The Circle of Life: Middle School subject selection

'Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful phrase…
'It means no worries, for the rest of your days…'

The subject preference process has certainly created a 'worry-free' feel in the Middle School. We offer such an amazing range of tempting electives; everything from Creative Silicon Chips and Writing Wizardry all the way through to Play Making and Food Studies, you can quite understand that most students are untroubled by their elective preferences.

The electives and core enrichment subjects give students a wonderful opportunity to try something new, follow an area of interest and develop some different skills and attributes. Combining these with our special intensive programs such as Outdoor Education, Enterprise Week and the Human Rights Convention, we provide a rich and varied experience throughout the middle years.

However, in preparing our students to 'take their place in the Circle of Life,'our ‘Big Five’ core subjects (English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Languages) remain the focus for our learning. Each of these subjects brings its own knowledge, rigour and challenge to students. Sometimes it is not so easy for students to see the benefits and they respond with the classic question, 'why do I have to learn this?'

I have asked our Leaders of Learning to explain why it is important that Middle School students study their subject – enjoy!

'Because without English, there is no functioning in society. Everything else depends on it!' – David Martin

'Learning mathematics enables people to think both creatively and analytically and hence to be able to find solutions to new and old problems. Learning mathematics in Middle School serves to support students in building a strong foundation for Senior School mathematics while also improving their capacity to be numerate in their day-to-day lives. Learning mathematics is a lot like learning another language and creates fantastic pathways in your brain. It is connected to many other disciplines, including sciences, geography, physical education and music, among others.' – Sabine Partington

'Learning a language has wonderful benefits for your cognitive (or brain) development. It can develop memory and aid retention. Learning a language is also exciting; every time you learn a new word, phrase or topic, it’s like adding a new piece to a puzzle. Languages help students to develop courage, curiosity, knowledge and communication. And, of course, who can deny how wonderful it is to be able to visit another country and communicate with the locals?!' – Ellen Moffatt

'The first part of the word 'Humanities' tells you all you need to know about why it is important to study the broad range of subjects available at Carey for Middle School students. You learn how to be HUMAN when you study humanities. It gives you a sense of not only your place in the world but your responsibility to that world.' – Allan Kerr

'Science and scientific endeavour are leading and directing many of the changes currently taking place in society. They are also critically important in addressing the compelling and complex issues that the current generation of students will inherit from their parents. Students need to develop a high level of scientific literacy in order to embrace the opportunities and respond to challenges presented by the changes currently taking place, at the level of the individual and as members of local, national and global communities. The sciences also provide unique opportunities for the development of critical and creative skills that all students will need to be successful in the workplace.' – Julie Harris-Wetherbee

To me, Mufasa sums it all up when he says, 'Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures.' Our curriculum aims to create those kings.

The upcoming Parent Teacher Student Interviews provide a wonderful opportunity to join discussions about the importance of learning and what success looks like for your child. Please contact the Middle School Curriculum Office if you need assistance making interview times.

And finally, a big shout-out to Ash Barty for some extraordinary tennis and some great Disney quotes!

With best wishes,

Meredith Plaisted
Deputy Head of Middle School – Student Learning

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