Students in 6th to 8th grade are brought together from each of our lower schools to join our Martindale-Brightwood campus, where many of them start their Oaks journey in Pre-Kindergarten.
We strive to create an atmosphere that encourages healthy relationships with ideas, one another, the world, and authority as we prepare students academically, socially, and spiritually for high school. Students entering Middle School encounter new academic, subjects like Logic and Spanish, as well as new social activities through the house system. They are also introduced to 4 new habits that will play an important role in their journey to spiritual maturity and adulthood.
The study of the humanities combines many subject areas at The Oaks Academy, including history, literature, art and music appreciation, geography and Biblical narratives, and is taught within a chronological timeline.
Sixth grade covers African Civilizations and American History from 1820 to the period of Reconstruction and westward expansion; Seventh grade studies 20th-century American and World History from rapid industrialism to the Civil Rights Movement and beyond; Eighth grade surveys World History from the development of Sumerian civilization through the revolutions of the 18th century to the rise of totalitarianism in the 20th century.
The study of the Bible in Middle School completes the progression of scripture begun in Lower School.
Sixth grade learns about the importance of faith and loving and trusting God from the universal epistles; Seventh grade delves into two books of wisdom literature, Psalms and Proverbs, as it shapes a picture of life through the lens of worship and wisdom; Eighth grade studies how Christ reveals his divinity in the gospel of John and then how John points the people of God toward a glorious future in the Book of Revelation.
In Middle School, there is a strong emphasis on scientific thinking and the scientific method. Sixth grade covers sound and light as well as earth science, while Seventh and Eighth grades learn principles of biology, chemistry, and physics.
Students are assigned excellent literature to challenge their minds, reading at school and at home with an emphasis on annotating the text. Students then draw from their experiences with these authors as great models for writing. Students engage in progressively more complex writing styles, sentence structure, and vocabulary as they advance through middle school. They also continue the practice of recitation and begin engaging in scored discussions and debates, as well as public speaking experiences.
In Sixth grade, every student participates in the same art and music experience. Students take a deep dive into the principles and elements of design with a focus on techniques involving various mediums. Students also explore various musical instruments and participate in a general choral class over the year.
At the end of Sixth grade, students select their future Fine Arts Major. Students can choose between Art or Music (either Band, Strings, or Choir) and stay in their selected major for both Seventh and Eighth grade. Major classes meet four days a week, with a general art or world music class on the other day of the week.
The Major program allows students more time to explore their chosen fine arts discipline in order to enhance their skills and abilities.
Students have the opportunity to experience different pathways through Middle School mathematics based on data, academic achievement and teacher recommendation. The math pathways offer opportunities for students to take high school level math courses, earning credit for Algebra I and Geometry based on class placement.
In Seventh and Eighth grades, students also study Logic (the study of reason). This includes arguments, deductive and inductive logic, and fallacies.
The PE / Health curriculum includes team and individual sports as well as lifetime fitness activities. Topics such as nutrition, mental health awareness, and alcohol and drug education are also covered.
Students continue the study of Latin as a core subject in Sixth grade. In Seventh and Eighth grade they can choose to continue studying Latin or begin Spanish.
Students participate in a STEM / Technology class, covering basic computer skills (i.e. using computer applications; research skills and citation) and digital citizenship (online safety), as well as computer programming.
Foundations is a class specifically designed to create space and time for Sixth grade students to grow in important skills as they transition to middle school.
This ungraded class helps students get acclimated to their new schedule, explore different ways to study, and learn how to plan for success and set goals.
Other activities are introduced throughout the year to develop students as whole persons, including knitting, keyboarding, game strategy and dancing.
The House System is created to build community and relationships across grade levels.
Houses exist as social groups that provide opportunities for cross-grade interaction, team and spirit building, service projects, Forest Days, and other special activities.
Houses are also a form of student government, with a staff member as a mentor and 8th grade prefects and mentors as student representatives.
In addition to Forest Days at local state parks, each grade has specific curriculum-rooted extended field trips.
Sixth grade travels to Cincinnati to visit the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and other local sites; Seventh grade travels to Chicago to experience an assortment of art and architecture from history; Eighth grade takes a capstone trip to Washington, D.C. to immerse themselves in the history of our founding, the Civil War and the struggle for civil rights.
Middle school graduates leave The Oaks with a unique understanding of the importance of relationships, diversity, faith, one’s voice, appreciation for the humanities, and the value of service. Alumni of The Oaks go on to attend and excel at the finest high schools in Indianapolis, both public and private. With a high school graduation rate of 99.6% and a college graduation rate of 86%, our graduates have demonstrated success beyond The Oaks.
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