Camellia Waldorf School’s middle school combines a STEAM approach (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) with a solid foundation in language arts, history, and geography. Music, Spanish, physical education, fine and practical arts, and drama round out the curriculum, stimulating both the left and right sides of the brain.
Camellia’s STEAM approach for students in grades 6-8 provides students with opportunities to be designers, creators, innovators, discovers, experimenters and scientists. Science blocks are introduced through phenomena demonstrations and hands-on experimentation. Students are asked to observe, identify, record, sketch, and conduct experiments – using their own observations and coming to their own conclusions. They become real scientists! We use interdisciplinary approaches that bridge science, math, and the arts. Our approach fosters class-wide collaboration and teamwork among the students, incorporating small-group work and peer-to-peer presentations.
Our middle school uses an instructional block system of 3-4 week blocks, starting each day with two hours of focused study on a particular academic subject. We find that the block system allows for a deeper exploration of the subject material. The remainder of the day is divided into 50-minute periods, consisting of additional academics, as well as music, physical education, art and Spanish.
Specific middle school subjects include:
Physics: Acoustics, optics, electricity, magnetism, heat, thermodynamics, mechanics, and astronomy.
Biology: Human physiology and anatomy, including respiratory, circulatory, digestive and reproductive systems, health, nutrition, and botany.
Inorganic Chemistry: Combustion, acids and bases, and the lime cycle.
Earth Sciences: Geology and mineralogy.
Math: Pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, statistics, and business math.
Language Arts: Creative writing, composition, grammar, spelling, poetry, Shakespeare, and Renaissance literature.
History: Medieval and Roman history, the feudal system, European Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation, Age of Exploration, Age of Revolutions, modern history, and civil rights.
Geography: World geography and cartography, as well as economic and cultural geography.
Technology: Digital media literacy through the award-winning Cyber Civics program, which teaches appropriate, safe, and ethical digital life skills. In 7th and 8th grade, students learn typing/keyboarding skills.
Music: Students may continue with violin or cello in the orchestra, or learn other instruments, such as the ukulele or recorder. All students learn to read music and sing in the choir program.
Spanish: Spanish reading, writing, speaking, and grammar skills are enhanced with cultural activities and studies of different Spanish-speaking countries.
Fine and Practical Arts: Art is integrated into the learning process of most academic subjects, as appropriate, using painting, sketching and drawing, pastel drawing, clay and other techniques. Woodshop and handwork skills learned in elementary school are expanded upon.
Drama: Each grade performs an annual class play related to the students’ curriculum studies. Eighth grade performs a full-length graduation play, with recent classes offering renditions from Shakespeare and Molière.
Physical Education: We work to improve skills, increase strength, flexibility, agility, and teamwork. More focus is placed on individual strength and ability and students increase their awareness of their own fitness and skills. Orienteering, archery, teamwork, coordination, team sports, and track and field are practiced.
After-School Sports: The following after-school sports are available seasonally to all Camellia middle school students:
Fall: Cross country (running), flag football, and volleyball.
Winter: Boys' and girls' basketball.
Spring: Co-ed soccer, unicycling club, and duathlon training.
Field Trips: School field trips are a core part of our education, offering outdoor education as well as supporting elements of our academic curriculum, as appropriate.