Middle School

Welcome!

  • Providing a solid foundation for transformational leadership through research, teaching and learning
  • Enhancing the commitment of staff and students to the centrality of diversity, social justice and democratic citizenship
  • Promoting effective and efficient management of the institution, and sustaining a caring, supportive climate for all and sundry.

Religious & Moral Education

The sixth grade Bible class is an in-depth study of the Gospel of John. Students will spend time studying the key themes and big ideas of John as well as the historical factors influencing and shaping the presentation and message of John. Students will see how these themes and ideas affect them and will tie the truths of John to their own lives and faith.

In the seventh grade, students will study the character qualities and basic beliefs of a young man or woman of Christ. Topics of discussion will include salvation, the Bible, prayer, witnessing, and daily living in the Spirit. Students will analyze these key truths learned from Scripture, will memorize Scripture connected to these key truths, and will discuss these key truths with peers as led by a teacher.

Students learn about specific biblical character attributes and are challenged to make them their own. Unique components of this course include outside activities of fellowship and service, testimonies from parents related to the character traits, and movie clips to reinforce the concepts of the course. Much of the strength of this final Bible class in the Middle School is derived from collaborative efforts among parents and staff members to maintain a vibrant combination of curriculum, lessons, and concurrent activities.

English

Students grow in breadth and depth of writing through daily practice in grammar and writing. Students explore many types of writing (descriptive, narrative, persuasive, expository, etc.), periodically presenting their work to peers. The course prepares students to communicate their ideas in speaking and in writing more effectively.

Students are introduced to various types of literature and explore these genres through reading, discussion, and writing. By reading literature, students will be exposed to new horizons and rich experiences. This course serves to encourage students to pursue lifelong passions of reading and learning. A variety of strategies are employed to strengthen student vocabulary, including the study of Greek and Latin prefixes, roots, and suffixes of words.

Students tackle an in-depth study of both language and literature. Through a variety of methods and means, students not only improve the proficiency of their skills, but also continue to develop their appreciation for the English language. A balanced combination of the study of literature, grammar, vocabulary, and composition achieves these goals.

Students enhance their basic writing skills with personal insights and connections fostered by identification with literary classics. Students develop awareness that literature offers some insight about the lives they live. Much of the writing engages the literature, and essays of personal insight are a vital component of this course as well. Students continue to study various genres of literature such as poetry, prose, and drama, as well as study the basics of vocabulary and grammar.

Fine Arts

Students in sixth grade will join the Orchestra 1 class for one semester. This is a beginning to intermediate level string class. Students will learn to play violin, viola, cello, harp and bass instruments incorporating note recognition, rhythm, meter, key signatures, ear training and bowing techniques. Students will learn basic music theory and be exposed to many styles of musical repertoire. They will perform in a variety of ensemble settings including several school performances and may play for community events also.

This is a beginning to intermediate level string class for grades 7 – 12. Students will learn to play violin, viola, cello, harp and bass instruments incorporating note recognition, rhythm, meter, key signatures, ear training and bowing techniques. Students will learn basic music theory and be exposed to many styles of musical repertoire. They will be required to perform in a variety of ensemble settings including several school performances and may play for community events also.

This course is a performance course for intermediate to advanced level string players in grades 7-12. Students will build upon the principles and basic skills from earlier training and they will learn more difficult music theory and more advanced playing techniques. Students will learn music from a wide variety of genres including Classical, Sacred, Irish, Bluegrass, and popular/movie themes. With a focus on building orchestral and string ensemble performance skills, this course gives students several performance opportunities throughout the year including school events as well as events within the community.
Prerequisite: Orchestra 1 and teacher approval

Students in sixth grade will join the Band 1 class for one semester. This course provides an introduction to brass, woodwind, and percussion performance and technique. Students begin by mastering basic rhythm, meter note recognition, and finger placement on their desired instrument through daily exercise and songs from a method book. Playing and written tests measure improvement. Performances include solos, small ensembles, and large group experiences—all of which incorporate varied styles of beginner band literature.

This course provides an introduction to brass, woodwind, and percussion performance and technique. Students begin by mastering basic rhythm, meter note recognition, and finger placement on their desired instrument through daily exercise and songs from a method book. Playing and written tests measure improvement. Required performances include solos, small ensembles, and large group experiences—all of which incorporate varied styles of beginner band literature.

This course is a second/third year brass, woodwind, and percussion performance class in a standard high school band style setting. It incorporates one semester of marching band and one semester of concert band. Students will review and build upon basic skills, adding more advanced key signatures, scales, meters, rhythms, note ranges, articulations, and styles. Students will be assessed through required performance and written tests to measure accomplishment of goals. Performances will include varied experiences incorporating method book arrangements, classical and jazz styles, standard band arrangements, and a variety of level 2 – 4 literature.
Prerequisite: Band 1

MS Theater covers the basics of acting technique, technical theater, and application through an in-class play project. As the middle school years can be a time of extreme change and self-discovery, one of the goals of this class is to help students find and develop the talents that God has given them. This class produces and performs the spring Middle School musical, and attendance at outside rehearsals is expected.

In this 9-week course, students begin to develop an understanding of art through the study of the basic principles of drawing and color, develop confidence and ability to express creativity through different two-dimensional and three-dimensional projects, and develop an “artist’s eye” that extends into their viewing and appreciating God’s world around them.

Students are provided opportunities that emphasize originality, diversity, and creativity, as well as instruction in the techniques of drawing, elements of art, and the principles of design. Students focus on the creative process as they create two-dimensional and three-dimensional projects in every basic medium. The students explore the creativity of other times and other cultures and how it relates to their own life and artwork. The classroom is set up like a working art studio where each student will have the freedom to pursue projects of their interest.

Students create two-dimensional and three-dimensional projects from every basic medium. Projects include critical analysis and discussions on aesthetic value and function. The students will discover how art can affect culture and the environment. Emphasis is on the elements of art and the principles of design, and their relationship to the planning of each project, adding focus on creative thought and processes. The classroom is set up like a working art studio where each student will have the freedom to pursue projects of their interest.

Foreign Language

This seventh grade semester course is the first half of French 1 and emphasizes basic conversation skills through fundamental linguistics. The student learns how to greet people, introduce oneself, talk about friends and family, and discuss daily activities and leisure pastimes. The vocabulary and grammatical concepts will be reinforced through listening, speaking, and written activities. French 1A will introduce the student to francophone cultures.

This eighth grade full-year course is the second half of French 1, the sequel to French 1A. Students will continue to build their vocabulary and will work towards proficiency through listening, speaking, and writing activities. There is an emphasis on proper written and oral expression. Students will continue to learn about various francophone cultures. Students receive one unit of Upper School credit in a foreign language upon completion of this course.

History

The sixth grade Bible class is an in-depth study of the Gospel of John. Students will spend time studying the key themes and big ideas of John as well as the historical factors influencing and shaping the presentation and message of John. Students will see how these themes and ideas affect them and will tie the truths of John to their own lives and faith.

This year-long course introduces seventh grade students to significant events, dates, individuals, developments, and processes that shaped African & United States history from 1861 to the present. Building off of their previous study of early African & United States history in the fifth grade history course, students will learn about the social, political, religious, and economic ideas of each time period that have been formative for the modern Africa & United States. Students will continue to be exposed to key historical thinking skills, with specific attention to developing sound historical reasoning. Other significant goals of the class include interpreting modern African & United States history through a Christian worldview and learning about the basic mechanics of African & United States government and citizenship.

This year-long course introduces students to human geography through an in-depth look at the world’s major cultures. Students will learn about the political, economic, religious, social, and intellectual characteristics of cultures, both historically and in the present day, in the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, South America, and Europe. Students will continue to be exposed to key historical thinking skills, with specific attention to developing sound historical arguments through written essays. Other significant goals of the class include analyzing world cultures and current events through a Christian worldview and understanding the impact of geography on the development of culture.

Math

Math 6 is the first step in helping students transition from elementary math to developing pre-algebra skills. Emphasis is on the following concepts: numerical reasoning; computational skills and operations with rational numbers; relationships between decimals; fractions and percents; variables, expressions, and equations; measurement and graphing of data; and an introduction to planar geometry.

This course is designed to expand on existing knowledge of number sense, number theory, and estimation with rational numbers, including integers. The course will develop the fundamental concepts of algebraic thinking such as patterns and linear relationships while preparing for algebra.

This course focuses directly on algebraic reasoning. Algebraic language is reinforced through the use of variables, expressions, and equations. Students work with linear functions and graphs as they review basic skills they will need in algebra and geometry.

This course will continue the study of algebraic concepts with a concentration on application. Students engage in the following areas of learning: analyze and model problems using expressions and equations; solve and graph linear, exponential, and quadratic functions; perform operations and factoring with polynomials; and simplify radicals and rational expressions. Students receive one unit of Upper School credit in mathematics upon completion of this course.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Pre-Algebra with a grade of B or higher, approved standardized test scores, and teacher recommendation.

This advanced course will continue the study of algebraic concepts with a concentration on application. Students engage in the following areas of learning: analyze and model problems using expressions and equations; solve and graph linear, exponential, and quadratic functions; perform operations and factoring with polynomials; and simplify radicals and rational expressions. Students receive one unit of Upper School credit in mathematics upon completion of this course.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Pre-Algebra with a grade of A, approved standardized test scores, and teacher recommendation.

Science

This course introduces students to the study of living things and life processes. Students examine how the tools and processes of scientific inquiry impact scientific knowledge and use the tools of investigation safely and effectively. Scientific concepts are explored, such as heredity; the structure and function of cells and organisms; factors that affect the diversity of life; and the relationships among organisms and their physical environment. Students investigate the beauty of God’s creation and understand the dynamic connections and interactions among natural systems.

Students in this course are introduced to many topics and concepts not found in any other science course. The year is divided into studies of geology, hydrology, meteorology, and astronomy. Lab activities are designed to make topics relevant to the student and to give the student opportunities to collect and analyze raw data. Throughout the year, the order of God’s universe will be highlighted, and students will develop foundational knowledge that will enable them to make decisions regarding the stewardship of natural resources.

Students are taught the broad, unifying themes that integrate the major concepts of natural systems, with God and Creationism as the foundation. This course explores such concepts as energy, motion, the nature of matter, kinds of substances and how they interact, electricity and magnetism and how they are related, and wave phenomena. Students examine how the tools and processes of scientific inquiry impact scientific knowledge and use the tools of investigation safely and effectively. Using their science knowledge and skills, students demonstrate the ability to use scientific principles to make personal decisions and to take positions on societal issues. Students receive one unit of Upper School credit in science upon completion of this course.

Technology

In this 9-week course, sixth grade students will develop Internet awareness skills and hone their computer etiquette. Basic keyboarding skills will be reviewed. Students will be introduced to research applications using the Internet as well as databases available through the Datus Library. This class is taught opposite a 9-week art course during either semester. Students will take a performance music class — band, choir, or orchestra — during the alternate semester.

Datus International School seeks to enable students to discover and develop their own God-given gifts. In addition to opportunities for this process to occur in the areas of academics, athletics, and service, Datus provides opportunities through a full-bodied fine arts program in the Middle School. In this way, students learn to delight in the arts as a gift from the Creator and glorify Him through the arts. Students will also gain exposure to technology in the Computer Lab. Unlike the other courses in 6th through 8th grades that last the entire school year, these courses are shorter so that students can explore more than one area. Students begin the Middle School Fine Arts and Technology programs by experiencing a visual art class, a technology class, and a music class. Every effort will be made to place students in the music class of most interest to them, but some exceptions may have to be made in order to maintain optimal class sizes.

5th Grade

Datus’ fifth grade program includes a unit on art in which students experiment with drawing portraits, creating sculptures, involving elements from nature in art, and much more.

In Fifth Grade, students transition from a general music class and each chooses a performing ensemble to join – band, orchestra, or choir. Band is a wind ensemble comprised of the flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and baritone. Orchestra students choose the violin, viola, or cello. Choir is a vocal ensemble of students who learn effective use of their voice, proper breathing technique, and tone production. All ensembles rehearse during the school day.

6th Grade

Digital Citizenship: In this 9-week course, students will develop Internet awareness skills and hone their computer etiquette. Basic keyboarding skills will be reviewed. Students will be introduced to research applications using the Internet as well as databases available through the Datus Library.

In this 9-week course, students begin to develop an understanding of art through the study of the basic principles of drawing and color, develop confidence and ability to express creativity through different two-dimensional and three-dimensional projects, and develop an “artist’s eye” that extends into their viewing and appreciating God’s world around them.

Students will choose one of the following semester courses in music for 6th grade:

  • Band: This course provides an introduction to brass, woodwind, and percussion performance and technique. Students begin by mastering basic rhythm, meter note recognition, and finger placement on their desired instrument through daily exercise and songs from a method book. Playing and written tests measure improvement. Performances include solos, small ensembles, and large group experiences—all of which incorporate varied styles of beginner band literature.
  • Chorus: Middle School Chorus is designed to help students navigate their singing voices through the voice change. Instruction is provided in the basics of good tone, singing technique, and vocal sight-reading. This course is designed for both beginners and polished singers.
  • Orchestra: This is a beginning to intermediate level string class for grades 6-12. Students will learn to play violin, viola, cello, harp and bass instruments incorporating note recognition, rhythm, meter, key signatures, ear training and bowing techniques. Students will learn basic music theory and be exposed to many styles of musical repertoire. They will perform in a variety of ensemble settings including several school performances and may play for community events as well. 7TH GRADE8TH GRADE
  • In eighth grade, students will continue to study the foreign language chosen at the start of the seventh grade year. Additionally, students participate in a full-year course of their choosing in Fine Arts. Below are the choices for the school year.
    Art 8
    Band I
    Marching Band/Concert Band (band instructor approval required)
    Theater
    Chorus
    Orchestra I
    Orchestra II

In addition to required full-year courses, students will be assigned automatically to one semester of Bible (Life of Christ). During the remaining semester, students in 7th grade have a choice of one of three half-year foreign language course: French. The language chosen must be taken again in 8th grade and will be beneficial to take in Upper School. Each student who successfully completes the 7th and 8th grade foreign language course for a particular language will receive credit for one year of that foreign language in the Upper School and can start with the 2nd course in that language in Upper School.7th Grade Fine Arts Students in 7th Grade will participate in a full-year course of their choice in Fine Arts. Below are the options for the 2015-2016 school year.
Art 7
Band 1
Marching Band/Concert Band (band instructor approval required)
Theater
Chorus
Orchestra I
Orchestra II

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