The eighth grade is clearly a pivotal year in your child’s life- the culmination of childhood, and the springboard into high school and young adulthood. Their sharpened observational skills and growing critical faculties open possibilities for new ideas and perceptive questioning. With growing independence and reasoning they strive to balance a tender emotional inner life. The eighth grader develops a sense for their emerging individuality in a world where the human experience is increasingly interconnected.
We challenge our students to consider modern political and scientific history. We put an emphasis on the biographies, experience and courage of influential individuals in a rapidly changing world, and we use it as a platform for students to consider the ways they’d like to contribute to society. History lessons focus on Revolutions (French, American and Industrial), mirroring the turmoil and yearning for independence students are experiencing at this point in adolescence.
Throughout the year, eighth-graders are recognized as responsible and active citizens of our school community, serving as first grade buddies and volunteering within the school.
Highlights of the year include
A highlight of the year is the eight-grade project, where students propose a subject for exploration, source and work with an independent mentor, and present the results to the school community. Students are given a clearly defined process to conduct research and present it in correct academic form. They also make an oral presentation, and answer questions posed by classmates, teachers and parents.
The 8th grade play is an important milestone in the drama program, the culminating act of years of working together on performances, recitations and oral presentations. The script, often written by a well-known playwright, challenges the students in their speech, acting and teamwork. Students support the work to prepare sets, props, costumes, make up, lights and backstage and house management. The resulting production is enjoyed by other students, teachers, parents and community members. Through their work on the play, students gain confidence and finesse in their memorization and public presentation skills.
The Grade 8 class trip is a key event, often involving a wilderness experience supported by guides. This active outdoor adventure builds self-confidence, independence and social bonding in a structured, supervised setting.
Your eighth grader will learn
Language Arts: Short story writing, composition, grammar, speech and drama
Mathematics: Algebra I, geometry
Science: Physics, chemistry, meteorology and human fertility
History: Industrial revolution, American history
Geography: Global geography
French and German: Each student compiles a portfolio that showcases their understanding of grammar, phonetics, vocabulary and culture
Physical Education: Circus arts including juggling, balance skills, acrobatics, gymnastics and team sports such as volleyball, soccer and basketball.
Handwork: Machine quilting
Music: Recorder, singing and string