Middle School extension
The Middle School extension is an exciting new development for The Hutchins School as our Year 6 students become part of our Middle School in 2022. This extension will provide spaces for our Year 6, 7 and 8 classrooms, as well as multipurpose zones, dance and drama studios.
In 1960, Hutchins pioneered the Middle School concept in Tasmania with the introduction of an ‘experimental venture’ that saw the Intermediate School become a discreet third sub-school, renamed the Middle School in 1964 under Frank Williams, Master of Middle School. This unique initiative provided an environment where students undergoing the significant hormonal, physical and social development occurring in these years, felt safe, recognised and challenged with increased opportunities to pursue areas of interest.
Record enrolments in Middle School in 1978 led to the construction of a new Middle School building in 1979, which now accommodates the Year 6 classrooms in the Junior School. Headmaster, Bill Toppin, recognised the need for cultural change in the Middle School and together with Russell Morton, Head of Middle School, led a student centred approach where individual differences, interests and open learning spaces were introduced, and a greater sense of community was promoted amongst staff and boys. To achieve this cultural change, a contemporary Middle School building was constructed in 1998.
With early adolescence now recognised as commencing between 11 and 12 years of age and global recognition of middle schooling commencing in Year 6, we will be moving our Year 6 boys from the Junior School into the Middle School for the commencement of 2022. To accommodate the additional Year 6 classes, the School recently purchased two neighbouring residential properties, 32 Nelson Road and 14 David Avenue to create much needed additional outdoor space and the construction of a new Middle School wing. As part of this development, a new purpose-built Middle School drama space and a separate dance rehearsal space will be included.
As part of this change, we have commenced a comprehensive review of all aspects of the Middle School experience for boys. This is an exciting time for the School and the students as we design a contemporary educational environment informed by educational research in early adolescence specifically tailored for boys’ developmental needs.
The Middle School review and restructure builds on the pioneering work of the School over the past 60 years that continues to keep Hutchins at the forefront of boys’ education.