Enrolment figures from the Association of Independent Schools of NSW show that Year 5 has the second biggest intake of students transferring from other schools. It sits only behind Year 7, and the Year 5 intake has been growing for the last few years (SMH, 23/2/20).
So, why does Hartford College start boys’ education in Year 5? What is the benefit of getting a ‘head start on high school’? The answer perhaps lies in the question . . .
Young boys benefit from familiarity with the routine and rhythm of high school life. To get them into this groove well-and-truly by the time they reach Year 7 drastically reduces the ‘jolt’ experienced by many students that change schools and have to get used to a very different schedule – for example, clearly demarcated lesson period start times.
The diligent use of a diary, getting themselves to different classes conducted by different teachers and taking responsibility for themselves are new and critical skills that young boys have to master. For example, at Hartford College, Year 5 boys will be taught across a typical week by 3-4 teachers, all with their own teaching style. This is great preparation for the 7-8 teachers that they will engage with in Year 7. By easing them into changes such as these in Year 5, boys are provided with a great head start.
Of course, there is also the benefit of a broader liberal arts curriculum that can inspire learning. Year 5 can be an ideal age to stimulate new thinking – parents often speak to us about their boys doing well in primary school but falling into the ‘rut’ of just doing enough to get by in a very familiar environment. Introducing students to a vibrant curriculum from Year 5 allows for the exploration of critical problem solving and creative thinking. We are encouraging boys not what to think, but how to be good thinkers from a young age. Once again, the middle-school approach at Hartford, structurally eases the transition to high school.
Additionally, there is the excitement of forming new friendships. Boys that have come from small primary schools often find the bigger spaces to play and broader networks of likeminded friends to be invigorating. New interests are discovered and friendships that can carry them right through high school (and beyond!) will be formed.
If you believe that your child would benefit from an education at Hartford College in 2022, why not be in touch with us or join us for our Information Evening on 5th October. Enrolment in Year 5 secures a place in high school at Hartford.
We look forward to hearing from you and to discussing the options for your son’s education.