Middle School - Frequently Asked Questions
To assist you in making a decision about your child’s education, we have compiled a list of questions frequently asked by our prospective families.
You can also download a PDF of these FAQs.
If you have further queries which are not addressed here, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Admissions team:
4. How is your program tailored for this age group?
5. What kind of subjects are available to Middle School students?
6. What languages are offered at Carey? Is it compulsory?
7. Carey is a Baptist school, does that mean my child is required to partake in a religious subject?
8. Do students need to attend Chapel?
9. Does the School have a year off campus for Year 9 students?
12. Is it compulsory to learn an instrument?
13. Are there choirs or bands they can participate in? If so, when does that occur?
14. Does the School run musicals each year and who gets to participate?
15. Do you have a sports campus?
16. Carey is part of the APS/AGSV association, what does this mean? Do boys and girls compete in sport together?
17. When is APS/AGSV training and competition days?
Pastoral care and wellbeing
Year 7 transition
25. What is your entry process and are students required to sit entrance exams?
26. What scholarships do you offer for Middle School?
27. What is available to parents wanting to get involved within the School community?
28. Are there music, sports and design tours?
29. Are there opportunities for leadership in the Middle School?
30. Where do we buy uniforms?
31. Can students wear PE uniform all day on PE days?
32. Do most students take public transport? What access is available to the school?
33. What time is the library open?
There are 10 Year 7 classes with 26 students in each class. Beyond Year 7, classes are organised by elective groups, so class sizes can vary – typically anything from 16 through to a maximum of 26 students per class depending on the subject. There are approximately 260 students in both Year 8 and Year 9.
To support the transition of our Year 7 students, every student is allocated to a core classgroup with their core teacher who also teaches a few of the class’s subjects.
Students are also allocated to House mentor groups where they have House meetings and roll call times during the week. Mentor groups usually consist of around five each of Year 7, 8 and 9 students. This vertical House mentor system ensures that students start to build connections across the various levels of the school during their three years in that group.
From Year 8 onwards, students will no longer have a core class and will start to move through the school as an individual based on their subject electives. Their mentor group remains their constant support and check in group. From this point on, the mentor is the key contact point for the student and their parents and teachers.
When students move to Senior School, they will join a new mentor group (of Year 10, 11 and 12 students) and will be allocated a new mentor teacher.
Our Admissions team enrol to maintain as close to an even gender balance across all school sections.
However, Carey does not enforce gender balance on a class-to-class basis. The gender make-up in electives is often based on interest levels. We do not impose gender requirements on each class but ensure that the overall school numbers maintain a healthy balance of boys and girls across each year level.
We understand the learning and social development needs of the adolescent years as young people develop greater independence and self-reliance. The broad range of experiences and the timing of our interdisciplinary programs across the three years ensure students grow and learn as much about themselves as they do about those with whom they form lasting friendships and relationships.
There are many subjects to choose from. You can find this information and more on the Carey Pathways site.
All Year 7 students complete subjects in English, Maths, Humanities, Science, Music, Health and PE, CARE (Community and Religious Education), Art and Drama and Languages. Every Year 7 student also participates in an instrumental music program where they choose an instrument to learn and lessons are scheduled into each student’s two-week timetable. They will also join a band or ensemble as a part of this program. After Year 7, continuation of an instrument becomes optional.
From Year 8 onwards, students are required to take the core subjects: English, Maths, Humanities, Sciences, Health and PE, Languages and CARE. Students also select semester-based subjects from our Core Enrichment selection. These are more challenging academic-based subjects that are designed to stretch and challenge. Some examples include Mathemagician, Astro Science and Law and Order.
Students will also choose a number of semester-based Core Elective subjects. These subjects are more interest-based subjects such as Product Design subjects (Wood, Metal, Jewellery design), Food Technology, Theatre for Young Adults etc.
All Year 7 to 9 students are required to learn a language other than English. They are able to choose from Chinese (Mandarin), French or Indonesian. Beginner Spanish is on offer from Year 11 for IB students wishing to learn a language at beginner level.
Language advancement is also possible in Carey Middle School. For instance, our model allows for those who enter Year 7 having completed French immersion programs in primary school to go straight into a Year 8 French class. For students whose first language is one taught at Carey Middle School, we would recommend that they learn a different language as a part of their Languages program.
Yes, each school section has a school chaplain and participation in CARE (Community and Religious Education) is compulsory. However, children learn about various religions arounds the world. There is a strong focus within these classes on social justice, community outreach and charity.
Chapel is compulsory for students to attend once a fortnight. At Carey, chapel time is about reflection and respect. Chaplains encourage students to think deeply and share their views in a respectful way. They often discuss current issues and encourage students to consider the teachings of religion within today’s context.
The School does not have a separate Year 9 campus; however, Carey delivers a program called C-Change during Year 9 with a large focus on personal growth, health and social justice. Students participate in various off-site activities during this time but stay living with their family.
Year 9 students have the opportunity to be part of our Cultural Visiting Program to the UK, US, New Zealand, Canada and also to the Northern Territory. Each trip is for a duration of six weeks. Places are limited and the application process occurs in Year 8 for the following year’s program.
Each year level from Years 7 to 10 participates in compulsory annual camps. In Year 7, students attend Camp Toonallook in Term 1. Year 8 students participate in the Hattah Camp as part of a three-week rotation program of bushwalking, rural and city camp activities. Year 9 students attend the Wabonga camp and Year 10 students can choose between 10 different Outdoor Education expeditions.
Carey will also be introducing the NASA tour in the near future.
Yes, we have a campus in the Gippsland Lakes called Camp Toonallook. Students enjoy camping, bike riding and outdoor and water activities at this facility.
All Year 7 students must select a musical instrument to learn for the duration of Year 7. From Year 8, the music instrumental program is optional.
Yes, there are many opportunities for students to participate in performing arts.
There are over 30 teachers who teach in our instrumental music program as well as leading our various choirs and orchestral bands and ensembles.
The Performing Arts team offers open choirs where all students are welcome to join as well as an audition-based choir for those with more advanced singing experience. The School also has various ensemble groups across the age groups.
Practice can be before or after school (with choir practices usually in the mornings and band practices often in the afternoon) and lessons are timetabled through the week on a rotational basis. Lesson times are agreed between the student and the music teacher to avoid repeated absences in core classes.
Students have the opportunity to be part of musicals and plays throughout the year. Middle School runs a musical and a play each year. Participation is open to all, however there are audition processes for cast roles. Stage crew and orchestra opportunities are also available to those interested.
Carey has a sport campus in Bulleen. It houses a full-size swimming pool, basketball, badminton courts, cricket pitches, and hockey and football fields.
Sport is the only subject where boys and girls are separated. APS stands for Associated Public Schools of Victoria. Carey also participates in the Associated Grammar Schools of Victoria (AGSV). These associations of independent schools have had a long history of participating in friendly competitive sporting programs.
APS/AGS starts with a summer season in Term 1 and finishes with a winter season usually around early August. For those interested, there is also an optional spring season of Athletics, Rowing or Water Polo that starts after the winter program.
For Middle School, APS/AGSV training is usually one day a week after school, from 3.15 to 5.00pm on ether Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Carey will arrange bus transport for all teams to their respective training venues and then return students to Kew campus at the end of training. Parents also have the option of picking up the students themselves directly from the training venue.
Competition days are Saturdays and are usually held anytime between 7.30am to midday. Some sports, such as senior cricket, may have longer competition times.
Families are expected to take their children to competition venues. These can be across various independent school campuses across Melbourne, including Carey Bulleen. For competitions held in outer metro Melbourne, such as those at Geelong Grammar, Carey will provide bus transport to and from Carey Kew.
Middle School offers a Maths Extension Program where a small number of students attend extension classes to further support their need for challenge. Participation in Maths Extension is on a selective basis and is determined by testing, school reports and teacher input.
Each school section has a Learning Development department to not only support those students who may find particular areas of learning a challenge but also for those who benefit from further extension. Our learning support model is to provide differentiated learning support that can be integrated within the normal classroom context – not one of isolating students. Our Learning Development team work alongside classroom teachers to devise appropriate learning plans for their students.
However, we recognise that students come to Carey from all different levels of learning and some may need additional support in their early Middle School years, particularly in Maths. These students may therefore benefit from extra maths consolidation lessons in addition to their regular Maths class.
There are also study/tutorial groups that take place after school in our library which are run by past Carey students on a weekly basis.
Pastoral care and wellbeing
Carey supports a child’s wellbeing in multiple ways. In Year 7, the core class teacher keeps across the student’s learning and wellbeing, ensuring that they settle into the new Middle School environment. The House Mentor works in tandem with the teacher and is the parents’ key contact point for any issues and questions.
The broader House network of students also builds connections across Middle and Senior School during their time at Carey and are often there to support one another. Head of House teachers are also available to support students within their Houses.
Carey also has a Learning Development team who work alongside teachers and families from a student’s wellbeing perspective. Qualified psychologists are employed by the School in the Learning Development team at Kew campus, which operates on a walk-in basis as well as working closely with the school sections to address any student wellbeing concerns. During their orientation program, Year 7 students are introduced to the Learning Development team.
Our pastoral care program also extends beyond the classrooms and into the co-curricular space. Carey teachers participate in co-curricular activities – they could be anything from a lighting technician in a musical production to a team manager in an APS team. This provides opportunities for teachers to extend their pastoral care in ways beyond their classrooms and enables students to build connections with teaching staff across the school.
Each school section also has a dedicated chaplain who provides spiritual and wellbeing support and guidance.
Year 7 transition
There are around 110 new students who join Carey in Year 7 each year. Of the 10 Year 7 classes, the equivalent of four will transition from Junior School Kew, two from Carey Donvale and an equivalent of four classes of new students.
To embrace the diversity of students entering Carey Middle School, class groups are allocated to ensure that we maintain a healthy blend of current and new students in each class. In doing so, we find that many new friendships are made within that first year.
From Year 6, the school will begin its transition program. This includes a series of events such as a transition testing day, Carey staff visiting new student’s schools where possible, parent information events, music program information night and student orientation day later in the year.
In Term 1 of Year 7, all students attend a week-long Year 7 Toonallook camp with their class group and teacher. This helps to quickly build rapport and relationships within the class and with the teacher.
Mobile phones are to remain in lockers during class time with only limited use outside these time frames. Occasionally, teachers may request students to use their mobile phone for lesson purposes, but this is only as directed by the teacher when necessary.
All Middle School students use a compulsory school-issued device that is leased through the school. Technical devices are set up for school learning purposes only and all students are required to sign an ICT Responsible Usage agreement prior to taking possession of their devises.
In Year 10, students can choose between and PC laptop and a MacBook depending on what is more suitable to their learning needs.
Carey is an open entry school in Middle School and students are not required to sit entrance exams prior to staring school. For Year 10 and above, entry is based on the review of school reports and an interview process.
The school offers both Academic and General Excellence (for Sport) Scholarships for Year 7 entry.
We encourage parent involvement within the School community. We have a Parent Association for each school section as well as our CLOSA group (Carey Local and Overseas Student Association). This group is particularly beneficial to join if you are a family that has recently moved to Melbourne from interstate or overseas.
From a social point of view, our Parent Association members are very active in organising fun events such as Mothers and Fathers Day events and year level based social events. Every second year, the parent associations also work together to bring the Carey Ball to life, which has become a much-anticipated community event in the Carey calendar.
For those interested in applying, Carey offers a variety of interstate and overseas tours for students.
Some examples include music tours to Europe for those learning an instrument, sports tours such as basketball tours to the US and netball tours to NZ as well as design tours to New York. Carey also runs language tours to Indonesia and will be introducing the NASA tour.
All the above are optional and participation is on a user pay basis.
There are many formal and informal leadership roles available in Year 9 for School Captains and for Music and House leaders. All Year 8 students are involved in Leadership Training in the end of the year program. In Middle School, we consider all Year 9 students to be leaders as they are constant role models for younger students.
Carey has a summer and winter uniform. Uniforms are purchased at Bob Stewart. Carey also runs a Swap Shop where families can buy high quality pre-owned uniforms. The shop is run by parent volunteers and is open at various times across the week and on some Saturdays.
On PE lesson days, students can attend school in their PE uniform – this uniform is also purchased at Bob Stewart. Students must bring their PE uniform for APS training to change into after school.
Many Carey students use a variety of train, bus and trams to school as the campus is well located to access a range of public transport routes. There are also private bus companies providing school bus options to various independent schools across Kew. You can find out more information about these services on our website.
The library is open from 7.30am to 6.00pm Monday to Thursday and until 4.00pm on Fridays. The library is closed during school holidays.