St. Mary's Academy

Middle School
Middle School commences at Class 6 to acknowledge the emergence of adolescent maturation in body, mind and spirit of our students. Accordingly with continued and responsive care, our Middle School social and academic programmes for the Classes 6-8 cater for 'change and transition'. We recognise that in adolescence there can be significant differences in the rate of maturation between girls and boys as well as within gender groupings. SMA therefore offers both co-ed and single gender learning environments to minimise competition, and maximise opportunities for specific skills development.

In Class 6, as in traditional primary schools, most of the time is spent with one teacher, allowing the development of quality relationships between teacher and students. This is a transitional year to Middle School where the students enjoy socializing and being in the same physical space as the older teenagers. Our aim is to gender split classes as best we can during core subject areas in Class 7 and 8. This caters for the well recognized differences in needs and learning styles of boys and girls at this stage. Students and teachers alike recognize the enormous academic and social benefits, with students showing higher levels of motivation and attention, more effective learning, and greater self-confidence in general class participation. In these years each class also has a teacher who takes responsibility for his or her students' academic and social well being. Strong bonds are formed between these classes and their teachers.

Our staff' team teach' these students for the majority of the time. This means that, while all students study the same curriculum, the teachers deliver specific learning programmes to each class. Specialist teachers provide such programmes as Art, Drama, Music, Physical Health Education, and Computers. Our specialist programme will expand with the growth in student numbers. Class sizes in all year groups allow individual knowledge of and attention to student needs. Both socially and academically the early adolescent years are an exciting and challenging time. At SMA we are committed to meet their needs as they go 'through the hoops' of growing up. .