News

  • Team 1

    Odyssey of the Mind teams shine at state competition

    Posted April 16, 2014

    The two Odyssey of the Mind teams from Pennington’s Middle School achieved first- and third-place finishes at the state competition held in Ewing, NJ, on April 12.

  • MS play production nominated for award

    Posted April 3, 2014

    Last year's Pennington Middle School play, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, has been nominated for an Outstanding Production of a Middle School Play award.

  • Students earn accolades for exceptional writing

    Posted April 3, 2014

    Three eighth-grade students, Kaela Colyar, Nicholas Micheletti, and Ryan Totaro, have achieved honorable mention status in the Letters About Literature Writing Contest for Young Readers.

  • Student vs. faculty basketball game

    Posted March 3, 2014

    ome Middle School news: on Friday, February 28 during 8th period (study hall), members of the boys and girls basketball teams took on a team of faculty in a spirited, end of season hoops game.

  • Eighth-graders collect data on education for girls

    Posted February 26, 2014

    The eighth grade recently completed a project involving their classes in current events and mathematics. After viewing Girl Rising, a CNN documentary about education for girls in various parts of the world, students were asked to collect data and complete a poster project that reflected the information they had gained.

  • Got bounce? Algebra 1A can tell you!

    Posted February 26, 2014

    Students in Susan Wirsig’s Algebra 1A section used algebra, specifically slope, to determine how a floor’s surface affects the bounce of a ball.

Middle School

Energetic. Social. Curious. Interesting. Challenging.

nj private middle school students working together
Learning to work together is a valuable lesson in Middle School.

A small Middle School with big opportunities

The Middle School at Pennington is a small, friendly environment with big opportunities for academic and personal growth. With just under 100 students in all, our Middle School offers its own curricular and co-curricular program, its own faculty dedicated to these transformative years, and its own unique identity. The Middle School, however, is very much a part of the larger Pennington community.

Middle School students are expected to work hard in the classroom and to be active participants in their own education. In working closely with faculty and their peers, students will be asked to experience new things and to stretch and challenge their perspectives.  Students will build upon their strengths and develop as individuals while making close friends in a community diverse in age and national origin. Our nurturing and committed environment is designed to support students where they are, both developmentally and intellectually.

Middle School Academics

Courses in math, science, English, social studies, and languages make up the core academic experience in Middle School. Each one of these core courses develops necessary time-honored and twenty-first century academic skills, exposes students to new content and approaches to learning that connect to their world, and challenges student perceptions in order for them to reach new, more sophisticated understanding. These core classes are also places where students learn to access and apply technology with increasing purpose, efficiency and responsibility.

As a school that focuses on developing the whole child, core courses are complemented by exploratory courses in music, health and the arts, in addition to a wide variety of elective courses that allow students to learn something new, satisfy a specific area of interest or strengthen a flourishing talent. While elective classes change from year to year, courses in art, music, drama, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) are consistently available.  The entire campus becomes a classroom. For a more complete list of courses at each grade, please see our curriculum guide.

Middle School Community and Spiritual Life

Every week, the entire Middle School community gathers together as one. Community Meeting is a time for important announcements, student performances, celebratory recognitions, processing issues in our community and around the world, and the like. Students also meet each week with their advisory groups, and again with their Junior Proctors.

Chapel is a time of personal and meaningful reflection. Led by the school’s chaplain in Pennington's Methodist Church, Chapel is a spiritual time, rather than a religious one. It is a time to recognize all faiths and find meaning in our day-to-day decisions and experiences. Chapel is organized around monthly themes, such as Creating Your Vision or Gratitude, and advisory groups each take turns in leading the service.

Lunch time is also a community time to break bread with one another and to engage in desired activities, from a game of wiffle ball, to getting a jump on homework or gathering with a group to work on a class project. All of these moments contribute to the full Pennington experience.

Middle School Athletics

Every Middle School student is asked to participate in at least one of the three extracurricular athletic seasons to play a minimum of one team sport each year. Mirroring the classroom experience, everyone is expected to participate to the best of their individual ability, allowing unique talents to shine. Our “no-cut”, “everyone plays” philosophy supports our belief that everyone has something to learn, as well as something to offer others.

New this year!

In addition to the after-school participation in a team sport, we have added a new program this year designed specifically for this age group. Our Physical Life Skills course will meet every week and every Middle School student will participate.  Half of this unique program will take place in our beautiful aquatics center, and all students will develop comfort and confidence in the water. For the other half of the year, we have partnered with our on-campus Source Institute for Human Performance. They have developed a unique curriculum that is motivational in nature, and will focus on balance, movement, coordination, developing self-confidence and a good body image. 

Upper School students will help lead both of these groups, further strengthening the bonds between Middle and Upper School students.

Upper School Junior Proctors and Faculty Mentors

The process of self-discovery is so critical to the Middle School years, academically and emotionally. With this in mind, each Middle School student is assigned two different types of mentors to help guide them through these years; a faculty advisor and two Junior Proctors. While the role these mentors play is different, their purpose is the same; to help the Middle School students become their best selves.

Middle and Upper School students have frequent opportunities to interact with one another during the day when walking to class, eating lunch, mingling before and after school and, for boarding students, living in the residence halls. These interactions are most often spontaneous and brief.  Yet every Friday morning a very purposeful time is planned for Middle School students to meet with their Junior Proctors. Approximately 20 Junior Proctors are selected each spring after an intensive application and interview process. The year-long position is a highly-coveted leadership role. This special group of juniors is trained to facilitate a variety of activities each week and provide a certain level of counsel for their Middle School groups. Activities range from serious to pure fun. Aside from Friday morning activities, it is not uncommon to see a Junior Proctor giving a proctee a fist pump in the hallway or seeing a Middle Schooler cheering on their proctor during an athletic event or theatrical performance.

Each student also has a faculty advisor in his or her life, one who provides unconditional support and the resources to guide academic and personal growth. Advisors help students set goals, monitor academic and extracurricular progress, engage in service projects, facilitate discussions from world events to character development and make recommendations for the following year. Since faculty advisors are considered the “hub” of information related to a student, he/she is just as much an advisor to parents as he/she is to the student. Advisors meet with their advisory groups (consisting of 6-10 students) for one scheduled meeting a week in addition to individual meetings that may take place during study halls, before or after school, during lunch, or as needed.  

The spirit of our Middle School students permeates the Pennington campus, helping to create the sense of welcome, inclusion, and industry that makes The Pennington School such an exceptional place in which to learn and grow.

Middle School Curriculum

See details, or download PDF by clicking here.

Contact Information
middle-school-side-paige.jpg
Todd Paige
Head of Middle School
609-737-6134