- Middle School: Enjoying the Journey for 20 Years
For the Whole of Their Life.
Middle School: Enjoying the Journey for 20 Years
This year, Middle School at St Philip’s Christian College will celebrate 20 years of providing students with a distinct and dynamic learning environment in Years 5 to 8. After a number of years of careful exploration, Middle School commenced in 2001 with just 10 classes, with the aim of creating a sub-school that would give intentional focus to the distinct needs of students aged 10-14 years. Today, Middle School has grown to 18 Homeroom classes, and has been able to support over 7500 students navigate the middle years, with middle schooling being integral to the fabric of St Philip’s Christian College.
The Middle School years are an exciting time in a young adolescent’s development, as they are in the midst of profound personal change and identity development. They are growing physically, intellectually, morally, psychologically, and socio-emotionally (Bishop & Harrison, 2020). Every day, students develop as they engage with the world around them. They socialise with peers, consume media, express themselves creatively, and as they develop, they construct values and attitudes that will form who they become as adults. The support of middle school homeroom teachers has become integral to the success of our Middle School model, as the teachers’ relationship with students has a profound impact on young adolescents’ sense of belonging in school. Middle School students’ sense of belonging is linked to many important outcomes, including increased engagement, motivation, academic achievement, and positive attitudes toward school. Our homeroom teachers enjoy being with young adolescents, think positively about them, and appreciate the dynamics of the world they engage with every day.
Middle School students are encouraged to take ownership of their learning, to be reflective, critical and creative thinkers. Our desire is that the St Philip’s Christian College Middle School program will develop godly, confident and resilient young people who enjoy life’s journey, and learn within a context which embraces the uniqueness of each individual, is suitably challenging, is purposeful, creates joy, is relevant to the present and their future lives, and promotes life-long learning. It is also our desire that students are increasingly aware that they are an individual who can become an integral member of a wider community and are alive in hope as they discover their God given purpose.
Since the very beginning, the theme that has underpinned our Middle School program is ‘Enjoying the Journey’. This is reflected in the many opportunities our students are afforded within their time in Middle School. We recognise that this journey is not always easy for young adolescents to navigate, and at times this journey can be ‘messy’. As we continue to guide students with the same passion and purpose that we commenced Middle School with over 20 years ago, we believe that the Middle School program continues to be the best way to prepare students for the future.
Alyce van der Velde
Head of Middle School
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