Upper School

6th-12th Grades

Upper School provides an opportunity for students to develop their minds through in-depth conversation, discussion, and even debate in the classroom setting. This is a key time for students to step back and think about the ‘big picture’, asking questions such as “Why are we here? Why do we study these subjects? What is the meaning of life? What is our purpose? Who are we?” Upper School is an exciting and formative time as students move further down the path of wisdom.

Upper School Overview

Upper School Overview

An Upper School student’s daily routine includes basics such as changing classes, having a locker, and experiencing greater freedoms with choices during the lunch period and selection of Recitation program participation.  All Upper School students also participate in the Student Forum, which is a student governance program through which they are learning and executing parliamentary procedure.

Each year students can also choose to participate in our Annual Play, which is one of the options for completing a Recitation credit. Participating students have the opportunity to experience set design, stage direction, acting and all that goes with a theatrical production.

Middle School (grades 6-8) can be a challenging time for students, parents, and teachers. There are new physical challenges, emotional challenges, and intellectual challenges. Middle students are in between childhood and adulthood. Our motto in the middle school is to “love them through it.” Most middle-schoolers don’t have the skills they need to be successful in high school. There is a tendency to regress and “forget” things that students learned before as they attempt to figure out who they are.

Therefore, Upper School faculty work to foster a lighthearted but disciplined culture where students are encouraged as they are being trained in the essential habits and virtues of organization, time management, responsibility, reverence, and diligence – in addition to the normal academic subjects (math, grammar, history, science, etc.).

As in the Lower School, we seek to inspire Upper School students with great stories that embody truth, goodness, and beauty—beginning with The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, which all students read in 6th grade. Upper School faculty consistently point students to the larger meaning and purpose in all that we are doing – which is ultimately to know, love, and serve Jesus Christ.

Program Distinctives

  • Honors-level courses only
  • Use of “Seven Central Questions” as integrating focus
  • Dialogue using the Socratic method
  • Public speaking
  • Research thesis for sophomores, juniors, and seniors
  • Participation in ‘Edwards Colloquium’, a special evening conversation about practical Christianity
  • Latin and Greek

Curriculum Distinctives

  • English – Reading and discussion of the “Great Books”
  • History – Reading of primary sources coordinated with history
For it is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to apply it.
- René Descartes