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13-14 years old (year 9 & 10)
This is when children really begin to expand their mental and social horizons, and to develop a self-identity often more strongly aligned with their peer group than their parents or other family members. Although this time tends to be a consolidation of the major changes begun over the preceding few years, opening to the outside world and claiming a new self as a sexual being is a big task, so there is plenty going on. The right hemisphere (creative) development phase nears its end; the left hemisphere (rational/logical) and cerebellum development are in full swing. Boys generally enter puberty in these years while girls near the end of their transformation.
At this critical time, students are encouraged to be aware of the choices they are making and the consequences of these choices. They are supported to synthesize and evaluate information, and to debate ethical and philosophical isssues and dilemmas. Confidence and independence in a wide range of reasoning, recording and communication skills are fostered to enable a growing accountability for their own learning.
Students use a wide range of information and communication technologies, skillfully and confidently, to take full advantage of e-learning opportunities. Our academic programmes at this level are designed to lead seamlessly into the secondary school qualifications programme.
Senior School 15-18 years old
Our senior school is currently under development. We are accepting students Years 9 & 10 in the Arrowsmith Program only. We are not planning to offer Years 11-13 until we have a role of 150.
Girls’ and boys’ brains follow different growth paths until the age of 15 when these paths converge. However ‘higher functioning’ brain centres continue to undergo development until the age of 21 or beyond.
From around age 15 the frontal cortex begins a development phase that can lead to unimpeded access of our higher, inner, connective abilities if a strong foundation has been set. This, with continued development of the cerebellum and left hemisphere development also gives young adults the ability to think in the abstract, to reason, deduce and consider complex scenarios.
Although we often see teenagers numbing-out or acting-out, students who have had an educational path that recognises and respects their unique personality and development needs will stand out for their innate brilliance.
It is important that there continues to be a delivery of programmes that arise from real-life scenarios that the students are either involved in the development of, or are relevant and appropriate to this age group.
Beyond our school…
The final developmental stage between 18 and 20 years (and a few years beyond) is a period where the prefrontal lobes develop completely, giving young adults the capacity to effectively organise, plan, adapt, and use logic and reason to a high level.