It has been my great honor and privilege to lead the ISW Middle School Division in its pursuit of academic excellence and holistic development. The middle school years are full of transition and changes. We believe that each student is unique in their way. At ISW, the dedicated Middle School team meets students where they are, engages and challenges them to grow, and be ready for high school. We hope to continually improve our current services and increase the unique educational opportunities and activities we provide our students while maintaining the family environment that makes ISW the best scholarly option for students in Wuxi, China.
Middle School Principal
The ISW curriculum provides a holistic program that balances the development of concepts, skills, and character. Our approach focuses on the developing child's growth, addressing social, physical, emotional, and cultural needs and academic welfare.
Our program focuses on guided inquiry, collaboration, and communication as approaches to teaching and learning to provide an environment that fosters the development of problem-solving, critical thinking, and subject competencies.
The classroom teacher teaches the subjects of Language Arts, History, Geography, Science, and Mathematics. Whenever possible, transdisciplinary links are made across subjects to maximize learning connections.
ISW launched the Advisory Program in 2021-2022. Teachers and students worked together during the advisory time to build connections, develop social and emotional skills, and have fun.
Specialists teach Chinese, PE, Music, and Visual Arts to form a comprehensive, varied, rich Lower School experience. Technology enhances and broadens the scope and quality of student learning.
The language of instruction is English, with additional support for non-English speakers.
ISW’s middle school science classes are based on an Integrated Science Curriculum. From 6th, through 8th grade students study Earth, Physical, and Life Science. Through the understanding of each of these fields students are able to gain an greater understanding of the structure of the world around them. Each grade level allows for deeper understanding based on previously learned knowledge. During these courses students also learn the Scientific Method and put their learning to practice through labs and other science projects.
Through our English Language Arts and Social Sciences programs ISW combines literature and histories to cover an overall study of humanities. The History and Social Science portion begins in 6th grade coving world geography, this allows students to gain and understanding of the world layout, cultures, and people groups. Students then can build on this framework knowledge in 7th grade studying the ancient world and civilizations. In 8th grade the focus shifts to modern history and government. On the English Language Arts side students focus on writing Narratives, Informational Pieces, and Persuasive/Argumentative Pieces. This gives students a foundational framework for composing written language that prepares them for high school course work. The students also read through fiction and non-fiction. Through all the Language Arts courses speaking and listening skills are being practiced and perfected.
6th grade math combines the practice of foundational math skills with an exploration of basic pre-algebraic and geometric concepts. Topics include: whole number operations, decimal, and fraction computation; variables and variable expressions; data displays; probability; integers; congruence; similarity; and geometric figures.
In 7th grade, students begin Pre-Algebra by reviewing negative numbers and variables. The focus of the course then shifts to solving equations, beginning with simple one-step equations and building to more complex, multi-step equations. Additional topics include fractions, rates, ratios, proportions, and percentages, with an emphasis on the inclusion of variables. To prepare students for Algebra, we cover linear equations and basic graphing techniques.
In 8th grade, Algebra I builds on the work accomplished in Pre-Algebra. Students explore increasingly complex linear functions and equation manipulation. Students also explore exponential and quadratic equations, FOILing and factoring, properties of exponents, some basics in trigonometry.
Students have the opportunity to learn and begin to apply a variety of techniques including but not limited to: sketching, perspective, shading, color theory, still life, anime, and acrylic painting. Students will also learn about different artist and some art history as they explore what it means to be an artist.
Middle School is a time of self-exploration when students often come out of their shells, embracing opportunities for expression and attention. The opposite is also true, with introverts sometimes shying away from the spotlight. Middle School students may choose between choir and band, and also have the option of taking Theatre. The middle school performing arts program builds upon the knowledge learned in Lower School, while beginning to delve into greater depth in and instrumental repertoire.
Overall, it is our goal that Middle School students graduate to the High School as self-sufficient musicians with a knowledge of instrumental technique and an appreciation of the work it takes to produce a unified performance.
The middle school physical education program gives our students a physical outlet during the school day and teaches them foundational skills for participation in competitive and recreational athletics at ISW including soccer, volleyball, basketball, track and field, tennis and lacrosse.
Classes are held in the school gymnasium and the outdoor turf field at ISW. The goal of the middle school PE program is to create an inclusive atmosphere where students can participate in new sports and build the confidence to take part in ISW sports at a competitive level.
The best learning is active and engaged. It can be found in ordinary places. Take our open gym nights or our Middle School dance troupe practices, for example. These activities energize students and help them to see the holistic connections between mind, body, and spirit. Activities outside the classroom are more than just add-ons to the core curriculum. They are a continuous enrichment, a way to sustain and deepen learning.
At ISW, co-curricular activities are an essential part of education that extends beyond the classroom. Co-curricular activities motivate learning, character building, physical growth, ad creativity while developing confidence and educating the whole child. Students are encouraged to participate and explore all opportunities that interest them. Students involved in Co-curricular opportunities become more invested in the school experience, increasing the chance for higher academic performance and social well-being.
ISW's fantastic athletics program grows our students' knowledge of the sport and teaches them how to compete at their highest levels. We currently have two divisions: Middle School and High School.
In middle school, the students are given equal playing time in games and tournaments. The emphasis is on students learning the rules, skills, and strategies of the sports they are playing. We currently feature soccer and basketball for the middle school.
CONCERTS & PERFORMANCES
Public performance is a fantastic way for young learners to develop confidence and is an integral part of our program. Throughout the year, Middle School students showcase what they’re learning for peers and parents at seasonal performances. When students graduate from Elementary school, the goal is to have a strong knowledge of the written mechanics of music and a greater sense of the community, character, and creativity built by singing, playing, and creating music together.
After-school activities are a great tool in our aim to develop well-rounded students. The school sponsors several after-school activities allowing middle school students to explore and excel in a particular sport, hobby, or area of interest.
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