Middle School – Years 7, 8 and 9

Sha Tin College is a dynamic school filled with wonderful opportunities as well as friendly, motivated students. For students starting out in Year 7, I would like to assure you the transition to secondary school can be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences in your life. We build on the skills that you have learned in primary school and encourage every student to become an inquisitive and responsible life-long learner. For students joining us in Year 8 or 9, you will find the high expectations of staff and excellent work ethic of your fellow students create a wonderful learning environment.

I like to think joining Sha Tin College is like joining a large extended family where all staff and students encourage each other to achieve their very best. You will be supported throughout your time at Sha Tin by an excellent team of Tutors, a Deputy Head of Year and Head of Year.

Our academic results are outstanding but there is so much more to Sha Tin College and I expect all students in the Middle School to become fully involved in college life. When I speak with students in Year 7, 8 or 9 I like to hear the excitement in their voice as they talk about their involvement in a wide variety of activities while also maintaining excellent grades. Dedicated involvement in co-curricular activities should start immediately in Year 7.

I look forward to meeting all new students and parents as a student enters Sha Tin College. I would welcome an opportunity to discuss entrance to the Lower School or the expectations we have of students once they have been accepted. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by email at lp@shatincollege.edu.hk

Warm regards, 

Lucie Purves

Head of Middle School

The Arts

Art

The subject aims to promote collective and individual creativity by giving art students the opportunity to learn and succeed at their own level. Involvement in Art and Design will challenge students, enrich personal identity, and build awareness of aesthetics in a real-world context. Concepts and contexts within the curriculum are constantly adapted to cultivate meaningful integration so that knowledge can be easily transferred across other subject areas.

The Middle School courses in Art are designed to prepare students for the challenges of GCSE Art and Design, and the IB Visual Arts courses. In addition, the school often has visiting artists and designers who educates students to the practice of Art and Design within a professional context.

Year 7 students follow the IB Middle Years Programme, which enables each student to develop and think creatively through varying teaching methodologies and exposing students to various media. The programme’s open-ended themes allow students to convey feelings, experiences and ideas. It also aims to help students build their confidence and lay the foundation of a variety of basic skills that directly impact our Art programme in Years 8, 9 and beyond.

Years 8 and 9 students are expected to extend their practical and critical skills with more sophisticated use of materials and processes. Students are encouraged to respond to the world around them whilst developing their imagination, problem solving skills as well the ability to express themselves with confidence. They also gain an awareness of artists from a variety of times and cultures.

For more information about the Art curriculum in Middle School, please contact Mr John Doherty at jd@shatincollege.edu.hk.

Drama

The Drama and Theatre Department offer students numerous opportunities to explore the artiste within themselves. Through creating, performing and presenting their arts, students learn to express and engage with new experiences, ideas and emotions. In the Middle School, students will hone their vocal and movements skills whilst working in a disciplined and collaborative way to create drama.

Year 7 students will study how to use the body and the voice to communicate. These skills are then assessed using easier scenes from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. To further develop their understanding of the subjects, students will conduct a research into World Mask Traditions and investigate how mask skills are used in various contexts around the world, before presenting their findings. The research aims to help students develop their own mask skills and learn to enhance their performances using masks. The unit culminates in students designing and creating their own masks for their storylines.

Year 8 students will learn about physical theatre techniques in performance as they rehearse and present their own Myth or Legend in a group of approximately five students. The actors are encouraged to rely on voice and body to tell these magical tales, singing and dancing to make their work more spectacular. This unit also introduces the Year 8s to the idea of editing to suit the needs of an audience, which challenges students to make important decisions in their presentation of the arts.

For more information about the Drama curriculum in Middle School, please contact Mr Neil Harris at nh@shatincollege.edu.hk.

Music

Students in Middle School compose, perform and analyse music from around the world. The subject aims to help students improve their creative and analytical skills, whilst developing an artistic identity. Different music technologies are incorporated into lessons, helping students develop their understanding of the subject.

Year 7 modules include:
• Elements of music
• Rhythm and the music of South America
• Melody! How we use notation from around the world
• Harmony and Chords

Year 8 modules include:
• Texture and Ostinato: Composing using music technology
• Guitar School
• Structure and Form
• Rock School!

Year 9 modules include:
• Blues and Rock and Roll
• Electronic Dance Music
• Acapella
• Music for Film

Students are assessed in a range of skills including practical performing, listening and composing.

For more information about the Music curriculum in Middle School, please contact Mr Noah Nicholson at ncn@shatincollege.edu.hk.

Design

Middle School students in Years 7, 8 and 9 study three strands of Design: Product, Food and Digital.

For more information about the Design curriculum in Middle School, please contact Mr Paul Clarke at prc@shatincollege.edu.hk.

Product Design

The subject aims to use the design cycle to solve problems through the use of tools, materials and systems. The study of Product Design enables students to manipulate a variety of materials to create tangible products and solutions which solve a problem and meet a need. Three-dimensional (3D) tangible solutions made by using computer-aided manufacturing techniques are typically the result of a Product Design course.

Food Design

The subject explores the problems related to food supply, production and consumption. The study of Food Design equips with skills that allow students to think creatively and critically about authentic food problems and needs such as the provenance of food, the nutritional impact of food, the social and cultural impact of food.

ICT

The study of Digital Design allows students to solve problems through the use of a computer system. Students will learn to create computer-generated digital products and offer solutions to solve a problem and meet a perceived need. Two-dimensional (2D) tangible products created using computer aided manufacturing techniques are typically the result of a digital design course. Examples of this include web design, interactive media design, programming and control.

English Language and Literature

The English Language and Literature Middle Years Programme (MYP) is an academically rigorous programme that aims to develop an appreciation of the nature of language as a valuable tool of self-expression, imagination and creativity. Students will also critically evaluate the nature of communication in a diverse range of texts and contexts. English is taught through the six skill areas of reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing and presenting. These are interdependent strands which are taught side by side.

Sha Tin College has six mixed ability English classes taught by an English specialist and two smaller growth classes which, in Years 7 and 8, are taught by an English specialist and a Learning Support specialist.

In Years 7, 8 and 9 students engage with texts from a variety of literary genres from poetry, novels, drama and short stories to non-literary texts including advertisements, newspaper articles and cartoons. All units of study are inquiry based, designed to cultivate students’ international mindedness while providing a framework to support students’ conceptual development.

Summative and formative assessment strategies are used to assess students’ grasp of key skills, concepts, and approaches to learning (ATL’s) which are integral to the success of the MYP as a whole. Above all, we hope to engender in students a life-long love of reading and the printed word to become self-sustained reflective and confident learners.

For more information about the English Language and Literature curriculum in Middle School, please contact Ms Lindsay Tandy at lst@shatincollege.edu.hk.

Individuals and Societies

Global Thinking Skills

In Year 7 the students study the following topics:
• Communities and Rules: Students learn more about the community at Sha Tin College and also online communities. They reflect on why we have rules and how we should behave within the different communities we are a part of.
• Cyber safety and bullying: Focus is on responsible use of laptops.
• Who am I?: Students learn about identity and reflect on the sort of person they would like to be and also the changes that will occur in their bodies and minds as they grow up.
• FRIENDS for Youth: This is a social resilience course that teaches life skills to help reach goals and deal successfully with challenges.

In Year 8 the students will study the following topics:
• Poverty: The aim of this unit of work is to learn more about how poverty affects the lives of children. The skills taught include research, empathy, social and global awareness, communication and presentation styles.
• Debating global issues: The aim of this unit of work is to learn about different sources of evidence and to put your skills to the test by using evidence to win debates. Focus on communication and research skills.
• Information literacy: In this unit the students learn about plagiarism, cross referencing, citations, research and how to construct an essay giving different points of view. The focus is on using library database resources rather than google search.

For more information about the GTS curriculum in Middle School, please contact Ms Claire Berry at cb@shatincollege.edu.hk.

Geography

The MYP Geography curriculum is designed to explore the interrelationships between physical and human concepts whilst embedding key geographical skills.

Year 7 modules include:
• Our Restless Planet
• Mapping a Zombie outbreak
• Water World
Exploration of these concepts is extended beyond the classroom with a trip to Bride’s Pool where students practice their map skills in the field whilst learning about river features and processes along the route.

Year 8 modules include:
• Weather & Climate
• Coasts
• Ecosystems
On a field trip to Sai Kung Country Park they get the opportunity to investigate coastal processes and features and well as human impacts on the coastline. They also develop their understanding of processes operating within a woodland ecosystem and the potential threats to this environment.

Year 9 modules include:
• Pollution in Hong Kong
• The Geography of Conflict
• Global Interactions

For more information about the Geography curriculum in Middle School, please contact Ms Claire Heap at ceh@shatincollege.edu.hk.

History

In order to understand the world we live in, it is necessary to be aware of the events of the past. History lessons at Sha Tin develop:
• Knowledge and understanding of what happened and when.
• Investigation skills: students learn to investigate interesting topics on their own.
• Communication skills: students learn to write a balanced argument.
• Critical thinking skills: students learn to use a variety of sources.

Year 7 modules include:
• Where in Time am I?
– Students learn how time, place and space affect our identities.
• How Civilised were the Ancients?
– Students learn that systems such as Ancient Civilisations developed so that people could live together in the most productive way possible. We explore the Ancient Egyptian, Roman and Chinese Civilisations.
• An Interdisciplinary Unit on the Black Death.
– This is an exciting study into the spread of disease. This is an interdisciplinary unit as we focus on the development of the student understanding through study in two different subject areas.
• How Fair were Medieval Societies?
– Students learn that global interaction can lead to conflict over power and privilege. In particular, they investigate the struggle between the Normans and Anglo-Saxons as people fought for control over land.

Year 8 modules include:
• The Age of Discovery
– This unit examines how global interaction from the 1500s affected the histories of ideas and disciplines.
• Industry, Trade and Empire
– This unit explores how global interaction from the 1700s encouraged modernisation, industrialisation and engineering advances around the world.
• The Black Peoples of the Americas
– As they examine the Black Peoples of the Americas, students learn that inequality and difference between peoples has changed in History over time.

Year 9 modules include:
• Warfare
– Students learn how Global Interdependence can affect the establishment of justice, peace and conflict resolution.
• The Cold War
– An exploration unit concerning how human-made systems and communities can share commonality, diversity and interconnection.
• The History of Sport
– This unit explores how personal and cultural expressions can reflect changing attitudes in societies.

For more information about the History curriculum in Middle School, please contact Ms Emma McAskie at elm@shatincollege.edu.hk.

Philosophy and Religious Studies

As a global citizen it is vital to understand and evaluate the diverse range of beliefs and perspectives on humanity, life and the universe. Philosophy and Religious Studies (PRS) also contributes to students’ personal development and well-being along with community cohesion by promoting mutual respect and tolerance in a diverse society. The PRS Department at Sha Tin College offers a dynamic, thought provoking and worthwhile curriculum ensuring that learning is active and enjoyable.

PRS plays an important role in preparing students for adult life, employment and lifelong learning. It helps young people become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens. It gives students the knowledge, skills and understanding to strengthen their capacity for making moral judgements and for evaluating different types of commitment to make positive and healthy choices.

The Middle School PRS curriculum is designed to introduce students to the six major world religions as well as some important philosophical questions and concepts.

To support the investigation into religion in Hong Kong, Year 7 students complete a trail of four different religious places of worship in Hong Kong.

Year 7 modules include:
• An introduction to the six major world religions.
• The importance of religion in Hong Kong.
• Sikhism: How religions communicate their beliefs and identity through symbols.
• Different perspectives on the origins of the universe.
• Judaism: Beliefs, rituals and worship, and the impact of these on personal identity.
In Year 8 students continue to develop their inquiry skills by concentrating on two group investigations.

Year 8 modules include:
• What makes a successful life?
• Jesus-Man or Messiah?
• An inquiry into the concept of God.
• Islam: A study of the way in which beliefs impact upon the daily life of individuals.
In Year 9, students focus on application of the religious and philosophical knowledge gained in Years 7 and 8. They will apply religious beliefs and values alongside an introduction to and study of Ethics.

Year 9 modules include:
• Abortion: When does life begin and end?
• Medical Ethics Inquiry.
• Searching for Happiness: An introduction to Buddhism.
• The problem of evil and suffering.
• The Holocaust: Genocide memorial project.

For more information about the PRS curriculum in Middle School, please contact Mr Crispian Farrow at cf@shatincollege.edu.hk.

Language Acquisition

Our Language Acquisition courses align with the expectations of the Middle Years Programme, which will commence for Year 7s at the start of the academic year 2018/19.

We feel that it is important to offer the students a choice when it comes to studying a language. We provide students the opportunity to select either a European language (French) or an Asian language (Chinese) or a combination of the two languages.

The following outlines the language pathway options for Year 7 students.

At the end of Year 7 students can choose to change to their language pathway. Because of the different rates of progression of the courses, this change can only occur at the end of Year 7 and only from Option C into either Option A or Option B. Students will keep their option until the end of Year 9 as there is no further opportunity for change.

The following outlines the language pathways for Year 8 students from August 2018 into Year 9 2019.

For more information about the French Language Acquisition curriculum in Middle School, please contact Ms Raluca Paraschivescu at rxp@shatincollege.edu.hk. For more information about the Chinese Language Acquisition curriculum in Middle School, please contact Ms Ranny Liu at rl@shatincollege.edu.hk.

Mathematics

The Mathematics faculty aims to motivate students to enjoy and embrace Mathematics through teacher-led activities and enquiry based learning. This is done both within the classroom and through activities around the school. The subject is celebrated throughout the year in a variety of ways such as Maths Week, a week-long series of events that involves the whole school, the UK Maths Trust (UKMT) Challenge where over 120 student will participate, as well as numerous Maths competitions in Hong Kong and abroad. Students are taught within teaching groups where each child into a group that best suits their current ability. This is regularly monitored to ensure the right balance between challenge and support is offered to students.

Units will always be designed around learning mathematical concepts. Years 7, 8 and 9 modules include:
• Algebra
• Numeracy
• Graphing
• Shape and space
• Data handling

To help initiate students into Year 7 who may struggle with Mathematics there are two parallel “Growth” Mathematics classes with a smaller student teacher ratio. These classes benefit from the support of a member of the Learning Support team co-teaching each lesson, allowing individual educational plans to be followed for each child. All students follow the same curriculum and are assessed using the same tests.

All students are introduced to learning technologies early on in Mathematics and with the one-to-one laptop program all students have access to the interactive Maths programs such as Desmos and Myimaths.

For more information about the Mathematics curriculum in Middle School, please contact Mr Martin Astill at mga@shatincollege.edu.hk.

Physical and Health Education

Physical and Health education aims to inspire students with an understanding and appreciation for being physically active whilst developing a motivation for making healthy life choices. Through the Middle Years Programme (MYP), students will foster the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes that will contribute to a balanced and healthy lifestyle. The programme will explore a variety of concepts that give students an awareness of physical development and health perspectives, empowering them to make informed decisions and promoting positive social interaction.

In Middle School, students will complete several modules, each with a different focus designed to provide opportunities for exploration and inquiry into the subject area. Each module is led by resolving answers to questions whilst performing and improving sporting and aesthetic skills.

Year 7 modules include:
• Sink or Swim (swimming)
• Body fit (Health Related Exercise and Athletics)
• Spaced out (Invasion type games-Netball/Basketball)
• Creative Movers (Dance and Gymnastics)
• Hit & Run (Cricket/Rounders)

Year 8 modules include:
• Badminton
• Football
• Athletics
• Gym or Dance
• Swimming
• Rounders

Year 9 modules include:
• Table Tennis
• Volleyball
• Water Polo
• Freerunning
• Hockey
• Netball or Basketball

For more information about the Physical and Health Education curriculum in Middle School, please contact Mr Tony Webster at aw@shatincollege.edu.hk.

Sciences

Via a constructivist approach to learning, students in Years 7 and 8 are introduced to the main themes of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The Science Department believes that the most effective learning takes place when a student is actively engaged in a certain problem and thrives on performance-generated feedback. The learning is individual but often asks students to work collaboratively. In line with this philosophy, the Middle School curriculum has been meticulously designed to challenge students to find original and creative solutions to various problems.

As many of the skills taught are transferable and lend themselves to being applied in different situations there are several opportunities for cross-curricular collaboration. These include a project on the “Black Death” in cooperation with the History department.

A typical lesson may include a student performing an experiment in order to deduce whether or not there is a relationship between some variables. Investigations are constructed in a way that allows students to situate the knowledge gained within a wider scientific framework. The curriculum at Years 7 and 8 provides the ideal bridge between primary school Science and the demands of later years at Sha Tin College.

Middle School modules include:
• Magnetism
• Waves
• Chemical reactions
• Fuels
• Feeding relationships
• Reproduction

Assessment is continuous throughout the course and is both formal and informal.

For more information about the Science curriculum in Middle School, please contact Mr Daniel Worrall at dw@shatincollege.edu.hk.