Middle Years » Key Research Learnings

Strengths for students between Grades 5 to 7 expressed as:

  • At home there is a parent or other adult who:
    • Really cares about me
    • Always wants me to do my best
    • Notices when I’m not at school
    • Is someone I trust
  • Rarely feeling sad or hopeless
  • Rarely skipping school
  • Learning is not seen as being overly difficult
  • Having friends who don’t get into trouble
  • Not seeing or carrying a weapon

(Note: more than 94% felt these statements applied)

Opportunities for many students relate to the following themes:

Life at school creates a greater sense of:

  • Belonging
  • Excitement to be at school
  • Fair treatment
  • An ability to influence decisions
  • Feeling safe and not having rumours spread about them
  • Being able to do activities that generate interest

(Note: approximately 70% felt these statements applied)

Relationships with a teacher or adult create a greater sense of :

  • Feeling closer to a teacher or adult
  • Feeling that a teacher or adult is concerned when they are upset
  • Feeling/being acknowledged when they try hard or do a good job
  • Being noticed when not at school

(Note: between 53% and 73% felt these statements applied ranged)

Many students noted additional challenges:

  • Not having a role model (14%)
  • Not seeing a doctor for regular appointments (30%)
  • Not finding someone to talk to when they need help (31%)
  • Not being active (involved in rigorous activity (40%)/moderate activity (40%))
  • Eating fast food (75%) and not eating adequate amounts of vegetables (28%)
    Not using sunscreen (40%)
  • Unhappy with their body shape and size (63%)

Kimberley Schonert Reichl did a presentation in November at the Alberta conference on Middle Childhood. You can see her presentation as well as other presentations at the conference.

Workshop with NWSS Grade 12 students to gain their insight intothe lived experience of children in grades 5 to 7 and also the nuancesof the survey data.