Port Middle School is the starting point for all Year 8 and 9 students entering the School. It operates slightly differently to a conventional secondary school system, and to the Port Senior School, in that students complete all their classes with the same teachers and education assistants. These educators cover the Western Australian Curriculum, with a critical focus on literacy and numeracy. The key goal is to bring students, who have not had success in mainstream environments, up to an educational standard that will help them flourish once they enter the Senior School.
The educators achieve this by teaching through High-Impact Instruction, which is a range of engaging teaching techniques based on the results of current research and evidence about teaching, learning and cognitive science. Full participation, daily reviews and Explicit Direct Instruction are key tenets of the teaching style.
One of the most important aspects of this program is the time spent changing the fixed mindset and perception of students, from one of ‘failure’ at school, to believing that they can learn, and that by attending every day and participating in class, they are becoming smarter.