Middle school classes are taught by certified teachers who have expertise in the subject they teach. The core curriculum includes language arts, mathematics, science, social studies and physical education. Students may earn high school credits in either Spanish or French as well as Algebra I and Geometry. All middle school students are issued an iPad for use in the classroom and home, and they have access to a technology lab. Four nine-week courses in art, technology, drama, fencing and foreign language all taught by specialists in their field enrich the lives of this age group. Extracurricular experiences including MathCounts, Student Government, Yearbook, musicals, Eagle Singers, and athletic teams in basketball, tennis, Jets football, golf, and fencing round out a comprehensive learning experience.
Southfield Middle School Curriculum & Enrichment Classes
The Language Arts program in the middle school is predicated on the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. The love of reading is encouraged in numerous ways, including literature circles, exposure to varying genres, and Reading Workshop activities. All children practice writing in various forms through journaling and creative and expository essays. Language Arts classes for fifth and sixth-grade students are double blocked to allow maximum development of essential skills. Seventh and eighth-grade students participate in a nine-week novel study in addition to their regular English classes.
The mathematics departments at Southfield believes in building a grounded, comprehensive mathematical framework that allows students to train the mind to think logically and critically. Southfield’s mathematics program emphasizes problem-solving and develops critical thinking through the frequent practice of basic skills and understanding and communicating mathematical thinking and strategies. A range of courses is offered to meet the needs of all students. Gifted math students can begin to accelerate their mathematics as early as sixth grade through Accelerated Curricular Experience (ACE) where ACE students may earn Algebra I and Geometry high school credits. Most students have the opportunity to gain high school credit in Algebra I in the eighth grade. Southfield’s middle school math program ensures students are learning and absorbing the critical information they need to succeed in both high school and college mathematics.
The Social Studies program encourages research and critical thinking skills in cultural, historical and geographical contexts. Students learn not only the facts, vocabulary and circumstances of these areas, but they are also expected to apply their knowledge to increasingly complex and interconnected local, national and international events. All students apply their knowledge when participating in the biannual Social Studies Fair.
The intelligent use and appreciation of modern technology have always been a top priority at Southfield School. Fifth and sixth-grade students take a nine-week course in technology. They learn advanced processing skills as well as video production. Technology is integrated into all middle school classes. All middle school students utilize individual iPads in and out of the classrooms.
Foreign Language (French & Spanish)
Students studying French use the Accelerated Integrative Method of Language Learning found in the Histoires en Action curriculum, which encourages students to speak exclusively in French. Classroom vocabulary is learned at the start of the course, and then students speak exclusively in French. There is daily oral and written interaction with the instructor as well as semester plays performed in French. Students have the opportunity to gain a high school credit in French I.
Beginning in fifth grade, students have the option to take Spanish. Students develop oral comprehension and written expression. By the end of eighth grade, reading and writing skills in Spanish are expanded to such a level that students are prepared for high school Spanish. Students have the opportunity to gain a high school credit in Spanish I.
The six goals for middle school Science program are to gain informational literacy, to promote inquiry, to understand the characteristics and interrelationships of matter and energy in the physical world, to understand characteristics, life cycles and interrelationships of organisms, to gain a better understanding of the natural environment and the value of environmental quality and to understand the materials, structure, history and cycles of the earth and its processes. All students use the scientific research method to complete biannual Science Fair projects.
Building on the core physical skills learned at the elementary level; students expand and enhance their abilities through instruction in games such as flag football, kickball, volleyball, and basketball. Students learn responsibility for safety and good sportsmanship in all sports and games in which they participate. The skills gained by students at this level build the foundation for their participation in organized sports and assist them in developing a lifelong desire for physical fitness in their daily lives.
Eagle Singers (choir), private Suzuki strings, and piano lessons are available to all middle school students. Seventh and eighth-grade students may also try out for the annual middle school musical. Fifth graders also attend music class once weekly.
Students follow the principles of design and elements of art. They use the proper terminology and are introduced to media utilizing drawing, painting, printmaking and three-dimensional artwork.
Using a wide variety of creative dramatic exercises, select group and solo performance opportunities, periodic written class work, quizzes and projects, the students gain a strong overview of the core competencies necessary to produce theatrical works.
Students are assigned to an advisor and attend weekly advisory meetings to discuss issues related to the life and experiences in middle school.
Extra Curricular Activities
In the middle school division, students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities such as MathCounts, fencing, robotics, yearbook staff, Student Council cheerleading, and organized sports.