Middle School English provides opportunities for girls to discover their creative voices while at the same time becoming more sophisticated readers, thinkers, and writers. As students move from Fifth Grade to Eighth Grade, they make the gradual, steady transition to reading more closely and more analytically; by Seventh and Eighth Grade, students are routinely asked to locate ideas in the text and to explain how the text embodies these ideas. This growth process continues right through the Upper School.
Through process writing, Middle School students also develop language skills that become increasingly formal and correct. Research and the creative use of technology enable girls, often working in groups, to explore the background behind the literature to make that literature more relevant and personal to the students. Finally, Middle School students enjoy a wide variety of opportunities to develop their creative side in writing and in speaking.
Students strengthen their communication skills through frequent written assignments, supported by regular practice in spelling, vocabulary, and grammar. The students learn to develop story ideas and essays. The importance of rough drafts and careful editing is stressed. A full and challenging reading program is drawn from the range of children's literature and addresses comprehension, analysis, and critical thinking skills. Writing follows the Writer’s Workshop philosophy and is integrated with social studies. An introduction to World History and Geography I, this course provides an entry point into the Academy history program that seeks to develop in students the skills and habits of historians. This course introduces students to in-depth study of the origins of human culture, civilization and achievement in ancient and medieval eras, and to the practice of history. Geography skills, including map-making and uses will form a key part of the curriculum. Units will include hands-on activities, group and individual projects and a field experience. A weekly periodical will enhance connections between current events and history.
Grade Six students continue their work on the writing process, producing a collection of creative pieces and essays. Readings encompass a variety of genres, and emphasis is placed on the study of literary elements. The literature is presented thematically throughout the year, offering collaborative units with Social Studies. Grammar and vocabulary practice continues throughout the course.
Emphasis is placed on writing, grammar, vocabulary, and literature. Students study a variety of genres, which include themes that show triumph over war, oppression, and poverty. Students learn to distinguish among expository, descriptive, and narrative forms of writing through written responses to the literature
Continued instruction in grammar, vocabulary, and the writing process is integrated with a complete study of various literary genres including drama, poetry, and nonfiction. Emphasis is placed on the continued development of essay writing skills, including formulating a strong thesis statement and providing textual evidence to support one’s argument.