The Queen Margaret College Middle School (Year 7 – 10) aims is to ease the transition of our students from a primary school environment to that of a secondary school by ensuring the development of confidence, high self-esteem and sound work habits. This period requires a programme that helps students participate actively and responsibly in a changing and increasingly interrelated world. Learning how to think and how to evaluate information critically is as important as learning facts.
We are an International Baccalaureate World School authorised to teach the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP). The MYP delivers a framework of academic challenges which encourage students to embrace and understand the connections between traditional subjects and the real world, and become critical and reflective thinkers.
Building on the skills and knowledge developed through the Primary Years Programme (PYP) in the Junior School, the programme is ideal preparation for the dual qualification pathway delivered in the Senior School of either the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBD) or NCEA.
The programme can be illustrated by the MYP Curriculum Model which has the IB Learner Profile at the centre surrounded by the features of the programme, its outcomes and the curriculum students study. This provides a broad and balanced education for early adolescents.
The IB Learner Profile is a set of learning outcomes that go beyond academic success. The profile aims to develop learners who are knowledgeable, principled, open-minded, caring, balanced and reflective. Learners are encouraged to be communicators, inquirers, thinkers and risk takers.
The MYP has distinctive features that help students develop disciplinary (and interdisciplinary) understandings
Approaches to Teaching and Learning
The approach to teaching and learning provides students with the tools to enable them to take responsibility for their own learning by developing awareness of how they learn best, of thought processes and of learning strategies.
Global contexts provide shared starting points for inquiry into what it means to be internationally minded. The curriculum promotes multilingualism, intercultural understanding and global engagement.
The concepts studied are big ideas that have relevance within specific disciplines and across traditional subject areas. Over the course of the academic year, each year level participates in at least one interdisciplinary unit of work. This involves teachers in at least two subjects working together to design a unit of learning and assessment. Interdisciplinary learning allows students to make connections between subjects and to develop ideas and solutions that incorporate learning and knowledge from different spheres.
Inquiry Based Learning
Inquiry based learning allows students to take action by applying what they are learning in the classroom to the outside world. The Year 10 Community Project focuses on community and service. It gives each student the opportunity to develop awareness of community needs and address a specific need they feel concerned about.
The eight subjects students study are Language and Literature (English), Language Acquisition (Second Language), Individual and Societies, Mathematics, Design, Arts, Sciences, Physical Health and Education.
At Queen Margaret College we treat each girl as an individual and cater for different learning needs through small group teaching and targeted help.
In Year 7 and 8, teaching support in English and Mathematics is provided. In Year 9 and 10, we have an additional English programme which caters for students who need help with their literacy skills. This class is taken instead of a second language option. Students are advised if this is a suitable option for them.
Students who require learning extension are identified by the use of standardised tests and teacher feedback. They are catered for in a number of ways including differentiated classroom programmes, streamed mathematics classes in the upper Middle School, NCEA Level 1 Achievement Standards in Year 10 programmes, ICAS examinations in computer skills, English, mathematics, science, spelling and writing, and mentoring.
It also includes the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular competitions (Regional Science Fair, Mathswell, Tournament of Minds, Spelling Bee, Otago Problem Solving) and to join the Middle School Writers’ Group, Robotics Club and Chess Club.
A few kind words
“Enrolling our daughters at the Middle School level was the best decision we have made. The MYP programme offers so much to the girls to extend themselves and learn new skills they never thought possible. We can’t speak more highly of the respect we have for the teachers and staff at QMC and we are so grateful that they are helping shape our daughters into the bright, passionate and wonderful young women that they are.” – Belinda Barber, Middle School Parent
“Leadership opportunities are one of the greatest aspects of Middle School. There are chances to be house leaders, class leaders, ambassadors, cultural captains and sport captains. There are also many opportunities to get involved in activities through school whether it is through sports or cultural activities. The Middle School is a great place to learn and develop skills that will be useful in the Senior School and throughout life.” – Ella Wilson, Current Year 10 Student
“We are continually impressed by the professionalism of Rena Day and her team of exceptional teachers. Together they provide our daughters with educational opportunities in an exhilarating environment which is seeing them flourish. Our girls are constantly offered the chance to explore interests and expand their talents, far beyond the basic core subjects generally on offer at most secondary schools. As a result both of them are fully engaged in a variety of activities – a real feat given how very different they are.” – Jacqui and Shay Bassett, Middle School Parents
“Of great importance to us is the outstanding pastoral support provided to the girls, always in close consultation with us, particularly during a prolonged period of illness. The Middle School teachers, along with their classmates, have provided; the highest level of education, mentoring, enjoyment, and acceptance. There is no doubt in our mind that our daughters are lucky enough to be attending the best girls school in the region, and perhaps the country.” – Jacqui and Shay Bassett, Middle School Parents
“I began my Queen Margaret journey in 2015 in Year 8. Since coming to QMC, I have improved my work ethic, my treating of responsibility and have evolved my learning and been given so many new and different opportunities to grow as a student. I found a love for attending school and I see every assessment as a new challenge. Teachers and mentors always find new and different ways to help each individual student to learn. My time in the Middle School has taught me skills that I will carry with me for my whole life and it has made me into the person I am today.” – Brooke Raitt, Current Year 10 Student
“My experience at QMC has been one of a kind. Ever since my first day in Year 7, I have been swept into a whirlwind of opportunities. From extensions in subjects, language competitions, creative writing classes, ambassador jobs, to extra curriculum activities like Celesta Choir and netball. My favourite part of the school is how the teachers embrace culture. I think, because I am bilingual myself, this had a positive effect on me. The teachers are always there to catch you when you fall and support you in succeeding to your very best.” – Sora Grace Tanuma, Current Year 8 Student
“The Middle School at QMC fills a traditionally difficult stage of development and learning with a renewed sense of purpose. The Middle School encourages the girls to step up and enjoy this stage. We have loved watching our girls blossom during these years, they both feel significant and their efforts are recognised and applauded. This will no doubt see them advance into the Senior School confident and happy young women.” – Rebecca McLeod and Adam Benn, Middle School Parents
“I’ve been at QMC for three years now after starting in Year 8. When I first arrived, not many girls were new to school. However, I found the girls really welcoming and inclusive. One of the things I really love about Queen Margaret College is the unity between the year groups. I enjoy talking to my friends in different years at school or on the train. I love having a leadership role in student-driven activities such as the Year 10 melodrama and other house opportunities. I feel that I have gained lots of confidence from this. I love playing sport for school and I think that it’s a great way to become part of the school and create long lasting friendships with your team members, as well as represent QMC in tournaments. As part of MYP, each year group helps the community in a different way and in Year 9 we supported refugees coming into the country from Syria to join their other family members. I found this an incredibly rewarding experience and was one of the highlights of my year.” – Phoebe Wood, Current Year 10 Student
“Our daughter started in Year 7 and has thrived ever since. She settled in quickly and has made great friends. Her ambassador role has given her responsibility and the chance to share her pride in the school. She has taken the opportunity to try debating, speech and drama, and flute which keep her busy and stimulated. As parents we have found the parenting seminars to be invaluable as we navigate our way through the teenage years.” – Anna and Dan Ormond, Middle School Parents
“As one of the six new girls in Year 8 I was lucky enough to experience a friendly and welcoming community of girls. Not only were the girls welcoming but the teachers were helpful and interested in our lives and our education. My Middle School education has prepared me for my school work in NCEA Level One by making our subjects the perfect mixture of fun and hard work. Overall my Middle School experience will be something I remember, as a time of fun, friends and great education.” – Siobhan Murray, Year 11
“Two things impressed me about Queen Margaret College from the outset. One is the way teachers and pupils interact with each other, and the other is the attentive way the girls’ education is organised, nurtured and actively pursued. As a parent of a Middle School girl transitioning from child to young adult, I appreciate how the staff treat the girls as intelligent young adults, respect an issue as being important to the individual, and patiently work out solutions together.” – Debi Collis-Tanuma, Middle School Parent