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Years 7 – 12

Years 7 – 12

The supportive and enriching environment of Meriden’s Senior School promotes involvement, empowerment and discovery. Girls are encouraged to become independent thinkers, take responsibility for their learning and develop a sense of who they want to be when they exit Meriden’s gates.

Meriden’s educational philosophy puts strong emphasis on finding individual pathways of learning for each girl. The curriculum is rich and diverse and designed to give each girl the opportunity to discover and nurture her skills and talents. A wide range of cocurricular activities ensures every girl finds her niche, whether that be in sport, music, STEM or anywhere in between.

As leaders of the future, Meriden Senior School students can take advantage of many opportunities to undertake official leadership positions, but every girl is encouraged to act as a thoughtful and caring friend and to contribute positively to her community.

Student Wellbeing

A strong sense of wellbeing is essential for students to become resilient, build healthy relationships and achieve their aspirations and goals.

Meriden’s approach to student wellbeing is informed by the School’s Christian foundations and the belief that human flourishing is found through a relationship with Jesus. At Meriden, every girl is known and her unique contribution to the life of the School valued as she realises her gifts and makes her mark.

At the heart of Meriden’s pastoral approach are House tutor groups where the girls meet daily with their tutor and other girls in their year group. Relationships are central to what it means to be human, and experiencing a sense of belonging is essential to a young person’s social and emotional development. In these tutor groups, students discuss and reflect on contemporary issues and challenges. The key components of wellbeing that are woven through our programs include healthy relationships, character development, self-awareness, ethical responsibility, meaning and purpose, and service to the broader community.

Meriden’s House system provides an avenue for girls to make connections across year groups, through community service weeks and initiatives, carnivals and a range of other activities.

Students thrive when they are given opportunities to become involved in a wide range of academic and cocurricular pursuits. At Meriden, we believe that each girl is uniquely and wonderfully made and we strive to ensure that each girl is cared for.

Curriculum

The curriculum at Meriden is designed to cater for a range of ability levels and interests, and to prepare students for their studies in Years 11 and 12 and their career aspirations beyond school.

Meriden has a strong tradition of academic achievement across all areas of the curriculum and is one of the highest-performing independent girls’ schools in the state in the HSC. Meriden girls perform particularly well in STEM subjects, encouraged by inspiring programs, skilled teachers and access to exceptional learning spaces.

Individual advice is available to girls to ensure that their subject selections are best suited for them – to cater for their interests, and to prepare them well for the HSC examinations and post-school options.

Subjects offered

Mandatory Subjects
English
Mathematics
Science
Geography
PD/Health/PE
Music
Technology and Applied Science
Visual Arts
Christian Education
Research Skills

Electives
Chinese
Chinese Heritage
French
Japanese

Mandatory Subjects
English
Mathematics
Science
History
PD/Health/PE
Music
Technology and Applied Science
Visual Arts
Christian Education
Communication Skills

Electives
Chinese
Chinese Heritage
French
Japanese
Ceramics
Finding Time*
Forensic Science
Graphic Design
Independent Learning Skills*
English Language Skills*
Latin
Living in the Digital World
Musical Theatre
News and Contemporary Studies

*Students are selected for the English Language Skills, Independent Learning Skills and Finding Time electives.

Mandatory Subjects
English
Mathematics
Science
Geography
History
PD/Health/PE
Christian Education
Global Citizenship

Electives
Chinese
Commerce
Design and Technology
Drama
Finding Time*
Food Technology
French
History Elective
Independent Learning Skills*
iSTEM
Japanese
English Language Skills*
Latin
Music
Physical Activity and Sports Studies
Visual Arts

*Students will be selected for the English Language Skills, Independent Learning Skills and Finding Time electives.

 

Mandatory Subjects
English
Mathematics
Science
Geography
History
PD/Health/PE
Christian Education
Tertiary and Careers

Electives
Chinese
Commerce
Design and Technology
Drama
Finding Time*
Food Technology
French
History Elective
Independent Learning Skills*
iSTEM
Japanese
English Language Skills*
Latin
Music
Physical Activity and Sports Studies
Visual Arts

*Students will be selected for the English Language Skills, Independent Learning Skills and Finding Time electives.

Mandatory English: Advanced, Standard or EAL/D
English Extension 1 (1 unit)
Ancient History
Biology
Business Studies
Chemistry
Chinese Continuers
Chinese in Context
Chinese and Literature
Community and Family Studies
Design and Technology
Drama
Economics
Engineering Studies
Food Technology
French Continuers
Geography
Hospitality
Japanese Beginners
Japanese Continuers
Latin Continuers
Legal Studies
Mathematics Advanced or Mathematics Standard
Mathematics Extension 1 (1 unit)
Modern History
Music 1 or Music 2
PD/Health/PE
Physics
Society and Culture
Spanish Beginners
Studies of Religion
Visual Arts 

Mandatory English: Advanced, Standard or EAL/D
English Extension 1 (1 unit)
English Extension 2 (1 unit)
Ancient History
Biology
Business Studies
Chemistry
Chinese Continuers
Chinese Extension (1 unit)
Chinese in Context
Chinese and Literature
Community and Family Studies
Design and Technology
Drama
Economics
Engineering Studies
Food Technology
French Continuers
French Extension (1 unit)
Geography
History Extension (1 unit)
Hospitality
Japanese Beginners
Japanese Continuers
Japanese Extension (1 unit)
Latin Continuers
Latin Extension (1 unit)
Legal Studies
Mathematics Advanced or Mathematics Standard
Mathematics Extension 1 (1 unit)
Mathematics Extension 2 (1 unit)
Modern History
Music 1 or Music 2
Music Extension (1 unit)
PD/Health/PE
Physics
Science Extension (1 unit)
Society and Culture
Spanish Beginners
Studies of Religion
Visual Arts 

2023 Academic Highlights

Academic Support

At Meriden, we recognise that each girl’s learning pathway is unique, and the School is committed to ensuring every student’s academic needs are met so every student can experience success in the classroom.

In addition to having classroom teachers who are specially trained to differentiate classwork for students of all levels of ability, the Senior School’s dedicated Academic Support Department provides additional support to students with learning difficulties and students with English as a second language. Meriden’s High Potential Learning program aims to ensure that the intellectual growth of high potential learners is strengthened and deepened.

At Meriden, we understand high potential learners have unique learning needs that warrant particular attention within the school environment. We are committed to meeting the needs of our highly-able students through specialised teaching staff who provide extension and enrichment activities throughout the school day.

Our fine standard of academic achievement testifies to the richness, depth and rigour of the learning environment provided for our gifted students.

At Meriden, the intellectual growth of high potential learners is strengthened and deepened when these students work with others of similar ability and interests. It is also strengthened when they experience a rich and challenging curriculum organised around complex concepts designed to develop skills in thinking, problem-solving and inquiry learning. These students move through the curriculum more quickly than their age peers and for this reason, their teachers compact the curriculum to provide opportunities for enrichment, extension and subject acceleration.

The High Potential Learning program in Meriden’s Senior School encompasses a wide range of options and provisions. These include:

  • Differentiation of the regular program to meet individual needs
  • Ability grouping
  • Honours class in Mathematics, commencing in Year 7
  • Honours class in English, commencing in Year 8
  • Curriculum compacting
  • Parnassus Independent Research program
  • Subject-based enrichment and extension courses
  • Academic competitions
  • Cocurricular opportunities for high potential learners

Meriden’s commitment to small class sizes enables teachers to know students as individuals and to cater for their specific needs within the classroom. Class placement allows students to learn with other students within a range of similar ability. It is also recognised that all students are individual and, as a further measure to ensure individual success, differentiation occurs within all classes. To facilitate a differentiated curriculum appropriate for high potential learners, a significant percentage of teachers at Meriden have undertaken professional development in Gifted Education provided by GERRIC in association with UNSW.

High potential learners are invited to participate in the Parnassus Independent Research program which involves conducting a substantial investigation into an area of personal interest. This program intensifies a student’s passion for learning, while refining both her organisational and higher order thinking skills. Students in the Parnassus Independent Research program present the results of their research at a forum attended by parents, friends and staff.

In identifying students, ‘Gagné’s Differentiated Model of Giftedness’ is used as a foundation and students are identified through a range of methods, including testing, classroom observation and parent insights. The student’s program of study is individualised to meet specific needs in consultation with parents, teachers and the student herself. This process is overseen by Meriden’s Head of Teaching and Learning and may involve other resource staff including the School Psychologist.

Meriden’s high potential learners choose challenging and rigorous electives for the Higher School Certificate such as Extension 2 Mathematics, Extension 2 English, Physics and Chemistry.

Great emphasis is placed on holistic education at Meriden and, as a result, a vibrant cocurricular program supports classroom practice. All students are encouraged to involve themselves in a broad range of activities and, for students who are high potential learners, Meriden offers specific programs designed to extend their learning. This may include participation in:

  • Debating and public speaking
  • Mock trials
  • Da Vinci Decathlon
  • Team-based academic competitions such as Tournament of Minds
  • Festival of Speech
  • Meriden Media Group
  • Subject-based extension courses
  • Mathematics and Science Olympiads training
  • Meriden Creativity program

At Meriden, it is recognised that each girl’s pathway in learning is different, and in the case of students who have learning difficulties, this may require modified or differentiated learning experiences to ensure that their needs are being met.

Meriden offers a comprehensive Learning Support program within a nurturing environment. The model of support for girls with learning difficulties combines the best of existing pedagogy and practice. Students are, in the main, integrated within the year group. At the same time, they are ability-grouped into smaller classes conducive to effective learning according to their needs.

 

 

 

Independent Learning Skills

The Independent Learning Skills elective was introduced to the timetable in Years 8, 9 and 10 in order to assist students in keeping up with the demands of the secondary senior curriculum. The academic demands on students are great and the increasing popularity of coaching colleges bears witness to the fact that both parents and students are anxious to ensure children do not ‘fall behind’ or fail to grasp key concepts of what is being taught at school.

Meriden’s Independent Learning Skills course goes beyond other tutoring or coaching schemes. Students are given additional support with subjects being studied at school by teachers who work closely with the student’s own subject teachers. This support is given during timetabled lessons, in a small, supportive group environment with a specialist support teacher.

Meriden offers a supportive environment for students from non-English speaking backgrounds while they develop their confidence in speaking English and improve their proficiency in the language.

All students at Meriden are encouraged to speak English inside and outside the classroom. Immersion in the language gives them the opportunity to hear English spoken by both native and non-native speakers. They are motivated to participate in class discussions and learn how to express their own ideas in English.

As well as the mainstream English course which is studied by all students, Meriden’s English Language Skills elective course is available for students in Years 8, 9, 10 and 11. This course helps students to adjust to the demands of the Australian classroom through developing key skills appropriate to a range of subject areas. Students receive this additional support from specialist teachers who work closely with each student’s own subject teachers. There is a strong focus on vocabulary development and intensive grammar instruction that aids the overall improvement of the students’ academic writing skills in core subjects. This support is given during timetabled lessons, in a small, supportive group environment.

Furthermore, Meriden is one of only a few schools in New South Wales which offers the HSC course EAL/D English which is tailored for students in Years 11 and 12 whose first language is not English.

Lateral Learning

Effective learning takes place in many spheres and is not confined to the classroom. Now, more than ever, universities and employers are looking for key skills and capabilities in young people that can be transferred across a range of academic disciplines, workplaces and interpersonal relationships. The Lateral Learning department is concerned with deepening the learning experiences of our students, creating well-rounded young women who are ready and willing to make a positive contribution to their communities.

Meriden’s Lateral Learning program embeds the following skills and capabilities into girls’ curricular, cocurricular and pastoral programs:

Global Citizenship

Developing well-informed, thoughtful and proactive leaders who demonstrate perseverance, resilience, consideration and empathy and who seek to serve others.

Communication

Using the power of speech, including non-verbal techniques, to communicate effectively for a range of audiences and using a range of presentation tools.

Research and
Critical Thinking

Developing the ability to research well, locate and select relevant and varied sources of information, critically evaluate arguments, make connections and ask inquiry questions.

Problem-Solving

Using the principles of Design Thinking to identify and define problems, evaluate them ethically, ideate and prototype solutions in real-world contexts.

Creativity

Thinking innovatively, exploring new and varied perspectives, seeking to create new information and understandings.

Collaboration

Working interdependently and learning with, and from, others and developing skills in teamwork, active listening and collective decision-making.

Digital Literacy

Choosing the right digital tool for the right purpose and understanding how to use technology in a safe, responsible and ethical manner.

Beyond the Classroom

A Meriden education develops accomplished young women through opportunities that allow girls to expand their interests and hone their talents. Specialist staff develop the girls’ confidence and skill in sport, music, performing arts and many more areas. Consider the possibilities of your daughter’s cocurricular journey.

Senior School News

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