Middle School Curriculum

Middle School (Grade 5-8)

Our middle school offers a broad program intended to foster the intellectual, physical, emotional, and cultural growth and development of students. Our program includes tasks and experiences which support and challenge students. The program encourages students to broaden their interests and to become aware of their potential. Although each subject has its own grade-specific objectives, students are encouraged to set their own goals rather than competing with each other.

Our school also offers opportunities for students who want to and are ready to challenge themselves in international competitions and exams, such as Kangaroo Math, DELF, and Cambridge Language exams.

The middle school years form an important period in students’ progress toward independence. Through involvement in student council, Round Square activities, and elective courses, such as JMUN and Destination Imagination, students practice collaboration and leadership.

Curriculum

The English language curriculum is organized into four strands: Oral Communication, Reading, Writing, and Media Literacy. The program in middle school is designed to further develop skills in these four interrelated areas, elaborate on the foundation of knowledge of the conventions of standard English and incorporate the use of analytical, critical, and metacognitive thinking skills. Students learn best when they are encouraged to consciously monitor their thinking as they learn, and each strand includes expectations that call for such reflection.
The knowledge and skills described in the expectations in the four strands of the language curriculum enable students to understand, respond to, create, and appreciate a full range of literary, informational, and media texts.

In the Keystone Middle School Math Program, Grade 5-8 students develop problem solving techniques in Number Sense and Numeration, Measurement, Geometry and Spatial Sense, Patterning and Algebra, Data Management and Probability to equip them with valuable skills in Mathematics as well as other disciplines.
Throughout Grades 5-8,students:
PROBLEM SOLVING : develop, select, and apply problem solving strategies as they pose and solve problems and conduct investigations, to help deepen their mathematical understanding;
REASONING AND PROVING: develop and apply reasoning skills (e.g. classification, recognition of relationships, use of counter-examples) to make and investigate conjectures and construct and defend arguments;
REFLECTING: demonstrate that they are reflecting on and monitoring their thinking to help clarify their understanding as they complete an investigation or solve a problem (e.g. by comparing and adjusting strategies used, by explaining why they think their results are reasonable, by recording their thinking in a math journal);
SELECTING TOOLS AND COMPUTATIONAL STRATEGIES: select and use a variety of concrete, visual, and electronic learning tools and appropriate computational strategies to investigate mathematical ideas and to solve problems;
CONNECTING: make connections among mathematical concepts and procedures, and relate mathematical ideas to situations or phenomena drawn from other contexts (e.g. other curriculum areas, daily life, sports);
REPRESENTING: create a variety of representations of mathematical ideas (e.g. by using physical models, pictures, numbers, variables, diagrams, graphs, onscreen dynamic representations), make connections among them, and apply them to solve problems;
COMMUNICATING: communicate mathematical thinking orally, visually, and in writing, using everyday language, a basic mathematical vocabulary, and a variety of rStudents areepresentations, and observing basic mathematical conventions.
Students are encouraged to hold responsibility for their own learning and our main role is to support students in their realization of self-awareness of the knowledge construction process.
We also encourage students to participate in national international math competitions (Atlantic Pacific Math Contest, Gauss Math Competition, World’s Math Day games, Kangaroo Math Competition, etc.).
Pi Day is organized every year, full of math competitions and games that engage the participation of all students.

For each grade, the three goals of our science program reflect curricular expectations.
4 The expectations are:
1. To relate science and technology to society and the environment.
2.To develop the skills, strategies, and habits of mind required for scientific inquiry and technological problem solving.
3.To understand the basic concepts of science and technology.

The three goals and their interrelationship with curricular expectations reinforce the notion that learning in science cannot be viewed as merely the learning of facts. Rather, science is a subject in which students learn, in age-appropriate ways, to consider both the knowledge and skills that will help them to understand and consider critically the impact of developments in science on modern society and the environment.

The Social Studies program in middle school aims to support high-quality learning while giving every student the opportunity to learn in the way that is best suited to their individual strengths and needs. The focus of teaching and learning in the social studies curriculum is the development of transferable skills that students need in order to acquire and apply knowledge and understanding. Students apply these skills in a variety of contexts to examine information critically, to assess the significance of events and processes, to develop an understanding of and respect for different points of view, and to reach supportable conclusions and propose solutions to problems. The Social Studies middle school program at Keystone from Grade 5 to 8 offers Ancient World History, World Governments, Physical and Human Geography.

Within the social studies program, history involves the study of diverse individuals, groups, and institutions as well as significant events, developments, and issues in the past. Geography involves the study of spatial skills, use of maps and globes and application of geographical knowledge in real life experiences through inquiry process and use of primary and secondary sources.

The middle school curriculum for French is designed to prepare students for success in the secondary level program. The expectations that form the basis of the secondary school curriculum build on the knowledge and skills that students acquire in their elementary programs. The expectations for French as a Second Language are organized into four distinct but interrelated strands: A. Listening B. Speaking C. Reading D. Writing The language and language learning skills in the four strands overlap with and strengthen one another. The curriculum at all middle school levels is designed to develop a range of essential skills in the four interconnected strands, incorporating the use of analytical, critical, and metacognitive thinking skills.

Branch Lessons

At Keystone International Schools, middle school students are given opportunities to learn by doing. Their experiences in the program can include participating kinesthetically in activities in a gymnasium, in open spaces in the school, and outdoors; working with various types of equipment; working in a variety of group contexts; and discussing topics that have deep personal relevance and meaning. Students have opportunities to learn through creative work, collaboration, and hands-on experiences.

Whereas the primary level IT curriculum focuses on the broad fundamentals of technology, the middle school IT curriculum narrows down the focus and teaches students more in-depth knowledge of hardware and software, the internet, and coding. The aim of middle school is to teach students how to use technology in order to become more efficient and productive. These are skills that enable them to be more valuable in a variety of environments and increase their competitive advantage, especially as society is becoming more tech-focused and many decisions are made using data.

The middle school IT curriculum will have the students achieve three objectives: acquiring hardware and software proficiency, becoming a digital citizen, and learning advanced coding techniques. 

 

The visual arts curriculum in middle school is based on four central ideas – developing creativity, communicating, understanding culture, and making connections. Learning through the arts fosters integration of a student’s sensory, cognitive, emotional, and motor capacities. In producing their own works, students communicate their insights while developing artistic skills and aesthetic judgement. Participation in arts activities helps students develop their ability to listen and observe, and it enables them to become more self-aware and self-confident. It encourages them to take risks, to solve problems in creative ways, and to draw on their resourcefulness to build on new ideas.

At Keystone, students develop an understanding and appreciation of music, as well as the ability to create and perform it, so that they will be able to find in music a lifelong source of enjoyment and personal satisfaction. Emphasis is placed on encouraging students to become active participants in composing music, exploring ideas through music, responding to music, and performing. As students engage in creating and performing music, they learn to generate and focus their thoughts in a musical form, explore and experiment with instruments. Through creating and performing, students experience the joy of making music, create compositions that express and communicate their ideas and feelings, learn to identify and solve problems, and apply their knowledge of the elements of music both independently and in cooperation with others.

 

KIS Life

In-school clubs serve to reinforce students’ strengths, interests, and curiosities in different fields. 

Some examples are as follows;

Short Film Club:

Students get involved in analysing films in terms of plot, setting, character development, themes etc. In a sense, this is a form of visual storytelling where students are not constrained by assessments. This club is oriented towards cultural enrichment, development of critical thinking and literary competence.

Science Club:

Students explore the world of science by experimenting and participating in scientific projects. Our student scientists feed their curiosity, put their knowledge to the test and build a number of soft skills.

Creative Writing:

Together with teachers, students explore the world of writing. By using higher order thinking skills, they learn how to harness the power of words. This club is oriented towards the development of critical thinking skills, expressing ideas and opinions through written discourse, and exploring different genres of writing.

Keystone Newspaper:

Our student journalists know what is happening locally, nationally, and globally, and they want you to know, too. Every month they issue the school’s newspaper. With a range of topics covered, they make sure that there is something for everyone to read. Students develop critical thinking and a number of soft skills, such as time management, team working, and empathy.

Keystone Schools provides diverse programs with after-school clubs in order to expand student’s learning experiences and broaden their horizons according to their abilities, interests, skills and age. The main purpose of the after school clubs is to provide students with fun activities in line with a specific goal and purpose.
Our students both develop and enjoy life in clubs such as Zumba, STEM, exploring club, cooking and baking, football, drums, piano, violin, guitar, floorball, Go, rhythmic gymnastics, pantomime and mask theater, and robotics, to name a few.

Junior Model United Nations is an academic simulation of the United Nations where students play the role of delegates from different countries and attempt to solve real world issues with the policies and perspectives of their assigned country. The purpose of the JMUN club is to help middle school students develop their academic profile through practicing their soft skills and expanding their knowledge about the world and how it works in a political context.

Destination Imagination (DI) is offered to middle school students as an in school club. DI is a global educational nonprofit dedicated to inspiring the next generation of innovators, leaders and creative problem solvers. DI provides unique educational experiences across seven project-based Challenge types–Technical, Scientific, Engineering, Fine Arts, Improvisational, Service Learning, and Early Learning.
Learning through DI is based on the following principles:


Ultimate Learner Ownership
Resource Awareness
Clarifying Questions
Authentic Self-Expression
Rapid Ideation & Implementation


The ideals of DI dovetail nicely with and act as reinforcement of our Keystone beliefs: problem solving, team building, and a respect for others and their ideas.

A monthly DEAR HOUR (Drop Everything and Read) provides students and teachers with much more than a just-sit-there-and-read involvement for one class period. It gives the teacher an organized time to touch base with each student in a structured way, to assess progress, and target future instruction. Most importantly, it gives children time to read what they are interested in, share what they’ve read, and support further reading and investigation.

Round Square is one of the most popular in school clubs for Keystone middle school students. Round Square schools are founded on a philosophy which embraces a series of six pillars, or precepts, which are summed up in the acronym IDEALS.

They are: 

  • Internationalism
  • Democracy
  • Environment
  • Adventure
  • Leadership
  • Service

Students at Round Square schools make a commitment to addressing each of these pillars through exchanges, work projects, community service and adventure. The overriding goal is to ensure the full and individual development of every child as a whole person through the simultaneous realization of academic, physical, cultural and spiritual aspirations.

For Round Square, our school participate in the following:

  • Round Square Conferences (Regional and International)
  • Round Square Social Service Projects (Regional and International)
  • Student Exchange Programs
    Environmental Awareness Programs

Keystone is proud to have collaborated with the following organizations in order to bring the Round Square IDEALS to life for our students.