Middle School

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Welcome

The Middle School provides an engaging and relevant experience for students that reflects and acknowledges the challenging and ever-changing world in which they live.

15+

Co-curricular Opportunities

To discover interests and passions.

35

Leadership Opportunities

Set the stage for future success.

4

Exchange Partner Schools

Located throughout the United Kingdom.

Middle School represents an exciting and special period of transition. The program celebrates the emerging independent spirit of students in Grades 7 and 8. Our supportive and encouraging faculty and staff create opportunities for learners to try new things, navigate setbacks and celebrate success.

From the first day of Grade 7, each student sees the possibilities that lie before them. They experience a diverse academic program taught by specialist teachers in classrooms, laboratories, gymnasiums, music, art and drama studios and the outdoors. Dedicated instructional time is woven into the program for the development of learning and organizational skills that research shows is correlated to academic success. At this age, it is important that trusting relationships are developed with caring adults who are committed to knowing and supporting each student as they develop their confidence and sense of self. Each girl is assigned to a form group and experiences the year under the careful guidance of a form teacher.

Grades

Experience

Teaching & Learning: Middle School featured image

Teaching & Learning

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Teaching & Learning

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Co-Curricular Activities

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Co-Curricular Activities

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The Arts

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The Arts

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Wellbeing: Middle School featured image

Wellbeing

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Wellbeing

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Athletics: Middle School featured image

Athletics

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Athletics

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House & Community

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House & Community

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Our Campus

With the largest girls’ independent school campus in the city, Havergal’s 22-acre campus features a natural protected tree-lined ravine, green playing fields and a combination of heritage and modern architecture. Our innovative new facilities were purpose-built to inspire learning. The spaces feature a multi-purpose area for HC-X programming, an Art Studio and adjacent outdoor gardens. The focal point of the building extension is the light-filled Learning Commons, which houses the lush three-storey Old Girls BioWall.

Meet the Faculty & Staff

Our exceptional Middle School faculty and staff set Havergal apart from other schools. Many teachers exclusively teach Grade 7 and 8 classes, creating spaces for students to push their academic boundaries. Faculty and staff also serve  as coaches, advisors and mentors, encouraging students both inside and out of the classroom. Meet some of our team members:

JJ Patterson headshot

JJ Patterson

Head of Middle School

Megan Clark headshot

Megan Clark

Mathematics Teacher

Meghan Donnelly headshot

Meghan Donnelly

Mathematics Teacher

Christine Foster headshot

Christine Foster

Health & Physical Education Teacher

Erika Friesen headshot

Erika Friesen

French Teacher

Jennifer Pollack headshot

Jennifer Pollack

English & Drama Teacher

Kyle Rourke headshot

Kyle Rourke

Mathematics Teacher

Carrie Steele headshot

Carrie Steele

Middle School Guidance & Learning Support Specialist

Nadia Valani headshot

Nadia Valani

Languages & English Teacher

HC-X

Built with intention, HC-X–Havergal’s innovation hub–is designed to support students and faculty through new contemporary programs and innovative future-ready learning experiences.

FAQ

How will my child develop their leadership skills in the Middle School program?

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The Students will develop their independence, sense of self and personal identity as well as their personal and academic toolkits in order to be well-prepared for the Senior School. Part of this personal development is through a variety of purposefully-created leadership opportunities. Recognizing that leadership comes in many forms, we aim to support students in the five interconnected domains of leadership: formal leadership, informal leadership, community leadership, intellectual leadership and leadership of self.

What kind of leadership opportunities will my child have in Middle School?

There are many formal leadership opportunities in the Middle School, such as becoming an Executive Member or Form Representative on the Middle School Council, Sports and Sustainability Council Representatives or Study Buddy Ambassadors. 

A formal leadership title is not required  to make a difference and lead, and not all Middle School students are interested in holding a formal leadership role. These students are encouraged to get involved with informal and community-based leadership opportunities, such as becoming Spirit Week Grade Representatives, engaging in the Exchange Program, participating in public speaking opportunities and volunteering and supporting other school programming and initiatives.

What is student agency and how is it developed at Havergal?

Student agency is the ability and inclination to take action. Students who believe they have the power to positively influence their lives and the world around them have agency. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) education initiative called Learning Compass 2030, student agency is about: acting rather than being acted upon; shaping rather than being shaped; and making responsible decisions and choices rather than accepting those determined by others.

We encourage students to share their perspectives and develop self-direction. We want students to say what’s on their mind. As a result, they learn that what they think and say has the potential to shape their world. In the Middle School, students have more freedom before school, during lunch and after school, which means more opportunities to practise good judgment and understand responsible decision making.

Why does Havergal focus on developing student agency?

Research shows that children who are supported to develop agency are more likely to flourish in their education, build and maintain positive relationships, be effective team members and leaders and respond constructively to challenges. They also tend to have better mental health in their teen and adult lives.

How does wellbeing fit into the Middle School daily schedule?

In the Middle School, students have 40 minutes of dedicated wellbeing programming each day. That time may be spent in Prayers, athletics or arts activities, guidance sessions, Form groups, clubs and many other opportunities. The aim is to provide balance, attending equally to cognitive, social, emotional, spiritual and physical health needs of students. In addition, they explore individual wellness topics in depth, such as stress management, conflict resolution and mindfulness.

How does focusing on wellbeing prepare students for the future?

Practising the skills of wellbeing helps our students to engage in a healthy way with present and future possibilities and be prepared for the unexpected. They gain the ability to be strategic–to assess patterns, shift perspectives, weigh options and calculate outcomes. With a reliable framework for making decisions, they are equipped to be proactive throughout life, rather than reactive, and can respond to life’s challenges with the confidence that comes from preparation. 

How does Havergal foster voice and choice to make students agents of change?

Middle School students are encouraged to share their perspectives, say what’s on their mind and develop self-direction. They make increasingly independent choices about their co-curricular activities, by deciding what to pursue and how to balance their commitments. As a result, students feel empowered and learn that their thoughts and opinions have the potential to shape the world.

How do you ensure that students feel like they belong at Havergal?

Our ultimate goal is to help students build the connections they need to thrive individually and through their attachment to others–such as friends, teachers, coaches and counsellors. We ensure there are many ways for students to engage with the school  community. 

Ensuring a sense of belonging starts well before the first day of school. Our Admission team works closely with students and their families to ensure a smooth transition, in addition to hosting touchpoints and events for new and returning students to connect before the school year begins. A special Orientation Day is  held for new students to give them exclusive access to campus, allowing them to learn about the year ahead and start forging friendships. Havergal’s emphasis on belonging is maintained throughout the first few months to make sure new students feel welcomed and settled. 

All students are part of our House System, which encourages cooperation and school spirit among students, faculty and staff. These smaller units allow students to get to know their peers who are both older and younger, as well as develop qualities of initiative and leadership. Co-curriculars also allow for both cross-grade and faculty and staff interactions, helping students to connect beyond the classroom.