Specialist Programme

Our specialist teachers bring a wealth of experience, developing strengths in individuals and encouraging high standards and depth of understanding.

Visual Arts

Through engaging in the visual arts, students learn how to discern, participate in, and celebrate their own and others’ visual worlds. Visual arts learning begins with children’s curiosity and delight in their senses and stories and extends to the communication of complex ideas and concepts.

In our visual arts education, students develop visual literacy and aesthetic awareness as they manipulate and transform visual, tactile, and spatial ideas to solve problems. They explore experiences, stories, abstract concepts, social issues and needs, both individually and collaboratively. Experimenting with materials, using processes and conventions to develop their visual inquiries and creating both static and timed-based art works are part of their art programme. Students view art works, bringing their own experiences, sharing their responses, and generating multiple interpretations.

The visual arts develop students’ conceptual thinking within a range of practices across drawing, sculpture, painting and printmaking.


Learning a language other than English means learning how to communicate in that language and having the opportunity to experience another culture. Students also learn the structure of the language which enables them to reflect on how their own language works.

Language students have the opportunity to:

•be active participants in the global village
• become better communicators
• expand their literacy skills
• develop intercultural understanding and empathy
• increase their cognitive flexibility, that is, think differently
• learn new languages and adapt to new cultures more easily, and broaden their vocational options.

Girls have weekly specialist Spanish lessons and continue their learning in the classroom between classes. Our Spanish curriculum is differentiated to suit beginners through to advanced language students. Lessons focus on gaining confidence through conversation as well as learning to read, write and spell. Spanish is chosen because, with over 480 million speakers, it is the second most common language in the world. It is a Latin based language which transfers easily to other languages such as French and Italian.


Music enables students to communicate in ways that go beyond their oral language abilities. Students are given opportunities to discover a broad range of music experiences including listening to a wide range of music, classifying and analysing sounds, composing, exploring body percussion, playing instruments, singing, harmonising, notating and reading music. In creating, students use their imagination and musical experiences to organise sounds natural and technological – into various forms that communicate specific ideas or moods. In responding, students are given the opportunity to respond to different styles of music, as well as to music from different times and cultures. In addition to our music programme, instrumental orchestras, ensembles and choirs provide specialised extension experiences.

Performing Arts

In dance, we transform, communicate, and interpret ideas, feelings, and experiences. Dance is a significant way of knowing, with a distinctive body of knowledge to be experienced, investigated, valued, and shared. Students become increasingly literate in dance as they explore dance forms, develop dance ideas, and articulate understandings about dance works in various contexts. Education in dance promotes personal and social well-being by developing students’ self-esteem, social interactions, and confidence in physical expression.

Drama enables us to understand ourselves, the people around us, and the world in which we live, enriching the lives of individuals and giving voice to communities. They investigate the forms, styles, and contexts of drama and recognise that it can affirm or challenge attitudes and values. They work collaboratively to develop ideas, to express feelings, to experiment with sound and action within a dramatic space, and to reflect on live and recorded drama. Students appreciate that drama, whether intended for audiences or not, provides significant opportunities for expressing cultural and personal identity.

“Our goal is to ensure that all the girls learn to be their best within a setting that encourages creativity”

“A range of opportunities enables our girls to develop their unique talents and strengths and follow their passion”

Physical Education

Physical Education promotes the development of personal, social and physical well-being. The programme develops skills across a range of physical disciplines including:

Individual pursuits– developing basic motor skills and movement through a range of athletic activities; recognising a high level of achievement and how to improve performance.

Adventure challenges – developing critical-thinking skills in individuals and/or groups.
Games – developing skills and strategies; recognising the importance of rules; modifying existing games and creating new games; teamwork.

Health-related fitness – recognising and appreciating the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and developing physical fitness. In 2023 and 2024 Selwyn House will partner with FMS Schools. FMS is a school-based programme that will assist teachers in evaluating students for movement efficiency and allow the creation of functional movement plans specific for each student.


Across the school from years 1 – 8, science forms an integral part of the IB PYP programme at Selwyn House School. With a specialist lead science programme in years 7 and 8 to ensure girls are well prepared for high school and beyond.

After school opportunities include small group, hands-on exploration, and instruction with a University Professor of Science.

In the middle school, we focus on developing the foundations of scientific knowledge practice and principles. This is accomplished by an in-depth classroom-based programme utilising the best of new interactive technologies.

Philosphy for Children

Philosophy for Children (P4C) is an international educational programme. All Selwyn House School teachers are trained in P4C as this is a school wide initiative. It taps children’s natural curiosity and sense of wonder and is dedicated to empowering them to make sense of themselves, and the world around them, through philosophical inquiry.

Educational Technology

At Selwyn House School, our educational technology programme enables us to ensure our students are developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to contribute to and thrive in the world beyond school. Computers, laptops and mobile devices are used to supplement teaching programmes along with enabling non-traditional learning environments. They inspire creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking, extending the students’ experiences beyond the classroom unlimited by barriers of time and distance.

Girls between the years 5 and 8 girls bring their own laptops. This promotes the concepts of self-motivation and organisation by giving the girls access to their own powerful learning tool which enables them to learn seamlessly between home and school. Selwyn House School helps foster the creation of personalised learning.

Future Problem Solving

FPS is a highly regarded and well-researched international educational program that develops creative, critical and caring thinking skills in students from Year 5 – Year 8.

Students grapple with global and community issues, identify underlying problems and create positive solutions to those issues. Above all, it aims to give young people the skills to design and promote positive futures as citizens of the 21st Century.