• Hand On
  • Connecting
  • Art

Learning in the Middle School

Learning today… at Ambrose Treacy College


Ambrose Treacy College Middle School provides a dynamic, intentional approach to teaching and learning that is responsive and appropriate to the full range of needs, interests and achievements of young adolescent boys. Years 7, 8 and 9 are years of discovery and exploration in which boys build on the experiences and learning of their primary years and prepare for the rigours of the senior years.

Learning is optimised when boys feel safe and valued, and they believe that they belong and can achieve success. Boys also need an environment in which mistakes are viewed as permissible and integral to the learning process, whether on a sporting field or at a high level of academic pursuit. Our Middle School recognises this need for a specially tailored curriculum and learning environment where we care for and show a personal interest in our boys and engage them in interactive and collaborative approaches to their work.

Year 7 Curriculum

Students study 6 core subjects across the year. These include:
• English - Mathematics - Science
• Religious Education - Health & Physical Education
• Humanities: History & Geography

In addition, students study other subjects for varying times:
• Business & Economics -Design -Digital Technology
• Drama - Japanese - Music
• Visual Art
• Curriculum Release & Support (for students with learning support needs)

Year 8 Curriculum

Students study both compulsory core and elective subjects. The compulsory core subjects include:
• English -Mathematics - Science
• Religious Education - Humanities: History & Geography
• Health & Physical Education

Students can then select 4 elective subjects, 2 for each Semester. These include:
• Business & Economics - Design - Digital Technology
• Drama - Enrichment - Japanese
• Music - Visual Art
• Curriculum Release & Support (for students with learning support needs)

Year 9 Curriculum

Students are encouraged to think about their post-school pathways and will therefore have an opportunity to complete both core and elective subjects. Core subjects (which are mandatory) include:
• English - Mathematics - Science
• Religious Education - History
• Health and Physical Education

Students may then choose 2 electives each Semester. The electives they choose from include:
• Business & Economics - Building & Construction - Design
• Digital Technology - Drama - Enrichment
• Food Technology - Geography - Japanese
• Music - Visual Art
• Curriculum Release & Support (for students with learning support needs instead of History)

Learning Support

Ambrose Treacy College recognises a diverse student population and provides an environment where all learners feel safe, valued, and have a sense of belonging. Our Whole School Approach to Inclusion ensures that all students are provided with effective differentiation across all areas of school life – classroom environment, pedagogy, pastoral care, co-curricular and service. In further support, Personalised Support Plans are created for any learner with a diagnosis, who is identified as requiring additional support through our Inclusive Practices Department. Staff at the College are supported to engage with and use this plan as a framework to ensure that all learners have equitable access to the curriculum.

A Case Manager is allocated to each year level to collaboratively build strong relationships with families through the process of formal stakeholder meetings in consultation with health professionals to ensure best supports for identified students. The Inclusive Practices Department works closely with not only families and health professionals, but also the student. This is to ensure that they are part of the process of planning and implementing adjustments for both their learning and/or social emotional needs.

Ambrose Treacy College Support Programs include:

• Curriculum Support Classes
• Targeted English Classes
• Targeted Maths Classes
• Literacy Intervention Programs
• Break out/Chill out spaces
• Social skills programs
• Assistive Technology
• Assessment Adjustments


Ambrose Treacy College recognises the provision of enrichment opportunities for high achieving students, challenging them to further develop their talents and academic potential. These programs are an integral part of our whole-school approach to teaching and learning as we aspire to develop students who know how to learn, problem solve, create, critique and reflect.
Enrichment programs vary across the College semester electives, subject ability groupings and individual and team competitions.

Ambrose Treacy College’s Enrichment Programs include:
• Enrichment Elective (Years 7-9)
• Math∑Manics in partnership with Brigidine College
• DaVinci Decathlon
• Metropolitan West Maths Teams Challenge
• Days of Excellence
• Write a book in a day
• Aurecon Bridge Building

Students will be selected to participate in these extension programs, based on his performance in class, as a result of his performance in recent external testing and teacher recommendation.


People have to be capable of understanding and engaging with a globalised, complicated world, to be equipped to overcome the human propensity for tribalism, limitation, and self-interested short-termism.” – Grayling, AC

The Humanities, the study of English, Religious Education, History, Geography, and Languages, relate directly to the exploration and understanding of human nature and the human condition. They widen the horizon and deepen insight by introducing the student to diverse perspectives, experiences, and observations. They allow the student to confront new challenges, opinions, and assumptions. They encourage the student to ask thought-provoking questions, and to respond to these by considering differing outlooks and wisdom gathered over time. The Humanities equip students with two invaluable skills: the ability to understand the lessons and examples of the past and present and apply these to new circumstances in response to new challenges; and a capacity to think deeply, creatively and ethically. This kind of thinking allows our students to evaluate ideas and information, to solve problems, and to apply the lessons of experience. It equips them with the capacity to capitalise on new opportunities, to innovate, and to lead.

In our rapidly changing world, one of the fundamental purposes of education is to develop students so they’re equipped to respond to unpredictable changes and challenges, such as the new ways we must compete in a global economy. No matter what field our boys chose to pursue beyond their schooling, they need to be flexible, alert and well-informed if they are to become an effective member of society. Our contemporary world is tumultuous, noisy and fast paced. Humanities in our Middle School prepares students for this world by building on discipline-based studies in projects that connect the boys with each other and with local and international groups, and by providing an authentic context for applying their learning in real world contexts.

A strong, relevant humanities program, embedded in the global realities of today but anticipating the trends that will shape the future which aims to foster empathy and equip our boys for ethical action is the key to developing young men prepared for the world they will inhabit and, indeed, lead.


At root, science forces us to reckon with the truth as best as we can ascertain it. Science cannot supplant our ethics, our values, our principles, or our faith, but science can inform those things, and help put these values, that faith, to work – to feed a child, to heal the sick, to be good stewards of this earth.” – Obama, B.

In our day to day life, we are surrounded by and dependent upon the products of Science as perhaps never before. This is simultaneously a source of great comfort and convenience and a profound challenge. The study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) cannot be underestimated as a preparation for active participation in modern society. Not only does it open up the possibility of careers in a wide variety of professions, but it enables boys to be informed participants in vital political and personal decision-making.

Innovation is key to solving the challenges of the future and STEM is a key driver of innovation. STEM education and skill development are the foundation of the industries of tomorrow. The research is clear: an inquiry-based, practical and relevant approach to teaching and learning STEM, produces the most positive outcomes and will best prepare our boys for their future.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are a priority at Ambrose Treacy College. These learning areas challenge our boys to solve real problems relevant to their world. The concepts are taught in a way that connects them to their purpose and application in the real world. When boys see relevance, they engage. Partnerships with universities and industry allow us to create meaningful projects designed to switch on all learners in these vital areas. A rich co-curricular offering in the STEM program and a rigorous pedagogical approach provide opportunities for our boys to fully explore specific interests in and beyond the classroom.

The Arts

“Especially now, as we all must confront the fallacy of a market-only orientation, uninformed by social conscience; we must seize and celebrate the power of the arts to shape our individual and national characters, and especially characters of the young people, who all too often, are subjected to bombardment of sensation, rather than digested experience…” – Cameron B.

It has been long established that involvement in the arts is associated with gains in mathematics, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, visual analysis and verbal skill development. Studies have linked participation in the arts with the ability to learn from mistakes and the capacity to make better critical judgments. Learning in the arts can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork. However, as Ken Robinson, a passionate advocate for arts education reminds us, “The arts are not just important because they improve Maths scores, they are important because they speak to parts of children’s beings which are otherwise untouched.”

Together, the Visual Art, Media Arts, Music and Drama learning areas offered at Ambrose Treacy College invite deep exploration and expression of human experience. They provide a space for contemplation, for open discussion and for creativity. Learning experiences in The Arts have been specifically designed to help boys see and respond to their world in new ways.

The artistic experience also brings intrinsic pleasures. The enjoyment of participation is justification alone for this vital component of a middle school education. At ATC, each boy’s studies in The Arts will complement the programs in the Humanities and STEM, to provide a well-rounded, broad education.

“The arts, whatever they do, whenever they call us together, invite us to look at our fellow human being with generosity and curiosity. God knows, if we ever needed that capacity in human history, we need it now.” – Cameron B.