Middle School Program Guide

The middle school program guide provides students and their families with concise information about the middle school. During the course selection process, this guide serves as a tool to help students and parents make important decisions regarding programs of study.

Students and their families are asked to review the program planning guide carefully. This guide outlines the courses students are required to take and the courses students may choose to take (electives).

Students and their families are encouraged to seek advice from teachers and counselors regarding the appropriate courses for which to register. Students and their families are responsible for completing all registration online. Access to the online course selection tool will be shared with families via email and in the weekly SAS eNews.

Homebase

A key component of the middle school is the advisory or homebase program. All students are part of a homebase group of approximately twelve students. This group meets at the start of every school day and is supervised by a single teacher. The homebase philosophy encourages a close professional relationship between the student and at least one adult in the school. Homebase also serves to keep students connected; learning about weekly events, planning for Classroom Without Walls (CWW), growing in social skills and study habits, and developing strong and supportive peer relationships.

School Counseling

The middle school strives to create a safe, inclusive and supportive school community. The middle school counseling office is a critical part of this process. There are three counselors and one psychologist that work as a team to support students through the complexities of adolescence. Each grade level has an assigned counselor who ‘loops’ with the students; moving with a group of students through the middle school – sixth grade to seventh grade and then seventh grade to eighth grade. In this way, counselors form strong and trusting relationships with students and families.

Inter-Disciplinary Terms

The middle school has over 900 students. To assist students in making connections with their classmates and teachers, each grade level is divided into three teams or ‘sides’. Each team has just over 100 students. These teams are often referred to as A, B, and C sides. Each side has a team of teachers assigned to it. This inter-disciplinary teaching team supports the academic, social and emotional needs of all students.

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)

Professional learning communities or PLCs are an integral part of the middle school organizational and professional models. Within the Middle school, there are many PLCs, each focusing on a specific grade level and subject area. The goal of PLCs is to bring teachers together to focus on curriculum, assessment, and the optimization of learning.

1:1 Laptop Program

The Singapore American School recognizes technology serves as a dynamic tool for learning that optimizes productivity, connectivity, collaboration and creativity. The 1:1 Laptop Program in the middle school increases student access to laptops with the goal of further integrating information technology and literacy into our curriculum. The program provides enhanced learning opportunities in our classrooms and promotes the development of responsible digital citizenship.

Learning Support

The Learning Support program is designed to provide individualized academic assistance for students who require additional support to be successful in the SAS academic program. Frequently, school staff collaborate with families to develop an Individualized Education Support Plan (IESP) to track and monitor a student’s progress in the area of need (reading, writing, math or behavior). Supports for students is individualized and designed to meet their specific learning need and foster success throughout all their classes. Students are provided both support in their current classes as well as targeted instruction for their learning deficits with the goal of increased independence in their learning. SAS prefers the decision to enroll students to be a collaborative determination between parents, students and school personnel (teachers, school psychologist and divisional administrator). There are instances when the school may recommend a learning support class to ensure a student is able to make expected annual progress.

To deliver this support, SAS employs the following services:

Inclusion Classes: The learning support teacher provides support within the regular classroom. This model includes supportive teaching, parallel teaching, complementary teaching, team teaching and small group/individual instruction.

Learning Support Classes: The learning support teacher provides specific instruction individually or in small groups outside the regular classroom. In this setting, teachers can provide more direct and individualized support with basic skill development, assignment completion, organization, and monitoring of task demands. Additionally, students receive assistance in developing related academic and learning skills necessary for their future learning.

Strategic Learning

Strategic Learning is an elective course offered in the middle school aimed to support student learning needs. The purpose of the course is to help middle school students learn to advocate for themselves. The efficient and effective strategies, protocols and tools utilized in the program are designed to help middle school students set the stage for success in the management and follow through of their daily tasks. The strong platform of organization provides the anchor for thoughtful and purposeful planning of task completion and time management.

Activities and Athletics

The middle school years are one of exploration and experimentation with activities that can become positive lifetime habits. To this extent, the middle school activities office strives to offer a robust selection of clubs, intramurals and select sports for our students.

The club offerings include academic enrichment, service, and sporting opportunities. Clubs typically meet once a week and are open to all levels of ability and interest.

The intramural sport offerings are a structured ‘next step’ after middle school students have been exposed to a multitude of physical activities in the physical education classes. There are a variety of sessions, both individual and team sports, allowing students to have a weekly opportunity to play a sport of their interest.

The select sport program follows the seasons of play established by the Athletic Conference of Singapore International Schools (ACSIS), with SAS participating in volleyball, basketball, soccer, badminton, swimming, and many other sports enjoyed by middle school students.

For more information please refer to the activities brochure (‘A World of Choices’), check out the Athletics and Activities link on the SAS MS web page, or contact Grant Walker, the activities and athletics coordinator at 6363-6050.

Classroom Without Walls

The middle school Classroom Without Walls (CWW) program extends student learning beyond those experiences gained at school. The primary goal is for students to build positive relationships, trust, and cooperation with their peers and teachers by facing unique challenges and experiences outside of the classroom. Through these challenges and experiences, students will be given opportunities to grow as individuals and to build self-esteem.

Students will further develop their own environmental awareness and cultural sensitivity through participating in activities specific to each trip. Once students return to the classroom, the lessons learned at CWW will support and enhance student learning throughout the balance of the school year.

Library Media Center

The middle school library welcomes all members of the SAS community from 7:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. We currently have 23,000 print books, 8,000 eBooks and 14 online databases. Our eBook collection is undergoing rapid expansion. We also offer a wide variety of tools and resources through our Learning Design Studios which support differentiated learning through a multiple intelligences approach.

Our aim is to offer all guests a dynamic and supportive setting for exploratory learning and knowledge creation. The goal of our staff is to assist students in becoming thoughtful users and creators of information.

Library members may borrow up to ten items at a time for a three-week loan period. Most of our equipment, tools and devices are intended for use within the library so our studios can remain fully functional. Food and beverages are only allowed for designated special events. You can learn more about the library by visiting our website linked to the middle school homepage, or better yet, stop by and see it for yourself.

Program Articulation

Singapore American School is committed to offering innovative programming supported by relevant curriculum and instruction. To achieve this goal, SAS evaluates and modifies curriculum as part of a structured curriculum review cycle. As a result of this process, the math curriculum has been revised and as the World Language program continues to grow and develop, there are programmatic changes worth noting. Please refer to the articulation diagrams that follow for a better understanding of the course offerings and progression in these curricular areas.

Math

The middle school math program continues to build on students’ number and operation skills while beginning to lay the foundation for the more abstract reasoning skills needed in high school level math courses. More specifically, students will work through progressions in geometry, statistics and probability, the number system, expressions and equations, and proportional reasoning and functions. For each grade level, students will be placed in a course based on a combination of mathematical proficiency, SAS administered placement tests, and teacher recommendation. For more information on each of the courses offered at a specific grade level, please refer to the grade level sections in this guide. Every year students are re-evaluated and placed in the course which best meets their needs.

Below is a reference for progression in the middle school mathematics program:


World Language

The middle school World Language program offers instruction in three different languages: Chinese, Spanish, and French. The goal of the World Language program is to establish a basic understanding of the respective cultures and to develop language proficiency through a focus on communicative ability. The transition into the middle school (any grade) and into the high school (ninth grade) is based on the student’s language proficiency as determined by our language teachers and external assessments.

Interpersonal listening and speaking skills are a key component of our program and are the primary focus in our Novice and Intermediate courses. In the Intermediate High courses, while students continue to develop their interpersonal listening and speaking skills, increasing attention is given to the development and assessment of interpretive (listening and reading) and presentational (speaking and writing) communication. There are specific proficiency goals by language, course, and mode of communication.

Course names and design refer to the proficiency level being targeted by the end of each course (yearlong or multi-year), and it is necessary for students to reach the benchmarks before advancing to the next level. The multi-year courses (e.g., Intermediate and Intermediate High) are designed to allow students to take the time they need to reach their proficiency goals, while they experience new culturally-rich thematic units over a period of two - perhaps, three - years.

For more information on each of the courses offered at each grade level, please refer to the grade level sections in this guide. Below is a quick reference articulation progression for Chinese, Spanish, and French:


Sixth Grade Course Overview

Sixth Grade Core Course (Required)

Reading and Language Arts 6

The goal of the middle school Language Arts program is to empower students to be effective writers, readers, listeners, and speakers. Each grade level team of teachers tailors its lessons to meet the age-appropriate needs of its students. They ensure academic rigor and continuity by using common language, practices, and methods within an aligned scope and sequence in grades six through eight. The program builds on the skills students developed in the previous grades and prepares them for the future. Students develop their writing through a workshop-based approach and instructional frameworks of structure, meaning, craft and language, related to the ELA Common Core Standards.

Through this approach and the careful reading of mentor texts, students write in a variety of genres within three domains—narrative, argumentative, and informative. Students also focus on developing language skills and vocabulary throughout the workshop and related activities. As readers, students explore literature through independent reading, interactive read-alouds, whole class novels, and literature circles. Students explore the characteristics of various genres through the units of study while continuing to develop reading strategies and effective responses to reading.

As critical and analytical thinkers, they construct meanings, share understandings, and compare reading experiences to their own lives and other texts while strengthening their identities as lifelong readers. When sharing ideas and work, students use technology (i.e. Google docs, blogs, videos, podcasts, etc.) to collaborate and publish. At the same time, they grow as speakers and listeners through small group and whole class discussions and presentations. Student learning is supported by a diverse range of resources including: class libraries, text sets, literature circle sets, interactive read-aloud texts, literature anthologies, multi-media resources, and various writing resources.

Social Studies 6

In Social Studies 6, students will explore the culture and geography of ancient world civilizations such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece using common characteristics of civilizations. The focus is on the contributions from each culture as well as connections between cultures and our lives today. Students will take part in an inquiry-based study of the five major world religions, giving the students opportunities to discover and connect to the world around them. Through these units, students will explore conceptual understandings related to civics, geography, history, and economics. Students will also develop essential inquiry skills such as asking questions, evaluating sources, and communicating conclusions.

Math 6

Math 6 will build on students’ work from elementary school. Instructional time will focus on four critical areas as identified by the State Standards: (1) connecting ratio and rate to whole number multiplication and division and using concepts of ratio and rate to solve problems; (2) completing understanding of division of fractions and extending the notion of number to the system of rational numbers, which includes negative numbers; (3) writing, interpreting, and using expressions and equations; and (4) developing understanding of statistical thinking.

Math 6+

Math 6+ is an extension of the Math 6 curriculum. Math 6+ also introduces students to additional topics/standards from the Math 7 program.

Science 6

In Science 6, students will use the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The NGSS identify scientific and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas in science that all K–12 students should master. The NGSS provide a strong science education that equips students with the ability to think critically, analyze information, and solve complex problems—the skills needed to pursue opportunities within and beyond STEM fields. In Science 6, the major NGSS topics include: the history of earth and it's systems, human body structure, function and information processing, and waves and electromagnetic radiation.

Phys Ed 6

In Phys Ed 6 students will participate in a variety of team and individual sports, aquatic skills, fitness, and lifetime sports. Each cluster of three activities focuses on an understanding of a specific movement pattern, concept-strategy and a personal and social responsibility element. Units include badminton, basketball, fitness/conditioning assessment, flag football/rugby, floor hockey, soccer, softball, swimming, tchoukball, tennis, track and field, Ultimate Frisbee and Project Adventure/climbing wall, volley ball, and water polo. In addition, during the health portion of this class, students will experience a course of study that focuses on the concepts of wellness, making healthy choices, and living a healthy lifestyle.

Sixth Grade World Language (Required)

Reading and Language Arts 6

The goal of the middle school Language Arts program is to empower students to be effective writers, readers, listeners, and speakers. Each grade level team of teachers tailors its lessons to meet the age-appropriate needs of its students. They ensure academic rigor and continuity by using common language, practices, and methods within an aligned scope and sequence in grades six through eight. The program builds on the skills students developed in the previous grades and prepares them for the future. Students develop their writing through a workshop-based approach and instructional frameworks of structure, meaning, craft and language, related to the ELA Common Core Standards.

Through this approach and the careful reading of mentor texts, students write in a variety of genres within three domains—narrative, argumentative, and informative. Students also focus on developing language skills and vocabulary throughout the workshop and related activities. As readers, students explore literature through independent reading, interactive read-alouds, whole class novels, and literature circles. Students explore the characteristics of various genres through the units of study while continuing to develop reading strategies and effective responses to reading.

As critical and analytical thinkers, they construct meanings, share understandings, and compare reading experiences to their own lives and other texts while strengthening their identities as lifelong readers. When sharing ideas and work, students use technology (i.e. Google docs, blogs, videos, podcasts, etc.) to collaborate and publish. At the same time, they grow as speakers and listeners through small group and whole class discussions and presentations. Student learning is supported by a diverse range of resources including: class libraries, text sets, literature circle sets, interactive read-aloud texts, literature anthologies, multi-media resources, and various writing resources.

Chinese 6 (Intermediate Low)

This course is designed for students who demonstrate Novice 3 (N-3) or Novice 4 (N-4) interpersonal oral proficiency. Students will continue developing their oral communication skills and start to systematically learn to recognize Chinese characters (Hanzi), develop reading comprehension and become familiar with written form of Hanzi in a more systematic way. The main themes and topics will still evolve more about oneself, but further into school life, sports and friendship development. Expected exit target for interpersonal oral proficiency is Intermediate Low (I-1), interpretive reading/ listening is Novice 3 (N-3). Students who successfully meet the target will be prepared for the next level.

Chinese 6 (Intermediate Mid)

This multi-year course is designed for students who are able to demonstrate Intermediate Low (I-1) or above interpersonal oral proficiency. Students will be provided opportunities to delve deeper into different aspects of Chinese tradition and culture using thematic units to develop their communication skills to learn to deal with real life situations. They will learn to create with the language and to ask and answer simple questions to meet the daily life needs. Developing students’ basic literacy skills will be part of the focus as well. Themes will include but not limited to learning about their host country Singapore, its typical types of food, dining etiquette, and other aspects of life styles of different groups of people in Singapore and in other cities in China. Expected exit target for interpersonal oral proficiency is Intermediate 3/4 (I-3/I-4), interpretive reading/and presentational writing is Intermediate Low (I-1). This course will usually take between two and three years for students to successfully meet the expected exit goals and move to next level.

Chinese 6 (Intermediate High)

This multi-year course is designed for students who are able to demonstrate Intermediate M (I-3/I-4) interpersonal oral proficiency. Four language skills will be further developed with an emphasis on continuing to raise students’ oral interpersonal communication proficiency—talking in paragraphs. They will continue to develop their literacy skills. Themes will include but not limited to healthy living and developing healthy relationship in schools, at home and in the community as well in different cities in China and in the host country of Singapore. Expected exit target for interpersonal oral proficiency is Intermediate High (I-5), for interpretive reading/writing is Intermediate Mid (I-3). Students who successfully meet the target will be prepared for the next level. This course will usually take between two and three years for students to successfully meet the expected exit goals and move to next level.

Chinese 6 (Near Native)

This course is part of the Near Native track. It is designed to serve those students who are capable to demonstrate foundational skills especially required for oral communication in the language and basic understanding of the Chinese culture through different experiences and involvement. This course focuses on further developing students’ oral communication fluency and accuracy, however, the main emphasis is on developing students’ reading comprehension and writing proficiency. Expected exit target for interpersonal oral proficiency is Intermediate 3/ Intermediate 4 (I-3/I-4), for interpretive reading is Intermediate 3 (I-3), for presentational writing is Intermediate Mid (I-2/I-3). Students who successfully meet the target will be prepared for the next level.

Spanish 6 (Novice)

Spanish 6 (Novice) is for students who have no experience with the language, and for students who are still working toward the performance exit target of N4. The Novice course provides students with the necessary skills to create meaningful communication in a supportive environment where the focus is on Interpersonal Listening/Speaking. The performance exit target is N4* as determined by the classroom teacher and supported by external testing.

Spanish 6 (Intermediate)

Spanish 6 (Intermediate) is for students who have reached at least N4 in Interpersonal Listening/ Speaking. Students advance their proficiency through a variety of culturally rich thematic units. The skills of reading and writing are integrated in as much as they foster oral communication. The Intermediate course focuses on Interpersonal Listening/Speaking, and the performance exit target is I4* as determined by the classroom teacher and supported by external testing. This target is most commonly achieved over a period of two to three years.

Spanish 6 (Intermediate High)

Spanish 6 (Intermediate High) is for students who have reached I4 in Interpersonal Listening and Speaking. Students advance their proficiency through a variety of culturally rich thematic units where Interpretive Reading and Presentational Writing are formally integrated. The performance exit target by mode is I5* as determined by the classroom teacher and supported by external testing. These targets are most commonly achieved over a period of two to three years.

French 6 (Novice)

French 6 (Novice) is for students who have no experience with the language, and for students who are still working toward the performance exit target of N4. The Novice course provides students with the necessary skills to create meaningful communication in a supportive environment where the focus is on Interpersonal Listening/Speaking. The performance exit target is N4* as determined by the classroom teacher and supported by external testing.

French 6 (Intermediate)

French 6 (Intermediate) is for students who have reached at least N4 in Interpersonal Listening/ Speaking. Students advance their proficiency through a variety of culturally rich thematic units. The skills of reading and writing are integrated in as much as they foster oral communication. The Intermediate course focuses on Interpersonal Listening/Speaking, and the performance exit target is I4* as determined by the classroom teacher and supported by external testing. This target is most commonly achieved over a period of two to three years.

Sixth Grade Elective Year-Long Courses (Optional)

Band 6 (Beginning)

Beginning Band 6 offers the student the opportunity to learn the basic skills required to play a band instrument. Students learn to read music, produce tones correctly, and listen for balance and intonation as part of a performing ensemble. Course content is delivered through the method book, carefully selected concert band repertoire, and basic music theory. Financial commitments include instrument rental and/or purchase, purchase of accessories throughout the year, and purchase of approved concert attire. Band requires a commitment of a minimum of 10 minutes of daily practice outside of class. Students are required to attend occasional after-school rehearsals and evening performances which are a part of the grade for the course. If SAS hosts a music festival/exchange during the year, students will be requested to host participating music students from visiting schools.

Band 6 (Intermediate)

Intermediate Band 6 is designed for students who can demonstrate mastery of the beginning band skill set, usually second-year players. Students in this performance-based course continue to develop technical skills on their instruments through ensemble playing. Course content is delivered through the method book, carefully selected concert band repertoire, and basic music theory. Financial commitments include instrument rental and/or purchase, purchase of accessories throughout the year, and purchase of approved concert attire. Band requires a commitment of a minimum of 10 minutes of daily practice outside of class. Students are required to attend occasional after-school rehearsals and evening performances which are a part of the grade for the course. If SAS hosts a music festival/ exchange during the year, students will be requested to host participating music students from visiting schools.

String 6 (Beginning)

Beginning String 6 offers the student the opportunity to learn the basic skills required to play a string instrument. Students will learn to play one of the following instruments: Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass. Students learn to read music notation and experience being part of a performing ensemble. Course content is delivered through the Suzuki method. Financial commitments include instrument rental , and purchase of approved concert attire. Strings requires a commitment of a minimum of 10 minutes of daily practice outside of class. Students are required to attend occasional after-school rehearsals and evening performances which are a part of the grade for the course. If SAS hosts a music festival/ exchange during the year, students will be requested to host participating music students from visiting schools.

Strings 6 (Intermediate)

Intermediate Strings is open to sixth grade students who have been studying strings for at least one year or more. Auditions and recommendations will be conducted by the middle school strings teacher. Students in this course are playing and reading notation, developing further their string technique. Primarily they are aiming to develop their ensemble playing skills. Students will use some parts of Suzuki School Volume 1 and Alfred Essentials of Music Theory as their theory method book. Students are required to attend occasional after school rehearsals and evening performances. Financial commitments include instrument rental/purchase, purchase of instrument accessories, and purchase of concert attire. If SAS hosts a music festival during the year, students will be requested to host participating students from other schools.

Choir 6

In Choir 6, singers will learn how to read music, sing in unison, two and three part harmonies, and in large and small groups. Singers are introduced to vocal technique and production, music-reading, and music theory. Singers will perform at a variety of public concerts throughout the school year and will also be able to audition to perform at the prestigious Association of Music in International Schools (AMIS) International Honor Choir. Attendance at occasional after-school rehearsals and evening concerts is required and is part of the singer’s summative. Singers will also be expected to purchase their own choir attire for performances. No previous singing experience is required.

Sixth Grade Elective Trimester Courses (Optional)

Art 6

In Art 6 students will explore drawing, painting, digital design, and photography. The drawing section emphasizes developing ideas through an art workbook and expanding those ideas throughout other units. A variety of two dimensional media are used while learning the basic visual vocabulary for art. Basic geometric forms, symbols, design elements, and composition are just some of the topics covered. An ongoing exhibition program will be used to allow students to critique and develop opinions related to art works. Students will maintain an art workbook as a personal record of their experience in Art 6.

Drama 6

Drama 6 is an introduction to drama. In this course, students focus on improving self-confidence and communication skills. Through physical theater they learn to use their face and body to tell stories as well as how to work successfully in a group. Students learn how to use their voice to hold the audience’s attention. The trimester culminates in a small classroom production where students pull together their use of facial expressions, voice and body to create characters on stage.

Movement 6

Movement 6 invites students to experience the world of dance through sports movement, hip hop, break dancing, and contemporary dance styles. This course focuses on the athleticism required for movement and improving students’ strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, and technique. Additionally, students study choreography and performance basics through the creative process and the use of team building projects. Movement 6 culminates with an informal presentation in the classroom.

Coding 6

Coding 6 is an introductory Computer Science (CS) course that empowers students to create authentic programs and engage with CS as a medium for creativity, communication, critical thinking, and fun. With a focus on computational thinking students will analyse and create simple computer games, utilising a block based language that supports all high level programming concepts. The course has the “maker” ethos embedded throughout, providing students the opportunity to see and participate in the physical act of creation alongside the more theoretical elements of Computer Science. Utilising the main coding structures (sequence, selection, iteration and objects) students will investigate the logic of programming including models for input, output, and processing while utilising the software development life-cycle. No previous programming skills are required.

Digital Media 6

In Digital Media 6, students will experiment and create with various media platforms to gain skills to use in not only digital media classes, but core classes as well. Skills taught in the class include sound design and soundtracking, graphic design, and basic to intermediate filmmaking skills. All skills and applications (like Snapseed, iMovie, and Garageband) are taught from a novice level, so no previous experience is required.

Tech 6

Tech 6 is an introductory project-based class that helps bring engineering to life for students. Students will learn how to use the Design Thinking Process through a series of short activities to design, build, and test low resolution prototypes. Emphasis is on our school desired student learning outcomes: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and having fun!

Culinary Arts 6

In Culinary Arts 6, students will be introduced to the fundamentals of cooking by focusing on improving their confidence in the kitchen and learning some recipes that can be replicated at home. Please be advised that students will work with a variety of food products (i.e. nuts) and thus students with food allergies may want to consider other elective options.

Strategic Learning 6

The Strategic Learning program is designed to provide students with additional time and strategies in order to be more successful in the challenges they face during the academic day and beyond. Students will focus on building specific skills to help them manage their school materials, prioritize their use of time, and increase their productivity. Students will also be provided with time in class to work on projects and assignments from other classes as a way to implement the specific skills and strategies learned in Strategic Learning. While this is an elective course offering, there are instances when the school may recommend a Strategic Learning class in order to better support student success.

Learning Support 6

The Learning Support program is designed to provide individualized academic assistance for students who require additional support to be successful in the SAS academic program. Frequently, school staff collaborate with families to develop an Individualized Education Support Plan (IESP) to track and monitor a student’s progress in the area of need (reading, writing, math or behavior). Supports for students is individualized and designed to meet their specific learning need and foster success throughout all their classes. Students are provided both support in their current classes as well as targeted instruction for their learning deficits with the goal of increased independence in their learning. SAS prefers the decision to enroll students to be a collaborative determination between parents, students and school personnel (teachers, school psychologist, and divisional administrator). There are instances when the school may recommend a learning support class to ensure a student is able to make expected annual progress.

Seventh Grade Course Overview

Seventh Grade Core Course (Required)

Reading and Language Arts 7

The goal of the middle school Language Arts program is to empower students to be effective writers, readers, listeners, and speakers. Each grade level team of teachers tailors its lessons to meet the age-appropriate needs of its students. They ensure academic rigor and continuity by using common language, practices, and methods within an aligned scope and sequence in grades six through eight. The program builds on the skills students developed in the previous grades and prepares them for the future.

Students develop their writing through a workshop-based approach and instructional frameworks of structure, meaning, craft and language, related to the ELA Common Core Standards. Through this approach and the careful reading of mentor texts, students write in a variety of genres within three domains--narrative, argumentative, and informative. Students also focus on developing language skills and vocabulary throughout the workshop and related activities.

As readers, students explore literature through independent reading, interactive read-alouds, whole class novels, and literature circles. Students explore the characteristics of various genres through the units of study while continuing to develop reading strategies and effective responses to reading. As critical and analytical thinkers, they construct meanings, share understandings, and compare reading experiences to their own lives and other texts while strengthening their identities as life-long readers.

When sharing ideas and work, students use technology (i.e. Google docs, blogs, videos, podcasts, etc.) to collaborate and publish. At the same time, they grow as speakers and listeners through small group and whole class discussions and presentations.

Student learning is supported by a diverse range of resources including: class libraries, text sets, literature circle sets, interactive read-aloud texts, literature anthologies, multi-media resources, and various writing resources.

Social Studies 7

In Social Studies 7, students will focus on global issues, current events, and world geography. Units include Political and Economic Systems, Demographic Data Analysis and Trends, Escaping the Poverty Cycle, and Globalization in a Multicultural World. Through these units, students will develop conceptual understandings related to civics, geography, history, and economics. Students will also refine essential inquiry skills such as asking questions, evaluating sources, communicating conclusions, and taking action.

Math 7

Math 7 is the grade-level appropriate class for students who have completed Math 6. Instructional time will focus on three critical areas: (1) analyzing proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world problems; (2) Apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions to add, subtract, multiply and divide rational numbers; (3) Use properties of operations to generate equivalent expressions and solve real-world problems using numerical and algebraic equations.

In addition, students will develop a deeper understanding of the following focus areas: (1) draw, construct and describe geometrical figures and describe the relationships between them; (2) solve problems involving angles, area, surface area and volume; (3) make inferences about populations and draw informal comparisons between populations; (4) use models to determine and compare the probabilities of simple and compound events.

Math 7+

Math 7+ is an extension of the Math 7 curriculum. Math 7+ also introduces students to additional topics/standards from the Math 8 program.

Science 7

In Science 7, students will use the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The NGSS identify scientific and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas in science that all K–12 students should master. The NGSS provide a strong science education that equips students with the ability to think critically, analyze information, and solve complex problems — the skills needed to pursue opportunities within and beyond STEM fields. In Science 7, the major NGSS topics include: human impacts on the environment, cycles in matter and energy, forces and interactions, and energy.

Phys Ed 7

In Phys Ed 7 students will participate in a variety of team and individual sports, aquatic skills, fitness, and lifetime sports. Each cluster of three activities focuses on an understanding of a specific movement pattern, concept-strategy and a personal and social responsibility element. Units include badminton, basketball, fitness/conditioning assessment, flag football/rugby, floor hockey, soccer, softball, swimming, tchoukball, tennis, track and field, Ultimate Frisbee and Project Adventure/ climbing wall, volley ball, and water polo. In addition, during the health portion of this class, students explore concepts of healthy choices in the areas of wellness, fitness, nutrition, relationships, puberty and substances.

Seventh Grade World Language (Optional)

Chinese 7 (Novice)

This course is designed for students with little or no Chinese language skills to start their journey to acquire the language and explore the culture. It focuses on providing students the experience to acquire very basic Chinese language skills and to understand very basic concepts of Chinese culture. A few themes and topics will be presented for students, mainly about themselves, family, friends, and school. While acquiring basic language skills in oral communication, students will gain basic knowledge about Chinese phonetics (Pinyin) and the formation of Chinese characters (Hanzi). Expected exit target for interpersonal oral proficiency is Novice 3/4 (N-3/N-4)). Students who successfully meet the target will be prepared for the next level.

Chinese 7 (Intermediate Low)

This course is designed for students who demonstrate Novice 3 (N-3) or Novice 4 (N-4) interpersonal oral proficiency. Students will continue developing their oral communication skills and start to systematically learn to recognize Chinese characters (Hanzi), develop reading comprehension and become familiar with written form of Hanzi in a more systematic way. The main themes and topics will still evolve more about oneself, but further into school life, sports and friendship development. Expected exit target for interpersonal oral proficiency is Intermediate Low (I-1), interpretive reading/listening is Novice 3 (N-3). Students who successfully meet the target will be prepared for the next level.

Chinese 7 (Intermediate Mid)

This multi-year course is designed for students who are able to demonstrate Intermediate Low (I-1) or above interpersonal oral proficiency. Students will be provided opportunities to delve deeper into different aspects of Chinese tradition and culture using thematic units to develop their communication skills to learn to deal with real life situations. They will learn to create with the language and to ask and answer simple questions to meet the daily life needs. Developing students’ basic literacy skills will be part of the focus as well. Themes will include but not limited to learning about their host country Singapore, its typical types of food, dining etiquette and other aspects of life styles of different groups of people in Singapore and in other cities in China. Expected exit target for interpersonal oral proficiency is Intermediate 3/4 (I-3/I-4), interpretive reading/and presentational writing is Intermediate Low (I-1). This course will usually take between two and three years for students to successfully meet the expected exit goals and move to next level.

Chinese 7 (Intermediate High)

This multi-year course is designed for students who are able to demonstrate Intermediate M (I-3/I-4) interpersonal oral proficiency. Four language skills will be further developed with an emphasis on continuing to raise students’ oral interpersonal communication proficiency – talking in paragraphs. They will continue to develop their literacy skills. Themes will include but not limited to healthy living and developing healthy relationship in schools, at home and in the community as well in different cities in China and in the host country of Singapore. Expected exit target for interpersonal oral proficiency is Intermediate High (I-5), for interpretive reading/writing is Intermediate Mid (I-3). Students who successfully meet the target will be prepared for the next level. This course will usually take between two and three years for students to successfully meet the expected exit goals and move to next level.

Chinese 7 (Near Native)

This course is part of Near Native Track and designed for students who have successfully completed 6NN or are able to demonstrate equivalent language proficiency and understanding of Chinese culture required for 6NN. It focuses on continuous development of students’ oral communication proficiency; however, the main focus will be on enhancement of students’ reading comprehension and writing skills. Students in this course will be provided with a variety of opportunities to participate in discussion of simple social issues related to their life experience in the target language. Expected exit target for interpersonal oral proficiency is Intermediate 4/ Intermediate 5 (I-4/I-5), for interpretive reading and presentational writing is Intermediate 3/4 (I-3/I-4)). Students who successfully meet the target will be prepared for the next level.

Spanish 7 (Novice)

Spanish 7 (Novice) is for students who have no experience with the language, and for students who are still working toward the performance exit target of N4. The Novice course provides students with the necessary skills to create meaningful communication in a supportive environment where the focus is on Interpersonal Listening/Speaking. The performance exit target is N4* as determined by the classroom teacher and supported by external testing.

Spanish 7 (Intermediate)

Spanish 7 (Intermediate) is for students who have reached at least N4 in Interpersonal Listening/ Speaking. Students advance their proficiency through a variety of culturally rich thematic units. The skills of reading and writing are integrated in as much as they foster oral communication. The Intermediate course focuses on Interpersonal Listening/Speaking, and the performance exit target is I4* as determined by the classroom teacher and supported by external testing. This target is most commonly achieved over a period of two to three years.

Spanish 7 (Intermediate High)

Spanish 7 (Intermediate High) is for students who have reached I4 in Interpersonal Listening and Speaking. Students advance their proficiency through a variety of culturally rich thematic units where Interpretive Reading and Presentational Writing are formally integrated. The performance exit target by mode is I5* as determined by the classroom teacher and supported by external testing. These targets are most commonly achieved over a period of two to three years.

French 7 (Intermediate)

French 7 (Intermediate) is for students who have reached at least N4 in Interpersonal Listening/ Speaking. Students advance their proficiency through a variety of culturally rich thematic units. The skills of reading and writing are integrated in as much as they foster oral communication. The Intermediate course focuses on Interpersonal Listening/Speaking, and the performance exit target is I4* as determined by the classroom teacher and supported by external testing. This target is most commonly achieved over a period of two to three years.

Seventh Grade Elective Year-Long Courses (Optional)

Band 7 (Beginning)

Beginning Band 7 offers the student the opportunity to learn the basic skills required to play a band instrument. Students learn to read music, produce tones correctly, and listen for balance and intonation as part of a performing ensemble. Course content is delivered through the method book, carefully selected concert band repertoire, and basic music theory. Financial commitments include instrument rental and/or purchase, purchase of accessories throughout the year, and purchase of approved concert attire. Band requires a commitment of a minimum of 10 minutes of daily practice outside of class. Students are required to attend occasional after-school rehearsals and evening performances which are a part of the grade for the course. If SAS hosts a music festival/exchange during the year, students will be requested to host participating music students from visiting schools.

Band 7

Band 7 is designed for students who can demonstrate mastery of the beginning band skill set, usually second-year players. Students in this performance-based course continue to develop technical skills on their instruments through ensemble playing. Course content is delivered through the method book, carefully selected concert band repertoire, and basic music theory. Financial commitments include instrument rental and/or purchase, purchase of accessories throughout the year, and purchase of approved concert attire. Band requires a commitment of a minimum of 10 minutes of daily practice outside of class. Students are required to attend occasional after-school rehearsals and evening performances which are a part of the grade for the course. If SAS hosts a music festival/exchange during the year, students will be requested to host participating music students from visiting schools.

String 7 (Intermediate)

Beginning String 6 offers the student the opportunity to learn the basic skills required to play a string instrument. Students will learn to play one of the following instruments: Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass. Students learn to read music notation and experience being part of a performing ensemble. Course content is delivered through the Suzuki method. Financial commitments include instrument rental , and purchase of approved concert attire. Strings requires a commitment of a minimum of 10 minutes of daily practice outside of class. Students are required to attend occasional after-school rehearsals and evening performances which are a part of the grade for the course. If SAS hosts a music festival/ exchange during the year, students will be requested to host participating music students from visiting schools.

Strings 7 (Advanced)

Advanced 7 Strings class is designed to meet the needs of students who have been studying strings for at least three years (two years for cello and bass). Students in this course are aiming to develop their orchestral playing as a pathway to high school orchestra class. Students use a variety of method books and run through many different pieces of literature ranging from Renaissance era to the Modern era. Students electing this course should receive additional tutoring outside of class. Students also perform in public concerts during the school year. Students are required to attend occasional after school rehearsals and evening performances. If SAS hosts a music festival during the year, students will be requested to host participating students from other schools.

Seventh Grade Elective Semester Courses (Optional)

Art 7

In Art 7, students will explore drawing, painting, polymer modeling clay, photography, 2D-Design, and 3D-Design using KEVA planks. The drawing section emphasizes developing ideas through an art workbook and expanding those ideas throughout other units. A variety of two-dimensional and threedimensional media are used while studying the basic visual vocabulary for art. Students in Art 7 will be taught technical and creative approaches for solving design problems. Inanimate objects, abstraction, repetition, historic movements, clay modeling, and construction are just some of the topics covered. An ongoing exhibition program will be used for students to critique and develop opinions related to art works. Students will maintain an art workbook as a personal record of their experience in Art 7.

Choir 7

In Choir 7, singers learn about different genres of music. Singers sing in unison, two and three part harmony in large groups and small ensembles and may audition for solo opportunities. Singers learn intermediate vocal technique and production, music-reading, and music theory. Singers will perform at a variety of public concerts throughout the school year and will also be able to audition to perform at the prestigious Association of Music in International Schools (AMIS) International Honor Choir. Attendance at occasional after-school rehearsals and evening concerts is required and is part of the singer’s summative. Singers will also be expected to purchase their own choir attire for performances. While no previous singing experience is required, an ability to read music would be beneficial.

Drama 7

In Drama 7, students explore the power of the verbal and nonverbal sides of drama while learning to take creative risks. The semester will begin with a focus on physical theater including tableau, movement, masks and mime. Students learn how to hold an audience’s attention with their face and body. Students perform both scripted and improvised scenes. Students will then switch focus to verbal communication as part of a unit on improvisation and theatre sports. Students will discover the joys of taking risks and extending themselves in the creative endeavor that is drama.

Dance 7

In Dance 7, students will explore a variety of dance styles. By working individually and collaborating with others, students will learn elements of dance, qualities of movement, fitness basics, choreographic concepts, and performance principles. Students will also have the opportunity to choreograph and perform their own dance pieces. Within each unit, students will learn skills that range from novice to advanced that are tailored to each student's past dance experience and technical ability - so no previous dance experience is required.

Coding 7

Coding 7 is an introductory Computer Science (CS) course that empowers students to create authentic programs and engage with CS as a medium for creativity, communication, critical thinking, and fun. With a focus on computational thinking students will analyse and create simple computer games from the golden age of Video Arcades, utilising a block based language that supports all high level programming concepts. The course has the “maker” ethos embedded throughout, providing students the opportunity to see and participate in the physical act of creation alongside the more theoretical elements of Computer Science. Utilising the main coding structures (sequence, selection, iteration, objects, and events) students will investigate the logic of programming including models for input, output, and processing, while utilising the software development life-cycle in creating both assigned and self directed coding projects. No previous programming skills are required.

Digital Media 7

In Digital Media 7, students will learn how to create with a variety of multimedia mediums that include digital photography, graphic design, and filmmaking. With each unit, students will learn skills that range from basic to advanced that are tailored to suit each student’s talent and interests. In addition to working with various multimedia, students will also learn how to brand themselves and showcase their work in portfolios to share with not only their peers, but with a broader audience. Digital Media 7 is a project-based class where time management, responsiblity, and organization are essential to success. Most projects last about 1-2 weeks, and finished products will be shared though social media.

Tech 7

Tech 7 students will learn about, and use the Design Thinking Process to learn more about invention and innovation in a project base learning format. Time will be spent learning about basic hand tools and machines in the lab. Tinkering with tech gadgets will also help them create low to medium resolution prototype inventions. Emphasis is on our school desired student learning outcomes: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and having fun!

Culinary Arts 7

In Culinary Arts 7, students will focuses on improving self-confidence and skills while working in the kitchen preparing and cooking meals. Important life skills will be taught and emphasized during this course. Please be advised that students will work with a variety of food products (i.e. nuts) and thus students with food allergies may want to consider other elective options.

Strategic Learning 7

The Strategic Learning program is designed to provide students with additional time and strategies in order to be more successful in the challenges they face during the academic day and beyond. Students will focus on building specific skills to help them manage their school materials, prioritize their use of time, and increase their productivity. Students will also be provided with time in class to work on projects and assignments from other classes as a way to implement the specific skills and strategies learned in strategic learning. While this is an elective course offering, there are instances when the school may recommend a strategic learning class in order to better support student success.

Learning Support 7

The Learning Support program is designed to provide individualized academic assistance for students who require additional support to be successful in the SAS academic program. Frequently, school staff collaborate with families to develop an Individualized Education Support Plan (IESP) to track and monitor a student’s progress in the area of need (reading, writing, math or behavior). Supports for students are individualized and designed to meet their specific learning need and foster success throughout all their classes. Students is provided both support in their current classes as well as targeted instruction for their learning deficits with the goal of increased independence in their learning. SAS prefers the decision to enroll students to be a collaborative determination between parents, students and school personnel (teachers, school psychologist, and divisional administrator). There are instances when the school may recommend a learning support class to ensure a student is able to make expected annual progress.

Eighth Grade Course Overview

Eighth Grade Core Course (Required)

Reading and Language Arts 8

The goal of the middle school Language Arts program is to empower students to be effective writers, readers, listeners, and speakers. Each grade level team of teachers tailors its lessons to meet the age-appropriate needs of its students. They ensure academic rigor and continuity by using common language, practices, and methods within an aligned scope and sequence in grades six through eight. The program builds on the skills students developed in the previous grades and prepares them for the future.

Students develop their writing through a workshop-based approach and instructional frameworks of structure, meaning, craft and language, related to the ELA Common Core Standards. Through this approach and the careful reading of mentor texts, students write in a variety of genres within three domains—narrative, argumentative, and informative. Students also focus on developing language skills and vocabulary throughout the workshop and related activities.

As readers, students explore literature through independent reading, interactive read-alouds, whole class novels, and literature circles. Students explore the characteristics of various genres through the units of study while continuing to develop reading strategies and effective responses to reading. As critical and analytical thinkers, they construct meanings, share understandings, and compare reading experiences to their own lives and other texts while strengthening their identities as life-long readers.

When sharing ideas and work, students use technology (i.e. Google docs, blogs, videos, podcasts, etc.) to collaborate and publish. At the same time, they grow as speakers and listeners through small group and whole class discussions and presentations.

Student learning is supported by a diverse range of resources including: class libraries, text sets, literature circle sets, interactive read-aloud texts, literature anthologies, multi-media resources, and various writing resources.

Social Studies 8

In Social Studies 8, students will examine significant ideas, issues, events, and individuals in United States history from colonization to the twenty-first century. Students explore the development of politics, society, culture, and economy in the United States to deepen conceptual understanding in civics, geography, history, and economics. While learning about these events of the past, students will be challenged to make meaningful connections to the present with consideration to the future. In taking on the role of historians, students will consider multiple perspectives and sources to make educated and reasoned decisions. Students will also leverage essential inquiry skills such as asking questions, evaluating sources, communicating conclusions, and taking action.

Social Studies 8 (with NHD)

In Social Studies 8 with NHD, students will examine United States history using project-based learning and will select areas of investigation related to units presented in class. Significant attention will be placed on inquiry through developing reading, writing, and research skills of non-fiction sources. Students will consider perspectives presented in class, expand their research skills, and lead class discussions. Students will complete a National History Day (NHD) project following NHD guidelines. Travel expenses for students who qualify for the South Asia Regional NHD contest (Jakarta) and NHD National Finals (University of Maryland—College Park) will be covered by parents. Students will use their NHD project to teach others about their topic.

Math 8

Math 8 is designed to prepare students for high school algebra. Instructional time will focus on three critical areas: (1) formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations, including modeling an association in bivariate data with a linear equation, and solving linear equations and systems of linear equations; (2) grasping the concept of a function and using functions to describe quantitative relationships; (3) analyzing two- and three -dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence, and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem.

Math 8+

Math 8+ covers the recommended standards for Algebra I, as well as Math 8 standards not otherwise completed. The critical areas deepen and extend understanding of linear and exponential relationships by contrasting them with each other and by applying linear models to data that exhibit a linear trend. Students also engage in methods for analyzing, solving, and using quadratic functions. Students who have met standards for Math 7+ or a similar course are eligible for enrollment in this accelerated course. Standardized test scores and teacher recommendations will also be considered. This course provides an excellent foundation for Geometry and Algebra II in high school.

Science 8

In Science 8, students will use the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The NGSS identify scientific and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas in science that all K–12 students should master. The NGSS provide a strong science education that equips students with the ability to think critically, analyze information, and solve complex problems — the skills needed to pursue opportunities within and beyond STEM fields. In Science 8, the NGSS topics include: structure, function and information processing, growth, development, and reproduction of organisms, natural selection and adaptations, structure and property of matter, chemical reactions, forces and interactions and energy.

Phys Ed 8

In Phys Ed 8 students will participate in a variety of team and individual sports, aquatic skills, fitness, and lifetime sports. Each cluster of 3 activities focuses on an understanding of a specific movement pattern, concept-strategy and a personal and social responsibility element. Units include badminton, basketball, fitness/conditioning assessment, flag football/rugby, floor hockey, soccer, softball, swimming, touchball, tennis, track and field, Ultimate Frisbee and Project Adventure/climbing wall, volley ball, and water polo. In addition, during the health portion of this class, students will experience a course of study that focuses on the concepts of wellness, nutrition and making decisions that follow their values and living a healthy lifestyle. Discussion of use/abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs is also included in 8th grade Health, along with a unit on human growth, development and the risks of sexual activity.

Eighth Grade World Language (Optional)

Chinese 8 (Novice)

This course is designed for students with little or no Chinese language skills to start their journey to acquire the language and explore the culture. It focuses on providing students the experience to acquire very basic Chinese language skills and to understand very basic concepts of Chinese culture. A few themes and topics will be presented for students, mainly about themselves, family, friends and school. While acquiring basic language skills in oral communication, students will gain basic knowledge about Chinese phonetics (Pinyin) and the formation of Chinese characters (Hanzi). Expected exit target for interpersonal oral proficiency is Novice 3/4 (N-3/N-4)). Students who successfully meet the target will be prepared for the next level.

Chinese 8 (Intermediate Low)

This course is designed for students who demonstrate Novice 3 (N-3) or Novice 4 (N-4) interpersonal oral proficiency. Students will continue developing their oral communication skills and start to systematically learn to recognize Chinese characters (Hanzi), develop reading comprehension and become familiar with written form of Hanzi in a more systematic way. The main themes and topics will still evolve more about oneself, but further into school life, sports and friendship development. Expected exit target for interpersonal oral proficiency is Intermediate Low (I-1), interpretive reading/ listening is Novice 3 (N-3). Students who successfully meet the target will be prepared for the next level.

Chinese 8 (Intermediate Mid)

This multi-year course is designed for students who are able to demonstrate Intermediate Low (I-1) or above interpersonal oral proficiency. Students will be provided opportunities to delve deeper into different aspects of Chinese tradition and culture using thematic units to develop their communication skills to learn to deal with real life situations. They will learn to create with the language and to ask and answer simple questions to meet the daily life needs. Developing students’ basic literacy skills will be part of the focus as well. Themes will include but not limited to learning about their host country Singapore, its typical types of food, dining etiquette and other aspects of life styles of different groups of people in Singapore and in other cities in China. Expected exit target for interpersonal oral proficiency is Intermediate 3/4 (I-3/I-4), interpretive reading/and presentational writing is Intermediate Low (I-1). This course will usually take between two and three years for students to successfully meet the expected exit goals and move to next level.

Chinese 8 (Intermediate High)

This multi-year course is designed for students who are able to demonstrate Intermediate M (I-3/I-4) interpersonal oral proficiency. Four language skills will be further developed with an emphasis on continuing to raise students’ oral interpersonal communication proficiency – talking in paragraphs. They will continue to develop their literacy skills. Themes will include but not limited to healthy living and developing healthy relationship in schools, at home and in the community as well in different cities in China and in the host country of Singapore. Expected exit target for interpersonal oral proficiency is Intermediate High (I-5), for interpretive reading/writing is Intermediate Mid (I-3). Students who successfully meet the target will be prepared for the next level. This course will usually take between two and three years for students to successfully meet the expected exit goals and move to next level.

Chinese 8 (Near Native)

This course is part of Near Native Track and designed for students who have successfully completed 7NN or are able to demonstrate equivalent language proficiency and understanding of Chinese culture required for 7NN. Students in this course will be provided with opportunities not only to have small or whole class discussion, but debate or express personal opinions with detailed supporting facts. Students will be exposed to a variety of writing styles to imitate in order to produce written pieces of their own with expected quality. Expected exit target for interpersonal oral proficiency is Intermediate 5/ Advanced Low (I-5/AL), for interpretive reading and presentational writing is Intermediate 4/5 (I-4/I-5). Students who successfully meet the target will be prepared for the next level.

Spanish 8 (Novice)

Spanish 8 (Novice) is for students who have no experience with the language, and for students who are still working toward the performance exit target of N4. The Novice course provides students with the necessary skills to create meaningful communication in a supportive environment where the focus is on Interpersonal Listening/Speaking. The performance exit target is N4* as determined by the classroom teacher and supported by external testing.

Spanish 8 (Intermediate)

Spanish 8 (Intermediate) is for students who have reached at least N4 in Interpersonal Listening/ Speaking. Students advance their proficiency through a variety of culturally rich thematic units. The skills of reading and writing are integrated in as much as they foster oral communication. The Intermediate course focuses on Interpersonal Listening/Speaking, and the performance exit target is I4* as determined by the classroom teacher and supported by external testing. This target is most commonly achieved over a period of two to three years.

Spanish 8 (Intermediate High)

Spanish 8 (Intermediate High) is for students who have reached I4 in Interpersonal Listening and Speaking. Students advance their proficiency through a variety of culturally rich thematic units where Interpretive Reading and Presentational Writing are formally integrated. The performance exit target by mode is I5* as determined by the classroom teacher and supported by external testing. These targets are most commonly achieved over a period of two to three years.

French 8 (Intermediate)

French 8 (Intermediate) is for students who have reached at least N4 in Interpersonal Listening/Speaking. Students advance their proficiency through a variety of culturally rich thematic units. The skills of reading and writing are integrated in as much as they foster oral communication. The Intermediate course focuses on Interpersonal Listening/Speaking, and the performance exit target is I4* as determined by the classroom teacher and supported by external testing. This target is most commonly achieved over a period of two to three years.

Eighth Grade Elective Year-Long Courses (Optional)

Band 8 (Beginning)

Beginning Band 8 offers the student the opportunity to learn the basic skills required to play a band instrument. Students learn to read music, produce tones correctly, and listen for balance and intonation as part of a performing ensemble. Course content is delivered through the method book, carefully selected concert band repertoire, and basic music theory. Financial commitments include instrument rental and/or purchase, purchase of accessories throughout the year, and purchase of approved concert attire. Band requires a commitment of a minimum of 10 minutes of daily practice outside of class. Students are required to attend occasional after-school rehearsals and evening performances which are a part of the grade for the course. If SAS hosts a music festival/exchange during the year, students will be requested to host participating music students from visiting schools.

Band 8

Band 8 is designed for students who can demonstrate mastery of the intermediate band skill set, usually third-year players. Students in this performance-based course continue to develop technical skills on their instruments through ensemble playing. Course content is delivered through the method book, carefully selected concert band repertoire, and basic music theory. Financial commitments include instrument rental and/or purchase, purchase of accessories throughout the year, and purchase of approved concert attire. Band requires a commitment of a minimum of 10 minutes of daily practice outside of class. Students are required to attend occasional after-school rehearsals and evening performances which are a part of the grade for the course. If SAS hosts a music festival/exchange during the year, students will be requested to host participating music students from visiting schools.

String 8 (Intermediate)

Grade 8 Intermediate Strings provides opportunities for students who have already played violin, viola, cello or bass for at least one year, usually for two years. This class is designed to meet the needs of the developing second and third year string student. Students will work on parts of All for Strings 2, and All for Strings Theory Workbook 2. They will also perform selections of orchestral pieces at public concerts during the school year. Students are required to attend occasional after school rehearsals and evening performances. If SAS hosts a music festival during the year, students will be requested to host participating students from other schools.

Strings 8 (Advanced)

Advanced 8 Strings is designed to meet the needs of students who have been studying strings for at least three years (two years for cello and bass). Students in this course are aiming to develop their playing as a pathway to High school Orchestra class. Students use All for Strings 3. Students electing this course are required to gain additional tutoring outside of class. Students will be able to perform with a range of techniques including but not limited to shifting, simple double stopping, vibrato and spiccato, martele, staccato, and ricochet. They will also perform in a range of musical styles from a variety of musical periods; complete theory and listening exercises as specified; and perform in school assemblies and public concerts during the school year. Students are required to attend occasional after school rehearsals and evening performances. If SAS hosts a music festival during the year, students will be requested to host participating students from other schools.

Eighth Grade Elective Semester Courses (Optional)

Art 8

In Art 8 students will explore drawing, painting, 2D-Design, photography, LEGO Architecture, and fashion design. The drawing and 2D-design sections emphasize the development of ideas through an art workbook; these ideas are then expanded throughout all other units. A variety of two- dimensional and three-dimensional media are used to explore such subjects as wall murals, still-life, fashion design, color theory, abstract painting, emphasis, photo journalism, and Architecture. Materials such as graphite, pastels, gouache, digital cameras, Lego, and textiles will be explored. An ongoing exhibition program will be used for students to display and critique their work. Students will maintain an art workbook as a personal record of their experience in Art 8.

Choir 8

In Choir 8, singers learn about different genres of music. Singers sing in unison, two, three and four part harmony in large groups and small ensembles and may audition for solo opportunities. Singers learn intermediate to advanced vocal technique and production, music-reading, and music theory with a strong emphasis on vocal skills and performance. Singers will perform at a variety of public concerts throughout the school year and will also be able to audition to perform at the prestigious Association of Music in International Schools (AMIS) International Honor Choir. Attendance at occasional after- school rehearsals and evening concerts is required and is part of the singer’s summative. Singers will also be expected to purchase their own choir attire for performances. While no previous singing experience is required, an ability to read music would be beneficial.

Drama 8

In Drama 8, students will learn the focus and skills necessary to breathe life into a character. Themes include: Theater Terms, Basic Acting Skills, Movement and Masks, Characterization, Monologues and Duets, Blocking and Script Work. Students will have several opportunities to work with professional actors to help them improve their craft. Students perform improvised and scripted scenes in groups of various sizes and will learn how to offer effective critical feedback. Within a safe environment students will learn to push themselves to take creative risks, which will enhance their skills and level of confidence on and off the stage.

Dance 8

In Dance 8, students will continue to develop a variety of dance styles. By working individually and collaborating with others, students will learn elements of dance, qualities of movement, dance fitness, choreographic devices, and the use of technical theatre production principles to enhance dance performances. Students will also have the opportunity to choreograph and perform their own dance pieces. Within each unit, students will learn skills that range from novice to advanced that are tailored to each student’s past dance experience and technical ability - so no previous dance experience is required.

Coding 8

Coding 8 is an introduction to Computer Science (CS) course that aims to demystify Computer Science for 8th grade students and show them that it is a medium for creativity, communication, critical thinking, and fun. The course is designed whereby students will analyse and create increasingly challenging computer games, utilising a block based language that supports all high level programming concepts, and focuses on logical and computational thinking. The goal of the course is to learn the theory of programming and as such the course has the “maker” ethos embedded throughout, providing students the opportunity to see and participate in the physical act of creation alongside the more theoretical elements of Computer Science. Utilising the main coding structures (sequence, selection, iteration, objects, and events) students will investigate the logic of programming including models for input, output, and processing while utilising the software development life-cycle. No previous programming skills are required.

Digital Film 8

In Digital Design 8, students will explore and refine their skills and knowledge of photography and graphic design. The first portion of the semester will focus on studying the foundations and skills of photography, culminating in various projects that will featured in an online gallery. The second portion of Digital Design will focus on graphic design using Adobe applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Projects will take students' creativity and apply them to final products that are authentic to what graphic designers are asked to produce. This is a project-based class where time management and organization are essential. Students are not required to have any prior knowledge of photography or graphic design or own their own equipment to take this class.

Digital Design 8

In Digital Design 8, students will explore and refine their skills and knowledge of photography and graphic design. The first portion of the semester will focus on studying the foundations and skills of photography, culminating in various projects that will featured in an online gallery. The second portion of Digital Design will focus on graphic design using Adobe applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Projects will take students' creativity and apply them to final products that are authentic to what graphic designers are asked to produce. This is a project-based class where time management and organization are essential. Students are not required to have any prior knowledge of photography or graphic design or own their own equipment to take this class.

Tech 8

Tech 8 is a project based class where students will use the Design Thinking Process to build prototypes in the lab to solve real world problems. Students will have an opportunity to build upon their skills learned in Tech 6 & Tech 7 to make higher resolution prototypes. Emphasis is on our school desired student learning outcomes: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and having fun!

Culinary Arts 8

In Culinary Arts 8, students will learn how to make complete meals from various regions around the world. Students will be expected to find, read, and perform more advanced recipes that are comprised of multiple parts. Please be advised that students will work with a variety of food products (i.e. nuts) and thus students with food allergies may want to consider other elective options.

Strategic Learning 8

The Strategic Learning program is designed to provide students with additional time and strategies in order to be more successful in the challenges they face during the academic day and beyond. Students will focus on building specific skills to help them manage their school materials, prioritize their use of time, and increase their productivity. Students will also be provided with time in class to work on projects and assignments from other classes as a way to implement the specific skills and strategies learned in strategic learning. While this is an elective course offering, there are instances when the school may recommend a strategic learning class in order to better support student success.

Learning Support 8

The Learning Support program is designed to provide individualized academic assistance for students who require additional support to be successful in the SAS academic program. Frequently, school staff collaborate with families to develop an Individualized Education Support Plan (IESP) to track and monitor a student’s progress in the area of need (reading, writing, math or behavior). Supports for students are individualized and designed to meet their specific learning need and foster success throughout all their classes. Students is provided both support in their current classes as well as targeted instruction for their learning deficits with the goal of increased independence in their learning. SAS prefers the decision to enroll students to be a collaborative determination between parents, students and school personnel (teachers, school psychologist and divisional administrator). There are instances when the school may recommend a learning support class to ensure a student is able to make expected annual progress.

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