AMERICAN CURRICULUM (20% of the school week)
Sixième is the “threshold” grade and we recognize that moving up into Middle School represents momentous change for our students. To help students make the adjustment, we offer a curriculum that draws upon the skills learned in the Fifth Grade, as well as slowly building on new ways to learn that will help them as they advance through the years.
Literature: Four hours per week: Students explore literary genres during this critical year, through the study of American novels, poems and plays. Students are introduced to authors of different styles such as John Steinbeck, Gennifer Choldenko, Linda Pastan, and Mildred Taylor, combining contemporary fiction with the classics--works read in any high-achieving native American English classroom. Class discussion, projects, written assignments are all designed to help students grasp essential elements of works of literature--and to develop their writing. Creative writing is emphasized this year. Oral presentation is also stressed, to provide students with the skills--and confidence--to address a group in English. Vocabulary is taught in the context of the works read and also with the Wordly Wise workbook series.
Standardized Testing: In the spring, Sixième students take the CTP4.
History: Two hours per week: Students continue the study of early American History from the founding Fathers to the Civil War and Reconstruction. Writing, speaking and some critical skills are developed and students end the year with a solid grasp of the basics of America’s pre-twentieth century history. 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 a respect for intellectual property and the avoidance of plagiarism.
Class Field Trip: We may be located a half-hour away from Paris, yet many of our students rarely make it into France’s capital city! That is why our annual class trip is entitled “Paris at My Doorstep”--to provide an opportunity to our students to have fun experiencing the City of Lights with teachers and classmates. This trip includes both Middle School campuses and is also designed as a community-building event.
Advisory: Several hours throughout the year: We feel that the adjustment to Sixth Grade and the rigors and fresh challenges of Middle School require an extra bit of guidance to our students--no matter how confident they may appear to be. The Sixième Advisory program has been designed to provide just that. Students are assigned a faculty advisor with whom they meet during specific appointments throughout the year. The objective is to discuss academics--however, we recognize that for many students, these meetings provide an opportunity for some helpful advice from a respected adult as well. With our Advisory program, we also aim to reinforce the message that we are always there for our students.
FRENCH CURRICULUM (80% of the school week)
In Sixième, 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 a foreign language (Langue Vivante 1) in addition to their bilingual instruction—either Spanish or German. For more information on the content and skills developed in French during the year, go to the website of the French Ministry of Education: