Energetic. Social. Curious. Interesting. Challenging.
- 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
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
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
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.
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.
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.