Middle School

Middle School Curriculum

French

The Middle School French Program aims to fostering an intrinsic desire to learn a second language; to explore both francophone and other cultures; and to develop written and oral communication skills necessary to express ones’ self in real life practical situations.  Our interactive program develops inquistiveness, motivation and persistence in learning via specific communication challenges presented to students; it addresses all learning styles and can be adapted to both new language learners and those seeking enrichment opportunities. To further empower our students and to allow them to expand their French skills, we offer language experiences in both Quebec and France. 

English

One of the main beliefs that shapes our English programs is that students need to be given opportunities to become better communicators.  As a result, we provide activities that allow students to express themselves in a variety of ways, such as formal, creative, and reflective writing, which is then shared as text, orally, or through multi-media presentations.  We have worked hard to build a base of technology that is integrated into our classes, using programs such as Glogster, Animoto, MovieMaker, and Voice Threads, to allow students extensive choice for displaying their understanding.  We also do cross-curricular assignments whenever possible, so that students can make meaningful connections between their subject areas.  We try our hardest to instill a love of reading in students by exposing them to numerous texts and media and teaching them to become critical readers/viewers. As students advance through the Middle School years, greater emphasis is placed on developing a logical progression of ideas when arguing a point and expressing thoughtful insights about the relevance of actions or events in text.  Extension and enrichment takes place both in and outside of the classroom through activities such as the Writer-in–Residence Program, Unfinished Writing Tours, Public Speaking Contests and Writing Contests. 

Science

Teaching is a Science. Materials and process skills are provided to order to investigate the big ideas. Current educational theory and best practices inform instructional methodologies. Results are analyzed and interpreted to better understand the outcomes. Implications and relationships are sought, causes and effects and discerned, and finally judgements are made to choose new actions among alternatives based on justifiable reasons. 

It is only through student-centered teaching and learning, genuine inquiry, idea integration and stewardship that this can be fully realized. Units of study must therefore provide authenticity, academic rigour, components of meta-cognition, community involvement, process skills and the appropriate technology in addition to content. 

Mathematics

Mathematics is an important subject for all students to learn and enjoy. It is our responsibility, as educators, to inspire all students to see the beauty and power of mathematics. Additionally, we need to help all students to follow their passion in mathematics and to challenge them to reach beyond their comfort zone. 

Traditionally, teachers of mathematics have relied solely on direct instruction in which teacher deliver knowledge to the students, show them examples followed by a series of practice opportunities. Although there is certainly a time and a place for direct instruction, it is the goal of the Middle School Mathematics Department to provide our students with more opportunities to discover the joy of mathematics and to have more exposure to hands-on activities and the use of manipulatives. Additionally, we also want our students to investigate alternate methods to solve problems and share their ideas with their peers.

It is also our belief that all students should be exposed to challenging problems, such as mathematics contests. We believe that problem-solving and critical thinking skills are essential components of a successful mathematics program. 

Physical and Health Education

The Middle School Physical and Health Education program offers participants exposure to a variety of physical activities in a co-operative and enjoyable environment.  The emphasis is on experiencing fun and fitness through physical activity and on actively participating.  Creativity, confidence and general physical fitness are developed through movement exploration and an introduction to basic sports skills.  The activities allow practice, repetition, modification, refinement, consolidation and application of physical skills to movement activities.  Academic skills are reinforced through the use of games that emphasize active learning.  The health units explore healthy active living, growth and development and substance use/abuse with a focus on preparing the students to make informed decisions. 

The Arts

Students in the Middle School are encouraged to explore their artistic side through a wide range of opportunities.  In Visual Arts, students create new and original artwork using a variety of media.  Music students in Grade 5 build on choral skills established in the Junior and Montessori schools prior to learning a musical instrument in Grade 6.  Dramatic skills are developed through cross-curricular opportunities.  At HSC, students are encouraged to expand their artistic interests by taking part in the extensive co-curricular program that includes Grade 5 Choir, Middle School Choir, Grade 7 Band, Grade 8 Band, Jazz Band, Visual Arts Committee, Art Club and the Musical.  Whether they are performing on stage or having their artwork on display throughout the College, our students form a real sense of pride and self-confidence in their artistic abilities.  We hope to see you at one of our performances or exhibits in the future! 

Social Sciences

Students in Middle School Social Studies investigate the world from a variety of perspectives. A strong emphasis is placed on understanding our local community through field trips, guest speakers and research of personal history and interests. Students are introduced to a global perspective through investigations of world cultures and the exploration of our planet’s physical forces. A strong emphasis is placed on making connections between historical events and society today, as well as the exploration of current world issues. Students mix traditional skills (mapping, text research, model building and oral presentation) with 21st century skills (collaboration, internet research and interactive presentations) and demonstrate these skills to their peers and the wider community. Ultimately, authentic learning opportunities in social studies lead students to a greater understanding of the world that we depend on and a willingness to contribute positively to our society.

 

 
 

Hillfield Strathallan College. 299 Fennell Avenue West, Hamilton, ON L9C 1G3 | Tel: (905) 389-1367