Secondary: Year 7 to Year 9
Teaching & Learning in the Middle Years
Clayfield College is committed to excellence and to the premise that every student will learn and achieve positive outcomes. To this end, the College provides both a range of curriculum offerings to meet a variety of student interests and needs, and differentiated learning experiences in the classroom to support the range of students’ learning styles. Teachers develop lessons so that students are both challenged by their learning and encouraged by opportunities to succeed.
Clayfield College offers a rigorous academic environment, where learning is a continuum from Pre-Prep to Year 12. Working with the Australian Curriculum, all students from Years 7 to 9 study the core areas of English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Health and Physical education. Other subjects, which are core in Years 7 and 8 become electives in Year 9. The range of elective subjects offered is broad and encompasses the Arts (Drama, Music and Visual Art), Languages (Chinese, Japanese and Spanish), Contemporary Business, Technology (Digital Technologies and Food Technology).
Learning in English
English is central to the learning and development of all students. Students study three interrelated strands – Language, Literature and Literacy – which focus on developing their knowledge, understanding and skills in listening, reading, speaking and writing.
Each unit of learning is informed by inquiry questions and learning experiences that are based on a range of themes and texts.
Learning in STEM
Clayfield recognises the importance of equipping students for the skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for careers in the twenty first century. As well as Mathematics and Science subjects across all year levels, students in the Middle Years study Digital Technologies, Food Technology and Robotics. Classroom study of STEM subjects is augmented with whole school projects such as Science Week and visits from scientists as part of the Scientist in School program. Students are also invited to participate in STEM activities and competitions such as the Robo Cup.
Learning in Humanities
In Humanities, our aim is to engage the students so that they become appreciators of the world they live in; active citizens who constructively participate in society and life-long learners who are interested in places, events and issues.
Students develop their knowledge and skills in the learning areas of History and Geography. Geography enhances students’ knowledge about place and space, while historical knowledge focusses on aspects of continuity and change. In both their History and Geography studies, skill development includes:
- collecting, analysing and interpreting information
- presenting conclusions using reasoned argument
- using correct terminology and a range of communication forms.
The inquiry process is integral to teaching and learning in the Humanities. This problem-solving approach requires the application of logical steps so that valid conclusions can be made about social and environmental issues. This approach is applied throughout the middle years of study of Social Science and implemented through the provision of learning opportunities for students, both in the classroom and beyond.
Learning in the Arts
Clayfield offers very dynamic programs in the Arts. The Music program is based on Kodály principles and taught across the school by specialist Music teachers. From Pre-Prep to Year 8, students engage in regular classroom Music lessons which sequentially develop their aural skills and general musicianship to a high level. Music is then available as an elective in Year 9. Different from many other schools, the classroom Music program and the Co-Curricular Music program work together and augment each other, resulting in a strong student involvement in the Music program with over 300 students engaged in co-curricular Music groups. Students in the Middle Years can participate in a Years 7 to 9 Choir (Clayfield Choristers) as well as a variety of string ensembles and instrumental groups. Individual tuition in an instrument or voice is available as an additional area of study.
Specialist Visual Art teachers ensure that Middle Years students are exposed to exciting, creative experiences in the Visual Arts, which include working across a variety of media, including drawing, oil painting, mixed media collage, non-acid etching, printmaking, sculpture and digital media. Students are introduced to the elements and principles of design. These experiences develop students' creativity, imagination, critical thinking and skills in problem solving, analysis and interpretations. Interested students can also take part in Artbox, a co-curricular activity which allows students a block of time to develop and play with their artistic ideas. Periodically, professional artists visit the school to engage with students.
Drama, which is a core subject to Year 9, is also taught throughout the College by specialist teachers, who strive to give students a real-life experience of the theatre, through visits to professional performances, as well as inviting professional actors to work with classes on different styles of acting. Through a study of performance students develop skills in communicating complex ideas and the interpretation and evaluation of the communication of others. Units of work are designed to develop skills not only in communication but also in presentation, analysis, reserach, written expression, team work and collaboration. Opportunities for public performances are sought for Drama students. Year 9 students perform their own plays for Primary School audiences, both at Clayfield College and surrounding Primary Schools.
Learning in Health and Wellbeing
The College recognises the importance of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health in the overall development of each student. A Physical Education program, which emphasises the gradual development of physical skills, is augmented by a Health program which covers a diverse range of health related issues, such as the significance of healthy eating.
Personal Development lessons are devised to be relevant to the needs of each age group and support the mental and emotional growth of the students. Our strong Christian education program supports students’ spiritual wellbeing.
Learning in Languages
The study of a foreign language is compulsory for students in Years 7 to 9. Language classes in Chinese and Japanese are taken by specialised language teaching staff. Spanish is also a popular choice for students and, in Year 9, students are able to choose to study two languages. Students enjoy entering language-based competitions such as the Language Perfect World Championships or the Chinese Speaking Competition run by the Confucius Institute and sponsored by QUT.
Learning with Technology
Clayfield College is committed to enhancing student learning by integrating relevant technologies into teaching and learning experiences. This is achieve through our compulsory BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) Program, through which students access, communicate, collaborate, and create through technology in their daily learning experiences. Clayfield College believes that controlled, appropriate use of technologies will help our students to become information producers rather than consumers, and self-directed learners and collaborative team players. It is important to guide young people in developing the skills they will need to be productive, responsible digital citizens.
For more details regarding the Years 7 to 9 curriculum please refer to the Years 7 to 9 Secondary Handbook.