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Middle Phase of Learning (School Communities)

Middle Phase of Learning

The Middle Phase of Learning output focuses on ensuring all students in Years 4 to 9:

  • are provided with opportunities to achieve success, particularly in attaining the Essential Learnings
  • develop increasingly sophisticated literacy and numeracy skills in all learning areas
  • engage in purposeful and intellectually challenging learning
  • are supported in their transition from the Early Phase of Learning and from primary to secondary schooling.

The impact of simultaneous physical, emotional, intellectual and social factors as students move through the Middle Phase of Learning creates needs and challenges in schools with students in this age group. These needs and challenges are significantly different from those of younger children or older adolescents.

In 2008-09, there were 239 760 students enrolled in state schools in the Middle Phase of Learning (see Table 2).

Table 2: Number of students in the Middle Phase of Learning in state school

Number of students - Middle
Phase of Learning (Years 4-9)
2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
Total 236 820 237 420 238 580 239 760
Proportion enrolled in state schools 70% 69% 69% 68%

Source: Department of Education and Training

Throughout 2008-09, the department assisted students in the Middle Phase of Learning by investing $21 million in the following areas.

Supporting literacy development

All teachers of Year 4 to 7 students across Queensland state schools were given five days of professional development in literacy.

Developing Middle Phase leaders

A male teacher working in a computer lab with two male students.

The 2009 Developing Middle Phase Leaders program was conducted from the end of March 2009. It provided a forum for 34 high-performing teachers and newly appointed department and curriculum heads to improve their professional practice, networking and mentoring.

The knowledge and skills gained in the initial workshops prepared each participant to identify particular goals and actions that would improve student achievement in their school.

This program has resulted in enduring professional support networks and an increase in leadership capability in the Middle Phase of Learning.

Implementing the QCAR Framework

Teachers were given this professional development opportunity to enhance teaching in response to student needs and standards-based assessment. For further information on the QCAR Framework, see Teaching and learning.

Finalising the REAL project

In September 2009, teacher materials and the final report of the Relationships, Engagement and Achievement for Learning (REAL) Middle Phase of Learning Cluster Project 2008 were published online. This project provided guidance on implementing the QCAR Essential Learnings and Standards for Middle Phase students. Teachers were supported in their design of curriculum and assessment, monitoring of student learning and moderation of teacher judgment.

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Parent satisfaction

Parents of students in the Middle Phase of Learning continue to maintain satisfaction levels with their child's school between 83 and 84 per cent (see Figure 7).

click on the graph to enlarge Click on the graph to enlarge

Figure 7: Parents' satisfaction with their child's school - Middle Phase of Learning (Years 4-9)

  • Parents' satisfaction with their child's school - Middle Phase of Learning (Years 4-9) [KPI]
Key Performance Indicators

Source: Department of Education and Training

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Curriculum in Years 4-9

 Three male high school aged students.

The focus in the Middle Phase of Learning is on ensuring students attain the QCAR Essential Learnings. This involves:

  • explicit teaching, and providing all students with opportunities to develop the Essential Learnings specified for the end of Years 5, 7 and 9
  • challenging students to apply their knowledge and develop their skills by exploring issues in contexts that are meaningful to students and that are connected to their communities beyond the school
  • using standards-based assessment and providing specific feedback to students on how they might improve.

Successful transitions from Years 7 to 8 are supported by cross-school collaboration and planning for learning that builds on what students already know.

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