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During this stage, students undergo significant changes in their physical, emotional, and cognitive development. Here are some key aspects of our philosophy for educating children in grades 6 to 8:

  • Developmental Awareness: Children in this age group experience significant physical and emotional changes as they enter adolescence. Educators should be aware of and sensitive to these developmental shifts, providing an environment that supports students' emerging individuality and self-awareness.
  • Student-Centered Learning: We recognize the individuality of each student and tailor education to their specific needs. Our teachers strive to engage students actively in their own learning process, encouraging them to take responsibility for their education and fostering their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Holistic Curriculum: This curriculum focuses on a balanced and holistic approach to education. Academic subjects are integrated, enabling students to explore connections between various disciplines. Practical, artistic, and movement-based activities remain integral to the learning process, providing students with opportunities for creativity and experiential learning.
  • Expanding Horizons: The middle school curriculum expands to include a wider array of academic disciplines, including sciences, humanities, foreign languages, and practical skills. This broad exposure helps students develop a comprehensive understanding of the world and fosters their intellectual curiosity.
  • Development of Critical Thinking: Critical thinking skills during this phase are essential in development. Students are encouraged to question, analyze, and evaluate information independently. Our teachers facilitate discussions and provide opportunities for students to develop their reasoning abilities, helping them develop a well-rounded and discerning approach to learning.
  • Social & Ethical Development: We actively foster social responsibility and ethical awareness. Students are encouraged to explore moral and ethical questions, developing a sense of empathy, respect, and compassion. Collaborative projects, community service, and social engagement play an important role in fostering a sense of social responsibility and a deeper understanding of the world.
  • Arts & Creativity: We recognize the continued importance of artistic expression and creativity during the middle school years. Students engage in artistic activities, such as visual arts, music, drama, and writing, to promote self-expression, imagination, and aesthetic appreciation. These activities also serve as a means of integrating and reinforcing academic learning.
  • Practical Life Skills: We emphasize practical life skills during the middle school years. Students are provided with opportunities to develop practical skills such as cooking, woodworking, gardening, or practical problem-solving. These activities promote self-reliance, craftsmanship, and a sense of accomplishment.
  • Teacher as Mentor: The middle school teacher serves as a mentor and guide, supporting students' holistic development. Teachers foster a supportive and nurturing relationship with students, providing mentorship, individualized guidance, and academic support. They aim to cultivate a love for learning and help students navigate the challenges and opportunities of adolescence.

Middle School - Grades 6-8

6th Grade

Teaching changes significantly in the sixth grade to address new conceptual capacities that are awakening in the children as they approach adolescence. The curriculum, as well as the needs of individual students, becomes increasingly complex through the next few years. 

7th Grade

Seventh Grade marks the birth of the intellect with the need to experiment and explore the world. The thirteen to fourteen year old needs to question authority, pushing the boundaries of what is known or allowed. 

8th Grade

Expanding upon the development of critical thinking skills, we utilize this year to round out the sense of being a world citizen and life-long learner through guided work and independent study. A major part of the 8th grade year is the 8th grade project.

Admissions Inquiry

Running River School uses an open enrollment model whereby a student may enroll at any point in the year (up through April 15). Please inquire about openings or to be placed on a waitlist.