Middle school is a transition between elementary school and high school. Learners move from the more self-contained classrooms of elementary to a schedule that asks students to change classes each hour and where they are taught by subject matter experts. This transition is an important step in the students’ education as they become more independent learners who construct their learning from different sources and take on new responsibilities. Cognitively, students continue to sharpen their critical thinking skills in preparation for the next challenging phase of formal education, high school. Students also develop analytical skills based on abstract thinking. By the time they finish grade 8, the students are ready to handle the challenging curriculum in high school and postsecondary preparation.
In mathematics, our students study an integration of algebra, geometry, and statistics and probability. They also become well versed in mathematical practices such as perseverance in solving equations and word problems, analyzing problems and connecting mathematics to their real lives. By the time they reach grade 8, students are able to formulate and reason about expressions and equations, grasp the concept of a function and use functions to describe quantitative relationships or analyze two- and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence. They are also able to understand and apply the Pythagorean Theorem.
In science, students learn earth science, life science, and physical science through their content standards. In grade 6, with the study of earth science, the aim is to foster environmental awareness. In grade 7, students study life science which is a preparation for the biology course in high school. In grade 8, the content standards focus on the physical sciences. Students integrate algebra in working with the challenging concepts of science during this year. This is a preparation for the physics and chemistry courses in later years.
In social studies, middle school learners are acquainted with the ancient civilizations such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Kush in grade 6 while in grade 7, they study the medieval civilizations namely the Chinese, Japanese and African ones. In grade 8, students study US history from the colonial period up to WWI (1914).
In English, students are expected to read grade-level texts with analytic minds and apply reading strategies such as making predictions and confirming them, rereading for clarification, note taking and summarizing, and self-questioning while making text-to-text, text-to-world, and text-to-self connections. The strong reading focus requires students across the middle school grades to infer meaning, use context clues to find the meanings of unfamiliar words, identify author’s purpose (i.e. persuade, entertain, inform) and analyze text structure. Students write for different purposes and audiences and are expected to write well-structured essays after conducting academic research.
Across the scope of this learning, students have access to technology in order to meet our vision and mission of learning at high levels to be competitive in the international community.