It was Paul the Apostle who said ‘When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.’ (I Corinthians 13:11).
As our Year 7 students negotiate the transition into Junior Secondary, a significant period in a young person’s life, they will experience more personal change than at any other time of their lives. Because the rate of development and interests of students in Years 7 to 9 can vary enormously, we continue to refine, develop and implement structures, systems, policies and programs which are mindful of their unique developmental needs.
In 2015, the introduction of Queensland’s Year 7s into Secondary presented an ideal watershed opportunity to re-examine and initiate finely-honed ways of working with young adolescents. For example, what is developmentally appropriate? Certainly one size does not fit all. Our curriculum and pastoral care programs must be ever mindful of addressing individual needs, as well as the issues that traditionally impact on these pivotal years of learning - motivation, engagement, and changing relationship dynamics.
The Junior Secondary phase of the College represents a transition period for students as they come to terms with their move from Primary School. At CHAC, students embrace the opportunity to create a Junior Secondary identity and take on board the significant role they can play in adding to the history of the College.
Mr Chris Nastrom-Smith, Director of Junior Secondary
Research suggests that it is through the creation of engaging and developmentally-appropriate learning experiences that the students are best placed to continue the development of lifelong learning attributes, not only to facilitate their transition into Senior Secondary but ultimately into contemporary post-school society.
In January 2016, the brand-new, purpose-designed Junior Secondary Precinct welcomed its first students . It provides a facility that harnesses the benefits of natural light and the calm and tranquillity of CHAC’s existing landscape. Learning spaces are open and flexible, to promote the engagement and motivation previously referenced. The addition of the Junior Secondary Precinct - ‘our own space’ - further enhances Junior Secondary students’ feelings of social inclusion.
This inclusive and connected environment supports our students while they develop their personal identity, manage the physical and emotional demands of adolescence, and renegotiate their relationships with peers and teachers.