Years 7 and 8 students are based in a dedicated Middle School Centre on the first floor of the Contemporary Learning Centre – our new building which opened to students in Term 2, 2015. The area offers a variety of spaces to support a range of learning activity, from classrooms and small breakout areas to a large, central learning common.
To ensure a smooth and confident transition to secondary school, the Middle School at Strathcona offers a broad academic program, supportive pastoral care and wide range of co-curricular opportunities. Challenge and rich learning experiences, developing positive attitudes, resilience and a strong sense of self are the hallmarks of this important stage in your daughter’s educational journey, laying the foundations for future success.
Years 7 – 9 Curriculum Handbook
Find out more about the courses students study and the resources available to assist them as they develop into resilient, mindful and confident young women, engaging fully and responsibly in the society they live.
Disciplinary & Interdisciplinary Learning
The transition to Middle School involves increased specialisation in select subject areas with expert guidance from specialist teachers. However, rarely in life are skills and knowledge neatly packaged into single fields, so our curriculum ensures students learn many skills that are transferrable to other areas of learning and life.
In Middle School, interdisciplinary learning takes several forms. Certain subjects join together on a particular project to enhance and expand learning. For example:
- A project to create ‘edible rocks’ brings together Science and Food Technology to make geology fun and tasty.
- The topic of Statistics is explored through Physical Education and Mathematics.
The general curriculum provides integrated learning of skills such as:
- visual literacy
- information and communications technology (ICT) skills.
The abilities to find, manage and evaluate relevant information are essential 21st century skills, which is why they are taught throughout the curriculum. Today, technology is an integral part of daily life so a key challenge for young people is to learn how to apply ICT skills safely and responsibly.
Through our SEED Program, Strathcona students Seek, Engage, Enrich and Diversify their learning.
Choice is an important motivator for adolescents. It is equally important for them to make connections with their changing world. The SEED Program currently runs once a week for six weeks of each term. Students choose from a range of options then spend one or two terms exploring the topic through cooperative groups. Essential to the program is explicit teaching of:
- information and communication technology (ICT) skills
- information literacy skills and
- thinking skills.
Students have the option of presenting their work in a number of ways. SEED offers the possibility of students from Years 7 and 8 to work in combined groups where appropriate.
At Strathcona, the major disciplines retain a central role in the curriculum. In Years 7 and 8, distinct subjects taught by specialists include:
- Languages (French, Italian and Mandarin Chinese)
- Physical Education
- Christian Education
- Health and Wellbeing
- Food Technology
In an educational climate where there is a concern that standardised testing in literacy and numeracy may narrow the curriculum, we understand the importance of scope. The best way for all students to attain these foundational skills is through a well-rounded education that offers plenty of opportunity for student engagement.
Learning for life and learning as life
Rather than purely focusing on test results, the approach of Middle School ensures students develop a positive self-image while discovering their unique learning profiles and who they are as individuals.
Students learn best when programs cater for their individual needs and talents. The Middle School curriculum offers a diverse range of subjects. The strategies in each subject encourage students to think critically and creatively, to develop global awareness and to work cooperatively to establish the skills needed for lifelong learning.
The opportunity for students to specialise in particular areas is offered towards the end of the Middle School program. This ensures every student benefits from the broad curriculum before they choose to study individual elective units.
English, Mathematics and Science
Underpinning all studies are the core areas of English, Mathematics and Science. We see the skills of literacy, numeracy and scientific literacy as essential for full participation in our society. We offer an outstanding program in which further studies in all subjects are developed.
Core subjects ensuring the development of personal skills and knowledge include:
- Life Skills
- Christian Education
- Physical Education
- Food Technology
History & Geography
History and Geography help to develop a global appreciation of people and places as well as an understanding of the development of cultures, including our own.
The language program offers girls the opportunity to acquire the skills of communicating with others and learning how languages are constructed, as well as appreciating cultural diversity. Languages from which girls may choose include:
- Mandarin Chinese
Visual & Performing Arts
The Visual and Performing Arts subjects engage the students and provide them with skills required for senior study as well as inter-house and inter-school competitions. These include:
- Art (ceramics, design, digital imaging, textiles, painting and drawing)
What is Pastoral Care?
The Pastoral Care program concentrates on charting academic progress and helping each student:
- find her social place
- establish well-balanced personal relationships
- affirm her personal identity
- build assurance.
Each class has two Form Tutors who teach the girls in at least one subject and play a vital role in developing and monitoring students’ individual learning plans.
Form Tutors oversee the Health and Wellbeing Program, which covers topics such as:
- personal development
Under the guidance of their Form Tutors, students are encouraged to try out new activities in the extensive co-curricular offerings. This personal attention is part of the wider pastoral care network at Strathcona.
Form Tutors work closely with:
- Year Coordinators
- the Dean of Students
- the School Psychologist
- the Deputy Principal.
Fundraising activities and community service help students learn how they can make a valuable contribution to the School as well as local and global communities.
All girls are supported in developing significant social values, including:
- respect for self
- caring for others
Strathcona has a total commitment to girls’ education and is a member of the Alliance of Girls’ Schools of Australasia.
Our current information age means that students must be skilled in locating, accessing, evaluating and processing information.
Strathcona Information Resource Centre
A structure and sequence of information skills ensures that students are well trained in the research process. Strathcona Information Resource Centre (SIRC) orientation programs teach the girls to search the catalogue to find appropriate materials in a variety of formats, from books to audio visual material to electronic data.
Research projects ensure that students practise:
- note taking skills
- evaluating the suitability of resources
- searching the internet
- searching online databases.
Assignments are constructed to encourage the development of higher order thinking skills – such as analysis, evaluation and synthesis – as well as producing outcomes that utilise the multiple intelligences.