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.
SPCC’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
Cooperative 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
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 vertical tranghant 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 8 the same student groups are kept together for core classes (i.e. English, RE, History, Geography, Math and Science) which helps to develop peer friendships and assists in decreasing student anxiety when students are continually regrouped for different subjects.
The biggest part of the Middle Years curriculum in Years 7 and 8 is grouped into two core areas in which students will largely interact with two broadly specialist teachers who will know students well and connect their learning. This also assists with managing behavior, 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, Maths and Science). There are separate groupings HPE, 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, RE, History/Geography, Literacy and HPE. Students also have the opportunity for Term rotational taster subjects including Visual Arts, Japanese, Drama, Food/Fashion/Digital/Industrial Technology and either Music or Dance. A core literacy program also operates as part of the essential learnings of 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 a core curriculum in English, Mathematics, History, Science and Religious Education, students have a variety of elective subjects including HPE, Dance, Drama, Music, Visual Art, Japanese, and Industrial/Food/Fashion/Digital Technology.
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 Visual Arts, Japanese, Drama, Food/Fashion/Digital/Industrial Technology, and Health & Physical Education specialty units – Dance, Rugby League, Soccer/Futsal, Netball and Life Sports
Learning at Home
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 learning at home.
Teachers work with students to set a variety of opportunities for learning at home.
Learning at home 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 learning at home tasks are not completed, teachers discuss the consequences of not learning with the student. If this bad habit becomes repetitive, Academic Middle Leaders and parents are informed so they may collaborate in a plan to address the issue.