“Education is not a learning of facts but the training of the mind to think.”
Our Middle school Curriculum is designed to accompany students into a new cycle.
Children enter a phase in their personal and academic life full of changes. Our main mission is to accompany them into their teenage years with the right balance between independence & structure.
To do so, students are challenged to think globally, apply what they learn to real-world problems, and to think outside the box.
Middle School is a time for change, which is why it is so crucial to give our students the right environment to maximize the their confidence.
Two Tracks Available in Middle School
This is the natural continuity of your child’s bilingual elementary education received at the French American Academy or at another French-American School. Students can speak, read, write and count in both languages at the 6th-grade entrance level.
Accelerated French Track
In this track, students are not required to have prior French language and can start without any French Knowledge. This track can also be the natural path for French-speaking families who didn’t choose a bilingual education during elementary years but would like to deepen their child’s ability in French.
Teaching Through Projects
The best way to engage students and to develop their curiosity & critical thinking is by having them solve real-world problems.
For example: our 8th graders developed their data science skills by creating computer programs that would forecast a disease’s severity based on different controls.
Not only does project-based learning develop problem-solving skills, but it also helps students become active learners.
Benefits of Project-Based Pedagogy:
- Improves understanding and retention of content
- Increases motivation for all students who learn by actively engaging in real-world and personally meaningful projects.
- Develops a creative and analytical thinking mindset.
Interdisciplinary Project Example
“Face à Face” The Musical
Middle School Curriculum Core Subjects
In addition to the subjects listed, students also study Spanish, Coding and STEM, Health and Physical Education, and Music.
Humanities integrate Language Arts and Social Studies. Our Humanities classes aim to strengthen students’ communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and reading comprehension skills. Students learn humanities classes with French and English teachers co-teaching and teaching separately to help draw connections and build bridges between the two languages and curriculums.
Humanities focus on the human experience through reading, writing, history, art, philosophy, religion, government, social classes, methodology, gender, and other culture. Subject taught include: French, English, History, Geography
Project-Based Learning Methods used in teaching Humanities The teachers promote active learning to engage students and promote independent decision-making during lessons. Our teachers encourage student-led discussions, student-based inquiries, primary sources analysis, and analyzing different sources.
Mathematics integrates the French and American math curricula to help students draw connections, analyze curriculum differences, and develop more profound critical thinking skills and alternative perspectives. American math system looks at problem-solving in real-life situations, while French promotes learning math theory and practicing essential principles, understanding, and writing proofs. The combination of French and American math curricula allows the students to view math as an open-minded subject with multiple ways to solve a problem and a structured manner where they have to use principles and math practices. (rewrite to make it more clear). Our math program prepares middle school students to enter high school with high proficiency in Algebra and Geometry.
Project-Based Methods used in teaching Mathematics We challenge students to engage in inquiry-based learning, proving their thinking and communicating it to their peers. To engage students in learning, we connect math lessons to student lives to help them understand how math is used everywhere. Students also engage in various hands-on math projects.
Starting in elementary school, we start teaching mathematics using the Singapore Math pedagogical method. Click here to learn more.
The Science curriculum focuses on the three branches of science: physical, life, and earth sciences. We provide students with bilingual co-teaching classes, where there is both a French science teacher & an english science teacher instructing the class in a bilingual fashion.
Our French and English teachers work together to strengthen students’ analytical thinking skills. We want students to be able to come up with different solutions and introduce research and analytical thinking. We expect students to become better writers who analyze reports.
Project-Based Method used in teaching Science The science curriculum aims to foster excitement and enthusiasm for learning science concepts through inquiry-based and student-active experiences.
For example: FAA’s seventh graders drew upon their knowledge of science, coding, and math to create hypothetical models showing how human behavior can affect a disease’s path through the general population. Drawing on real-world data, the students applied what epidemiologists have learned about the effects of masking, vaccination, and isolation. They created computer programs that would forecast a disease’s severity based on those different controls. Beyond requiring students to synthesize science, coding, and mathematical knowledge, this project showed students how proper data science can be used to combat misinformation and lead to better practices in public health.
The Arts Plastiques course follows the requirements of the French curriculum and is inspired by an interdisciplinary approach.
In a society increasingly based on visual information, it is more essential than ever to teach children and teenagers what is an image, how to create, compose it and decipher its message.
Students will be learning perceptual and vocabulary tools. In addition, they will be developing creative expression, learning historical background and practicing critical thinking. Moreover, students study topics through a transversal approach which allows then to create bridges between Arts, History, Literature and Philosophy.
With assignments such as “Masked, unmasked”, “off the frame”, “autoportrait in collage”, “wonderful landscapes” and more, students discover their own creative process. There are as many methods as there are students in a class and individual creativity is valued.
We encourage students to explore different mediums before learning specific techniques (drawing people, landscapes, watercolor technique, comics, designing a poster…). After each project, they discover and learn about artworks of various styles and from different time periods. Learning the historical background and context as well as connections with other disciplines help them gain global and multicultural perspective of Arts and Humanities.
The French American Academy has STEM teachers and programs for both middle and elementary school. While we have dedicated classes and curriculum for science and math, STEM is a separate class that focuses on collaborative projects and frequently includes coding. These projects frequently call upon students to reinvest knowledge from their science and math classes, using critical thinking skills in order to solve a problem or meet a challenge. In middle school, students are at a critical stage in their development, and they are starting to think more seriously about their future academic and career paths. This is why it is crucial to expose them to STEM subjects early on, so they can develop an interest in these fields and build a foundation for their future studies and career choices. Let’s look at a few of the STEM projects that our middle school students have recently undertaken.
As social media and ongoing news is becoming increasingly important in our daily lives, we provide our students with the proper tools to navigate through this
To provide our middle schoolers with interdisciplinary experience and strengthen oral communication skills, listening, reading, critical thinking, and confidence, students engage in debates based on various topics such as current events, historical events, or literature circles.
In 6th grade students start a 3rd language, Spanish. Our goal is that each student achieve a level of proficiency A1 or A2 of the European Common Framework at the end of 8th grade, with the official diploma of DELE
STEM & Technology Middle School
Laptop Program – All middle school students benefit from our one-on-one laptop policy, and each student is provided with a Mac Book Air which allows them to access course resources and communicate and collaborate with teachers and peers regarding their studies and school-related activities and events.
Coding classes – Coding is part of our math curriculum, and students love to learn this additional language and be exposed to scratch, brackets, or robots. Furthermore, our curriculum will include an introduction to AI – Artificial Intelligence – to understand algorithms and the usage of AI in daily life.
Supporting the Needs of Our Students
Advisory – The FAA values a personal approach and each Middle School student is assigned to a faculty advisor. Each advisor acts as the student advocate and liaison between home and school for academic and non-academic matters.
Community Service – When students get involved in community service, they not only help others but also learn about themselves. They get to interact with people who have vastly different backgrounds, they learn patience and empathy. They expand their worldview and practice real-world skills like leadership, problem-solving, collaboration, time management, and communication, which will help them succeed in high school and beyond.
High School Preparation – In the end, the main objective of any middle school is to prepare students for high school and beyond. At the FAA, middle schoolers take the PSAT in 7th grade, are coached by their teachers and advisors, and are encouraged to apply to the best high schools in the area.
Learn more about where our students go to high school!
Discover What's New in Middle School
Middle school students always look forward to the annual school trip, and this year, they were off to explore the historical cities of Philadelphia
Middle School FAQs
We offer two French language tracks to choose from!
The Bilingual Track does require prior knowledge of French, while in the Accelerated French Track students do not need to know any French.
But don’t worry, we understand that learning a 2nd language can be challenging, hence we offer additional support like ESL & FSL classes to ensure all of our students succeed.
Plus, our nurturing environment with small class sizes is perfect for helping students thrive and reach their full potential.
Our French teachers are from countries where French is the official language and speak French as their native language and our English teachers are native English speakers.