Year 7-13 Senior School and Expansion of Our Senior Academy
Our vision for your daughter’s education is to enable her to succeed and thrive – through developing her individual strengths, expanding her thinking, and building her inner confidence.
St Cuthbert’s offers a leading education for girls, and we understand that girls can only achieve their personal best if they are happy and have every opportunity to discover what makes them unique.
To remain at the forefront of girls’ education globally, and to deliver our vision, we constantly critique the different aspects of our educational practice.
Our strategic planning over the past 12 months has focussed on ensuring that we have the right structure in place across the school so that we continue to provide the very best environment in which your daughter can achieve her full potential. The changes outlined below present a unique structure, that recognises the different developmental needs across the year levels, and strengthens the special sisterhood culture at St Cuthbert’s.
What is changing?
From the start of Term One 2020, the Senior School will begin in Year 7 instead of Year 9, and the Senior School Leadership Team will assume responsibility for the emotional wellbeing and academic curriculum for girls across years 7-13.
Current Deputy Principal and Head of Senior School Fiona Cottam will become the Head of Year 7-13. The Senior School Leadership Team will include, among others, the current Assistant Head of Middle School, Sue Elgar, who has been appointed to a new role as the Head of Pastoral Care and Wellbeing for these early secondary years. Sue will work alongside our Wellbeing Faculty, Deans, and Heads of (subject) Faculties.
We are also expanding our Senior Academy to include Year 11. This will enable our Year 11 girls to access a number of exciting new leadership and service opportunities, and overseas exchanges, which have previously been reserved for Year 12 and above.
There are no changes to our Junior School which will continue to operate from Year 0-6.
The New Senior School: Year 7-13
The move to incorporate Years 7 and 8 into our Senior School enables us to better recognise the unique developmental needs of girls in each of those specific year groups, and will provide many additional opportunities for leadership, mentoring, and learning across the school.
The Year 7 homeroom model remains in place. We recognise that, developmentally, our Year 7 girls need the pastoral support and day-to-day care provided by a dedicated homeroom teacher as they transition from primary school. The move to include Year 7 into the Senior School will provide greater opportunities for girls at this level to work vertically with more senior girls on a range of projects and activities.
From Term One 2020, Year 8 girls will move into their respective Senior School House (or Vertical) Tutor Groups, instead of remaining in a homeroom. Moving Year 8 into Vertical Tutor Groups recognises the emotional and academic needs of girls at this stage of adolescence. It will support their growing independence, provide more opportunities for mentoring and working together with older girls, and offer a broader range of learning experiences to support later subject specialisation.
Academically, St Cuthbert’s has, for several years, operated some aspects of the curriculum from Years 7-13 with oversight from senior faculty heads, and girls have been taught by specialist teachers in some key subjects. This announcement formalises that strategy and further deepens the curriculum oversight from the faculty heads for Years 7-8 under our framework of ‘Knowledge-Rich’ school. It also reduces the number of transition points for students between the different schools, to better support their emotional wellbeing.
Senior Academy Expansion
In addition to Years 12-13, we are expanding our Senior Academy to include Year 11 girls from Term 1 2020. This change reflects the developmental needs of Year 11 girls who are rapidly moving to young adulthood. The expanded Senior Academy will include greater leadership, service and mentoring responsibilities for our Year 11 girls. The move to open the current Year 12 exchange options to Year 11 girls builds on our Kahunui Programme and provides new opportunities for learning and personal growth.
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