At St Peter Claver College we recognise that young adolescent learners have particular academic, pastoral and social needs as they make their transition from Primary to Secondary Education. Our aim is to ensure that the passage is made easier for students and to help them overcome the emotional, social, intellectual and physical challenges by reducing apprehension and increasing students sense of belonging.
The underlying philosophy revolves around the seamless transition from primary to secondary schooling leading to more effective student learning, positive experiences in adolescence and a desire and capacity for lifelong learning.
St Peter Claver College’s Middle Years curriculum encourages the following identified successful teaching strategies for young adolescent learners:
Emphasis on a strong teacher-student relationship.
Parental and community involvement.
Integrated and multi-disciplinary curricula that are negotiated, relevant and challenging.
Use of higher order thinking strategies.
Co-operative learning and collaborative teaching.
Authentic and reflective assessment with high expectations.
Explicit teaching strategies.
Distinct Middle Years Identity
We have established the Middle Years as a distinct area of schooling in which we have a shared vision of Middle Years principles and practices.
A purpose built Year 7 area and designated Year 8 area. These assist to minimise movement around a large school setting and create a sense of belonging and familiarity in a safe and secure learning environment.
Pastoral Care. We recognise the importance of the Middle Years of schooling and pastoral groups are a vertical system in the College. This allows for relationships across year levels and provides opportunities for older students to mentor younger students.
Students remain with their Home Class and Home Class teacher for the three year period.
Supportive relationships between: student-student, teacher-student, teacher-teacher, and school-home.
In Year 7 and Year 8 the same student groups are kept together for core classes (i.e. English, Religious Education, History, Geography, Mathematics and Science) which helps to develop peer friendships and assists in decreasing student anxiety when students are continually regrouped for different subjects.
To support transition into Secondary schooling the Year 7’s are grouped into two core areas in which students will largely interact with two broadly specialised teachers who will know students well and connect their learning. This also assists with managing behaviour, as students are already familiar with the teacher and the classroom expectations.
During the students first year at St Peter Claver College, a set transition program is designed to introduce them to secondary schooling. Students are assisted in feeling at home in the College through Home Class activities, as well as by remaining with the same classmates for their core subjects (English, Humanities, Mathematics and Science). There are separate groupings for Health & Physical Education, Arts and Technology. This settled atmosphere, combined with a Personal and Social Development Program, assists students to make friends, feel a sense of belonging and achieve personal bests in their learning.
Students engage with a set fortnightly program that includes English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education, History/Geography, Literacy and Health & Physical Education. Students also have the opportunity for semester rotational taster subjects including Drama, Design and Technologies (Food), Design and Technologies, Digital Technologies, Japanese, Visual Art and either Dance or Music. A core Literacy and Numeracy Program also operates as part of the essential learning for students. This starts at Year 7 and develops through to the end of Year 8.
The Year 8 curriculum is designed to enable students to work confidently as individuals and in groups. It is a stepping stone between belonging to a core group and also experiencing greater independence. As well as studying the core curriculum in English, Mathematics, History, Science and Religious Education, students have a variety of elective subjects including Health & Physical Education, Dance, Drama, Design and Technologies (Fashion), Design and Technologies (Food), Design and Technologies (Wood), Digital Technologies, Geography, Japanese, Media, Music and Visual Art.
The Year 9 Curriculum is designed to enable students to work confidently as individuals and in groups at levels that encourage continuous improvement. The emphasis in this final part of their Middle Years journey is on Choice, Challenge and Competence. As well as studying a core curriculum in English, Mathematics, History, Science and Religious Education, students have a variety of elective subjects including Business, Dance, Drama, Design and Technologies (Fashion), Design and Technologies (Food), Design and Technologies (Wood), Design and Technologies (Metal), Design and Technologies (Graphics), Digital Technologies, Geography, Japanese, Media, Music, Visual Art and Health & Physical Education speciality units – Basketball Development, Dance Development, Football/Fustal Development, Life Sports, Netball Development, Rugby League Development.
Learning in the Middle Years is a vital pathway for lifelong learning and future success. Effective learning requires full engagement with learning at school as well as some focused home learning.
Teachers work with students to set a variety of opportunities for home learning.
Home learning enhances learning, provides good habits for Senior years and lifelong learning. It also assists parents to understand what their child is learning and to assist in an effective learning partnership.
When set home learning tasks are not completed, teachers discuss the consequences of not learning with the student. If this bad habit becomes repetitive, Heads of the respective Departments and parents are informed so they may collaborate in a plan to address the issue.