Developing all dimensions

The Middle School is a time to support and nurture your daughter’s emotional and physical journey as she transitions from childhood to adolescence.

She’ll discover new strengths and dimensions to herself, develop resilience and expand her capacity to think.

As an independent school we have the freedom to expand on the curriculum and complement it with innovative co-curricular activities. Our focus is on helping your daughter develop all dimensions and grow into a happy, resilient and well-rounded young woman.

Academic Development

At St Cuthbert’s Middle School, you can expect teachers to ignite your daughter’s curiosity and foster a love of learning. Our teachers are innovators who teach enthusiastically and creatively. They have deep knowledge of their subjects, the ability to inspire and the passion and tenacity to work with your daughter at her pace.

Knowledge Rich School
As a Knowledge Rich School, we have a school-wide commitment to teaching specialist subjects in-depth and in ways that girls understand, retain and can apply. This Knowledge Rich approach means solid foundations are firmly established in Years 7 and 8. Once locked in, girls can confidently build on these foundations throughout their school and tertiary learning life.

Personalised learning
At all year levels our teachers and staff recognise that we are all unique and that some girls need different strategies to support them in their educational journey. We are skilled at picking up on areas where a girl needs support, and work with the Personalised Learning Centre on developing strategies and plans.

See our full curriculum

Physical Development

No part of any girl develops in isolation. To us, physical activity through these years is critical to maintaining healthy girls – both physically and mentally. By making sport fun, accessible and inclusive, our girls embrace the opportunity to get involved and give new things a go.

In addition to regular PE lessons, our girls have over 20 different sports codes to choose from in Years 7 and 8. This is a time when many discover hidden talents and passions. Being an all-girls’ school means we can focus on female sports. It also gives our girls the freedom to try new things without the inhibitions of a co-ed environment. We have an extensive have-a-go sports programme which gives girls the chance to try out many different team and individual sports for a few weeks at a time. Many discover new passions through this programme.

Opportunities range from competitive teams to playing for fun. Through our Athlete Pathway Programme, additional support and training are available to aspiring high performance athletes.

More on Sporting Opportunities

Education Outside The Classroom

Our Education Outside The Classroom experiences are a real highlight for our Middle School Girls. Week-long Y7 and Y8 camps at Motutapu and Totara Springs in Matamata give our girls the opportunity to challenge their own limits in the great outdoors in a safe and supported manner. They enjoy challenging tramps, overnight camping, cooking meals on open fires, trying to break long held records in activities such as scaling cliffs, crate climbing, and so much more. These camps are a chance for girls to forge deeper bonds, test their mettle and recognise their strengths and ability to persevere. It is during these camps that our girls begin developing skills they will put into practice when they visit St Cuthbert’s very own remote Kahunui campus in Year 10.

The Arts

Whether it be music, drama or other cultural experiences, your daughter will be encouraged to get involved in a wide range of cultural activities. Through involvement she will get to know a wide range of students across many year levels and at the same time, learn and grow as an individual.

Building on what your daughter already knows or starting afresh, the Middle School is the perfect time to get involved in music at the school. A wide range of options are open to girls in Year 7 and 8 including our Concert Band, Song Squad and smaller ensembles for brass, percussion, woodwind and string instruments.

Our music department offers six bands, five choirs and four orchestras to provide sequential choral and instrumental opportunities for our girls. These ensembles enrich school life with their performances and connect with the wider musical community through playing at festivals and competitions.

Music Lessons
Middle School is a great time to start learning an instrument or continue tuition and at St Cuthbert’s we offer lessons in over 20 different instruments alongside voice and music theory.

Speech and Drama
Speech and Drama tuition for Middle School girls incorporates voice and speech development, public speaking, sight reading, conversation and discussion skills. Speech and Drama students are regularly given the opportunity to showcase their skills alongside their peers in competitions, festivals and Trinity College and New Zealand Speech Board examinations.

Middle School students have regular opportunities to embrace their love of the theatrical through our curriculum Drama classes and the hotly-anticipated Year 7 and Year 8 productions each year.

All girls participate, working on set designs, planning costumes, perfecting dance routines, practising musical numbers and learning their lines. These productions are one of the highlights of the year, and we see our girls become more proficient and confident – and having a great time.

Itinerant lessons
We also offer a broad range of music, speech and drama itinerant lessons for beginners through to those students sitting examinations at advanced levels. Multi-levelling in the Arts and particularly in music, enables our very talented musicians to enjoy play in ensembles with their peers and to also be stretched by playing in more senior groups.

More on Arts and Culture

Emotional Wellbeing

St Cuthbert’s recognises the need for extra care at the Middle School age and stage. By providing a nurturing, supportive environment our girls are happier, more settled and open to learning.

Having strong pastoral care in place at this stage ensures girls are well-equipped with the resilience they require to deal with the physical, emotional and academic changes as they advance through their school years.

While they are at this critical developmental stage, we help girls move towards being organised and independent. Each girl matures at her own pace, so this means helping her take responsibility for herself and understanding consequences.

The wraparound pastoral network is made up of our Personalised Learning Team, Year 7 and 8 Pastoral Care Deans, the Head and Assistant Head of Middle School and our Wellbeing team. We meet weekly to ensure our girls are coping with all the different aspects of school life, identify any areas of concern and work on a plan to support girls where they need it.

Our girls’ familiar home room base provides stability and security for her, and a go-to person for you as parents.

As St Cuthbert’s, wellbeing is woven into everything your daughter experiences.

More on her wellbeing

Service And Values

A strong service and values programme benefits our girls both academically and emotionally. Active service enables our girls to become engaged in leadership, problem solving, and collaborative practices. It also develops their communication skills.

As a St Cuthbert’s family, you will hear girls talk about our motto: By Love Serve. This has been at the heart of our school values for over a century and is an easy to understand guiding light for both girls and teachers. We bring these values to life through everyday deeds like standing back to allow others to pass through a door first to altruistic activities. Some recent examples include: making teddy bears for refugee children; collecting blankets for children in low socio-economic areas; and baking horse-shaped cookies in the technology room to fundraising for Riding for the Disabled.

By Love Serve, our school motto is brought to life when girls’ lives are touched by tragedies. We see classmates rally to help, often by raising funds at school or supporting a relevant charity. We take their concerns seriously and help them to make a difference.

This holistic approach to learning and development helps open our girls’ eyes to a diversity of views, cultures, and opinions.

More on Values

Leadership Skills

Leadership is a mindset and skill set which is nurtured, developed and practised right throughout St Cuthbert’s. As girls are going through a time of intense personal development, leadership is particularly important to us in the Middle School. Giving girls opportunities to understand what it means to lead – and what it means to be part of a team – helps develop attributes such as self-confidence, commitment, accountability and teamwork.

Our programmes, 7Up and activ8 have been created to build self-awareness, confidence and encourage greater levels of responsibility.

Right across our Middle and Senior School, The Learning2Lead programme gives girls responsibility at levels that are both challenging and appropriate for their age.