Learning and Leading Start with Community
Each fall kicks off with an adventure that becomes a metaphor for growth all year.
- Sixth Grade: Staying overnight at the Farm School is a rite of passage where students take on the responsibilities of a working farm.
- Seventh Grade: Students band together to climb Mount Cardigan.
- Eighth Grade: Project Adventure encourages teamwork and communication.
Advisory Groups—a mentor teacher with a small group of students—nurture the bonds and well-being that are foundational for learning.
Experiment with Science
- Sixth Grade: Students discover how circuits work. Rising before sunrise to observe the night sky, they track the phases of the moon with a moon journal and create a scale model of the solar system. They design, build, test, and modify solar cars to achieve peak performance.
- Seventh Grade: Students move into the lab to apply the scientific method to questions about the properties of waves, real and virtual images, cell division, diffusion, osmosis, and photosynthesis.
- Eighth Grade: Students continue to develop their lab skills by studying heredity, investigating properties of matter, understanding the periodic table, and learning how elements bond to make compounds.
“activities challenge students to develop critical thinking and logical reasoning skills. TheY gain confidence that prepares them to become tomorrow’s scientific leaders.”
—Sandra Trentowsky, science teacher
Sixth Grade: Readings include The Hunger Games, The Outsiders, The Misfits, and American Born Chinese.
Seventh Grade: Readings include Persepolis, Of Mice and Men, Macbeth and excerpts from Born a Crime, The Body Papers, This I Believe, and You Remind Me of You.
Eighth Grade: Readings include The 57 Bus, To Kill a Mockingbird, House on Mango Street, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and Romeo and Juliet.
Discover the World in Social Studies
- Sixth Grade: Students learn to be self-reflective researchers and presenters through the study of world religions. They examine the civil rights movement through the lenses of the legal system, primary sources, music, and literature and write their own script to perform at Freedom Night.
- Seventh Grade: Students consider how a multiple-perspective approach informs and enriches our understanding of the world. Topics include European and U.S. westward expansion; African studies; food systems, geography; current events; Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel.
- Eighth Grade: Students hone research and writing skills as they work on their Capstone research papers. Topics include the American Revolution; the U.S. Constitution; the Civil War and Reconstruction; U.S. immigration; World Wars I and II. A trip to Washington D.C. to explore museums, memorials, and how government works brings the curriculum to life.
“Studying the civil rights movement, sixth graders are challenged to understand how the world worked, and they are inspired by how it was changed. The civil rights project is like a mini-Capstone. Students choose what they want to study in-depth, select a project format, and present a plan for accomplishing their goal.” —Dean Spencer, social studies teacher
Flourish in the Arts
- Sixth Grade: Students sample every arts discipline, rotating through classes in music, theater arts, digital technology, visual arts, and woodworking.
- Seventh and Eighth Grades: Each trimester, students choose from a wide variety of specialty courses, ranging from kinetic sculpture, improv, composer's forum, book arts, fiber explosion, and digital film and photography. During the winter trimester, students also have the option to take part in a theater production.
Become a Leader on the Field
All middle school students represent Belmont Day by competing in our interscholastic athletics program. Over the course of three seasons, students choose from 12 athletics offerings, learning important lessons about teamwork, sportsmanship, and leadership.
Take Pride in Clubs, Partnerships, and service
All middle school students participate in two clubs each year. Possibilities include Model U.N., math club, Echo literary magazine, trail biking, and beekeeping.
Middle school students also serve as the cross-graded partners for our youngest students. They meet regularly to read or do projects together.
Whether raising funds for UNICEF, volunteering to be school ambassadors, engaging in the community through the Roots and Shoots service learning club, or starting a climate change discussion group, our students are responsible and engaged leaders.
“Watching cross-graded partners interact is inspiring. Our middle school students are excellent role models in guiding their younger partners through a variety of challenging activities, while also simply enjoying the chance to remember what it was like when they were that age.” —Kaleen Moriarty, sixth grade teacher
Graduate and Go to High School!
Starting in seventh grade, BDS guides families through the search process to identify best-fit schools for each student. Our graduates head to high school with confidence and excitement.
“Admissions officers appreciate BDS graduates as unique individuals who have a strong sense of self.” —Sarah Merrill, Director of High School Placement
I remain committed to Belmont Day years after my daughter has graduated. Being beyond the elementary and middle school years now, I see the value of her BDS education from a different vantage point and am even more grateful for it. She was extremely well-prepared for the academic rigor of high school. By eighth grade, she was also socially and emotionally ready for the next step. —Karen Liesching P '17 and Belmont Day Trustee