School Life

Middle School (Yr 7-9)

The Middle School is the Junior Secondary section of the school consisting of students from Years 7, 8 and 9. At present 9 classes form the Middle School, three at each year level. The strong commitment to learning as being a partnership with the teacher and the student is clearly reflected in small class sizes which allow relationships to flourish.

Middle School Handbook

Multi-media centre

At MECS we recognise that technology has become a major tool in our society. Our multi-media resource centre is well equipped with up to date IT resources. We also have class sets of netbooks available in each Year level or Cycle and computer access in the Library and Science Labs.

Pastoral Care

Middle School staff aim to provide an atmosphere of support and care during this crucial adolescent period, fostering close relationships with students in all aspects of school life. The important transition from Year 6 to Year 7 is intentionally planned to ensure students receive support, encouragement and direction to help them transition into the increased demands and pressures of Middle School and adolescence. The orientation program endeavours to ensure that both existing MECS Year 6 students, and new students assimilate well into the Middle School.

Pastoral care is primarily provided for all students within their home classes to best address their individual needs. Should extra nurturing be necessary, the Middle School Pastoral Care Coordinator and the Student Welfare Counsellor are available to assist students.

Camping program

God’s creation is infinite in its beauty and diversity - we believe that the need to get out and explore His creation is vital.

Each camp immerses the students in a variety of rich learning experiences, designed to build upon the curriculum being studied at school. Our camps also provide a wonderful opportunity for deepening the relationships between students and teachers.

Camps are an integral, critical and compulsory part of the curriculum right through all levels of MECS. It’s one of the distinctive features of MECS: the camping program starts in Prep with their ‘Big Night Out’, and continues through every year level (with the exception of Year 11). In the Middle School, each class undertakes two week-long camps each year including Wilsons’ Prom, Canberra and Inverloch. Camps are designed in association with the Cultural Studies units. 
Day trips, relevant to the core units being studied, also occur during the year.

Year 9 Open Village Program.

Education is much more than the passing on of knowledge - it is about helping the students become well rounded, life long learners. Each student is unique and the Year 9 Open Village gives students the opportunity to explore who they are and how they learn best in an innovative and challenging environment.

Throughout the year the students are encouraged to consider the way they work, think, communicate and behave. There are clear descriptions of the expectations in each of these categories for students to use as a guide and regular meetings with teachers allow for personalised feedback. The students work with the teachers to set realistic and challenging goals that will help them target specifi c areas that need further improvement. The input of teacher, student and parents ensures the goals are challenging but not overwhelming.

A variety of immersion experiences are used to introduce each new area of study. These may be an activity, an excursion, a movie or other experience designed to spark off curiosity and help a student to engage with the curriculum. These generally create a high level of enthusiasm and help the student to identify an area they would like to study further. Many immersion experiences are debriefed in small groups where students have the opportunity to ask questions and unpack the issues raised with other students and a teacher. Students are encouraged to question “Why?” and consider what a Christian response to these issues might be.

Once the student has chosen what interests them, they work closely with a teacher to develop a project. This process is aided by a project proposal sheet, helping the student to consider what questions they are trying to answer, who their target audience is, what form the project should take, how it will challenge the student, and how it can be broken down into manageable steps. The student then negotiates a due date for the project with the teacher.

Each term there is at least one compulsory task for students to complete while other projects are negotiated with a teacher. Every compulsory project is designed to challenge students in a different way. One might be an individual practical task while another a group oral presentation. Through such projects the students are given opportunity to develop and grow in a variety of areas. Effective collaboration with others, pulling their weight in a team situation, managing time well, striving for accuracy and precision are just a few of these and each area has been identified as being an important skill for ensuring ongoing success.

Each student has a homegroup teacher who tracks their progress and they also have access to a whole team of teachers they can work alongside. A student may decide to work closely with any teacher based upon the project they are currently undertaking and the specifi c gifts and skills of the teachers.

Seminars are regularly used to give the students targeted instruction on a specifi c topic. These are held in small groups and organised to repeat a number of times in the week so that the students can select when they attend. This gives the students opportunity to plan to meet with other students they may be working with or to work around their involvement with other projects.

Through the intentional design of Open Village the students are drawn into a rich opportunity to develop essential skills for life and learning both inside and outside the school environment. It is our hope that this program will help equip the students to become transforming agents for positive change in the society in which they live.