Middle School Academics

It is my pleasure to welcome you to FASNY’s Middle School, grades 6 through 8.
I work closely with the Coordinator for Student Life and Discipline, Mr. Jeremy Emeras; 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.

Gilbert Ekotto
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 the French Ministry of Education and compares favorably with best practices of the most competitive American independent schools in the New York metropolitan area.

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

FASNY students are encouraged to participate actively in school clubs and sports teams, while 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

Grade 6

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 three-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, which 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), 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 of topics with the ability to apply it to new situations. Students develop safe and effective laboratory skills. This course is offered to students in Native English. Students in ELL classes follow the same course taught in French.

Chorale


The 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.

Coding


In sixth grade, students complete Code.org’s Computer Science Fundamentals course, which they started in the elementary school. They will further their understanding and use of concepts such as variables, functions, and conditionals. To mark the culmination of the Computer Science Fundamentals course, students will work on a capstone project displaying their individual creativity and their understanding of programming concepts.

Electronics


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 a wide range of literary genres, students are introduced to the basic concepts of literature. Students work to develop skills in higher-level thinking, reading, writing, presenting, and listening. A central theme of the course is mythology in literature. To this end, students study world myths and write a five-paragraph research paper on a theme found in world mythology. As well, students will read the novel King of Shadows as a way to prepare for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to conclude the year. 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 speaker’s level.

English 6 for Non-Native Speakers (Advanced English Language Learners)


This course begins with an introduction to the literary elements of a short story. These literary elements are then revisited with readings that are similar to regular English course study: The Children’s Homer and A 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 ELL (English Language Learners)


The goal of the ELL program is to facilitate the development of proficiency in the English language. Students in an ELL 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. Supplemental handouts are used throughout. Texts used in Beginning ELL include Side by Side (book and workbook) and Word by Word Picture Dictionary, as well as the ELL library program. Students in the intermediate level use Handwriting. Other textbooks used are Basic Vocabulary, A Year in the Life of an ESL Student: Idioms and Vocabulary You Can’t Live Without, Compositions and Grammar 1, and Side by Side 1 and 2. Short stories studied include Frindle, Dear Mr. Henshaw, and Crenshaw. This course is taught in English.

French


Sixth 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 French literature as well as young-adult novels. 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; and 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; and 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 U.S. public school system. Our units of study 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, Pickleball, golf, softball, and baseball. This course is taught in English.

Social Studies (Native)


This course is the first half of a two-year course in 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 and develop writing and research skills. Students will complete projects that reinforce essential research skills. This course is taught in English and is for students of Native and Advanced ELL English levels.

Social Studies (ELL)


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.

Grade 7

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 three-dimensional form-making. Drawings from life require students to examine cylinders and ellipses. Students learn the basics of perspective and atmospheric perspective. A range of techniques is 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 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 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. 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 and 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, the circulatory system, and the 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 Native English classes. Students in non-Native 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.

Computer Science


Starting in 2018-19, FASNY students will be introduced to Code.org’s Computer Science Discoveries (CSD) course, which has been designed with middle and high school students in mind and is fully aligned with CSTA and ISTE standards. Three important modules of the CSD curriculum are:

1. Web Design: Students learn the basics of HTML and CSS. They start to see themselves as programmers and are encouraged to think deeply about sharing and using content. At the conclusion of this module, students will be publishing their personal webpages.

2. Game Lab: This is a programming environment for developing animations and games using JavaScript. This unit integrates math and geometry with programming constructs, while simultaneously allowing students to exercise and display their creativity.

3. App Lab: Students learn how to use the power of their programming skills to create apps to solve personal and broader social problems.


Students work on a different module in seventh, eighth, and ninth grades. Skills learned as part of the Computer Science Discoveries course pave the way for Computer Science Principles courses.

English 7 Native Level


The theme of this course is coming-of-age stories. We begin with the historical fiction novel The Ruby in the Smoke and selected short stories. Then, the class examines the process of "growing up" in Steinbeck’s The Red Pony, Taylor’s The Road to Memphis, and Dickens’ Great Expectations. We end the year with Zusak’s The Book Thief and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Wordly Wise 3000, 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 (Advanced English Language Learners)


This is a flexible class because its goal is twofold: to act as a transition for students recently in ELL and to serve as a bridge to prepare them for Native English as soon as possible. The curriculum begins with direct vocabulary instruction as provided through Wordly Wise 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, giving 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 that vary by need but can include Scott Foresman’s Language; supplemental handouts; Azar’s Understanding and Using English Grammar; Wordly Wise 3000, Book 6; Gary Soto’s short stories; The Giver; Great Expectations (Dickens’ abridged text); Good Night, Sweet Master; The Boy in the Striped Pajamas; Romeo and Juliet; and the poetry of Naomi Shihab Nye. This course is taught in English.


English 7 ELL (English Language Learners)


The main goal of the ELL 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. Supplemental handouts from the ELL library are used throughout the year. Texts used in the course include Side by Side and Azar’s Basic English Grammar. Depending on the level of the class, one or two shorter novels are read, such as Flora and Ulysses and Tuck Everlasting, in addition to various articles and short stories. This course is taught in English.

French


The seventh-grade French course is the first 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 career and by developing their literary and artistic knowledge. This course represents an important building block toward the construction of the independent and critical thinking that will be required for High School. The course is articulated around the following themes:
1. Journeys and Adventures

2. Imagining New Universes

3. Communicating with Others: Family, Friends, and Relationships

4. Heroes, Heroines, and Heroism

5. Man and Nature

These themes allow literary texts to be presented as a window onto our surrounding world. Students also reinforce their oral and written language skills. This French course is taught at a native level.

Spanish I

Students in 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 samples. In conjunction with these skills, 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 in grade 7 who 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 like Conducta and Tadeo Jones, readings like Manolito Gafotas or Fray Perico y su borrico) as well as an array of diverse oral and written activities.

German I

Students in 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. 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 samples. In conjunction with these skills, the students will acquire grammar and vocabulary basics as well as learn about aspects of German culture.

Music


Students continue learning about the fundamentals of music using solfege as a primary means of expanding their tonal music vocabulary. They 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 an extensive period of history, from the Middle Ages to the 17th century. The course highlights the beginning of Islam, the first Arab empires (seventh to ninth centuries), the Middle Ages (11th to 15th centuries), 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 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 dialogue between the ancient and contemporary worlds. By studying authentic texts, they learn the principles of declension and conjugation. The course is organized around three themes: From Legend to History, Public Life/Private Life, and the Ancient Mediterranean World. This course also offers an introduction to ancient Greek culture and language. This 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; and reading and representation of data through graphs and charts using bar diagrams, histograms, and line diagrams. 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; and 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 U.S. public school system. Our units of study 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 seventh 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: Forms 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), experiment design of solubility and miscibility (homogeneous and heterogeneous), differentiate chemical change from physical change, perform tests to discover properties of chemical compounds, 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 (Native)


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 designed for students in the Native English course.

Social Studies (Advanced ELL)

This level follows the Native 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 (ELL)


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 A 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.taries and projects. This course is taught in English.

Grade 8

Art

The eighth-grade curriculum takes an in-depth look at color theory and pursues 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 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 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 geologic time scale 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 Native English classes. Students in non-Native classes follow the same course taught in French.

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.

Computer Science

Starting in 2018-19, FASNY students will be introduced to Code.org’s Computer Science Discoveries (CSD) course, which has been designed with middle and high school students in mind and is fully aligned with CSTA and ISTE standards. Three important modules of the CSD curriculum are:

1. Web Design: Students learn the basics of HTML and CSS. They start to see themselves as programmers and are encouraged to think deeply about sharing and using content. At the conclusion of this module, students will be publishing their personal webpages.

2. Game Lab: This is a programming environment for developing animations and games using JavaScript. This unit integrates math and geometry with programming constructs, while simultaneously allowing students to exercise and display their creativity.

3. App Lab: Students learn how to use the power of their programming skills to create apps to solve personal and broader social problems.

Students work on a different module in seventh, eighth, and ninth grades. Skills learned as part of the Computer Science Discoveries course pave the way for Computer Science Principles courses.

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 and 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 in English.

English 8 for Non-Native Speakers (Advanced English Language Learners)


As with the Native eighth-grade English course, the theme for Advanced ELL is the individual in society. The literature we study presents the individual as he or she is faced with ethical and moral dilemmas and issues of social justice, law, and governance. We begin the year with selected short stories, essays, and poems. Depending on the 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, 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 ELL (English Language Learners)


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 ELL classes, students are continually taught correct word usage, pronunciation, writing skills, and higher-level vocabulary. Texts used in this course include The Elements of Grammar, Share Your Paragraph: An Interactive Approach to Writing, and 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


Eighth 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
  • Changing the World

Students enrich their knowledge through interdisciplinary 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 linguistic, 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 I (Elective)


Students continue to develop their Latin language skills and cultural knowledge by studying original texts. The course is based on a constant dialogue between the ancient and contemporary worlds and organized around three themes: From Legend to History, Public Life/Private Life, and the Ancient Mediterranean World. This course also includes notions of ancient Greek culture and language. 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 - Algebra I


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.

N.B.: Students can take Algebra I through one of two paths for eighth and ninth grades, as determined by the math department:

1. a two-year Algebra IA/Algebra IB

2. a two-year Algebra I/Geometry


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 eighth grade, the physics and chemistry courses follow precisely the curriculum of the French Department of Education. The 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 compounds, 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 (All Levels)


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. Students in the Native-level course will also develop their research and analytical skills through a research paper. During the spring, the students take an extended field trip to study in and around Colonial Williamsburg, the premier living museum of America’s colonial era.

Spanish II


In grade 8, students continue taking Spanish as a second language. The class meets three hours a week. Through thematic topics of daily life (presenting oneself, 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 the target language.

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—in both speaking and writing. Students analyze literary texts and also research different aspects of the Spanish-speaking world, developing comparisons to better understand and appreciate the various cultures. They read and discuss novels such as Sin noticias de Gurb. They watch movies relating to the literature, culture, and history of Spanish-speaking countries. This course meets two times a week.