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Upper School Academics: Fifth Through Eighth Grades

Serving as role models for the student body, our Upper School (US) students reach new levels of leadership, responsibility, self-expression, and achievement.

HALLMARKS OF THE SPS UPPER SCHOOL EXPERIENCE

  • Academic Excellence: Departmentalized courses including English, mathematics, science, history, French, physical education, art, and music call upon US students to think critically as they solve 21st century problems.
  • Advisory: Students meet in advisory groups each morning to touch base with an advisor and plan for the day. These morning check-ins allow students to interact with students in other grades. Faculty advisors mentor students for two years, monitoring their advisees’ transitions to Upper School and maintaining communication with families and faculty.
  • Declamation: Fifth through Eighth Graders gain notable practice speaking publicly at Declamations. Students challenge themselves to master and declaim celebrated works of poetry and prose, including speeches, sonnets, and excerpts from novels and plays. The School community attends monthly Declamations, and US students compete for the annual Most Mentioned Award. A St. Peter’s School tradition, Declamation is one of the foremost School experiences recalled by our alumni.
  • Design Thinking: US students learn, experiment, and build in our innovation lab. This space is home to the School’s 3D printers, drafting and woodworking workshop, and LEGO robotics station.
  • Independent Study Program: The project-based learning Independent Study Program (ISP) engages Fifth through Eighth Graders as they research, design, and develop a deeper understanding of a topic of their choice. Students present their findings to the School community in the spring.
  • Interscholastic Sports: US students participate in St. Peter’s School’s interscholastic sports program. Student-athletes don garnet and grey uniforms, forge friendships with teammates, and represent SPS as the School challenges neighboring independent school rivals in a variety of athletics, including cross country, soccer, basketball, tennis, and Ultimate Frisbee.
  • Maker Faire and Shark Tank: Local entrepreneurs and professionals share their expertise with our US students at this annual event. The day of workshops concludes with the School’s version of Shark Tank: students can present their own innovative ideas to a panel of judges, and the winner receives funding to pursue their idea from the School.
  • Music and Performing Arts: US students enjoy a variety of musical and performing arts experiences: they learn to play guitar and handbells, sing in the chorus, and perform in school productions.
  • Recess: Every mid-morning, Fifth through Eighth Graders enjoy socializing, playing games, and being kids at recess.
  • Secondary School Placement: Our Secondary School Placement Director works closely with US students and their families as they apply to high school.
  • Social Emotional Learning: US students participate in our weekly Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program, practicing skills for social awareness, developing interpersonal intelligence, and learning responsible decision-making.
  • SPARC: SPARC, which stands for Speech, Presentation, Acting, Rhetoric, and Communication, is designed to provide students with the tools and experience needed to grow as public speakers. Fifth through Eighth Graders meet weekly to discuss strategies, explore methods of delivery, and practice presenting in front of classmates.
  • Student Clubs: Student Clubs allow US students to specialize and explore areas of interest with like-minded peers during the school day.
  • TALL: Fifth through Eighth Grade students may apply to join TALL (St. Peter’s School’s Teaching and Leadership League). Accepted students volunteer as after-school mentors and help younger students with homework.
  • VISUAL ARTS: Students showcase their works of art, spanning a range of media, at the Annual SPS Art Show and in the Class of 2016 Gallery.

UPPER SCHOOL SIGNATURE LEARNING EXPERIENCES

FIFTH GRADE

SIXTH GRADE

SEVENTH GRADE

EIGHTH GRADE

For more information about the Upper School at SPS, please contact Matt Evans, Assistant Head of School and Director of Third – Eighth Grades: mevans@st-peters-school.org.