Grades 5-8

Early adolescence is crucial in a child’s academic, social, and emotional development. Children learn independence and responsibility while still needing support and guidance. Our Middle School offers a caring environment where children can safely grow academically, develop study and organizational skills, and explore their interests.

Middle School faculty craft courses to strengthen organizational skills, study habits, and critical-thinking capabilities unique to early adolescence. Physical education, study support classes, religious studies class, and arts electives augment mathematics, literature, grammar/writing, science, history, and world languages. Our Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) classes and advisories build opportunities for reflection, goal-setting, and character development into the curriculum. 

Middle school students also explore options outside of the set curriculum. Students can choose to participate in band or chorus, join a club like Junior Classical League or Morning Announcements, or pursue leadership opportunities at the school through the Titan Ambassador program or by running for a position on our Student Council.

By the time students complete eighth grade, they are equipped with the skills and mindset they need to find success in high school and beyond. 

Fifth Grade is the first year of middle school at St. Timothy’s School. With scaffolded support, our students begin developing independence as learners. They can choose their arts elective – drama, art, or photography – and they follow a rotating schedule for the first time. 

Academics

Math 

Grade Level Program – Math 5

  •  Students study volume, triangles, quadrilaterals, place value, operations with decimals, operations with whole numbers, operations with fractions,  operations with mixed numbers, simplifying expressions, solving one-step equations, and graphing on the coordinate plane.

Accelerated Program – Math 6

  • Students study areas of parallelograms and rectangles, surface area, ratios, unit rates, percentages, fraction operations, volume of solids, decimal operations, solving equations, exponents, negative numbers, the coordinate plane, and measures of center.

Literature

  • Students study the elements of literature – theme, conflict, characterization – and figurative language through picture books, short stories, and novels, including The Wizard of Oz, Dash, Tales from the Odyssey, and Ghostopolis.

World History I

  • Students study early humans and ancient civilizations, including Egypt, Greece, and Rome.  

General Science

  • Topics include the scientific method and elements of biology, chemistry, and earth science.

Grammar

  • Students study parts of speech, punctuation, and capitalization.  Students will practice writing mentor sentences and responding to writing while citing textual evidence.

Program Highlights

An important piece of the fifth-grade program is Toolbox classes.  These classes help students practice skills that will help them in their middle school studies and beyond. Students take study skills, social and emotional learning (SEL), and research skills.

Fifth-grade students receive a personal Chromebook for the first time and learn appropriate use and other digital citizenship rules in technology class. 

We also enjoy several social opportunities with our fifth-grade students, including a field games activity in the fall, a social activity in the spring, and a spring field trip.

Our sixth-grade program supports students as they develop consistency in their work and add depth to their learning. Striving to strengthen and build on the community established in Lower School and in fifth grade, sixth-grade teachers and students create and reinforce bonds through collaborative work and community-building field trips.

Academics

Math 

Grade Level Program – Math 6

  • Students study areas of parallelograms and rectangles, surface area, ratios, unit rates, percentages, fraction operations, the volume of solids, decimal operations, solving equations, exponents, negative numbers, the coordinate plane, and measures of center.

Accelerated Program – Prealgebra

  • Students study scale drawings, proportions, circles, percentages, integer operations, simplifying expressions, solving equations, solving inequalities, angles and triangles, the volume of prisms, probability, and statistics.  

Literature

Students study conflict, character, dialogue and plot in short stories, shared literature circle novels, and the whole class novel, Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry.

World History II

Students continue their survey of world history, studying the transition from the ancient world to the modern era. 

Life Science

Students study the function and structure of cells, genetics, human anatomy, and food and digestion. 

Grammar

Students study parts of speech, as well as compound and complex sentences. 

Program Highlights

Students take a trimester of Spanish and an introductory semester of Latin for world language exposure. The following year, students will have the opportunity to choose between the languages for seventh and eighth grades.

In addition to their fine arts elective and study support classes, students take a trimester-long enrichment class designed by their core teachers. These classes include STEM, Create, and Community Connections.

Social and emotional learning (SEL) in sixth grade is focused on self-reflective behaviors and the development of positive group dynamics. Sixth-grade students also participate in Religious Studies, a class that focuses on the traditions of Christianity. These two classes are the base for much of the service work undertaken during sixth grade. Both provide an opportunity for students to reflect on projects and build context around their work.

For many students, the highlight of the sixth-grade year is the community-building trip to the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly outside of Asheville. This trip includes many team-building activities to strengthen their bond as a cohort. We enjoy several other social opportunities with our sixth-grade students, including a field games activity in the fall.

Seventh grade is a year of tremendous growth. Students are ready for more independence and responsibility. Teachers look to support their academic and social development amid appropriately raised expectations through the curriculum and school activities.  With eighth grade on the horizon, seventh-grade students begin to focus on their leadership potential and prepare for the final step in their middle school journey.

Academics

Math 

  • Grade Level Program – Prealgebra: Students study scale drawings, proportions, circles, percentages, integer operations, simplifying expressions, solving equations, solving inequalities, angles and triangles, the volume of prisms, probability, and statistics.
  • Accelerated Program – High School Math 1: Students study linear relationships, equations, inequalities, systems of equations, exponents, factoring, polynomials, linear functions, quadratic functions, exponential functions, parallel lines and transversals, and statistics. 

Literature

Students review elements of literature and figurative language in a short story unit before tackling literary themes in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, A Christmas Carol, and A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream.

United States History I

After establishing a baseline timeline of events in American History, students dive deep into the themes of exploration, immigration, federalism, and religious and social reform.  

Earth and Environmental Science

Students study the elements of lab work, including data collection and analysis, lab report writing, and dimensional analysis, before moving on to environmental and earth sciences and astronomy units.  

World Languages

  • High School Latin I (part 1): Seventh-grade Latin is the 1st part of a two-year course of study designed to prepare students for high school Latin. Students will learn about Latin and the Romans through a study of the ancient city of Pompeii and the disaster that preserved it for the modern world. 
  • High School Spanish I (part 1): Seventh-grade Spanish is the 1st part of a two-year course of study designed to prepare students for high school Spanish.  Students can read stories and novels written for language learners and engage in both written and spoken language in the classroom and through online resources.   

Writing

Students practice developing thesis statements and introductions, constructing paragraphs as part of a larger essay, and creating conclusions.  

Program Highlights

In addition to their fine arts elective choice, students take trimester-long enrichment classes designed by their core teachers. These classes include Life Skills, Make, and Debate. 

Seventh grade is an important year for social and emotional learning (SEL). In their SEL classes, students reflect on self-management, interpersonal interactions, and value development.

In the spring, seventh-grade students take a closer look at their home city of Raleigh. Students break into one of four project groups – each designed to improve their connection to and understanding of our local community. Groups have included historical, farm-to-table, service-oriented, and ecological perspectives on North Carolina’s capital city.

Pushing out of early adolescence, eighth-grade students can grapple with weightier subjects, and our curriculum is designed to engage with students’ more nuanced and abstract thinking abilities. As the eldest middle school students, our eighth graders are relied upon to be the school’s leaders. 

Academics

Math 

  • Grade Level Program – High School Math 1: Students study linear relationships, equations, inequalities, systems of equations, exponents, factoring, polynomials, linear functions, quadratic functions, exponential functions, parallel lines and transversals, and statistics.
  • Accelerated Program – High School Math 2: Students study several types of functions (quadratic, absolute value, inverse, radical, and exponential), solve quadratic equations, solve radical equations, solve exponential equations, geometric transformations, triangle congruence, triangle similarity, right triangles, and probability.

Literature

Students further their understanding of literary devices and themes through an extensive review of short stories and poems, including works by Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, and Langston Hughes.  Students read the novels To Kill A Mockingbird, Animal Farm, and Night.   

US History II

Students continue their deep dive into the important themes of American History, exploring civil rights, women’s evolving role in society, economic growth, technology/inventions, and reform. 

Chemical and Physical Science

Students study the major chemistry units, including the phases of matter, atoms, elements, the periodic table, and chemical bonds and reactions. In the physical science units, students study motion, work and energy, and the laws governing forces.

World Languages

  • High School Latin I (part 2): Eighth-grade Latin is the 2nd part of a two-year course of study designed to prepare students for high school Latin. 
  • High School Spanish I (part 2): Eighth-grade Spanish is the 2nd part of a two-year course of study designed to prepare students for high school Spanish. Students will explore Spanish-speaking countries while learning Spanish vocabulary, grammar and culture. Students will have the opportunity to read novels written for language learners as well as engage in both written and spoken language in the classroom and through online resources.  

Program Highlights

In addition to their fine arts elective choice, students take trimester-long enrichment classes designed by their core teachers. These classes include Road Across America, Robotics, and Genius Hour in eighth grade. 

Eighth-grade students continue their social and emotional learning (SEL) in a weekly SEL class. Some conversations focus on value development and decision-making, while others are tied to needs voiced by the students themselves. We also lead our eighth-grade students into conversations about outplacement and high school.

Students also take Seminar, a writing course that culminates in a capstone reflection piece created as students reflect on St. Timothy’s Portrait of a Titan. 

Our eighth-grade students also enjoy a number of dances and other social activities including a trip to Washington DC towards the end of the year.