You can’t teach people everything they need to know. The best you can do is position them where they can find what they need to know when they need to know it. -Seymour Papert
A seventh grade student at Presbyterian School engages in dynamic conversation with adults and classmates to achieve out-of-the-box thinking and personal growth. Specifically, learners in seventh grade consider through observation and analysis of how the differences of opinion and belief can create heterogeneous environments that may result in conflict. It is managing this conflict that we as individuals and as a society must address to create a healthy world. A unique approach towards this theme exists in the development of blended content areas, interweaving English, history, and Spanish classes where applicable in order to share topics and explore ideas in greater depth and understanding. Teaching a novel, such as Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson, allows for us to focus on a historical perspective alongside a literary analysis of the content, providing students a healthy, global approach to their learning. A beautiful result of this process arises as students recognize more about themselves and how they are unique in the world around them - all for the sake of improving the immediate and global community.
7th grade students enjoy an authentic approach to scientific research, conversations in Spanish, literary analysis, dynamic concepts in algebra, and American history. Additionally, much of the curriculum, from math to vocabulary, focuses on individual challenges by allowing students to advance at a pace designed with various levels of readiness in mind. With an elective program developed for children to pursue and perform STEAM-based courses, our curriculum has no limit. Our 7th grade students learn the power of empathy and mutual respect for themselves, each other, and the environment.
Character Development: Advisory & Squads
All students are assigned to an advisor. The middle school promotes character development through daily connection to a charismatic adult with reflection serving as a key to personal development. In addition to advisory, a fun, community, leadership-minded house system, which we call Squads. The Squad program distributes all middle school students and teachers into four distinct groups that focus on collaboration, construction, competition, and fun. Older kids counsel younger and faculty members guide teams towards building community and unifying our incredible school culture.
Place-Based Learning: Museum Partnerships
While our classrooms begin in the somewhat traditional sense, the Presbyterian School classroom extends its boundaries into the many incredible museum resources Our faculty utilizes permanent and special exhibits to enhance the curriculum, spending time in the museums. The opportunity to deepen our learning by walking to new and exciting spaces right outside our walls vastly enhances the programming we can offer to middle school students.
Art Every Day
7th and 8th grade students take a fine arts class every single day... and these classes aren't just your run-of-the-mill electives. Classes include Scientific Illustration, Expressive Sculpture, Paper Art, Mock Trial, Guitar, Main Street Singers, Yearbook and more! The School has offered 80 different fine arts classes to students in the following genres: drawing & painting, multidimensional Art, Digital Art, Museum Art, Expressive Art, Music, Film, Dance, and On Stage.
The Power of Play: P.E., Fitness & Athletics
As a way to focus on the mind, body, and spirit of a middle school child, Presbyterian School facilitates intentional time for structured and unstructured play. 7th grade students attend P.E. and Fitness classes which include cross training to improve cardio and agility. Our no-cut athletics program after school is open to all 7th grade students and offers over 30 teams in 14 sports. 7th grade students have the opportunity to play on varsity level teams and compete with other middle schools in Houston.
Spiritual Growth: Bible & Chapel
We invest in each child’s spiritual development through Bible class every other day. Our faculty offers the consistent message of sound character as supported by our school's Core Values: respect, perseverance, courage, compassion, gratitude, and integrity. Middle School students have opportunities to learn God's word, talk about current issues, and dive into matters of the heart in Bible Class and lunchtime bible studies. Students also attend a weekly chapel to worship together as a Middle School.
Confidence in every Child
Middle School students at Presbyterian School are expected to demonstrate their learning by creating, collaborating, and presenting. Students grow as a result of intentional reflection and challenging goals for improvement. Our Classroom Learning Cycle focuses beyond “what we know” and challenges students to think about “what we do with what we know.”