Follow the leaders – that’s you and your classmates. As Work Project crew captains, Student Clerks, team captains – 8th graders are frontrunners!
You write the book. And illustrate it and bind it. It’s your final project for poetry.
Earn Upper School credit for Algebra 1 Advanced. Earn it for world language classes. And if you have the skills, go even further – because we have No Limits.
Learn the basics of electrical engineering while coding programmable circuitboards, practice basic medical skills in wilderness first aid training, and investigate the ways in which matter interacts chemically.
Canoeing for 3 days: Think lots of practice. Then think white water. Think about trusting your friends. Think about trusting yourself. And think fun!
Where do you come from and how do you fit into the world? Broaden your perspective by encountering the cultures of Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, and learn about the development of the modern world.
Develop your own service project. Cook meals for homeless people. Play the piano for residents of a nursing home. Raise money for Westtown’s sister school in Ghana. You do it because you want to make the difference.
I didn’t notice the change as it was happening, but now that I look back on it, I can see it. It’s like growing. There’s a certain environment that Westtown has managed to create that isn’t quite like anywhere else. Everyone who goes to Westtown changes. This could be you, reading your final essay at 8th grade graduation. You are ready to soar!
8th graders explore themes of identity and social justice while expanding their critical reading and writing skills. Major texts include Brown Girl Dreaming, The Boy who Harnessed the Wind, Persepolis, and Membean / NoRedInk for personalized vocabulary and grammar study.
Distinguishing features: Poetry ambush, interdisciplinary research and design project with The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, personal graphic stories in response to reading Persepolis
Using the historical context of various cultures in Africa, the Americas, and the Middle East, students will explore the development of traits and structures that make us human and civilized. Analysis of current events is woven throughout the year. Course materials draw from a vast number of primary and secondary sources.
Distinguishing features: Mayan birthday glyphs, concept mapping, focused research projects
Using an integrated math approach, students master Algebra topics including linear equations, factoring polynomials, quadratic functions, radical equations, and data analysis. iPad and print texts include Big Ideas Math.
Distinguishing features: Instruction targeted to a student’s comfort with math and facility with abstraction, Math Lab, coding/computer programming
With a hands-on, inquiry-based approach developed at Berkeley, 8th graders explore topics including chemistry, genetics, programming and electrical engineering. and the biology of emergency medicine. iPad-based texts include Science Education for Public Understanding Program.
Distinguishing features: Individual and group lab research, field-based study using our forest, lake and farm, engineering.
8thgraders choose among upper school credited courses in Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin), or Latin. Each language focuses study on developing language and communication skills and deepening understanding of culture.
Distinguishing features: Communicative focus to study, National Language Exams
Arts & Music
All students take both art and music. Band, Strings and Chorus are year-long, performance-based classes. Half-year electives include include Music Composition, Studio Art, Ceramics, Acting, and Film. Students who do not take a performance-based music class must take the music elective.
Distinguishing features: Vocal and instrumental concerts, Shakespeare, all-Middle School musical
Athletics, Co-Curriculars & Health
All 8th graders play three seasons of inter-scholastic sports, dance or play rehearsal. Practices are during the school day, and students generally have one to two after-school competitions each week. A weekly Health class helps students explore healthy decision-making and develop personal leadership strengths and opportunities.
Quakerism & Service Learning
All students participate in weekly Meeting for Worship. 8th graders focus their service learning on the wider community, identifying their own concerns and volunteering for a minimum of 20 hours.