Year 7 Program
The Year Seven Program at Northholm bridges the conventional primary and secondary divide by responding more effectively to the specific developmental needs of young adolescents.
We recognise that young people are happiest when their learning environment is relevant and enriching, when they are challenged by a variety of appropriate learning experiences and when they are encouraged to be responsible and accountable for their learning.
Year Seven students enjoy all of the benefits associated with small class sizes, including the more personalised attention they receive from passionate teachers whose role is to help them discover their ‘essential element’; that positive self-concept that enables them to engage with life in more meaningful ways … to ‘Learn with Purpose: Live with Passion’.
All of our teachers are committed to providing excellence in education for their students through a balance of spiritual, academic, cultural, physical and practical experiences and actively support every child to realise their potential by scaffolding them for success.
Through the core structures Year Seven students quickly adjust to the high school environment and become a unified year group with a strong sense of connectedness and belonging. This strong sense of connectedness and belonging also forms the basis for our teaching and learning programs.
In Year Seven we provide additional support for our students as they transition from primary school through our Year Seven Core Program. Unlike other schools our students have the advantage of a small team of dedicated educators who work collaboratively to deliver all core subjects other than Mathematics (taught by specialist teachers).
The Core teachers deliver either Core A (English/History) or Core B (Science/Geography) and monitor our students progress both academically and socially. In addition to these responsibilities one of the Core teachers in each class is assigned as a tutor and has direct responsibility for the pastoral care of students in his/her tutor group.
The tutor also provides a direct contact for parents and provides regular and effective communication on both pastoral and academic matters.
The Year Seven curriculum focusses on the total growth and development of each student by providing learning experiences that cater for their social, physical, emotional and cultural needs. Students experience a wide range of subjects to ensure that they receive a well-rounded education with opportunities to discover and develop their own strengths and interests.
Subject content and skills are taught in stand-alone subject areas and the integrated program units. Together these different approaches provide a comprehensive and well-balanced curriculum.
Features of the program are:
- Project Based Learning
- Authentic tasks
- Open communication
- Student reflection and voice
- Differentiation for extension and support
- Academic challenge
- Assessment for learning
- Connected learning across specialised curriculum areas
- Team work and co-operative learning
Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. These units include the knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions students will need to live and work successfully in the twenty-first century.
General capabilities includes in the program are:
- Information and communications technology
- Ethical understanding
- Critical and creative thinking
- Personal and social capability
- Intercultural understanding
SUBJECT SPECIFIC LEARNING EXPERIENCES
- English/History (Core A)
- Science/Geography (Core B)
- Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
- Visual Arts
- Design and Technology
- Faith and Life
Other key aspects of the Year 7 Program
PHILOSOPHY IN THE CLASSROOM
In addition to the Faith and Life program Year Seven students practise the skills of ordered, rigorous philosophical discussions in order to improve their understanding of the world in which they live and to develop their ability to think deeply. Through the Community of Inquiry approach, students learn that everyone’s ideas are important.
Our approach to teaching Philosophy in schools encourages the development of:
- An inquiring outlook
- The ability to articulate problems and issues
- Imaginative and adventurous thinking
- The capacity to critically examine issues and ideas
- Good reasoning and independent judgement
The more integrated approach to delivering curriculum provided through Project-Based Learning is supported through group work, a form of instruction that helps develop our students’ capacity to work collaboratively as members of teams. This structure requires students to recognise and value each other’s strengths and enables them to build relationships across the year group. These group projects are particularly popular with students who value the opportunity to work together to solve problems with real world application.
LITERACY AND NUMERACY
The Year Seven program focusses on developing key literacy skills, including vocabulary development, spelling, grammar, syntax, reading comprehension and the identification and written composition of various text types. Another area of focus is developing key numeracy skills. These skills provide students with an opportunity to consolidate Stage 3 outcomes in order to achieve at a Stage 4 level. This program is delivered by specialist Mathematics teachers in graded classes that recognise the different skill levels of individual students so that every student can experience success at an appropriate level of challenge.
Information and communication technologies are an integral part of our teaching and learning programs. The School has a robust wireless infrastructure supporting a range of technologies and applications. All students in Year Seven are required to bring their own devices to school. The use of these devices is at the discretion of each teacher and students receive explicit guidance in the responsible use of these technologies and all other electronic resources.
Year Seven teachers use assessment to guide student learning as well as positive affirmation to promote a growth mindset and encourage students to apply themselves more diligently to their studies.
Study Boost provides assistance with homework, assignments and study across all subject areas. Teachers in Study Boost also provide assistance with literacy and/or numeracy as part of this service. Students who require additional help with Mathematics can attend Maths Tutorials.