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].
  • Updated ! 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


  • Updated ! 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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  • New ! 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.
  • New ! Teaching Strategies - the Middle Years
    Teaching Module. ‘Resources, Glossary, Timing, Going further’.
  • New ! 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’.
  • New ! Victorian Curriculum
    Curriculum information for this area of schooling, covering Levels 5-8 [or 5-9].

Western Australia

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  • Changing Perceptions of Preservice Teachers : ...
    2010; Suzanne Hudson, Denise Beutel, Kylie Bradfield, Peter Hudson. ‘The aim of this study was to explore and describe the 38 first-year preservice teachers’ perceptions of their first middle schooling elective unit and ascertain whether the combination of university classes and school-based experiences assisted their development of middle schooling concepts and approaches’.
  • Female students’ interactions in a middle school engineering project : A case study
    2013; Peter Hudson, Lyn D English, Les Dawe. ‘This ethnographic study, part of a three-year longitudinal research project, investigated Year 8 female students’ learning about engineering concepts associated with designing, constructing, testing, and evaluating a catapult. There are implications for teachers facilitating STEM education’.
  • How can Australia sustain middle-schooling education ?
    2012; Suzanne Hudson, Peter Hudson. ‘Middle schooling is a crucial area of education where adolescents experiencing physiological and psychological changes require expert guidance. As more research evidence is provided about adolescent learning, teachers are considered pivotal to adolescents’ educational development’.
  • Perceived Gender Differences in STEM Learning in the Middle School
    2011; Lyn D English, Peter Hudson, Les Dawes. ‘ Using data from a survey and written responses, we report on findings following the introduction of engineering education in middle school classes across three schools’.
  • Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions of their Middle Schooling Teacher Preparation
    2009; Suzanne Hudson. ‘The study aims to investigate the final years’ perceptions of their confidence and preparedness to teach in the middle-school context as a result of their university learning. Data were gathered using open-ended one-to-one interviews of approximately 45 minutes duration’.
  • Updated ! Review of languages retention from the middle years to the senior years of schooling
    2014; Timothy J Curnow, Michelle Kohler, Anthony J Liddicoat, Kate Loechel. ‘This document reports on the “Review of Languages Retention from the Middle Years to the Senior Years of Schooling” undertaken for the South Australian Department for Education and Child Development by a team of researchers at the Research Centre for Languages and Cultures at the University of South Australia’.
  • Teachers’ knowledge for social education : perspectives from the middle years of schooling
    2012; Mallihai Tambyah. ‘The research identified seven qualitatively different ways of understanding essential knowledge for social education. The study indicates a professional practice-based theorisation of social education that justifies attention to discipline-based knowledge and teacher identity in the middle years’.
  • Teacher Education for the Middle Years of Schooling : ...
    Sustaining Quality Middle Level Preparation in Australian Universities. 2015;Brenda Shanks, Tony Dowden. ‘This article draws from a doctoral study in which three outstanding teacher educators, with responsibility for middle level teacher education in their Australian universities, were interviewed about their programs. The article identifies and discusses a number of factors that threaten the viability of quality middle level teacher preparation’.
  • Tween Here and There, Transitioning from the Early Years to the Middle Years : ...
    Exploring Continuities and Discontinuities in a Multiliterate Environment. 2011; Lisbeth Kitson. ‘This article considers the continuities and/or discontinuities for literacy development experienced by students as they make their transition from the early foundational years of primary school into the “first” stage of the middle phase of learning within a multiliterate environment’.
  • Working towards a ‘thirdspace’ in the teaching of writing to middle years students
    2013; Mary Ryan, Georgina Barton. ‘This paper discusses the teaching of writing within the competing and often contradictory spaces of high-stakes testing and the practices and priorities around writing pedagogy in diverse school communities’.


  • A Case Study Exploring the Reading Engagement of Middle Grades English Learners
    2017; Maria Selena Protacio. ‘Findings from this case study research indicate that all four components are essential to consider with English learners’ reading engagement. Results of this study also reveal that English learners’ identities are an essential component of their reading engagement’. USA.
  • An Historical Overview of the Middle School Movement, 1963-2015
    2016; Mary Beth Schaefer, Kathleen F Malu, Bogum Yoon. ‘Over 50 years of articles related to the middle school movement in the United States were examined and analysed in order to uncover the movement’s primary themes associated with practice, research, and policy’. USA.
  • Relationship of Middle School Student STEM Interest to Career Intent
    2017; Rhonda Christensen, Gerald Knezek. ‘Data was 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’. USA.
  • Specialised Preparation for Middle Level Teachers : ...
    A National Review of Teacher Preparation Programs. 2016; Penny B Howell, Shawn A Faulkner, Chris M Cook, et al.‘This study systematically documents components of undergraduate middle level teacher preparation programs in 1 324 institutions from 50 states and the District of Columbia. The findings reveal that even though 45 states have explicit mandates for middle level certification, licensure or endorsement, almost half of the institutions preparing teachers for Grades 5-9 do not offer courses or experiences specific to middle level education or young adolescents’. USA.
  • Teaching Future Middle Level Educators to Craft Learning Activities That Enhance Young Adolescent Creativity
    2016; Jason T Hilton. ‘This article argues for the use of divergent thinking activities in the teaching of young adolescents and discusses both their creation and their assessment in an effort to allow future middle level educators to respond to 21st century challenges’.

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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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