Intermediate School


 

Private School STEAM Initiative

Students in the Intermediate School participate in a variety of STEAM-themed projects, units and activities in multiple classes. In 5th Grade Science, students design, build and launch a Soda Pop Rocket, while learning about principles of aerodynamics and rocketry. In the 6th Grade Introduction to Technology class, students explore computer applications, software/hardware, the Internet, Office tools and the iPad. Sixth Grade Mathematics students design, build and test structures out of pasta while analyzing basic types of architecture. Students reverse-engineer everyday electronic equipment, learning about individual component functions and the science and math that created them.

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The Intermediate School at Saint Stephen’s is a division designed for children in grades 4 through 6, who are in the midst of forming their academic and social identities. Since leaving childhood and accepting more responsibility can be an uneasy experience, the years spent in the Intermediate School form an important bridge over which students are carefully guided to ensure their success in the Middle School, Upper School, and college.

 

Each member of our creative faculty is experienced in helping students move academically from the concrete to the abstract; from primary skills to those that entail higher-level thinking.

In English classes, for example, students grow from learning how to read to analyzing written material. In math, children apply their skills in working with basic calculations to solving algebraic equations. Students are also gaining a greater understanding of the world around them through participation in an exciting and meaningful global program across all disciplines.

 

Teachers work together to plan an integrated curriculum, where children can study one topic in all of their academic classes. For instance, students learning about an endangered species might write a poem about it in English class, use watercolors to paint the animal in art, create a collage using their iPads in Spanish class and study the anatomy of the animal in science class. The use of technology is incorporated and encouraged in all academic subjects. Beginning in 4th grade, students are required to purchase iPads and bring them to school on a daily basis. Novels, textbooks, workbooks, and specific apps are downloaded and used to support a vibrant and enriching curriculum.

 

The social transition is probably the most challenging part of a child’s development at this age. School becomes more than just a place to learn, but also a place to make friends. The faculty is trained to help students in their social discovery on a daily basis, through class discussions with the School Chaplain or School Psychologist, through small group “get togethers,” chapel programs, advisory periods, and age-appropriate holiday activities. The Saint Stephen’s community embraces and values all children, celebrating their successes and supporting their individual interests both inside and outside of the classroom.