Middle school global education
Our middle school academic program has two important pillars: global education and public speaking. We want our students to study and experience the world outside of Boston and have the confidence and poise to express themselves in a public setting. In middle school, our students begin their world language study with a year of Latin and then have their choice of studying Latin, French, Mandarin Chinese, or Spanish in the eighth grade. World Language classes incorporate cultural components into the courses. In social studies, our students are introduced to the methods of studying history, culture, political systems, and current events. In addition, our students have the opportunity to travel the world. Our BERSI (Blessed Edmund Rice Solidarity Initiative) program offers 10 international and domestic learning experiences throughout the year. These trips include educational and service components in addition to exploring a new country or state. Over the course of their six years, students will have more than 60 opportunities to explore international and domestic locations. Each year two of our BERSI trips are designed specifically for our middle school students.
Middle school public speaking
Global awareness is one emphasis of our academic program. The other is public speaking. While we strive to develop our students into analytical thinkers who question, research, and further academic inquiry, we want our students to have the confidence to express their thoughts in a public forum. In our humanities courses, we utilize small group and whole class discussion as an important teaching tool. Students are frequently the focal point of our humanities classrooms as they present ideas, criticize reasoning, and defend hypotheses. In addition, our English courses enhance students’ public speaking skills through dramatic readings of poetry, verse, and prose. Students are introduced to public speaking techniques in the seventh grade and then the instruction begins in earnest in the eighth grade. As a requirement of eighth grade English, students attend an interscholastic speech and debate tournament. Students can participate in more competitions as part of the middle school's Speech and Debate team. In addition, eighth graders participate in a spring speech festival which occurs during the school day.