Middle School is an exciting transition period for students and parents. It is a period of time marked by many changes. On the one hand, middle school students are growing and maturing, and on the other hand, they haven’t gotten through the process. Caught somewhere between being a child and being a teenager can be a challenging experience.
Our Middle School includes grades 5-8. The rigorous and challenging curriculum will more than adequately prepare them for their transition to high school. This is intentionally balanced with a full assortment of extra-curricular activities that provide students with opportunities to develop their music, athletic, and technology skills and abilities.
Working with the parents, the Middle School experience is designed to meet the individual needs of the students so that they can confidently develop into the young people that God has designed for them to be.
The curriculum covers an overview of the Old and New Testament, as well as the essentials for living a dynamic Christian life. Scripture memory is a key component of the program. Opportunities are provided for students to exercise their faith within the community.
Everyone has a worldview, but how many have a Biblical worldview. Eighth grade students enter into an intense study of the key aspects of a Biblical worldview—including theology, biology, philosophy, ethics, law, morality and more! Our goal is to help our young people develop a Biblical worldview so that they can be leaders and change agents in the world.
The math curriculum is aligned to the Common Core Standards and has several excellent components. Students have on-line access to their textbooks, as well as practice exercises, video vignettes and homework assistance. In addition, students are challenged to advance their math learning using Renaissance Learning, an on-line aid, which provides both drill and reinforcement of math facts as well as reteaching, reinforcing or advancing math concepts.
Based on testing scores and past performance, students entering eighth grade will have the opportunity to take General Math 8 or Algebra I.
Exploring God’s world and recognizing its Designer and Creator is at the center of the RCS Science curriculum. Science is a hands-on learning experience at RCS. Students participate in lab experiments that include dissecting worms, frogs, and cows’ hearts. The school Science Fair is a highlight of the year. Each student in grades 6 through 8 presents a combination of research and experimentation. The top performing students then advance to the Association of Christian Schools International district competition.
The middle school literature curriculum includes the use of both anthologies and novels. The first two years of middle school focus on reading skills. The latter two years focus on literary element and interpretation through the use of books such as The Hiding Place and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Students also are exposed to an in-depth study of poetry and public speaking.
Communication skills are critical for future success. Students are taught the rudiments of English grammar and given opportunity to develop those skills through practical writing opportunities. Writing is incorporated across the curriculum. Middle school students are taught the fundamentals of research paper writing through a well-developed program designed by the faculty. Through workshops, library visits and intense teacher involvement, the students work through the process and develop a quality research paper.
The seventh and eighth grade students participate in a two-year Spanish program. With a strong focus on Spanish grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation, students have an excellent introduction to the language. Most students transition into high school beginning with Spanish II.
The history curriculum covers US history, world history and ancient history. At all grades, significant emphasis is placed on geography. Fifth grade students write a state report that includes a report, map and display. The inclusion of current events within the teaching helps the students see the connection between our past, present and even our future.
The art curriculum provides students with an opportunity to experiment with various media. Projects are displayed throughout the school all year long, and at the end of the year the parents and school friends have an opportunity to walk through the Ringwood Christian School Art Festival.
Students are encouraged to see the computer as a tool to enhance learning, research and communication. Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel as well as keyboarding programs are utilized in class instruction.
Students in grades 5 and 6 have classroom music weekly. Building on the lower elementary skills, music reading skills are taught and opportunities to write and create music are provided. Singing is the main expression of music learning in general music; however, classroom percussion is used when appropriate.
Students in grades 7 & 8 are provided additional choices. They may choose to participate in the school band program and the school vocal group, His Sheep.
Students participate in two physical education classes a week. The boys are taught by Mr. Weaver and the girls are taught by Mrs. Bernhardt. Classes include instruction in team sports such as basketball, soccer, and softball. The seventh and eighth grade students have a unit on archery which is taught by a certified instructor. All students participate in the President’s Challenge program.
Students in grades 6 through 8 can choose to participate on the school’s FIRST LEGO League’s (FLL) robotics team. FIRST LEGO is designed to get children excited about science and technology and at the same time teach them valuable employment and life skills. The task is to program an autonomous robot (using the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robot set) to score points on a thematic playing surface, create an innovative solution to a problem as part of their project, all while guided by the FLL Core values.
Solar Car Races
Working in groups or individually, all students in grade 6 construct a solar car and students in grades 7 and 8 can choose to participate in this activity. Sponsored by TransOptions and using their guidelines and criteria, students explore the process of building a car that runs on both solar power and battery power. TransOption has the goal of helping students become more aware of air pollution and transportational alternatives, improve student’s understanding of scientific concepts and renewable energy technologies and encourage young people to consider environmental and technical studies at an early age.
Outdoor Education Trips
All education does not take place within the confines of the school walls. In order to expand the science learning, students engage in several outdoor education activities. In fifth grade, students spend a day at Shiloh Camp in West Milford and sixth grade they participate in an overnight at Camp Shiloh. There is opportunity to hike beautiful nature trails, participate in the challenge course activities and experience the high wall climb.
Each fall, the seventh and eighth grade students enjoy and tremendous three-day trip to Spruce Lake Retreat in Canadensis, Pennsylvania. While there, they experience the great outdoors in many exciting settings. Time is spent hiking Spruce Mountain, repelling, exploring the swamp and learning more about the evening sky. In addition, everyone seems to enjoy the High Ropes and Wild Woozie, the Power Swing and the incredible Climbing Wall.
Buehler Science Center, Liberty Science Center, the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT and more… These are just a few places we have visited over the year! As a celebration for completing a very thorough research paper project, classes are cancelled and the students and teachers are off for a “different” type of learning experience.
Competition can sharpen skills. Ringwood Christian School students compete in various local competitions as well as those sponsored by the Association of Christian Schools International and the Northern New Jersey Christian School Association.
- ACSI – Science Contest
- ACSI Writing Contest
- FIRST LEGO robotics competition
- NNJCSA – Math Contest
- NNJCSA – Spelling Contest
- NNJCSA – Bible Contest
- NNJCSA – Field Day Contest
- Ringwood Public Library Writing Contest
- TransOptions Solar Car Competition