Formal introduction to discussion-based learning takes place in the Middle School, where the Harkness method of learning builds confidence, encourages risk-taking, instills respect, promotes independent and collaborative problem-solving, and champions individuality and intellectual growth.
1-to-1 iPad® Program
A 1-to-1 iPad® program allows for learning on the go, including their time in our outdoor classrooms. These devices provide students and teachers a diverse selection of apps to enhance their classroom experience. In conjunction with Google Apps for Education, students and teachers are able to easily share information and collaborate on projects.
Considered the backbone of the Middle School, the Advisory program, based in the Developmental Designs model, establishes a relationship between a student and a faculty member, and also builds our sense of community. Each Advisory period centers on the “Circle of Power and Respect” which allows the group to grow as a community that cares about each member. Aspects of Developmental Designs are woven throughout the Middle School day and are grounded in the four needs that must be fulfilled if young adolescent minds and hearts are to be engaged in any learning—social or academic: Relationship, Autonomy, Competence, and Fun.
Mindfulness practices enrich students’ experiences on a daily basis. With teachers modeling how to be aware of their minds, bodies, and spirits, Rocky Hill students learn to embody our mission to educate the whole child.
In January and February of their eighth- grade year, students deliver a multimedia presentation to the entire Middle School community as part of our Expositions program. The students select a topic for their exposition at the start of the school year, and then conduct research, including an interview, write an expository paper, develop a multimedia presentation, and rehearse their exposition in front of the faculty
With the Potowomut River estuary, Narragansett Bay, and Mount Monadnock serving as classrooms, Middle School students spend Enviroweek venturing outside of the school walls— conducting field surveys, experimenting, collecting and recording data, making observations, and learning about each of these environments from many different perspectives. In addition, students participate in a variety of activities, including overnight trips on and off campus, that take advantage of time together to develop community and to communicate and work together to solve challenges.
World Cultures Week
A highlight of our academic year is World Cultures Week, a week devoted to immersing our Lower and Middle School faculty and students in the study of a specific country and its culture. During this time, our traditional daily schedules are altered as teachers from all grades and disciplines collaborate to bring an interdisciplinary focus to a variety of topics. Within flexible groups and through multisensory learning experiences, the history, geography, music, arts, religion, food, people, games, architecture, and literature of the particular country are studied. Guest speakers and performances, as well as a buffet lunch, further enhance the flavor of the country and culture.