School assemblies are an important part of our school program. They are conducted every second Friday in the Senior Hall at 12 pm. Junior assemblies are held in odd weeks and senior assemblies are held in even weeks. The last assembly of every term is a whole school one. Assemblies provide opportunities for children to showcase their learning and to perform before an audience. They also feature general announcements and Principal's Award presentations. Special assemblies are advised in the school newsletter. Parents are very welcome to attend any assembly.
Band and Drumming Programs
North Ainslie is part of the ACT School Band Program and runs both a Year 5 and Year 6 woodwind band. Students have the opportunity to play flutes, clarinets, oboes and percussion if selected for the band. Senior students who are not involved in the Band program have the opportunity to participate in specialist drumming lessons each week. North Ainslie students play as an ensemble as well as participating with other school instrumental groups.
The All Saints Anglican Church has a roster of volunteers who provide breakfast free of charge for any North Ainslie Primary student. Breakfast is served from 8:30 am until 8:50am (Wednesdays and Thursdays) in the Senior Hall.
This is an important way of developing strong relationships in the school community. It helps preschool and kindergarten students to manage their transition into fulltime, formal schooling. It develops the capacity of older students to lead and care for others. It raises self-esteem, confidence and trust in all age groups.
Year 5 and 6 students have a number of opportunities throughout the year to work in the program. Year 5 students visit the children at the Hackett, Downer and North Ainslie preschools. Year 6 students present a band performance for preschool students in term 1. They also visit the kindergarten classes regularly to read with their buddies.This develops the literacy skills of both age groups. The younger children benefit by reading regularly to others, and the older children develop by explaining how they read and listening attentively to others.
Competitions and Extension Programs
Children are given many opportunities to develop talents and take up challenges. They are invited to participate in the University of NSW competitions for mathematics, English, writing, spelling, computing and science. Other opportunities for extension include Rostrum, Tournament of Minds, the Australian Mathematics Challenge, Chess and Gateways.
Developmental Play Based Curriculum (Investigations)
In the Early Childhood years (P-2) at North Ainslie, inquiry is largely conducted through play where children engage in problem solving, posing questions, trialling solutions and refining learning. This type of inquiry occurs naturally through planned, scaffolded and well structured play sessions where teachers have explicit teaching goals. Research shows that a play based inquiry program enhances literacy and numeracy outcomes, engages children in writing, improves social skills and enhances well-being. It also provides a seamless link between preschool and formal schooling.
In 2005 North Ainslie implemented a mentor enrichment program for all students from K-6. Each child joins a buddy group of sixteen students for the duration of his/her time at North Ainslie. This group has a mentor teacher, and meets fortnightly on Thursday afternoons. All buddy groups also participate in a range of enrichment activities each fortnight, including sport, art, craft, school magazine, music, outdoor community building, origami, collage, cooking, play dough making and gardening. This program is designed to both enrich students' learning and to foster supportive relationships between children and adults.
Homework Club operates on Thursday afternoons from 3.15 until 4.15 in the Patricia Cooper Library. It is staffed by teachers and volunteers from community organisations. Students are invited to attend for a semester, based on expressions of interest by parents and/or teacher referrals. They are provided with a healthy afternoon tea and then work in small groups with an adult, either completing set homework or receiving targeted assistance in an area of academic need.
Students at North Ainslie are very fortunate to have access to the Rotary Meccano program. They work individually or in pairs with mentors from the ACT Schools Volunteer Program and Rotary, building quite complex structures or machines. Students are referred to the program by their class teacher but may also submit their own expressions of interest.
Senior students have the opportunity to participate in a playground mediator program each year. These students are trained by teachers to use restorative questions and other mediation skills to support younger children on the junior playground. Younger students benefit from having older role models on the playground, with whom they often forge strong bonds and ongoing relationships.
Sports Leaders Program
Senior students also have the opportunity to train as sports leaders, who promote physical activity and team participation by introducing young children to a variety of games and sports.
Tournament of Minds Program
In term 3, students have the opportunity to participate in the national Tournament of Minds program. Students work in multi age groups of seven to solve long term and spontaneous problems in areas of language and literature, maths engineering, and social sciences. This program encourages the skills of problem solving, lateral thinking, cooperation, collaboration and communication. Students make a commitment to the program for six weeks.
Visual Arts Program
The senior school has the opportunity to participate in a specialist visual arts program. Students work in class groups to learn and explore different art techniques and artists. Students produce high quality art that is visually spectacular.
Through the ACT Schools Volunteers Program, we have a number of mentors working with individual children in areas of homework and literacy. If you are interested in becoming a mentor please contact the front office.