Middle School 3 – 5: In Depth

Becoming an independent learner within Bethany’s Middle School community is inspired through teacher and student recognition of their achievements, gifts, and interests.  Students are challenged and mentored to think more deeply about content, to develop and support their own opinions, to monitor their own learning process, to strive to create their best work, to actively engage their character to recognize the talents and gifts of others, and to celebrate their own uniqueness.

In Middle School, the growing academic depth and rigor prepares our students both for Bethany Upper School and their high school of choice.  Bethany School recognizes that each child learns in their own unique way; each teacher and classroom is designed to support and inspire student learning.  This academic growth is constructed through engaging texts, frequent discussions, writing opportunities, research papers, hands-on lab and classroom activities, independent and collaborative projects, relevant field trips, and cross curricular projects that partner with special area faculty.

Special area faculty bring a diversity of talents and interests to our Middle School students.

  • In Spanish, students are building their vocabulary and grammar skills while learning about the culture of different Spanish speaking countries through group projects.
  • Projects within Computer class complement curricular areas, character education, and other special area subjects while building student keyboarding and presentation skills.  Students begin learning Office Applications (word processing, page layout, presentations, spreadsheets) in fourth grade and continue to build their skills throughout fifth and sixth grades.
  • In Art classes, Grade 4 students  create art based on many themes.  They  look at Native American weaving as well as “buffalo hide” art and will look at Geometry and symmetry and other mathematical art themes.   Interdisciplinary studies become very important in the art room around 4th Grade.  Grade 5 students  work on larger projects.  They study Native American art as well as proportion and Portraits.   Students  learn how to critique and use the Art language they have worked on in order to discuss art and help solve visual art problems.  Grade 6 students review and demonstrate skills that have been learned throughout their school years. They focus on interdisciplinary projects that have central themes to help make connections to what is being taught in the classroom. They learn about greek poetry, Cell structure with watercolor, mask making in different cultures, and much more.
  • Library provides the opportunity for students to develop and satisfy their love of reading within a yearly themed environment.  Visiting authors and illustrators bring their books to life and provide new ways to connect to the craft of storytelling.  Andrea Cheng, author of Marika, visits with sixth grade each year.
  • In Physical Education, students in the middle school years continue to develop their fine and gross motor skills, eye-hand coordination, and core muscle strength.  The traditional games they play involve a more thorough understanding of the rules and skill expertise.  They also participate in the ever-popular “Survivor” unit (which stresses teamwork as students work through a variety of physical challenges as a team), bowling, putt-putt, hockey, and corn-hole.
  • In Christian Education, Christian signs and symbols, spirituality, and world religions, as well as service opportunities, expand Middle School students’ understanding of their broader world.  Fifth graders study the English Reformation.  Sixth graders study four of the world religions–Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism.
  • Building confidence in their vocal ability and developing good instrument techniques with their improved small motor skills is the foundation of Music in Middle School.  Students delight in reinforcing these skills with orffestra instruments and drum circles.  Our winter (Lessons and Carols) and spring concerts allow Middle School students to showcase their talents.
  • Character Education is the foundation of every activity and every day at Bethany School.  The six pillars of character are reflected in brightly colored t-shirts, assembly programs, collaborative group discussions, Christian Education classes, book discussions, visiting speakers, and video commercials.