The Queen Margaret College Middle School (Year 7 – 10) aims is to ease the transition of our students from a primary school environment to that of a secondary school by ensuring the development of confidence, high self-esteem and sound work habits. This period requires a programme that helps students participate actively and responsibly in a changing and increasingly interrelated world. Learning how to think and how to evaluate information critically is as important as learning facts.
We are an International Baccalaureate World School authorised to teach the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP). The MYP emphasises learning, community service, attitude development and preparation for participation in an increasingly global society.
Building on the skills and knowledge developed through the Primary Years Programme in the Junior School, the programme is ideal preparation for the dual qualification pathway offered in the Senior School of either the IB Diploma or NCEA. Students can choose to take different elected subjects, depending on their interests and future goals. We encourage them to think about their education as a whole and transfer their knowledge of one subject to another.
We develop learners who have a growth mindset, empowering them to develop their talents through hard work, good strategies, and effective feedback. Students learn how to learn using communication, research, self-management, collaboration and critical thinking. Developing these skills helps students meet deadlines, concentrate, bounce back, persist and think positively. In our rapidly changing world, these are fundamental skills for students to prepare for increasingly complex life and work environments.
The programme can be illustrated by the MYP Curriculum Model which has the IB Learner Profile at the centre surrounded by the features of the programme, its outcomes and the curriculum students study. This provides a broad and balanced education for early adolescents.
The MYP has distinctive features that help students develop disciplinary (and interdisciplinary) understandings
Approaches to Teaching and Learning
The approach to teaching and learning provides students with the tools to enable them to take responsibility for their own learning by developing awareness of how they learn best, of thought processes and of learning strategies.
Global contexts provide shared starting points for inquiry into what it means to be internationally minded. The curriculum promotes multilingualism, intercultural understanding and global engagement.
The concepts studied are big ideas that have relevance within specific disciplines and across traditional subject areas. Over the course of the academic year, each year level participates in at least one interdisciplinary unit of work. This involves teachers in at least two subjects working together to design a unit of learning and assessment. Interdisciplinary learning allows students to make connections between subjects and to develop ideas and solutions that incorporate learning and knowledge from different spheres.
Inquiry Based Learning
Inquiry based learning allows students to take action by applying what they are learning in the classroom to the outside world. The Year 10 Community Project focuses on community and service. It gives each student the opportunity to develop awareness of community needs and address a specific need they feel concerned about.
The eight subjects students study are Language and Literature (English), Language Acquisition (Second Language), Individual and Societies, Mathematics, Design, Arts, Sciences, Physical Health and Education.
Year 7–10 is a time of immense change as a girl grows from child to teenager. We value the importance of getting to know each student as an individual.
Mentoring programmes are implemented for all new students particularly at Year 7 and Year 9 allowing them to gain confidence and interact with older role models in the College. These programmes familiarise younger students with school facilities and help our new students and their parents to quickly feel at ease.
Individualised programmes and small group activities are offered to students with learning strengths and difficulties. Our students can choose to compete in a variety of extension opportunities as well.
Students who are exceptionally gifted and talented work with the Manager of Student Support Programmes to devise an individual action plan.
Students with learning difficulties receive additional support depending on their needs. We are flexible and cater to the time and resources the student requires.
Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) enriches the curriculum and is an essential part of students’ learning and personal development.
At the beginning of each year, Middle School students experience challenging outdoor activities as part of EOTC Week. Year 7 and 9 go on a camp outside the city and Year 8 and 10 explore Wellington. Students regularly have the opportunity to participate in sporting and musical exchanges and Year 9 and 10 students can go on international exchanges with Queen Margaret College’s sister schools. In the past, students have visited Australia, Singapore and Tahiti.
We offer a range of trips, workshops and clubs to encourage our students’ curiosity and deepen their thinking. Popular areas of interest include robotics, creative writing, problem-solving, film-making and astronomy.
Students in the Middle School are encouraged to participate in a sport they enjoy at a competitive level or just for fun. We offer over 20 sports codes of sports from Athletics to Volleyball. Students can also choose to coach from Year 9.
Middle School students take part in Athletics Days, Swimming Sports and have high level performance training opportunities available to them.
Music and Drama are taught as part of the curriculum where students participate in musicals and performances. In the Middle School, co-curricular Performing Arts options include Music, Speech and Drama, Dance, choirs, Poly Club and productions.
We also have specialist itinerant teachers who take private lessons in a variety of lessons including musical instruments, speech and drama.
The Student Ambassador Programme is a leadership opportunity for Middle School students. Student Ambassadors represent the school at Open Days, guide families around the school and are role models for other students in the Middle School.
Year 8 and Year 10 students also get the opportunity to be House Leaders and liaise with other leaders in the Junior and Senior Schools.
Service as an outcome of curricular studies furthers students’ understanding of how their learning connects to the real world.
Students complete a self-driven Community Project in Year 10 where they address a need in an area that interests them. This allows further connection between learning and the real world, with students expressing a real sense of purpose and satisfaction at the project’s completion.
A few kind words
“My experience at QMC has been one of a kind. Ever since my first day in Year 7, I have been swept into a whirlwind of opportunities. From extensions in subjects, language competitions, creative writing classes, ambassador jobs, to extra curriculum activities like Celesta Choir and netball. My favourite part of the school is how the teachers embrace culture. I think, because I am bilingual myself, this had a positive effect on me. The teachers are always there to catch you when you fall and support you in succeeding to your very best.” – Sora Grace Tanuma, current Middle School student