Middle School

6th-8th Grade

Growing in Academic Responsibility & Independence

West Hills Christian School’s middle school program builds on the concepts and skill sets learned in elementary school and seeks to deepen and widen students’ critical thinking and perspective. Students are instructed by supportive teachers who sharpen their minds, guide them as they shape their identities, and help them grow their relationships with God and one another. The middle school years mark a transition where we students become more self-directed learners, taking on greater responsibility and embracing leadership roles.

Within the middle school program, students participate in daily core subjects, regular PE classes, twice-weekly electives (STEM, Art or Music), and weekly chapel. Intentional class sizes, high-level instruction, and thought-provoking subject matter equip students to succeed academically and transition smoothly to high school.

6th Grade

As our entry grade into middle school, 6th grade at West Hills is a strategic year of transition. Students are taught by two core teachers. Our program is designed to help students continue to grow in their academics, personal responsibility, and spiritual lives, leading to the increased autonomy required in the upper grades.

What 6th-8th Graders Experience at West Hills Christian School

Below is a synopsis of the concepts and subject matter you can expect to be covered in each grade level, including a few examples of the special projects, musical programs, and milestone events unique to each specific grade at West Hills.

Math: Increasing fluency in multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, and ratios. Students are introduced to algebraic concepts, expressions, equations and variables, integers, and rational numbers, and will broaden their understanding of geometry. Class is divided into a regular and accelerated course using the same curriculum.

Social Studies: Students explore geography, history, and culture of the western hemisphere. The history of the United States is examined from its founding through major events of the 20th century.

Language Arts:

  • Reading: Students read a variety of narrative and informational texts to advance fluency and comprehension skills and students’ ability to discuss and analyze increasingly complex literature. Sixth grade emphasizes understanding of plot elements, literary devices, informational text structures, inferences and textual evidence, central themes, connections to other texts and real life, summarization of main ideas, and academic vocabulary.
  • Writing:  Students write daily, in one sitting or over time, to craft clear, concise, well-developed and grammatically-correct written pieces for a range audiences and purposes, including:
    •  reflective journal entries
    • engaging fictional and personal narratives
    • well-supported argument essays
    • lucid informational texts to clearly and accurately explain complex ideas, processes, and events
    • thoughtful literary analysis essays to examine thematic elements and character development in novels and short stories
  • Spelling Roots: Focusing on Greek and Latin word roots and their connections to essential academic vocabulary.
  • Grammar: Students work to hone their skills of capitalization and punctuation and to understand and locate the following parts of speech: prepositions, verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns.

Science: Students investigate different facets of science through research and experimentation. In addition to a weekly science lab, teachers work to implement hands-on activities, mini labs, and demonstrations in class. At the 6th grade level, students continue to study a variety of topics in the areas of life, physical, and earth sciences.

Bible: Broad surveys of both Old and New Testaments, including the formation of the Biblical canon, how these scriptures point to Jesus as both Israel’s Messiah and the Son of God, and how to begin finding our way through the entire narrative of scripture. Additional focus given to introductory Bible themes and tracing such themes through, from Genesis to Revelation.

Unique milestones:  Outdoor School

7th grade:

  • Literature focus on short stories, poetry, and book studies
  • Writing strengthened through the study of various genres
  • Exercising vocabulary using Greek and Latin roots; strengthening spelling, word relationships and comprehension

8th grade:

  • Literature focus on cultural awareness and “classic” authors through book studies, short stories, and poetry
  • Writing honed through research utilizing the MLA style and the study of persuasion using great American speeches
  • Building on vocabulary of Greek and Latin roots to continue to strengthen spelling, contextual vocabulary relationships, and vocabulary familiarity

7th grade:

  • History of the World: Ancient history from Mesopotamia through the Protestant Reformation. 7th grade World History will also include a study of concepts of justice, individualism, and citizenship.

8th grade:

  • History of the United States: History from the early colonies through World War II. 8th grade US History will also include a focus on the U.S. Constitution, change and continuity over time as well as regular discussions involving contemporary issues.

Placement determined by ability rather than grade level

  • Pre-Algebra: Introducing algebraic expressions and equations; strengthening skills in concepts with decimals, fractions, and factors; growth in linear functions and graphing; application of proportions and percents; introducing exponential and rational expressions; area and volume formulas.
  • Algebra: Focus on foundations of algebra equations, inequalities, functions and concepts; broad understanding of polynomials, quadratics and data.
  • Accelerated Algebra 1: Accelerated studies in algebra in equations, functions, and concepts; understanding polynomials, quadratics and data.

7th grade:

  • Life Science: Study of living things (microorganisms, plants, and animals), genetics, and ecology. All science classes are accompanied with hands on study in a laboratory on a weekly basis.

8th grade:

  • Space and Earth Science: Study of space (galaxies, stars, sun, planets, and moons), atmosphere (structure, energy, and weather), and earth (structure and processes).

7th grade:

  • Grammar I: Identifying parts of speech and their functions; applying correct grammar to formal writing and speaking

8th grade:

  • Grammar II: Applying standard grammar and usage in speaking and writing; identifying types of phrases, clauses, and cases

7th grade:

  • Broad study of the establishment of the Family of God in Israel, the life of Christ, and the Family of God in the Church, working through both Old and New Testaments. Particular focus on the Abrahamic Covenant and God’s promises within, and the New Covenant established by Jesus and respective promises within.

8th grade:

  • Intimate study of ‘pillar’ characters throughout the Old and New Testaments, focusing on how the entirety of scripture develops the portrait of Jesus as Israel’s Messiah and the Word of God incarnate. Particular focus on the identity of Jesus as represented by the four Gospel portraits, along with New Testament characters’ responses to Jesus as such.

7th grade:

  • 7th/8th grade retreat; trip to a Pacific Northwest landmark; participation in electives.

8th grade:

  • 7th/8th grade retreat; Proverbs Project; participation in electives; trip to Washington, D.C. and New York City; 8th grade “clap-out” tradition (all students line the halls on the 8th graders’ last day of school to applaud them as they leave the building one final time); Graduation Ceremony.
Middle school boys read their Bibles in the classroom.

Faculty

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Liles, Todd

6th/7th/8th Grade Teacher

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Middleton, Ron

6th Grade Teacher

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Steuwer, Maggie

6th Grade Teacher

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Cloutier, Pamela

7th/8th Grade Teacher

Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy as to Students

West Hills Christian School admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, and national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.