"Students" are created in the Camelot Middle Grades Program; these are years in which students gain the essential skills, knowledge, and dispositions that will enable them to take full advantage of their education as they grow into young adults.
Entrance to Middle Grades is based on a young person’s intellectual, emotional, and social readiness; for the majority of students this occurs in the 5th or 6th grade. LIkewise, students will move on to Upper School when it is appropriate for them, usually in the 7th or 8th grade. Some students take one or two Upper School classes while they are still in Middle Grades before becoming full-fledged Upper School students.
Skills emphasized in Middle Grades include organization, note-taking, effective utilization of technology, research writing, and presentation. English grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure are taught through extensive reading and writing. Students receive frequent, thoughtful feedback on their areas of strength and potential growth.
In addition to assigned coursework, Accelerated Reader (AR) requires that students read 11 books of their own choosing over the course of each school year.
During Middle Grades, individualized math starts in earnest. Teachers begin the year by pre-testing students to determine what they’ve mastered, where they need some review, and what new material will be appropriate. Once a proper starting point is established, the course material is covered using a mastery-based approach. Students progress through the material at an individualized pace and move onto new material only after demonstrating mastery of what they’ve already covered.
In addition to Language Arts and Mathematics, Middle Grades students study general science and social studies topics in tandem with their other learning. Literature and writing projects are often interdisciplinary and the emphasis is on hands-on, discovery-based experiences with an emphasis on LEARNING HOW TO LEARN.
Most Middle Grades students take two years of Latin, and then continue their language studies within the Upper School either by continuing Latin or transitioning into Spanish or Mandarin. Some Middle Grades students wait to start a foreign language, providing more time to focus on English or math skills.
Social skills are taught within the context of our ZOOM curriculum; students learn how to become more self-aware (zooming in) while developing social awareness (zooming out).
All Middle Grades students take art, music, drama, and physical education from teachers who are knowledgeable and passionate about their crafts. These subjects are not peripheral to a great education; they are fundamental to it.
In a technology-driven world, students need to learn how to use the digital tools available to them to facilitate their education; Middle Grades at Camelot makes this a priority by doing everything from accessing homework to writing research papers using internet tools.
Amazing field trips that blend learning with building community are an essential part of the Camelot experience. The field trips may be part of an 'X-schedule' class (run in January and May) that offer in-depth looks at people, places and institutions close to home, or they may take the form of school-sponsored trips to cities or national parks. The mountains of North Carolina, the cities of Charleston and Williamsburg, as well as Yosemite, and Yellowstone national parks are just some of the recent destinations that have provided memorable experiences. Middle Grades students have trips specifically planned for their age-group as well as school-wide trips to choose from.
For students with tech-related dreams, FIRST Lego League and FIRST Tech Challenge give Middle Grades students the opportunity to participate in robotics competitions while developing their teamwork abilities, leadership, and professionalism.
Other after school clubs, tailored to student interests, currently include games club, cake baking, and Battle of the Books.
Middle Grades students may also join Camelot’s co-ed athletics teams starting in 6th grade. Teams are offered in soccer, cross country, basketball, table tennis and ultimate frisbee.
Middle Graders participate in Special Fridays classes, which are built around the school’s annual theme; this year, for example, the theme is Roots, and students are taking classes on topics ranging from the Roots of Popular Music to The Roots of the Human Brain. Teachers can also request time with specific students for one-on-one or small group time on Friday afternoons for more individualized learning opportunities. In addition, Middle Grades students participate in Friday electives, which this year include...
The Middle Grades program is articulated with the Upper School program to ensure opportunities for stretch and challenge.