AMERICAN CURRICULUM (20% of the school week)
For many of us--and devoted parents as well--Quatrième marks the start of a whole new creature--the Young Adult! As a result, the Middle School has created a curriculum that takes note of this change, being careful to balance new thoughts, ideas and innovations with constant reminders to our students that now, more than ever, common sense must prevail in all they tackle.
Literature: Four hours per week: Analytical thinking truly comes to the forefront of all that is taught and studied in Quatrième. Students are given ample opportunity to explore a variety of genres and thought-provoking works of literature. The works, many of them pillars of American literature, compel students to question the world around them and to formulate their independent thinking skills. Authors include Sandra Cisneros, Harper Lee, among others. Poetry and creative writing are features of the program. Oral skills are also emphasized, as they have been throughout the Middle School thus far, and students are expected to present substantial reports to their classmates. Vocabulary is taught in the context of the works studied and also with the Wordly Wise workbook series.
Standardized Testing: In the spring, Quatrième students take the CTPIV.
History: Two hours a week: The Quatrième History curriculum was recently redesigned to meet the needs of an increasingly world-savvy and connected student. Built on a comprehensive curriculum of world news and issues, the course uses the weekly press to bring the world into the classroom. Topical, difficult issues are pursued and explored in depth and complete recognition is given to the fact that today’s young people are hungry for news. In addition to the textbook materials, students will also read at least one non-fiction book during the year.
Library and Digital Literacy: Students in Middle School are encouraged to develop a love of reading through regular library visits, book clubs, and reading projects. The librarians also collaborate with teachers to introduce and sharpen research skills to promote the effective use of books and of the Internet. In addition to helping students choose good books to read, the Section’s librarians stress the proper citation of research sources during the Middle School years to foster respect for intellectual property and the avoidance of plagiarism.
Field Trip: The annual class trip visits a news agency such as Bloomberg News, providing students with a real-life experience and close-up look at the exciting world of journalism. Students are given a tour of the agency as well as an opportunity to meet key editors and reporters who kindly speak with our students. Students leave with a deep understanding of the importance of a free press that reports the news. This trip includes both Middle School campuses and is also designed as a community-building event.
Advisory: Several sessions throughout the year: Advisory in Quatrième takes on a whole new approach to its students as its alternate title “Your Body” indicates! Several times per year, students break into groups to discuss with a teacher gender and sexuality issues and concerns about what many of them may be experiencing--but might be too timid or reluctant to discuss with a parent. The topics range from self-esteem, making smart choices and peer pressure.
FRENCH CURRICULUM (80% of the school week):
In Quatrième, students follow the French national curriculum, which means at least four hours per week of both French and math. Students are also required to study another foreign language (Langue Vivante 2) in addition to their bilingual instruction. For more information on the content and skills developed in French during the year, go to the website of the French Ministry of Education: