Middle School

6th-8th Grade

The Middle School years are ones of great academic, social, emotional, and spiritual growth as students transition from the elementary classroom to the high school environment.  While with us in our Middle School, students take more responsibility for themselves, their work, and their actions.  They change classes every forty-five minutes, and learn to work with many teachers for the different subjects.

It is a very exciting time as students work toward realizing their own potential and the unique gifts they have to offer.  During these years, as they prepare for the future, we will continue to focus on our relationship with Jesus and how we can best serve Him now and in the years to come.

Middle School acts as a crossroad.  Our 8th grade students have one foot in our hallways and the other foot reaching out to the high school of their choice.  Our goal will be to help them make that leap, and to do so as smoothly as possible.  We will have fun working on our yearbook, going on our eighth grade class trip and preparing for graduation.  Sharing memories will be an important part of the year.

Saint Mary-Sacred Heart School follows the standardized learning outcomes that have been established by committees of expert Catholic school leaders and teachers, and reviewed by the Catholic Schools Office.  You can read of the standardized learning outcomes as part of their academic resources through their website.

  • Science

    St. Mary-Sacred Heart School’s science program follows the Next Generation

    Science Standards as adopted by the Diocese of Fall River. This framework focuses on the interconnected nature of the science disciplines to create a habit of mind that engages the broad scope of inquiries in science. In this way, a life science class will understand the chemistry of an organisms’ functions, consider technology and engineering projects to enhance life on earth and use math to explore the physics of these problems. This STEM modality is used to great effect in the text/workbook combination used in grades 6-8.

    Pearson Publishing’s user-friendly Interactive Science promotes higher level thinking through questions asking students to apply, analyze and evaluate their learning in writing alongside the content as well as at the end of a lesson. In addition, the scientific method is taught and practiced through many hands-on experiments and a yearly Science Fair project which includes a properly cited research paper. Frequent lessons on current affairs in science keep the learning thoughtful and fun!

  • Social Studies

    The three year social studies curriculum investigates the history, geography, politics, and society of both ancient World civilizations, and North America and the United States.

    The 6th grade curriculum focuses one the culture and diversity of the Ancient World through the study of ancient civilizations. Students begin the year learning about the five themes of geography so that they may apply these concepts to their studies. Students develop an awareness of the geography and history from the beginnings of human society to the early civilizations of the Fertile Crescent, Egypt and Nubia, India, China, Greece, and Rome. To accomplish these goals the class participates in an array of activities such as writing, puzzles, and a variety of literary works that connect the learning going on in the classroom to the students. Ultimately, the sixth graders develop an understanding of how the ancient world influenced and connects to our modern world.

    The 7th and 8th grade curriculum follows the history of North America and the origins of the United States while covering economics, government, philosophy, art, and social issues. The ultimate goal is to provide students with a rich foundation of  knowledge about their nation for future study and responsible citizenship. Throughout the year, students explore questions about American identity and government structure, and the ongoing challenges of an ever growing and diversifying population.  Continuing chronologically the course concludes in the late 20th century.

  • English Language Arts

    6th Grade ELA

    Students continue to cultivate an appreciation of both written and spoken language. As zealous readers, sixth graders are introduced to more sophisticated works of literature for study and analysis in the classroom. Students will focus on reading comprehension skills and strategies, vocabulary development, and independent reading skills. Grammar is integrated in our daily lessons with an emphasis on parts of speech. Students will use the stages of the writing process through our comprehensive expository writing program to create clear, coherent drafts and compositions throughout the school year.

    7th Grade ELA

    The language arts curriculum is enhanced by further study in the areas of literature, vocabulary, writing and grammar. In addition to an anthology of works, students will read a myriad of pieces throughout their coursework in literature. Through a systematic vocabulary program, students will expand and improve their vocabularies through context, word study and reading passages. In addition to building upon the foundation of the writing process program, students will be given the opportunity to writing routinely over both shorter and extended time frames in order to develop and strengthen planning, revising, editing and rewriting of their work. As part of our daily routine, students will be able to demonstrate a command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing and speaking.

    8th Grade ELA

    Learning is centered on grammar, writing, and literature. The grammatical structures that are studied are used in writing activities to put into practice what the students have learned. Eighth graders write poetry, journals, paragraphs, essays, personal reflections, and a research paper. They also create a scrapbook of memories that includes many additional pieces of writing. In the study of literature, the short story, poetry, and the novel are included. Students strive to analyze the storyline and uncover the character, theme, conflict, and point of view of each story. Through the study of literature, vocabulary is expanded by learning and using new words that are presented in the works that are read. To supplement this learning students use Vocabulary Workshop to further enhance their word knowledge. The curriculum is enriched by the use of cooperative work, academic games, songs, and a variety of other learning activities.

  • Religion

    The Saint Mary-Sacred Heart middle school religion program continues the development of the student as a whole person spiritually, academically, and socially with Jesus as our model. Students grow in faith and knowledge of Catholicism through a deeper study of the six topics as outlined in the learning outcomes of the Diocese of Fall River: Church, Prayer & Liturgy, Sacraments, Sacred Scripture, Creed/ Doctrine and Morality & Social Justice. Throughout their time in middle school, our students put their faith in action through their respect for self, their interactions with each other and their service to those in need.

  • Mathematics

    The Math program in Grades 6, 7 and 8 will challenge each student to his or her highest potential. Emphasis is placed not only on facts and comprehension of word problems, but also on developing relationships between the math they are learning and real-world scenarios.

    Grade 6 Mathematics

    Students in grade 6 will solidify their skills with operations with whole numbers and fractions. Ratios, unit rates, percents and irrational numbers will be introduced. Students will write and evaluate algebraic expressions, and solve one-step equations. Time will also be spent on solving word problems related to these algebra concepts. In geometry, students will examine properties of polygons in two dimensions and solids in three dimensions. They will solve problems involving various measurements.

    Grade 7 Mathematics

    In grade 7, students will experience a review, maintenance, and practice of the skills and concepts of the rational number system taught in 6th grade. They will develop skills in percent, ratio, and proportion. Students will strengthen skills in solving one and two-step equations. Students will analyze and relate properties of geometric figures. All students will engage in mathematical practices such as reasoning abstractly and quantitatively, looking for and expressing regularity in repeated reasoning, and looking for and making use of structure.

    Grade 8 Mathematics

    Students in the 8th grade math curriculum will experience a review, maintenance, and practice of the skills and concepts of the rational number system. They will develop and strengthen skills in number theory, exponents, percent, and ratio & proportion. Students will also solve problems involving area, perimeter, and volume; angle measurement; coordinate graphing; and statistics and probability. In order to solidify algebraic concepts and skills, students will work with variables, write algebraic expressions, solve multi-step equations and inequalities, and solve related applications. These skills will provide a strong background in basic algebra. All students will engage in mathematical practices such as reasoning abstractly and quantitatively, looking for and expressing regularity in repeated reasoning, and looking for and making use of structure.

  • Accelerated Mathematics

    The curriculum for 7th and 8th grade accelerated math is based on diocesan and state common core standards.  These standards include major portions of algebra I and geometry.  The emphasis in Accelerated Math is on building proficiency in doing the math.  Students are identified for these courses based on their previous performance in math classes.  The pace is accelerated as compared to other math classes at these grade levels and students are expected to maintain a specific average in order to stay in the class.  Class sizes are generally smaller, which allows for interaction among the participants. Each topic is handled in the following sequence: watch the teacher do it and ask questions, try it yourself and ask questions, and try it on your own for homework and ask questions in class the next day.  Each class sets its own pace determined by its ability to absorb the material. 

  • Technology/Computer

    The SMSH Pre K through 8 technology/computer course curriculum focuses on progressive development of technical skills through the years. Students develop basic computer technology skills, knowledge, and competencies that will enhance opportunities for learning in all areas of the classroom curriculum. The focus is technology as a tool to enhance the learning process and to develop 21st century skills.

    The pre-kindergarten students use iPads to begin basic technical skill development. The kindergarten through 8 computer skills developed include: ergonomics, keyboarding, word processing, spreadsheet creation, presentation, movie making, digital drawing, internet use including acceptable use, search, internet safety and digital citizenship. Also included in the curriculum is web page design and introduction to programming concepts. Cross product skills transfer is emphasized when learning new and advanced skills. Students in K-3 use Microsoft Office Suite. Students in 4-8 use G-Suite accounts for email and to build on skills developed using Microsoft Office Suite. A variety of online age specific programs are also used.

  • Spanish Language

    Knowledge of other languages is essential in a global society. The primary goal of the Spanish program at SMSH is to introduce students to the excitement of learning another language while building a strong foundation on which to continue their language studies at the high school level and beyond. In the sixth grade, the focus is to learn the basics of Spanish pronunciation and vocabulary for basic communication. As students continue the program in the seventh and eighth grade, their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills are further enhanced as they learn more complex vocabulary and grammar rules and usage. Hispanic culture is introduced through a variety of resources with the hope that the students gain an understanding and respect of other cultures. Students are also exposed to prayer and religious traditions in relation to the Hispanic culture.

  • Visual Arts

    Our art studio is a place of discovery, creativity, new ideas, amazing art history lessons, and a place of community. We have fun in the art room and work in a stress free environment to explore the elements of art.
    Each class is exposed to different forms of art. Art media is chosen based on grade level and skill sets. The students are encouraged to explore their passions and curiosities. The SMSH art studio is a place full of vibrant colors and life, allowing students to make the world their own.

  • Gym/Physical Education

    In our physical education program, as a diverse learning community, we will provide every student with a positive, stimulating, and personalized learning experience encouraged in a safe and orderly environment. Physical education is an integral part of the total education process that focuses on the intellectual, emotional and physical needs of the student. Our physical education program will strive not only to attain physical fitness and new skills, but also to emphasize a more positive self-image, more desirable social behavior and the joy of feeling well. All students will be treated with dignity and respect regardless of ability while participating in developmentally appropriate activities.

    Our hope is to promote enthusiasm within each student for developing and continuing a long, healthy and physical lifestyle. Our objective is to encourage all students to achieve their highest potential, within themselves and to obtain physical, mental and social satisfaction with each physical activity.