At Shattuck-St-Mary’s, Forest City, our Middle School builds on the Elementary school experience and prepares our students for High School. We continue with the Shattuck tradition of high academic expectations and encourage our students to explore new opportunities in their academic program, activities and sport in Grades 6 –9.
Our Middle School students will have the experience in Grade 6 of moving from a ‘home room’ teacher to a different teacher for each subject. The students will have an ‘advisory’ program, and one teacher will be the guardian of the academic and personal development of every student. Our focus is on supporting all students to be comfortable and independent in their academic learning and school life.
The day for the Middle School Students starts with an Advisory Time. Students will meet in groups with their Advisor to receive important news about the school day or school events. This time is also used for the advisor to discuss and answer questions and to check that all students have been successful in completing homework. The program will assist students with study skills, encourage friendships and ensure that everyone is ready and well equipped to start the academic day.
English Language and Literature
Every class in the Middle School will be in English. Students will read, write and speak English in all subject areas. All teachers and school staff will support the development of English language skills at every opportunity in every subject area and in social and activity programs. Teachers will assist students in learning the academic language for each particular subject area. There are specific classes within the English subject classrooms for students to develop specific skills in reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, public speaking, and debate. Students will learn communication skills through the study and understanding of literature, non-fiction books, media, and classroom interaction.
English As An Additional Language
There will be additional teachers in our Middle School to support all students who are not native English speakers. The level of assistance will depend on the needs of each student, and these specialist teachers will work in classrooms with students and provide additional classes in English as needed. The aim of these teachers will be to help students understand the academic content of their subjects in English as well as developing strong reading, writing and speaking skills. Every teacher in our Middle School will work with students in developing strong English language skills.
The middle school math department is committed to the development of strong mathematical skills that will be utilized in the mathematics, science and technology classrooms. All students are assessed prior to their entry into the Middle School and the appropriate level of math instruction chosen for them. The mathematics program will develop the skill level of all students, assess individual needs and provide a program that caters for the development of all.
Our Science program is based on standards from the United States. The teaching of these standards ensures a strong preparation for the rigors of the high school program as well as developing passion and excitement for the Sciences in the Middle School program. Our laboratories will give all students the opportunity to engage in research, experimentation, and laboratory experience that will support development and knowledge of Science and its connection to our world.
What is STEM? STEM is the combination and integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Our students will be taught skills and processes in each subject area but will come to utilize these understandings in our STEM program. Our program will include ‘project based learning’ where students will be required to find answers to questions that require attention to each of the four components of STEM. These investigations will be collaborative, group projects that are mentored and supported by a faculty member and our connections within the community.
When they are proficient in English, students in the Middle school will have the opportunity to learn a new language or to continue in the academic study of their home language. We encourage students to maintain their ‘mother tongue’ at an academic level.
For students with mother tongue English, there will be other language choices. The Middle School will offer language trips for students to experience and practice their language skills in other international settings.
The Middle school runs an innovative and exciting program that combines the teaching of Social Studies (History, Geography, Economics) with English. The purpose is to ensure that students are learning the skills of informational reading and writing in the context of ‘real life’ information from the Social Studies areas. The class time is divided into time for teaching English reading and writing skills and a time for working with the content areas of the Social Sciences.
The world of music, drama, and visual art will be an integral part of the Middle school community. We will work to showcase the talents of our students in both school and community performance events and provide structured lessons to support development in all areas of the arts. The daily schedule will provide opportunities for students to select electives for academic study in the area of music (instrumental or choral), visual art, and drama. As students experience different areas of the Arts program, they will discover new interests, knowledge, and opportunity for further advancement in their subject of choice.
A technology integration teacher will plan with teachers how our students will use the computer to support learning in all subject areas. In the STEM program, specific and advanced computer skills will be taught. Other modern technologies will also be available, including educational robotics, scanners and electronic probes.
In addition to digital technology, other technologies will be used to develop design and engineering skills. 3D printers, laser cutters, and architectural design software will be used to give students skills in engineering design.
Physical Education and Personal Growth
Our Middle School will be attentive to the physical and emotional development of adolescents through the PE and Personal Growth program. Both programs will work together to help students understand the importance of personal fitness and healthy choices. The personal growth program will be designed to support students in developing skills and attitudes that lead to positive interactions with others and personal confidence in their daily life as both a student and a member of the community. Our Physical Education teachers and counselors will work together with advisors to support the physical, social and emotional growth of all our students.
Student Leadership is an important part of the Middle school program and personal growth of students. Providing all students with leadership opportunities helps our students learn to manage time, work as a team, set goals, solve problems and this is an integral part of helping prepare our students for not only the High School but for life.
The Middle School is an important time in academic development, and the assessment of students identifies the strengths and areas of challenge across the curriculum.
Each teacher will design assessments that demonstrate how well students are meeting the expected standards in their subject area and will use this information to inform parents but also to better inform their teaching and the needs of each student in their care.
The assessments will take many different forms during and at the end of a unit of work to provide a range of information about the learning needs of each child.