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The Middle School
Curriculum for Classes 6 to 7
In the Main Lesson programme, the more detached, critical thinking and awareness of these young people, as they begin to move from childhood towards adolescence is met by work in the following areas:
- Physics covers acoustics, optics and first experiments with static electricity;
- Life science looks at life cycles;
- History becomes factual and takes in from the Romans to the Crusades. Within that scope, the formation of Christianity and Islam are viewed historically, too;
- In Geography, the focus will widen to study Europe (other continents are studied in Class 7);
- in Maths, new concepts and techniques include business maths, triangle and circle geometry and visual means of showing information;
- in English, accurate description and accurate parsing of sentences meet that critical consciousness with lawfulness.
- Overall, there is a sense that each subject is branching out into its own syllabus and methodology.
Perhaps the biggest change in other lessons this year is that the Class will be split for language lessons. As you will see from the timetable below, Mandarin and Spanish will take place over four lessons each week, so each pupil will have two of each (as before) taken at a pace better suited to their learning style. We do need to stress that this is an experiment for this year.
Another new aspect is Friday afternoon-school. Horticulture and resistant crafts enter the curriculum this year, and we are really pleased to offer circus skills as well. Of course, this means extending the timetable, and so school will finish at 3.30 on Fridays for Class 6.
As the turbulence of adolescence builds, the curriculum subjects seek to involve it in expression and guide its beauty and power – but also encourage the mind to find security in precision and measurement.
The sciences are clearly divided. In Biology human digestion and nutrition, respiration and circulation, reproduction and senses (the eye and ear) are studied. This leads into discussion of care of the self and of others.
- In Chemistry the study of acids and bases, cleansing and corrosion, pH experiments and the lime cycle often includes soap making and the building of a lime kiln.
- In Physics the dichotomy between the growing physical strength of the young person and phases of fatigue can be explored in working with inclined planes, levers, pulleys to study and reduce effort! The links between magnetism and electricity are explored.
- In Maths, formulae lead into algebra, while Geometry includes , the Fibonacci sequences, the golden ratio: ways of seeing harmony in the world of nature and art.
- A block on Astronomy encourages visualisation of complex, rotational concepts and also complements the work on exploration in history lessons.
- In History study of the Middle Ages and Renaissance leads to a block on the paths by which Europeans “discovered” other cultures and peoples. It’s a study of individual heroics and catastrophic impacts and in Geography, it makes sense to study a continent, such as Africa or South America, in light of this. Likewise in art, concentration on perspective drawing to create the illusion of 3D space matches the development of the Renaissance and engages with the question of individual point of view.
- The English main lessons work with lots of creative writing, particularly in exclamatory, descriptive and wishful modes, to explore ways to express this growing point of view. Simultaneously, continued emphasis on correct grammar and register help hone disciplined expression.
- By no means least, because both are integral to matching content to growing inner sensing, in Handwork the aim is to pattern, cut and sew clothing and in Woodwork to carve bowls.