5th - 8th Grade
Middle School is a time of spectacular growth and change. At St. Benedict’s, we design our Middle School around the characteristics and needs of our students. Our faculty respect adolescents’ emerging identities and changing interests, and work as a team to support our students as they navigate these new experiences. We guide our students to make good choices, take on more responsibility, persevere and embrace their journey.
Our Middle School environment fosters creativity, resilience, and self-efficacy.
We encourage our students to take ownership of their high school outplacement and explore a variety of options to discover which characteristics are important to fostering their continued growth and development. St. Benedict's outplacement process offers opportunities for self-reflection, increased self-awareness, support and resources to find a high school that will be the best fit. Our graduates are accepted by and attend many prestigious schools in Atlanta.
Our academic program immerses students in coursework that inspires them to think critically, problem solve, and collaborate as global citizens. Academic disciplines in the Middle School are organized by both department and grade level. Our innovative curriculum exceeds state and national standards and prioritizes mastery of skills. By the time students leave Middle School, they are expected to not only have mastered the learning outcomes identified in each academic discipline, but also be confident and capable students in time management, organization, note-taking, and study skills. By modeling empathy and cultivating life skills, we encourage our students to be good citizens, engaged in the world around them and mindful of the experiences and needs of others.
Through a rich selection of literature, students gain comprehensive instruction in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students move from creating a strong thesis statement to developing a strong, neutral voice to formatting their papers using the Modern Language Association (MLA) style. As students become more sophisticated writers, their original narrative essays, short stories, poetry, informative essays, and analytical responses reflect their voice. Strong emphasis is placed on grammar skills in middle school and applied in their writing. Developing a love of literature is at the heart of our English program and students explore a variety of genres through novels, short stories, and poetry.
Solving problems is an integral part of mathematics and students require frequent opportunities to formulate, deliberate, and solve complex problems that involve a signiﬁcant amount of effort. Conversations in which mathematical ideas are explored from multiple perspectives help middle school students sharpen their thinking and make connections. Students are challenged to be precise and convincing in their use of mathematical language to communicate the results of their thinking to others. Sixth grade math involves number sense, measurement, geometry, probability and statistics and algebraic expressions. Seventh grade students take Pre-Algebra and eighth grade students take Algebra I, earning a high school credit for the course.
Spanish is a core subject and is taught by native-speaking teachers. Students practice speaking, reading, writing, and listening in Spanish. In grammar, students learn to conjugate all irregular, spelling change, and stem-changing verbs in the present tense and then begin to understand the differences between Preterit and Imperfect modes of the past tense. Because of the emphasis placed on Spanish in Preschool-8th grade, our graduates typically enter high school Spanish as a second or third year student.
The science curriculum allows students to make authentic connections to the world around them through investigations and experiments in Earth Science (6th grade), Life Science (7th grade), and Chemistry and Physics (8th grade). By aligning our St. Benedict’s learning outcomes with national and state standards, we provide opportunities for students to engage in science practices and develop a scientific mindset.
Middle school students dive into the history, geography, government, and economics of various time periods. Sixth graders explore Ancient World History through the Renaissance. Seventh graders shift their focus to American History. Eighth grade students develop an understanding of Modern World History beginning with the Renaissance & Reformation through the modern world today.
From 5th to 8th, St. Benedict's students can choose the fine arts program that best fits their unique talents. Whether it is Visual Arts, Band, Music or Drama, we believe fine arts provides non-academic benefits such as promoting self-esteem, motivation, aesthetic awareness, cultural exposure, creativity, improved emotional expression, as well as social harmony and appreciation of diversity. All middle school students develop and maintain a portfolio and participate in art exhibits and performances in the school and local community.
Being mindful of the inclusivity of our student’s cultural, racial, and religious backgrounds, we offer weekly worship services in the Episcopal morning prayer tradition. Religious instruction is a comparative journey of biblical sacred stories, ethics, and social justice. By graduation, all of our students are growing in love, faith, and respect for one another and God.
Our Middle School environment fosters creativity, resilience, and self-efficacy. Students begin each day in homeroom where we infuse current events and strategies that foster responsibility, and reflection. By the time students leave Middle School, they are expected to not only have mastered the learning outcomes identified in each academic discipline, but also be confident and capable students in time management, organization, note-taking, and study skills. By modeling empathy and cultivating life skills, we encourage our students to be good citizens, engaged in the world around them and mindful of the experiences and needs of others.
The Advisory Program is an important part of the Middle School experience and supports healthy, inclusive communication and relationship building. Each student is assigned a faculty advisor who provides academic and personal guidance. Single-gender groups meet weekly and form a safe, supportive space for sharing.
Measuring Student Learning
In the Middle School, teachers use a variety of formative and summative assessment methods to evaluate overall student achievement and guide decisions about instruction. Asking students to demonstrate their understanding of the subject matter is critical to the learning process and self-assessment is an important element at this level. Engaging students in the process of assessment helps them identify what they know and what they still need to understand. Each spring, students take the CTP5, which is a standardized test published by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB). Eighth graders also take the PSAT as they transition to high school.
Clubs and Organizations
Students who participate in Student Council learn the skill of collaboration, learn how the school functions as an educational institution, and learn the importance of giving back to the community. Student Council officers learn to represent the interests of their fellow students, promote ethical behavior, honesty, fairness, and integrity, and interact with adult leaders. volunteer and fund raising activities and projects.
Founded by a recent graduate, Helping Hands provides students the opportunity to make a positive impact on the surrounding community. This program introduces students to community services opportunities as they work together to identify areas of need in the community, the collection of resources, and distribution of resources to community members or organizations in need.
Students gain skills in page design, advanced publishing techniques, copywriting, editing, and photography while producing a creative, innovative yearbook which records school memories and events. Participants gain useful, real world skills in time management, marketing, teamwork, and design principles.