Middle Years, Years 6-8
MLC Middle Years provides a safe environment that meets the specific needs of young girls socially, emotionally, academically, physically and spiritually in Years 6, 7 and 8. The learning environment in Middle Years aims to address the needs of each girl as a whole person.
At MLC School we know that girls in their middle years of schooling (10–14 year olds) have needs that are quite different from those of a primary or senior school student. The Middle Years learning program is one that nurtures both a capacity for critical thinking, and a commitment to learning. The learning environment encourages girls to actively explore beyond the boundaries of traditional schooling. Girls are encouraged to make the most of the opportunities that enable them to learn either on their own or in groups.
The Middle Years Academic Wellbeing Program, supported by Mentors (teachers who have a significant allocation to a class), provides opportunities for students to make connections with their learning and build relationships with peers and adults. It supports students in their exploration of new experiences through academic and extra curricular programs. Specialised Middle Years staff know how to meet the learning needs of younger adolescents and bring curriculum expertise to engage students in real and relevant learning experiences within and beyond the classroom.
The Gardens and Grounds
Middle Years is located on the Genista Campus on the northern side of the Senior School. The Year 6 and Year 7 classrooms border the playground, which is for Middle Years girls only. There is space for handball, skipping ropes, outdoor chess as well as outdoor seating and a large grass area and garden affectionately called the "backyard".
Information Technology (IT)
Exposure to IT is a certainty for young adolescents and using advanced technologies in a creative, exciting and safe way is very much a part of the Middle Years at MLC School.
...girls in Year 6 can run and play in a place that is their own while also adjusting to the challenges of beginning high school.
Quest Atlantis - a virtual learning world
Changing the learning environment from a familiar, live classroom to what appears to be a computer game in a virtual world is a challenge. For students familiar with Web 2.0 technologies, creating a virtual self and exploring new spaces in the game is easy. What is not so easy is playing in virtual worlds that force you to take a stand on what you believe to be right and accepting that others may not agree with you. Reward comes not from the instant gratification of winning but from preparedness, patience and persistence to achieve goals. This learning is proving to be powerful and challenging: as we say in Middle Years, hard fun.
Like intrepid travellers who explore different environments and grow appreciative of the cultures they visit, Years 6 and 7 at MLC School discover a lot about themselves and the real world as they investigate the virtual worlds of Quest Atlantis.
Quest Atlantis challenges the way that students interact with technology. What they initially think of as a computer game proves to be a rich, virtual environment embedded with authentic learning opportunities. In Year 6 students may be taking on the role of park rangers investigating the dramatic decline in fish populations and balancing the needs of the park users. Or they may be profiling marine organisms and preparing a symposium on the health of our fragile reefs. Whatever the environment, the students are rewarded for their efforts and know that they are helping others understand how to be more environmentally aware.
Positive relationships are essential for effective learning
Ubuntu - Learning and Recognising Leadership
Ubuntu is a South African word that means a person is a person because of other persons. It acknowledges one’s humanity, the importance of valuing everyone and living and working together to build community. Ubuntu Awards are peer and staff nominated and awarded twice annually in the Middle Years.
Positive relationships are essential for effective learning and in Middle Years learning to lead is fundamental for leading learners.
Learning leadership continues as a focus in classrooms, on the sports field, through service learning and in the Middle Years Leadership program.
All Year 7 girls learn about current leadership theory and practice. The student body elects the Middle Years Leadership Team and their ongoing leadership development occurs through weekly meetings with the Head of Middle Years program and the Director of Academic Wellbeing, and attendance at workshops specific for students in the Middle Years of schooling.