Discover St. Mary's

Discover St. Mary's
A Day In The Life
The Academic Details

Middle School

St. Mary’s Middle School students pursue a rigorous academic program in a positive, supportive environment. Through the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP), students are taught how to be inquirers capable of accessing and analyzing information. They learn by doing; connecting their studies in the classroom to the real world. Thinking critically and creatively and taking a disciplined approach to their studies, students gain confidence in their ability to manage their own learning. Recognizing they are part of something larger than their local communities, St. Mary’s Middle School students develop an understanding of global challenges and a commitment to act as responsible citizens.

The Middle Years Programme:

  • Ensures breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding through study in eight subject areas: Individuals and Societies, Language Acquisition (Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and French), Language and Literature, Math, Physical Education and Health, Sciences, Technology Design and the Arts;
  • Develops active learners and internationally minded young people who can empathize with others and pursue lives of purpose and meaning;
  • Provides hands-on, extraordinary experiences for our students to gain greater awareness of other communities, cultures and themselves and the interdependence that binds us all together through the domestic and international field studies programs and Spring Intersession;
  • Empowers students to inquire into a wide range of issues and ideas of significance locally, nationally and globally through the participation in the Community Project.
Throughout Middle School, students gain an understanding of the IB Learner Profile. These ten character traits inspire the work of students and teachers, providing a statement of the aims and values of IB and a definition of what we mean by “international-mindedness.” IB learners strive to be inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk-takers, knowledgeable, principled, open-minded, caring, balanced and reflective.

List of 3 items.

  • Grade 6

    Students are continually encouraged to become more organized and independent. Technology is used throughout the classrooms and as a means of communication for homework assignments to aide in independence and organization. Grade 6 students start their first year in the Middle School Advisory Program and are assigned a faculty member to serve as a guide to help them develop socially, emotionally, and academically. Students look forward to the Grade 6 field study that features a “deep dive” into Marine Biology and Ecological Science through the Catalina Island Environmental Leadership Program.

    Course offerings for Grade 6 include:
    • Individuals and Societies (Humanities)
    • Language Acquisition (Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and French)
    • Language and Literature (Language A)
    • Math
    • Physical Education and Health (Personal and Social Physical Education)
    • Religion/Leadership
    • Sciences 
    • Technology Design (Technology)
    • The Arts (Visual Art and Performing Art)
    • Advisory
    • Catalina Island Marine Biology and Science Field Study
  • Grade 7

    Students are challenged to work at an exceptional level with a focus on their attitude, aptitude, and effort. The focus at this age includes supporting the development of the social skills needed to work effectively in collaborative teams while also continuing to work independently. In the process, students learn how to identify these behaviors and how to react to them in a healthy manner. Leadership plays an integral role in the Grade 7 experience with students being asked to exercise their influence for positive purposes inside classrooms on campus in general and on grade-level adventures such as the field study to Yosemite National Park.

    Course offerings for Seventh Grade include:
    • Individuals and Societies (Humanities)
    • Language Acquisition (Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and French)
    • Language and Literature (Language A)
    • Math
    • Physical Education and Health (Personal and Social Physical Education)
    • Religion/Leadership
    • Sciences 
    • Technology Design (Technology)
    • The Arts (Visual Art and Performing Art)
    • Advisory
    • Yosemite National Park Field Study
  • Grade 8

    This is an exciting year as students individually plan a vision for their educational and professional futures by researching careers and professions, which reflect their demonstrated leadership skills and personal interests. Through exploring universities and majors, Grade 8 students are able to identify areas of study that can fulfill their leadership vision. The selection of a high school is an integral part of the Grade 8 experience and is supported by the Prep School/High School Information Night where students and parents explore numerous options while speaking with admission officers from participating prep schools and high schools at this St. Mary’s hosted event.

    The Legacy Leadership Program is available to give Grade 8 students an opportunity to demonstrate their leadership. Students are invited to submit a resume and application for consideration whereby a panel of independent judges from outside of the St. Mary’s community evaluates each student on their history of community and school involvement as well as their views on leadership as expressed in essays, and their performances in oral interviews. The winner of the Legacy Leadership Award is presented at a Tribute to Leadership school-wide awards assembly and he or she delivers a speech at graduation.

    Course offerings for Grade 8 include:
    • Individuals and Societies (Humanities)
    • Language Acquisition (Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and French)
    • Language and Literature (Language A)
    • Math
    • Physical Education and Health (Personal and Social Physical Education)
    • Religion/Leadership
    • Sciences 
    • Technology Design (Technology)
    • The Arts (Visual Art and Performing Art)
    • Advisory
    • Williamsburg, Virginia and Washington D.C. Field Study