Academics at Fieldston Middle
Our academic program is designed to help students develop the skills they need to investigate, research, write, compute, and problem-solve. Each of our courses is designed around an essential question, and our teachers look for natural connections between courses, when appropriate. For example, in eighth grade foreign language, the focus for the year is how students relate to their past, to personal histories, and the past of different cultures. In eighth grade history, they explore the overriding question, “Whose story is it?” They examine the nature of historical perspective through selected historical achievements of ancient civilizations up to the rise of medieval society and the emergence of Moslem kingdoms in Africa. Ethics is taught as a classroom subject. Visual arts, music, and performing arts are essential parts of our program. Through a wide variety of classes, students experience the arts in many forms. Physical education meets daily, and there are many Middle School sports teams.
Technology is woven appropriately into the curriculum, though technology is not always about computers. For any given task, the technological tool of choice may be an iPod, or a Smartboard or a Moodle or Manilla website. One eighth grade English class, for example, is doing a project with a class in Los Angeles. They’ll read Lord of the Flies, but they’ll also have conversations on a secure Moodle site with their counterparts in Los Angeles about the essential questions of evil and human nature.
At the core of our program is the strong working relationship students develop with their teachers. Our students learn to become their own advocates. They know they can ask for and receive extra help from their teachers. It is not unusual to see students and a teacher together at a lunch table or in an empty classroom. The academic centers in our new building will further encourage collaboration and connection, two aspects of learning especially important for early adolescents.
Our goal in the Middle School is to create a learning environment for our students, which will stimulate, challenge, and encourage them to do their best work and achieve individual success.