Students read a variety of texts of different genres, either individually using reading logs, or together as a class. They develop the ability to describe and connect, both verbally and in writing, the essential ideas, arguments, and perspectives they encounter. Connections are made across disciplines to reflect and enhance studies of history and social science. In writing, students learn the skills and strategies of formal essays, including how to construct introductions, cite concrete details and craft a concluding paragraph.
Writing exhibits students’ awareness of the audience and purpose. Types of writing include biographies, responses to literature, research reports, persuasive compositions and creativewriting. Our students establish themselves as confident, critical authors with clear, strong voices.
Our Middle School social sciences curriculum promotes skill development in research and historical interpretation. Through the study of the historical migration of people, expansion and disintegration of empires, and the growth of economic systems, our students are better positioned to frame questions that can be answered by historical research. Students begin with Europe, Africa, and Asia in the years A.D. 500–1789, before moving on to United States history and geography from the time of the Constitution up to World War I. Students trace the development of American politics, society, culture, and economy and relate them to the emergence of major regional differences. They make connections between the rise of industrialization and contemporary social and economic conditions. Thinking critically and reflecting on the state of the modern world, students review major turning points in history and form an understanding of the historical roots of current world issues.
Students in MIddle School can choose between Spanish, Latin and French as their target language. We use a lively, communicative approach to the study of languages, providing authentic conversational situations in which students can try out the structures and vocabulary they have learned. Students actively use language to transmit meaning while responding to real-life situations. Moreover, they process language in linguistically and culturally appropriate ways while interacting. There is a strong focus on the cultural aspects of language learning, promoting understanding of diverse ways of life that include artistic, historical and social aspects. Students comprehend the ideas, attitudes, and values that shape the target culture, including the daily living practices and shared traditions. Our language learners interact with a variety of literary texts, songs and poems, and engage in activities that include the culinary arts, music and drama.