Our aim is that the curriculum taught at West Hills be current, aligned with best practices, and viewed through the grid of Scripture. Below is a synopsis of the concepts and subject matter you can expect your children to be learning in the middle school grades. Also listed here are a few examples of the projects, special programs and milestone events unique to the years of middle school at West Hills.
As the entry into middle school, 6th grade is a strategic year of transition. At West Hills, 6th grade is a stand-alone class where students build on the academic, emotional, and social skills they have learned in the elementary grades and begin to apply more complex and independent learning as they prepare for the rotating classes, multiple-subject teachers, and increased autonomy of the upper grades. Curriculum is Christ-centered, dynamic, research-based, and grade-appropriate. Teachers develop compelling lessons geared toward transitioning students toward greater academic and personal responsibility.
7th & 8th Grade
Compared to K-6th grades, the structure of the school day for 7th and 8th graders is more varied. Rather than being taught by one teacher in a single classroom, students switch classrooms and teachers teach by subject. Academic responsibility increases as students are called upon to manage classwork from multiple teachers. Curriculum is Christ-centered, research-based, engaging, and grade-appropriate. Teachers develop lessons to promote deeper thought, unmask complex concepts, and elicit thoughtful application to one’s life and to the world around them.
Math: Increasing fluency in multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, and ratios. Students are introduced to algebraic concepts, expressions, equations and variables.
History: Exploring world geography, history, and culture of the western hemisphere. The history of the United States is examined from its founding through major events to the present day.
Writing: Broadening skills through writing dialogue, different points of view, persuasive essays, and fiction. Students learn to research, write, and present informational essays.
Grammar: Focus on Greek root words and vocabulary.
English: Analyzing parts of a story; citing notations; different styles of literature (i.e. persuasive, descriptive, informative, etc.); exposure to genres such as mystery, historical fiction, biography, poetry, and fantasy.
Science: Investigating different facets of science through research and experimentation (i.e. cells and microbes, the human body, the earth’s structure.
Bible: Coming soon.
Unique milestones: Outdoor School; Christmas Concert; optional participation in Chorale.
- Literature focus on short stories, poetry, and book studies
- Writing strengthened through the study of various genres
- Exercising vocabulary using Greek and Latin roots; strengthening spelling, word relationships and comprehension
- Literature focus on cultural awareness and “classic” authors through book studies, short stories, and poetry
- Writing honed through research utilizing the MLA style and the study of persuasion using great American speeches
- Building on vocabulary of Greek and Latin roots to continue to strengthen spelling, contextual vocabulary relationships, and vocabulary familiarity
- History of the World: Ancient history from Mesopotamia through the Protestant Reformation. Focusing on community functions, culture, and historical dates and events.
- History of the United States: History from the early colonies through World War II. Examining early beginnings, transfer of power and growth, culture, and historical dates and events.
Placement determined by ability rather than grade level
- Pre-Algebra: Introducing algebraic expression and equations; strengthening skills in concepts with decimals, fractions, and factors; growth in linear functions and graphing; application of proportions and percents; introducing exponential and rational expressions; area and volume formulas.
- Algebra: Focus on foundations of algebra equations, inequalities, function and concepts; broad understanding of polynomials, quadratics and data.
- Accelerated Algebra 1: Accelerated studies in algebra in equations, functions, and concepts; understanding polynomials, quadratics and data.
- Life Science: Study of living things (microorganisms, plants, and animals), genetics, and ecology.
- Space and Earth Science: Study of space (galaxies, stars, sun, planets, and moons), atmosphere (structure, energy, and weather), and earth (structure and processes).
- Grammar I: Identifying parts of speech and their functions; applying correct grammar to formal writing and speaking
- Grammar II: Applying standard grammar and usage in speaking and writing; identifying types of phrases, clauses, and cases
- Study of the gospel of John, the life of Christ, and biblical character traits.
- Old Testament: Focusing on the life of David, the book of Proverbs, and Jesus in the Old Testament.
- New Testament: Focusing on apprenticeship to Jesus, studies in the letter to the Ephesians, and the parables of the gospels.
- 7th/8th grade retreat; insect collection project; trip to a Pacific Northwest landmark; participation in electives.
- 7th/8th grade retreat; Proverbs Project; participation in electives; trip to Washington, D.C. and New York City; 8th grade “clap-out” tradition (all students line the halls on the 8th graders’ last day of school to applaud them as they leave the building one final time); Graduation Ceremony.