The Bridge Year for 5th and 6th Graders

A gateway program for young learners

Download curriculum for Bridge (PDF doc)

The Bridge Class:

  • is a gateway program for young learners
  • attracts a diversity of exceptionally curious and strong, independent learners and collaborative thinkers;
  • respects the emotional and educational development needs of fifth and sixth grade boys;
  • includes boys who have completed either the fourth or fifth grade;
  • implements the latest research on boys, learning, and curriculum design;
  • makes connections across all disciplines in the curriculum;
  • integrates hands-on learning, applied instruction, and challenging classroom assessments;
  • learns under the lead of one full-time, experienced educator who reports directly to Head of School; and
  • fosters strong community between students and families in a small class environment.

Methods:

Seven Hills School builds on early successes to move into new areas of study.  This approach is based on current, important and accepted research in the area, such as:

  • Nancie Atwell’s Middle Classroom Methods
  • Cornell University’s Note-Taking System for the Middler
  • Michael Gurian’s Boys and Girls Learn Differently
  • Harvard University’s Multiple Intelligence Theory
  • University of Chicago’s Sphere Learning in the Middle Years
  • National Society of Experiential Education’s Service Learning Model
  • Incorporating Introduction to Philosophy Studies

Short-and-long term memory:

  • Daily exercises and game practice in the rudiments of reading, writing, and mathematics are implemented.

Math and Logical Thinking:

  • Mathematics Level – Grade 6
    • Applied Math & Problem-Solving Focus
  • Math and Science Labs
  • Living Science Exploration
    • Smithsonian, 3 Volume Series by Joy Hakim (2003-2008)
  • Introduction to Physics and Chemistry
  • Application and Experiments

Kinesthetic and Inter/Intra Personal and Spiritual/Natural:

  • Service Learning Integration
    • Central VA Foodbank, SPCA and other neighborhood service activities.
  • James River Curriculum
    • Monthly River Days
  • Exploring the Mind – Philosophy Rocks

Linguistics:

  • Language Arts
    • Genre Study
    • Creative Writing
    • Publication
    • Reading Labs
    • Writing Labs
  • Global and Leadership Studies
    • Current World Events
    • Cultural Studies
    • Leadership Studies
    • Shared Values
  • Future Problem Solving
    • Case Studies & Future Scenarios
    • Underlying Problem & Action Plan
    • Analysis

Visual/Spatial and Artistic

  • Visual Arts
  • Designing Overbrook Together
  • Art, Design, and Function
  • Student-Created Productions

Assessments and Testing

  • In-Class Assessments
  • Written (Individualized and Standard)
  • Oral
  • Experiential
  • Arts-Focused
  • Quarterly Goal Setting and Self-Assessment
  • Year-Long Assessments
  • Learning Style Inventory
  • Competitive Team Testing: FPS