Years 7 & 8
1. What is the key or core teacher model for Year 7 & 8?
Research into successful middle years education, and the success of our current Year 7 program, demonstrate the peer-relationship benefits of students belonging to one Key Class for each of their subjects. For example, students feel safer to take risks and have a voice and agency in their learning, and to explore their developing identity and ways of being, in a sustained, familiar learning community.
A Key Teacher with the cross-disciplinary and pedagogical expertise to teach this class in multiple learning areas also reduces the number of teachers, and strengthens, the teacher-student relationships that are critical to learning in the middle years.
Logistically, extending the Key Class concept across both Years 7 and 8 facilitates a simpler (and therefore more flexible) timetable structure. The Key Teacher and Class model provides a year-long structure to support student learning and well-being within each year (class and teacher groupings change from Year 7 to Year 8).
2. Will there be a Tutor group for Year 7 & 8?
The key teacher model and class group will replace the Tutor group system that is currently in place with Year 7 & 8 students. Students in Years 7 & 8 will develop strong relationships with their key teacher, who will be the daily pastoral care and support person.
3. Will students in Years 7 & 8 still have a variety of teachers for different subjects? Students will still have a variety of teachers who will provide specialist learning for different subject areas. Where possible, teachers with the cross-disciplinary and pedagogical expertise will teach their class across multiple learning areas. This maximises relationship benefits through fewer, more sustained teacher-student connections, while also facilitating in-built opportunities for interdisciplinary learning. Timetabling complementary learning areas together (eg – English/Humanities, Maths/Science) also creates more flexibility in delivery and opportunity for teacher collaboration.
4. Will students have language options for Year 7 & 8?
Students select one language (from Chinese, French, German or Japanese) to study for the full year in both Years 7 and 8. Benefits of this model of language learning include:
- Supporting all students to learn and develop proficiency in a language for as many years of their schooling as possible;
- Reflecting a valued approach to sustained, deep language learning in a way that is consistent with our Purpose and Concerns;
- Supporting a whole-School perspective and providing for a more seamless transition into Year 7, through continuity of learning*;
- Improving learning outcomes by supporting a higher level of study, therefore also supporting the transition into Years 9-12, particularly in preparation for IB Languages study.
*Where possible, the Language offered in the Friends’ Primary Years will be offered at two levels of study in Years 7 and 8 to enable students with prior learning in that language to continue studying at their appropriate, ‘higher’ level of challenge.
5. With the revised timetable to include some double blocks/lessons, will this be applied to all subjects?
Within the two-hour blocks, various combinations and lengths of subjects, learning and pastoral opportunities are possible. Not all subjects will be suitable for two-hour blocks.
6. Will Year 7 still be an enrolment intake year?
Yes, Year 7 will continue to be a key intake year for enrolling new students. The reorganisation will be ideally suited to help students transition into secondary school.
7. Will current Year 7’s (in 2023) return to the Argyle Street Campus?
Yes, current Year 7’s will commence Year 8 on the Argyle Street Campus. Classrooms will be located in the Clemes building. Naturally students will move across campuses for specialist learning and enrichment activities.
8. Is the Connections Program continuing and is it being included for Year 8 as well?
Students also undertake a cross-disciplinary Connections Program in both years, providing deeper opportunities for authentic, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary learning, curriculum flexibility and student agency. A full day is timetabled each week for the Connections Program. The intention is to increasingly shift the focus towards students connecting their learning in Year 8 (across disciplines, to self, future, others, the wider world). This may take the form of student-led, personal projects, for example.
9. Are any facilities being changed on the Argyle Street Campus?
Work has almost been completed in identifying the best use of facilities and space on the Clemes Campus. During the second half of 2023, there will be some adjustments and minor refurbishment to teaching spaces. Once the reorganisation has commenced next year, we will take the opportunity to plan, design and consult further with staff on any extensive changes required.
Years 9 to 12
1. Will there be Tutor Groups in Years 9 to 12?
Yes, there will be the Tutor Group pastoral care structure in Years 9 to 12. The final make-up of the Tutor Groups in the 9 to 12 campus is yet to be finalised, although indications are that these will be vertical 9-12 tutor groups.
2. What will be the teaching spaces for Years 9 to 12?
Work has almost been completed in identifying the best use of facilities and space on the Commercial Road Campus. The larger campus will be better suited for a variety of learning and enable greater flexibility for senior secondary classes. During the second half of 2023, there will be some adjustments and minor refurbishment to teaching spaces. Once the reorganisation has commenced next year, we will take the opportunity to plan, design and consult further with staff on any extensive changes required.
3. Will Year 11 and/or 12 have their own spaces – e.g. separate Common Room?
Yes, the intention is that there will be a dedicated Common Room area for senior secondary students. The allocation of spaces has students’ learning and wellbeing as paramount importance. As is the case now, some spaces are on rotation with year group access, such as the Revell Sports Centre.
4. Will there be quiet learning spaces for Years 11 & 12?
Yes, using the flexible learning spaces in the WN Oats and larger Library will be beneficial for Year 11 & 12 students to have quiet learning and study areas.
5. Will Year 11 & 12 students receive the same privileges as they currently do?
Yes. It is anticipated that the privileges that Year 11 & 12 students experience now will continue. These students who are becoming young adults will have opportunities to provide greater leadership and impact more students across the School
6. What are the changes to the Year 9 & 10 curriculum?
There will be greater opportunity for various Pathways for students, enabling some stage not age learning with minimal disruption to the timetable and other learning areas. Specifics on the changes to subjects and courses will be provided at the Year 9 & 10 course information evening on 1 August 2023. Information will also be sent to current Y 8 & 9 families prior to this event.
7. Will students still be able to study TCE, IB and VET in Year 11 & 12?
Yes, there are no changes to curriculum framework and we will continue to proudly teach the International Baccalaureate Diploma, along with the Tasmanian Certificate of Education and Vocational Education & Training subjects.
8. Are there any changes to the Year 11 & 12 curriculum?
Students will continue to learn within the TCE/VET or IB curriculum framework. There will be changes to the timetable, which is in the final stages of being finalised. Final consultation and learnings from our Term 1 schedule is being considered in combination with the subject selections made by current Year 10 & 11 students.
9. Will Year 11 & 12 students do any lessons on the Argyle Street Campus?
Yes, there will be some classes and learning activities on the Argyle Street Campus for students in Years 9 to 12. This includes accessing the Clemes Science rooms and The Farrall Centre. Naturally students may also visit the Meeting House as part of weekly Gathering and the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) program.
House System and Leadership
1. Will the revised House System be from Kindergarten to Year 12?
Yes, the current 4 houses – Unwin, Mather, Hodgkin and Ransome – at The Friends’ School will be from K-12 (not including Friends’ Early Learning). This change will help promote a greater sense of community across the school. It will enhance house traditions, continuity, pride and connectedness across all year levels.
2. What will happen to the current K to Year 6 House names?
The 3 Primary school houses: Cooper, Cadbury, Benson will become the Year 8 class names with 3 new names to be chosen (by the current Year 7 students).
3. Will there be more leadership opportunities for students across the school?
Yes, we expect the new House System and leadership model to provide greater formal and informal opportunities for students in Years 7 to 12. This includes the opportunities for Year 8 students to provide important student leadership of the Year 7 & 8 campus.
4. Will there be more House activities for secondary students?
Strong feedback and encouragement from students in Years 10 & 11 is for more House events and activities to occur. Planning will continue in late 2023 with regards to activities and the new House Leaders will provide more details in Term 4, 2023.