Middle School Curriculum

In the Tandem Friends School Middle School, we seek to help children become confident, independent learners. The Middle School, while sharing the ideals and philosophies of the school as a whole, provides a more structured and closely supervised setting for the academic, social, and emotional growth of our younger students.

The distinctive developmental characteristics of Middle School students have been taken into account in creating the curriculum. Students learn to exercise judgment and initiative as well as to assimilate information. To that end, we encourage students to discover and develop their own interests at the same time that they gain the skills and insights derived from study in the traditional disciplines.

We believe in understanding concepts, not just using formulas, and stress the deep understanding that is achieved by working with commitment and creativity. We strive to help children become lifelong learners and emphasize personal responsibility and appreciation of knowledge.

Work within the curriculum and our weekly Advisory class deepens our students’ understanding of Quaker school traditions and values. Open meetings are held frequently to encourage students to resolve issues or speak openly about their school experience.

The school provides a strong academic program across the Middle School curriculum. Middle School teachers provide a program that broadens experiences, remedies deficiencies, and finally, challenges students to achieve their greatest potential.

The following sections provide a brief description of Middle School curriculum philosophy and offerings.

List of 7 items.

  • Arts

    We value the role of the arts in providing young people with a rich education. Middle School art courses include basic design, art appreciation and beginning skills for various media, including digital film.
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  • Foreign Languages

    2019-2020 is a transition year in our Middle School World Language program as we add Spanish language instruction to our early Middle School program. Prior to 2019-2020, middle schoolers studied Latin through 7th grade, and in 8th grade chose between continuing Latin, or starting Spanish or French.
    For 2019-2020, 5th and 6th grade students will study both Spanish and Latin; 7th graders will continue their Latin program of study; and 8th graders will choose between continuing their Latin study or starting Spanish or French. 
    From 2020-2021 onward, 5th and 6th grade students will study both Spanish and Latin and 7th graders will choose a two-year course of Spanish or Latin that is completed in 8th grade.  Students will be able to study French starting in 9th grade.
  • Humanities

    In the humanities, students develop and refine their writing skills and learn to express themselves effectively. There is an emphasis on understanding other people within the context of their cultural experiences. The 5th and 6th grade humanities curriculum integrates geography, history, current events, and literature in an intensive regional studies program. In the 7th and 8th grades, English and history studies are coordinated to help students make thoughtful connections.
  • Math

    The math program is designed to offer maximum flexibility and attention to individual needs; for example, students typically take Algebra in 8th grade, but some are placed into Algebra in 7th grade while others take a two-year sequence that extends into 9th grade.
  • Physical Education

    At the Middle School level, the physical education requirement emphasizes achieving aerobic fitness through a variety of sports and activities. Good sportsmanship and the value of team play are promoted. Health classes teach the value of nutrition and healthy life choices, and begin the study of human sexuality.
  • Science

    The science curriculum encourages exploration with as much hands-on activity as possible with the ultimate goal of understanding the nature of science and being able to think and problem solve. There is much interdisciplinary work linking science to the humanities and history. Projects connect students to real-life issues and topics. Collaborative work teaches cooperation, patience, and understanding.
  • Stewardship

    We believe that becoming stewards of the earth, beginning with caring for our own school community, is central to our purpose. Student upkeep of their buildings and grounds is one of the school's finest traditions. 
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    • Middle School Director, Todd Love

      Middle School Director, Todd Love

If you have questions about the Tandem Friends Middle School, please contact our Middle School Director, Todd Love by email or by phone at (434) 951-9307.