Middle School

Our middle school (6th-8th grades) continues to implement the school’s philosophy of educating the whole child in keeping with Quaker principles and practice. As our middle school students begin to seek independence, our curricula and community adapts to support them academically, emotionally, socially, physically, and spiritually. We achieve this by fostering an environment conducive to creativity, exploration, and personal growth. By the end of our students’ UFS academic endeavor, we are proud to send them forward as independent inquisitive thinkers to the finest institutions.

Humanities

Humanities is the study of the human experience and its documentation. The Humanities curriculum fosters the development of themes, essential questions, and reading, writing, and thinking skills. The program integrates the Language Arts and Social Studies curricular areas to help foster the interconnectedness of the disciplines in life and society.

Language Arts

The Language Arts component focuses on writing different types of essays and responses to literature: descriptive, narrative, expository, and persuasive. Students review writing and communication skills, such as editing, sentence development, and understanding of the correct use of conventions. Students compose pieces by following The Six Traits of Writing. Students read for pleasure and refine their comprehension skills by reading frequently. Learning to read for information and to compare, synthesize, and infer from what they read are skills students refine throughout the year. Students expand their vocabulary by completing lessons in the Wordly Wise and Word Trek programs.

Social Studies

The Social Studies elements center on main pillars such as Economics, Geography, History, Service, Learning/Citizenship, Culture, and Social Justice. The curriculum closely connects Language Arts to Social Studies topics through units of study. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, ancient civilizations, world plagues, immigration, the Progressive Era, the Civil Rights Movement, and our society’s current challenges.

Teachers use specific state and national standards as checkpoints for their individual curriculum. The use of primary sources and interdisciplinary work with literature makes the study of history and world cultures rich and relevant. Throughout the year, students discuss and analyze local, national, and international current events. Resources include web-based resources such as primary and secondary documents such as documentaries, podcasts, films, museum trips/resources, personal testimony, etc.

The teaching pedagogy practices are inquiry-driven, hands-on, project-based learning; group/class discussion; collaborative learning; peer teaching and assessment; direct teacher instruction; and independent work, which are conducive to creativity, exploration, and personal growth. These methods are implemented through a variety of differentiated activities taking into account multiple intelligences and learning styles.

The goal of our Humanities program is to create knowledgeable, informed, globally and locally connected students who have a sense of responsibility and power in upholding and applying the Quaker testimonies in the world. Teachers use the Quaker testimonies to guide instruction by looking at different perspectives when talking about historic and current world events.

Math

The middle school math program at UFS is based on thinking creatively and adopting multiple perspectives on problem-solving. While the three-year sequence of courses follows a typical Math 6, Pre-algebra, and Algebra 1 format, students are exposed to different problem-solving strategies in an environment where group collaboration and communication regarding mathematics is strongly fostered. Our students have competed in the regional MathCounts competition as well as the Stock Market Challenge hosted by the PA Council on Financial Literacy. Our students take away a balance of rigor and explorative curiosity about math that stays with them into high school and beyond.

Science

The middle school science program at UFS emphasizes science education through a combination of traditional academic methods, school-wide projects, applications of science in the modern world, and especially hands-on activities. We offer a three-year rotation of science courses: Life Science, Physical Science, and Earth & Space Science, all of which can be taken during any year of a student’s middle school career. The middle school students organize Earth Day activities including a local ecology and stream study that all students in the school participate in. From geological features of the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys to local agriculture, we are always looking at the presence of science in our local area. Middle School students are also members of the UFS Environmental Committee which promotes awareness of environmental issues and ways of creating a healthier community and planet. Our science curriculum aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and deeply familiarizes students with creating a scientific argument, identifying quality evidence, and supporting a scientific claim. Our goal is for UFS students to have a deep curiosity about the natural world that is instilled from firsthand experience with the wonders of science and nature.