AMERICAN CURRICULUM (20% of the school week)
Seventh Grade represents a modest step up from the already significant demands made of Sixth Graders. By now, students have settled in and are ready to assume greater challenges and explore more complex issues. For many, Cinquième is the final grade before students become young adults and the curricula have been created with this fact in mind.
Literature: Four hours per week: Cinquième Literature resumes where Sixième left off, providing students with opportunities to continue their exploration of genres of American literature and different types of written assignments. Creative writing projects are one way for students to express themselves in English. Additionally, students are expected to start to develop their critical thinking skills, most especially through guided analyses of the literature works assigned. The works, which provide a blend of classic and contemporary works of fiction, are thought provoking and specially selected for this age group. Authors include Lois Lowry, Art Spiegelman, John Steinbeck, Billy Collins, and Sherman Alexie. Students will also read their first work of Shakespeare in its entirety. Vocabulary is taught in the context of the works studied and also with weekly work in the Wordly Wise workbook series.
Standardized Testing: In the spring, Cinquième students take the CTPIV.
History: Two hours per week: This is the final year during which students will study American History in the Middle School. The time span is the role of immigration in shaping America’s future to public policy reforms, ending with Civil Rights. One of the topics studied in-depth is one that has resonance to all of our students--America’s position as a land of opportunity to immigrants. This unit, during which research skills are developed, provides our students with the chance to role-play, and present their work to a wide audience of parents, invited to interview the “immigrants” and hear their life stories. In addition to the textbook materials, students will also read at least one non-fiction book during the year--The Diary of Anne Frank.
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 to find good books to read, the Section’s librarians stress the proper citation of research sources during the Middle School years to foster a respect for intellectual property and the avoidance of plagiarism.
Field Trip: With the increased focus in Cinquième on complex issues such as racism and conflict, the Section offers a special overnight trip to all Cinquième students. Entitled, “Tolerance and Diversity” the three-day trip affords students the opportunity to explore a city renowned for its tolerance of political refugees throughout the centuries, Amsterdam. Among the many sites explored, including artistic and cultural venues, the visit to the Anne Frank House forms the foundation to the entire trip. This trip includes both Middle School campuses and is also designed as a community-building event.
FRENCH CURRICULUM (80 percent of the school week)
In Cinquième, students follow the French national curriculum which means at least four hours per week of both French and math. Students may also opt to take Latin. For more information on the content and skills developed in French during the year, go to the website of the French Ministry of Education: