Middle School caters for the students in the period of pre and early adolescence – those students in Stages 3, 4 and early Stage 5 of their education.
Significant changes are experienced by emerging adolescents during this period of their lives: physically, emotionally, intellectually and socially. These changes bring about specific needs such as:
- Becoming aware of increased physical changes
- Learning new social/sex roles/stereotypes
- Developing friendships with others
- Being more influenced by peers
- Gaining a sense of independence
- Developing a sense of morality and values
- Taking an interest in current / world events and issues
- Challenging their learning environment and wanting more control over what and how they learn.
Transition between Primary and Secondary School
Middle school education has many advantages for students in early adolescence. It is particularly focused on facilitating the often difficult process of transition between Primary and Secondary school and between childhood and adolescence.
Continuum of Learning
Students benefit from an environment that maintains the intimacy and sense of belonging characteristic of primary school. At the same time they should be offered the learning and growth opportunities, diversity and challenge which they keenly anticipate in a secondary school.
The continuum of learning from primary school to secondary school should remain uninterrupted, and students’ readiness for new challenges should be recognised and fostered through rich learning tasks. This is the time of curiosity, questioning and the development of new thinking skills.
Given the characteristics of students in this stage, students require opportunities for:
- Problem solving and creative and critical thinking
- Involvement in decision making about some of their areas of learning; consultation and choice
- Experience of both collaborative team work and independent pursuit of ideas and learning
- Variety in teaching and learning strategies
- Interaction and activity, curriculum relevance
- Role models and meaningful interactions with adults
The Middle School model provides opportunities for all of the above to occur. The secure environment that it provides for students allows them to explore and develop their potential to grow and learn.
In action, we see this through our curriculum and organisation decision making processes and a whole school commitment to the Middle School Philosophy.
Our integrated Biosciences, Technology and Careers electives, class team teachers and home rooms reflect this approach and results in a program that is challenging and student-centred in a supportive learning environment.