Westminster middle division is a place for active learning, strong course offerings, and high academic standards. Teachers focus on the three main goals for their students: to think critically and creatively to solve problems, to develop the ability to work with others, and to develop the self-discipline needed to complete assignments in a timely and responsible manner. Westminster graduates are known for their confidence in expressing their opinions, their creative problem solving, their excellent writing skills, and their ability to work well with others.
Sixth graders experience a new level of responsibility, organization and independence by learning to balance extracurricular activities with a rigorous curriculum. They are challenged to develop and practice critical thinking skills in all academic areas and are encouraged to form and defend their own opinions. Students are expected to work cooperatively in groups, listen to others, and share ideas.
Developing independent and critical thinking skills is a primary goal of the seventh grade curriculum. Through instruction and assessment in all subject areas, students are encouraged to move beyond merely internalizing specific answers. They are urged to think, to formulate their own ideas, and to test their hypotheses. Seventh graders participate in many small group discussions and are encouraged to verbalize their thinking, to listen respectfully to the ideas of others, and to take stands on issues.
By eighth grade, students at Westminster School are far along in achieving the goals of the Middle Division -- to think critically, to be responsible, and to work productively with others. Eighth grade teachers focus their efforts to challenge students academically, to expose them to various working groups, and to guide them to be leaders in the school. Students are challenged to develop a strong sense of self and to defend their beliefs confidently.
AFTER SCHOOL HOURS
Classes end at 3:30 p.m. each day, but teachers are available to work with students in their classrooms until 4:30 p.m. every day except Thursdays. During this time, students are able to receive extra help or make up work they missed during an absence. There is a supervised study hall every day which provides parents with an extended day opportunity. This drop-in study hall is available from the end of school until 5:50 p.m.
Students participating in sports, plays and MathCounts also often meet after school.