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 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.
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.
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.