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Pelican : June 2010
Middle School -- A Vibrant Learning Place 8 St Edmund’s College Middle School is a safe learning environment where quality pastoral care for every student is of paramount importance. The structure of our Middle School allows for an increased pastoral dimension. Year 7 students are expected to lead the other younger students by example; these leadership skills are enhanced by the Year 7 camp which was held in Term 1. The camp was held at “The Pines”, our brilliant seaside education complex, located at Tuross Heads, NSW. Years 4, 5 and 6 also enjoy camps held at the same location and they all have a different focus. Father/Son camps, for boys in Year 7, are also held at “The Pines” and provide a wonderful platform for fathers to connect with their sons away from the hustle and bustle of normal life. Today, St Edmund’s College Middle School prides itself on the high standards and culture it instils in its young men. A school of proud tradition, we recognise the challenges that are faced by students and families alike in this ever changing modern age. Here at the College we are constantly striving to fnd an effective balance between spiritual development, sporting enjoyment and academic discipline for our young men. St Edmund’s College Middle School is proactive in its search for innovation in the delivery of education and employs the most current initiatives. This is a concrete example of the College’s ongoing commitment to renewal and progression as well as our openness to embrace change. For example in the Middle School we utilize: • Ready For More Program – an exciting Academic Extension Program. • First Steps - a Reading Program to facilitate improvement in literacy and numeracy outcomes. • Personal Reading Program - to encourage student reading both inside and outside of the classroom. • Cars and Stars – a Reading and Comprehension Program. • On line education management system - to provide regular communication between students, parents and teachers. • Teacher reporting 8 times per year - to ensure parents are aware of the progress their son is making. • We are also an Australian Curriculum Trial School – the only ACT school to trial all four disciplines of Maths, English, History and Science. The transition process provided by the Middle School system into the High School is the product of years of experience and has a tremendous reputation that provides great confdence to the students as well as to parents and staff. Middle School at St Edmund’s is strongly focused on community. This was evident on a beautiful autumn day in March when families walked together along the lake for the Stroll- a-thon. More than $16,000 was raised and will be used for a new safe play area for the younger boys. This community spirit is also very much on display every Saturday with large numbers of staff and parents meeting and speaking with each other while watching “their” boys at sport. The unique structure of the Middle School allows for each student to be supported and encouraged in their faith journey. The Retreats for Confrmation, liturgies and the involvement of the Senior Youth Ministry team offer opportunities for boys to express their faith in an individual way through their participation in these events. We seek to involve the St Edmund’s community in our faith journey through the Mothers and Fathers’ Day masses and family retreats. Blessed Edmund Rice asked of us to “Give to the poor in handfuls”. The fund raising efforts and events held in the Middle School are a living example of this statement in action. Middle School has survived the renovations of the library and all of the boys are now very excited about the new library spaces. Having a lab area as well as a library area has enabled us to enjoy the space much more, with the ability to have two classes running at the same time. It has also opened up an area for small groups to use for extra help or small group work. Once we fnally opened it was pleasing to hear the boys excitement at ‘all of the new books’. Most of these were in fact the old books which had been in storage and fnally brought back out, although we are constantly upgrading our collection and adding new resources. The larger space has also made searching for books a lot easier, with enough space to spread out. The Interactive White Board in the space has meant that instruction in the Computer area is much easier and the Year 6 groups are now learning how to use the new software which goes with the boards. In all it is a great space for the teachers and the boys and is also enjoyed by many of the boys at lunch times, either on the computers, playing board games or reading. Michelle Robison and David King Middle School Staff Top left: Year 4 Camp at “The Pines”, Tuross . Bottom left: Middle School boys at the Opening Mass. Right: Enjoying the new library facilities.