Middle School

16

Middle School

As the pupils become teenagers an appetite for knowledge mingles with a budding capacity for reflection and the first promptings of self-reflection.  This new phase of development is marked by a transition to the Middle School. The teacher is gradually appealing to the individual judgement of the children and leading them in the exercise of social responsibility within the class community.

Morning Rhythmical Time

The Middle School share a Morning Rhythmical time together. This involves social games and movement, voice work and recitation and singing in a Middle School 4 part Choir.

Trips

The Middle School also regularly have outings together.  An example of some of the places visited are ‘The Old Bailey’, ‘ROH’, The Globe, an Astronomy Trip and Tudor Life at Kentwell.

Middle School Assembly

The Pupils also have a weekly Middle School Assembly together, where speakers often come to talk about a wide range topics including different major religions, various careers talks, drugs and alcohol talks and first aid.  The pupils also use the forum to sharpen debating skills and share biographies about inspiring people, choosing each year a charity to raise money for.

School Council

To further encourage the pupils to develop their own voice each class sends reps to a student run School Council, where issues about the school and pupils are discussed and ideas are brought to the teachers meetings, other pupils and school community.  The School Council also creates a termly magazine called ‘Walls have Ears’ and choose topics for Assemblies and organise fundraising.

School Assemblies

The Middle School takes part in the wider school assemblies, festivals and community events. They also share their work to the rest of the school twice a year in Middle School Evenings.

Class VI

Overview

Class VI marks a transition into the Middle School. The children have left behind the early years of their education, and are now ready to meet a more academic challenge. The theme of Class VI is Law. This is met in their study of Roman History, where myths now merge into concrete history, and the children look at the consequences of cause and effect. Science is given its full weight in this year, with a study of Physics, focusing on heat, light, sound, static electricity and magnetism. Within all topics covered, an emphasis on cause and effect, on laws and boundaries is focussed on, assisting the pupils to become more awake to the world around them and the way it works.

Main Lesson topics covered are:

  • History: Roman History, collapse of Rome, early Medieval Europe.
  • English: Grammar
  • Maths: Economy and business maths
  • Geography of Europe
  • Geology and Mineralogy
  • Physics: Heat, Light, Sound, Static Electricity and Magnetism.
  • Drama project
  • Trip – Hadrian’s Wall

Class VII

Overview

Class VII pupils are more awake to the world around them. The curriculum of this year offers a breadth of topics that follow a theme of Discovery and assist pupils to explore outwards, meeting them where they are and challenging them to ask the right questions. Alongside the theme of Discovery is the theme of Perspective, aiming to give the pupils a broad view of their world and assist them to look out of themselves from different points of view.

 Main Lesson topics covered are:

  • History: Medieval, the Explorers, the Reformation and Renaissance.
  • English: Creative Writing
  • Maths: Algebra
  • Astronomy
  • Physics: Acoustics, Optics, Thermodynamics, Mechanics
  • Chemistry: Combustion
  • Human Physiology
  • World Geography and cultures
  • Drama project
  • Trip – Outward Bound

Class VIII

Overview

At fourteen, the pupils are ‘into’ adolescence; bodily and psychological changes are well underway, so that in general, the young person seems more robust and the tenderness of the previous two years has lessened somewhat.

At this age, the world of ideas begins to take meaning for the young adolescent and the critical faculties of the fourteen year old are noticeably sharper and parts of the accepted framework – particular rules for example – are subject to questioning and scrutiny.

By the end of Class VIII, the students are already searching for new authorities and role models.

In this final year each pupil works independently on a substantial project of their own choosing. Students further develop researching skills and explore information technology.  There is also a major drama production, often Shakespeare, to mark the end of their time in the Middle School.

Main Lesson topics covered are:

  • Physics : magnetism, electricity and electromagnetism.
  • Organic Chemistry: substances which build up the human body
  • Biology : proportion in the human body, the skeleton, muscles and the human eye and ear.
  • Meteorology: an overview of global weather systems and the study of cloud formations, rain and wind.
  • History: Enlightenment, industrial revolution to present day.
  • English: we continue with sentence analysis, literature study, creative writing and narrative and descriptive prose.
  • Maths: investigate more complex arithmetic using roots and powers and compound interest. The five Platonic Solids are constructed and their surface areas and volumes calculated, whilst the algebra continues with the theory of equations, introducing more variables.
  • Drama project (usually Shakespeare)
  • The young students are now ready to say farewell to their class teacher and the Middle School and to benefit from their expertise and rigour that form the foundations of the next phase of their education.
  • Trip – The final trip is organised to the class teacher’s wishes

Subject Lessons in the Middle School

The Middle school students also have the following Subject Lessons – Gardening, Handwork and Woodwork, French and German, English and Maths, Music and Art, Games and Movement Lessons, library and research skills and IT.

Breaks

The students of Classes VI, VII and VIII share many of their breaks with each other, and regularly walk to a different outdoor space from the Lower School to socialise.