27 July 2021
The Middle School (Years 5 to 8) learning journey is one of exciting change and transition with new friends to make, new grounds to explore, and new challenges to take on.
Middle School also offers an enriching array of co-curricular activities from drama and music to sport and outdoor education. These activities add breadth to the academic journey, building self-esteem and allowing friendships to be formed in the process. When Fintona girls leave Middle School, they are prepared, confident and enthusiastic, ready for new challenges of Senior School.
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An engaging curriculum
The Middle School academic program focuses on developing the whole student, emphasising skills, knowledge and critical thinking. We want to create an understanding of concepts, and a drive to develop responsible attitudes. Literacy and numeracy are paramount during this developmental stage, and through focused teaching, our girls are well placed for future learning.
The Years 5 academic program follows the traditional primary years’ composition with a single teacher for English, Mathematics, Science and Humanities, and specialists for Art, Drama, Music, Physical Education, French, Library and Digital Technology.
From Year 6, our girls step up to a rigorous academic program that mirrors Senior School. This is earlier than most schools, as we believe students are ready for deeper engagement from single-subject teachers. The Years 6 to 8 academic program includes English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Digital Technology, Drama, Art, Music, Physical Education, French (Years 6 to 8) and Japanese or Latin (Years 7 to 8).
Meaningful learning occurs beyond the traditional classrooms of Middle School. During these years, girls are encouraged to join in music ensembles and choirs, build confidence through debating and public speaking, and participate in a wide range of community service programs.
Music at Fintona is stimulating and supportive. Here, students learn to play instruments, sing, compose, develop critical listening skills and explore the artistry of music.
As well as classes and private music tuition, students can join in ensembles with several opportunities to perform during the year.
For us, sport is about more than developing skills; it’s about developing friendships and team spirit.
In Years 5 and 6, all students compete against local independent schools in team sports, including basketball, soccer, hockey, teeball and netball. Students in Years 7 to 12 compete as part of the Girls Sport Victoria (GSV) inter-school sport competition.
House sporting competitions and before and after-school training provide more opportunities for students to join in a wide range of team and individual sports.
We want our girls to speak with confidence. Middle School students have many opportunities both inside and outside the classroom to develop their public speaking and debating skills.
All Middle and Senior School students participate in the Elizabeth M. Butt public speaking competition. Students in Years 7 and 8 also can participate in the DAV Junior Secondary Program, a friendly inter-school debating competition.
We encourage our girls to pursue their passions. The breadth of clubs and special interest groups allows everyone to learn new skills, build new hobbies and mentor other students.
The interests and passions of Fintona students drive the variety of clubs available. Middle School girls take part in Green Team, Chess, Art, Computers, Cooking, Gardening, Book Clubs and more.
Middle School camps take students – safely – beyond their comfort zone.
In Year 5, girls spend four days in Gippsland, then in Year 6, they take part in a three-day beach experience, which includes studying marine life and learning to surf. Year 7 girls participate in a Central Australian trip where they are immersed in Indigenous culture, and in Year 8, they travel to Gembrook for a five-day camp together in the bush.
Stepping onto the stage helps students develop their creative capacity, learn about their own identity, and build self-awareness and self-confidence.
As well as Drama and Theatre in the classroom, all students from Years 5 to 12 take part in the House Drama competition. From Year 7, students can also join in the annual school play, both on-stage and behind the scenes in technical support, set creation, costumes and makeup.
Students are placed in one of six houses from Years 5 to 12. The house system offers an engaging variety of sporting and cultural activities that builds a healthy competitive spirit and supportive environment. The activities range from drama and music to swimming, athletics, cross country and the Summer Carnival with various team sports.
Wellbeing at the heart
A culture of belonging and wellbeing is at the centre of school life. All Fintona staff, including our School Counsellor, provide confidential and individual support, alongside programs designed to develop resilience.
The House System, Tutor Group, Life Skills, Buddy Programs, Transition Programs and Learning Enrichment and Support are formal programs designed to ensure every Fintona student can feel at home and thrive in a supportive, respectful and caring environment.
Fintona has a long tradition of strong school leaders. The Middle School Leadership Program, Aedile, is a steppingstone for girls to build leadership skills before participating in the Senior School’s Ad Senatorum leadership program.
The official positions in Year 8 include two consuls and two deputy consuls. From Year 5 to 8, tutor group representatives lead by participating in and reporting on student forum matters and encouraging involvement in student life.