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Our Middle School students have had a wonderful start to the year. With 260 girls in year 7, 8 & 9 we are looking forward to a productive and exciting year. The Fairholme Middle School offers the girls the opportunity to complete their three middle years of schooling in the purpose built, architecturally designed Middle School buildings.
The classrooms offer to students the latest in technology and include specialist rooms such as a science laboratory, computer labs and drama rooms. The classrooms are all air conditioned and are larger than a normal classroom space which allows teachers to work with students in different ways. The girls also have easy access to the under croft – an undercover, outdoor area.
The Year 7 girls are an integral part of the small Middle School community within the larger, Fairholme family. This community provides our students with a sense of belonging, because no matter what their talents and abilities may be, they will experience many opportunities to 'let their light shine.'
Fairholme Middle School provides many opportunities for students to work on 'real issues' from creating designs for a specific audience, or solving a marketing problem, to making business decisions, just to name a few. These opportunities arise through the integrated units of work taught in Years 7 and 8.
2013 HELP Sessions timetable (380KB PDF)
Middle School Curriculum Overview (For 2013 5.6MB PDF)
Fairholme Information Overview (2013 3MB PDF)
Policies & Regulations addendum (300KB PDF)
Participation in camps is another avenue that provides 'real' life experiences for our girls. Recently the Year 8 students spent three days at Mapleton, where they participated in a range of outdoor activities, including abseiling, rock climbing, canoeing and orienteering. See photos below.
Teachers, parents and psychologists have long known that between the ages of 11 and 15 even the best students can disengage from their learning, engage in risk taking behaviour and generally make life difficult for those at home and at school. The best response is to meet the needs of these young people.
Extensive educational research in Australia and overseas supports the concepts of Middle School from both caring and learning perspectives.
This age group thrives when they have a working relationship with a small group of teachers who know them well and understand the social and intellectual needs of their age group.
They are happiest when provided with a learning environment that is relevant and enriching, where they are challenged by a variety of appropriate learning experiences and where they are encouraged to be responsible and accountable for their learning.
The earlier onset of adolescence, particularly in girls, has effectively pushed Middle Schooling into the traditional primary school age group. Furthermore Year 9, as any secondary teacher will tell you, has traditionally been a problematic time where relationships with peers often outweigh the relationship with family. (Where the child-adult nexus can be fraught with tension and where school work has sometimes taken a 'backseat' to other less worthwhile adolescent pursuits.)
While some girls are determined to have a 'bumpy' adolescence, we believe that the best way to smooth the path is with curriculum that is relevant, authentic and fun. We also value staff who are passionate about teaching this age group and who can be positive role models and mentors.
The range of opportunities for all students in the Middle School ensures that there is ‘something for everyone.’ We consistently address the issue of disengagement and adjust and modify our programmes when necessary to ensure that all students have the opportunity to experience success and a strong sense of belonging.
For further information about the Middle School please contact Mrs Jaye Ross, Head of Middle School at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07 4688 4688.
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