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Middle school

Seven Hills State School Years 3 to 7 philosophy

At Seven Hills State School we believe that our Year 3 to 7 students are at a critical stage in life and in learning, therefore it becomes imperative to foster their developing intellectual, social, emotional and physical skills with a middle schooling philosophy. By believing that all students can learn when given the opportunity and by providing a caring and secure middle schooling environment we encourage all students to experience challenges and successes.

What is Middle Schooling at Seven Hills State School?

Middle schooling is a set of principles about teaching, learning and curriculum for students in Years 3 to 7. These principles are designed to be flexible in order to cater for the developmental needs of our students. A major focus of these principles is to improve the engagement and attitudes of students towards their learning and to school as a whole. Middle schooling philosophy promotes improvement in curriculum, pedagogy, pastoral care and school organisation.

Values and beliefs

The middle schooling teachers at Seven Hills State School believe the following are essential when responding to the needs of students in the middle school:

  • Developing student’s intellectual capacities.
  • Differentiating Iistruction to meet students’ diverse learning styles.
  • Shaping the curriculum to meet the needs of students.
  • Developing students’ leadership and voice.
  • Creating a safe learning environment.
  • Engaging students in the community.

In association with these key components Seven Hills State School also believe:

  • That middle schooling teachers are highly motivated and value working with students.
  • All adults involved in middle schooling at Seven Hills State School are advocates, advisors and mentors to students.
  • That middle schooling teachers have the skills to work collaboratively to enhance student learning.
  • That the acknowledgment of effort leads to increased; engagement in tasks, confidence and a more positive approach to challenges.
  • That success will be different for each student.
  • That learning is best achieved when students construct their own knowledge.

Developing student’s intellectual capacities.

We believe that teaching and learning should be worthwhile, engaging and challenging for all students. It must cater for the diversity of individual learning needs by offering curriculum flexibility and allowing students to be actively involved in the planning process.

Seven Hills State School Middle School teachers believe:

  • Teaching students about their own learning process (meta-cognition) is critical to developing the skills and attitudes of effective thinking.
  • Students need to develop the skills and attitudes of effective thinking through explicit instruction and practice.
  • Teachers should focus on delivering complex, meaningful problems and embed basic skills within interesting and challenging content.
  • Students develop and use advanced thinking skills when they work with material that is familiar and meaningful to them.
  • Students should be taught to be self-reflective, identify their mistakes, and find ways to correct them, think creatively, and use thinking strategies to solve problems.

Differentiating instruction to meet students’ diverse learning styles

Seven Hills State School Middle School teachers believe:

  • Students learn best when teachers recognise the intelligences in their students and find ways to further develop and support all intelligences through specific classroom strategies and materials.
  • Varied learning and assessment activities; learning environments and flexible groupings of students help address a range of learning styles.
  • That providing opportunities for student differentiation in their curriculum activities empowers them to take ownership of their learning. 

Shaping the curriculum to meet the needs of students

We believe that it is imperative to supply a relevant and challenging curriculum which is seen to be functional and important within their evolving view of society.

Teaching and learning that is worthwhile, engaging and challenging for all students and that caters for the diversity of individual learning needs will create a learning environment with perceived social worth to our students.

Seven Hills State School Middle School teachers believe:

  • In order to meet the needs of the students, a middle school curriculum needs to challenge them intellectually, make connections across Key Learning Areas (KLA) and reflect the needs and interests of students.
  • The curriculum should provide students with opportunities to develop their communication skills, work collaboratively with others, and apply their emerging problem-solving and decision-making skills.

Developing students’ leadership and voice

We believe that as students develop from spectator to participants within the wider community it is important to provide them with opportunities to contribute, where possible, to issues of importance that are suitable to their cognitive level.

Seven Hills State School Middle School teachers believe:

  • When teaching and learning is visible to students they become more aware of themselves as learners.
  • By asking them to take on some of the responsibility for their own learning shows students that we respect their ability to do so and expect them to develop self-awareness as learners.
  • Increasing student voice in school matters provides students with a strong sense of ownership of their school and education.
  • As active participants in school wide decision making, students become invested in helping to create a healthy school climate that encourages learning for all.

Creating a safe learning environment

Seven Hills State School Middle School teachers believe:

  • Laying a foundation of respect, trust, inclusion, and communication is essential for students to learn effectively.
  • Young adolescents are excited about being with their friends, about meeting new people, about being liked by adults, and about doing real life things that matter.
  • Establishing classroom protocol at the beginning of the year, within both whole class and smaller cooperative groups can be an empowering way to include students in creating a classroom environment in which they feel safe to take risks and to challenge themselves and each other.

Engaging students in the community

We believe that by offering links to the wider community students will have a desire to have a positive impact on their community. Intellectually, students need opportunities to reason through complex problems. Morally, students need to contribute to building a just society. Emotionally and socially, they need opportunities to make decisions and to be held accountable in real ways.

Seven Hills State School Middle School teachers believe:

  • That student should be provided with opportunities to reason through complex problems and be held accountable in real ways for their decisions.
  • That it is essential to incorporate parents within the school curricula and extra-curricular activities.
  • By offering students the opportunity to engage and respond to community issues they will have a clear understanding of how their actions can both impact on and be influenced by the community around them.