Our Programs - MIDDLE SCHOOL

 

Our 2019 Middle School team consists of Mrs Julie Minarelli, Miss Lee Cousipetcos, Mr Patrick FitzGerald, Mrs Gabby Nicholls, Miss Ashleigh Hamilton, Miss Claire Scott, Miss Morgan Smith, Miss Genevieve Moriarty and Educational Support Mrs Kate Walker and Mrs Lily Strnak. Middle School students at Yarrambat are involved in a range of activities that are designed to engage, challenge and motivate. Across seven grades, we follow an integrated and differentiated program that stimulates creativity and curiosity while continuing to build upon key literacy, numeracy and personal development skills relevant to the Victorian Curriculum standards. Grade 3/4 students are encouraged to become more responsible for their learning, working towards developing a range of strategies and goals to help them achieve success and monitor their individual progress. As students work towards becoming independent learners, they are encouraged to develop good study habits and organisational skills. The Middle School learning environment incorporates flexible learning spaces with interactive whiteboards. These spaces have been utilised to cater for a wide range of learning styles, allowing each student to work to the best of their ability. You can stay in touch with your child’s learning through their SeeSaw account.

 

English

English consists of three components: Reading and Viewing, Writing and Speaking and Listening.

Reading involves students working in small groups during instructional and independent work activities which covers a range of literature, including both fiction and non-fiction. The STARS Reading Comprehension programme is used across all seven classes. The 12 individual reading comprehension strategies are explicitly taught and students work through differentiated text and comprehension questions to develop the strategies, to enhance their comprehension skills at their own level. Students are also explicitly taught how to choose an I-P.I.C.K book. This reading strategy assists students to identify which book is the best choice for them to read. Fluent and expressive reading continues to be a focus, as is a strong comprehension of what they have read.

 

In Middle School the structure of different text types are taught through using VCOP and Big Write. Children are taught to think about their writing in four particular ways - vocabulary, connectives, openers and punctuation. Strategies are taught through whole class focuses addressing components of the process in writing which includes planning, completing a draft, proof reading and editing for sense, and spelling and grammar. Drafts may be edited and published for a particular audience either by hand or on the computer.

 

Well-presented legible handwriting is an important acquisition and handwriting sessions are taken throughout the year. Students are encouraged to focus on developing correct letter formation, spacing and positioning, and to maintain a consistent neatness. The joining of letters is introduced in Middle School and the students work enthusiastically towards gaining their pen licence.

Speaking and Listening is an important part of English and there are daily opportunities for children to develop their skills when listening to teachers and peers. Using a confident voice, organising thoughts and speaking publicly are three important skills that are promoted.

Mathematics
The Middle School Mathematics program includes the Victorian Curriculum mathematical strands of Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. Staff collaboratively plan activities that are related towards real life situations and are based around engaging topics and current events. Units of work incorporate a combination of different strands and make use of hands on materials that can be manipulated wherever possible.

 

Open-ended tasks and on-going projects play a large role in the way our students learn, with tasks having various entry and exit points, dependent on student ability. The lessons incorporate whole class instruction, small group teacher directed learning and independent work.

 

Maths 300, Manhahigh, various interactive screen activities, and iPad applications are also incorporated into the program to cater for individuals within classrooms and to offer a hands on and engaging learning environment.

Discovery and Inquiry Learning
Inquiry Learning is dependent upon all areas of the curriculum. The skills students learn include how to recognise and define problems, to make observations, to organise information and to draw conclusions. We will also endeavour to share our knowledge with the local community and take some social actions.

Personal Development
The Personal Development Program at Yarrambat Primary School is a highly valued program that gives children the opportunity to make Personal and Social developments. The Middle School Personal Development program aims to develop healthy, positive, and resilient individuals. We have an expectation that students strive towards behaviour as outlined in our school values. Students participate in a weekly session of Personal Development where they continue to develop good social skills including the use of conflict resolution, respectful relationships, and rejection of bullying. The Life Education Van visits in Term 3 to complement the program.

Specialist Programs
Students participate in a range of Specialist programs that include Visual Arts, Performing Arts, LOTE (Italian), Physical Education and STEM. Each program is covered by Specialist teachers who take the students for an hour weekly. Performing Arts and Visual Arts are offered on an alternate semester basis to ensure all areas of the Victoria Curriculum are covered.

Information Technology
Students have access to laptops and iPads during class time. Each Middle School class has the availability of a class set of laptops which are exclusively for use of Middle School classes and a number of IPads across the area. Each Middle School classroom has an Interactive TV that is used daily to engage the students and support their learning. Middle School teachers involve ICT use in all areas of their curriculum planning.

Library
Students will have the opportunity to borrow books from the school library on a regular basis. We encourage students to have a library bag, so that these assets can be enjoyed by many other students in years to come.

STEM
STEM education is being introduced to Middle school in 2019. Students will participating in weekly STEM lessons with a specialist teacher. STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning which integrates the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Hands on and investigative activities challenge students to draw connections between their learning and the real world. Stem education awakens their curiosity in science while developing skills in problem solving, creativity, teamwork, communication and independent thinking.

 

 

CAMP

Students in Middle School attended a three day camp in fourth term. Students enjoy a variety of outdoor activities and develop new friendships at camp.

 


All Middle School teachers are available to discuss any concerns at a pre-arranged, mutually convenient ti
me.