The middle school is quite a sensitive developmental stage for students. This is a phase where they no longer require guidance at every step like primary schooling. Nor are they independent enough to make all the right choices, pick their own subjects or even think about their long-time careers, as senior students do. Thus, the pedagogy demands a balance, where the school must introduce a few subjects and activities, but also keep the option of choice open so that the students understand the concept of professional freedom. Middle school students need to phase out their primary habits and start preparing for the senior stage. At this stage pace of academic demands is accelerated and, while holistic growth is always the focus, students are gradually prepared to accept bigger challenges. This is also the time where students learn to build on basics. A simple example being science branching out to separate subjects like physics, chemistry and biology as soon as students enter the middle school stage. Here, students start refining their knowledge hinged on the basics they already know and the difficulty level naturally goes up by a notch.
This is also the time when students are grown-up enough to explore many more options, participate in niche areas of interest and develop those specific skill-sets. The pressure of Board examinations is yet to be. Thus, this is also the perfect time to build strong portfolios.
Only the best pedagogy, teachers and the management who are privy to the sensitivity of this phase can give your child the perfect middle-schooling experience. The Middle school program at GEMS International school has children at its focus. As teachers plan backwards, all learning plans revolve around a big idea and are inter-disciplinary in nature. Content and skills from the Natural and Social Sciences curriculum as well as literacy skills are inter-woven. It is a wholesome integrated approach that goes beyond the boundaries of subject curricula and provides multiple opportunities for the children to revisit and rework, thus creating an ethic of excellence through continuous planning, execution and reflection. Projects are an integral part of experiential learning and help children observe, reflect, analyze, synthesize and understand multiple perspectives. They empower the child to think about problems, whether social, cultural, technological or ecological, in a systemic manner and become an agent of social change. As children engage with UN Sustainable Development Goals while studying each new concept, they relate ideas, comprehend underlying issues and discuss potential resolutions. Critical thinking and problem-solving are at the core of learning at GEMS schools.
Our curriculum focuses on “STEM Education”. STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. This is now extended to STREAM. With this approach the students can explore their ideas and be creative.
By the end of middle school, the teachers will have had enough time to evaluate the uniqueness of the individual students and understand the varying intellectual needs. In a specific classroom, there always are auditory learners capable of learning through instructions, visual learners who prefer to see and learn and of course, the kinesthetic type, who prefer the model-oriented learning. Given our strong focus on Language development and Communication, there are those who have a reading-writing preference too. Naturally, there will also be a few who will show knack for non-academic activities and our middle school curriculum provides for the uniqueness of each child. Laboratories, tab-labs, research work in the library and collaborative exploration and projects are commonly used alongside visual Smart Boards and some guided instruction.
Subjects offered at the Middle School Level: