Middle Schooling

 
The Middle Years Program offers all students in Years 8, 9 & 10 a framework based on the Australian Curriculum to ensure excellence in academic, social and cultural outcomes.
 
At Underdale High School, we accept and encourage individual differences and the uniqueness of each student. In the Middle School students are organised into a Home Group class and placed into a sub–school. Our Middle School Sub Schools are based on year levels: Resilience, Optimism and Courage, which reflect the character qualities we strive to instill in our students. The Home Group teacher is a key focus person, as he/she takes responsibility for the pastoral care of students in their Home Group and teaches the Social Education program. This program focuses on the emotional and social development of the student and works toward providing them with the skills and understanding to work effectively with others and get the most out of their educational experience.
 
In Year 8 students participate in a range of activities to ease their transition to a secondary setting. The Year 8 activities held each term are an integral part of this transition program and aim to foster new friendships, positive relationships with peers and teachers and to establish an understanding of the school’s culture and expectations.
 

Middle School Learning Centre

 
The year 8 and 9 learning environment promotes the concept of a collaborative community. Through a balanced, holistic approach we aim to equip our students with the confidence, creativity and resilience that they need to build knowledge, understanding, skills and values. Year 8 classes have designated rooms in the Optimism corridor to foster a sense of belonging and connectedness with the year 9’s located in Resilience corridor.  Classroom design promotes team work and collaboration, with additional access to a flexible learning space.  A quality learning environment supports students and teachers to form effective relationships as they transition into high school.  Our year 8 and 9  pastoral care program emphasises learner wellbeing and students participate in a range of activities that promote resilience as well as social and emotional development.
Based on the eight learning areas of the Australian Curriculum, our learning programs provide dynamic, relevant and challenging curriculum that will engage students in a range of successful learning experiences.  
 
When students are deeply engaged in learning, they
•Care about the development of their learning, not just the outcome or grade
•Take responsibility for their learning
•Bring energy and interest to their learning tasks
•See the value in and show a desire to learn beyond the school context
•Become resourceful learners and resources to their peers
 
Collaborative learning promotes positive interdependence; each student is motivated and engaged in the learning and feels accountable to themselves and their peers. Year 8  and 9 teachers focus on inclusive and co-operative strategies that enable students to engage in differentiated, personalised learning tasks to achieve successful outcomes.  Learner centred classrooms shift the focus from teacher control to a partnership between teacher and students, with learning at the centre. Negotiation about the learning is paramount, with students and teachers developing units of work around shared interests, incorporating the curriculum elements that need to be explicitly taught.  Students have the opportunity to work cooperatively through group work, structured discussion, peer tutoring and debating ideas, thereby learning to consider other perspectives.  In the collaborative classroom teachers explore the role of questioning to promote higher order thinking, inquiry and problem solving.
 
Year 8 and 9  students have their own device to facilitate this new approach and provide 24/7 access to online learning.  Students actively participate in online networks and are highly connected through online social collaboration, blogging and a range of other ICT tools that connect students with school and community and provide high quality learning opportunities.