6th Grade at St. Anne's Episcopal School: Fostering Learning and Holistic Development
Our 6th-grade program is thoughtfully crafted to nurture essential skills, including critical thinking, inquiry, and executive functioning. These skills are recognized as vital components as students embark on a journey towards greater self-reliance in their education. Our curriculum integrates diverse disciplines to provide students with a holistic understanding of the world, empowering them to synthesize information, think critically, and approach challenges with creativity and confidence.
Exploring the Human Experience
Throughout the academic year, our 6th-grade students embark on a profound exploration of a fundamental question: "What does it mean to be human?" This theme encourages self-reflection, empathy, and self-discovery. To enrich this journey, our program incorporates guest speakers from specialized fields and author visits, offering diverse perspectives and knowledge. We emphasize a well-rounded education with a strong focus on the arts and physical activities.
English: Fostering Critical Analysis and Creativity
Our English curriculum features whole-class novel studies that promote analysis and discussion. In addition to whole-class novels, students choose and read self-selected texts daily. Additionally, students read short stories, poetry, and drama and prepare and execute shared inquiry as a whole class. Students study vocabulary through Membean, which prepares them for 7th and 8th grade and Daily Grammar Practice where they study parts of speech and the components of well-written sentences. At the end of the school year students will write a personal narrative that will feature each student in a story of their own, bringing a close to their 6th-grade year of English. Finally, our multi-genre study in English encourages students to explore different literary forms, enhancing their creativity and analytical skills.
Science: Hands-On Exploration
Middle school science integrates physical, life, and earth sciences. In the 6th grade, students explore various scientific topics, including classification and biodiversity. They delve into concepts like natural selection and evolution. Additionally, they study fossil patterns and learn about rock strata and Earth's history. Plate tectonics and the rock cycle are part of the geology studies. Weathering and erosion processes, along with the water cycle, are also covered. The curriculum extends to understanding ocean currents and delving into the intricacies of weather and climate. Natural catastrophes and the distribution of natural resources are discussed in depth. Students also explore particle motion and thermal energy, as well as fundamental forces such as gravity and electromagnetism. Finally, the curriculum encompasses the study of circuits in physics.
Math: Preparing for Algebraic Studies
In 6th-grade math, we offer both grade-level and advanced classes. "Foundations for Algebra" is a comprehensive exploration of basic mathematical concepts, preparing students for upcoming algebra studies. The advanced class further delves into these foundational concepts. Our teachers employ various teaching strategies, including kinesthetic, visual, and auditory approaches. Collaboration is encouraged daily as students work together to solve mathematical problems, fostering teamwork and critical thinking.
Social Studies: Understanding Societal Evolution
In 6th-grade social studies, students delve into the essential questions of "Who Am I, and What Does It Mean to Be Human?" This exploration includes a deep dive into how societies around the globe have evolved. Through reading, research, presentations, and projects, students gain valuable skills that will serve them throughout their lives.
At St Anne’s, 6th grade marks a new chapter in the hands-on and experiential learning within our outdoor education program. Sixth-grade students cultivate a sense of independence as they begin participating in multi-day trips to our St Anne’s in the Hills campus. During these trips, students participate in activities designed to cultivate a strong sense of community and camaraderie while engaging in academically focused lessons that support and amplify the learning that is taking place on the main campus. The independence that students develop during these trips helps lay a foundation for their seventh- and eighth-grade outdoor education experiences.
7th Grade at St. Anne's Episcopal School: Cultivating Critical Thinking and Well-being
Our 7th-grade program builds upon the critical thinking and inquiry skills developed in the previous year while focusing on cultivating collaboration, clear communication, and 21st-century skills to prepare students for an ever-changing world.
Emphasis on Well-being and Support
Recognizing the unique challenges that often arise during 7th grade, our program places a strong emphasis on mental health, social-emotional learning, and overall well-being. In response to research indicating that this can be a challenging year for students, we dedicate half an hour on Fridays to open sessions for peer guidance and advice. These sessions provide a platform for students to discuss their experiences, concerns, and triumphs in a supportive environment.
Exploring History: A Thoughtful Curriculum
In the academic realm, our curriculum is designed to delve into the complexities of history and literature. Social studies examines social structures throughout history, encompassing eras such as the Middle Ages, feudal Japan, the American system of slavery, and the American Revolution. This comprehensive exploration fosters an understanding of how societies have evolved and challenges students to think more deeply about historical and social dynamics.
English: Literary Enrichment and Service Learning
English classes expose students to various writing styles, including informational and creative writing, poetry, and mystery writing. Reading involves genre studies with choices of novels and participation in book clubs. Student favorites often include dystopian and historical fiction genres, promoting a love of reading and offering diverse literary experiences.
A key component of the 7th-grade year is the capstone project, which revolves around service learning. Students are tasked with creating businesses to raise capital for microlending aimed at addressing global poverty. This project encourages creativity, entrepreneurship, and empathy, instilling a sense of agency and responsibility for positively impacting the world.
Math: Mastery and Collaboration
In the realm of mathematics, we offer both grade-level and advanced classes. The grade-level class, "Pre-Algebra," provides a strong foundation, while the advanced class is a comprehensive Algebra I course. Collaboration is encouraged daily as students work together to solve mathematical problems ranging from simple to complex. This environment promotes teamwork and critical thinking.
Science: A Holistic Approach
In 7th grade, students delve into a broad spectrum of scientific subjects, commencing with exploring weather, climate, and environmental impacts. They progress to study the influence of human actions on natural resources, emphasizing sustainable resource management. The curriculum extends to marine ecosystems, population capacity, and biotic versus abiotic factors within ecosystems. Global warming, fundamental laws of motion, energy, matter, kinetic and potential energy, energy conversions, gravity, and celestial events are also covered. This comprehensive education equips students with a holistic understanding of the natural world and its interconnected systems.
As 7th-grade students begin to navigate a year of changes and development, the focus of the Outdoor Education program shifts to meet those learning needs. In addition to maintaining a focus on amplifying the academic experience through hands-on learning opportunities, the 7th-grade students will participate in various outdoor trips that dig into the nuances of self-awareness, self-reflection, and positive peer-to-peer relationships. Seventh-grade students also participate in some larger-scale trips that take them beyond St Anne’s campuses and allow an opportunity to explore and engage with parts of Colorado that they may not be familiar with.
8th Grade at St. Anne's Episcopal School: Nurturing Values and Academic Achievement
Throughout their middle school journey, our programs are dedicated to cultivating St. Anne's core values: community, curiosity, faith, compassion, and humility. These values are intricately woven into every facet of the curriculum and extracurricular activities, ensuring that students not only graduate with academic knowledge but also as empathetic and responsible citizens prepared to make positive contributions to their communities.
English: Analytical Thinking and Effective Communication
In eighth grade, our English curriculum critically analyzes whole-class novels and short stories. Students are challenged to develop and articulate arguments, both in written and oral forms, supported by text-based evidence. We delve into mechanics and grammar to promote thoughtful organization, sentence structure, and fluency in student writing. A notable highlight of the year is "Project 8," a capstone personal narrative project inspired by Edward R. Murrow’s "This I Believe" series.
Math and Beyond: Exploring Higher Concepts
In the realm of mathematics, we offer advanced courses for eighth graders. "Algebra 1" (grade-level) and "Geometry" (advanced) classes provide students with a comprehensive exploration of these topics, preparing them for high school mathematics. Students also develop the ability to gather and interpret data.
Science: An Integrated Approach to Inquiry-Based Learning
In 8th grade, students embark on a comprehensive scientific journey, beginning with a study of the scientific method and advancing to explore cells, DNA, genetics, the nervous system, photosynthesis, respiration, diseases, various types of waves, sound, light, matter, elements, chemical reactions, and a captivating journey into space. This holistic scientific education equips students with a well-rounded understanding of the natural world, from the microscopic realm to the vast expanse of space.
Social Studies: Examining History and Human Dignity
Eighth-grade social studies takes students through U.S. and world history from the mid-19th century to the late 20th century, focusing on the forces that have undermined or improved human dignity. This period is marked by liberatory milestones and harrowing atrocities, from the abolition of slavery in 1865 to the quiet collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. We place special emphasis on human rights issues, both within U.S. history and on the global stage, exploring themes like colonialism and interstate conflict. Students are expected to analyze and interpret historical texts (lecture on topics of historical interest), engage collaboratively in historical simulations and classroom discussions, pose challenging questions, and craft independent research papers.
The 8th-grade students begin their final year with an off-campus trip that focuses on the development of the community through a series of team-building activities that help push students out of their comfort zones and allow them to connect in new ways. The 8th-grade trips push students to find faith in themselves and their peers, to practice humility and compassion in real-time as they learn to ask for help when they need it and to have the opportunity to celebrate the different skills and backgrounds that each individual has. Students continue to learn about themselves and foster a powerful sense of curiosity as they explore the outside world alongside their lifelong learning companions.