Years 7 and 8 are a time for your daughter to expand her horizons and embrace new and exciting challenges. The Strathcona Middle School is the perfect supportive and inspiring backdrop for our students to begin to discover and grow into their future selves.
Based in our dedicated Middle School Centre in the Contemporary Learning Centre, Year 7 and 8 students are offered a broad range of challenging and rich learning opportunities across our academic, pastoral care and co-curricular programs. Our students develop positive attitudes, resilience and a strong sense of self, laying the foundations for future success.
Our SEED Program teaches Strathcona students to Seek, Engage, Enrich and Diversify their learning.
SEED has taken a number of forms but typically involves some lesson time in Terms 2 and 3 as well as a week long intensive at the end of the year. SEED involves the explicit teaching and application of the principles and structure of Guided Inquiry to help our students in increase their capacity as learners and explorers of ideas. This is a crucial skill in this age in which information is abundant but the challenge lies in knowing how to generate meaningful questions and locate, evaluate and synthesise available information in order to answer questions correctly. Students also learn that, while this process does lead to increased understanding, it also leads to further questions and awareness of the complexities involved in real life questions. The skills and thinking learnt in SEED transfer across the curriculum to support subject learning.
The Guided Inquiry model has the following structure:
Open: Wondering about new concepts, probing for current understanding and looking at possibilities and acknowledging initial responses.
Immerse: Building background knowledge, connecting with content, discovering further possibilities and recognising what isn’t known.
Explore: Exploring ideas, browsing and scanning for information.
Identify: Pondering, identifying inquiry direction and generating questions – both macro and micro.
Gather: Sorting, classifying and connecting information, identifying useful, relevant and missing informality, exploring deeply.
Create: Constructing, creating and communicating new understandings, integrating ideas, articulating ideas clearly.
Share: Communicating with a wider audience, considering the relevant language for the audience.
Evaluate: Reflecting on the process, learning and content, evaluating the task.
We include an additional stage Take Action to encourage students to take their new knowledge and ideas beyond the classroom.
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 transferable to other areas of learning and life.
These skills include:
Our Middle School teachers work to ensure students develop a positive self-image while discovering their unique learning profiles and who they are as individuals.
Because students learn best when programs cater for their individual needs and talents, our Middle School curriculum offers a diverse range of subjects, encouraging students to try new things and explore. Each subject encourages students to think critically and creatively, develop global awareness and work cooperatively, establishing 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.
In Years 7 and 8, core curriculum subjects taught by specialists include:
The Pastoral Care program concentrates on charting academic progress and helping each student:
Under the guidance of their Form Tutor, 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.