Middle School: Grade 5 – Year 9
Phoenix is at the forefront in developing teaching and learning strategies for students in these crucial years. Utilising significant research, the College is committed to “essential outcomes” for students by the completion of Year 9.
These “essential outcomes” relate to levels of performance in literacy, numeracy, information communication technology skills, enrichment, social competencies and leadership skills. Students in the Middle School access a rich curriculum which addresses their individual learning needs, from those who enjoy a challenge to those who need additional learning access.
From Grade 5, students relocate across the road to the Middle School on the Sebastopol Campus. This is a big step up for these young students, so we ensure that they are still provided the right environment, supporting them to take the time to explore their personal growth with no pressure to grow up too quickly.
The Middle School offers two unique learning environments, our Grades 5-6 Learning Village and our Years 7-9 Learning Villages. The staff is co-located with their students which builds wonderful familiarity and ensures educators know their students very well. The Learning Villages are purpose-built and we have paid great attention to the smaller details, such as equipping each Village with lockers and a kitchenette to help foster a sense of belonging to a special place and being part of a smaller community. Although now housed on the Sebastopol Campus, students retain the connection to their House which they joined in the Junior School.
Grades 5 and 6 represent a period of significant educational, social and emotional growth. Our team of dedicated teachers work side by side with students to develop confidence in their ability to take ownership of their learning. Student voice is valued as they work in partnership to negotiate learning and assessment tasks.
In developing identity, it is critically important to develop an understanding of self as a learner. We achieve this by honing in on skill development, explicitly teaching our students how to learn, and deeply challenging our students to see themselves as scholars.
Our commitment to skill development is continuous. Every child is supported from their point of need to successfully develop the skills for life; Reading, Writing and Numeracy as well as skills required for the 21st Century such as ICT skills and the ability to problem-solve and think critically.
As students prepare to enter Year 7, we invite them to engage fully with every opportunity that Phoenix has to offer through the Scholarship and Academic Achievers program.
“Every student is unique and learns differently. At Phoenix, this is a fact that we embrace and celebrate.”
We encourage our students to discover their point of excellence by offering additional academic programs such as after school tutoring and Homework Club, before school reading programs and our Academy of Academic Excellence.
From the moment students enter Grade 5, the opportunity to participate in co-curricular programs expands to match the broadening horizons of our students. Access to excellent co-curricular opportunities reveals our students’ passions including extensive Music ensembles, instrumental music, public speaking, debating, performing arts (school production) student leadership and sports as well as the Phoenix Academy of Sport.
We also intentionally introduce a range of high-level community engagement and academic programs such as the National Youth Science Forum, Alpine School for Student Leadership, World Scholars and the Young Leaders to China Program.
Growing and nurturing the whole child is a shared responsibility. At Phoenix, we have an extensive Learning Support Program (underpinned by a comprehensive Response to Intervention Program) in addition to an extensive Wellbeing team that is comprised of a GP onsite, Social Workers and School Nurses.
Grades 5 & 6 – Encouraging Ownership and Responsibility
Grades 5 and 6 represent a period of enormous educational, social and emotional growth. Our team of dedicated teachers work side by side with students to develop confidence in their ability to take ownership of their learning. Student voice is valued as they work in partnership to negotiate learning and assessment tasks. In Grades 5 and 6 there is a strong emphasis on developing a learning Village culture. Our students benefit from a strong cross-campus curriculum in areas such as Science, Chinese and Performing Arts. We encourage our students to develop their leadership capacity and work collaboratively in a strongly developed Village culture.
Year 7 is an important year in which students settle into the secondary school environment, culture and learning habits. Year 7 students have a minimised number of teachers and have a strong focus on Literacy and Numeracy while participating in a broad range of specialist subjects. This establishes a strong foundation for future learning in the secondary environment. The Year 7 program is made up of compulsory subjects so that students experience all areas.
In Year 8, students again study from the complete range of learning areas to enable them to make considered decisions about their pathway and interests when they enter Year 9. Classes will be reorganised into core groups and students will be mixed across the Villages. This provides a transition to the more flexible timetable structure in Year 9. It assists with students’ ability to manage change and allows them to broaden their friendship groups across the College.
In Year 9 the student learning program becomes individualised to meet the specific needs of each student. Students will have comprehensive counselling to ensure that literacy and numeracy teaching meets their point of need. Student learning horizons are broadened in Year 9 to include the first opportunity to experience an applied learning module, known as Phoenix Connect. Students will undertake Phoenix Connect for one semester.
Academic Achievers SEAL* Program
*Select Entry Accelerated Learning
Each year Phoenix runs a Select Entry Accelerated Learning Program in Year 7. These students will undertake enriched studies in English, Mathematics, Humanities and Science; and will study Chinese as LOTE for the whole year.
Entry to the SEAL Program is determined by application, testing and interview. Academic achievements are the focus for this class and students within the program will need to ensure they consistently demonstrate a strong work ethic both in and out of class.
Beyond Year 7, students in the SEAL Program will remain together as a class in Years 8 and 9 for their core studies of English, Mathematics, Humanities and Science; and continue their studies of LOTE. These students will be given course counselling by the Academic Achievers Program Coordinator to select elective classes in The Arts, Technology and HAPE to provide a full program.
For more information, see our Academic Achievers (SEAL) page.
Year 9 students undertake the Phoenix Connect Program for a semester. This program is centered in the Applied Learning open space within the Bonshaw Village. Phoenix Connect is an inquiry-based learning program with key themes on developing understanding of self. Projects move initially from a school community level, progressively to a local community platform and then finally developing projects to include a global community focus.
Phoenix Connect encompasses all kinds of learning styles using individual small and large group work scenarios. A variety of learning platforms from visual, audio, reading/writing and kinaesthetic activities are used to deliver content.
Pastoral Care encompasses learning to help students map a pathway to life beyond school. PCG time will be used for independent reading and study, career and school pathway development, leisure and personal interest skills and activities and, organisation and goal setting.