Middle years learning refers to education offered to students between the ages of 10-15. These years are critical in keeping our students on the path to high school completion and their career futures.
Keys for student success include:
- participating in hands-on, purposeful and relevant learning
- creating positive relationships with peers, teachers and other adults
- being actively involved in the community and feeling supported by family, businesses and other organizations that surround them.
During their middle years students may attend a school with any of the grade configurations listed below or others:
- K-6 (Elementary School)
- K-9 (Elementary/Junior High School)
- 5-9 (Middle School)
- 7-9 (Junior High School)
Regardless of the grade configuration, all middle years teachers and principals understand the complex and unique learning needs of this age group.
Middle years learning is developed with a strong awareness of the following five domains:
- Emotional – students are provided with an environment that is emotionally safe at a time when emotions can run high.
- Physical – students experience many physical changes during this time period (i.e.. growth spurts) and mature at different rates, leaving students vulnerable to negative peer influences if not supported by caring adults.
- Cognitive – students begin to transition from concrete thinking to abstract concepts.
- Social – students begin to develop their unique personalities and build an identity outside their immediate family.
- Behavioural – students switch between a demand for independence and a need for direction and regulation. Flexible, yet supportive environments help students make good choices.
Changes at School
- Students will gradually make the transition from one teacher to multiple teachers.
- Student leaders in the higher grades can be mentors for younger students (buddy programs).
- Students will start creating personalized learner pathways as the new Career & Technology Foundations Program of Studies (effective Sept. 2014) is integrated into their daily learning. Students can explore different interests that will prepare them to make informed decisions with regards to their high school options and extend beyond to post-secondary and the world of work.
- Students can make course selections in the areas of second languages and the fine and performing arts
- Students can participate in intramural, extra-curricular and co-curricular activities.
- Students will be supported as they transition from elementary to middle school and then from middle school to high school.
Supporting Your Child
- Talk to your child about the differences they may experience as they transition to their new school.
- Attend the school orientation sessions for incoming students and their families.
- Volunteer at your child’s school, meet teachers, attend school meetings or events and read school newsletters.
- Encourage the use of traditional or electronic agendas for homework and check them for assignments. Successful students have a good foundation at home.
- Set a regular time and place for homework to be done. Give and reinforce clear expectations.
- Visit the school’s website to learn more. Write down any questions you have.
- Make an appointment to visit the school and meet the principal to get a sense of how the school is prepared to support student success. Ask questions.