English courses at the Middle School level build on the English Language Arts skills from the Elementary program to further develop students’ literacy skills. Students will read a variety of set novels and poetry exploring themes, language and characters that tie each piece together. There is a strong focus on writing skills and grammar and students have the opportunity to plan, draft, create and edit written pieces in a variety of genres.
The Math Program follows the US structure and uses resources based on Common Core Math Standards. Each course in Grades 6, 7 and 8 explores units of pre-algebra and basic geometry in preparation for High School. There is a strong focus on problem-solving, critical thinking and looking at mathematical uses in real world contexts. AISCT also subscribes to Mathletics at the MS level, allowing students to further develop their math literacy skills at their own pace and level.
The Science Program follows the US structure and paces students through separate courses of Earth Science (Grade 6), Life Science (Grade 7) and Physical Science (in Grade 8). There is a strong focus on developing students’ understanding of the scientific method and student-centered ‘hands on’ investigation or ‘lab’ activities are a regular part of the curriculum.
In Social Studies, courses focus on developing a knowledge and understanding of historical, political, cultural, geographical and economic differences in past civilizations. In Grade 6 students follow a course which focuses on the Ancient Civilizations. In Grade 7, students move forward to the Middle Ages, learning about Medieval times, Renaissance and Reformation. 8th Graders study the United States History and Geography, specifically the ideas, issues and events from the framing of the American Constitution up to World War 1. All MS students also participate in a Model United Nations unit as part of their Social Studies curriculum. This culminates in the AISCT MiniMUN Day of Debate held annually in December.
At AISCT, we offer courses in French and Spanish as foreign language courses. The primary goal of the FL program is to build on students’ vocabulary knowledge from their Elementary School experiences and places an increased emphasis on developing formal grammar and communication skills. As an international school, the cultural component of our FL courses is highly emphasized as students are exposed to the different elements of culture related to the French and Spanish speaking worlds.
The PE Program is primarily a practical course but does have some elements of theory. In MS PE classes, students are exposed to a variety of sports and skills and one unit per term focuses on a theoretical element such as anatomy, physiology, healthy living or first aid. There is a strong emphasis on game tactics, team building and sportsmanship. Sports such as Soccer, Basketball, Tennis, Cross Country, Swimming and Volleyball are experienced, and a class period of Dance is introduced in Grade 8 as part of the PE experience.
MS Art courses are designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop artistic perceptions, creative expression and aesthetics of art as well as developing their ability to make the connections between art and other aspects of life. Students will be exposed to a variety of genres and will make use of a variety of media to plan and produce their own pieces of artwork. Units and themes are designed to teach and review art skills and vocabulary and include some exposure to relevant art history. There is a strong emphasis on the process of creative thinking and expression (rather than focusing only on the finished product).
Middle School students in drama class experience a range of theatrical genres including units on Shakespeare, Greek Theatre, Protest Theatre, African Theatre and Improvisation. There is a strong emphasis on building self-confidence and self-image, as well as developing group work and collaboration skills. Every Middle School student participates in a public performance (usually a musical production for students in Grades 7 and 8, and a piece of formal theatre in Grade 6).
The IT program at the Middle School level focuses on developing digital literacy and digital citizenship, and students are required to make use of school PCs and their own iPads as part of the course. In addition to touch typing skills, software or app-based units, general themes such as research skills, digital footprints, student online identities, cyber safety and cyber bullying are covered.
The purpose of music at the Middle School level at AISCT is to give students a well-rounded appreciation for music, and to develop a broad knowledge of music history, musical terminology and instruments, as well as a basic idea of musical concepts. There is a large focus on enjoyment in the class room and learning through practice, listening and observation is used extensively. Students are expected to perform annually at the music showcase event in Term 4.
At the Middle School level, students have one period of Guidance per week with their guidance counselor. A range of topics is covered in areas related to social and emotional learning, career development as well as a focus on academic support structures. Lessons that center around such things as study skills, review strategies and time management and are also included. At AISCT, we firmly believe in the role of the guidance counselor to support student social, emotional and academic needs.