The sixth grade students arrive full of wonder, curiosity and a little trepidation. They may be worried about making new friends, meeting academic expectations or proving themselves on the athletic field or in the arts. They soon feel at home with a program that develops their character and enriches their lives with opportunities to explore all their talents and interests.
Students in sixth grade are beginning a journey. The program of study this year provides them with the skills necessary to begin those first steps on the road to autonomy. Sixth-grade parents often remark on the surprising growth in responsibility displayed by their sixth grader. In the spring, each girl presents a personal portfolio to her parents; in it, she displays her mastery of academic topics along with new insights into her own learning style. Each student sets goals for herself and discusses with her parents how she intends to reach her goals. In the words of one parent, “Our daughter was able to thoroughly analyze her strengths and weaknesses and show ownership and accountability for her accomplishments and goals.”
Our sixth grade program shares with the entire middle school two dynamic characteristics. The entire curriculum is integrated around shared themes, which are explored through academic, arts and physical education classes. Secondly, our teaching methods tap into a wide variety of learning styles. In all their classes, our sixth graders learn by doing: writing, reading, singing, dancing, talking, building, and reflecting. The core academic programs of math, science, social studies and language arts are closely coordinated with our arts curriculum and our physical education program. At the same time, the emerging spiritual and character development of each girl begins in the sixth grade through religion classes and her participation in service programs, prayer service and liturgical events on campus. Finally, the students participate in a stimulating and diverse range of extracurricular and elective activities ranging from the annual musical, elective classes in the arts, sports teams, spirit games and the many others activities that make up the total “Holy Child” experience.