Beyond the Classroom
Active engagement in co-curricular and extracurricular activities not only positively impact academic achievement, but they also shape the way our students understand the world around them. These special programs convey our commitment to educating the whole student and reflect our philosophy that these opportunities are necessary to enjoy the fullness of a rich educational experience and joyful life.
- Academic Signature Trips
- After School Programming
- Middle School Athletics
- Performing Arts
- Service Learning
- Student Government
Academic Signature Trips
Overnight co-curricular field trips begin in the Middle School. These trips are designed to supplement the educational experience by connecting to students’ studies and providing a space for Middle Schoolers to create connections with each other, begin to test their independence and return with new perspectives to share.
SIXTH GRADE: FROST VALLEY
Sixth Grade students have a unique educational experience during the first part of their school year. In the early fall, students and their teachers enjoy a four-day trip to Frost Valley Environmental Camp in upstate New York. They travel to Frost Valley to create a living-learning community that integrates academic experiences with the social development of the community. This experience takes an interdisciplinary approach, using the natural environment as a main theme. Each student participates in outdoor activities such as orienteering, observing the night sky, traversing obstacle courses, learning about sustainability practices, and exploring pond ecology. These activities are coupled with a variety of team-building opportunities providing the foundation for their Middle School years.
SEVENTH GRADE: WILLIAMSBURG
The Williamsburg Trip during the Seventh Grade year allows the students to experience first-hand what life was like for the early colonists of North America. An extension of the Seventh Grade History Curriculum, this trip to Colonial Williamsburg immerses students in the daily life of that era. Students learn about the role of the apprentice in the various trades of the time period. The trip also includes tours of Yorktown and Jamestown. Seventh Graders experience the culture, language, government, food, entertainment through living the period of American History they study in their classrooms.
EIGHTH GRADE: WASHINGTON, D.C.
The Washington, D.C. Trip is traditionally taken during the second half of the Eighth Grade year. Each Spring, the Eighth Graders spend four days in our nation’s capital. The trip integrates material studied in classes across the disciplines. This extension of our curriculum is enriched with guided tours of many museums, monuments, and government buildings in the Capital. Students also have the opportunity to meet with members of Congress on Capitol Hill, attend a special performance at the Kennedy Center, and visit particular sights of interest such as several of the Smithsonian Museums and the Holocaust Memorial Museum.
After School Programming
The Wardlaw+Hartridge School has a wide variety of after and outside of school programming including our extended day program for the Middle School students, Encore; our After School Care Program, vacation break camps, and Adventure Camp, our camp for students in Grades 1 through 8. We also provide academic programs for credit, preview or enrichment in Grades 6 through 12 in our Summer Scholars Program.
Middle School Athletics
At Wardlaw+Hartridge, we consider athletics an extension of the classroom and believe it is integral to the educational experience of our students. We strive to provide an environment that promotes achievement, fair play, integrity, sportsmanship, and overall health and fitness. In Middle School, students are allowed to choose a team sport to fulfill the Physical Education requirement.
The primary goal of the Sixth Grade athletics experience is development. Fifth Grade students as well are permitted to play in Middle School sports to develop their athletic abilities with specific provisions. The Seventh and Eighth Grade Teams tend to be more competitive, with each child receiving ample opportunity to develop his or her skills and compete in games at the appropriate level. Each Middle School athlete may choose from the following sports: in the Fall – Boys’ Soccer, Girls’ Soccer, Boys’ and Girls’ Cross Country, or Girls’ Tennis; in the Winter – Boys’ Basketball, Girls’ Basketball, Girls’ Cheerleading or Coed Swimming; in the Spring - Baseball, Boys’ Tennis, Softball, or Boys’ and Girls’ Track & Field.
Our goal for W+H music students is to develop a life-long love of music, encouraging musical enjoyment and participation long after the students leave the school. They broaden their appreciation for the power and importance of music through not only the academic coursework they complete, but also through their participation in authentic performance experiences within a wide-range of musical styles and contexts.
Middle School musicians experience a performance-based curriculum during the school day, designed to enhance music literacy skills while in an ensemble setting. Students focus on developing their performance technique while playing band instruments and singing together. Outside of the Middle School required curriculum, Middle School students have a variety of opportunities to stretch their performance abilities even further through the following:
Middle School Jazz Band
Middle School Musical
Emelyn & Leal Choirs
Creative Movement Dance Class*
Private Music Lesson Program*
*In the Fall of 2017, the W+H Performing Arts Department began a partnership with Rutgers Community Arts, a division of the Mason Gross School of the Arts. We offer private music instruction and a dance class through this partnership, and these classes are taught by the Rugters Community Arts Faculty.
Service Learning is a cornerstone of the Middle School program. It further supports our mission “to prepare students to lead and succeed in a world of global interconnection” by cultivating a sense of civic engagement and responsibility for one another. The Service Learning Program allows students to engage in active service locally and across the world through myriad activities large and small. A feature of this program is learning about the causes and consequences of actions that precipitate a need. Students learn about food insecurity and the causes of poverty in their work at a nearby food bank; they study ecosystem fragility and restoration as they rehabilitate nature trails and remove invasive plant species from a local preserve. Eighth Graders take their service learning to a large-scale level in an action research project that requires study of philanthropic entrepreneurialism as they form and operate small businesses that raise money for a micro-finance project that provides funding women-owned small businesses in the islands of the South Pacific.
With the guidance of a faculty advisor, our Middle School Student Government and Publications team promotes a strong sense of community and Middle School identity through a variety of activities, including: hosting dances, organizing our annual Rising Stars Talent Show, leading on-campus service learning, planning full division meetings organized around our eighth character and life skills of empathy, ethics, curiosity, creativity, time management, teamwork, resilience, and citizenship). In addition, this group publishes a newspaper, The Typewriter, three times each year as well as an end-of-year literary and arts magazine The Hyphen. All students are invited to join Student Government and Publications, which runs as an elective course.