The Middle School model at Armidale Secondary College has been tailored for our Year 7 & 8 students and includes the Key Learning Areas of English, Science, History & Geography, and Personal Development, Health & Physical Education. Foundational to the model is a reduction in the number of teachers that students have to two core teachers for the four subjects and students having a homeroom in which they are based for these subjects.
Why was it implemented?
The Middle School model was piloted at Duval High School with the Year 7 cohort in 2018 and due to it’s overwhelming success extended to Year 7 & 8 at Armidale Secondary College in 2019. The model was data informed including input from parents, students, teachers and partner primary schools. The model focuses on developing deep, authentic student/teacher relationships, an integrated approach to curriculum delivery and a layered support network for every student ensuring they are known, valued and cared for. We acknowledge that Year 7 is one of two major transition points in a young persons schooling. Our model focuses on minimising what can be large structural changes between primary and high school and recognising the importance of this transition.
What have been the outcomes?
With the establishment of Armidale Secondary College, the Middle School has been a vehicle for stability and support for students in Stage 4. Typically in high schools, some teachers spend as little as three hours per fortnight with each class. This model provides up to ten hours per fortnight and allows teachers to integrate curriculum across the four key learning areas. The key outcomes of the model have been an increase in student engagement, the building of genuine student/teacher relationships to improve student wellbeing and support the transition from Stage 3 to Stage 4, an increase in engagement and involvement with parents and the community, and greater staff collaboration.