A Word from the Middle-School Principal

Throughout the students’ time in Middle School, one of our main objectives is to not only stretch their minds through a challenging curriculum and critical thinking skills essential to future success, but also to inculcate important values such as mindfulness, tolerance, and inclusiveness. 

The American Section also prides itself on focusing on the whole child, be it in Lower, Middle, or Upper School. However, in Middle School, the onset of adolescence coupled with the increasing academic demands, make it especially important to have an approach that encompasses all aspects of learning at this age. From 6th (Sixième) to 9th (Troisième) grade, American Section Faculty and Staff on both of our Middle School campuses, accompany students through what can be a very tumultuous and confusing period. As teens, they are dealing with the intricacies of their social network, coming of age, and the emotions and navigational difficulties that go along with that. As students, they deserve to learn, and to be set up to thrive in an environment that promotes critical thinking and community. It is our privilege to come alongside them and help them grow from eager 6th graders, to leaving as citizens of the world in 9th grade.

Within the confines of the program, including the requirements of the Education Nationale, our approaches recognize and foster an internationalist worldview and culturally and historically responsive pedagogy. In ENH, we investigate the formative historical role of various regions of the globe, give a broad, thematic review of US history through the 1940s, and focus on international perspectives and relations through the exploration of the major events of the 20th century. In ENL, students study an array of anglophone literature, including poetry and short stories, in addition to building upon and mastering written expression and vocabulary. We offer an age-appropriate curriculum to our students, which includes the skills necessary to successfully prepare the BFI. At every level, an emphasis on promoting diversity and differing points of view is threaded through to enhance the curriculum, in addition to creative projects specifically designed to bring out the best in each of our students.  

To maximize the value of our entire Middle School program, students must learn how to both find and analyze information on any given topic. Modern record-keeping, communication and collaboration, information, analysis, scholarship, and presentation exist nowadays almost entirely in the digital realm, and students should know how to access and use them. Furthermore, students should know how to work, collaborate and present information digitally. The American Section nurtures not only the research process, but all the aforementioned skills by providing classroom sets of the latest technological devices and enriching, regularly updated library collections.

Finally, in order to provide students with as richly varied a school experience as possible, the Middle School holds American-style social events throughout the year and hosts a variety of extracurricular activities. Among the many offerings are theater, student council, yearbook, chess, and book club. For motivated older Middle School students, there are also the Human Rights Team and Model United Nations. Students may also participate in after-school activities offered by their school campus. American Section students also benefit from numerous field trips throughout their Middle School years, which deepen their knowledge of many curricular topics, and pique their interest in others. 

The American Section Middle School prides itself on its position as the keystone in the overall “arc” of our students’ education.

Mary Diard
Middle School Principal