Research tells us that students in the Junior secondary years of schooling (Years 7, 8, 9) achieve success when three things occur:
- Engagement – in work that is of interest.
- Achievement - gaining success at all or a range of stages.
- Relationships – building a relationship with learning.
At Balmoral State High School we believe that we need to provide a platform for further development and growth to enable students to progress successfully through their schooling. This can be provided via the subject offerings we provide and the essential elements within the subjects we deliver.
We strive to provide a quality education by developing exciting and stimulating programs that provide for a wide range of learning styles and abilities through a variety of pedagogical formats. We place a high emphasis on developing thinking skills in students and support this through a framework of scaffolding.
In Year 7 at Balmoral State High School we believe:
- Year 7 is about building skill sets and capabilities in our students.
- Core subjects build a platform which contain the required elements to lead students to future pathways.
- Every subject builds engagement in learning, not just in subject matter
- We teach children, through subjects – developing our students as young adults, building potential in every child through exposure to a broad, comprehensive curriculum.
- English, mathematics and science are compulsory subjects for all students in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10.
To meet the needs of the Junior Secondary school learner at Balmoral State High School we strive to provide a quality education by developing relevant and stimulating programs that are delivered through a variety of teaching strategies and classroom experiences.
Our Year 8 framework for delivery is through subjects which are developed from the Key Learning Areas (KLA) and which provide a foundation for further learning into the senior years and beyond.
Some key points of interest about the Junior Secondary framework at Balmoral State High School:
- Maths and science is delivered through a range of units that follow an engineering focus with a distinct emphasis on developing numeracy and problem solving skills. Literacy is embedded across the curriculum in all year levels. Students in Year 7, 8 and 9 have dedicated literacy and numeracy lessons in addition to the curriculum subjects.
- A social drama subject is designed specifically for Year 8 students to assist in working as a team, understanding differences and developing resilience skills.
- Health and physical education incorporates resilience of the mind for adolescents as well as a focus on health and activity, and body awareness.
- Information Technology skill development is incorporated into and across all subjects to develop skills and build capacity.
We believe that is important to assist students to develop effective study and work habits. As part of our transition into the demands of high school, our teachers are consistent in approaches to bookwork, homework, assignment writing and presentation and daily routines.
Balmoral State High School's approach to School Wide Positive Behaviour, which places the emphasis on individual responsibility for actions, and clearly defined expectations, recognises an adolescent’s need for boundaries and desire for responsibility.
From 2012, learning in the Junior Secondary school is based on the Australian Curriculum documents for English, Mathematics, Science and History, with other learning areas to follow. The development of the Australian Curriculum has been guided by the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, adopted by the council of state and territory education ministers in December 2008.
The Australian Curriculum describes a core curriculum that provides each student with a foundation for successful, lifelong learning and participation in the Australian community. It acknowledges that the needs and interests of students will vary, and that schools and teachers will plan from the curriculum in ways that respond to those needs and interests. The Australian Curriculum acknowledges the changing ways in which young people will learn and the challenges that will continue to shape their learning in the future.
In addition to specifying what students are to learn and achievement standards in each learning area, the Australian Curriculum also focuses on seven general capabilities and three cross-curriculum priorities that are relevant to all learning areas:
- Information and communication technology competence
- Critical and creative thinking
- Ethical behaviour
- Personal and social competence
- Intercultural understanding
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
- Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia
Thus, units of work studied by students in Junior Secondary will include the core context for the subject, as well as the relevant general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities.