The English program seeks to develop strong skills in the areas of composition, reading comprehension and literary analysis and interpretation of fiction and nonfiction writing through novel study, independent reading, active reading, annotating, and student-led Socratic seminar discussions.
Sixth Grade: A project-based approach encourages students to make real-life connections between their studies and the world around them.
Seventh Grade: Students develop the ability to state their points of view in both speech and writing by questioning, arguing, discussing, and adapting what they say to their audience and the effect they wish to achieve.
Eighth Grade: Students are encouraged to develop their skills as both readers and writers through the exploration of themselves and their roles within the world, along with pushing the boundaries of each student’s universe of obligation.
The math program is designed to build confidence and mastery in math concepts. Through project-based learning, everyday applications of math continue to be highlighted, so students not only learn the material, but also see the relevance in its application.
There are four sections of math in sixth and seventh grade and five sections in eighth grade; all have the same high academic standards and goals. Each section varies as to pace and depth of understanding with a demanding curriculum focusing on core competencies. The curriculum culminates with Algebra 1 in eighth grade and everyone leaves ready for high school math, whether it be Algebra, Geometry, or beyond.
The Singapore Math approach is used In the upper elementary grades, as students internalize how and why math is meaningful in their lives, moving beyond procedural knowledge to conceptual understanding. Students continue to employ concrete, visual, and abstract models to master the application of mathematical concepts. The curriculum is a project-based, interdisciplinary approach to the application of mathematical skills and concepts. Flexible groups are designed to meet all students’ needs, with emphasis placed on inquiry, problem-solving, and logical reasoning.
The social studies program is a very interactive approach to studying history. Students engage in exciting projects and work to hone their skills as critical thinkers and writers. The social studies program culminates with an eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C. where students get to relive their exciting eighth-grade year in American history up close and personal!
Sixth Grade: Ancient History
Seventh Grade: World History
Eighth Grade: American History
The middle school science program is designed to promote scientific reasoning, problem solving, and creative and critical thinking skills. These skills are developed through the lens of best practices taken from project-based learning, student-directed learning, and 21st century skills. In addition to the science curriculum, the science program includes a social learning curriculum to enhance and develop skills such as communication, responsibility, flexibility, and initiative.
Sixth Grade: Environmental Science
Seventh Grade: Life Science & Human Health and Sexuality
Eighth Grade: Chemistry and Physics basics
The middle school Spanish curriculum is a multi-faceted program that seeks to develop a degree of communicative competency and a relevant vocabulary, to engage students in a linguistic and cultural understanding of another language and culture, and encourages students to value second-language acquisition. There are four sections of Spanish, one of which is the Spanish Immersion program.
The Spanish Immersion Program is an accelerated option for students ready for the challenge of an all-Spanish speaking classroom environment. The Immersion Program provides students opportunities to build their confidence as they improve their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. The program enriches the intellectual growth of each student and provides a variety of cultural experiences that enhance the acceptance and appreciation of Spanish-speaking countries.
WNS also offers students the chance to accelerate their Spanish practice and immerse themselves in other Spanish cultures and geographic regions through our Global Studies Summer Program Trip. Each summer, WNS students embark upon a seven to nine-day trip that incorporates Spanish, service learning, and interdisciplinary study opportunities.
Middle school physical education emphasizes fitness and lifelong recreational activities. The focus of the program is transferring foundational skills into a sports setting, fitness testing, and more. Team sports and games include learning how to work together to create strategies and find multiple solutions to a problem.
Middle school students are assessed annually with physical fitness testing. At the beginning of the year, initial assessments are made and the results are discussed with students. The students are tested again at the end of the school year and are shown their progress.
In addition to the core curriculum, every middle school student participates in one or two electives in each of the three trimesters. The elective period is a time when middle school students can pursue an interest that is not necessarily a part of the regular curriculum with students in all grades of the middle school. Electives additionally provide teachers with an opportunity to share a skill or passion with their students. Some of the classes offered have included mock trial, robotics, service learning, early childhood mentoring, spring musical, architecture club, cooking, debate team, math team, creative writing, newspaper, yearbook, visual arts, and various athletics.
Three days a week begin with advisory, which includes time for students to be welcomed to school, a time to share, engage in a game or playful activity, and hear news or announcements. Students set goals and create a middle school-wide Social Contract of rules to help them create a school environment that helps them achieve their goals.