The Middle School Art Program provides a range of activities to engage students’ in the process of art making, develop their observation skills, and familiarise them with applications of 2D and 3D Media.
Using a variety of art making approaches, the overriding themes of the Art Program are looking, feeling, imagining and thinking. Students explore this broad range of themes and applications to provide them with an opportunity to find a mode and voice which reflects their individual perspective.
In Year 9, the broad theme is ‘The Immediate World’, where students use the world close at hand and their relationship with that environment as the primary source of stimulus for art making.
Big History Big Science explores the ‘Big Questions’, such as: Where did everything come from? How did we get to where we are now? Where do humans fit in?
And where are things heading?
These are the questions that different cultures and societies have research and explored for thousands of years. This subject attempts to answer them by examining different ideas, research and theories from disciplines such as astronomy, chemistry, biology, and history. Throughout the course, students will explore different scales of time and space and view human history from new angles.
Christian Education is based on the teachings of the Bible and the person of Jesus Christ. It recognises the importance of a reasoned approach to the Christian faith and to the development of a Christian worldview.
Students are assessed in the form of short exams, research assignments, group work, oral presentations and participation in class activities and discussions.
Drama is a unique art form that re-presents and re-enacts experiences, ideas, stories and emotions. Drama is one of the oldest forms of artistic expression and continues to be a significant part of all cultures and societies.
Created and performed in diverse spaces to achieve a wide range of purposes, Drama is usually shared live, but can also be created and shared through digital media and other platforms. Engaging with drama in all its manifestations provides opportunities to experience, understand and communicate different perspectives on the world.
Middle School Drama students are provided with the opportunity to learn about different forms and styles of drama and gain an understanding of human experience in other cultures, times and places. Drama connects students to creative, technical and other cognitive processes and provides a way for them to imagine and explore beliefs, feelings, behaviours and relationships across many situations and contexts
The English program for Year 7-9 students focusses on the pleasure of reading; engaging in literary and non-literary texts; and building knowledge, understanding and skills in listening, viewing, reading, writing and speaking.
Students engage with a variety of texts, designed to extend their ability to read independently and critically; expand their perspectives, and sharpen their appreciation of the way language works to communicate meaning.
Year 7 English will study a range of media and digital texts, early adolescent novels, short stories, non-fiction, poetry and drama. Students will create their own imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, and respond creatively and analytically to the ideas and concepts explored.
Year 8 students will explore the importance of literature in shaping identities and expanding perspectives; and investigate the way language works to communicate meaning. Students will develop the skills to analyse, interpret and evaluate complex texts, and respond through preparing analytical essays, persuasive speeches, reflective role-plays and multimedia presentations.
Year 9 English engages with a range of texts to understand, and to challenge the way language operates within its context, its purpose, and its power to influence an audience. Focussing on Australian texts, including film, poetry and fiction; Year 9 English focuses on independent and higher order thinking, and develops their ability to respond critically and thoughtfully to texts, in preparation for English in the Senior School.
Being financially literate involves making informed financial decisions. Financial literacy is the application of knowledge, understanding and skills in financial contexts.
This subject will cover concepts related to earning, saving and spending money. Students will be equipped with the skills and confidence to make smart decisions about their money.
Year 7 Geography is structured into two units, ‘Place and Liveability’ and ‘Water in the World’.
‘Place and Liveability’ examines factors that influence liveability and how it is perceived. Students will evaluate the liveability of their own place and to investigate whether it can be improved through planning.
‘Water in the World’ focuses on water as an example of a renewable environmental resource, examines the many uses of water, how it is perceived and valued, its varying availability, and its scarcity.
Year 8 Geography covers the units ‘Landforms and Landscapes’ and ‘Changing Nations’.
‘Landforms and Landscapes’ investigates geomorphology, processes that shape individual landforms, cultural values and meanings, hazards, and management of landscapes.
‘Changing Nations’ investigates the changing human geography of countries, revealed by shifts in population distribution. This unit explores the process of urbanisation, drawing on studies of an Asian-region country to show how urbanisation changes the economies and societies of low and middle-income countries.
Year 9 Geography covers the units ‘Biomes and Food Security’ and ‘Geographies of Interconnections’. ‘Biomes and Food Security’ investigates the biotic environment and its role in food and fibre production. The distinctive aspects of biomes, food production, food security and fair trade are investigated using studies drawn from Australia and across the world.
‘Geographies of Interconnections’ investigates how people, through their choices and actions, are connected to places throughout the world, and how these connections help us work toward global consensus. This unit examines the interconnections between people and places through international sporting events, using studies drawn from Australia and across the world
Year 7 History studies the time of the earliest human communities, to the end of the ancient period (approx. 60 000 BCE), a time defined by the development of cultural practices and organised societies. The study of the ancient world includes the discoveries and the mysteries about this period of history, in ancient Egypt and China.
This course covers two strands: Historical Knowledge and Understanding and Historical Skills.
Year 8 History provides a study of history from the end of the ancient period to the beginning of the modern period (c.650 CE – c.1750CE), when major civilisations around the world came into contact with one other. Social, economic, religious, and political beliefs were often challenged and significantly changed.
Year 9 History provides a study of the making of the modern world, from 1750 to 1918, a period of industrialisation and rapid change in the ways people lived, worked and thought. It was an era of nationalism and imperialism, and the colonisation of Australia was part of the expansion of European power. The period culminated in World War I (1914-1918), the 'war to end all wars'.
Content covered in Middle School Geography allows students to develop a historical understanding through key concepts, including evidence, continuity and change,
cause and effect, perspectives, empathy, significance and contestability.
Health and Physical Education provides opportunities for students to adopt lifelong healthy, active living. Integral to the subject is the development of movement skills, concepts and strategies that enable students to confidently participate in a range of physical activities.
These activities are outlined in more detail within year group's Subject Outline. Through participation in lessons, students practise a range of personal, social and cognitive skills and learn to appreciate the significance of physical activity in Australian society.
Theoretical units covered include the science of energy, movement and body structure, health related concepts including community health, growth and development
The Middle School Digital and Design Technologies program is designed to complement and extend the use of Digital Technologies by the students at Somerville House. It also meets the objectives of the National Curriculum (ACARA) for Digital and Design Technologies across Years 7, 8 and 9.
The program develops digital literacy and introduces students to an extensive and varied range of digital and design products, applications and approaches. These include many aspects of Robotics such as the use of Spheros, 3D printing, graphic, web and video design, utilising a number of Adobe products in particular.
It also involves Algorithmic Programming across all Year levels, both with graphical interfaces and text-based coding, data analytics, online communications, practical computing and basic electronics with the Microbit and Inventor Kit, drone coding, computer animation as well as augmented reality and virtual reality apps.
The Somerville House Digital and Design Technologies program is regularly updated to embrace new and innovative technologies, such as the Merge Cube, which can help our students to be better prepared for the technological and transformative world they are entering.
Languages offered in the Middle School include: Chinese, Japanese, French and German.
Studying a language in the Middle School, students will engage in communicative, authentic and meaningful use of the target language, and develop their skills in comprehension (Listening and Reading) and expression (Speaking and Writing).
As language and culture are strongly linked, students will learn about and gain an appreciation of other cultures, and views of the world. Comparisons will also be made to the student’s own culture. Music, role plays, poetry and film are often used as ways to learn the language in class.
Classes also will also use technology to bring them in contact with up-to-date language and cultural issues. Out-of-class linguistic and cultural activities are also organised, including immersion activities.
To assist students to communicate effectively in the target language, classes will often focus on discrete vocabulary and grammatical points, including verb conjugations.
By the end of this course, students should have the foundations, and the confidence, to engage in further study in the target language.
Learning mathematics creates opportunities and enriches student perspectives of the world. It develops numeracy capabilities which all students need in their personal, work and civic life, and provides the fundamentals for mathematical specialties and professional applications to be built upon.
This course focuses on developing sophisticated and refined mathematical understanding, fluency, logical reasoning, analytical thought and problem-solving skills.
These capabilities enable students to respond to familiar and unfamiliar situations by employing mathematical strategies to make informed decisions and solve
Students will investigate a variety of mathematical and life-related contexts. Using these contexts, students will develop the mathematical tools and models needed to make informed conjectures and generate meaningful solutions to problems.
Students will also develop techniques for collecting data from a variety of sources and use mathematical tools to generate a meaningful analysis of that data.
Students will investigate linear and non-linear relations and apply them to real life contexts. They will learn how to communicate their understanding using mathematical
and natural language.
In Year 7, Music is designed to develop the students’ knowledge, understanding and skills through direct participation in the ‘experience of music’.
The course is taught through two dimensions of Making (Composing and Performing) and Responding. Students experience an integrated approach using glockenspiel and their voice. There is an emphasis on improving the understanding of Music as a language through reading, writing, listening, performing and creating.
In Years 8 and 9, Music is an elective subject, where students can enjoy the challenge of furthering their musicianship skills. The development of these skills directly influences their capacity to understand and perform the music of other artists, and to create their own original music. The course is also taught through the two dimensions of Making (Composing and Performing) and Responding. Students learn through an integrated approach using their own voices, piano keyboards and other instruments.
Year 7 Science familiarises students with the tools, equipment, resources and behaviours associated with the successful and enjoyable learning of Science. Topics covered include classification of organisms, habitats and ecosystems; experimental methods and report writing; space discoveries and website design; forces and bridge design;
and properties of substances.
Practical tasks are a prime focus of this program, and use of information and technology skills are integrated into the course content. Students are assessed under two criteria: knowledge and conceptual understanding; and investigation, process and communication.
Year 8 Science continues to expose students to a variety of assessment techniques such as written tests, data interpretation, experimental reports and multi-modal presentations. Topics covered are: laboratory safety and data collection; graphical skills; use of microscopes and cell theory; human organ systems; dissection techniques; energy changes and toy design; chemical and physical changes; and human reproduction.
Year 9 Science expands on topics and criteria introduced in Year 7 and 8, advancing students' learning and application of theory. Topics covered include electrical circuitry; heat and sound; energy; light energy; lenses and the human eye; coordination of human body systems; chemical reactions and equations; nuclear reactions; and scientific report writing. Scientific skills and literacy are of prime importance, as is the integration of technology in collecting, processing, analysing and evaluating data to reach justified conclusions.