Middle School Program (Grades 6-8)
The early adolescent years are a crucial time in your child’s development. This age group craves challenging academics, connections to the world beyond home and school, and relationships with adults they can look up to.
Waldorf School at Moraine Farm offers a rigorous and well rounded middle school curriculum, along with opportunities for self-directed exploration. Our teachers have the flexibility to investigate subject matter above and beyond the norm — whether physics, algebra, Shakespeare or the Industrial Revolution. Art, music, physical activity and movement, which all help young people to stay active and engaged, remain integrated within main lesson blocks. All of this prepares students, both intellectually and emotionally, for the challenges of high school, college and beyond.
Please scroll to view our middle school curriculum for each grade below.
".... a Waldorf graduate are different from the others. Without exception they are, at the same time, caring people, creative students, individuals with indefinable values, and students who when they speak make a difference.”- Dr. Warren B. Eickelberg, Professor of Biology and Director of Premedical Curriculum, Adelphi University
Middle School Curriculum Overview
The sixth grade curriculum covers a range of ideas and builds capacities in multiple areas. Having developed strong writing skills in earlier years, sixth graders focus on longer forms, such as essay writing. Science lesson blocks cover earth science — complete with a caving adventure — astronomy and physics. Math blocks focus on business math, pre-algebra and geometry.
History lesson blocks are fascinating and sweeping. We learn about the Roman Empire and medieval history and delve into the cultural developments that took place during these periods. We also build on the concepts introduced the previous year with physical and economic geography.
In the seventh grade, history lessons cover the the Renaissance, Reformation and Age of Discovery. Lessons are layered with science blocks in biology — human physiology and health — physics and chemistry, all of which have interesting links back to the time periods covered in history blocks. Cultural geography is covered, and math lessons include algebra and geometry. Throughout the year, students also pursue their studies in art, music and writing. Creative writing is a major focus this year, along with essay writing and grammar.
The seventh grade is also a year of expanding horizons. We plan an adventure with the eighth grade that builds leadership skills, self-reliance and teamwork. Past trips have included white water rafting or a high ropes course. Seventh grade students may also take a trip to New York City to experience a theater production, and visit the Museum of Fine Arts and the Gardner Museum in Boston, MA.
The eighth grade marks the final year in a student’s journey through the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm. What began as a curriculum steeped in fairy tales and legends, now moves to the lessons of the French Revolution, the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement and other watershed moments from 1600 to the present day.
Math lesson blocks covering algebra and geometry, and science blocks continuing work in physics, chemistry and biology all help to prepare our students for high school. Many students enter into honors-level classes in their new school the following year. Strong writing skills have been emphasized throughout their time at Waldorf School at Moraine Farm. The students write formal research papers and continue developing their expository and creative writing skills.
The eighth grade culminates with trips to local historical sites, cultural events and often a visit to another region in the country. Eighth graders also design and carry out an intensive year-long independent project and present their work at an all-school community assembly in the spring.
Cyber Civics for the Middle School
“CyberCivics” a curriculum for middle school on “digital citizenship” and “digital literacy.”
The curriculum is divided into three years, for sixth grade (“Digital Citizenship”), seventh grade (“Information Literacy”), and eighth grade (“Media Literacy for Positive Participation”). Topics include a basic understanding of digital technology, online privacy and safety, digital drama and cyberbullying, sexting, Internet research, stereotypes in media, what’s “news,” and more. At the heart of the curriculum are the social, behavioral, and critical thinking skills that young people need to use technology with integrity, safety, and self-awareness.
The curriculum is now being used by schools throughout the U.S. (and internationally)—Waldorf schools, public schools, Catholic schools, and private schools of all types.
Cyber Civics was recently honored with the 2017 Media Literacy Teacher Award from the National Association of Media Literacy Education.