At Port School we are continually seeking ways to improve our programs. We identified that a key component, where we could add to the development of our younger students, would be to create a separate learning environment for our Year 8 and Year 9 students. After significant consultation with various stakeholders, Port School opened its Middle School program at the start of 2019. A bevy of building and planning approvals delayed the construction, so the program was held for the first few weeks of the school year in a temporary donga. Thanks to the efforts of our building contractor, this exciting new arm of Port moved in to the newly constructed Middle School classroom, located on the edge of the oval, on March 7th 2019.
Middle School students have their breaks and some options at the same time as the Senior School. All other schooling takes place in the Middle School classroom. In the first year of operation, the program offers opportunities for Year 8 students only. 2020 will see those students who started on the program in 2018 become Year 9 students, and a new cohort of Year 8 students will commence. At the completion of Year 9, students will move through to the Senior School, which from 2020 will only offer places for Years 10, 11, 12 students.
The Middle School operates sightly differently to a conventional secondary school system, in that the students do all their classes with the same teachers and education assistants. These teachers cover the whole curriculum, with a focus on literacy and numeracy. The programs are designed to be highly engaging, with many excursions and off-site learning opportunities.
Although all students follow the same program, the curriculum is differentiated and specific to each student’s point of need, with a key goal being to get the students up to an educational standard that will help them flourish once they enter the Senior School.
There has been a lot of tireless work to get this classroom and program up and going for 2019. A huge thanks goes to all those who have contributed. We are very excited about this program and look forward to reporting on this new addition to Port School’s already amazing educational opportunities.