Curriculum

Curriculum Details

Ursuline Middle School curriculum is designed to help 21st century students develop the skills and mindset to become lifelong learners: the ability to communicate effectively and work cooperatively, competence in critical thinking and problem-solving in academic content areas, development of ethics, ability to analyze one’s own thoughts and actions, empathy for others and the environment, commitment to service to society, development of a global perspective, and a respect for cultural diversity. Our academic program provides a foundation in liberal arts and sciences with courses in humanities, mathematics, science, world language and the arts.

Language Arts

Middle School English Language Arts brings out your inherent skills as a developing scholar, harnessing your unique ability to craft and respond to the written word. Focusing on literature and written expression using a student-centered approach, Middle School English Language Arts tasks you with articulating not only the what but the why behind writing as we study a variety of genres, making text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world connections along the way. Additionally, the curriculum emphasizes vocabulary and grammar instruction within the context of literature and writing, increasing your overall breadth and depth of reading, writing, and speaking skills, which are crucial for academic and real world success.

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Mathematics

Our Middle School Math courses will help you enter the Upper School as an exceptionally confident mathematician. Our Middle School Teachers work to ensure you reach your fullest potential in mathematics and are confident in your mathematical abilities by teaching advanced concepts in a fun and interactive classroom setting. As you develop a strong vocabulary of signs, symbols, and origins in reading, writing, and discussions, our teachers emphasize problem solving, logical thinking, and organizational techniques that can be applied to real world situations.

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Science

Our Middle School Science Program emphasizes science process skills through the study of Life Science, Physical Science, and Earth and Space Science in an exciting, interactive environment. In our Middle School STEM Lab, you perform hands-on experiments while learning scientific processes, running interactive problem solving activities, creating data spreadsheets and graphs on your laptop during experiments, and applying your learning to solving current events in science.  As a seventh grader, you complete and exhibit a science expo project with the support of local community members acting as judges and providing feedback on these projects, which gives you an opportunity to practice your budding public speaking skills.

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Social Studies

Middle School Social Studies explores a variety of topics from ancient civilizations to American history. Sixth grade students are immersed in the ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman cultures while seventh and eighth graders begin their journey by delving into the American colonies and end with an exploration of World War II. You experience history by analyzing and interpreting primary sources and reading historical literature. The Social Studies curriculum culminates with a National History Day research project, requiring you to become a historian as you use both primary and secondary sources, create an annotated bibliography, and write an academic research paper. Along with the study of the past, our teachers emphasize current events through the use of various sources. You emerge from the Middle School with an understanding of the past, as well as knowledge of the present, empowered to make history through acts of positive change and service.

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Theology

Through study of the Old and New Testaments, the Church, and the saints, our Middle School Theology Program examines the meaning of faith and its importance to you. Class retreats combine prayer and reflection with relevant themes presented which gives you an opportunity to explore your spirituality more deeply. In addition to our in-depth Bible and Church study, our curriculum includes a spiritual study of Human Sexuality, based on the Middle School edition of Pope John Paul II’s program Theology of the Body, emphasizing self-respect and the consideration of God in decision-making.

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World Language

Our Middle School World Language curriculum focuses on increasing proficiency in Spanish by providing an appropriate balance of oral, written and aural proficiency through multi-modal instruction via texts, classroom practice, and cultural immersion.  You will become a confident and fluent Spanish speaker while learning about the origins of language in all romance languages through the Language Derivatives module in 6th grade.

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Visual & Performing Arts

Our Middle School Arts Program gives you the opportunity to explore and master your interest in and talent for music, drama, and visual arts. By offering you an outlet to demonstrate your musical abilities in our choral ensembles and instrumental band, our music program exposes you to topics ranging from reading and listening to music, to learning about historical periods within the music tradition. Our Program fosters a deeper appreciation of music and its importance in other academic disciplines.

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Wellness

Our Middle School Wellness Program encompasses both health and physical education focusing on your overall state of wellbeing and how the mind and body are interconnected. In health class, you learn how anatomical systems work together and how nutrition and fitness contribute to your health, providing you with valuable information for lifelong health and wellness. Your physical education classes support lessons from the health curriculum and include both individual and team sport skill development, including an introduction to our weight training facility and proper techniques for reducing sports-related injuries.

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