Girls make the transition to Middle School when they move into Year 7. By the time they have entered Year 8, they will have laid down strong foundations for future learning and begun to make some subject choices of their own. The years of middle schooling, Years 7 to 9, are especially important since they are years of fundamental change during which attitudes to self and others are further established. These attitudes will form part of a girl's world view.
Our aim is to develop confident, independent, resilient young women able to respect others and work collaboratively with them. To achieve this aim it is vital that girls see themselves as having overcome challenges to be successful in a variety of endeavours. Girls in the Middle School demonstrate several stages and degrees of personal and social development. Our task is to extend their skills and abilities and to challenge them to examine their own attitudes and values.
Co-curricular activities provide girls with opportunities to increase their confidence, broaden their friendships and develop leadership skills. These activities include the Student Representative Council, music ensembles, committees, clubs and sports.
The Thinking and Learning Curriculum, which is part of every girl's program, assists in the development of higher order thinking skills and the ability to interrogate and evaluate information. Girls work collaboratively and cooperatively and are encouraged to strive for their personal best in their study and in the many other activities available to them.
- Curriculum & Subjects
The Middle School years provide girls with the opportunity to experiment with different subjects to find out what they might pursue through their Senior School studies. For this reason, staff teach across the Middle and Senior Schools to ensure proper foundations for senior studies.
All Year 9 students at Wilderness School benefit from a unique and dynamic learning experience at our Crawford campus that reaches beyond the physical confines of the classroom. In this learning environment, students are supported to become capable, confident and connected young women who are resilient and resourceful in the face of challenges and uncertainty.
Wilderness has developed this program in keeping with our school values, our principles of learning and our existing curricula.
The program aims to challenge the girls using a team of qualified, supportive and encouraging staff. This enables girls the opportunity to discover that challenges can be faced and overcome with persistence and cooperation.
Girls Have the Opportunity To:
- be independent individuals who take responsibility for themselves and apply the principles of sound nutrition and personal fitness during a critical period in their development
- understand themselves through quiet contemplation and reflection
- experience authentic learning within a natural and unfamiliar environment
- build mutually supportive friendships and an enduring group spirit.
- face challenges individually and as part of a team
- practise intelligent behaviours that promote resilience, resourcefulness, responsible risk taking and reflectiveness
- engage in critical, creative and caring thinking with mindfulness and deep understanding
- contribute to the local community through service learning
- explore further ways in which they can contribute to the sustainability of our physical environment.
All girls are encouraged to undertake leadership roles throughout their time at Wilderness School. The academic program is at the heart of our daily activities, but life at Wilderness offers much more. Through the wider curriculum, students have the opportunity to find new interests and talents, broaden their circle of friends beyond their year level, adopt leadership positions and develop self assurance. Every girl benefits from the experience of being in a position of leadership. The roles may be formally recognized, e.g. Year 9 Community Service Representative, Vice-Captain of the Netball Team or Stage Manager of the Drama Production, or, more subtly leading a reading discussion group in the classroom, operating as a mentor for a younger student or captaining a team during physical education. All roles are equally valued. Being an effective leader requires students to develop qualities and skills in themselves and to nurture those of others.
While students are leading they are also developing self-confidence and decision-making skills, learning about effective negotiation and teamwork, setting goals, enthusing others, learning how to win and lose graciously, making new friendships, improving their public speaking skills and much more. There are many opportunities at Wilderness for girls to experience leadership.
Girls can participate in a range of leadership courses and workshops. Clubs cater for interests as diverse as chess, writing, the environment, social justice and debating. Student leadership is also encouraged through class representation, the House system and student committees in the Junior, Middle and Senior Schools. All these leaders are elected by the girls themselves.
Sport provides opportunities for personal development. Girls can choose from cricket, tennis, volleyball, rowing, soccer, hockey, netball, water polo, basketball, lacrosse, athletics, swimming, gymnastics and cross country running. We encourage every girl to participate at a level appropriate to her ability and to be able to evaluate her performance both at a personal and team level. Sport allows all our students, whether captain or team member, to develop qualities of commitment, teamwork and competitiveness as well as a positive attitude to personal fitness. We recognize that leadership qualities can be demonstrated by all girls when given the right opportunities.
Leadership opportunities in the Middle School include:
- Year 9 House Committee Representative
- SRC Representative
- Social Service Representative
- Sport Captains
- Library Representative
- Student Foundation
- Community Service Representative
- Junior Boarding House Captain
- Year 9 Middle School House Representatives
- Group dynamics participants
- Debating Captains
- Junior School Sport Coaches
- Outdoor Education
The four values of Wilderness School underpin the learning experiences of Outdoor Education.
Outdoor Education provides girls the chance to demonstrate real world application of their learning. It encourages them to take responsible risks and be resourceful with in their environment in order to pursue success. Independence is fostered by girls taking responsibility for their actions and being involved in all aspects of camp life.
Outdoor Education plays a large role in building an appreciation for the natural environment in our girls and addressing the need for its conservation. Camps introduce them to big subject matters such as the sustainability of our world, Indigenous culture and environmental issues preparing them to be agents of change.
The value Wilderness places on Respectful Relationships is intrinsic to the philosophy embedded throughout Outdoor Education of team work, group cohesion, and relationship building. The girls build and strengthen relationships with peers and adults and their interpersonal and social skills are positively impacted.
True and Courageous Self
Outdoor Education builds girls’ character by offering them the opportunity to persevere through challenges, be resilient, develop grit and confidence, and enhance their wellbeing in a safe and supportive environment.
Year 7 Camp
Environment: Crawford and Robe Duration: 4 Days Learning Experiences:
Surfing, Kayaking, Robe Aquarium, Environmental Scavenger Hunt, Shelter Building.
Camp Craft – Tents, Trangias and minimum impact camping.
Directed Reflection and Journaling.
Year 8 Camp
Environment: Fleurieu Peninsula Duration: 4 days Learning Experiences:
High ropes at Douglas Scrub, Aquatic activities at Port Noarlunga Aquatics, Team Building with Year 11 Leaders, Day walk from Kings Beach to Waitpinga.
Camp craft – Tents, Trangias and minimum impact camping.
Directed Reflection and Journaling.
Year 9 Realise
Environment: Crawford and surrounding communities Duration: 19 days Learning Experiences:
Independent Living, Cooking, Kayaking and Bushwalking Expedition, Minimum Impact Camping, Rockclimbing or Surfing, First Aid, Science Weekend, Farm Visit, Raukkan Community, Community Service, Beach Litter Survey, Solo night.