Our Vision Statement
- be challenged, be inspired, and work beyond basic expectations.
- strive for independence, be an individual, recognise our potential and take initiative.
- be safe, co-operate, show respect, be responsible and share the sense of belonging for all in our community.
- show depth of learning in all that we do: be rigorous, take pride, demonstrate our true ability, and aim for our best achievement.
- be creative, explore possibilities, explore different ways of thinking.
Our Middle Years approach is based upon research into the needs and specific developmental issues of students during early adolescence. This approach focuses upon learners and learning through an expert understanding of:
- the developmental pressures of adolescence (social, emotional, personal)
- adolescent brain development (varied means of thinking and learning)
- the implications of this research in relation to students in Years 7-9
At this age, young people need:
- a fun, safe environment
- a sense of identity and belonging
- opportunities to learn to apply themselves to a goal and to achieve
- understanding of the conflicts/paradoxes of this stage of life
- support and challenge in fulfilling their potential
- opportunities to make choices and decisions in their growth towards responsible independence
Therefore the strengths of a Middle Schooling approach:
- focusing on the student's needs and interests
- developing skills in independence, decision-making, problem-solving and resilience
- rewarding success and effort
- strengthening personal identity and developing relationships in the community
- engaging with the real world
- remaining engaged and ready for all that is to come...
Through our curriculum structures and practices, our pastoral care programs, and the opportunities to participate in a range of life experiences, you will appreciate the ethos of a successful independent Anglican school, both in relation to scholastic achievement as well as in preparing our students to become happy, engaged and fulfilled members of our broader community and their own futures.
From the exciting first day, to subjects, electives and camp, it is certainly a dynamic year in the lives of these young people as they move into Secondary School. For more information regarding Year 7 at St Andrew's, please contact our Enrolments Registrar, Ms Claire Azzopardi if you are a student new to St Andrew's. If you are an existing St Andrew's student and would like to hear more about Secondary School, please contact Mr Andrew Linthorne.
The First Day
Our Year 7’s first day is reserved just for them!
Our Secondary School is only open to Year 7’s for a whole day of Orientation prior to the start of school. The day begins with Year 12 Prefects greeting Year 7 students and assisting with the drop off of bags. A Welcome Assembly is then held in The Richard Gowty Centre for students, families and staff. Students are formally welcomed by crossing the stage after a handshake from their Head of House, receiving a House badge and signing our Orientation Day book.
By the time parents have morning tea and then depart, our Year 7’s have already started their day of familiarising themselves with the important daily routines including lockers, diaries, rooms, timetables etc. They meet their Head of House and Home Group teacher. There is even time to try out a few lessons. Time is provided for students to socialise so new faces become new friends.
After Orientation Day is complete at 3pm, Year 7’s have had their first glimpse of life in the Secondary School and are ready to start their first day of school with confidence. We value the first steps into Secondary schooling and want to ensure that each student has the best possible introduction to the College.
Bunya Mountains Transition Camp
During the early weeks of school, Year 7 students head off for three days on their ‘Rite of Passage’ camp in the Bunya Mountains. The camp is designed to encourage the creation of friendships and a sense of identity as Secondary School students.
The experiences includes:
- team games
- indigenous cultural experiences
- a camp-out
- a guided bush walk
- planning for their service project which focuses on koala and wildlife protection.
Student Well-being is all about being well. Throughout the year, students in Year 7 attend weekly student well-being lessons designed to gently introduce the more varied and complex elements of Secondary School.
The Student Well-Being teachers offer students guidance on this journey, looking at topics as varied as their own personal organisation, getting along with others, and developing effective habits. It is also a time to consolidate a child’s sense of self and to take a moment to reflect and discuss issues related to their own personal well-being.
The Year 7 Christian Education course is a non-assessed exploration of who Jesus is, what is the Bible, what it means to act from our values and prayer as part of a relationship with God. Grace and relationships are core to the Christian Education experience and students are invited to reflect, discuss, critically examine and respond to the material presented.
Future Problem Solving
At St Andrew’s the Future Problem Solving program is offered to all students in Year 7 and forms part of our Thinking Skills Program.
Future Problem Solving is an international educational program that focuses on the development of critical, creative and futuristic thinking skills. In particular, it centres on the skills of problem identification and positive solutions to those problems. Above all, it aims to give young people the skills to design and promote positive futures for the society in which they live.
In Year 7 Mathematics, students follow the Australian Curriculum. They use the Pearson Mathematics text which is available as both hard copy and as an online web book. They also have logins to ‘Mathletics’, an online resource that enables them to consolidate and practice any or all of the concepts they are taught throughout the year. Six periods each week are allocated to the teaching of Mathematics in Year Seven.
Where language and imagination ignite!
The English course provides opportunities for students to engage in a range of text types and genres as well as meaningful ICT integration in assessment tasks and learning activities.
- story writing
- a novel study
- persuasive speaking poetry
Many students are looking forward to the opportunity to compete in a story writing competition to culminate their ‘Terrific Tales’ unit. Students in English also enjoy a weekly library lesson in which they are guided towards literature suitable for their individual taste and reading ability.
Year 7 Science is about exploring the world around us through practical experiments. The Science Fair in Term 2 enables the students to work in groups and investigate a science topic of their choice.
Our program, whilst designed to follow the National Curriculum guidelines, also takes students beyond this and extends their thinking and creativity.
The Year 7 Humanities Course is designed to stimulate students' interest and enthusiasm for History, both Ancient and Modern, and Geography. Through a range of activities such as creating a virtual museum, exploring Noosa National Park and Sunshine Beach, presenting a weather report, and self-paced individual IT learning modules, we aim to introduce the students to skills they will continue to use and enjoy refining.
In Humanities we say to the students – “welcome to your world, please handle with care.”
Whether off to the market to buy or to sell, there is a plethora of business and legal knowledge to be gained from the business experience. Whether developing an understanding of what business is and how different businesses operate or what it means to be in a society that operates with rules and laws, Year 7 Commerce gives an introduction to the use of business language, a look at business principles, laws at home and around the world and a development of products for sale at our very own market day where students will engage with business ideas, financial management, product development, marketing and customer satisfaction
We are thrilled to be able to offer students two languages in Year 7. Students study on a semester basis swapping midyear.
Chinese and Spanish are two of the most widely spoken languages per head of population in the world next to English. We begin each course as introductory including the Chinese as a refresher of basics in Mandarin. This acts as a revision for students with a background who are transitioning through from St Andrew’s Primary and an introduction to new students.
We build on language comprehension through the four macro skills: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Once the basics have been established we then progress to learning word lists and simple practical sentence structures to use in role plays. We teach using a gesture based approach (AIM) and an online membership (education perfect).
Year 7 Drama at St Andrew’s provides students with a vast range of acting, creating and directing opportunities to begin exploring the unique world of live theatre.
Students begin to understand and appreciate the elements of drama to create dramatic meaning and engage in audience appreciation and confidence onstage. Students study One Act Plays and Stimulus Performances, building their confidence amongst their peers, performing and improvising in a range of theatre spaces indoors and outdoors, as well as understanding staging dynamics and the logistics of lighting and backstage concepts. Students build an understanding of the power of characterisation, roles and relationships, as well as tension as developed through performances.
The activities and experiences encourage students to build their own identity and discover through the safety of The Studio environment, an appreciation of the world in which we live through the power of live theatre.
In Year 7 Music, students build on their musical knowledge and experiences gained from Primary school and from formal and informal out-of-school experiences.
Our curriculum focuses on practical experience with music as a means to understand and apply its theoretical components. Students individually learn the guitar or keyboard exclusively in the first term, and then put this into practice over the course of the year in a variety of mediums and in a range of styles. Our program is built on a research project conducted at the College in 2011, from the UK-based Musical Futures program (of which the College was secondary pilot school), and also draws from our own students' feedback and reflections.
Health and Physical Education
Health and Physical Education teaches students how to enhance their own and others health, wellbeing and physical participation.
Sport is a powerful medium for learning through which students can acquire, practice and refine personal, interpersonal, behavioural, social and cognitive skills. Through participation in various sports, including athletics, cross-country, tennis, basketball, softball and volleyball; students acquire movement skills, concepts and strategies as well as develop personal and social skills such as resilience, self-awareness, problem solving, communication and cooperation, that contribute to well-being. Through participation students learn the benefits of being fit, active and healthy and the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle.
The Year 7 Food Technology course is designed to give students a hands on experience with food and developing food products. The main aim is to continue the healthy eating message by providing students with opportunities to prepare and make a wide variety of foodstuffs. Activities build upon their skills and techniques in the kitchen and reinforce the need to work safely and hygienically.
As Food Technologists students learn about the Food Industry and consider techniques used by the industry to develop or extend a product range.
The students will use project based learning to cover the following focal areas: students will work on traditional hand skills, workshop safety and understanding the Design process. Their projects focus on using the materials plastics and timber. By the end of the unit of work they will have designed and constructed a Key Chain and Pen holder.
During the year students will have the opportunity to get involved in fundraising and creating awareness for the Year 7 Wildlife Project. This is an initiative started by past Year 7’s and has become a legacy that we now embrace as a cohort. The students endeavour throughout the year to create awareness of local struggling wildlife and fundraise for local non-for-profit wildlife agencies. This provides opportunities for students to develop various aspects of citizenship and leadership throughout the year.
Year 7 Camp Week - Girraween
Year 7 travels to the spectacular granite outcrops of Girraween National Park to play and explore the many caves, tunnels, unique rock formations and spectacular views. Throughout the week there will be a major focus on embracing a Growth Mindset to overcome personal challenges and working and living in cooperative groups.
Learning in the Middle Years provides the connection between Primary and Secondary schooling and helps children to navigate their way through early adolescence. At St Andrew’s we focus on the developmental needs of students alongside the need for strong skill acquisition and academic outcomes. Our Learning Framework, Learning in Action, provides the basis upon which our practices are built. Click here for more information on Learning in Action.
In order to action the central pillars of the Learning in Action Framework, the Middles Years Program focuses on:
- Instilling confidence in the student as a pathway towards being a lifelong learner.
- Developing individual organisational skills and increasing independence.
- Building their critical and creative thinking skills, numeracy and literacy in readiness for the senior phase of schooling.
1. Instilling confidence in the student as a pathway towards being a lifelong learner.
Students will learn most effectively when they are happy, healthy, confident to learn about themselves and the world, and have strong, positive relationships. At St Andrew’s we provide the environment and programs which support students’ growth in these areas.
How is this achieved at St Andrew’s?
- Learning is relational and collaborative.
- Learning recognises developmental needs: recognition of effort, affirmation of character and learning strengths, evolving self-identity and sense of belonging.
- Learning is scaffolded so that students can successfully navigate the demands of learning in Secondary.
- Students are given meaningful feedback on learning through:
- A range of informal conversations and activities in class
- Written or spoken feedback through Canvas (our Learning Management System)
- Each teacher will give feedback to students about their learning habits and dispositions through discussion of the Learning Profile (see Figure 1 below). This will be recorded in Canvas twice a year for both students and parents to view.
- Our Director of Student Learning, Mrs Sue Bambling, closely monitors student data to support teachers address the learning needs of students and differentiated classroom teaching and learning.
- Our Learning Leader for Year 7 (Ms Kerrie Johnstone) and Year 8 (Mr Grant Christesen) support teachers in implementing the Learning Framework (Learning in Action).
2. Developing individual organisational skills and increasing independence.
How is this achieved at St Andrew’s?
- The Dean of Students (Year 7-9) and the Learning Leaders for Year 7 and 8, focus in Term 1 on supporting students to adjust to the organisational demands and independent learning in Secondary School: new timetables, teachers, subjects, friends, culture and lockers! By focusing on these important skills in the first term, we are allowing students time to develop foundational learning habits.
- The learning of organisational and independent learning skills is programmed. Students will have opportunity to learn these skills as part of Innovation in Enterprise, a new course running in 2018, and other subjects using the Project Based Learning design process.
- Student learning is supported through Canvas, our Learning Management System.
- In Term 1 of Year 7, no grades are awarded for student work in year-long courses. In semester-long subjects, no grades are awarded in the first term of the course. Instead, students learn how to improve their work samples by focusing on the quality of their response, through their growth in understanding of assessment criteria. Students will learn how to apply this criteria to their own work.
- Homework is part of our learning culture at St Andrew’s. The self-discipline, study skills and routines enabled by homework are to equip students to become life-long learners, in an age when ongoing career development and change will be the norm, and where adaptability and resilience will be essential. Adolescents and young adults need to learn to give the extra effort, outside school hours, to consolidate learning.
3. Building their critical and creative thinking skills, numeracy and literacy in readiness for the senior phase of schooling.
How is this achieved at St Andrew’s?
- Creative and Critical Thinking Skills (cognitions) are taught and students will be given opportunity to practise using these skills across subjects.
- Teaching key vocabulary and concepts is explicit in classrooms. Students learn to understand and use language for purposeful learning and communicating.
- Reading is encouraged and supported through weekly reading lessons in the Library. Reading fiction is also encouraged as part of Home study.
- Learning processes and habits are supported through the Digital Library.
- Assessment practices in Year 7-8 not only assess subject content but also literacy, thinking skills and organisational skills. Each of the four core subjects build skills in a variety of assessment approaches.
- a Project Based Learning (PBL) module
- an assessment task completed within time constraints, such as a test
- assessment which requires recall and application of learned subject content
- assessment which requires an extended written response
- theoretical and experiential learning (understanding and application)
- learning which focuses on the process of learning, not just the product
Figure 1: Student Learning Profile:
Year 9 at St Andrew's is an exciting year purposefully designed to cover the themes of Academic, Community/Service, Adventure, Independence, Environment/Culture and Enjoyment. From the outside, Year 9 at St Andrew's appears to be similar to Year 9 courses at other schools. The students attend four lessons each of Mathematics, Science, Humanities and English with their respective core subject teachers. Students also are timetabled into a number of Connected Learning Time (CLT) lessons where students plan their time to access teacher help and work on these core subjects.
Each student is allocated a teacher mentor who routinely 'checks-in' with their students to ensure progress is monitored and focus maintained. Students also participate in lessons of HPE, House lesson, Sport, Chapel, Student Well-being, Assembly and choose three elective lessons each semester. They undertake assessments along the same lines as the year levels above and below them. However, there is a lot more to a Year 9 education at St Andrew's during this time of adolescent growth. The College attempts to connect these young people to a world in which they feel they belong.
The innovative Year 9 Connections Program has all students attending week-long Urban Bound trips to Melbourne and Brisbane, as well as an Indigenous program on Stradbroke Island. The terms are divided and this helps students to maintain their focus for the whole year.
A balanced approach
At St Andrew’s we offer a well-rounded and balanced educational experience for the students in the Middle Years. It is built on the learning needs of students in early adolescence and the study skills and knowledge required for success in senior schooling. English, Mathematics, Science and Humanities remain the core subjects. In addition, students learn how to be creative and critical thinkers and are given opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skills.
What does learning in the Middle Years look like at St Andrew's?