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Middle Years of Schooling (Years 5-8)

Middle Years of Schooling (Years 5-8)

How does your state/territory define the 'middle years'?
What initiatives/programs are currently being implemented in the 'middle years' in your state or territory?
What are some of the current issues being addressed in your state/territory?

How does Western Australia define the 'middle years'?

The term ‘middle schooling’ is used to refer to the years between the completion of primary education and the beginning of the two-year period during which students prepare for entry to universities, TAFE and the workforce. (Planning for Middle Schooling in Western Australia. Ministerial Committee on Middle Schooling, June 1999). While this definition is generally accepted in this state some schools have incorporated the last year of primary school, year 7, into their middle schooling years and others have excluded year 10. This stage typically spans the 11 — 15 year old age group. (EDWA, 1999)

What initiatives/programs are currently being implemented in the 'middle years' in Western Australia?

Individual schools in both the Government and non-Government sectors are engaged in a wide range of initiatives in response to student and community needs.

Initiatives and programs have been informed by:

1. EDWA. (1999). Case studies in middle schooling; planner’s guide. East Perth: Local Area Education Planning Unit, EDWA.

2. The Ministerial Committee on Middle Schooling. (1999). Planning for middle schooling in Western Australia: prepared for Hon. Colin J. Barnett MLA Minister for Education. Perth: Department of Education Services.

A professional Middle Schooling Association was formed for interested teachers and administrators early in the year 2000.

A range of schools has been established that commenced with a focus on principles of middle schooling. These include:

  • Ballajura Community College (EDWA) (year 7 to 9)
  • Clarkson Community High School (EDWA) (years 8 and 9)
  • Warnbro Community High School (EDWA) (years 8 and 9)
  • Yule Brook College (EDWA) (years 8 to 10)

Through an ongoing process of local area planning and rationalisation a number of other Government schools have closed their post-compulsory section to concentrate on the middle years of schooling.

A range of non-Government schools have also shifted from traditional curriculum and organisational structures to focus on principles of middle schooling. These include:

  • Mandurah Catholic College (CEO) (years 8 and 9
  • Penrhos College (AISWA) (years 7 to 9)
  • Presbyterian Ladies’ College (AISWA) (years 7 to 9)
  • Wesley College (AISWA) (years 5 to 8)

In other schools there has been a move to learning teams in years 8 and 9 which incorporate student centred learning and aspects of middle schooling philosophies to support student learning.

What are some of the current issues being addressed in Western Australia?

The issues that are the focus in this state include developing appropriate school environments and curriculum that:

  • explore the relevance of school to adolescents;
  • explore the alienation of adolescents in our schools; and
  • ensure the various needs of this age group are met.
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