary?

As an ISASA school, we enjoy the freedom of choice in our curriculum. There is no prescribed limitation on how much time, or methodology, we have available to teach our children various concepts. We are a Thinking School and have the flexibility for pupils to extend themselves or, spend some more time getting the support that they need.

What time does school finish for Junior Primary?

The academic day for Grade 1 and Grade 2 pupils ends at 12:30pm. Grade 3 children, getting bigger now, finish their academic day at the same time as Senior Primary children. From Grade 3 upwards the academic days finishes at: 2:30pm on a Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; 2pm on a Wednesday; and 1:30pm on a Friday.

Is there aftercare?

Aftercare is included in our school fees and is available to working parents until 5:30pm, for Grade RRR to Grade 3 pupils.

How Much Homework Will My Child Have To Do?

Childhood and family life is closely guarded at Cowan House and it is for this reason that in addition to the strict guidelines of meaningful and minimal ‘homework’, at no time are any projects to be completed at home and, no work is given to pupils for completion on Wednesdays (Family Night) and on weekends.

What do I need to pack for lunch?

Absolutely nothing! All our pupils, from Grade RRR to Grade 7 are served tea at 10am, followed by a dietitian-approved lunch at midday. Children staying at aftercare are served afternoon tea at 3:30pm. No more lunchbox fuss!

What Sport Will My Child Play?

Co-curricular sport for boys and girls changes from Term to Term. Tennis and Cross Country are year-round sports for example, whereas sports such as Swimming, Cricket, Hockey, Rugby and Soccer and played in specific Terms.

Grade 1 and Grade 2 sports practice is held on a Monday and Thursday from 1pm to 2pm. Grade 3 sports practice is held on a Monday from 2:45pm to 4pm and on a Wednesday from 2:15pm to 3:30pm.

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW

about Junior Primary at Cowan House.

Thinking Skills

Thinking Maps are a visual representation of knowledge being taught and learnt and mimic the brain processes. We have incorporated a variety of Thinking Maps across learning areas and the children have responded naturally and effectively to each map. Thinking Maps encourage divergent and independent thinking while appropriately guiding thought processes. When we use Bubble Maps, the children automatically know that we will be describing a certain subject. For example, these have been used when describing our Grandparents, Fairytale characters and the habitat of an earthworm during theme work and holiday news. When we use a Circle Map, children immediately know they will be brainstorming. We use these maps in phonics, literacy, numeracy and life science. We use Flow maps to discover sequencing and Tree Maps to classify different objects and concepts.

U-Shaped & Outdoor Desks

The Junior Primary have introduced a new concept, in desks, to the classroom. The horse-shoe shaped desks have so many advantages in the Grade 1 and 2 environment. They allow the children to collaborate more easily and social behaviour is encouraged. Smaller learning groups are an advantage and each child is within an ‘arms length’ for hands on help. These desks enhance the learning environment and allow the teacher to, one at a time, be physically closer and have easier access to each child, while instructing, mentoring or just observing. They are versatile and can be joined up or kept separate. Please pop in and take a look for yourself when passing!

We also have acquired floor desks, we are so excited about integrating these into our programme. The children are able to take a desk outside, wherever they want to work and still have the comfort of a good space to organise themselves. These are also versatile for group work and Art lessons. We have such beautiful surroundings at Cowan House and we really believe in making the most of our school gardens. 

Brain Breaks

A brain break is a short mental pause intended to help children stay alert and focused. It mostly involves some type of movement, allowing for more blood and oxygen to travel to the brain. These breaks also allow children to reflect on and process their learning.

In the Junior Primary, brain breaks are a big part of our everyday routine. From action cards and Go Noodle dance videos to a short walk or time to play outside, these mental breaks are so beneficial. Whether they are used before an instructional period or during written tasks, it allows children to feel less stressed in the classroom and it increases their productivity. The best part is that we can teach children to be aware of and responsible for their own brain breaks.

Language & Literacy

Throughout the year, our lessons focus on awareness and practice of good listening habits. Pupils explore the concept of listening during many interactive, fun activities. They are introduced to elements of listening such as focus, waiting for full instructions and identifying key words in instructions. The concepts of visualisation and rehearsal of memory strategies are introduced.  Read more…

Time 2 Read

In the Junior Primary phase we introduce children to the most common vowel spellings as well as consonant digraph spellings.

Children are taught to understand the sound symbol relationships for words that they encounter at this stage.

In Grade 2 we consolidate and extend their sound knowledge from Grade 1. We have regular phonics group work sessions where children use various activities to practise the many spelling rules of the English language.

Amazing Adventures

In the Cowan House Junior Primary, we believe it is important to make learning an exciting adventure for all our pupils.  We make use of a variety of techniques and activities to ensure that learning is not restricted to sitting at desks within the four walls of a classroom. From picnics at the Boma to saving frogs at the Wetlands; from building forts in the trees to challenging our way through the Obstacle Course – Cowan House is blessed to offer a range of amazing outdoor learning opportunities right here on our campus.

At Cowan House, we also enjoy adventuring on outings off our campus to extend and experience first-hand the themes that have been covered in class. With much excitement, every year, the Grade 3s head off on their first overnight adventure away from school to Roselands Outdoor Adventure Centre. It is our goal and hope to ensure that each Junior Primary child is always happy to come to school and that they leave our phase with a wealth of cherished memories of the adventures they have shared.

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW

about Cowan House Junior Primary
Primary Importance

Thinking Maps are a visual representation of knowledge being taught and learnt and mimic the brain processes. We have incorporated a variety of Thinking Maps across learning areas and the children have responded naturally and effectively to each map. Thinking Maps encourage divergent and independent thinking while appropriately guiding thought processes. When we use Bubble Maps, the children automatically know that we will be describing a certain subject. For example, these have been used when describing our Grandparents, Fairytale characters and the habitat of an earthworm during theme work and holiday news. When we use a Circle Map, children immediately know they will be brainstorming. We use these maps in phonics, literacy, numeracy and life science. We use Flow maps to discover sequencing and Tree Maps to classify different objects and concepts.

Grade 1 Classroom

U-Shaped & Outdoor Desks

The Junior Primary have introduced a new concept, in desks, to the classroom. The horse-shoe shaped desks have so many advantages in the Grade 1 and 2 environment. They allow the children to collaborate more easily and social behaviour is encouraged. Smaller learning groups are an advantage and each child is within an ‘arms length’ for hands on help. These desks enhance the learning environment and allow the teacher to, one at a time, be physically closer and have easier access to each child, while instructing, mentoring or just observing. They are versatile and can be joined up or kept separate. Please pop in and take a look for yourself when passing!

We also have acquired floor desks, we are so excited about integrating these into our programme. The children are able to take a desk outside, wherever they want to work and still have the comfort of a good space to organise themselves. These are also versatile for group work and Art lessons. We have such beautiful surroundings at Cowan House and we really believe in making the most of our school gardens. 

Grade 1 Classroom

A brain break is a short mental pause intended to help children stay alert and focused. It mostly involves some type of movement, allowing for more blood and oxygen to travel to the brain. These breaks also allow children to reflect on and process their learning.

In the Junior Primary, brain breaks are a big part of our everyday routine. From action cards and Go Noodle dance videos to a short walk or time to play outside, these mental breaks are so beneficial. Whether they are used before an instructional period or during written tasks, it allows children to feel less stressed in the classroom and it increases their productivity. The best part is that we can teach children to be aware of and responsible for their own brain breaks.

Language & Literacy Future G;lasses

Throughout the year, our lessons focus on awareness and practice of good listening habits. Pupils explore the concept of listening during many interactive, fun activities. They are introduced to elements of listening such as focus, waiting for full instructions and identifying key words in instructions. The concepts of visualisation and rehearsal of memory strategies are introduced.

Meaningful Curriculum

In the Junior Primary phase we introduce children to the most common vowel spellings as well as consonant digraph spellings.

Children are taught to understand the sound symbol relationships for words that they encounter at this stage.

In Grade 2 we consolidate and extend their sound knowledge from Grade 1. We have regular phonics group work sessions where children use various activities to practise the many spelling rules of the English language.

Roselands Adventure

In the Cowan House Junior Primary, we believe it is important to make learning an exciting adventure for all our pupils.  We make use of a variety of techniques and activities to ensure that learning is not restricted to sitting at desks within the four walls of a classroom. From picnics at the Boma to saving frogs at the Wetlands; from building forts in the trees to challenging our way through the Obstacle Course – Cowan House is blessed to offer a range of amazing outdoor learning opportunities right here on our campus.

At Cowan House, we also enjoy adventuring on outings off our campus to extend and experience first-hand the themes that have been covered in class. With much excitement, every year, the Grade 3s head off on their first overnight adventure away from school to Roselands Outdoor Adventure Centre. It is our goal and hope to ensure that each Junior Primary child is always happy to come to school and that they leave our phase with a wealth of cherished memories of the adventures they have shared.

We would love for you to visit us.

Let us know what day and time would best suit you.
Cowan House

11 Dennis Shepstone Drive, Hilton, 3245, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

033 343 3261

info@cowanhouse.co.za