An independent, coeducational PK-Grade 12 private school located in historic Fredericksburg, Virginia

Academics

Fredericksburg Academy private school middle school science experiment on the activity field

The Middle School curriculum at FA builds knowledge and strengthens character.

Sixth Grade

English

English 6 students read novels and poems for understanding, making connections to what they themselves have experienced. Students write and present about what they have read to increase their argumentation, study, and technology skills.

Science

Introduction to Science immerses sixth-grade students in the scientific process and fundamentals of science. The groundwork for future studies is established through guided experiments, investigations, and inquiry.

Mathematics

Math 6 transitions students from the whole number arithmetic taught in the lower grades to the foundations of algebra, focusing on number sense and facility.

History

World Geography students gain a wider global understanding by exploring our world and its people, answering the essential question, "How does geography help shape culture?" The course focuses on the foundational academic skills of reading, research, and writing.

Foreign Language

Sixth-grade students take one trimester of Exploratory French, Latin, and Spanish to gain an introductory exposure to the language, culture, and traditions of each. This course has no homework or formal assessments of any kind, which allows for students to fully explore and question which language and culture they have the greatest connection with, so they can make the best decision of where to concentrate their efforts moving forward.

Seventh Grade

English

Beginning with young adult literature and transitioning to the established classics, English 7 students read to understand how an author uses literary devices to convey ideas and then learn to use them in their own writing.

Science

Life Science is a comprehensive examination of macro and micro living systems, framed and informed by Chesapeake Bay watershed science and conservation.

Mathematics

  • Math 7 prepares students for further study in algebra and geometry. Emphasis is placed on continuing to develop and extend problem-solving abilities and number sense.
  • Pre-Algebra addresses content that reviews and extends concepts and skills learned in previous courses and prepares students for more abstract concepts in algebra and geometry.
  • Algebra I focuses on the fundamental skills and concepts required for all higher math courses. Students learn to switch between graphical and algebraic thinking and explore linear relationships and equations as well as the beginning of quadratic equations.


History

In Ancient Civilizations seventh graders investigate the relationship between geography and the establishment and formation of ancient cultures. Students show their understanding through collaborative projects, formal papers, and traditional tests.

Foreign Language

Students choose Latin, Spanish, or French to study over the course of seventh and eighth grades. Seventh graders take Latin IA, Spanish IA, or French IA, which constitute the first part of the Level I curriculum. The goal of these courses is for students to build a strong foundation in their chosen language.

Eighth Grade

English

English 8 marks the transition from a study of the literal to an analysis of the figurative. Through a study of classic novels, short stories, and poetry, students evaluate how an author creates meaning in a work and are taught how to argue their own assertions effectively in writing.

Science

Earth Science is a project and lab-based investigation of Earth's interconnected and dynamic systems with an emphasis on independent learning and problem-solving.

Mathematics

  • Pre-Algebra addresses content that reviews and extends concepts and skills learned in previous grades and prepares students for more abstract concepts in algebra and geometry.
  • Algebra I focuses on the fundamental skills and concepts required for all higher math courses. Students learn to switch between graphical and algebraic thinking and explore linear relationships and equations as well as the beginning of quadratic equations.
  • Geometry teaches mathematical reasoning and problem solving by testing conjectures through deductive reasoning and proof work. Students also reinforce their alegebraic skills in preparation for Algebra II or Algebra II/Trigonometry.


History

Through its emphasis on primary sources and different perspectives, American Experience encourages students to develop empathy and deeper understanding. In this way, students develop their research, analytical, critical-thinking, and argumentation skills.

Foreign Language

Students continue with the language they selected in seventh grade by taking Latin IB, French IB, or Spanish IB. These courses are the second part of the level I curriculum. The goal of these courses is for students to solidify their foundation in their chosen language to best prepare them for continued study in Upper School.

Electives

Art

Visual arts in the sixth grade focuses on foundational drawing skills and working with the seven elements of art. The students begin the course learning about one-point perspective and how artists create the illusion of space and depth in a two-dimensional work of art through the application of elements of art. Students experience and participate in art critiques, experiment with varied techniques and media, and make connections with art history that are relevant in their lives today.

Visual arts in the seventh grade enables students to strengthen and develop skills in a variety of media and techniques, while applying their understanding of the elements of art. Learning to critique their own work as well as their classmates' and with an infusion of art history and multicultural artistic traditions, students start to develop their own individual aesthetic awareness through creating and connecting.

Visual arts in the eighth grade continues to work with the elements of art. Students begin to organize the elements using the principles of design. In doing so, students work in a variety of media that includes printmaking, painting, collage, two-dimensional design and sculpture. This course also prepares students' skills for more advanced applications if they choose to take the studio arts course in the Upper School.

Theater

  • In Drama 7 seventh-grade students are introduced to the basic concepts of theater arts. Students use various creative drama techniques to build confidence and trust, stimulate imagination and movement, and role-play. Students exhibit and reinforce their skills through individual and group presentations, performances, and script and journal writing.
  • In Theater Arts Production eighth-grade students concentrate on the major areas of theater technology including production, design, construction, and performance. Students learn how to design sets and scenery and set lights and sound and study the responsibilities and roles for Stage Manager, Production Manager, and House Manager.

Band

In Middle School Band students learn the fundamentals on their chosen instrument, increasing their range, learning scales, exploring dynamic contrasts, building rhythmic stability, and participating in district events. The goal is to provide all necessary tools for students to play and perform music confidently alone and in an ensemble. In this course students are not only learning an art form but also practicing responsibility, accountability, and leadership.

Chorus

Chorus 6: Introduction to Vocal Music - Chorus 6 is an introduction to the world of ensembles, theory, and vocal music. Students have the opportunity to learn about their voice, focusing on learning the difference between their head-voice and chest-voice and on discovering how to match pitch through the use of solfege. Course work includes ensemble learning, game playing, and traditional classroom learning.

Chorus 7: Beginning Ensemble - Chorus 7 emphasizes knowing about and how to use one's voice through singing of a wide variety of music from classical to musical theater as well as from different nations and time periods. Through learning, rehearsing, and performing, the members will increase their knowledge of reading music and emerge with a better understanding of how to perform.

Chorus 8: Vocal Ensemble - Chorus 8 is the first opportunity students have to choose chorus as a full year class. The eighth grade vocal group is focused on developing the choral and musical techniques needed for further study. The curriculum covers the five core elements of music reading, vocal technique, appreciation of musical styles, ensemble discipline, and solo singing.

Middle School Chorus - The Middle School Chorus is an extra-curricular option available for all Middle School students regardless of grade. The emphasis and approach of the ensemble is on the joy of singing. The music, in general, is of a more popular in nature than song selections in the curriculum.

Orchestra

  • Orchestra - Orchestra gives students in sixth through twelfth grade the opportunity to explore western music tradition while learning the art and craft of making music on a stringed instrument. Instruction on the violin, viola, cello, and string bass covers posture, reading notation, intonation, tone production, theory, style, and interpretation through ensemble experience. Students in the Orchestra class are required to have at least one year of prior instruction on their chosen instrument.
  • Chamber Orchestra - Orchestra members may audition for Chamber Orchestra, which provides students with advanced abilities the opportunity to further develop their skills. The smaller size of the ensemble allows for intensive rehearsals and individual instruction. Chamber Orchestra members are also members of the Orchestra.

Human Development (Sixth Grade Only)

The Human Development curriculum is based on the idea that overall wellness is shaped by decision-making that should be grounded in factual information and family values. During the course, students delve into how the mind and body function together, how to avoid harmful substances, how to make informed decisions about health and health care, and how to be responsible for actions and behaviors. The students are encouraged to think about creating healthy habits and to understand what overall wellness means to each person individually.