Academics

Middle School

Welcome to Watkinson's Middle School

Middle School is an exciting and pivotal time in a young person’s life. It is a time to move from childhood to adolescence and from concrete to more abstract ways of thinking. Watkinson's Middle School program enables students to thrive throughout their lives. With this in mind we have deliberately designed our Watkinson middle school curriculum.

Hands-on

Projects and active conversations. In World Cultures class, students design a civilization and craft the physical artifacts to match… then go on an archaeological dig of the other class’s artifacts. Based on what they’ve learned in class about cultural and political structures, artistic forms, the use of tools, and the development of symbols and languages, each team will piece together the culture they have unearthed.

Dynamic

Along the way, they’ll learn to make concrete observations and abstract connections, to question, research, and apply the scientific method.






Deep

The middle school years are a time of exploration, change, and growth. We watch with pleasure as our students develop into strong, confident learners and people—well-equipped to face the challenges they encounter not only at this level, but also in the Upper School.



Points of Distinction

List of 3 items.

  • 6th Grade

    Park River Study and Service-Learning Project. During the spring trimester, the 6th-grade science students participate in a service-learning project aimed at protecting the North Branch of the Park River. They determine the water quality of the river using the benthic macroinvertebrates as pollution indicators. In order to help protect the river, the students follow the river north into Bloomfield to stencil storm drains with the message, “Dump No Waste, Drains to River” and distribute student-designed educational fliers. They also write and illustrate children’s books, which teach younger children about the connection and importance of the Park River, Connecticut River and Long Island Sound. This project has been an integral part of our curriculum for the last 8 years.
  • 7th Grade

    Coming of Age
    Seventh grade marks the middle of the middle. During this formative year, students in English class explore the essential question: What does it mean to Come of Age? Through numerous novels focused on this theme, as well as narrative writing about moments in their own lives, students gain a greater sense of this important life question.  Projects such as a six-chapter Book of Self, as well as an interdisciplinary art project that combines metaphorical poetry and window decorating, allow students to explore the figurative world and transition from that of child to young adult.
  • 8th Grade

    8th-Grade Exhibitions
    A year-long process where students evaluate themselves as learners through the lens of C4S (critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, commitment, and self-advocacy) and create individual projects that incorporate and demonstrate their findings. Students receive one-on-one coaching throughout the process and present their projects to parents, teachers, their peers, and 7th graders.

    Shakespeare Monologues

    A several-week English project where each student is assigned 30 to 60 lines of a Shakespearean monologue to analyze and comprehend, and then to memorize and present to the rest of the middle school and 8th-grade parents.

Middle School Department Heads

List of 6 members.