Our School - Middle Years

Middle School Philosophy at Para Vista Preschool- 7                

 

‘THE SUITE’ 

  The Middle Years Suite caters for the specialised needs of students aged 11 to 13 years, in Years 6 and 7 at Para Vista Preschool-7.  We have an area which is used exclusively by Middle Years students, a staff dedicated to working with Middle Years students and a structure which is autonomous and flexible to suit the needs of young adolescent learners. Our aim is to enrich and extend learning outcomes for young people through challenge, rigour and fun.The learning program develops independence and confidence through engagement, real world experiences, explicit teaching, scaffolded learning, rich learning experiences and through valuing the individual.    

The following features characterise the Para Vista Middle Years learning program:

• Provide a safe secure learning environment where the expectations for behaviour and learning are consistent throughout the suite.

• A focus on building relationships between students and teachers. The creating of a learning environment in which a learner feels acknowledged and secure in combination with experiencing care and high expectations will have a positive impact on learning.

 

• Cross-curricular, interdisciplinary &integrated learning approaches.  

   

• Inquiry-based learning.  This will support students to connect what is learnt in one subject with learning in another.

   

• Automation and mastery of processes and skills that require rehearsal and consolidation.

    

• Authentic tasks - Learning in a meaningful way integrates experiences, emotions, imagination, information and application.

  

• Open communication between all stakeholders.

   

• Student voice and reflection are built into learning activities.

   

• The learning program includes opportunities for negotiated learning experiences. 

   

• Differentiation for extension and support to cater for Wave 1, 2 and 3 students.

    

• Academic challenge.  Student learning is increasingly built around student’s interests and real problems so that learning is contextual. By utilising higher order thinking skills the teachers will aim to elicit deeper understanding about topics and issues.  There will increasingly be a focus on teaching thinking and problem solving skills.

  

• Authentic assessment incorporating real life contexts and contemporary approaches. This is assessment that demonstrates and celebrates what has been learned.  It can involve the demonstration of the relevance and power of the learning in real life situations.   The students will take part in the development of assessment tasks and in  the assessment process  eg self / peer assessment.to develop greater ownership of the learning by the learner which heightens intrinsic motivation.

 

• Using ICT to enhance learning. Students develop ICT capability as they learn to use ICT effectively and appropriately to access, create and communicate information and ideas, solve problems and work collaboratively in all learning areas at school,

 

Curriculum Design 

The development of competence in Literacy and Numeracy underpins all learning. Curriculum design is strengthened by the belief that the learner is at the centre of all that occurs in classrooms. Literacy and Numeracy are core curriculum areas with students engaging in a minimum of 300 minutes of each area per week. Middle School students build on basic concepts and develop an ability to explore abstract notions of number representation and calculation. A key component of the program will be developing problem solving strategies. Planning will be around the 3 Australian Curriculum Strands of Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability. Having a safe environment and confidence in their ability to use and decode language accurately and articulately enriches opportunities for students to express themselves creatively.  The teaching team collaboratively plan the curriculum to ensure all of the students are engaged in the same learning outcomes. Teachers will specialise in some topics / curriculum areas to teach all classes the same unit of work. This requires students and / or teachers to move to different learning areas quite often.  The teaching area is chosen that suites the task. There will also lessons that will utilize a team teaching approach.