Making a decision about our children’s education can be difficult; especially when there are so many options available. Once upon a time parents simply sent their children to the school that was a walkable distance from home. Much research has evolved since the early 1900s about what is best for our children to foster a love of learning and feel confident and safe in the classroom. Here at Toowoomba Grammar School, we take this very seriously. Pastoral care comes before anything else; we see the most academic growth when a child feels safe and engaged in the school environment.

Our Early Years classrooms cater for a variety of different learning styles, and we treat each child as an individual. Our class sizes allow staff to spend time one on one with the boys and engage with them to assist in developing a curriculum that suits their needs. Along with appropriate programs we offer a range of seating options; from rocking chairs, to stools, to tables that allow for standing or sitting on the floor.

During the school day boys are offered many opportunities to run and play free from constraints of the classroom. Our days are planned to incorporate a “brain break” each hour. In the morning, the boys have what we refer to as “Munch and Crunch” because we recognise that a 6:00/7:00am breakfast time means 10:30am morning tea is a long way away for a growing boy who is trying to learn new skills. They are also given the option of running “2 laps” – a course used by all boys in the Junior School, or to participate in fun, physical activities such as skipping. These brain breaks provide the boys with a chance to burn off pent-up energy from sitting after an hour of learning and they then engage better in their academics.

We teach the boys that providing our brains with fuel is as important as putting fuel in the car. To ensure the Prep and Year 1 boys are fuelling their bodies efficiently they are provided an area to sit away from the older boys to eat their lunch with an adult supervising and assisting them with opening their lunches. All boys across the School are provided with 15 minutes to eat and socialise with their friends before playing. Once playing, the boys are offered a range of options from playing on our glorious TGS ovals to their very own sandpit with diggers, spades and buckets and a creek for water play. All these options provide the boys with opportunities to develop their gross motor skills.

Our REACH program builds the character in our boys to become fine young men. Some of the skills they learn in this program are how to celebrate their success in a way that shows they are proud but not being disrespectful to others, how to be active listeners, when it is time to be loud and time to be quiet, demonstrating appropriate manners to our teachers and our friends. These attributes are rewarded and exemplified in many ways throughout the week. Starting in Prep means these behaviours are developed over many years and supported throughout their entire journey at TGS. The boys have role models in the older students and their male and female teachers.

Whilst our School recognises the benefits of single-sex education, we also believe in the need for the boys to socialise with girls on a regular basis. Many of our boys have sisters, however, we provide opportunities throughout the year for our boys to mix with the girls from other single-sex girls’ schools. In Prep and Year 1 the boys participate in picnics and sport days, when they get older the days take on more of a curriculum focus where they can share ideas and learning with the girls. During this time boys and girls are mixed to have an even ratio of boys to girls in small groups to encourage conversations and to work on the skills we have developed in our character development program.

Setting up the foundations for your son in the early years fosters many different elements of learning. We take the development of our young men very seriously. Our objective is to work with parents to ensure the boys grow up to be men of good character who make the most of their strengths and are respectful members of society.

Discover more about the TGS Junior School here https://bit.ly/3Af2Wjz

Jess Galbraith
Prep-3 Coordinator
Year 1 Teacher

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