Aussie Educator

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 Computation
    ‘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

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Northern Territory

  • 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’.
  • Middle Years Reports
    ‘This page has information on your child’s school reports during middle years’.
  • Review of Middle Schooling
    ‘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’.

Queensland

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South Australia

Tasmania

  • Department of Education - Publications
    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’.

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Victoria

  • 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].

Western Australia

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Research

Australian

  • 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’.

International

  • 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 Important”
    ‘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 Matter ?
    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’.
  • Transfer 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.

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Other Information

General Information

  • 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’.

International Groups

Journals

For all educational journals, see the Education Journals page.

Policy & Policy Positions

Resources

  • 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 Years
    ‘The handbook evolved from a Science Teachers’ Focus Group conducted at Ballarat High School in Victoria’. 2009.
  • Effective Middle Schooling
    Manual, by Julie Boyd. Australian.
  • Middle Years Programme Curriculum
    The International Baccalaureate. All learning areas.
  • MyRead, Strategies for Teaching Reading in the Middle Years
    ‘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 Resources
    ‘Education Services Australia develops and licenses digital curriculum resources to support teaching and learning’. Find many suitable for use with students in Middle Years.

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