At St Peter Claver College we recognise that young adolescent learners have unique academic, pastoral and social needs as they make the transition from primary to secondary school.
This is why we put such a strong focus on Years 7, 8 and 9 as Middle Years as well as ensuring student motivation and engagement is positively influenced through pro-actively tailoring approaches to learning and teaching environments.
Middle Years plays a critical role in combatting student disengagement, alienation and boredom while simultaneously developing foundational skills in literacy, numeracy, critical and creative thinking, teamwork and collaboration, information and communication technology, as well as ethical and intercultural understanding.
Because of this, we have developed a Middle Years curriculum tailored to meet the needs of young adolescents and to help them build strong foundations for life-long learning. The Middle Years curriculum emphasises:
We provide accelerated programs in Middle Years Mathematics, English, Science and Humanities, allowing students to access extension programs designed to empower them to work faster and harder and at curriculum levels above their peers.
The Year 7 curriculum has been consciously designed with the transition to secondary schooling in mind. Students engage in a set fortnightly program and spend 12 of their 20 weekly lessons with two teachers who get to know them well and work together to meet students’ learning needs. Students are also introduced to specialist subjects.
Year 7s are assisted to feel at home in the College through Home Class activities; by remaining with their classmates for their core subjects (English, Mathematics, Humanities and Science); and with a purpose-built Year 7 area designed to help minimise movement around a large school setting and create a sense of security.
The settled atmosphere created in Year 7, combined with a Personal and Social Development Program, assists students to make friends, feel a sense or belonging and achieve personal bests in their learning.
The Year 8 curriculum is designed to enable students to work confidently as individuals and in groups. We see it as the stepping-stone between belonging to their core class group (as they did in Year 7) and also experiencing greater independence through their pursuit of their elective subjects. We also continue to promote security and belonging in Year 8 with a designated Middle Years area and keeping the same Home Class groups as in Year 7.
The Year 9 curriculum – and the last year of Middle Years – is designed with the theme of
Choice, Challenge and Competence in mind. Students select more of their subjects and are no longer placed in one core class; instead learning to work with different class groups and teachers in preparation for their transition to the Senior Years. This is also students’ third year in their Home Class groups as they will start to play minor leadership roles in the coming years in their pastoral groups.
Learning in the Middle Years establishes a vital pathway for lifelong learning and future success. Effective learning not only requires full engagement with learning at school, but it also requires some focused learning at home.
Our teaching staff work with students to set a variety of opportunities for learning at home in order to enhance subject understanding and establish good learning habits for the Senior Years and life-long learning. It also assists parents and carers in understanding what is being learnt and to assist in the effective learning partnership.
When set learning-at-home tasks are not completed, teachers discuss the consequences of not learning with the student. The College will communicate via our Claver Academic Tracker (CAT) email system when academic requirements are not being met, as well as when efforts are worth praising.
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Student motivation and engagement in the Middle Years is positively influenced through proactively tailoring approaches in learning and teaching environments.