Posted on: Thursday 22 November 2018
Posted in: Middle School
It has been a very busy year for the Middle School and it seems that all of a sudden, we are in a position where next week will signal the final week of the academic year. As we cast our minds back over the year l am sure there are special memories for everyone. But this time of year can also leave the girls with a mix of emotions: joy as they look forward to the future, sadness as we say goodbye to some, and nervousness about what may lie ahead.
Change is a part of life and last Thursday we welcomed the incoming 2019 Year 7s for Transition Day. It was wonderful to see so many enthusiastic students in attendance; some were obviously excited while others were a little anxious about the move to Middle School. The day provided them with an opportunity to spend some time around the Middle School campus, meet staff and build connections with many of our incoming students, as well as having a taste of some of the new subjects they will undertake. As the youngest members of the Middle School, the current Year 7s volunteered to assist with the Transition program, offering their own recent experiences and memories of their journey. The girls were invaluable mentors, sharing key messages and insights. As Year 7 is one of our biggest intake years, there is a real focus on making sure that the new girls feel comfortable about the new phase of their learning journey. This helps to prepare them and ensures that there are some familiar faces when they join us next year.
Inspired by the idea of service, a large number of our Year 8 cohort nominated for leadership positions for next year. Building upon the Character and Leadership Development program, further training was offered through a targeted Year 8 Leadership Day. The day was facilitated by YLead and aimed to grow and nurture the students’ leadership skills, drawing out the potential in all of them. Students were asked to identify their strengths, their core values and how they stand up for what they believe in through a range of active and reflective challenges. The experience also focused on building strong relationships within the cohort and explored positive group behaviour.
Year 9 are also approaching a time of change as they prepare for their transition to Senior School. The Connection Breakfast, on Tuesday 27 November, acknowledges and celebrates the completion of the Year 9 journey through the Middle School. All girls are expected to attend this special event and delight in having their parents accompany them. It is essential for parents to indicate, through Parent Lounge, if they are attending for the purpose of catering and seating.
The class placement policy in the Middle School demands that classes reflect a diversity of skills and abilities. Placement of students in the 2019 classes will be made considering the following, where relevant, for both the student and the cohort: learning needs, academics, pastoral requirements, cohort dynamics, the mix of current and new students (including boarders and day girls) and selection for the Honours class. Many staff contribute to the final lists, as it is necessary to ensure that all matters are considered. Should any parent have a valid educational reason that could impact on their daughter’s class placement, they should address their concerns in writing to the Head of Middle School by no later than Friday 30 November. Please be mindful that past requests in relation to class placement will not be taken into consideration and if still relevant, need to be voiced again.
As the school year draws to a close, it is an ideal opportunity to say a very sincere thank you for your support throughout 2018. Staff in the Middle School have enjoyed the privilege of working with our community and we look forward to further strengthening these relationships next year. I wish you all a safe and restful holiday break and a peaceful and joyous Christmas.
Head of Middle School