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 our entry grade into middle school at West Hills Christian School, 6th grade is a strategic year of transition where students begin to regularly move between two core teachers. Our program is designed to help students continue to grow in their academics, personal responsibility, and spiritual lives, leading to the increased autonomy required in the upper grades.
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, integers, and rational numbers, and will broaden their understanding of geometry.
Social Studies: Exploring geography, history, and culture of the western hemisphere. The history of the United States is examined from its founding through major events to the 20th century.
- Reading: Students use a variety of narrative and informational texts to deepen their reading skills and to improve their ability to discuss and understand increasingly complex literature. Sixth grade emphasizes understanding of plot, summarization, and comprehension while focusing on the use of inference, comparing and contrasting, literary terms, and interpreting figurative language.
- Writing: Broadening skills through writing dialogue, different points of view, writing and presenting persuasive essays, and fiction. Students learn to research, write, and present informational essays.
- Spelling Roots: Focus on Greek root words and vocabulary.
- Grammar: Students work to hone their skills of capitalization and punctuation and to understand and locate the following parts of speech: prepositions, verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns.
Science: Students investigate different facets of science through research and experimentation. In addition to a weekly science lab, teachers work to implement hands-on activities, mini labs, and demonstrations in class. At the 6th grade level, students continue to study a variety of topics in the areas of life, physical, and earth sciences.
Bible: After a brief review of the Old Testament, 6th graders spend most of the year working on inductive Bible study of several New Testament books with an emphasis on understanding God’s Word and how to apply it to their daily lives.
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.