Middle School Academics

It is my pleasure to welcome you to FASNY’s Middle School, grades 6 through 8.

I work closely with the Middle School Dean, Mr. Gilbert Ekotto, the School Counselor, Ms. Anita Giordano, the “professeur principal” for each class, and a team of caring, experienced teachers to create a learning environment that serves the needs of the whole child.


Helaine Couty,
Middle School Head

The curriculum in the Middle School is thoroughly bilingual: students have as much classroom time in English as in French. The course of study meets the official criteria of French National Education and compares favorably with best practices at pre-eminent American independent schools throughout metropolitan New York.


Complementing the highly demanding yet rich academic bilingual curriculum, are life and study skills classes where the students “learn how to learn” (time management, goal setting, test and note taking strategies, learning style awareness etc.) and also learn how to communicate effectively, solve conflicts, and be positive, contributing members of a school community.


FASNY students are encouraged to participate actively in the school clubs and sports teams, and an active student government organizes picnics, game nights, ski trips and dances to further enrich the school experience.



The move to Middle School is an important milestone in your child’s schooling. This is a time of increased independence and increased responsibility. As the children navigate the personal and academic challenges of the middle school years, they will find a team of dedicated teachers, administrators and support staff to guide them as they learn to master not only the academic rigors of these grades, but also the social and emotional demands of the preteen years.

Curriculum

6th Grade

Art

The sixth grade art curriculum applies the principles of art to the exploration of the spherical form. Students are instructed in the use of a variety of materials such as pastels, pencils, paints, and clay as they develop their ability to capture a rounded 3-dimensional likeness. Some projects are completed from observation, while others call for students to draw from their own imagination. Students are provided with the fundamentals of color theory that they will continue to build upon and apply in the coming years. This course is taught in English.

Biology

The sixth grade science program follows the French curriculum while being taught in English. The students, therefore, experience the French inductive style of introducing content combined with the American constructivist approach to student-oriented learning. The program focuses on animal life and animal interaction with the environment. Students first learn about the scientific method and its application and later use it in exploring topics, including animal behavior, interactions of life (ecosystems, populations, and communities), the nonliving environment, conserving resources, plants (seed and seedless plants), plant reproduction and development, nutrition, classification, and cells. In order to develop critical thinking skills, an inquiry-based approach is used in the experimental part of the course.Consequently, students develop a solid understanding for topics with the ability to apply it to new situations. Students develop safe and effective laboratory skills. This course is offered to students in regular English classes and may be offered to students in Intermediate English classes as well.

Students in ESL (English as a Second Language) classes follow the same course taught in French.

Chorale

This introductory chorale is open to young singers who show a marked interest in participating in a vocal ensemble. Emphasis is placed on developing proper vocal technique, tonal production, sight-singing skills, and musical terminology. Students learn age-appropriate choral literature representing various styles and cultures. Students may elect to take Chorale or General Music. This course is taught in English.

Technology

This hands-on course puts students in charge of implementing acquired know- how to complete concrete projects. Students’ activities are geared towards the creation of a real, technical object such as a battery-powered alarm assembled from previously studied components. This course is taught in French.

English 6 Native Level

Using short stories, students are introduced to the basic concepts of literature. Students work to develop skills in higher-level thinking, reading, writing and listening. The theme of the course is mythology in literature. To this end, students study world myths and read a prose translation of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. The year concludes with Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” There is intensive grammar work based on the texts, Rules of the Game, 2 and 3 as well as vocabulary study using Wordly Wise 3000, Book 7. This English course is taught at a native speakers’ level.

English 6 for Non-native speakers (Intermediate Level)

This course begins with an introduction to the literary elements of a short story. These literary elements are then revisited with readings which are similar to regular English course study: The Children’s Homer and “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” In addition, there is a close reading of A Fair Wind for Troy. There is also grammar work using the text, Rules of the Game 1 and various supplements. Vocabulary study is based on Wordly Wise 3000, Book 6. This course also focuses on strengthening the foundations of writing skills. Students work on developing clear and precisely written paragraphs on a variety of topics. This course is taught in English.

English 6 ESL (English as a Second Language)

The goal of the ESL Program is to facilitate the development of proficiency in the English language. Students in an ESL class are taught basic communications skills in addition to developing reading comprehension, composition writing, pronunciation of words, and building vocabulary and word usage. Strategies for teaching low-beginning students differ from those of high-beginning students who have had prior exposure to the English language. Supplementary handouts are used throughout. Texts used in Beginning ESL include Side by Side Book and Workbook and Word by Word Picture Dictionary. Students in High ESL use English Yes!, Surprises, Composition Practice, More Grammar Practice, and Vocabulary In Use Intermediate. Other textbooks used are Basic Vocabulary, A Year in the Life an ESL Student: Idioms and Vocabulary you can’t live Without, Compositions and Grammar 1, Side by Side 1&2. Short Stories studied include The Whipping Boy, Stone Fox, Frindle, Dear Mr. Henshaw, and poetry by Shel Silverstein, Robert Frost, and other American Poets. This course is taught in English.

French

6th grade is the Third and last year of cycle 3 in the French teaching system. Student develop a deeper analysis of texts . This French class is articulated around the following themes:
1- Monster, what makes us human?
2- Adventure
3- Creation stories, poetic creation
4- Opposition to stronger than thyself: stratagems, lies and masks
Students read classics of the French literature as well as books for young people. They reinforce their oral and written linguistic skills.
This French course is taught at a native level.

History and Geography

This course focuses mostly on the ancient world. Students study Mesopotamia, Egypt, the people of the Bible, Greece, Rome, and the origin of Christianity. They also study the Christian Empires at the beginning of the Middle Ages as well as an ancient civilization from the Asian continent (the Han dynasty in China or the Gupta dynasty in India). The geography portion of the course introduces students to world demography as well as human settlements (urban settlements, rural settlements, life near the seaside, or life in areas with natural constraints). A number of documents, including texts and photographs are used for their historical and literary value. Emphasis is also placed on writing, both individual and assisted. This course is taught in French.

Life Skills

The life skills class is organized as one more level of support for the students as they make the move from elementary school to middle school. During this course, students learn how to communicate effectively, recognize and manage their feelings, and make decisions. They learn how to formulate goals, and how to manage themselves, their time, and their activities. Students acquire skills that allow them to apply their academic skills more effectively.

Mathematics

This course has three objectives: to reinforce the knowledge acquired in elementary school, to prepare students to use specific mathematical methods and ways of thinking, and to develop the ability to use mathematics as a tool in everyday life and in other disciplines.

Topics covered include: the fundamental operations; fractions, ratios, proportionality, and percentages; reading and representation of data through charts and graphs. In geometry: lines, line segments, angles, circles, and triangles; bisecting line of an angle; mediator of a segment; axial symmetry; quadrilaterals; cubes and rectangular solids; the metric system in the computation of perimeters, areas, volumes, and time. This course is taught in French.

American Math

This course is designed as a complement to the French Math curriculum, ensuring that students acquire math skills on par with the set of skills developed in the US public school system. Our units of studies include: number properties, variable expressions, negative numbers, customary units of measure, fractions and mixed numbers, ratios, proportions and percent, and statistics and probabilities. This course is taught in English.

Music

Students are introduced to the Fundamental Elements of Music: rhythm, pitch, form, tone, solfege, and musical expression. They are encouraged to develop a sense of independent musicianship through their studies. These concepts are taught using Kodaly’s techniques for sight-singing and World Music drumming methods. Students may elect to take Chorale or General Music. This course is taught in English.

Physical Education

Students are introduced to a variety of individual and team sports to encourage a lifetime of physical activity. Students are provided a safe learning environment in which they learn to compete fairly and accept winning and losing as a part of physical activity. Sports may include, but are not limited to, American football, field hockey, volleyball, basketball, pickle- ball, golf, softball, and baseball. This course is taught in English.

Social Studies

This course is the first half of a two- year course on world cultures. From the start, students are taught the basic themes of geography. Once students have a working knowledge of the themes, they move to the study of early African civilizations. The next phase of the course focuses on the cultures of South Asia, including India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, followed by the cultures of Southeast Asia. If time permits, students begin a study of Australia and Oceania. Throughout the course, students are introduced to basic note-taking skills as well as their writing and research skills. Additional written work, based on outside research, is expected of the students as these skills develop. This course is taught in English and is for students in regular and Intermediate English.

Social Studies ESL

Students focus on the five themes of geography, population, cultures, and earth’s natural resources. They also learn about American culture and holidays. They begin with the five themes of geography followed by African Civilization.The second half of the year focuses on the study of the United States as well as Canada. Time permitting the students are introduced to Mexico and Central America. Texts used in this course include World Explorer Tools and Concepts and All About the Place, Africa, The United States (all books from the same series as geographer tools). This course is taught in English.

7th Grade

Art

The seventh grade art curriculum builds upon elements of art covered in the sixth grade art course, reinforcing skills such as shading, use of color, and 3-dimensional form making. Drawings from life require students to examine cylinders and ellipses. Students learn basics of perspective and atmospheric perspective. A range of techniques are demonstrated and implemented using familiar and new materials, such as pencils, pens, and watercolor paints. Abstraction of form is introduced toward the end of the school year. This course is taught in English and is mandatory for all seventh graders.

Art Option (elective)

This course builds upon skills taught in the required art curriculum while allowing students greater creative freedom than in the required art classes. Projects often draw inspiration from diverse cultures and artists, exposing students to a diverse range of creative expression. Projects range from mask- making to designing shoes, but all, whether in form-making, patterning, color theory, or abstraction, reinforce the core required art curriculum of that grade. This course is taught in English.

Biology and Earth Science

The seventh grade science program follows the French curriculum, though it is taught in English. The students, therefore, experience the French inductive style of introducing content, combined with the American constructivist approach to student-oriented learning. The first part of this course explores the human body, its physiology, as well as environmental factors that affect it. In light of the scientific method, students explore topics, such as cell processes, muscular activity,, nutrients and digestion, circulatory system, and,respiratory system., The second part of this course explores plant biology and Earth science, emphasizing the Earth in the Solar System, Earth’s motion, and weather and climate.

This course is offered to students in Regular English classes and may be offered to students in Intermediate English classes as well. Students in ESL classes follow the same course taught in French.

Chorale

This introductory chorale is open to young singers who show a marked interest in participating in a vocal ensemble. Emphasis is placed on developing proper vocal technique, tonal production, sight-singing skills, and musical terminology. Students learn age-appropriate choral literature representing various styles and cultures. Students may elect to take Chorale or General Music. This course is taught in English.


English 7 Native Level

The theme for this course is “coming of age” stories. We begin with the historic fiction novel, The Ruby in the Smoke and selected short stories. Then, the class reads Steinbeck’s The Red Pony, studies the marks of the hero in King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and examines the process of "growing up" in Dickens’s Great Expectations. A novel and a play follow: Zusak’s The Book Thief and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Wordly Wise 3000, level 8 is our vocabulary workbook, Warriner's Elements of Writing is our grammar text. This English course is taught at a native level.

English 7 for Non-native Speakers (H-Intermediate)

This is a flexible class because its goal is twofold: to act as a transition for students recently in ESL and to serve as a bridge to prepare them for regular English as soon as possible. The curriculum begins with direct vocabulary instruction as provided through their Wordly Wise Book 3000 Book 7 which focuses on improving students’ vocabulary by furthering their understanding of new words and concepts. It also promotes reading comprehension especially through readings of short stories, introducing literary terms, by giving the students the basic literary vocabulary of these genres and teaching them the skills of reading and writing about literature critically. The course also includes grammar, vocabulary building and readings through Scott Foresman’s Language, Supplementary handouts, Azar’s Understanding and Using English Grammar, and Wordly Wise 3000 Book 6, Gary Soto’s short stories, The Giver, Great Expectations (Dicken’s abridged text), Good Night Sweet Masters, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Romeo and Juliet and the poetry of Naomi Shihab Nye. This course is taught in English.

English 7 for Non-native Speakers (L intermediate)

Similar to English H-Intermediate, this is a flexible class, catering to the needs of a range of students who are transitioning out of ESL or those who have had a foundational level of English instruction in their home country. From the start, the focus is to strengthen and enrich vocabulary, on both an everyday- and a literary- level. While the ultimate goal for this class is to prepare students for regular English, the focus for the first half of the school year is to strengthen English expression through intensive grammar practice and a variety of written assignments. Reading material for this class varies according to students’ needs, but aims to parallel the works read in the English Intermediate and native-level classes, with an emphasis on reading comprehension. Novels such as The Giver, by Lois Lowry and Caddie Woodlawn, by Carol Ryrie Brink, and short stories by O. Henry and Langston Hughes are among some of the works used in the past. The course also includes Wordly Wise and Azar’s Understanding and Using Grammar, as well as supplementary poems and handouts. This course is taught in English.

English 7 ESL (English as a Second Language)

The main goal of the ESL Program is to facilitate the development of proficiency in the English language. Students are taught basic communications skills, in addition to developing reading comprehension, composition writing, pronunciation of words, and building upon vocabulary and word usage. Strategies for teaching low-beginning students differ from those of high-beginning students who have had prior exposure to the English language. Supplementary handouts are used throughout the year. Texts used in the course include Side by Side, Easy True Stories, and Azar’s Basic English Grammar. Depending on the level of the class, one or two shorter novels are read, in addition to various articles and short stories. This course is taught in English.

French

7th grade French course is the 1st year of cycle 4 in the French teaching program. Teaching plays a major role in academic success by refining reading and writing skills that students will use throughout their academic life and throughout their career and by developing their literary and artistic knowledge. This course represents an important building block toward the construction the independent and critical thinking that will be required for High School.The course is articulated around the following themes:
1- Knowing Yourself
2- Being an Active Member of Society
3- Developing a Creative Outlook
4- Changing the World
These themes allow for literary texts to be presented as a window onto our surrounding world and as a beginning of answers to a broader questioning . These texts also illustrate the purely linguistic challenges of literature.
This French course is taught at a native level.

Spanish I

Students of grade 7 will have the opportunity to start the Spanish program in accordance with the guidelines of the French Ministry of Education. The class meets two hours a week.

The students will be exposed to the Spanish language with activities in which they will speak and converse with classmates, listen to oral documents, and read and write short writing samples. In conjunction with these skills, the students will acquire grammar and vocabulary basics as well as learn about cultural aspects of Spanish-speaking countries around the world.

Spanish 7 for Native Speakers

Students of grade 7 that speak Spanish fluently will have Spanish class two hours a week during which they will practice the language using a variety of different documents (films, lectures, books) as well as an array of diverse oral and written activities.

German I

Students of grade 7 will have the opportunity to start the German program in accordance with the guidelines of the French Ministry of Education. The class meets two hours a week.
The students will be exposed to the German language with activities in which they will speak and converse with classmates, listen to songs, and read and write short writing samples. In conjunction with these skills, the students will acquire grammar and vocabulary basics as well as learn about cultural aspects of the German culture.

Music

Students continue learning about the fundamentals of music using solfège as a primary means of expanding their tonal music vocabulary. The students also focus on music theory, learning aspects of melody, harmony, texture, rhythm, form, and composition. Students may elect to take Chorale or General Music. This course is taught in English.

History and Geography

Students learn about a large period of history, extending from the Middle Ages to the 17th century. The course highlights the beginning of Islam, the first Arab Empires (7th to 9th century), the Middle Ages (11th to 15th century), the Renaissance, and the 17th century in France. A Sub-Saharan African Empire is also studied (the Empire of Ghana, the Empire of Mali, The Empires of Songhai or Monomotapa). The geography portion of the course focuses on three different topics: sustainable development, inequalities between countries from the “North” and countries from the “South,” and natural resources. Students are asked to analyze documents with an emphasis on writing. This course is taught in French.

Latin (elective)

During this introductory year, students discover the Latin language and culture through a constant dialog between the Ancient and the Contemporary worlds. By studying authentic texts they learn the principles of declension and conjugation. The course is organized around 3 themes: From Legend to History, Public Life/Private Life and the Ancient Mediterranean World. This elective course is taught in French.

Mathematics

In seventh grade, students reinforce and extend their knowledge in the various areas of the curriculum and are introduced to logic and deductive reasoning through problem solving (initiation to proofs). Topics covered include: sequence of operations and the distributive property, sum and difference of signed numbers, product of fractions; introduction to equations; ratios and proportionality; reading and representation of data through graphs and charts using bar diagrams, histograms, and line diagram. In geometry: angles and parallels; properties of triangles; medians and perpendicular heights in a triangle; bisecting line of an angle, mediator of a segment, circle circumscribed around a triangle; parallelograms; symmetries; prisms and cylinders. This course is taught in French.

American Math

This class complements the French Math curriculum to ensure that students acquire math skills on par with the set of skills developed in the US public school system. Our units of studies include: number properties, variable expressions, negative numbers, customary units of measure, fractions and mixed numbers, ratios, proportions and percent, statistics and probabilities. This course is taught in English

Physical Education

Students build upon the foundation set in sixth grade and begin to apply problem solving and conflict resolution to their activities. Students learn to officiate games and apply rules when necessary. During the year, individual fitness is instructed with an emphasis on “heart rate zone training”. All students are given a heart rate monitor and train using the acceptable zone parameters. Gymnastics, aerobics, and endurance running are part of this year’s curriculum. This course is taught in English.

Physics and Chemistry

In 7th grade, the Physics and Chemistry courses follow precisely the curriculum of the French Department of Education. This Curriculum is divided into four components:

  • Energy and Conversion: Form of energy, energy efficiency of electrical-mechanical converter, building and design of basic electrical circuits (serial and bypass), notion of electric current and electrical safety awareness.
  • Structure and Transformation of Matter: Physical states of matter (microscopic analysis in the case of pure substance), experiments design of solubility and miscibility (homogeneous and heterogeneous), differentiate chemical change from physical change, perform tests to discover properties of chemical compound, link between mass and volume for gas or solid.
  • Motion and Interaction: Average speed (uniform motion), forms of interaction (contact forces and at-a-distance forces), mechanical motion (straight-line, circular, uniform and accelerate motion).
  • Signals of Communication and Observation: Light, source of light, diffuse reflection, linear propagation and ray model of light, nature of signal and nature of information.

Social Studies

This course examines East Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and Canada. The primary text is World Cultures, however, historical novels, world and regional maps, primary source readings, and Internet activities with selected websites are also used. Current events reports related to unit study are an important part of the course. This class is taught in English and is designed for students in the Regular English course.

Social Studies Intermediate

This level follows the Regular course study in content: East Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and Canada. Students are introduced to cultures through history, geography, cartography, economics, art, literature, music, and religion. A number of class projects are dedicated to discussion of current events and to guided research of assigned topics. Texts include World Studies: The Ancient World, World Explorer: Asia and the Pacific, World Explorer: The U.S. and Canada, and World Explorer: Latin America. This course is taught in English.

Social Studies ESL

Students learn about American culture, holidays, personalities, and inventors. They also develop listening and speaking skills. Students are exposed to the same curriculum within their language capabilities as the regular and intermediate Social Studies program. Texts used include The First Look at the Place and Country-Regions USA by Milada Broukal. The course also uses videos, documentaries and projects.This course is taught in English.

8th Grade

Art

The eighth grade curriculum takes an in-depth look at color theory and pursue the development of abstract representation through a variety of drawing and painting exercises, such as blind contour drawing and painting, and by representing words or phrases through abstract forms and colors.

In other projects, students build upon their knowledge of perspective by applying one-point perspective to cubes. Students are encouraged to push the boundaries of their creativity as they realize the goals of each lesson. This course is taught in English and is mandatory for all eighth graders.

Art Option (elective)

This elective course builds upon skills taught in the required art curriculum while allowing students greater creative freedom than in the required art classes. Projects often draw inspiration from diverse cultures and artists, exposing students to a diverse range of creative expression. Projects range from mask- making to designing shoes, but all, whether in form-making, patterning, color theory, or abstraction, reinforce the core required art curriculum of this grade. This course is taught in English.

Biology and Earth Science

This class follows the French Curriculum in biology and geology. The year is divided into four parts that cover the internal activity of the earth, reproduction (asexual and sexual), ,in plants and animals the human reproductive system, and puberty. Earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, and the Geological Timescale are explained using numerous modeling labs and short simulation visuals. This curriculum focuses on scientific methodology, as well as on inquiry based investigations and experiments. This course is offered to students in Regular English classes and may be offered to students in Intermediate English classes as well. Students in ESL classes follow the same course taught in French. This course is taught in English.

Chorale

This advanced chorale course continues to develop skills introduced in previous chorale courses. In addition to proper vocal technique, further emphasis is placed on singing expressively, producing good choral tone, and sight-singing independently. Music is age-appropriate and chosen to challenge and inspire students, while encompassing a variety of styles. Students may elect to take Chorale or General Music. This course is taught in English.

Coding

This course will focus on Python 3 as a programming language. Students will write simple programs for analyzing and manipulating data (math and text). The Python language was first created by Guido van Rossum who also started the Programming for Everybody Movement which promotes the learning of Python as a 21st Century skill. The course is taught in combination of video lectures and the online textbook Python for Informatics: Exploring Information both open-source and authored by Dr. Chuck Severance, professor of Informatics at the University of Michigan. Other programming languages such as Javascript and MIT App Inventor will also be explored.

English 8 Native Level

The theme for this course is the individual in society. The literature studied presents the individual as he or she is faced with ethical and moral dilemmas, issues of social justice, law, and governance. Texts used include Fahrenheit 451, To Kill a Mockingbird, Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies, Julius Caesar, and A Tale of Two Cities. The reading may also include selected short stories, essays, and poems. Aside from the study of vocabulary in context, the workbook Vocabulary for the College Bound Student is used. The grammar and writing text used is Holt’s Elements of Language, 4th course. This course is taught at a native level.

English 8 for Non-native Speakers (Intermediate Level)

As with the regular eighth grade English course, the theme for Intermediate English is the individual in society. The literature we study presents the individual as he or she is faced with ethical and moral dilemmas, issues of social justice, law, and governance. We begin the year with selected short stories, essays, and poems. Depending on level of English proficiency, additional texts may include original, redacted or leveled versions of the following: The Declaration, The Importance of Being Earnest, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Book Thief, Lord of the Flies, Animal Farm, A Tale of Two Cities and Julius Caesar. Aside from the study of vocabulary in context, the workbook Wordly Wise, 3000,Book 8 is used. Our grammar text is Warriner's Elements of Writing. This course is taught in English.

English 8 ESL (English as a Second Language)

As most students arrive in Grade 8 with prior English as a Foreign Language instruction, they have a beginning basis of grammar. The curriculum is therefore designed to build upon these skills of grammar and reading. As with other ESL classes, students are continually taught correct word usage, pronunciation, writing skills, and higher-level vocabulary. Texts used in this course include World Folktales, Shocks, Walk, Amble, Stroll, Level 2 and Grammar in Context, 4th Edition, Book 2, The Elements of Grammar; Share Your Paragraph: An Interactive Approach to Writing; A Year in the Life of an ESL Student: Idioms and Vocabulary You Can’t Live Without. Literature studied includes The Miracle Worker by William Gibson, Short Stories Collections: Surprises, and poetry by Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson and similar American poets. This course is taught in English.

French

8th grade is the central year of cycle 4. Students develop their critical thinking and reinforce their oral and written linguistic skills through the study of different literary genres and artistic forms. This course is articulated around the following themes: “Knowing Yourself”, “Being an Active Member of Society”, “Developing a Creative Outlook” and “Changing the World”. Students enrich their knowledge through transdisciplinary projects.
This French course is taught at a native level.

German II

This course focuses on the basics of German grammar, specifically cases and the indicative form. The course aims to develop four main linguistic and oral and written communication. Students acquire vocabulary necessary to have a simple conversation and learn about the holidays in German- speaking countries.

History and Geography

Students learn about the history of the 18th and 19th centuries. The geography portion of the course focuses on globalization. Students learn to use maps, images, texts, and artistic works, as well as practice writing an argument. This course is taught in French.

Latin (elective)

Students continue to develop their Latin language skills and cultural knowledge by studying original texts. The course is based on a constant dialog between the Ancient and the Contemporary worlds and is organized around 3 themes: From Legend to History, Public Life/Private Life and the Ancient Mediterranean World. This elective course is taught in French.

Mathematics

Eighth grade students learn how to multiply or divide signed numbers and fractions, how to compute with positive or negative exponents, and how to transform algebraic expressions. They also study linear equations and inequalities (which they use in problem-solving), proportionality (including graph), percentages and rates, and weighted averages in statistics. Euclidean geometry contributes to developing in students the ability to use logic and deductive reasoning as students are trained to write detailed proofs in the process of solving problems. Topics covered include: the Thales theorem and the Pythagorean Theorem, right angles and circles, distance and circle problems, cosine of an acute angle, dilations and reductions, and area and volume of pyramids and cones. This course is taught in French.

American Math 8 Advanced (Algebra 1)

This course is equivalent to an American Grade 9 course. It is intended for the most advanced Grade 8 students who are looking for an added challenge. Topics covered include: real numbers (rational and irrational) and their operations and properties, algebraic expressions and open sentences, first degree equations and inequalities in one variable, operations with algebraic expressions, ratio and proportion, geometric figures, areas and volumes, trigonometry of the right triangle, graphing linear functions and relations, writing and solving systems of linear equations, special products and factors, operations with radicals, quadratic equations and functions, algebraic fractions, probability and statistics . This course is taught in English. Students are admitted based on teacher recommendation only.

Music

Students in this course are introduced to the development of Western music as well as the medieval period through Beethoven. Students also explore the historical timeline of music through chant, polyphony, homophony, sonata form, and symphonies using sound recordings and research of prominent figures and compositions of each period. Students may elect to take Chorale or General Music. This course is taught in English.

Physics and Chemistry

In 8th grade the Physics and Chemistry courses follow precisely the curriculum of the French Department of Education. This Curriculum is divided into four components:

  • Energy and Conversion: Kinetic and gravitational potential energy, energy efficiency of mechanical-mechanical converter, notion of power, design of experiments on fundamental laws of electricity (for current and voltage);
  • Structure and Transformation of Matter: Matter change of states (microscopic analysis in homogeneous mixture case), states changing temperature, dissolution, solvent and solute notion, notion of saturation of a solute in a solution, notion of density, chemical equations, stoichiometric relationships, chemical symbols, chemical compound, periodic table, understanding of the origin of matter, distance units of measurement (International system of units, light years, etc. and conversion of the same).
  • Motion and Interaction:Mechanical action, notion and modelling of force (arrow, vector), deepening on average speed for uniform motion.
  • Signals of Communication and Observation: Deepening on ray model of light.

Physical Education

Students begin to train and compete with an idea of improving individual skills and endurance during team and individual sports. Sport evaluations and grades are based on comprehension and execution. Healthy living habits are reinforced with an emphasis on nutrition and exercise. Sports include gymnastics, aerobics, volleyball, basketball, field hockey, ultimate Frisbee, golf, softball, baseball, swimming and ice skating. This course is taught in English.

Social Studies

This class introduces students to early United States history from pre-colonial times to the pre-Civil War era. The first third of the course looks carefully at the internal struggles the settlers faced in creating new societies that maintained their old ways of life, while attempting to eliminate the problems they endured in Europe. The middle third of the course focuses on the concept of “forming a nation.” The final third of the course looks at the early and tumultuous years of the United States of America. Students are expected to begin mastering the skill of note-taking as well as to begin developing advanced research and writing skills. In addition, many classes are taught in a discussion format to encourage students to look at a situation with a critical eye. This course is offered at a Regular English level and at an Intermediate English level.

During the spring, the students take an extended field trip in order to study in and around Colonial Williamsburg, the premier living museum of America’s colonial era.

Spanish II

In grade 8, students begin the Spanish program in accordance with the guidelines of the French Ministry of Education. The class meets three hours a week. Through thematic topics of daily life (presenting one’s self, describing one’s family, one’s friends, one’s activities), the Spanish program follows a progression that combines pragmatic goals (asking questions, getting and giving directions) linguistic objectives (the present tense, the subjunctive mode, the past and future tenses, the use of pronouns and prepositions) and cultural awareness (discovering the Hispanic world, its music, art, holidays, traditions, recipes). In order to be able to communicate fully, students learn to listen, understand, speak, converse, read, and write in Spanish.

Spanish 8 for Native Speakers

This course is intended for native and near-native speakers of Spanish and is taught only in Spanish. Students typically have little need to review grammar or vocabulary and learn, instead, more complex and sophisticated aspects of the language – both in speaking and in writing. The students analyze literary texts and articles and research different aspects of Spanish-speaking world, so as to appreciate the various cultures. They read and discuss three novels by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. They watch movies relating to literature, culture, and history of Spanish-speaking countries. This course meets three times a week.