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Middle School Curriculum and Programs

5th - 8th Grades

Throughout the middle school years, students continue to progress in their physical, social, and cognitive development.  As teachers provide opportunities and explicit instruction, students learn to deepen their critical thinking skills in the classroom through the study of rich literature and cultural experiences, investigation and inquiry, Socratic dialogue, civil discourse, and analysis of information.  Students grow in their understanding of taking ownership of their learning.  They are taught to take responsibility for their learning as they develop study and research skills, as well as poise, confidence, presentation and leadership skills.  Opportunities for in school and out of school learning also enhance the student experience.  

Our Middle School curriculum and programs includes the following:

Middle school students read selections from classic literature intended to increase their vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension skills. Discussion and written responses, which analyze deeper issues, develop critical thinking.  Literature is examined from a Christian perspective focused on the cultivation and demonstration of behavior that reflects excellence of character.  Students develop their writing skills by drafting, revising, and redrafting. They learn to articulate their thoughts through increasingly well-phrased, grammatically correct writing.  Vocabulary and grammar skills build upon each other in complexity as students’ progress through middle school.

The KnowAtom curriculum, aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards is utilized in middles school.  Middle school science students discover more about the natural world, biology, physics, engineering, and the human body.  Middle school science is full of hands-on discovery, experiments, field trips and on-campus field work.  Scientific challenges are combined with self-discovery, purposely directing the students toward a deeper trust in our Creator/Savior.  Throughout the year, students have significant experience in an inquiry-based classroom and have exposure to professional scientists as resources.  A significant and unique aspect of the scientific studies together are regular and year-round use of our outdoor campus.  Students will survey, monitor, study, measure, draw and identify the biological and physical characteristics of our campus, fields, forests and wetlands.

Math at North Shore places an important emphasis on active involvement, collaboration, and problem-solving.  The standards-based curricula include the evaluation and simplification of polynomials, solving of algebraic equations, inequalities, radicals, and coordinate geometry.  Algebra I is available to students beginning in 8th grade.  Students will often hear it said “math is everywhere,” and it is a goal for students to expand their understanding of mathematics beyond the classroom and recognize God has put order and patterns throughout His creation.

Middle school social studies focus on three unique aspects of our world and cultures and how Christians can strive to think, speak and act wisely in the world.  Our study of World Geography and Cultures – particularly emphasizes the historic struggle for peace that stretches around the globe and across time.  In U.S. History, special emphasis is placed on decision making skills, analyzing and responding to primary sources and current events.  In our study of Ancient History, significance is placed upon how Biblical texts connect with the study of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome.

NSCS is excited to be using Somos as our Spanish curriculum.  Somos is a Proficiency-oriented, Comprehension-based curriculum, which means that students are acquiring Spanish in much the same way they learned their first language: by hearing it and understanding it.  Through stories, songs, films, art, legends, and history, students will listen, read, write, and speak in Spanish.  Because the Spanish language is inextricably linked to its speakers and their cultures, Somos teaches language and culture simultaneously, allowing Spanish students the opportunity to develop cultural understanding at a depth rarely achieved in beginning language courses.

Throughout the middle school years, students continue to progress in their spiritual, physical, social/emotional, and cognitive development.  As teachers provide relevant opportunities both implicitly and explicitly through exposure of varied topics, civil discourses and Socratic dialogues, students learn to deepen their critical thinking skills.   

In the classroom through the study of rich literature, cultural experiences, investigation, inquiry, and the analysis of information students grow in their understanding of taking ownership of their learning. Additionally, students are taught to perform meaningful and accurate research, with the opportunity to communicate to a broader audience their findings, be it classmates, parents, or outside guests.  Instructors provide students with the needed skills to gain proficiency in this area and NSCS students grow to become, well-poised, confident, and articulate in their verbal and written expressions.  

Opportunities out of school, serves to enhance the Middle School student experience and expand learning in an authentic way.  An annual trip to Washington D.C. brings to life not only American history that has been studied, but also the vastness of God’s creation, and the depth of cultural global exposure, as opportunity is provided for students to visit several museums and monuments. Such as, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, National Museum of American History, National Gallery of Art, and the National Mall, to name a few.

Additionally, Middle School students learn an appreciation for community and trust building through two annual trips to the La Vida Center of Outdoor Education and Leadership, at Gordon College.  

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