HIGH SCHOOL PREP
The HFS middle school curriculum focuses on preparing our students for high school, giving them the tools and knowledge to be prepared intellectually and social-emotionally, while helping instill the confidence to be an independent and critical thinker, self-driven learner, and advocate for oneself. Our smaller class sizes create a nurturing environment, conducive to personal attention, creativity, risk-taking, and in-depth study. As with our lower divisions, experiential and service-based learning continue to play an important role in the curriculum.
Middle school students are fully immersed in a curriculum and routines unique to the middle school grades. History, literature, and writing are integrated into a daily 90-minute Humanities format. As a part of the science curriculum, all seventh and eighth grade students participate in the Coriell Institute Science Fair with the opportunity to advance to the regional and national levels of competition. The middle school math curriculum strengthens arithmetic skills and expands student knowledge in concepts leading to their study of Algebra and Geometry. Teachers also work on organizational skills—from keeping track of daily homework assignments and materials to guided note taking and preparing for longer term assignments and tests.
Our students attend classes in performing and visual arts. Each year of the middle school music curriculum introduces students to performance experiences on a different instrument (soprano recorder in 5th grade and guitar in 6th grade) or immersion in music study (music history in 7th grade and world music in 8th grade). Middle school students perform in two all-school concerts: The Winter Concert in December and Frolic (graduation) in June. In the HFS Spanish program, students are encouraged to acquire conversational proficiency in Spanish through language exposure by listening and reading, intentionally tailored to their level of understanding. This input-based approach to teaching foreign language focuses on the systematic instruction of high frequency vocabulary in a highly comprehensible, personalized, and contextualized manner. Students are taught vocabulary, basic language structure, and grammar through the context of stories, novels, songs, and conversation, as well as through gestures and pantomime with the goal of fluency. In Art classes, middle school students create art in a variety of media that addresses issues ranging from current events, to Quaker values, to the students’ own thoughts and concerns. In Health & Physical Ed, students learn a variety of sports skills, fitness exercises, and health concepts, and they participate in numerous cooperative and strategic games.
Experiential learning occurs through five field trips in each grade; some field trips involve the entire middle school. We also engage with our local community — walking to Haddonfield bookstores and ice cream shops to learn about entrepreneurship and chemistry, for example. Each grade also has a signature overnight trip: fifth grade travels to Mt. Misery, sixth grade to Cape May, seventh grade to Washington D.C., and the eighth grade class travels to Costa Rica for a 6-day experience which includes service, environmental studies, and Spanish language exposure. Costa Rica is the culmination of the HFS middle school experience and leaves our graduates with memories for a lifetime.
Service-based learning is also part of the middle school experience. Our sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students donate their time and effort to cook hot meals and bring interactive activities to sick children and their families residing at Ronald McDonald House. The students also plan and organize a school-wide rummage sale to raise funds for the food purchases necessary for their meal preparation at RMH. Students often identify needs in both our local and global communities and design service projects of their own.
These collective experiences and opportunities at HFS set our middle school students up for success after graduation. Students are mentored through the high school application process and gain admittance to many of their schools of choice, including Moorestown Friends, Lawrenceville Prep, William Penn Charter (PA), St. Andrew’s School (DE), St. Joseph’s Preparatory School (PA), Friends Select (PA), Bishop Eustace, and Monteverde Friends (Costa Rica). They also achieve success at area public high schools (Haddonfield Memorial, Cherry Hill East, Collingswood, Pitman, Eastern, Sterling, to name a few).