Seventh grade mathematics is a course designed to build on the concepts discovered in sixth grade math and prepare students for the mathematics studied in eighth grade. Throughout the course, basic mathematical and problem-solving skills are emphasized while preparing for the skills needed in algebra. Probability, data analysis and statistics concepts are explored through discussions and activities. Students begin to investigate the elements of algebra as they examine operations with signed numbers and linear relationships through graphs and tables. While studying linear relationships, students sketch and interpret graphs that describe real-world situations. They also write and evaluate variable expressions, leading to the solving of simple equations. A look at geometric concepts allows students to experience visualizing three-dimensional structures while they explore the concepts of surface area and volume.
Our science program is an integrated program for a whole year. We use themes to create a framework for understanding the connections between science 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 doing 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.
- Organisms and Nonliving Things are Made of Atoms
- Matter Cycles and Energy Flows through Organisms and Rocks
- Natural Processes and Human Activities Shape Earth’s Resources and Ecosystems
- Sustaining Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing World
The seventh grade curriculum is set to develop the reading and writing skills of adolescent girls, at an age where critical thinking skills are emerging and maturing. To achieve this, girls read classic literature and more contemporary works centered on the themes of courage, Agape Love and standing up for what is right and true. In addition, poetry, pertaining to the curricular theme, is explored. Students produce their own writings in many genres, including a monologue, short story, creative essay and poetry. The writing process also focuses on analytical writing, honing skills such as thesis writing and quote integration for support. Students also work on vocabulary and grammar skills to enhance the fluency of their reading and writing.
U.S. History and Government
The seventh grade U.S. History and Government course begins with a unit reviewing the geography of the United States. An examination of what history is and why we study it is followed by an in-depth look at European explorers and their interactions with various Native tribes. Students debate what role guns, germs and steel had in the extermination, as well as pacification, of the Native Americans. They also explore the important social, economic, religious, and political issues of the Thirteen Colonies with a focus on slavery and the triangle trade. Students examine all three branches of the federal government, focusing on presidential power, influential Supreme Court cases and how a bill makes its way through Congress. They also analyze the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and how various groups can and still do interpret them. The class then explores westward expansion and the major events that helped tear the country apart from 1820-1860 leading to the Civil War. We look at the pros and cons of Reconstruction and what it meant for different social groups. Jim Crow laws and the eventual Civil Rights movement are analyzed during this section as well. Students then debate captains of industry vs. robber barons as we analyze the Gilded Age and the gap between the rich and the poor. This leads us into the 20th century and a detailed exploration of progressivism. We then explore the causes of World War I, how it led to World War II and the crippling Great Depression and Dust Bowl that occurred in between. Finally, we look at World War II from the view of five different countries to better understand the massive impact it had on not just the United States, but the entire world.
The study of world language is a key component of the Middle School curriculum. three languages are offered to Middle School students: French, Spanish, and Chinese. All students can continue studying the world language they began in Lower School or begin the language designated as the entry-level class in 6th grade (French in odd years, Spanish in even years). In addition, all eighth grade students may elect to take an exploratory class in Latin while continuing their study of Spanish, French or Chinese. New students entering RPCS during Middle School are placed in world language according to their experience, ability and interest. For students new to RPCS without prior experience studying a modern language, preparation includes summer study or work with a tutor followed by a placement test. New 8th graders entering RPCS without prior modern language instruction may opt to audit an 8th grade class in Chinese, French, or Spanish to prepare to take the level 1 class in Upper School.
French, Grades 6 – 8:
For students who began the study of French prior to entering Middle School, French 6B (sixth grade), 7B (seventh grade), and 8B (eighth grade) continue the presentation of the fundamentals of the French language in a highly structured program. Students new to French in 6th grade follow a sequence of French 6A, 7A, and 8A and will complete the level 1 curriculum in Middle School. French vocabulary and idioms are presented with emphasis on developing conversational skills. The goal is to for students to be able to function comfortably in a French-speaking environment. Students will also learn how to write strong, grammatically correct sentences and paragraphs. These courses also seek to broaden the students’ cultural awareness of French-speaking nations around the world by using multiple forms of technology. Upon successful completion of the 6B, 7B, 8B Middle School sequence, students may advance to French III at the start of ninth grade. Upon successful completion of the 6A, 7A, 8A Middle School sequence, students may advance to French II at the start of ninth grade.
Spanish, Grades 6 – 8:
For students who began the study of Spanish prior to entering Middle School, Spanish 6B (sixth grade), 7B (seventh grade), and 8B (eighth grade) continue the presentation of the fundamentals of the Spanish language in a highly structured program. Students new to Spanish in 6th grade follow a sequence of Spanish 6A, 7A, and 8A and will complete the level 1 curriculum in Middle School. Spanish vocabulary and idioms are presented with emphasis on developing conversational skills. The goal is to for students to be able to function comfortably in a Spanish-speaking environment. Students will also learn how to write strong, grammatically correct sentences and paragraphs. These courses also seek to broaden the students’ cultural awareness of Spanish-speaking nations around the world by using multiple forms of technology. Upon successful completion of the 6B, 7B, 8B Middle School sequence, students may advance to Spanish III at the start of ninth grade. Upon successful completion of the 6A, 7A, 8A Middle School sequence, students may advance to Spanish II at the start of ninth grade.
Chinese, Grades 6 – 8:
For students who began their study of Chinese prior to entering Middle School, Chinese 6 (sixth grade), Chinese 7 (seventh grade) and Chinese 8 (eighth grade) continue the fundamentals of the Chinese language in a highly structured program. Students will learn the structures and vocabulary necessary to communicate in Mandarin Chinese about aspects of daily life. Students will also study the customs, life and historical geography of China. It is possible for new students entering in 6th grade without previous study of Chinese to join the Chinese program at the 6 level with some summer work required. Students who successfully complete three years of Chinese in the Middle School may be eligible to enter Chinese III in the Upper School.