Prior to joining the School nearly eight years ago, Jane taught at All Saints’ College for three years and John Wollaston Anglican Community School for 10 years.
At Christ Church Jane has taught Years 5 and 7 and was previously Year 6/7 Co-ordinator. For the last seven years Jane has been in charge of Giles House, providing pastoral care for the boys from Year 1, and for the last few years she has been in charge of Year 4 sport, coaching and umpiring everything from Water Polo to Rugby. Jane said it had given her a great opportunity to get to know the boys before they came into Year 5.
Jane loves teaching Year 5s. “They are really enthusiastic and energetic,” she said. “They love everything you do. They are very motivated and have a lovely sense of humour at this age. They are becoming more independent but are also extremely helpful and kind to each other.”
She said Year 5 was a very important year developmentally. “The Early Learning Centre is based on learning through play, Year 4 is becoming a bit more formal and in Year 5 they really start to grow up. Their research skills progress and their learning becomes more independent. Really, their learning is taken to a new level.
“They really start to put things together for themselves and there are lots of ‘Ah ha’ moments where the light suddenly goes on.”
Jane said a lot of her work with the boys was based on the inquiry process. “The boys think of a topic to do with the area we are studying, and undertake research on something they are interested in. They come up with the questions themselves and gain first-hand experience on that topic.
“I think it’s important to keep things practical,” Jane said. “I like to get the boys ‘out there’ wherever possible. They love being outside and they love making things and discovering how things work.”
Jane said it was also important to encourage the boys to work things out for themselves rather than just supplying the answers all the time. “Often you just need to ask them the right questions for them to work things out for themselves. They realise that we know a lot as a class when we pool our knowledge together."
Jane find her role extremely rewarding. “You couldn’t do it if you didn’t love it,” she said. “There is huge reward in that you can see the boys grow in their independence, in their faith in themselves, in having more of a go.
“I encourage the boys to express themselves and say what they think, as well as respect others’ opinions. They learn that they are expected to have an opinion and that what they say is of value.”
Jane said it was also very rewarding to see the boys recognise the School’s virtues within themselves and also within their peers. “They develop the recognition of when others are doing things that are helpful and kind, and they point it out.”
As Years 4 - 6 Co-ordinator, Jane co-ordinates the curriculum, helps implement new ideas, facilitates the sharing of knowledge and plans and organises excursions.