As with the Crows and Port, the students of the Middle School have made a wonderful start to what will be a long and challenging year! They have been engaged in purposeful learning and have taken up the challenge of living beyond themselves – and in so doing they have been helping to build our school community and culture. The students are regularly provided opportunities to enrich their development and reflect on their learning processes and goals. The end of term assessment tasks, work samples and upcoming parent interviews are further, formal stimuli to reflect on effective practices as well as future areas for development. Accompanying these opportunities are ever-present encouragement and support in areas beyond academic learning, including thinking creatively and critically, sporting competition, artistic expression, and social and personal development.
Opportunities increase in their scope and complexity as students grow through their Middle School journey. Forming or strengthening a friendship, developing intrapersonal skills, and viewing a set-back as a chance to build resilience are all life skill opportunities. The process of weighing up the risks versus the potential benefit (to others and themselves) is an element staff also explore with the students. Moreover, choosing to ask questions of their teacher to clarify a point of understanding, or to request deepening and extension of a learning task to provide appropriate challenge, is an ongoing opportunity for richer learning.
Taking the lead and developing initiative, for example running a student interest club, even when not an official leader, along with helping a peer to learn, are empowering times for self-development. Participation in the wider school life, taking on a role within a co-curricular program including that of a coach or referee, auditioning for our various choirs, ensembles and plays, learning a musical instrument or attending voluntary Study Support sessions are valuable opportunities afforded to the students in the Middle School.
Thank you for continuing to encourage your child to reflect, learn from mistakes, participate and grow by making the most of the opportunities that Middle School presents.
Unlike the football, there need not be a loser and in terms of positive development of the person, I expect, given the approach thus far of the students, the programs, structures and passion of our school and staff, and the support of parents, all to be winners as the school year progresses.
Best wishes to your team in the Showdown; and if you don’t care one way or the other, jump on the Swans – they are certainties for this year!
Head of Middle School