Academics
Middle School

Academics

Grades 5-8

Berwick Academy’s Middle School is a supportive community with exceptional teachers who truly know their students and challenge them to think differently.

Balance of Traditional and Innovative Approaches

The academic programming in the Middle School cultivates students’ creative and curious minds and encourages them to develop a sense of responsibility, growth mindset, empathy, resilience, independence, perspective, critical thinking, and voice. Through a balance of traditional and innovative approaches, our students are actively involved in their learning, and are encouraged to build on new knowledge and ideas.

Academic Departments

List of 5 items.

  • Middle School Science

    In the Middle School, scientific pursuits inspire the process of discovery. Content is spiraling with physical, chemical, earth, and life science themes increasing in complexity across grade levels to reinforce previous learning and to promote the development of deeper understanding. For example, principles of matter and energy are explored systematically across grade levels from measurement and classification in fifth grade, to transfer of energy in sixth grade, to forces of change in seventh grade, to density and solubility in eighth grade. Particular emphasis is placed on designing learning experiences that encourage purposeful thinking and instill confidence in the process of solving a problem.
  • Middle School Math

    The goal of the Middle School mathematics program at Berwick is to empower students to act, think, and see themselves as emerging mathematicians, problem-solvers, and critical thinkers. Middle School math teachers encourage their students to grapple and explore mathematical concepts and skills through a real-world lens, as well as employ inquiry-based and project-based learning approaches that allow students to collaborate, take risks, and develop healthy habits of mind. Math is integrated into projects and experiences throughout a student’s journey through the Middle School so that they can explore its connections to other disciplines and influence in their world. The math skills that our students develop over the course of their Middle School experience prepare them well for the increased depth and rigor of the Upper School math experience.
  • Middle School English

    English classes explore a variety of genres, both in individual assignments as well as in books chosen to be read and discussed as a group. An emphasis on the understanding and the precise use of English grammar provides a foundation for the building of creative and expository writing skills. A poet in residence each spring provides students with a model for the writing habits and dispositions of a successful published writer of poetry. Many times during the school year, works of fiction are chosen to expand understanding of multicultural studies and historic topics.
  • Middle School History and Social Studies

    The goal of the Middle School History Department is to enable students to practice perspective-taking, build historical thinking skills and processes, and engage in civil discourse, as they explore important events in our past and present history. Throughout their study of history, students will develop arguments, based on evidence and research, and take part in real-world projects designed to examine and dissect patterns between the past and present. Our hope is that our students come to see themselves as civic-minded citizens who will take action in their local, national, and global communities and that they value the rich diversity, voices, and perspectives in our nation’s history, as well as our world.
  • Middle School World Languages

    The goal of the Middle School World Language program is to build our students’ confidence with language, both written and oral. Additionally we encourage students to have compassion for others by building an awareness and understanding of other cultures. We also expect students to apply their learning beyond the classroom walls. Fifth graders are immersed in a trimester of Latin, Mandarin, and Spanish in order to explore each language and its origin. In sixth grade, students choose a world language that they will pursue for the remainder of their Middle School years in order to build a solid foundation for our Upper School program. Beyond the fundamentals of learning a language, teachers find creative ways to blend culture, art, travel, and projects into their courses.
Berwick Academy, situated on an 80-acre campus just over one hour north of Boston, serves 600 students, Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. Deeply committed to its mission of promoting virtue and useful knowledge, Berwick Academy empowers students to be creative and bold. Berwick strives to graduate alumni who shape their own learning, take risks, ask thoughtful questions, and come to understand and celebrate their authentic selves. Founded in 1791 and rooted in a tradition of college preparation, our culture of innovation prepares students for a complex and dynamic world.