IGNITING CURIOSITY AND FORMING FOUNDATIONS OF FAITH
WELCOME TO MIDDLE SCHOOL
Middle School is a period of significant transformation, encompassing physical, intellectual, and emotional changes. As eighth graders transition to high school, they experience noticeable physical growth and a desire for independence and fairness. Building and maintaining strong friendships become a priority for them, as they seek validation and support from their peers. At Grace, we embrace and nurture these unique qualities of middle school students.
Our goal is to provide an inspiring environment where they can flourish during this intense phase of self-discovery. By combining our Hearts, Heads, and Hands, we encourage students to apply biblical principles and become global citizens who make a positive impact on the world. Our tailored middle school program offers diverse opportunities in sports, arts, technology, design, and language learning. After-school clubs foster exploration, skill development, and community involvement. Through weekly chapel services, we foster spiritual growth and unity among students. Homerooms provide a supportive space for students to navigate the challenges of middle school in smaller groups. Above all, our dedicated staff and teachers are committed to supporting students throughout their transformative three-year journey.
Our programs offer a comprehensive range of subjects and activities designed to support holistic development. In Advisory and Homeroom, students receive personalized guidance and support. Religious Studies fosters spiritual growth, while subjects like Language Arts, Ancient Civilizations, World Geography and World Civilizations cultivate knowledge and critical thinking. Mathematics is covered through Pre-Algebra and Algebra I, and Science explores different scientific concepts. Technology and Digital Citizenship enhance global awareness and practical digital skills. Thai language instruction is differentiated and highly practical.
All Middle School electives follow a Project-Based Learning (PBL) approach, including Art, Band, Choir, Physical Education, Leadership, Yearbook, and Survival Skills. Additionally, a Project-Based Learning (PBL) Elective Expo is held at the end of each semester. Middle School Chapel and Student Council operate separately but have a distinct focus on their respective missions. We offer guided study halls for students needing Educational Support and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
Our middle school curriculum emphasizes best practices for holistic equipping in grades 6-8. We offer an American-style curriculum based on academic standards that build on each other through each grade level (from K-12). For example, In the Language Arts 8 class, students engage in a study of the book “The Hiding Place” to explore themes of resilience, faith, and compassion. Through analyzing the story’s characters and their experiences during World War II, students gain insights into the power of forgiveness and the importance of upholding a biblical worldview. By connecting the lessons from “The Hiding Place” to their own lives, students develop a deeper understanding of empathy, justice, and the transformative impact of living out their faith. We design learning activities to achieve these outcomes. Our assessments connect directly to classroom learning activities to evaluate whether we have met the standards. Effective assessment practices, such as quality summative and formative assessments, alongside collaborative group work and creative assignments, provide valuable insights into student learning and growth. Additionally, yearly standardized testing serves as a useful tool to gather comprehensive data on student performance, enabling educators to make informed decisions and tailor their teaching approaches accordingly.Our curriculum development team and our instructors work together to provide a balanced, comprehensive education across subjects and grade levels.
Middle school includes a variety of courses in language arts, mathematics, sciences, social studies, Bible, Thai, visual and performing arts, physical education, technology and digital citizenship.
- Language Arts build a strong foundation in reading, writing, and speaking skills that prepares students for success in high school and beyond. Students analyze many kinds of texts and write their own creative pieces. Language Arts is designed to help students gain a strong foundation in their reading, writing and speaking skills. Students will read multiple short stories, poems, fiction and non-fiction texts, developing their skills in comprehension and critical thinking. Writing and other creative assignments will be centered around their reading as well as structured class discussions. Students will study grammar sequentially and apply these skills to writing strong sentences, paragraphs, and essays. Students will write creative as well as analytical pieces and study new vocabulary within the context of their reading.
- Mathematics extends and sharpens basic arithmetic skills and prepares students for algebra and higher mathematics. Throughout these courses problem-solving, critical thinking, and real-world applications of mathematics are emphasized. Students will have a solid understanding of key math concepts and skills that will prepare them for success in future math courses.
- Sciences engage students with hands-on investigation in geology, biology, ecology, chemical interactions, astronomy, and physics. Students increase their scientific literacy through cooperative and team science learning.
- Social Sciences survey the development of many civilizations around the world, from ancient Mesopotamia and Chinese civilizations to the contemporary world. Students learn the essential elements of world geography and see their relevance in our lives. In Geography, students focus on the Fertile Crescent, various regions of Africa, the Indian subcontinent, and Southeast Asia. Students will explore key developments and events that shaped the history and culture of these civilizations and learn about their contributions in areas such as architecture, religion, philosophy, and the arts. The course offers students an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the rich history and diverse cultures of various civilizations across different periods.
- Religious Studies is designed to help students grow spiritually, explore Christian faith practices, and deepen their understanding of the Bible. RS will begin by focusing on spiritual formation, which includes developing a personal relationship with God and learning how to live out our faith in our daily lives. In Religious Studies, as the Bible is studied, we will examine the historical context, themes, and theological significance, and explore how they relate to our lives today. By the end of this course, you will have a deeper understanding of the Bible, a stronger spiritual foundation, and practical tools for living out your faith in the world. Religious Studies provides a biblical overview and develops critical thinking skills.
- Thai classes cater to different types of students at a variety of levels. National Thai students take full-year classes that develop skills in speaking, reading, writing, and listening. Foreign students who have little or no experience in Thai may take Thai 1. Thai 2 is for foreign students to continue to build an understanding of communication in Thai, including basic reading and writing. Thai 3 continues to build a strong foundation for Thai language communication with opportunities to practice all four skills in Thai (listening, speaking, reading, writing).
- Visual Arts Project Based Learning Electives build on the foundation of the elementary arts curriculum. Students experiment with two- and three-dimensional art to learn the Elements of Art and Principles of Design. Students develop artistic ability and express their ideas creatively. A variety of materials and techniques will be explored together along with using appropriate art vocabulary to critique their own work and the work of others. Students will gain confidence in creative expression and create a body of work to be displayed at the Project Based Learning Elective Expo in December and/or May.
- Performing Arts Project Based Learning Electives include band and choir at the beginning and intermediate levels, culminating in a concert each semester. Beginning band students choose an instrument and then learn how to play along with basic music notation and theory. As students progress through the beginning and intermediate levels, they learn to sight-read and play classic band and popular music. Choir students are introduced to proper vocal technique, ear training, basic sight-singing, beginning theory and music notation. They learn and perform music from different styles and periods.
- Physical Education exposes students to a wide variety of games and activities. Students play football (soccer), basketball,volleyball, badmitten, and several other international sports. Students learn interpersonal skills and work together as a team.
- Technology and Digital Citizenship courses help students harness the full potential of technology for their learning. Students become adept at Google Apps and learn basic computer science and programming skills. They are trained to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly in the digital world.
- Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is available by limited special arrangement in lieu of the equivalent grade language arts class. Year-long courses develop students’ English language proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students expand their vocabulary, become familiar with idioms, and master necessary grammar topics for this level of English language development.
- Education Support is designed to support student learning in a variety of ways. Students will receive focused intervention towards individual learning goals, re-teaching of classroom content in cooperation with the classroom teacher, and executive function coaching. Students will also have the opportunity to complete classroom assignments in a structured and monitored environment with the aid of an Education Support Teacher.
- Survival Skills will engage in a project-based survival experience. They will work through the Survival Island protocol and Life Skills, engaging in interdisciplinary methodology that integrates science, Language Arts, Social Studies, and physical activity. This student centered Project Based Learning combines imagination, creativity, and problem solving skills as students attempt to “survive” on an island. Activities involve problems to be solved, prioritizing actions and materials, outdoor survival skills, map skills, research, journaling, and decision making.
- Yearbook will use the art of storytelling and photography to capture and preserve the memories in Middle School this school year. We will explore the theme of “remembering” through the lens of Joshua 4, where the Israelites built a memorial to remember God’s faithfulness and provision. Through our study of this passage, we will learn about the importance of remembering God’s faithfulness in our lives and how to use our yearbook to celebrate and honor the ways in which He has worked in our school community. Using our creative talents, we will design and produce a yearbook that reflects our school’s unique culture and values, capturing the moments and memories that we will cherish for years to come. By the end of this course, you will have developed skills in photography, design, and storytelling, while also deepening your faith and appreciation for God’s goodness in your life.
- Leadership will be explored through the lens of servant leadership, following the example of Jesus Christ, who came not to be served but to serve. Through our study of critical thinking, change processes, and decision-making, we will develop the skills needed to lead with wisdom and discernment. We will also explore the role of personal identity in leadership and how to effectively engage and collaborate with others. Using our minds, hearts, voices, and ears, we will learn how to communicate effectively and constructively, building strong relationships and fostering a culture of trust and respect. Throughout the course, we will emphasize the importance of humility, compassion, and servant-heartedness, seeking to serve others and make a positive impact in our communities and the world. By the end of this course, you will be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to lead with excellence and make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.
Academic Standards and Review Cycle
Every 7 years our resources are refreshed with all teachers being involved in the choosing of the resources. GIS has adopted the following standards:
GIS ACADEMIC STANDARDS
End of Semester Assessments for all Academic Courses
All Grades 6-8 core classes (Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science) will have a semester assessment at the end of each semester (during the last week of classes). The first semester assessment for Grades 6-8 will be on material covered during the second quarter (October-December) for that particular core academic class. The second semester assessment for Grades 6-8 will be cumulative including material covered only in the third and fourth quarters (January-May) for that particular core academic class. Semester assessments are designed to assess the student’s progress, prepare the student for high school exams, and directly reflect the taught and tested curriculum.
MAP – Grade 6
MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) this computer adaptive assessment is one of the assessment tools used to measure progress in grade 6. Students are tested at the beginning of the school year and again at the end of the school year. MAP measures what students know and gives teachers an accurate measure of student performance, whether a student meets or exceeds grade level expectations. MAP results help teachers plan instruction.
PSAT – Grade 8
The Preliminary SAT, also known as the PSAT/NMSQT® (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test), is a practice version of the SAT exam. The PSAT is a preparatory test for the SAT with four focus areas: reading, writing, language, and math. For some students, the PSAT can also mean access to scholarship opportunities. The PSAT 8 typically takes place in October or early November for all Grade 8 students.