Aussie Educator

Middle Years of Schooling

Middle Years of Schooling is generally accepted as covering Years 5 to 8 in schools though this can vary slightly. These are the last years of Primary and the first years of Secondary Education. It is also a period when student’s lives undergo significant physical, emotional and even mental changes. Many believe that developing and implementing specific programs and/or settings addressing these issues will benefit students and their achievement.

While there is variable interest in other areas of the world regarding both research and implementation, this remains patchy in Australia.

This page covers procedures and programs, where they exist, in each state & territory, research, policies, international groups, journals and further information.

States & Territories

Australian Capital Territory

  • Early AdolescenceIs found here [which covers the Middle Years].
  • Middle Years Mental Computation
    ‘Aims to increase teachers’ professional knowledge, understanding and skill in connecting teaching, learning and assessment to support their students in learning mental computation strategies’. Brief commentary only.
  • No specific programs exist as at this date.

New South Wales

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Northern Territory

  • Middle Years [CEO]
    Catholic Education Office. Relating to the curriculum.
  • Middle Years Curriculum
    ‘Information about what your child learns during the middle years of schooling and how you can help your child do their best at school’.
  • Middle Years Reports
    ‘This page has information on your child’s school reports during middle years’.
  • Review of Middle Schooling
    ‘Commissioned by the NT government in 2014 to identify opportunities to strengthen the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of the middle years of education after the model was introduced eight years ago’. Download the report via the following link.
  • Work Like the Best - Middle Years Teaching and Learning Strategy 2016-2018
    ‘This three year strategy is aimed at driving policy and programs in the areas identified as having the greatest positive impact on the quality of middle school education; positioning students for success as they enter their last stage of secondary education’.


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South Australia


  • Department of Education - Publications
    Use these to mine for data relating to the Middle Years.
  • Middle School
    TAS in 2000, established Middle School, a distinct academic and residential precinct for students in Years 6-8. A rich, challenging and stimulating curriculum is designed to generate an enthusiasm for life-long learning, in a way that excites and engages 11-14 year olds boys and girls’.

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  • Middle Years Numeracy Research Project : Years 5-9
    ‘The Middle Years Numeracy Research Project was commissioned by the Victorian Department of Education, Employment and Training [DEET], the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria [CECV] and the Association of Independent Schools of Victoria [AISV)]#8217;. Executive Summary and Full Report available.
  • Teaching Strategies - the Middle Years
    Teaching Module. ‘Resources, Glossary, Timing, Going further’.
  • Wodonga Middle Years College
    MySchool profile. ‘A multi campus co-educational College catering for about 1050 students in Years 7 to 9, Wodonga Middle Years College is pivotal to the delivery of Middle Years education in the Victorian Government Education system’.
  • Victorian Curriculum
    Curriculum information for this area of schooling, covering Levels 5-8 [or 5-9].

Western Australia

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  • Closing the Emergency Facility : Moving Schools from Literacy Triage to Better Literacy Outcomes
    2014; Joanne O’Mara. ‘This article focuses on the tensions between national and international testing, educational policy and professionalism for middle school English teachers. I argue that state and federal government[s] are responding to the impact of Australia’s falling results on the international testing in PISA through the usage of their own testing program, NAPLAN’.
  • Creating Mathematics Websites in Middle School
    2015; Alessandra King. ‘ In this article, Alessandra King describes a learning opportunity that asked students to create a website that focuses on mathematics. The project allowed middle school students the use of readily available, free internet tools that did not require any prior programming experience’.
  • High Possibility Classrooms : a new model of technology integration for schools
    2015; Jane Hunter. ‘The research aimed to understand how a group of exemplary teachers conceptualized their knowledge of technology integration and to find out what was fresh in their approaches, including what students in the classrooms thought out being learners in such spaces’.
  • The attitudes of boys and girls towards science and mathematics ...
    As they progress through school in Australia. 2016; Chris Ryan. ‘Differences between boys and girls in their attitudes towards mathematics are apparent among students in year four in Australia. These differences increase between Year four and year eight, while differences in similar directions in reported attitudes towards science develop’.
  • The career aspirations of young adolescent boys and girls
    2017; Jennifer Baxter. [Australian Institute of Family Studies] ‘The primary focus of this chapter from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children Annual Statistical Report 2016 is on describing the types of jobs adolescents at 14-15 years say they would like to have in the future’.
  • Two models for implementing Citizen Science projects in middle school
    2015; Kathryn Paige, Robert Hattam, Christopher B Daniels. ‘This paper describes the two models used to develop scientific citizenship in middle schools in Adelaide, South Australia’.
  • What happens to students with low reading proficiency at 15 ? Evidence from Australia
    2016; Cain Polidano, Chris Ryan. ‘Little is known about whether low reading proficiency in school is a precursor to inferior labour market outcomes in adulthood. [The authors] fill this gap in the literature using education and labour market information to age 25 years for participants in the 2003 Program of International Student Assessment [PISA] who were tracked from age 15 in the 2003 Longitudinal Survey of Australian Youth’.


  • An Investigation of Middle School Teachers’ Perceptions on Bullying
    2017; Stewart Waters, Natalie Washburn. ‘The purpose of this study was to explore middle school teachers’ perceptions towards bullying and the ramifications of different types of bullying within the school environment. This study was thoughtfully designed after a thorough examination of relevant research literature, which was then used to inform the construction of our research study and analysis of data collected from a self-administered online survey instrument’.
  • Cyberbullying : What Middle School Students Want You to Know
    2012; J J Burnham, V H Wright. ‘Cyberbullying is a growing concern because youth are technologically savvy. This focus group study examined cyberbullying attitudes, beliefs, and opinions among middle school students in Alabama and describes conversations middle school students shared in the interviews’. USA.
  • Digital Tools and Distraction in School
    2017 [updated]; Mary Beth Hertz. ‘How do we teach students to integrate technology into their schoolwork and their learning while also making sure that they’re staying focused on the task at hand ?’ USA.
  • In the Middle : Do We Share the Vision ?
    Do Principals and Teachers Agree about the Middle School Concept ?. 2013; Cherry Watts, Allen H Seed, Louis A Franceschini III. ‘The Tennessee Professors of Middle Level Education examined how Tennessee schools implemented the middle school concept. Of concern was the impact that emphasis on accountability and achievement had on the middle school concept which emphasizes the development of the whole child’. USA.
  • Making it Work, Making it Meaningful
    2017; James Davis. ‘These elements of the middle school concept need attention and commitment’. USA.
  • Relationship of Middle School Student STEM Interest to Career Intent
    2017; Rhonda Christensen, Gerald Knezek. ‘Understanding middle school students’ perceptions regarding STEM dispositions, and the role attitudes play in establishing STEM career aspirations, is imperative to preparing the STEM workforce of the future. Data were gathered from more than 800 middle school students participating in a hands on, real world application curriculum to examine the relationship of the students’ interest in STEM and their intentions to pursue a career in a STEM field’.
  • That Was Then, This Is Now : Gifted in the Middle
    2017; Susan Rakow. ‘Committing to the challenge of addressing the needs of gifted learners’.
  • The Middle School Philosophy : ...
    Do We Practice What We Preach or Do We Preach Something Different ? 2014; Susan Edwards, Andrew T Kemp, C Steven Page. ‘This quantitative study examined the beliefs of middle grades education faculty from universities across the United States about the purpose of education. The results of the survey were compared to the central tenets of the middle school philosophy’. USA.

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Other Information

General Information

  • Adolescent Success
    ‘Dedicated to the education, development and growth of young adolescents’. Previously listed as Middle Years of Schooling Association. eNews & Newsletters are accessed here.
  • Middle School
    Covers pedagogy and implementation around the world. Wikipedia.
  • Middle Years of Schooling
    AARE. ‘The key aim of this Special Interest Group is to create and support strategic opportunities to enhance the momentum and advocacy around middle years research, and the consolidation of evidence based practice in middle years education’.

International Groups


For all educational journals, see the Education Journals page.

Policy & Policy Positions


  • Access Middle School
    ‘Developed by an educator for educators. Much of the material selected for inclusion into the site was found on the internet’.
  • Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers
    Resources specifically for the Middle Years.
  • Creatively Teaching Science In the Middle Years
    ‘The handbook evolved from a Science Teachers’ Focus Group conducted at Ballarat High School in Victoria’. 2009.
  • Effective Middle Schooling
    Manual, by Julie Boyd. Australian.
  • Middle Years Programme Curriculum
    The International Baccalaureate. All learning areas.
  • MyRead, Strategies for Teaching Reading in the Middle Years
    ‘Supports teachers of underperforming students in the middle years [Years 4 - 9]’. Information, resources. Australian government.
  • The Rite Journey
    ‘Targets Year 9 students, the age that most teachers recognise as “the year of disengagement”. Re-invents the traditional process of a Rite of Passage to assist in transforming the adolescent from dependency to responsibility’.
  • Turning Points
    ‘Though funding for the initiative has ceased, CCE remains supportive of schools interested in the model and is pleased to house a selection of Turning Points guides online. To download Turning Points guides, click the links below. Access to this content is complimentary, but you will be asked to register’. USA.
  • Using Digital Resources
    ‘Education Services Australia develops and licenses digital curriculum resources to support teaching and learning’. Find many suitable for use with students in Middle Years.

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