Discovering Yourself – Grade 6 to 8
Discovering Yourself – Grade 6 to 8
The FIS Middle School strives to create an environment in which the unique needs of early adolescents are central, allowing them to flourish academically, socially and emotionally. While the Middle School links the Elementary and High School programs, it has a particular role in cultivating the habits and skills necessary for transitioning into life-long independent learners.
A normal Middle School day runs from 8:30 to 15:40 Mondays to Thursdays and 8:30 to 14:00 on Fridays.
Grades 6 to 8 enjoy a rigorous and challenging curriculum using the International Baccalaureate’s Middle Years Programme (MYP). The MYP at the FIS is made particularly relevant to young adolescents through the use of a variety of learning strategies and teaching approaches focused on developing the uniquely malleable habits, or Approaches to Learning (ATLs), of this age group. The formation of self-identity and character traits that occurs during these years significantly shapes the future of the students, and we greatly value our partnership with parents to ensure that the most effective academic learning and character development is achieved.
In the MYP curricular framework, all students study a First Language, a Second Language (or a second First Language), Mathematics, Science, Individuals and Societies, Arts, Physical and Health Education and Design. Additionally, all Middle School students also choose between project-based Exploratory classes such as Coding, Discrete Mathematics or Photography, OR Spanish as another additional language. In addition, the curriculum is enriched through residential and day long field trips emphasizing experiential learning and community building. A progam of co-curricular activities, such as Student Council and sports also supports the development of leadership as well as physical literacy.
Following a process of review instigated by the FIS Strategic Plan 2012-2017, in 2016 the FIS decided to adopt the International Baccalaureate’s Middle Years Programme (MYP). At this stage in the school’s growth the IB MYP will be the most appropriate curricular framework for providing the rigorous and engaging curriculum that students need in the middle school.
A timeline of the implementation of MYP at the FIS is included below:
|Grade 6||Grade 7||Grade 8||Grade 9||Grade 10|
|2018 - 2019||MYP||MYP||MYP||IGCSE||IGCSE|
|2019 - 2020||MYP||MYP||MYP||MYP||IGCSE|
|2020 - 2021||MYP||MYP||MYP||MYP||MYP|
Research shows that students learn better in a positive culture that connects them to learning. Having a safe and caring environment, supportive and personalized learning experiences, and personal relationships allow students to develop a connection to the school and optimize educational success. They can also reduce at-risk behavior and minimize discipline problems within the school environment. Adolescents, in particular, are dealing with many challenges physically, emotionally, and cognitively. An advisory program can provide the elements necessary to help students develop socially and to succeed academically.
The goal of the Advisory Program at the FIS is personalization. Through an ongoing mentor relationship with a teacher-advisor in a small group setting, students will develop interpersonal skills that will help them cope with the increasing demands of schooling, as well as the more complex social demands of adolescence. Specifically, the purpose of the MS Advisory Program at the FIS is:
In Middle School, all students participate in the Advisory Program, which takes place each morning with a grade level teacher and a small group of students. In the Middle School, there are three advisors assigned to each grade level. We use the IB Learner Profile traits and individual student interests to guide advisory activities. The Advisory Program offers students time to reflect on their approaches to learning, foster international mindedness, build a caring and cooperative environment, and develop positive relationships with teachers and students. The advisor plays a central role in having oversight of the pastoral and academic welfare of the advisees under their care, and acts as a reliable and visible first point of contact for advisees, their teachers and parents.