Duchesne’s Middle School opens up an expansive new world for your daughter. She will expand her academic research skills, be introduced to several competitive sports, strengthen her emerging artistic abilities, and mature among caring classmates who support each other through these years of transition.
The fifth-grade year is designed to be a transition from Lower School to Middle School. The girls have fewer teachers. They will not rotate classes the same as students in grades 6–8, and they are almost entirely self-contained in one hallway. Additionally, the classes and programming are designed with a focus on this transition and setting a foundation for the rest of their Middle School experience.
The sixth-grade program includes courses that are taught by specialist teachers in each discipline. Students develop an increasing sense of responsibility for organizing their schoolwork and for spending time on homework. The girls are introduced to the concept of long-range projects, requiring them to plan their time and to do more complex tasks in a step-by-step manner.
In the seventh grade, the course of study continues to be more challenging. Students are expected to take responsibility for organizing and completing their learning tasks in the various subjects. They are given the opportunity to choose their classes in foreign languages and fine arts. Courses still emphasize basic skill development and reinforcement. This is a time for expanding and exploring their own interests and abilities and for developing an even greater love of learning.
The eighth-grade curriculum is a challenging course of studies designed to prepare the student for college preparatory high school work. Courses in foreign languages, mathematics, and computer programming are offered as high school level courses. Long-range assignments and special projects are important aspects of the program. As is natural for eighth graders, students become more independent and responsible for their own academic performance.
The physical education program in grades 5–8 complements the overall curriculum. Individual physical conditioning, coordination, fitness, team sports, and health education are included in the program. Physical education classes ensure frequent outlets for the high energy level as is characteristic of students at this age. Team sports that are developed in physical education include volleyball, basketball, field hockey, soccer, and team handball. Track and field are also offered. Health topics may include first aid, personal health, hygiene, nutrition, knowledge and prevention of diseases, and the proper use of medications.