In Year 8 the aim is to meet the changing and developmental needs of the students. Some of these needs include: the seeking of greater independence, participation in community life, development of new friendships, developing connectedness to their peers, school and family, developing individual resilience around issues such as bullying and the development of social skills.
At Monte students are encouraged to be active learners and to critically assess the world around them. The dynamic and experienced English teachers at Monte strive to develop a love of literature in their students. They assist students to make links between ideas, knowledge and the world around them and encourage an holistic engagement with the intellectual, spiritual and personal.
The Year 7 to 10 programs incorporate the NSW Board of Studies Outcomes and the framework of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme. The programs are based around the Areas of Interaction and Guiding Questions, so students approach the texts by grappling with questions such as:
- how do experiences lead to growth and change?
- can Shakespeare’s comedies do more than make us laugh?
- how do we understand our relationship with ourselves, our community, and the environment through the study of narrative and mythology?
Gifted English students are invited to join Extension classes in Years 7 to 10. In these classes, students develop their critical literacy and written expression and are exposed to more sophisticated texts to develop their knowledge and understanding. Students in these classes are encouraged to enter writing competitions and have the opportunity to undertake special writing projects and workshops with writers.
Support for students with special needs
In Year 7 and 8, students experiencing difficulties with literacy and written expression may join a smaller support class, where they have extra assistance and can complete tasks which target their special needs and develop their skills in a structured way.
In Year 8, students are involved in topic areas that cover the sciences of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The emphasis on practical activities is important in each of the topic areas. Student-choice activities are also an important part of the learning process at Monte. These give the students the ability to choose their own activities from a list of topic areas and make the experience more exciting.
In Mathematics from Years 7 - 10, we focus on the following strands: Number, Measurement, Data, Patterns and Algebra, Geometry and Working Mathematically. The implementation of the IB Middle Years Programme in Years 7 and 8 has focused Mathematics teaching on Communication, Investigating Patterns and Reflection and Evaluation, along with the more traditional focus on Knowledge and Skills.
Mandatory History and Geography (7 - 10)
The IBMYP philosophy has been integrated into the teaching and learning of Years 7 and 8 Geography and History courses. Students experience continuity in their learning by having these courses delivered by the ONE teacher, with a semester of study in EACH course through each year of Stage 4.Students study Global Geography exploring the diversity that exists in global communities, environments and issues (including ecological sustainability), as well as effects of global inequality. To enhance their learning, students in Year 7 undertake a wetland fieldwork study at Sydney Olympic Park. In Year 8 they carry out environmental sustainability audits and bushwalking as a tourism activity in the Blue Mountains.
Students study World History investigating Archaeology and Ancient & Medieval Societies. They are involved in virtual site studies and research into different cultures and societies and the legacies they have left for the modern world. To enhance their learning, students in Year 7 work with a Macquarie University professional to develop their skills. In Year 8 they participate in medieval crafts and games and view a live medieval styled performance on warfare.
Languages have always been highly valued at Monte, not only by the College, but by students and parents. In accordance with the National Statement for Languages education in Australian Schools, Monte is committed to the provision of quality languages education for all students, in the context of education in a global community. The contribution of Languages to wider-contextual learning, such as internationalism and intercultural competence, underpins the integral role of language skills and cultural sensitivity in the International Baccalaureate. The importance of language learning as a tool for developing cultural awareness and tolerance in the quest for peace cannot be underestimated in our global world today.
In Year 7, students must choose one of the following languages: French, German, or Italian. They continue their study of the chosen language for four years. Currently in Years 8, 9 and 10 they continue their study of either French, German, Italian or Indonesian (Years 9 and 10 only).
Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) provides students with the opportunity to explore issues that impact on the health and wellbeing of themselves and others. These issues may include physical activity, mental health, drug use, sexual health, nutrition, supportive relationships, personal safety, gender roles and discrimination.
Students participate in the mandatory course from Years 7 to 10 which aims to empower the students to adopt healthy lifestyles in keeping with the total wellbeing of the individual.
In Technology, students undertake four design projects and experience a variety of technologies. Specialist rooms are well equipped for working with wood, plastics, electronics, multi media, food and textiles. Integrated with developing practical skills, students use the design cycle to document their ideas, solve problems and evaluate their work. By the end of the course, students should be confident in using a variety of tools, be able to work in groups, solve problems and come to solutions, and they should know how to work safely.
Investigate: Students need to clearly define the design task. Students must then produce documented evidence of relevant research and analysis showing sources of their research. This step is essential to provide knowledge and inspiration to help in their design work.
Design: Students show their ability to be creative by generating several ideas explaining the details for each idea. They select the most feasible idea and develop it into a solution.
Plan: Planning is of primary importance in the demonstration of the ability to organise both time and resources. In order for this stage to be assessed, students must document their work plan and justify their choice of alternatives.
Create: Creating products/solutions is the aim of all technology programs. In order for this stage of the design cycle to be assessed, students must submit a process journal with all amendments to the planning stage as well as the product itself.
Evaluate: Evaluation is necessary to show the ability to critically analyse and suggest where improvements can be made. In order for this stage in the design cycle to be assessed, the student must provide documentation of the assessment of both the product/solution and process, and a form of self-assessment.
Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College is united to being Christ in the world, to the Gospel values, to the Mercy tradition and the Mission of the Church.
As Catherine McAuley said, ‘We should be as the compass that goes round its circle without stirring from its centre – our centre is God...’,
God is Mercy. Because of God’s Mercy the word was spoken and creation began.
In the mystery of faith we have the Grace of who we are as Monte, why we are Monte, what we stand for as Monte and the living growth of becoming.
The first word written on the Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College motto is ‘Religio’ “re” means “again and again” or “all ways”, ‘ligio’ means “bind to” or “hold together” so in a sense religion is describing our continual closeness to God, our centre.
The Religious Education Curriculum has a twofold focus. primarily, Religion in a Catholic College is a lived experience from the Faith seeking understanding of the classroom to the Liturgy, Prayer, Reflection Days and Retreat.
The Religious Education Curriculum also strives for academic excellence, student learning and the acquistion of knowledge.
In Visual Arts at Monte we value student-centred learning where individuals are encouraged to develop their ideas, creativity and talents, whilst taking responsible risks, in a well resourced, engaging, supportive and caring environment.
Our programs are designed to respond to the changing developmental needs and interests of students from Years 7 to 12, within the framework of the NSW BOS Syllabus and the International Baccalaureate, Middle Years and Diploma Visual Arts Programme. All Visual Arts courses are based on the three practices in the contemporary world of art and design:
- Making Artworks – reflecting the practice of the visual artist and designer
- Critical Study - reflecting the practice of the art critic
- Historical Study - reflecting the practice of the art historian
Through these courses, Visual Arts students are empowered to become self-motivated, resourceful, reflective learners who are adaptable, critical and creative thinkers.
As part of the Board of Studies Stage Four curriculum and IB Middle Years Programme, Music is a compulsory subject in Years 7 and 8. Classes seek to involve all students in a variety of musical experiences such as performing, composing and listening across a wide range of styles and genres including western music and music of other cultures.
Year 8 students begin their semester learning a range of guitar skills. After acquiring the ability to strum, pick, read tabs and chord charts they composed their own pop song and performed an arrangement of it for their peers. Following this, the students engaged in a unit on dance and music of other cultures. They learned traditional dances and choreographed their own dance interpretations in small groups. Students have also used technology to gain a deeper understanding of other cultures through research activities and links to YouTube. They have worked collaboratively with GoogleDocs and continued to compose using GarageBand.