Years 7 & 8 Student Program
We know that if our students want to come to school and if they feel happy and supported when they’re at school they will have the best chance of learning effectively.
Approximately half of our Year 7 students start their Ballarat Grammar journey in Year 7. Our students come from diverse backgrounds, from big and small primary schools, from in Ballarat and our neighbouring regional and rural communities and from a range of cultural backgrounds. We also have boarders from rural and farming communities in Victoria, Southern NSW and further afield.
Wellbeing underpins our whole teaching and learning framework, every interaction and everything we do at Grammar. We constantly cross-check student wellbeing and academic progress against the PERMA Model of Wellbeing and we teach themes explicitly through our Positive Education Program. At Year 7 our specific focus is on helping students to develop positive relationships throughout the School community. At Year 8 our focus is on helping students to develop respect for themselves, their community and the bigger world.
Relationships are vital in establishing a sense of connection and belonging and, coupled with meaning and accomplishment, are one of the hallmarks of wellbeing. We know that with the security of positive relationships students are happier and more confident to take risks and extend their learning.
Student-Homeroom Teacher Relationship
We’re very proud of our strong Year 7 and Year 8 Homeroom Teams.
In Year 7 and 8 a student’s primary care relationship is with their Homeroom Teacher who plays a vitally important role in supporting their students in all areas of their life at school. They are extremely experienced at guiding students through the transition to secondary school and helping them to manage many competing priorities.
In Year 9 our students take another important step in their development as they move out of the Homeroom model and begin to develop a very strong relationship with their Mentor as part of the Senior School House System, which continues throughout their senior years at Grammar.
Our students have great opportunities to build connections and develop positive relationships with students across the whole school. As well as starting their journey as part of their Senior School House each Year 7 student has a Year 12 Mentor who plays an important role in their life at school as a ‘big brother/sister’. Year 12 Mentors are highly valued and sought after positions at Grammar. Our Year 8 students continue to build connections start to interact more and more with students across all senior levels as they move to become a more integral part of their House.
We know that open communication and building a positive three-way partnership are critical to support our students at this important stage in their development. At Year 7 there are a number of excellent opportunities for parents to come together at the School to meet teachers and other families.
Program – Special Features and Opportunities
The focus of our programs is to inspire, engage and explore and we offer students a wide and exciting range of learning opportunities.
- Instrumental Music Program (IMP): Every Year 7 student chooses a new instrument to learn within the curriculum which culminates in every student performing in the end-of-semester IMP concerts and the Royal South Street Eisteddfod
- Electives: From Year 8 students can choose from an exciting list of electives such as Robotics
- Enrichment: Opportunities are available in Mathematics and ‘Ad Astra’ (where students to extend themselves in a small group within their own interest area)
- Sport: As well as PE within the curriculum our co-curricular Sport Program offers a huge range of competitive and non-competitive options
- Music, Dance and Drama: Building on extensive learning opportunities within the curriculum students are encouraged to participate in an exciting range of performance opportunities in Music, Dance and Drama
- Art and Design: Students have extensive learning opportunities in Art and Design and wonderful opportunities to exhibit their work
- Service, Leadership and Round Square Programs: Students can get involved in a wide range of Service activities and there are many opportunities for students to show leadership such as by actively participating in our structured Round Square Program
- Outdoor Education Program: Two camps in Year 7 and one in Year 8 are part of a developmental Outdoor Education Program with a strong focus on strengthening relationships and developing a strong sense of self
Personal Notebook Program
We seek to provide the best tools for our students and all Year 7 students are issued with a touch screen laptop they can use as a standard laptop and as a touch screen tablet and digital tablet pen. Our students and teachers love the flexibility that these devices offer that allows them to be used in innovative ways across all subjects.
Teaching ICT Skills
ICT is taught as a core subject in Years 7 and 8. In Year 8 there is a strong emphasis on Computer Aided Design (CAD), 3D printing and programming. The hands-on skills that students learn filter into other curriculum areas, encouraging the innovative use of technology across the curriculum.