Middle School

Improving academic outcomes & student engagement

Years 9 & 10

Aims of the two-year program

Elwood College is committed to continuously improving the academic outcomes of all our students.

Middle school research highlights a very real relationship between heightened student engagement in their own learning and improved academic success.

Student engagement levels are affected by many factors, including a student’s sense of ownership of their learning program, their ability to make informed choices within that program, recognition that a program caters to their individual needs and interests, and an appreciation that their learning programs link to future learning and life outcomes.

By committing to a course that they have chosen, Middle School students at Elwood College are coached within a more mature vertical structure to not only prepare for and advance towards their VCE, but also to be active in-the-moment learners within the classroom; thriving in semester-long courses that offer greater depth and breadth. The Middle School courses are designed to inspire curiosity and encourage exploration within engaging topics.

Middle School Manual

Elwood College – Middle School Manual 2024

Achieving the Middle School Certificate

Similar to senior school students who achieve their Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) at the end of Year 12, Middle School students will be directed and supported to attain their Middle School Certificate; a qualification that enables them to build towards a successful VCE.

Over the two Middle School years, students will complete 24 courses across all the learning domains; six courses per semester. Each course consists of six periods per fortnight. Middle School students are eligible to sit courses in the following streams:

  • VCE
  • Middle School
  • Year 10
  • Year 9

VCE courses are recommended to students to begin an ‘early’ VCE. Traditionally, Elwood College has offered a VCE enhancement program at Year 10. However, since the inception of the Middle School program in 2017, more courses are now on offer, and course offerings will be extended to highly capable Year 9 students, and to Year 10 students who wish to challenge themselves with enrolment in VCE.

Students choosing to adopt VCE courses will likely be in classes with Year 11s.

Year 9

Duke of Edinburgh Award

In Year 9, students at Elwood College can begin their Duke of Edinburgh Award journey. The Duke of Edinburgh is an internationally recognised program for young people, building their skills to equip them for life and work.

The choice to do the award is entirely voluntary and every award is different. Each Participant chooses what activities they want to take part in for each Section. It is a very personal program that offers young people a structure to fulfill their passions and ambitions in a way that suits them.

There are three award levels; Bronze, Silver and Gold. The bronze and silver levels include four sections students must complete, while the gold level includes an additional fifth section.

Award Sections

Year 9 Camp

During Term 2, students in Year 9 attend a three day year level camp where they participate in outdoor activities such as bushwalking, survival skills, obstacle courses and other adventure activities.

Year 10

Northern Territory Back to the Future Expedition

In Year 10, students have the opportunity to attend a learning expedition to the Northern Territory where they spend time at the amazing Earth Sanctuary which is a 100% carbon neutral venue situated on 100 acres of pristine wilderness just 15 minutes south of Alice Springs.

While at the sanctuary students learn about:

  • Ecology including local flora and fauna, geology and habitats
  • Sustainability including sustainable technologies, innovation and design
  • Local history including the School of the Air, Royal Flying Doctor Service and Telegraph Station
  • Australian Aboriginal culture including spirituality, survival, art and music
  • Astronomy including star gazing through Earth Sanctuary’s own space observatory

Students also visit and hike at iconic Australian landmarks including:

  • Uluru
  • Kata Tjuta National Park
  • Kings Canyon/Watarrka
  • Western MacDonnell Ranges
  • Simpsons Gap

Northern Territory Back to the Future Expedition

Future Directions classes focusing on Careers and Wellbeing activities are delivered once a week over the duration of the program.

Senior School

Learn more