Entering Middle School is an important milestone in a child’s education. In 5th and 6th grade, Sidwell Friends strives to ensure that each child feels supported and successful during this transition. With their own hallway and dedicated homeroom setting, 5th and 6th grade students feel known and cared for as they acclimate to new environments and expectations. Students’ homeroom teachers oversee the whole-child experience, and they are the primary point of contact for students and parents. Teachers take a stepping-stone approach as they encourage greater independence and self-management. Students are “learning to learn” while building a foundation that will carry them through their education and life. Organization, study skills, and collaboration are fundamental parts of this process.
Classes meet regularly to study math, language arts, science, social studies, and Chinese or Spanish. Students experience variety in their daily School life through arts education in drama, chorus, and instrumental music; advisory lessons with the counselor; and service learning. Teachers collaborate with counselors, librarians, the academic-support coordinator, and technology staff to develop dynamic curricula that encourage a lifetime love of learning. Students have a 20-minute snack break each morning and take part in an hour of physical education each day.
Opportunities to practice and experience Quaker values occur throughout the day, as the School focuses on diversity, community, and finding “that of God” in everyone. Sidwell Friends aims for a healthy balance between academics and students’ social and emotional needs. Whether 5th and 6th grade mark the beginning or the middle of a child’s time at Sidwell Friends, all students should feel welcome and included as they discover new strengths and seek new challenges.