6th Grade Program
In the 2019-2020 school year, we are excited to welcome 6th grade to our middle school.
The 6th Grade year is a bridge between childhood and adolescence. It is a special year filled with physical, emotional, and intellectual growth as students search for their identities. For this reason, Middle School is the perfect time for students to explore interests and push boundaries, to develop an awareness of self and others, and to delve into new interests and opportunities. Great middle school programs embrace these changes by providing academic challenges, a breath of undertakings to develop new interests while building on current passions, and plenty of time for social interaction and growth.
The 6th Grade program at Brentwood School was developed as a way to gradually help students make their way across that bridge. Our program provides a thoughtful entry into the world of early adolescence—from a modified schedule specially designed for the 6th Grade, to a home base on their own wing of the building, enhanced by special subjects and plenty of time to join the rest of the Middle School community for various assemblies, activities, sports, and lunch. And because our Middle School encompasses grades 6 through 8, we get to know the children and their families well. It is truly a community.
Please note: we will only accept applicants who are enrolled in public school, relocating to the Los Angeles area, or whose elementary school ends in 5th Grade.
The 6th Grade year is a time where students move from childhood into adolescence. As such, students are immersed not only in their own "coming of age" but in the study of others, past and present. Through contemporary literature, students face challenges and confront issues through the eyes of other adolescents. Classic readings include an adaptation of The Odyssey, the original version of A Christmas Carol, and various works of Shakespeare (for young people). This edition of Shakespeare employs the original language supported by narration.
The language arts program covers a variety of skills that help each student develop a foundation in and appreciation for the English language. Writing abilities are developed through assignments that emphasize different styles such as expository, creative, narrative, essay, and poetry. The mechanics of writing are also stressed and include spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Students begin the year writing a personal memoir reflecting on a significant event or experience in their lives. During the last part of the year, they undertake a coming of age fiction project that leads a young protagonist through a series of conflict. Throughout the year the students also continue to hone their oral skills through individual and small group presentations.
The social studies program in 6th Grade is also a study of others, past and present. Integrated closely with the literature and language arts elements of the program, the students study ancient civilizations with an eye toward the influence that historical happenings and issues have on the course of history and current events. Through the study of archeology, early humans, the Sumerians, ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, the students learn to analyze the elements of a civilization, including the importance of law, government, religion, and economic factors.
The 6th Grade math program continues to emphasize the importance of mathematical thinking and application. Through the use of mental math, paper and pencil, calculators, and "Hands-On Equations" manipulatives, the students tackle more complex concepts and problems. Students review the four basic mathematical operations using whole numbers, fractions, and decimals, in addition to working with ratios, proportions, and percentages. The students become more sophisticated in their study of geometry, probability, statistics (including its misuse), logic, and number theory. Essay tests are used to assess the student's ability to "think mathematically" rather than just solving an equation based on rote memorization. Students deepen their understanding of math as they are challenged to "teach" others various mathematical strategies and theories during class discussions.
Students in 6th Grade participate in a science program that provides a hands-on, discovery approach to learning science. The main objective of the program is to provide students with the opportunity to investigate and experience each of the three branches of science: earth, physical, and life sciences.
Students are taught the scientific process and perform labs individually and with partners. Topics of study are integrated with other elements of the curriculum, demonstrating to students that science is a part of their everyday living and learning experiences. Independent thinking, questioning, and innovative problem solving are encouraged. Creative expression and design are also incorporated into the curriculum.
Sixth Grade provides an opportunity for students to “try” a variety of classes and experiences that provide a foundation for the elective choices they will make in 7th and 8th Grades. In music, students choose between taking a musical instrument, often for the first time, or participating in a choral music class. Students also rotate quarterly through classes in coding, visual art, oratory arts, and innovation. Physical education, which includes units in movement and swimming, takes place daily because we know that young adolescents do better academically when they are physically active.