A Nurturing Environment
At Hope Christian College, Middle Schooling has a high emphasis on community and pastoral care. The Middle School is structured so that a range of students from years 6 through to 9 are within each home group and remain within that community and with a pastoral care teacher throughout their middle schooling. This vertical streaming of students in the home group helps to break down the natural barriers of age differences, and builds a sense of unity among the students. Older students have the opportunities to positively mentor the younger students who look up to them as role models. The students have the opportunity to develop this unity through various organised weekly community events and special activities throughout the year. Each pastoral care teacher has the opportunity to invest in each students’ life, particularly as they help meet their spiritual, intellectual, physical and emotional needs. The pastoral care teacher is also the link between school life with home life, endeavouring to ensure that the education of the whole child is a partnership between the school and home.
Our Middle School Curriculum, while covering all the learning areas of the Australian Curriculum within a shared pedagogy across the whole school, also has its dynamic element of Vertical Learning. Vertical Learning is a program unique to the Middle School and endeavours to engage students in innovative teaching and learning with prompt and appropriate feedback in order to stimulate student inquiry and learning. Students are provided with a range of sessions of various topics and they enrol themselves into the topic they are most interested for that term. Vertical Learning sessions that our students have thoroughly enjoyed so far include ‘Culture and Travel’, ‘Personal Learning Pursuit’ (PLP), ‘Athletics and Fitness’, ‘It’s more than just food’, ‘Mythbusters’, ‘Chess: the original War Game’, ‘Conspiracy Files’, ‘ Choir’, and ‘Group Dynamics and team Sports’. Each new term offers students another opportunity to enrol in a different session give them four varied experiences over the year.