In the middle years students begin to think more about the larger world beyond home and school. They begin to think abstractly about important ideas and start to investigate the world around them. At this stage there is a shift in their intellectual abilities, as they move from the concrete mode of thought to a more abstract level of thinking. The Middle School seeks to respond to students’ needs to grow and change, to become independent and develop into active and reflective participants in society.
The Middle School curriculum aims to engage students in learning that is rigorous, active, social, flexible and meaningful. Research shows that girls’ learning is enhanced through activities that encourage cooperative learning through the discussion of problems and by working together to find a solution. The Middle School curriculum supports creativity by means of hands-on learning experiences that engage students actively and thoughtfully in the learning process.
The Middle School curriculum is student-centred and designed so that students are guided in making connections and seeing the relationships between subject areas, and applying the knowledge beyond the classroom. Independence and responsibility are emphasised as students learn to use a wide variety of technologies to enhance the acquisition, analysis, communication and presentation of information. This approach allows students to develop and reinforce learning skills in decision-making, critical thinking, problem-solving and information processing across all learning areas. Teachers emphasise active learning, using a student-centred approach and a variety of assessment techniques.
The Heads of Faculty work in conjunction with the Head of Curriculum to develop and refine the curriculum regularly to ensure that programs are contemporary and supported by research on girls’ learning.
The curriculum for Years 7 and 8 is broad-based, requiring students to cover each of the Learning Areas. Students study English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education, Humanities, the Arts, Technology, Health and Physical Education and Languages with both core and specialist teachers.
All students study the same core subjects (except a language) with their class:
Young adolescents are strongly driven by the need for interpersonal involvement. Social interaction with our brother school, The Southport School, enhances communication and builds community connections. Years 7 and 8 are involved in activity afternoons which provide avenues for the girls to interact with the boys from TSS in a social context, strengthening the connections between the two schools.