“Something I have enjoyed most about my transition to Middle School is the different classes that I have experienced throughout the first couple of weeks. I enjoy the subjects I did not have in Primary School as they are interesting, fun, and new!” (Sia Shah, Year 7 student).
The 2022 school year has commenced, and we recently welcomed a whole new Year 7 cohort to Middle School.
Middle School is a time of great change and opportunity. While this time of transition can be immense for institutions and individuals alike, at St John’s, we provide an educational experience that develops people of good character and equips all young people with the knowledge, skills, and attributes to actively participate and flourish in our global world.
Many students move into Middle School and positively thrive on the challenges of the new environment and the varied experiences on offer. They find it both exciting and scary to be moving on to the next stage in their schooling journey. For some students, however, it can be difficult to leave the security of Primary School, and this is why the time of transition is so important. In fact, this time and transition can be just as huge for parents and families as it is for the students.
When I asked our new Year 7 students about how they would describe Middle School in one word, I was met with a full range of emotions.
Busy, organised, new, difficult, tiring, weird, individual, different, intriguing, marvellous, awesome, happy, exhausting. The word that came up the most? Fun!
When asked about the journey so far, our Year 7 students were quick to point out their favourite new experiences:
- “I really like meeting new teachers and students.” – Maahi Patel
- “I have enjoyed doing Science experiments.” – Tran Bui
- “I feel freer, more places to go, so many options for clubs, and I have made heaps of friends because I feel more confident being in a more grown-up area.” – Elley Westerberg
- “Current students and teachers making me feel welcome and encouraging me to do my best in all TAS sports that I am currently doing and in my daily subjects.” – Xavier Davis-Hernandez
- “It was exciting figuring out where classes were and seeing the new Middle School Precinct under development” – Callisse Isbister
Although these highlight the favourite parts of Middle School, there are also many challenges that come with this transition. According to the students, among the biggest challenges so far were following the timetables, managing time and getting to class before the second bells, using the combination locks, remembering books and finding their way around campus.
When our young people have a bad morning and they forget a book or they get a little lost on their way to class, it’s important for them to know that it’s okay, and there are many others going through the same experience; the same journey through Middle School.
It is about finding a sense of belonging in the school. Positively connecting with peers, other students, and teachers. It is about teachers knowing their students – their strengths, interests and learning needs. It is about enabling students to have a strong sense of purpose and an understanding and commitment to their own learning pathway through schooling and beyond. It is about progress and mistakes. Lots and lots of mistakes. And that’s okay. It is about making the learning interesting, relevant, and yes, even a little. It is about feeling safe and supported in every classroom. And it is also about having opportunities to try new and exciting things and extend their current skills and interests.
We all experience change and transition in our lives and we look forward to seeing the personal growth and development of all of our new Year 7 students throughout the course of 2022.
Mr Braydon Giles
Head of Middle School