Middle School Curriculum
Our innovative Middle School curriculum encompasses Form-based themes for each of the three years:
- The theme for Form I is “Who are your heroes and why?” Boys will repeatedly examine their developing value systems and consider what they respect and value in the people in their lives and those in the public eye. First Form boys study seven classes throughout the year: English, Math, and Latin for the full year; history and science for three-quarters of the year; and studio art and an introductory modern language for a quarter each.
- The Second Form theme is “Finding your voice/qualities you admire in others.” Boys consider this question while evaluating literary, historical, and present-day people.
- The Third Form theme is “Leadership, Responsibility, and the Future.” Boys are required to study courses in environmental science as well as "Middle East & China." Faculty will continue to educate students about their responsibility to look outside their own worlds and to assume a broader world view. Our goal is to maximize their position as leaders within the Middle School while providing them with the skills necessary to become responsible and positive leaders for a better future.
Third Form Ethics
All boys in Third Form (9th grade) participate in an Ethics course taught by the Head of School. This seminar-style, case-based course meets one afternoon per week for one-third of the school year. The course aims to engage boys to think and talk about some of the important and complex issues in their lives and in the world around them. Listening to a case and then discussing it, the boys are pushed to think not only about what they believe, but why they believe what they believe. Often using cases covering current events or school issues, the class explores ethical issues relating to medicine and health care, war, racism, drinking, sexual behavior, homophobia, peer pressure, and bullying.
Academic Support at Belmont Hill School
Academic support is a priority at Belmont Hill School. Boys are encouraged to meet with their teachers for extra help during X Block, the 4:00 Middle School Study Block, or during free periods. Research shows that students who are comfortable reaching out to their teachers in middle school and high school are most likely to approach professors in college when they have a question or encounter a problem. We want our boys to develop close relationships with their teachers and view them as valuable mentors.
Sometimes a teacher will recommend that a student meet with a peer tutor for specific help with a course. This happens most frequently with foreign language and math courses. Peer tutoring is a very valuable program to the Belmont Hill community. An older boy is able to meet individually with a younger boy and give him advice and instruction.
Finally, when Mrs. Hamilton, Director of the Middle School, Mr. Bradley, Director of the Upper School, or Ms. Richards, Director of Academic Suppport, believe that a boy needs more than extra help from a teacher or peer tutor, a weekly academic support appointment is scheduled with a learning specialist at school.