Middle School At Mercedes College, students in Year 6 to Year 9 are part of our Middle School.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) caters for Middle School students with a unique curriculum framework designed for adolescents. It promotes research, self-management, collaboration and critical thinking skills. It also fosters interdisciplinary thinking through the study of meaningful and relevant topics.

The MYP is a student-centred curriculum that spans five years of learning concluding in Year 10 (the first year of our Senior School).

Leadership opportunities are further enabled, with students actively involved in Year 9 Middle School Leadership, the peer-elected Student Representative Council and extra-curricular leadership.

During this stage of rapid change and development, students feel connected to our Middle School community and actively embrace the life of the College. Middle School students enjoy a classroom where most of their core learning takes place, creating a stable environment for successful learning.

Our students enthusiastically participate in a range of cultural, musical and sporting activities through the co-curricular and extra-curricular programmes to drive their personal development outside of the classroom.


Middle Years Programme Subject Areas

From Year 6 to Year 10 in the Middle Years Programmes, students study across a diverse range of subject areas, following the IB Learner Profile. In the younger year levels, students participate in all subjects, with the arts rotated each semester.

As students progress through our Middle School, they begin to make more elective selections within the areas of study, as they prepare to transition to our Senior School.

Mathematics
The study of mathematics is a fundamental part of a balanced education. It provides the foundation for the study of sciences, engineering and technology. It is also evident in the arts and is increasingly important in economics, the social sciences and the structure of language.

Mathematics promotes a powerful universal language, analytical reasoning and problem‐solving skills that contribute to the development of logical, abstract and critical thinking. Mathematics helps make sense of the world and allows phenomena to be described in precise terms. It also promotes careful analysis and the search for patterns and relationships, skills necessary for success both inside and outside the classroom.

The MYP mathematics programme is tailored to the needs of students, seeking to intrigue and motivate them to want to learn its principles. Students see authentic examples of how mathematics is useful and relevant to their lives and are encouraged to apply it to new situations. Students are expected to transfer theoretical mathematical knowledge into real‐world situations and apply appropriate problem-solving strategies, draw valid conclusions and reflect upon their results.  

In Year 6 to Year 8, students take a common differentiated mathematics course. Standard and Extended mathematics are provided in Years 9 and 10, with entry based on assessment results in Year 8.

Science
Science at Mercedes College is structured on the Australian Curriculum Science (ACS). Each unit within the Middle Years Programme is related to one of the ACS sub-strands of Biological sciences, Chemical sciences, Earth and Space sciences, Physical sciences.

The MYP sciences framework guides students to independently and collaboratively investigate issues through research, observation and experimentation, and the curriculum demonstrates connections between science and everyday life. 

As they investigate real examples of science applications, students will discover the tensions and dependencies between science and morality, ethics, culture, economics, politics, and the environment.  

Language and Literature
Language is fundamental to learning, thinking and communicating; therefore, it permeates the whole curriculum. Indeed, all teachers are language teachers, continually expanding the boundaries of student thinking.

Language is integral to exploring and sustaining personal development and cultural identity, and provides an intellectual framework to support conceptual development. The six skill areas in the MYP Language and Literature subject group – listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and presenting – develop as both independent and interdependent skills. 

As well as being academically rigorous, MYP Language and Literature equips students with linguistic, analytical and communicative skills that can also be used to develop interdisciplinary understanding across all other subject groups. Students’ interaction with chosen texts can generate insight into moral, social, economic, political, cultural and environmental factors and so contributes to the development of opinion‐forming, decision‐making and ethical‐reasoning skills, and further develops the attributes of an IB learner. 

The Arts
The arts are a universal form of human expression and a unique way of knowing that engage us in effective, imaginative and productive activities. Learning through the arts helps us to explore, shape and communicate our sense of identity and individuality.

In the Middle Years, the arts encompass performing arts and visual arts. In Years 6 and 7, Students participate in Art, Media, Music and Drama. In Year 8, students rotate through visual and performing arts, in preparation for the Year 8 Musical in Semester 2. All students in the cohort are involved in this production, ranging from actors and musicians, to producers, tech support, and making props, sets, promotional materials and costumes. In Year 9, students have flexibility to specialise in areas of interest within the arts.

By developing curiosity about themselves, others and the world, students become effective learners, inquirers and creative problem‐solvers. Students develop through creating, performing and presenting arts in ways that engage and convey feelings, experiences and ideas. It is through this practice that students acquire new skills and master those skills developed in prior learning.

Design
Design is the link between innovation and creativity, taking thoughts and exploring the possibilities and constraints associated with products or systems, allowing them to redefine and manage the generation of further thought through prototyping, experimentation and adaptation. It is human‐centred and focuses on the needs, wants and limitations of the end user.

Many of the projects utilise Adobe Creative Cloud software. As students progress through the different stages of the design cycle, they are constantly experimenting with ideas,  researching topics, compiling sources, brainstorming issues, sketching possible solutions, makings changes, rejecting  proposals and critically evaluating their work.

Religious Education
Religious Education is taught using the Catholic Education of South Australia’s curricula called Crossways. This curriculum opens opportunities to enhance experiences relating to Catholic identity, the Mercy tradition and the Mercy Keys.

The faith formation and spiritual growth of young people is the outcome of the inter‐relationship between them, their families and the Church of which the school is a part. Students participate in experiences such as Liturgies, Retreats and Reflection Days, outreach and community service, prayer services, learning about and developing mutual respect for global religions and supporting justice in our community. 

Individuals and Societies
Individuals and Societies encourages learners to respect and understand the world around them. It equips them with the necessary skills to inquire into historical, contemporary, geographical, political, social, economic, religious, technological and cultural factors that have an impact on individuals, societies and environments. It encourages learners, both students and teachers, to consider local and global contexts.

These explorations of our common humanity are intrinsically interesting, and disciplines in this subject group are filled with potential for creating in students a lifelong fascination with “the human story” as it continues to evolve in an era of rapid change and increasing interconnectedness.

Language Acquisition
All students study a second language as part of the MYP from Year 6 to Year 10. The  study  of  additional  languages  in  the MYP  provides  students  with  the  opportunity  to  develop  insights  into  the features, processes and craft of language and the concept of culture, and to realise that there are diverse ways of living, behaving and viewing the world.

In Year, all students study French at either continuers or beginners level based on their prior experience. In Year 7, students may choose to study French or Indonesian, at either continuers or beginners level. Students continue with their chosen pathway in Years 8 and 9, while new students joining us in these year levels may choose between these options.

In Year 10, students continue with their language pathway. Students joining our College without experience in French or Indonesian, study Spanish at beginners’ level.  

Physical and Health Education
Physical and Health Education aims to empower students to understand and appreciate the value of being physically active and develop the motivation for making healthy life choices. It focuses on both learning about and learning through physical activity. Both dimensions help students to develop approaches to learning skills across the curriculum.

Students engage in practical and theoretical units across a variety of sports and health topics. Physical and Health Education courses develop the enjoyment, engagement and confidence in physical activity that students need in order to achieve and maintain a balanced, healthy life.

For more information, see the Mercedes MYP curriculum handbook