Year 8 is a time of significant change and growth and provides an ideal opportunity for students to play an active and special role as the leaders of the Middle School. Our Activ8 programme recognises that thriving at school will enable these students to develop a strong foundation for ongoing success throughout life.
The Activ8 programme is based upon an integrative learning approach, specifically designed to cater for the changing needs of these students: independence, and the development of self-discipline, self-knowledge and self-motivation.
The Year 7-8 Social Development Programme and the FRIENDS for Life programme encourage reflection and analysis, develop empathy and caring, and prompt the students to learn more about the world, others, and themselves. We want to help them to be fair, honest and open, to be brave and strong, and to thrive in an environment in which their spirit can blossom. In Year 8, the students have had a year of social development and are ready to take up the wide variety of leadership and team roles offered to them.
A rich, specialist-taught science programme at Year 8 enhances the Activ8 programme. It empowers our students to participate fully in their own science experiments, to develop a thorough understanding of scientific concepts and to explore areas of particular interest.
In the Activ8 programme, students acquire self-knowledge and decision making and leadership skills through such roles as house captains, class and games captains, Values and Student Council representatives, and librarians, and through our Year 8 service and public relations teams.
As part of the Year 7-8 Careers programme the teachers explore how best to develop the students’ understanding of their own strengths, weaknesses and interests, and their awareness of a range of possible future careers. In Term 4 of Year 7, the students submit a CV and letter of application for leadership roles in Year 8.
The Activ8 programme complements our Values and Christian education programmes in contributing to the Year 8 students’ development as citizens. The aim is to stretch each Year 8 student’s consciousness: her awareness of what is going on around her, her opinions, feelings and beliefs, and to push her to think deeply.
We prepare Year 8 students to embrace the challenges of the senior school, and to leave the Middle School with confidence and a sense of anticipation. The focus for students is very much on personal organisation and independence in preparation for their transfer from the ‘home room’ environment to the more mobile and demanding day of a Year 9 student.
Thinking Skills are integrated throughout all curriculum areas in Year 8. There are opportunities for very able students to take part in extension withdrawal activities including Future Problem Solving and writers’ groups, as well as enrichment tasks coordinated by the Director of The Personalised Learning Centre. All Year 8 students have the opportunity to sit the UNSW International Competitions and Assessments for Schools in English, science, maths and writing, and the Australian mathematics competition.
Year 8 students attend a five-day camp each year, which provides an excellent Education Outside the Classroom opportunity as it is physically challenging and involves a camping-out experience. Several sports exchanges take place during the year, giving students an opportunity to visit other schools.