Grades 6-8

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AIKEN PREPARATORY

MIDDLE SCHOOL

Through a traditional program, Aiken Prep’s Middle School is committed to helping each student acquire the confidence and independence to succeed in secondary school and in life. In small classes and under the careful guidance of supportive faculty members, our students are challenged to participate fully in the learning process, to stretch themselves beyond their existing knowledge, and to reach their fullest intellectual potential. By focusing on oral and written communication, reading, mathematical reasoning, research, critical thinking, independent and cooperative problem solving, and the development of good study habits, we aim to help our students gain a thorough understanding of concepts and to master and apply skills.

 

Middle School Curriculum

                  

                   Sixth Grade            Seventh Grade            Eight Grade

Literature

5 periods/week

Literature courses meet five periods per week all year.  Students read novels, plays, short stories, poetry and mythology each year.  The selections will be coordinated with history studies and/or on themes.  Students learn the characteristics of literature: plot, settings, characterization, style.  Students learn to analyze a work and to write short stories, poems, and dialogue.  Vocabulary is taken from the readings and becomes a regular part of the class.

Grammar

3 periods/week

The structured study of parts of speech and how they are combined to write sentences, paragraphs and essays.

  Composition

3 periods/week

Middle school students continue to build their writing and essay skills starting with simple sentences and progressing through complex and compound sentences and paragraphs.  The courses culminate in the three-part essay.

Mathematics

5 periods/week

Math 6

Pre-Algebra or

Algebra I

Algebra I or Geometry

Science

5 periods/week including field experience and lab work

Earth Science

students learn about plate tectonics, the formation of the earth, the effects of glaciations and earth’s resources. 

Life Science

focuses on the human body during the first semester and the characteristics of an ecosystem in the second semester.  Introduction to field notes and journaling.

Physical Science introduces students the fundamentals of Physics and Chemistry.  Students learn through doing field and laboratory experiments.

 

History

5 periods/week

World Geography and Culture

 

A basic course in physical, economic and cultural geography.  The course is intended to familiarize students with the world today and introduce them to the social sciences.

 

 

U.S. and South Carolina History

 

Review of American History with South Carolina as the focus. Students learn how a state’s cultural, political, and economic systems develop over time.  Field trips are conducted, and an independent group research project is required. Throughout the year students focus on the specifics of local government.

World History, Part I

 

A survey of world civilizations up to the period of revolutions in the late 18th century.  Students study the rise and fall of civilizations, the accomplishments of mankind and the integration of cultural elements.  Students learn about cultural and economic systems. Students complete an individual research report.

Spanish

5 periods/week

First intensive foreign language study. The focus is on conversation and vocabulary.

   A two-year Spanish I course with an emphasis on conversation, culture, vocabulary development, translation from Spanish to English and English to Spanish and the basics of grammar.

     Latin

5 periods/week

Not Available

A two-year Latin I course focusing on the structure of Latin, vocabulary, reading

Latin passages, translating Latin to English and English to Latin.

Music Groups

Middle school students may be in Upper School Choral and/or instrumental groups or separate dependant upon class size.

Drama

Middle school students will have the chance to take part in a drama production either in the middle school or as a part of an upper/middle school production.

Physical Ed. and Health

4 periods/week

Students will learn the fundamentals of physical fitness, exercise and nutrition.  They learn team sports and are introduced to “lifelong” sports such as tennis, golf, court tennis, badminton and riding.

Sports

Our teams will compete in the CSRA league while seventh and eighth graders may be offered the chance to compete on South Carolina Independent School Association league teams.

Art

2 periods/week

A year long elective in which students work with the various media.  Students complete projects in color and form, still life, and three-dimensional pieces.

 

Schedule

The daily schedule is made up of eight 45-minute periods, seven academic periods and one lunch period.
Students start each day in a 15-minute homeroom with a teacher/advisor and end the day in homeroom.
Students are given a mid-morning break of 20 minutes. 
Students are given 30 minutes for lunch and then have a 15-minute break.
A modified schedule (APS Day) is used on days when students are going on field trips or having field experiences in science.

  Academic Expectations

To help our students reap full benefit from their scholastic experiences, we expect them to:

·        Exhibit positive, conscientious attitudes toward learning.  

·        Be prepared each day for class.

·        Take personal responsibility to obtain missed work and complete it quickly.

·        Be diligent in their preparation for quizzes, tests, exams and major projects.

·        Complete all homework accurately, neatly, and promptly.

·        Seek guidance and assistance from APS teachers and administrators.

·        Contribute their personal best in each class.

 Academic Reporting Calendar

There are two semesters during the school year. Each semester lasts approximately eighteen weeks.

Four weeks into each grading period, teachers prepare brief, checklist type progress reports for all middle school students.

At the mid-point of each semester, students receive report cards that include achievement letter grades, citizenship marks, and exam grades, when applicable, and written evidentiary comments from each teacher. 

Teachers contact parents at any time a student’s grade falls below a C or whenever a student shows significant signs of academic or behavioral problems.

Clubs/Activities

Middle School Clubs available based on student interest:

Anticipating upper school, such as middle school Student Government.
Designed around student interest.
One period per week will be set aside for clubs and activities.

  Assemblies

Middle school assemblies will be held on Mondays at 8:10 - 8:30.
All-school assemblies are held every other week.

Special Events

Middle school orientation as per school Calendar.
Class days:  opportunities for each grade to have special activities.
Gold Bars:  a Saturday morning activity in the Hitchcock Woods.
Green/Gold Activities:  the students are assigned to the Green or Gold Teams and score points for their team in events scheduled throughout the year.
Celebration at Vespers:  a production/concert prior to Christmas break.
Big Friend/Little Friend Activities:  Activities in which Lower and Middle (or Upper) School students are paired to provide a family atmosphere.
Middle School Sports Day: takes place at the end of the school year– students compete according to their age.
Middle School Swim Meet: takes place at the end of the school year- students compete according to age.

Character Education

Aiken Prep’s Middle School builds on a fine foundation of Character development started at home and reinforced throughout the Lower School years. As students move through their teen years it is important to continue teaching and reinforcing the high standards which, when properly developed, will help each student attain their utmost stature.

Our Character Education programs include definitions and materials, which re-enforce the basic vocabulary of national Character Education Initiatives and adhere to the order of those followed by the City of Aiken, which has been recognized as an international leader in Character Education. Aiken is “A City of Character” and our work and attitudes reflect that as well. We have formal and informal occasions to honor Character and strive to include such lessons in our curriculum wherever possible. These high standards are reflected in our Code of Conduct. Our Character Education activities provide opportunities for us to remind ourselves of the personal value these standards hold for each of us personally. In turn, we are motivated to work harder and make better choices that we may each become that man or woman of character we desire to be.

 

 

 

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