Middle Grades Curriculum

This curriculum is traditional in resting upon a foundation of vertical cohesion (skills taught in one grade will be built upon in the following grades) and the mastery of crucial academic skills. It is progressive in its emphasis on depth of learning over breadth of exposure, its project- and problem-based orientation and its interdisciplinary nature.

Core Curriculum

In the Upper Division’s middle grades program, grades six through eight, students start to move from studio to studio (classroom to classroom). Students acquire greater depth and proficiency in all their academic and co-curricular subjects, as well as an increasing emphasis on critical thinking. Assignments individualize opportunities for students to pursue their particular interests in depth, but within a common curriculum and skills base. Curricular emphasis is on building the core skills already mastered in earlier years.

  1. Reading: focus on awareness of argument and understanding of the different genres of literature
  2. Writing: building a three-paragraph essay
  3. Math: including Algebra I
  4. Science: earth science and ecology, biology, physics
  5. World Course

In the middle grades, the World Course is likely to overlap with standard offerings in history and science.

  1. History: an interdisciplinary approach. Topics could include American history and ancient or medieval civilizations
  2. Language: Chinese or Spanish, continuing the language studied in earlier grades, resulting in increasing proficiency
  3. Music
  4. Art
  5. Physical education and health and wellness; team sports at the Avenues gymnasium and at Chelsea Piers
  6. The school in the city: understanding Chelsea and New York

Students of this age do well working on projects with other students, so work in small teams on independent projects will be emphasized.

Older middle grades students will begin to have some of their classes, particularly in art and music, integrated with offerings in Chelsea and the city around the school.

A chart of the middle grades program curriculum is available here.

Apply to Avenues

Recent Articles from OPEN, our news and discussion blog

August 17, 2017

An Exploration of Ocean Animals in Nursery

by Dorine Yang

The Seahorses and Giraffes have been learning about ocean animals in HuangSe, their nursery Chinese immersion classroom. This unit was contrasted by a land animal study in Yellow, the partner English classroom.  

August 15, 2017

5th Graders Reflect on Immigration at Ellis Island

by Rachel Kreibich

Students in 5th grade are studying U.S. and world immigration in a reading, writing and World Course cross-curricular integrated thematic unit. To launch the unit, students studied the difference between migration and immigration and tracked historical movements and patterns.  

August 10, 2017

Pre-K Students Create Their Own Bookstore and Art Gallery

by Elaine Lee

After learning about their neighborhood, pre-K students decide to create a book store and art gallery of their own.  

August 8, 2017

Problem-based Learning in Math Takes a Student-centered Approach

by Fanny Sosenke

Starting in 8th grade math and continuing into the upper grades, the math curriculum is centered around having students learn mathematics by solving and discussing a well- organized set of problems.  

July 28, 2017

Upper Grades Students Host Symposium on Syria

by Student Voices

Since September, my 11th and 12th grade Economics of Violence and Peace class at Avenues: The World School had been examining the economic dimensions of violence and peace.  


© 2017 Avenues World Holdings LLC. All rights reserved