Charles Wright’s Middle School curriculum appropriately challenges students academically, preparing them well in every discipline for the higher expectations they will face in the Upper School, while simultaneously supporting them in a learning environment filled with joy, humor, and integrity.
English: Close reading, effective writing, and critical thinking anchor Charles Wright’s Middle School English curriculum. Sixth graders build on the Lucy Calkins approach to writing to develop their analytical and persuasive writing skills. They dig into the genres of historical fiction and fantasy fiction, reading novels as a class, choosing independent selections, and forming their own book clubs. Seventh graders study the masks characters wear by choice, those that are placed on them by others, and the reasons behind both as they study novels and poetry including The Outsiders, Stargirl, The Westing Game, Bronx Masquerade, Seedfolks, and The Giver. They also study Greek and Roman mythology, folklore in other world cultures, and a play by Shakespeare. Eighth graders explore character development through novels like To Kill A Mockingbird and The Help. They examine how Greek myths influence themes in many modern works while drilling down in the intricacies of English grammar.
History: Through history, Charles Wright teachers help students more fully understand the world around them. We strive to instill in each student a broad knowledge and appreciation of history, heritage, and culture, while fostering enthusiasm for learning through self-exploration and study. Learning results from artful teaching that engages students actively, intellectually, and collaboratively. Sixth graders study world geography. Seventh graders study American and Pacific Northwest history. Eighth graders study revolutions, uprisings, revolts, wars, and liberations, with a focus on the history of nations outside of Europe and North America.
Math: CWA’s math program provides a balanced approach to both skill development and mathematical reasoning. We emphasize the discovery and application of mathematical ideas and thoughtfully integrate technology. Following our sixth and seventh grade pre-algebra courses, students begin working their way through a five-year sequence that may follow many different paths through 12 different math courses ranging from algebra to Advanced Placement calculus BC, all designed to challenge and support their skills and interests.
Science: Charles Wright’s Middle School science teachers focus on developing students’ problem-solving, critical-thinking, and laboratory skills, as well as their scientific literacy. Through the study of life sciences in sixth grade, basic chemistry and physics in seventh grade, and earth science in eighth grade, teachers lay the groundwork for the Upper School’s in-depth study of biology, physics, and chemistry.
World Languages: Students choose between Spanish, Japanese, and French. Most will continue studying this language through the Upper School’s advanced courses. Students learn about culture and history in these courses, as well as developing the vocabulary and grammar to speak, read and write in another language.
Visual and performing arts and athletics are also important parts of every student’s school day.