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Academic Highlights

The Middle School program at Wardlaw+Hartridge supports students to strive for success in academic pursuits and a true sense of happiness and fulfillment in their lives and the well-being of others.  As global citizens, our students learn that wondering, exploring, learning, persevering, achieving, and triumphing while living empathetic, action-driven lives are all part of the Middle School journey.


The Seventh and Eighth Grades English program incorporates a study of the works of William Shakespeare through close reading and live performance. Each year’s study culminates in a two-day festival of live student performances in our amphitheater. Middle School students bring Shakespearean drama to life through their innate curiosity about how language works in tandem with physicality to convey tragedy, great wit, subtle satire, rollicking humor, lost and found love. The experience of performing as a cast in live, dramatic theatre is an experience that they carry with them.


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The Eighth Grade Capstone is an action research project that extends over the course of nearly the entire school year. Beginning with summer reading, students explore the essential question When should an individual or a group take a stand to confront a problem?  From class discussions, reflective writing exercises, and exploratory research, students engage with the complexity of problems for which there are no easy answers. This multi-disciplinary project builds reading, writing, research, artistic, critical thinking, and presentation skills while also fostering curiosity, collaboration, teamwork, and resilience culminating in a formal presentation.


Continuing the tradition of student speeches in the Lower School, Middle School students are required to research, write, and present a speech at the end of each year.  The Middle School English and History & Social Sciences faculty work together to help students prepare for these speeches. Public speaking is a critical skill for success in college and beyond.

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A strength of our Middle School program is in the intentional focus on critical life skills.  Our advisory program has been designed around these skills. The W+H approach to building strong character mirrors our Core Values and Mission Statement and is informed by our active membership in the Enrollment Management Association (EMA). Our advisory program is the hub for this important work which spans the disciplines, co- and extracurricular activities. Eight constructs provide the architecture for this work: resilience, curiosity, time management, creativity, teamwork, ethics, citizenship, and empathy.


Middle School students publish a newspaper, The Typewriter, three times each year as well as an end-of-year literary and arts magazine The Hyphen. Under the guidance of our advisor to Student Government and Publications, our students hone writing skills, learn the tenets of journalism, conduct research and interviews, and produce high-quality publications that investigate topics of community interest and concern. Student artwork, original short fiction, poetry, non-fiction essays, memoir, graphic art, sports and culture writing, political commentary and editorials, and photography are solicited for inclusion in both the newspaper and magazine. All Middle School students are invited and encouraged to submit their work for publication. 


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Middle School Calendar

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Meet Andrea Barnett Middle School Teacher