Middle School Curriculum
The Middle School curriculum is an intellectually challenging, developmentally-appropriate program designed to meet the needs of early adolescent girls. The result is a cohesive three-year plan that bridges for each of our students the transition from concrete to abstract thinking, from girls to young women.
Click here to learn more about the curriculum for Sixth Grade.
Click here to learn more about the curriculum for Seventh Grade.
Click here to learn more about the curriculum for Eighth Grade.
- Visual Art
- World Languages
- Physical Education
- Performing Arts
The Middle School world languages program encompasses three languages: Chinese, French, and Spanish. Most students enter 6th grade continuing their study of the language they began in Lower School, and they achieve proficiency through Level 2 by the end of 8th grade. One modern language is offered at the introductory level in 6th grade for students who have never before studied a modern language. All language programs emphasize communication in a second – or third – language by developing speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. The curriculum in each language utilizes Middle School-level textbooks and resources, and technology provides a window into the world with authentic images, sounds, and texts. In addition to learning essential grammar and vocabulary, language courses engage students with thematic units that reflect the diversity of world cultures in the various countries where each language is spoken. An exploratory Latin class is available as an elective for 8th graders who wish to pursue Latin in Upper School.
Our Middle School student scientists follow an integrated program each year. We use themes to create a framework for understanding the connections between scientific disciplines. In this way, students learn that seemingly different processes, structures, or systems can be shown to have underlying similarities. Students are asked to learn science by engaging their hands and their minds. By engaging in science activities and analyzing their results, students learn the “whys” and the “hows,” not just the “whats” and “whens.” Ultimately, they learn to see science as a system for making sense of the world. At all times, concepts and skill development are emphasized over memorization of facts. A common thread throughout the three years is the emphasis on learning science and applying their knowledge to engineering projects.
The Middle School physical education program focuses on a wide range of activities, games, and sports. The curriculum explores skills and sports that are developmentally appropriate and sequentially planned throughout the middle school years. One of the main objectives for students is to recognize the value of physical education for fitness, social relationships, self-improvement, teamwork, fun, and positive sportsmanship. Students are encouraged to create goals, meet challenges, and strive for improvement based on their individual ability level. Throughout the Middle School years, they will develop a positive relationship between fitness, wellness, and activities that will sustain them over a lifetime.
The Middle School history curriculum provides age-appropriate opportunities for students to expand their understanding of themselves, the nation, and the world. Our challenging curriculum meets every student where they are to help them develop the social, emotional, and intellectual skills to become life-long learners.
Critical reading and writing are cornerstones of the Middle School history curriculum. Research and formal writing skills are nurtured at each grade level. Content and current event reading helps to grow their understanding of history in the context of world events. Educational experiences in history allow for an exploration of their sense of self. This includes reading literature, writing in journals, and engaging in debate. With role-play, mock trials, and performances, students strengthen their personal ethics. To encourage a concern for others, students participate in multiple community-service projects in 6th and 7th grade, and they complete a human rights unit in 8th grade.
RPCS believes that technology can foster and ignite some of the most creative ideas. With the Middle School laptop and Chromebook programs and a dedicated innovation space, we offer students endless ways to be curious and creative. Our technology program provides tools that are completely integrated into our classrooms and supports learning across all content areas. This integration provides students with purposeful access to research tools, digital libraries, and creative resources.
Our innovation space provides a dedicated makerspace filled with state-of-the-art 3-D printers, building tools, green screens, and materials for students to design and develop their ideas. The Middle School has a dedicated technology integrationist to help provide instruction and support for our youngest students, as well as learning opportunities and technology integration planning for our older students and faculty.