A Walk through the grades: Grades 6-8
An Outward Look
New academic challenges and social experiences mark this turning point to the middle school years, with independent research, sports teams and musical ensembles. Sixth graders are more physically grounded, showing an emergent power of conceptual thinking and a deeper comprehension of cause and effect.
Students explore the laws of the universe in Astronomy, the structure of the earth in Geology and the practical nature of business math and grammar skills. The class examines the rise of Rome — the spirit of conquest, development of the rule of law and construction of roads, buildings and aqueducts — as well as the excesses that resulted in its collapse and Western civilization's plunge into the Dark Ages. Students discover what moved history forward into the Renaissance, like early Islamic civilization, the study of Algebra, early Church music and the ideals of knighthood, valor and chivalry.
Exploration and Reflection
Seventh graders reach a stage of self-reflection and introspection. Challenged with increasingly rigorous academics, they are eager for knowledge, independence and social connection. The Renaissance, Reformation, Scientific Revolution and Age of Exploration are a major academic focus and they read biographies of historical figures who challenged prevailing views in search of truth, freedom and self-expression.
Seventh graders are introduced to algebra and plane geometry, the interrelationship of chemical properties and the physical laws of refraction, reflection, acoustics and heat. They study Renaissance artists and their use of geometric principles to develop the laws of perspective, as well as the form and function of their own bodies through blocks on anatomy and physiology.
By eighth grade, students have developed strong observational skills and reasoning abilities. They serve as role models for younger students and work productively on class projects and performances, as well as independent research, writing and presentation.
Eighth graders study organic chemistry, construct the five three-dimensional Platonic solids in geometry and discover the mechanical principles that led to the development of our technological society. Students examine U.S. History, world events and the people who helped define our time. And from the Industrial Revolution to the present day, the class explores major political and cultural events that shaped the modern world, with an emphasis on the ideals of human freedom that led to the American, French and Russian Revolutions.