The transition from primary school into Year 7 is a significant step. At Abbotsleigh, the welcoming process commences the year before students enter Year 7, with a meeting with the Dean of Middle School and an orientation day. An enjoyable orientation program in Week 1 of Year 7 helps the girls to get to know their new environment and make friends. A strong network of senior students and staff is always available for support and advice and to assist with the settling in process.
A spirit of enquiry and excitement for learning is at the heart of what we do at Abbotsleigh. We believe that the middle years are key to expanding students’ knowledge, skills and relationships. Our program is characterised by its strong academic base and enhanced by the wide range of curricular and cocurricular programs on offer. Our extensive grounds and exciting facilities provide endless opportunities for creativity in and beyond the classroom; an English class might find inspiration in the gardens of our Centre for Environmental Education, while a Maths class might find applications for geometry in the Grace Cossington Smith Gallery. You just never know where our enthusiastic and innovative teachers will lead you next.
There are 170-185 girls in each year group and we intentionally keep class sizes small to cater for the individual needs of our girls. The Middle School and Senior College come together for weekly assemblies and school events and share most of the facilities and classrooms. Class organisation provides a combination of mixed ability and graded classes to assist with the development of relationships across the grade and to allow girls to work at a pace and depth that suits their learning needs in certain subjects. The emphasis is on assessment for learning in the Middle School so that assessment tasks are part of an ongoing process.
Our girls develop a strong sense of belonging through their allocation to small house tutor groups. There are regular meetings with tutors each week along with attendance at Assembly and Chapel. Tutor time provides many opportunities for our girls to receive appropriate and ongoing academic care. In addition, our girls thrive on the healthy competition afforded by our many and varied house competitions. Extra support in the form of counselling, EAL/D, disability provisions, learning support and opportunities for gifted and talented programs is also available. Our Year 9 House Leaders are chosen based on their abilities to promote our School Values and be inclusive of those in the Middle School.