Students in the Middle School are refining and consolidating their Elementary School skills, while at the same time learning to make important decisions and manage their time wisely in preparation for High School. An important goal in Middle School is to gain confidence and self-understanding.
In Middle School, our students have a homeroom teacher and several subject specialists in core areas like Literacy, languages, mathematics, and sciences. These core subjects progressively move more towards written and critical analysis, deep dives, and interdisciplinary learning. Media Tech and Media Literacy continue to be core elements of the curriculum, as do the Arts.
For the first time, Middle School students make curricular decisions in Science and Social Studies based on their own interests, something we believe increases motivation and allows for a deeper understanding of targeted areas of study while at the same time reinforcing such skills as historical analysis, the scientific method, and critical thinking. Students choose 6 Science and 6 Social Studies classes during the academic year out of a menu of enticing possibilities. During the current year, for example, students might choose Social Studies units such as “The Power to Change the World: Martin Luther & The Religious Reformation,” “Don’t do the Crime if you Can’t do the Time! – A History of Law and Punishment,” “When Two Worlds Collide – Imperialism and the Aftermath,” “A Pirate’s Life for Me,” or “Warlords of Japan,” among many others. In Science, they might choose from “Seeing the Invisible – The Science of Light and Optics,” “Greasy, Grimy and Gassy! Chemical Concoctions in Our Environment,” “Medical Marvels – The Technology that Keeps us Alive,” “Veterinary Science – The Study of Man’s Best Friend,” or “Mysteries of the Deep,” to name only a few.
For every student, one unit in the Spring is tied to an international trip that culminates the unit of study. Although we will not be able to travel in the 2020/21 school year because of Covid-19, Middle School Science or Social Studies trips in the past have been to such places as Kit Peak in Arizona (for an Astronomy class), walking the Nakasendo Trail in Japan (for a class on Japanese history), sailing in Myanmar (for a class on the people and ecology of the Mergui Archipelago), a trip to the Philippines (for a class on documenting biodiversity) and a trip to Bali (for a class on sustainable ecology), again just to name a few. One Hong Kong “trip” option is always provided for those who do not want to travel, but students must choose the appropriate unit of study for the in-town option.
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