Middle School Courses by Grade Level
English Language Arts
Foreign Language (Latin/Spanish)
7th Math/Pre AP
7th Integrated Science
Music/ Instrumental Ensemble
Foreign Language (Latin/Spanish)
8th Math/Algebra I
8th Integrated Science
Music /Instrumental Ensemble
Foreign Language (Latin/Spanish)
6th - 8th Grade Course Overview
6th Grade ELAR and Writing
The 6th Grade English takes a Humanities approach and is designed to engage the student with the following themes as they relate to coming of age, perseverance, courage, discrimination, immigration, and social justice while developing a continued love of reading, practicing various writing styles, and developing an appreciation of well-written responsible literature. Throughout the year, students will learn to read and think critically about literature as well as engage with a variety of genres, including novels, short stories, plays, and various works of non-fiction. The study of literature focuses on literary elements such as character development, author’s purpose, elements of plot, comparison and contrast, author’s purpose, and the use of non-fiction features. Students will create well-constructed writing pieces as they continually practice the writing process, grammar, and vocabulary with an emphasis on diverse sentence construction.
7th Grade Humanities (Regular and Advanced)
7th grade Humanities is designed to combine social studies and Language Arts. Students will study the history of Texas from early times to the present and describe the structure and functions of municipal, county, and state governments. They will explain the influence of the U.S. Constitution on the Texas Constitution, and examine the rights and responsibilities of Texas citizens as well as the unique issues Texas faces as it relates to immigration and border issues. In addition, students will study the places and regions of Texas while engaging in an in-depth study of famous African Americans and notable Hispanic Americans of Texas.
This class will engage the students with the following themes as they relate to Texas history: Coming of Age, Perseverance, Courage, Discrimination, Immigration, and Social Justice while developing a continued love of reading, practicing various writing styles, and developing an appreciation of well-written responsible literature. Throughout the year, students will learn to read and think critically about literature as well as engage with a variety of genres, including novels, short stories, plays and various works of non-fiction. The study of literature focuses on literary elements such as character development, author’s purpose, elements of plot, comparison and contrast and the use of non-fiction features. Students will also create well- constructed fictional, poetic, argumentative and narrative writing pieces as they continually practice the writing process with an emphasis on diverse sentence construction and writing mechanics as they refine their grammar and vocabulary skills.
The 7th grade Advanced Humanities class will largely follow the 7th grade regular Humanities curriculum, but will provide additional rigor to further support college readiness, Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and Common Core knowledge and skills. Students will be instructed using lessons that feature motivating classroom activities, engaging texts, and challenging performance-based tasks. Throughout the school year, students will engage in academic conversations, read text with close observation and analysis, answer high-order thinking questions, and produce evidence-based writings. Assessments will provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate success with the content and skills articulated in the course framework.
8th Grade ELAR (Regular and Advanced)
In 8th grade, ELAR students will connect with novels and a variety of literary works including poetry and non-fiction texts to explore eighth- grade themes of Freedom, Social Justice and Civil Rights. To strengthen text connections, the academic focus is literary elements including character development, author’s purpose, elements of plot, comparison and contrast, the purpose and use of non-fiction features as well as a variety of genres. Literature provides the basis for word study, supplemented by entomology and systematic vocabulary instruction. Written expression stresses the development of creative, expository analytic, poetic and freewriting skills using the writing process as well as advanced grammatical skills.
The 8th grade Pre-AP English class will largely follow the 8th grade ELAR curriculum but will be provided the rigor of Springboard from College Board to support college readiness, Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and Common Core knowledge and skills. This course is designed to not only prepare students for the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) but future high school Pre-AP and AP courses. Students will be instructed using the Pre-AP course framework, lessons that feature motivating classroom activities, engaging texts, and challenging performance-based tasks. Throughout the school year, students will engage in academic conversations, read texts with close observation and analysis of higher-order thinking questions, and produce evidence-based writings. Assessments will provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate success with the content and skills articulated in the course framework.
6th Grade Mathematics/Personal Financial Literacy
The 6th grade Math and Personal Financial Literacy course is student-centered and uses a standards-based Common Core Curriculum and the Texas Essential of Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). The student applies mathematical process standards to develop an economic way of thinking and problem solving useful in one's life as a knowledgeable consumer and investor. The students learn how to compare the features and costs of a checking account and a debit card offered by different local financial institutions; distinguish between debit cards and credit cards; balance a check register that includes deposits, withdrawals, and transfers; explain why it is important to establish a positive credit history; describe the information in a credit report and how long it is retained; describe the value of credit reports to borrowers and to lenders; explain various methods to pay for college, including through savings, grants, scholarships, student loans, and work-study; and compare the annual salary of several occupations requiring various levels of post-secondary education or vocational training and calculate the effects of the different annual salaries on lifetime income.
7th Grade Mathematics
This course is student-centered and uses a standards-based Common Core Curriculum. Mathematical concepts are embedded within engaging problems and projects. Students will develop skills and understanding as they explore the problems individually, in collaborative groups and as a class. The in-class development problems and the homework exercises give students practice throughout the year with valuable standards-based concepts, pre-algebra related skills and algorithms. Students are required to write in both an analytical and evidence-based manner. 7th grade Pre-Algebra is a rigorous course designed to prepare students for the Algebra I curriculum. Students use linear functions, linear equations, and systems of equations to represent, analyze and solve a variety of problems. Students will extend their understanding of slope as a constant rate of change and use slope to analyze situations and solve problems. They will apply the Pythagorean Theorem to find distances between points in the coordinate plane to measure lengths and analyze polygons and polyhedral.
Module tops include:
● Rational and Irrational Numbers
● Solving Linear Equations
● Functional and Linearity
● Bivariate Data
● Pythagorean Theorem
● Geometric Relationships
● Volume of Cones, Spheres, and Cylinders
8th Grade Mathematics
The fundamental purpose of Algebra I is to formalize, build, and extend the mathematics that students learned in their earlier work as they expand their mathematical content knowledge and procedural skills through new mathematical experiences. Further, students will deepen their mathematical knowledge and gain insight into the relevance of math to other disciplines by applying their content knowledge and procedural skills in a variety of contexts. By expanding and deepening their conceptual understanding of mathematics, this course prepares students for College and Career Readiness. Manipulatives and technology are integral to the development of conceptual understanding. Using a variety of concrete materials and technological tools enable students to explore connections, make conjectures, formulate generalizations, draw conclusions, and discover new mathematical ideas by providing platforms for interacting with multiple representations. The pacing will allow students to gain a foundation in linear, quadratic, and exponential functions before they are brought together to be compared and contrasted in the final modules. Students will gain a deeper understanding of such concepts as domain and range, intercepts, increasing/decreasing, relative maximum/minimum, symmetry, end behavior, and the effect of function parameters, which will provide an excellent opportunity for review of many concepts in preparation for the End of Course (EOC) assessment. Students will meet these standards by working collaboratively to complete projects and other in class assignments, as well as independently on online assignments and assessments. This course will help students use math as a tool to solve real-world problems, as well as give students the tools to understand and utilize mathematical theory. Project-based learning will be an integral part of math instruction. Projects account for much of the grade and are primarily used for students to demonstrate mastery of the concepts taught. Projects will be based on real-world concepts, and students will use their knowledge of mathematical material to generate conclusions about their world, and how to improve it.
Module topics include:
● Representing Relationships
● Linear Functions
● Linear Functions and Inequalities
● Systems of Equations and Inequalities
● Nonlinear Functions
● Exponential Functions
● Polynomial Expressions
● Quadratic Functions
● Quadratic Equations
● Data Analysis
In alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), students in 7th and 8th grade will explore science through an integrative, investigative, and hands-on approach. Critical thinking and problem-solving continue to be at the forefront of learning and instruction, inviting students to extend learning beyond the textbook. Students are required to be active participants in learning experiences through which they will be challenged to make connections to the real-world around them. The science curriculum content is designed to create a seamless transition into high school science courses.
6th Grade Integrated Science (Astronomy, Forces & Motion, and Earth Structure)
Grade 6 Science is an integrated course covering Astronomy, Forces and Motion and Earth Structure. The course includes lab videos where students observe experiments that demonstrate the concepts they are learning. Course topics include Objects in Space; Forces and Movement in Space; Force and Motion; Newton’s Laws and Energy; Electricity and Magnetism; Earth Systems; Rocks and Minerals;
Plate Boundaries and Movement; and Earthquakes and Volcanoes
7th Grade Integrated Science (Earth and Physical Science)
Seventh-grade science instruction is integrated in nature. Students will focus on the changes in Earth over time and analyze rock and fossil records. Natural selection and adaptations will be closely studied with students using models, observations, simulations, and student-designed experiments to investigate how traits change over time. As they delve into physical science, students will expand their prior knowledge as they further probe into forces and motion, mechanical energy, electromagnetic forces, waves, and light. Students will use the scientific inquiry process to practice laboratory skills while making discoveries and connections with the text. Lastly, students will wrap up their science studies learning about humans and their place in the universe. The focus will specifically be on Earth and human activity. Through research and investigations, a look at the Sun-Earth-Moon System and exploration of the universe, will require students to formulate hypotheses about how human activity affects the Earth. Projects and explorations in this course will require students to use inquiry-based learning skills to plan scientific investigations, collect evidence, and develop reasoning to support their conclusions or assertions.
8th Grade Integrated Science Course Overview (Organisms and Their Environment/Chemistry)
Eighth-grade science encompasses the study of life and the nature of science. Students will investigate living things and their interactions with the natural world around them. Topics covered in this course include Introduction to Biology, Ecology, the Cell, Genetics, History of Biological Diversity, Diversity of Life, The History of Life, and the Human Body Systems. To connect students with the real-world, hands-on laboratory experiences and investigative research will help them discover how science connects with society. Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) projects are fused throughout the curriculum when and where relevant. Projects and explorations in this course will require students to use inquiry skills to plan scientific investigations, collect evidence, and develop reasoning to support their assertions.
7th & 8th Grade I-Lab Overview
In grades 7 and 8, students will continue to expand their focus on skills which are related to collaboration, communication, creativity, critical-thinking, and resilience as set forth by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) STEM skills. Students move towards advanced skills as follows:
● Work cooperatively with a team and with a variety of students
● Embrace others differences
● Recognize the strengths and weaknesses of group members
● Communicate utilizing a variety of modes and tools
● Listen to others actively
● Summarize key points
● Comprehend written material
● Communicate effectively
● Plan and execute oral presentations
● Pace presentations to communicate messages and ideas
● Understand cultural implications of communication
● Summarize key points discussed
Comprehends Written Material
● Offer feedback and critique to written materials and resources
Conveys Information in Writing
● Write using academic and/or professional terminology
● Communicate information effectively and accurately both formally and informally
● Use problem-solving process to approach inquiry-based problems as well as design challenges
● Defend solutions to real-world problems
Creativity and Innovation (creative thinking, design processes, innovative solutions)
● Contribute to cultural innovation
● Design products/processes in a variety of ways to create innovative solutions to problems using the engineering design process
● Willing to take risks to understand design products and processes in a variety of contexts
Adaptability and Resilience (proactive thinking and action, perseverance/grit, mindfulness, growth mindset)
● Persevere and adjust to demands, prioritize, and change at different paces
Promptness and Time/Resource Management (timelines, resource prioritization and utilization, utilization of individual strengths of team members)
● Adhere and adjust to time, timelines, and time-management
● Work independently with little to no supervision
● Maximize resources to save money or time
● Prioritize resources used based on the problem or challenge
6th Grade Social Studies
In sixth grade, students are ready to deepen their understanding of the Earth and its peoples through the study of history, geography, politics, culture, and economic systems. The recommended context for social studies learning in sixth grade is World History and Geography. Students begin their examination of the world by exploring the location, place, and spatial organization of the world’s major regions. This exploration is then followed by looking at world history from its beginnings. Students are given an opportunity to study a few ancient civilizations deeply. In this way, students develop higher levels of critical thinking by considering why civilizations developed where and when they did and why they declined. Students analyze the interactions among the various cultures, emphasizing their enduring contributions and the link between the contemporary and ancient worlds.
Seventh Grade Texas History
Seventh Grade Texas History explores the fascinating and complex history of Texas from early times to the present. Students will understand the structure and functions of municipal, county, and state governments, explain the influence of the U.S. Constitution on the Texas Constitution and examine the rights and responsibilities of Texas citizens as well as the unique issues Texas faces as it relates to immigration and border issues. Additionally, through historical texts, textbooks, literary works, and written expression, students will study the places and regions of Texas while engaging in an in-depth study of notable African Americans and Hispanic Americans in the region.
In 8th Grade, students study U.S. History and Geography from Colonial America to Reconstruction. This course of study is more in depth than what is covered in the 5th grade curriculum. African American Studies is infused into each unit and runs parallel to the units of study. Students will explore the significance and contributions of notable African Americans. Students will observe Celebrate Freedom Week, Holocaust Remembrance Week and African American History Month. In addition, students will engage in Personal Financial Literacy Studies in conjunction with economics. Lessons focused on Black Wall Street will be incorporated.
8th Grade US History
• Celebrate Freedom Week (Week Of September 17th)
• Colonial America
• Adopting a Constitution
• Early Republic
• Era of Jackson
• Westward Expansion
• Industrialization and Reform Movements
• Civil War
• The Civil Rights Era
Sixth through Eighth grade students will work toward mastery and integrating the skills they’ve learned throughout kindergarten-fifth grade. In earlier grades, technology instruction is designed to expose students to rudimentary technological concepts so they may tangibly understand and independently use the technology that surrounds them daily in an effective way. The scaffolded curriculum teaches an understanding of the roles and importance of both hardware and software and how to use them as tools for content creation, online collaboration using learning management systems, and leverages those acquired skills to complete tasks that model real-world experiences. Technology usage is infused into all subject areas, so technical skills are practiced and reinforced regularly.
Beyond 6th grade, technology instruction will be completely project-based, having an end product for each semester, each project will be added to a portfolio website they will create to manage their personal online brand/presence. Students in 7th grade will have an elective 1st semester, with a mandatory 7th Grade Technology course 2nd semester. 8th grade will have electives both semesters, along with the ability to be a part of the 8th Grade production team responsible for a bi-weekly broadcast of news for St. Philip’s.
Mobile Game Design:
Students will learn to design mobile gaming applications using GameSalad app development platform. They will create design companies, and follow the product design lifecycle to perfect a total game experience.
MS 3D Modeling and Design
Students will design a working 3D mechanical model to specifications. They will learn to use code for the design phase and learn to prepare and use our 3D printers themselves.
Seventh-Grade Applied Technology
In the second semester of 7th grade, Technology will partner with Math and Science to design and create based on engineering principles. Initially, the challenge will be to design, build, brand, productize and create a market offering for the design and build a solar car. As the program evolves, the project may take on several iterations.
Students will engage in more advanced film-making, creating and short film from inception to completion. Students will explore strategies for writing the script, storyboarding, casting, filming, creating a music score and editing the production. The final product will be copyrighted and posted to the web for public consumption.
Students begin by learning to build and program Raspberry Pi computers. The semester then delves into digital automation and artificial intelligence.
St. Philip’s Foreign Language programs are designed in alignment with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) content standards. Students will be provided tutoring as supplemental educational opportunities for support in advancement.
The TEKS example template is as follows:
The content is divided into three major groups: novice, intermediate, and advanced. To accommodate the advanced levels a decision will be made to fully implement incoming students from those who have advanced to higher proficiency levels. Each group is divided into the two or three levels of proficiency.
All the levels have these five content standards in common:
● Communication. Your students will need to communicate in Spanish and Latin via speaking and/or writing. Students will engage in the process of understanding written and spoken Spanish as well as develop the skill that a significant portion of the English language is derived from Latin.
● Cultures. At their level, students use their learned Spanish and Latin to learn about cultures.
● Connections. Your students will take their knowledge of Spanish and Latin and use it to acquire new knowledge about other subjects.
● Comparisons. Using native language and culture as a reference point, students will make comparisons to the Spanish language and Hispanic culture and Latin language in the Roman culture.
● Communities. As lifelong learners, students take their learned Spanish and Latin and use it to participate in communities at home and around the world.
● Present. Students will present information in Spanish and/or Latin by conveying short messages in Spanish or Latin on everyday topics to listeners and readers.
Depending on the group, the curriculum will be based on these standards and create further alignment for grades K-6th.
Spanish Club will serve as an opportunity for students to practice conversational Spanish skills as well as utilize the language in more of an academic setting such as, Spanish Geography Bee or Mathalons, etc.
The middle school Fine Arts program will be scaffolded with the premise of arts as academic to support student’s individual strengths on our campus. The ideal graduate of this arts program will have a strong foundation in the arts and an experienced curriculum that considers the emerging student-artist, and the advanced student-artist who is prepared for upper school and youth centric professional performances. We will partner with arts organizations both locally and nationally to provide students access to real time industry professionals. There will be three levels of advancement across the curriculum whereby 6th grade operate individually in the discipline.
Fall Theater I - Survey of Theater including history, dramatic works, stage techniques, and production procedures.
Spring Acting I - Character and script analysis, ensemble work, and basic theater terminology. Emphasis on the body as the instrument utilizing the body, voice, and imagination.
Fall Theater II - Emphasis on ensemble work, costuming, lighting, set design, stage management.
Spring Acting II - Further training in character and script analysis, ensemble work, intensive voice and diction.
Spring/Fall Dance I - Principles of ballet, alignment, form, physical vocabulary, performance
Spring/Fall Dance II - Advance principles of Ballet, beginning Afro-Modern
6th - 8th Grade Music studies are cumulative, progressing in complexity from grade to grade, offering specific courses according to student interest. St. Philip’s will offer courses such as Music Theory I and II, Music History, Choir, Instrumental Ensemble. Through these courses students will have the opportunity to continue studies in Music Theory/Literacy, performance, music history, and cultural context; develop analysis, evaluation, and critique; and aesthetics as outlined in Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).
In alignment with the Art Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKs), students in 6th - 8th grade will explore visual art and self-expression through experimenting with various media. Visual art is taken on an elective basis, with a quarterly rotation.
Sixth- eighth grade art instruction will be led not only by the art teacher, but also by inviting resident master artists to lead workshops on a quarterly basis. Students will receive highly immersive instruction for their respective craft to further develop their artistic skills and awareness of the Principles of Design and fundamental art appreciation that were introduced in the upper years of elementary school art training. These quarterly crafts should include painting, pottery/ceramics, sculpture/carving, printmaking, jewelry making, glass art and fiber art, and how these artforms have been expressed throughout the world and times, individuals, cultures, and civilizations—and the times/society in which they lived--and thus relate and possibly incorporate this into their own works of art.
6th Grade Visual Art Focus
6th grade students will select their visual artform of choice for a given quarter. The art curriculum is geared toward classical training, with a heavy emphasis on art history in alignment with the humanities as well as STEM subjects.
7th Grade Visual Art Focus
As in 6th grade, 7th grade students will select their visual artform of choice for a given quarter. In keeping with the school’s Episcopal affiliation, students will learn about the role the Christian Church has had in the visual arts. Examples of artworks of the latter include illuminated manuscripts, bookmaking, Byzantine mosaics and stained glass, and famous painted and sculpted Renaissance artworks. Students will also learn about ancient Greek and Roman art and architecture. The curriculum includes various fiber art and basket weaving techniques as well, with an emphasis on African and African American crafts such as Gullah Sweetgrass baskets and patchwork quilts from the Gee’s Bend, AL collective.
8th Grade Visual Art Focus
As in seventh grade, 8th grade visual art students will select their artform each quarter, this time with a broader world view of art and architecture from the Middle and Far East, Africa, Polynesia and the Arctics. Covered is Islamic Geometric art and Ming Dynasty jewelry and pottery from China, Japanese Edo Period prints, Sub-Saharan art including but not limited to Benin bronze art, Igbo masks and batik textiles, and Zimbabwean stone sculptures. Pupils will gain familiarity with Oceanic Art such as the Rapa Nui, various decorative Polynesian art, and the meaning of “Mana,” as well as Inuit bone and soapstone carvings and American Pacific Northwest aboriginal art. Students will also study the works of contemporary African American artists such as Kara Walker and Kerry James Marshall.
Physical education and athletics become major elements of the middle school curriculum. The purpose of St. Philip’s physical education and athletics is to develop attitudes, skills, and knowledge through the application of the principles and concepts of human movement and participating in competitive team sports. The emphasis will start with individual and team sports and health, then shift to nontraditional and lifetime activities, and fitness concepts. New activities will be introduced, providing students with the opportunity to assess and improve fitness levels, use, and transfer skills in new and various ways. Student activities within the health curriculum aim to help them acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to manage their well-being at a time when they are faced with various decision-making opportunities and rapid emotional changes.
St. Philip’s physical education and athletics programs seek to prepare each student to live effective and productive lives. When students develop their physical potential, they experience the outcomes of an efficient and fully functioning body. Equally important to fitness are the social, intellectual, emotional, and cultural responsibilities and understanding that develop through participation in athletics.
The goals of the St. Phillips middle school physical education and athletics program include the process of improved movement skills, physical fitness, and health. Along with creating an appreciation of and specialized knowledge of sports, understanding self through social interactions, and the appreciation of play and the use of leisure time. St. Philip’s athletics also strives to foster highly competitive teams.
Physical Education (PE)
Sixth through eighth grade physical education classes and athletics teams will rotate with the block schedule. Students are required to participate. Due to the nature of competitive sports, time commitment and fitness expectations are varied and demanding. Students are encouraged to be aware of sport’s time and fitness requirements before signing up.
6th and 7th Grade
Focus: Physical activity, sports, health, strategy
Team and Individual Sports/Activities: Team-building activities, soccer, flag football, baseball/softball, volleyball, basketball, alternative activities including yoga and Tai Chi, tennis, weightlifting/resistance training, outdoor education, and aquatics
Students learn: Advanced rules, advanced skills (drills) and refinement of manipulative skills in sports activities, positions, and sport/activity specific strategies
Focus: First Aid, CPR, (Adult & Pediatric Certification), Automated External Defibrillator (AED), fitness, physical activity, safety
Introduction to Fitness Center: Cardio machines, free weights, individual fitness prescriptions, upper and lower body weight machines, auxiliary equipment
Team and Individual Sports/Activities: Team Building activities, soccer, flag football, baseball/softball, volleyball, basketball, alternative activities including yoga, Tai Chi, tennis, weightlifting/resistance training, outdoor education, and aquatics
Students learn: Advanced rules, advanced skills (drills), and refinement of manipulative skills in sport activities, positions, and sport/activity specific strategies
6th through 8th Grade Athletics Options
The new athletic program is offered for 6th through 8th grade student athletes whose interest, dedication, and commitment to a particular sport are such that he/she would be actively participating and competing year-round, regardless of St. Philip’s physical education requirements. It is not intended for the student experimenting with a sport for the first time, or the student who is not actively competing for St. Philip’s in the specific activity for which the option is offered. All athletic program applications will be evaluated carefully by a committee of coaches who have the complete discretion to approve or deny an applicant’s acceptance into the athletic program. This program is reserved for 6th through 8th grade student athletes who exemplify a high level of commitment to their respective sport, also prior history will be a significant factor in determining the acceptance of an applicant.
Proposed Team and Competitive Sports Offerings
Track & Field