"Some of the most important work done by Middle School faculty is to use the curriculum as a means to teach the skills necessary for life-long academic success."

– John Gifford, Assistant Head of School & Head of Middle School


Middle School Academics

Middle School English fosters an environment where students grow as critical readers and writers. Vocabulary development and understanding of grammar enhance students’ ability to communicate clearly and effectively. These courses emphasize reading actively, organizing ideas, assimilating and retaining new vocabulary words, and writing both creatively and analytically. Students approach writing as a process of prewriting, writing, and revising. The chosen literature, ranging from classic novels to contemporary stories, challenges students to understand the diversity of human experience and their place in it. The classroom is rooted in discussion and in the respect for differing viewpoints that such forums demand.

English Via Latin VI
Required For: Class VI

Latin and English are fundamentally connected. Integrating these disciplines enables students to decode and unearth patterns as they assimilate vocabulary and grammar while enriching the study and writing of analysis, fiction, personal narrative, and poetry through the connections to archetypes, mythology, ancient texts, and more contemporary works. Students in this class will become more powerful and confident as thinkers, readers, writers, and speakers.
The curriculum revolves around several themes including identity, innocence/loss of innocence, young teaching old, the importance of family, and empathy. Texts may include but are not limited to: Genesis excerpts, Ovid selections, Hesiod selections, mythology, To Kill a Mockingbird, Snow Falling on Spring, poems from around the world, selections from The Iliad, Philoctetes, Bamboo People, and Much Ado About Nothing.
Because skill development is essential for middle school students, English Via Latin will develop and enhance the following skills: outlining and note-taking, test preparation, active reading, grammatical understanding and use, vocabulary assimilation, writing in multifarious genres, reading comprehension and dissection, research, technology, art, and recitation.




English V | Full Year
Full Credit
Required For: Class V

In Class V English, students continue to discover their own identity as they explore our common humanity by considering such diverse concepts as home, transformation, race, and revelation. Both analytical and creative writing receive much attention, as students learn to use language for a variety of purposes and to address a variety of audiences. The curriculum stresses independence of thought as students develop effective habits of heart and mind. Our work with grammar and vocabulary builds on skills introduced in seventh grade. A climate of open discussion and exchange of ideas is fostered by engagement with a variety of texts. Representative works include: Night (Wiesel), Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare), Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Alexie), Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Haddon), A Separate Peace (Knowles), Mercury (Larson), and The Other Side of Dark (Smith).





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The Middle School Curriculum