Middle Years of Schooling
Middle Years of Schooling is generally accepted as covering Years 5 to 8 in schools though this can vary slightly. These are the last years of Primary and the first years of Secondary Education. It is also a period when student’s lives undergo significant physical, emotional and even mental changes. Many believe that developing and implementing specific programs and/or settings addressing these issues will benefit students and their achievement.
While there is variable interest in other areas of the world regarding both research and implementation, this remains patchy in Australia.
This page covers procedures and programs, where they exist, in each state & territory, research, policies, international groups, journals and further information.
States & Territories
Australian Capital Territory
- Middle Years Mental
‘Aims to increase teachers’ professional knowledge, understanding and skill in connecting teaching, learning and assessment to support their students in learning mental computation strategies’. Brief commentary only.
- No specific programs exist as at this date.
New South Wales
and career aspirations in the middle years of schooling
‘This project examines the complex relationships among factors that shape the career and educational aspirations of students in the middle years of schooling across three New South Wales regions’.
- Middle Years
Literature Review Part 1
Access Middle Years Literature Review Part 2 here.
Our Middle Years Learners - Engaged, Resilient, Successful
‘Education Strategy for Years 5 - 9 in NSW 2010-2012’.
- Middle Years [CEO]
Catholic Education Office. Relating to the curriculum.
- Middle Years Curriculum
‘Information about what your child learns during the middle years of schooling and how you can help your child do their best at school’.
‘This page has information on your child’s school reports during middle years’.
- Review of
‘Commissioned by the NT government in 2014 to identify opportunities to strengthen the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of the middle years of education after the model was introduced eight years ago’. Download the report via the following link.
- Work Like the Best - Middle Years Teaching and Learning Strategy 2016-2018
‘This three year strategy is aimed at driving policy and programs in the areas identified as having the greatest positive impact on the quality of middle school education; positioning students for success as they enter their last stage of secondary education’.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspectives in The Middle Phase of Learning
‘Explains the role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in the middle years curriculum and includes a range of support materials’. You now must have permission to access this resource. Resources are listed here and also in Word format here.
Middle Years Pedagogy and Teacher Education
Part of a training program. You can also watch a video presentation here.
- About the Wellbeing and Engagement
Follows on from the Middle Years Development Instrument trial in 2013. Optional student participation in the middle years group. A Fact Sheet is available here. For more information about what was called the Middle Years Development Instrument, visit this site.
Curriculum framework, information about learners, what’s new, resources, more.
- SACSA Framework Middle Years
Use menu at the left. Learners & Learning, Essential Learnings, Implications and Enterprise and Vocational Education.
- Wellbeing and Engagement Collection
‘The wellbeing and engagement collection includes items from the Middle Years Development Instrument which was developed by the University of British Columbia and was trialled in Australia in 2013’.
- Department of Education
Use these to mine for data relating to the Middle Years.
- Middle School
‘TAS in 2000, established Middle School, a distinct academic and residential precinct for students in Years 6-8. A rich, challenging and stimulating curriculum is designed to generate an enthusiasm for life-long learning, in a way that excites and engages 11-14 year olds boys and girls’.
- Updated ! Scaffolding Numeracy in the Middle Years : Resource Library
‘The library includes the following sections : Research project description, Assessment materials, Support materials, Subitising materials, Research papers and presentations, Bibliography and references’.
- Wodonga Middle Years College
MySchool profile. ‘A multi campus co-educational College catering for about 1050 students in Years 7 to 9, Wodonga Middle Years College is pivotal to the delivery of Middle Years education in the Victorian Government Education system’.
- Victorian Curriculum
Curriculum information for this area of schooling, covering Levels 5-8 [or 5-9].
- Middle School : Exploring Opportunities to Grow
Wesley College. One example of a Middle School program.
- Middle Schooling in Western Australian Public
Report from the Department of Education, 2008.
- Middle schooling policy and practice in the Western
Australian Catholic system
- A Framework for research into Australian middle school practice
2007; Main, Katherine and Bryer, Fiona. ‘If Australian middle schools are to avoid the boom-to-bust-to-reinvention cycle experienced in parts of the USA [Beane 2001], then a more systematic approach to researching practice is required’.
- Contesting lost ground for the Middle
Years in Australia : using the case study of Queensland
2011, Nan Bahr; Leanne Crosswell. ‘The fact that middle years practices and philosophies are implicitly embedded [hidden] rather than being made explicitly and systematically mainstreamed [broadly accepted], causes us grave concern. We argue that this is clear indication that the middle years are being marginalised from the overarching educational agendas in Australia’.
- Do schools
influence student engagement in the high school years ?
2014; Tham Lu, Sinan Gemici. ‘At age 15 school characteristics, such as school sector and demographics, resourcing, competition and academic orientation, school leadership and teacher quality, and overall school climate, have very little impact on engagement levels. It is very possible that the impact of school factors on students’ engagement levels occurs at a younger age’.
- How can Australia
sustain middle-schooling education ?
2012; Suzanne Hudson, Peter Hudson. ‘Middle schooling is a crucial area of education where adolescents experiencing physiological and psychological changes require expert guidance. As more research evidence is provided about adolescent learning, teachers are considered pivotal to adolescents’ educational development’.
Monitoring Trends in Educational Growth
A partnership service to monitor the educational growth of students in the early to middle years of schooling. 2015; ACER. ‘The MTEG assessment model is built around a set of standard tools and design features that can be tailored to the local context in four areas : target populations, assessment domains, contextual questionnaires, and assessment frequency and timing’.
- The influence of the home learning
environment on ...
Middle school students’ use of ICT at school. 2015; Pullen, Darren. ‘The study results suggest that technology usefulness and ease of use are key dimensions of students’ attitudes and acceptance towards ICT in both the home and school’.
- Academic, Social, and Emotional Needs
in a Middle Grades Reform Initiative
2012, Lisa M. Raphael; Meghan Burke. ‘The complex relationships between students’ multiple needs and the initiative demonstrate the importance of providing comprehensive support and guidance to middle grades students in the context of a reform’. USA.
- An Investigation of Middle School Teachers’
Perceptions on Bullying
2017; Stewart Waters, Natalie Mashburn. ‘The researchers in this study investigated rural middle school teachers’ perspectives regarding bullying. The researchers gathered information about the teachers’ definitions of bullying, where bullying occurs in their school, and how to prevent bullying’. USA.
- Cyberbullying : What Middle School Students
Want You to Know
2012; J J Burnham, V H Wright. ‘Cyberbullying is a growing concern because youth are technologically savvy. This focus group study examined cyberbullying attitudes, beliefs, and opinions among middle school students in Alabama and describes conversations middle school students shared in the interviews’. USA.
- Developmental Characteristics
of Young Adolescents
2014; Micki Caskey, Vincent A Anfara Jr. ‘During this remarkable stage of the life cycle, young adolescents, 10- to 15-year-olds, experience rapid and significant developmental change. Understanding and responding to the unique developmental characteristics of young adolescents is central among the tenets of middle level education’.
- “I Feel I’m
‘Successful Collaborative Teaching and Learning in a New Zealand Intermediate School’. 2012; Rachel Martin; Judy Williams. ‘The investigation examined a collaborative teaching and learning house structure at a New Zealand intermediate [or middle] school. Using observations, questionnaires, and interviews, we explored the perceptions of staff, children, and parents about the educational value of such a model and whether it meets the principles of good education for the young adolescent age group’.
- School Attachment Theory and Restitution
Processes : …
Promoting Positive Behaviours in Middle Years Schools. 2012; Christine Penner, Dawn Wallin. ‘Examined school attachment and restitution strategies used in a middle years school to determine if the program had provided a viable means of promoting and sustaining positive behaviours among middle years students’. Canada.
- Test Anxiety : Do Gender and School-Level
2017; Utkun Aydin. ‘The study investigated differences in students’ reported overall test anxiety before, during, or after test taking among two school-levels and gender. Differences among three test anxiety components [thoughts, off-task behaviours, and autonomic reactions] were also examined’. Turkey.
- That Was Then, This Is Now :
Gifted in the Middle
2017; Susan Rakow. ‘Committing to the challenge of addressing the needs of gifted learners’.
and Transitions in the Middle Years of Schooling [7-14]
Continuities and Discontinuities in Learning. 2003; Maurice Galton, et al. ‘The project was concerned with factors which affect pupils’ progress between the ages of 7 and 14’. UK.
- Adolescent Success
‘Dedicated to the education, development and growth of young adolescents’. Previously listed as Middle Years of Schooling Association. eNews & Newsletters are accessed here.
- Middle School
Covers pedagogy and implementation around the world. Wikipedia.
- Middle Years of Schooling
AARE. ‘The key aim of this Special Interest Group is to create and support strategic opportunities to enhance the momentum and advocacy around middle years research, and the consolidation of evidence based practice in middle years education’.
- Association for Middle Level Education
‘A voice for those committed to the educational and developmental needs of young adolescents’. USA. Publications [AMLE Magazine], research, professional development and preparation, news, more.
- Edutopia Middle School Group
‘Teaching middle school is not for the faint of heart. Join us in discussing what works - and what doesn’t’.
- European League for Middle Level Education
‘Provides a wealth of resources for schools, districts, educators, parents, and public school advocates working to raise achievement for all students in the middle grades’. USA. Their Resources page is good. Also articles, interviews, book reviews, more. An article example is We Don’t Need Learning Styles to Teach Diverse Students.
- National Middle Schools’ Forum
‘Represents the interests and aspirations of middle school headteachers, staff, pupils and governors. As “The Voice of Middle Schools” we have contacts with many national bodies’. Articles, research, International links, good practice, forums, resources, more. UK.
For all educational journals, see the Education Journals page.
Policy & Policy Positions
- Enhancing Middle
ACARA. Part of a larger report. 2013.
- Principles of Middle Schooling
Australian Curriculum Studies Association. Use the ‘Policies & Papers’ link.
- Access Middle School
‘Developed by an educator for educators. Much of the material selected for inclusion into the site was found on the internet’.
- Updated !
Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers
Resources specifically for the Middle Years.
- Creatively Teaching Science In the Middle
‘The handbook evolved from a Science Teachers’ Focus Group conducted at Ballarat High School in Victoria’. 2009.
- Effective Middle
Manual, by Julie Boyd. Australian.
- Middle Years Programme
The International Baccalaureate. All learning areas.
- MyRead, Strategies for Teaching Reading in the Middle
‘Supports teachers of underperforming students in the middle years [Years 4 - 9]’. Information, resources. Australian government.
- Updated !
The Rite Journey
‘Targets Year 9 students, the age that most teachers recognise as “the year of disengagement”. Re-invents the traditional process of a Rite of Passage to assist in transforming the adolescent from dependency to responsibility’.
- Turning Points
‘Though funding for the initiative has ceased, CCE remains supportive of schools interested in the model and is pleased to house a selection of Turning Points guides online. To download Turning Points guides, click the links below. Access to this content is complimentary, but you will be asked to register’. USA.
- Using Digital
‘Education Services Australia develops and licenses digital curriculum resources to support teaching and learning’. Find many suitable for use with students in Middle Years.