Year 7 overview
One of the most important years of their schooling, our Year 7 students begin their St John’s Grammar Middle School journey with a feeling of belonging to our School and wider community.
To get the very best out of their education, students need to feel they belong, which is why our Year 7 transition program into Secondary School is designed to foster students’ strengths, and introduce them to new, exciting areas of learning. In Year 7, a Transition and Induction program, and layers of care provided through Home Group, House, and our core teaching team, ensures each student is known and supported. Centred around our Year 7 theme, Imagine, we have reimagined our curriculum and programs to offer the best in contemporary education, to excite imaginations and engage learners in the ultimate Year 7 experience.
We feel that learning within the familiarity of a Core Class and learning space, combined with subject specialist teachers, is the most critical ingredient in our Year 7s feeling they belong, which sets them up to achieve to their full potential. A dedicated Year 7 Precinct is centred around this ‘core’ structure, with majority of classes taking place within this hub
Learning in Year 7 is achieved through classroom practice and wellbeing programs designed to support your child to become the best they can be. Our students also experience a range of core and elective subjects to help them discover where their interests and passions lie so they can begin considering study pathways for their future.
We maximise engagement, adventure and challenge through a range of fun activities like our outdoor education challenge week at Hindmarsh Island. Students also have opportunities to learn and soar through interdisciplinary programs unique to this year level, along with a Frequent Flyers program for highly able students who enjoy creative, collaborative, and competitive problem solving.
Year 7 curriculum
Our Year 7 program is designed to foster students’ strengths and introduce them to new, exciting areas of learning.
Students experience all core and many of the elective subjects that the School has to offer. Our students will be able to determine where their interests lie and begin considering their study pathways for elective subjects in the years ahead.
The core curriculum includes English, Science, Mathematics, Wings (wellbeing), Physical education, and Humanities. The specialist subjects include a language (either Japanese or Indonesian), Philosophy, Digital Technologies, Art, Music, Drama, Design and Technology. To read more about the subjects on offer, download our Year 7 Subject Information Handbook.
We also offer a number of scholarships in a range of areas. Find out more about what we offer on our Scholarships page.
Dedicated learning precinct for Year 7
A dedicated Year 7 Precinct offers bright, modern classrooms, designed to enhance collaboration and enable flexible class groupings with opening glass walls and practical seating and furniture options including whiteboard tables and stools.
The expansive outdoor classroom features a deck with functional outdoor furniture, many seating areas suitable for small groups, or individuals as well as a natural amphitheatre which opens out to an expansive bushland setting.
This comprehensive indoor/outdoor space provides multi-purpose learning zones which are dedicated to the needs of our Year 7 group.
Wellbeing program in Year 7
Our wellbeing program sees students gaining tools to live well, supporting their developing independence in leading healthy, meaningful and purposeful lives in order to soar into their future.
Our Middle School and Senior School students participate in wellbeing sessions in the Health and Personal Development curriculum (7-10) and during pastoral care time (7-12), with developmentally appropriate topics and themes discussed.
The 7Wings program delves into expanding students’ knowledge, understanding and skills to strengthen their sense of self, and build and manage satisfying, respectful relationships.
Focus areas of the program include exploring human emotions and how our actions are products of how we feel, healthy lifestyles and growth and development. Resilience and empathy are explored and a continual focus on Positive Education principles round out the program.
In the Middle School we pride ourselves on knowing and connecting meaningfully with each and every student. To further support Year 7s, we ensure students have a core class and learning space, to provide familiarity and belonging as they growth into Secondary schooling. All students are allocated to one of the four Houses, in mixed year level homegroups to enhance multi-year-level camaraderie. Homegroup teachers, Heads of House, as well as the Head of Middle School provide layers of pastoral care for students.
Key staff members have undertaken mental health first aid training and support is also available from our Student Wellbeing Coordinator.
We can offer formal counselling support from our qualified, on-staff counsellors. Students are able to self refer, or can be referred by St John’s Grammar staff, with appointments centrally coordinated to ensure all students have equal opportunity.
A broad range of learners are accommodated within our Exceptional Learners’ Framework. Support at either end of the learning spectrum is provided as well as programs to support those who have unique learning needs around other commitments and responsibilities.
All students also have access to homework clubs as well as tutoring by Old Scholars and staff via The Learning Commons.
Extra curricular activities for Year 7s
Extra curricular activities in the Secondary School cover the whole spectrum. We have a very high participation rate of extra curricular activities, with most students taking up an activity in addition to their academic studies.
Students can select from a broad range of sporting activities, a specialist music program, and extensive arts programs including band, orchestra, drama and dance. Pedal Prix, triathlons, ski trips, mountain biking club, Subs in Schools and the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme are also among the offerings. House activities include debating, chess, public speaking and inter-House sports.
Student-led clubs are also popular, and there are many leadership positions available for each year level. If a student interest is not catered for, students are supported by Home Group teachers to set up something new.
The important elements of House and School life include a range of House sports, including weekly competitions and inter-House challenges, Athletics and Swimming Carnivals, as well as a number of special days and events such as the Festival of Ideas, and celebrations, such as Book Week and Science Week.
Signature experiences in Year 7
In Year 7, our signature experiences serve to challenge students and take them outside of their comfort zone.
Our Outdoor Education Challenge Week on Hindmarsh Island sees students pushed to their physical limits. Teamwork, collaboration and ‘having a go’ are key drivers in this experience, as students take on physical challenges during this unique camp.
An interdisciplinary glider project involves students incorporating ideation, Science, Maths and Engineering learning. Students must first design and then manufacture a glider capable of flight by the project’s end.
The Business Enterprise Solutions Team (BEST) Program is another cornerstone of the Year 7 experience. Year 7 students delve into the other side of enterprise by working alongside a local business to develop and create enterprising and creative solutions to business problems. This program gives students the opportunity to extend their creativity to an actual business scenario and provides opportunity to champion their enterprising ideas and solutions.
To nurture outstanding learners, our Frequent Flyers program offers a program of activities for highly able students. Transcending year level groups, this program gives students creative, collaborative and competitive problem solving tasks to maximise engagement and hone skills.
Secondary Campus facilities
Situated on the Secondary Campus, our Middle School is located in a peaceful bushland setting in Belair and is easily accessible by car, rail and bus, and incorporates historic Retreat House, St Barnabas’ Chapel and the former Theological College building, in addition to purpose built classrooms and facilities.
These include a large multipurpose Sports Hall, a Design and Technology Centre, Music and Drama studios, a Food Technology Centre, access to 3D printing and robotics, Science laboratories, and a dedicated International Living and Learning Precinct Language Centre complete with boarding accommodation. The Learning Commons (TLC) provides a University-like space for study, allowing for independent and collaborative learning opportunities while our Year 7s have a dedicated indoor/outdoor learning space overlooking a natural bushland vista. Equipped with flexible-use furniture and opening glass walls, this space is designed to enhance collaboration and active learning. The extensive facilities of the Secondary Campus are dotted with trees for an environment that stimulates a culture of learning, peace and wellbeing.
An on-site café offers healthy food choices and a large FIFA accredited all-weather sports field provides a functional sports surface all year round, sitting alongside tennis and netball courts, and the St John’s is serviced by a School bus that runs several routes, south, to the coast and throughout the Hills as well as shuttling between the Junior and Secondary Campuses.