Academics

Middle School

Learning ignited by curiosity
The Middle School years (Grades 7 and 8) are a pivotal and sometimes challenging stage of development. Our inquiry and project-based learning ensures that students are excited about and feel supported in learning. The curriculum is exploratory, integrative and relevant. It provides a strong academic foundation for learning in the Senior School.
Inquiry-based learning builds on the idea that students are naturally curious and keen to learn about and act in the world. We encourage active, purposeful learning. Students ask tough questions, explore complex ideas, conduct thorough research and come up with solutions to real-world problems. Through the process of puzzling things out and sometimes failing, they gain understanding that sticks.

Teachers provide a framework for student projects, helping to break the inquiry process down into parts. They ensure that every student is challenged appropriately. A key component of any project is the creation of an exhibition or presentation, self-reflection and peer feedback.

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  • Other aspects of the Middle School curriculum include:

    • A broad preparation, with all students required to take English, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), Social Studies (history and geography), French, Physical Education, Visual Arts, Drama, Vocal and either Band or Strings
    • An accelerated math program that enables students to achieve a Grade 9 credit by the end of Grade 8.
    • An accelerated French program that enables students to achieve a Grade 9 credit by the end of Grade 8.
    • Options, a series of co-curricular activities built into the school day
    • Weekly Chapel services
    • Physical activity integrated into the curriculum
We provide a nurturing environment for students at this critical age. Every adult in the Middle School serves as an advocate, advisor and mentor. Social and emotional learning is part of everything we do. The Middle School Counsellor and Homeroom Teachers play a special role in supporting students through the shoals of pre-adolescence.

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  • Community Engagement

    This program nurtures ethical citizenship through service to others. Experiences have included Ve’ahavta Street Outreach, Churches on-the-Hill Food Bank, Humewood Home, Pollinator Pathways, Cedarvale Terrace Long-term Care Home, and Russell Hill Retirement Residence.
  • Middle School Counsellor

    The Counsellor is available to help students thrive, inside and outside of school. Among her roles, she:

    • Supports the homeroom program
    • Conducts classroom group activities
    • Offers one-on-one and small group guidance sessions
    • Sponsors peer mediation
    • Serves as a resource in classroom activities
    • Provides a bridge between home and school, often meeting with parents
  • Homeroom Teacher

    Homeroom is where each student at BSS develops a sense of belonging. Students spend the first 15 minutes of each day in Homeroom and have one extended session per week. Homeroom teachers are there to support students by listening and gently guiding them through the ups and down of school life.
  • Chapel

    Weekly chapel services support our goal of educating the body, mind and spirit. They promote themes of peace, justice, truth and mercy. They celebrate spirituality through the lenses of several religions. Students often design and lead the services, growing their understanding of diverse traditions.
  • Options

    The Options program runs for nine sessions in the fall term, providing more than 15 activities to choose from. Activities include Wen-do, graphic design, dance, climbing, jewelry making and stage combat.

Tim Somerville, Science Teacher and Activity Lead

Inquiry based learning works because we know that students are always more engaged when they choose their own topics, find relevance in the content, and are challenged to explain their learning in a method of their own design.