The Power of Discovery
Middle School, Grades 6-8, is a time of significant change cognitively, socially, emotionally, and physically for adolescents. At King, we create opportunities for our students to develop a genuine understanding of who they are and how they fit into the world around them.
Communication, intellectual and creative processing, character development, and personal growth are key competency areas designed to encourage academic achievement, personal fulfillment, and social responsibility.
King encourages self-discovery and builds their confidence to explore their passions. We create a student-centered environment where children thrive because they can become “both/and”: a rower and a robot-maker, a designer and a goalie, a chemist and a choreographer.
Throughout the Middle School, inquiry-based learning highlights student voice and choice.
Students formulate their own essential questions and use them to guide their exploration and learning. From their opening experiences in Middle School University in Grade 6 to their independent Grade 8 READY project, where they explore an area of passion or interest, students investigate questions ranging from Who am I? to What does my community need from me?
Middle School faculty look for and are trained to seek opportunities in and out of the classroom where students can engage in learning through the process of questioning, information gathering and evaluation, application, and revision. Moments like this include but are not limited to outdoor education experiences at a local environmental preserve, simulations designed to solve current global issues, and interdisciplinary studies of various topics.
Everything in the inquiry-based approach to learning in the King Middle School cultivates curiosity and fosters self-discovery.
King guides every student in the discovery of who they are and how they learn. Students explore a wide variety of fields and topics deeply and intentionally. They seek to understand the ways that strong communities are built upon differences both in experience and perspective. Only then can students begin to see learning as a way to understand their community, their place in the world, and the possibilities they possess to drive positive change.
Dr. Josh Deitch, Head of Middle School
From the impact of genetics and ethnicity on breast cancer and the environmental effects of candles to American football's history and the ball's aerodynamic design, Grade 8 students showcased a diverse range of interests through their semester-long R.E.A.D.Y. projects. Friends and family of the young researchers buzzed around the middle school atrium on Friday, December 8, listening to the students’ R.E.A.D.Y. presentations, an acronym that stands for Research, Experience, Action, Designed by You.
Students in science teacher Katie O’Connor’s Grade 8 Concepts in Physical Science class used ClassVR, a technology that introduces virtual and augmented reality in classrooms, to see things invisible to the naked eye through augmented reality. More specifically, they had the chance to see models of elements and compounds that are ubiquitous in their world.
Middle school students debuted the first theatrical performance of the 2023-24 school year with two magical performances of “A Wrinkle In Time” on Friday, November 10. The iconic science fantasy piece tells the story of three adolescents who embark on a journey through space and time looking for a lost family member. Themes of family, good against evil, personal maturity, and forgiveness resonated with many students.
The middle school community enjoyed an engaging presentation from Rodney Eric Lopez, a motivational speaker and educator who teaches about community, growth mindset, and generosity through dance. Lopez spoke with students and faculty in the middle school atrium on Thursday, November 9, where he shared how dancing and departing from comfort zones can bring a community together.
Lower school students enjoyed music from the Middle School String Ensemble at a recent assembly. In addition to the group performance, middle school students and Performing Arts teacher Colin Benn discussed each instrument's purpose, inspiring their younger peers to pick up instruments of their own.
In a recent lesson, Grade 8 history teacher Ken Lewis led his classes through World War I using alliance simulations and battleship games. The exercise was part of the course that introduces students to American foreign policy and political theory through active project-based lessons that incorporate close reading, research, writing, presentation, and group collaboration skills.
This week, King’s Middle School introduced two new programs designed to foster inclusion and belonging between students from different grade levels: Middle School Families and Fellowship Fridays. The programs will increase the number of opportunities students have to mingle, find common interests, and develop new relationships in the King community.
From Bridgeport and Colebrook to Philadelphia, middle school students bonded over ziplines, archery, and a Museum of Illusions in field trip excursions designed to build camaraderie and set a positive tone for the year. Pushed out of their comfort zones and into experiences that called for collaboration and team-building, the trips initiate a spirit of unity and yield lasting memories that lay a strong foundation for collaborative growth throughout the academic year.
For the second year, King School's Middle School University (MSU) launched Grade 6 students into the new year, introducing essential skills and concepts for successful learning in Middle School.
This year, the program expanded on three original areas of focus: materials management, effective communication, and executive functioning skills. A new unit was added to encourage students to take risks by helping them navigate anxiety associated with stepping out of their comfort zones.