Middle School (Grades 4-7)
The Oakwood Middle School mission is to cultivate the students’ growing independence by offering a challenging curriculum that strengthens and develops their minds, collaborative extra-curricular opportunities that nourish their personal and social needs, and community service opportunities that develop an awareness of their responsibilities to any community of which they are a part, including the global community.
The Middle School years are challenging as students experience greater independence and become more aware of self and of those around them. Advisory teachers mentor students as they navigate these exciting yet sometimes frustrating years. They seek to help our students discover and develop what is best in themselves and to learn to believe in themselves. They also help their students understand social environments and how to be a positive member of a group.
The Middle School curriculum at Oakwood is designed as a four-year journey that takes place in an environment in which students will develop a sense of academic purpose, sound study skills and habits, the roots of self-knowledge, and a respect and concern for the needs of others. Students travel this course at different rates and with variations in their routes, and Oakwood Middle School teachers acknowledge and celebrate this reality. The academic program of the Middle School is departmentalized, and throughout the four years in Middle School, students experience a logical progression of content, vocabulary, and skill development in each discipline as well as increased expectations for academic responsibility and independent work.
Lower Middle School (Grades 4 & 5)
The Lower Middle School includes grades 4 and 5 and is led by a team of four faculty members who teach their subject of specialty. They have created an intentional blend of structure and responsibility that guides students towards independence.
Although a new world of lockers, schedules, and iPads might seem to students (and parents) like a big transition, our teachers are seasoned educators skilled in shepherding young children through this transition. Collaborative initiatives allow students to work as teams and to learn about, appreciate, and value the ideas and talents of others. A curriculum rich with content, hands-on activities, and thought-provoking discussions stretches students’ minds and sensibilities and begins to prepare them for the challenges of Upper Middle School.
Upper Middle School (Grades 6 & 7)
The Upper Middle School, grades 6 and 7, introduces students to greater independence; new responsibilities, such as preparation for midterm and final exams; and additional opportunities for leadership. However difficult these years may appear to be for the student, this transition is navigated with the assistance of an engaged and caring faculty.
Upper Middle School students are valued as individuals, supported in developing personal awareness and a strong sense of self; and guided to understand their responsibility to the various groups to which they belong and to show care, concern, and respect for others. Upper Middle School students become the mentors in the B.U.D.S. (Build Unity, Determining Smiles) relationship, which pairs 4th and 7th graders, and take the reins as the elected officers of the Middle School student government (SGA). When our students reach the end of Middle School, they have become more self-aware, responsible, and empathetic. The goal of the Middle School is to develop students who will emerge from the program as productive and positive citizens whose increased cognition, collaborative mindset and social maturity make them well-prepared to tackle and enjoy the rigors and realities of The Oakwood School’s Upper School.
What is Unique about the Middle School at Oakwood?
- Overnight curriculum-based field trips beginning in 4th grade - Learn more about our Off-Campus Education Week
- Teachers are specialized in discrete content areas
- One-to-one iPad program
- Starting in 6th grade, Spanish is taught 5 days a week
- Hands-on, student-initiated, and student-driven community service
- Comprehensive fine arts program with musical options (band, strings, chorus), weekly studio art classes, annual public displays of student artwork, and the opportunity to participate in an annual musical production
- Athletic program with intramural options for grades 4-5 and competitive athletic teams for grades 6-7 with a no-cut policy
- Seminar days where students spend an entire morning participating in activities of their choosing in which a faculty member is sharing one of his/her passions or facilitating a special learning experience
- Tuesday morning meetings to foster community which are run by the SGA leaders
- Academic competitions both on- and off-campus in math, science, geography and spelling
- Mentoring programs to build social responsibility and ease transition
H.U.G.S. (Help Us Grow Successfully) – 5th grade with Kindergarten
B.U.D.S. (Building Unity, Determining Smiles) – 7th grade with 4th grade
- Regular advisory group conversations encouraging character development and fostering the sense of the “Oakwood family”
- Fitness classes as well as daily outdoor free time providing students time to move, run, play, and interact outside of the classroom