The seventh grade English curriculum further develops basic communication skills through the study of literature, reading strategies, and process writing. A workshop approach is often utilized to aid students in the development, practice, and internalization of effective reading and writing strategies and skills. Readers' Workshop includes the use of short stories, class novels, genre studies, poetry, supplementary materials, and self-selected readings. During Writers' Workshop, students continue to write and assess pieces based on the Six + One Traits of effective writing. Word study and grammar concepts are also integral parts of class lessons and activities.
In seventh grade, students study global geography and representative cultures of the world to become more knowledgeable of the physical landscape and cultural values of the world. Content focuses on geography’s five themes of location, place, region, movement, and human environmental interaction. Students develop an understanding of the historical roots of current world issues and investigate the major turning points that shaped the modern world. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking skills as students investigate and explore various topics. They develop chronological thinking skills to tie classroom discussions and assignments to abstract ideas and concepts through research, writing, projects, presentations, map skills, debates, and current events.
Placement of a student in the appropriate course and level is an important decision in the student’s mathematical development. In math courses in seventh and eighth grades, students are separated by gender, a practice that has many academic and social benefits for both girls and boys.
Seventh graders begin a two-year language sequence equivalent to Level I in Upper School. Completing the Level I sequence in Middle School enables a student to enter Level II in grade nine. Students may elect to continue their study of Spanish or French, or they may begin Latin. By parental request and with qualifying grades and the recommendation of the teaching team, students may double their language study by continuing with their modern language and studying Latin as well.
From body systems to cells and genetics, seventh-grade is an exploration of systems. Throughout the year, students study different science concepts using the human body as the focal point. Topics such as light and sound are discussed through the human eye and ear. Students become great critical thinkers as we use dissections, projects, and experiments to help demonstrate the body's functions. Connections are key as we journey through the body—inside and out! Encouraging students to become working scientists is the overarching goal of the science department. A unique and dynamic thematic curriculum at each grade level provides a springboard to develop scientific thinkers and problem solvers. Our curriculum allows students to make authentic connections to the world around them and to previous scientific knowledge. Technology serves as a platform to explore and research topics generated by both students and faculty. Critical reading strategies and study skills are reinforced.
The seventh grade computer program follows the policy of integration within all disciplines. Computer skills and applications are taught by all of our teachers. Faculty use our three computer labs and two laptop carts to help students use the computer in the daily production of their work and to assist with their learning. Every student is issued an iPad for use in class and at home. The 1:1 program allows for an increased level of collaboration, communication, and access to the world.
All Middle School students participate in the arts on a daily basis. In seventh grade, students experience concentrated study in one area of fine arts choosing between band, choir, drama, orchestra, or visual arts.
All Middle School students participate in physical education every day. The program concentrates on a student’s physical fitness level with emphasis placed on improvement. Students run a timed mile every three weeks and are tested on their upper body strength. Activities include field hockey (girls), street hockey (boys), softball (girls), baseball (boys), dance (girls), ultimate Frisbee (boys), volleyball (girls), football, soccer, team handball, lacrosse, basketball, and track.
In seventh grade, students learn the effects of alcohol on the human body, how to make responsible choices about alcohol, and how to recognize and cope with alcoholism. This course also examines the dangers involved in the recreational use of drugs and discusses how to avoid using them. Students learn about the effects that legal over-the-counter drugs, caffeine, and tobacco have on the body.
Seventh grade guidance classes are taught by our full-time Middle School guidance counselor as needed. Topics are based on the developmental needs of the students and address relevant and current issues. In addition, support groups are offered at all grade levels. Topics range from students who are experiencing a change in their family structure, students who are new to our school, or any other identified need. Students are invited to the group on a voluntary basis and develop skills to help them adjust to the changes in their life in a positive way. Students in these groups provide support for one another and are bound by the rules to keep all discussions in confidence.