The Middle School years (Year 6 to Year 8) are an important time for self-discovery. At Korowa, they are years in which students develop their own personal interests, learn new talents, and face challenges that are unique to their age group.
Korowa’s Middle School aims to develop competent, proactive learners who are equipped to embrace change. Our philosophy is based on the notion of Making Sense in four main areas, self, the world, thinking and learning. We know that clever people may not always have the answer to a problem at their fingertips, but they have the skills, aptitude and confidence to find an answer. These are the attributes we seek to instill in Korowa students during their Middle School years.
Our approach is to:
- stimulate students’ intellectual development by setting high but realistic expectations of them
- encourage the pursuit of ‘personal bests’ through comparison with their own past performance rather than performance of others
- develop students’ sense of personal value and confidence in themselves to take with them into adult life
- encourage students in active learning, sharing responsibility for their learning
- provide a curriculum that is relevant, coherent, inclusive and responsive to change
- pursue collaborative decision-making in an open responsive environment
The development of each girl as an individual underpins all that we do. This includes each student learning about, and being expected to adhere to, a code of respectful behaviours built on tolerance, decency and trust. The ongoing development of a positive self image, critical in these years, is an important component of our overall program as is clear, unambiguous education about safe behaviours, both on-line and in the community. We encourage open mindedness and challenge girls to deepen their understanding of our changing global society.
Year 8 is the leadership year in the Middle School. In addition to formal leadership roles, Year 8 girls facilitate group work across the Middle School and lead teams within their own level. This responsibility can frequently have a positive impact on students at a stage in their education in which some students can disengage.
The ‘Step up to 7’ program runs over three sessions and introduces students to some of the Year 7 subject areas. During this process, I visit all incoming students at their current school to help smooth the transition into the Korowa. I find out about their friends and their interests and try to place them in a class of girls where they will feel the most comfortable.
New girls in Years 6 come along to a special Orientation Day in term 4 and girls entering Year 8 have an individualised program when they commence at Korowa.
If girls commence at Korowa at any time other than the start of the year, in addition to a personalised orientation program for them, they are given a ‘buddy’ who will help them settle into their new school.
Girls in Year 6 would normally be expected to undertake around 45 minutes homework most nights. By the time a student is in Year 8, this builds to 1 hour of prescribed homework which does not include things like reading each night. Many girls will want to work longer than 1 hour but it is important not to let things get out of hand.
We want students to have time to make friends, pursue an interest, and exercise their mind and body whilst still having time for homework.