Middle School (grades 7-8)
The Middle School years are an opportunity to revisit the basics of the faith, especially in preparation for the Holy Sacrament of Confirmation. These years are also the time when the inspiration of “heroes and saints” can provide true and real role models for the maturing teenager. Students will review the four basic parts of the Catechism: the Creed, Life of Sacraments, Life of Prayer, and the Ten Commandments, in addition to writing and presenting frequent Saint Reports.
Letters (Literature, Mythology, & Poetry)
From C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to Homer’s Illiad, students at GSS will read perennial literature from the ancient world as well as recent works of fiction. Books rotate between accessible, enjoyable stories and challenging classics—all of which have the potential to transform the moral imagination of the reader. Authors from our Letter curriculum include: J.R.R. Tolkien, Homer, C.S. Lewis, Shakespeare, Dickens, George MacDonald, Jack London, Roger Lancelyn Green, Robert Frost, Rudyard Kipling, William Wordsworth, and G.K. Chesterton.
Grammar gives both students and teachers a concrete and shared way to discuss language. Thus, Grammar provides a foundation for writing instruction. Grammatical tools like identifying parts of speech, diagramming sentences, using various forms of punctuation, and identifying sentence structure all help inform students’ writing.
Everyone likes to talk about “critical thinking.” The Western world once had a pretty good tool for teaching just that—it was called Logic.
At GSS’s Middle School we study both formal and informal logic, giving us a foundation to discuss ideas beyond personal feelings. We’ve left our best tool for critical thinking on the shelf for the past few hundred years. It’s time to dust it off.
When learning our native tongue, we never learn what a noun is before we learn our first nouns: “Mama, Dada, bottle,” etc. We learn foreign tongues best the same way—by putting the experience of the language before a discussion of grammar. Using an interactive and immersive method, our Latin program will challenge students to speak simple Latin from the first day of class, with grammar introduced as experience is built.
“You do not study mathematics because it helps you build a bridge. You study mathematics because it is the poetry of the universe; its beauty transcends mere things”
–Jonathan David Farley.
The goals for our math program are that our students will find joy in the inherent beauty and order of mathematics, develop a deep mastery of its truths, and become nimble creative problem solvers, ready for whatever role math will play in their lives.
Careful observation, induction, calculation, and logical deduction form the foundations of GSS’s science—along with lots of experiments. Learning basic Newtonian Physics, Magnetism, Electricity, and finally Computer Science, students put their logic to work in the real world. In Computer Science, students build circuits on a microprocessor and code basic programs to run on their machines.
In their music classes, GSS students learn by active participation and by making music themselves. They will gain a repertoire of sacred, folk, and classical music, engage in both vocal and instrumental music; and they will develop the ability to read music and understand its intrinsic order.
Sample Middle School Schedule
Drop off at
Lunch and Recess