Getting to know us
As your daughter joins the Middle School, our focus is on helping her feel happy, understood and included.
Thousands of girls have been welcomed to the Middle School over the years, and with the help of our robust processes and support, they quickly find their feet, make new friends and feel happy.
Research tells us that happiness stems from feeling a strong sense of connection. Throughout her Middle School years we work hard to ensure your daughter feels strongly connected to her tutor teacher, her classmates, her year group and the wider St Cuthbert’s family.
Getting to know each other
Firstly, we think it’s important to get to know what makes your daughter who she is. What stage she’s at, what she’s good at and where she needs support are all helpful in understanding what support and resources she needs to be her best.
We see your daughter’s education as a three-way partnership between her, the school and yourselves, so it’s also important we get to know you as parents. We welcome you into her classroom before and after school and our lines of communication are always open.
Prior to starting in Year 7, all new girls – from the Junior School and other schools – are welcomed at an orientation day. They get to know one another and also meet their teachers. Parents are a valuable part of the Middle School relationship and we welcome you to all orientation occasions.
In Year 7 our very experienced Dean, Mrs Elgar works closely with her team to ensure all girls have buddies from the very first day. Our Year 8 House Leaders work hard right from the very beginning of the year to make sure girls feel welcome and included and have plenty to do in their interval and lunchtime breaks.
Communication between the school and home is highly valued and after an initial settling in period of five weeks, your daughter’s tutor teacher will call you to chat about her progress.
As girls transition into Year 7, they will experience new daily routines and learning formats. They step up to take on new responsibilities and they are encouraged to become more independent. In our experience, girls require extra observation, support, motivation and stretching through these years and it is our job to ensure she has what she needs to make the most of her time with us.
At the heart of our Middle School approach is ensuring each girl is happy and well-supported – which is why we base our school on a home room model. This means each girl has a dedicated tutor teacher who sees her on a daily basis, notices what’s going on in her life and can communicate freely with parents.
Her tutor teacher plays a special role in her life. Apart from teaching her English, Social Studies and Health they also take on the role of advocating for their girls with other subject specialist teachers. All our Middle School tutor teacher specialise not only in girls – but girls at this unique developmental stage. They are your daughter’s champion, and your eyes and ears.
You can read more about our Middle School home room approach here
Girls being girls
In an all-girl environment our girls have the freedom to navigate adolescence without the pressures of a co-ed environment. Without boys in the picture, we see that our girls are less self-conscious, more likely to try new things and feel free to have fun with their classmates.
Our personalised approach to learning recognises that often girls need different strategies and support to learn. This can include everything from giftedness (learning enrichment) to processing disorders, learning differences (specialised learning intervention) and assistance for ELL (English Language Learners).
With our wraparound pastoral support, any specific learning requirements are quickly identified and with the help of our Personalised Learning Centre team, handled with sensitivity. Appropriate strategies, plans and interventions are developed to help girls learn in ways that best suit them. We encourage girls to fully understand and be proud of the way they learn. ‘Owning’ their learning style at this stage, helps them become confident lifelong learners.
Our Personalised Learning Centre also offers English language support to students’ learning in a second language.