Upper School 7 – 8: In Depth

During the Upper School years, students are changing rapidly – physically, mentally, and emotionally – and they see their move into high school becoming a reality. Supporting these changes within a challenging academic environment helps Upper School students take on a lead role in their education. Honing communication skills, both written and oral, helps these students become self-advocates as they get ready for a more independent high school environment.

Cementing their role as an independent learner within Bethany’s upper school community is reinforced through teacher and student recognition of their achievements, gifts, and interests. A wider array of after school activities and Fine Art and Physical Education electives encourage students to explore and exercise their talents and strengths.

Students are challenged and mentored to think more deeply about content. The scope of the problem, whether in math, science, social studies, or language arts, becomes broader and requires: more steps, more precision, more research, more collaboration, and more critical thought to fully solve. Daily Spanish classes prepare Bethany students to enter high school at the Spanish II or Honors Spanish II level.

Students’ self-confidence and personal identity grow significantly during these two years. As their Bethany career draws to a close, their unity as a group becomes even stronger as they reflect on their shared experiences, unique talents and gifts, and their excitement about the step ahead. They know they are prepared because they know they are Bethany.

Special area faculty bring a variety of talents and interests to our Upper School students. Fine Arts and Physical Education Quest classes consist of a series of elective choices.

    • In 7th & 8th grades, we offer Art Quest Classes each quarter with a variety of themes so that students have the opportunity to find a class that interests them. These classes have a common idea and prepare students for what to expect in a High School Art room.
    • In Music, students are discovering their own identity as their voices and instrumental skills change. Building an ensemble feel by incorporating instruments, singing, movement, and group compositions into music activities help students embrace these changes.  Music classes become more focused on a theme or instrument (drums, strings, orffestra) which are carried into performance opportunities.
    • Gym choices include rhythm and movement, Presidential Fitness, running, Cross fit, volleyball, and other sports options.
    • Other non-academic electives provide a chance to explore the science behind catapults or paper airplanes, scrapbooking, gardening, cooking, yoga, girl empowerment, and more.
    • Projects within Computer class help students explore their creativity and unique approaches to a variety of topics such as designing their own websites and creating animated Mythology movies. Software such as Garage Band, iDVD, iMovie, and iWeb provide the basis of many of these computer projects. Seventh graders work on Web page creation, Keynote Presentations, HTML and Stop Action animation while 8th graders begin computer programming with Basic and Java. They also learn movie editing, photo editing, and digital yearbook.
    • In Christian Education, Church history, Service, and Prayer are the foundation of the seventh grade curriculum. Eighth grade students focus on Christian Ethics and Morality. Eighth grade students study ethics as it relates to their everyday lives and also to history and society in general. The culmination of the program is the annual 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C. in the spring. The visits to the local monuments and memorials help to reinforce their study of ethics and decision-making.
    • 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.