Eighth Grade is designed as a launching pad for Pennfield students as they prepare to head off to challenging and rigorous secondary schools. In this last year at Pennfield, they take on new and more responsible roles at school and in the community. And in the classroom, their studies and projects take on greater depth and meaning. They further develop their critical thinking skills and learn that excellence can be achieved in all things they pursue with passion and resolve.
On Wednesday mornings, you’ll find the entire Upper School gathered in the cafeteria for a Town Meeting. Led by Eighth Grade elected Student Council Co-Presidents, the group discusses upcoming events and current issues pertaining to the school. Eighth Graders design, prepare and publish the school’s annual yearbook - a noteworthy chronicle of their years at Pennfield. And in the summer, just prior to their last year, each student completes a formidable Community Service project that they develop themselves. Morning Assemblies throughout the year feature Eighth Graders proudly presenting these inspiring summer projects to the entire school.
English focuses on strong reading comprehension and excellent writing skills. A walk by the Eighth Grade classroom reveals groups of students preparing to act out scenes from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, translated into modern English. On the walls are copies of student-created Romeo and Juliet playbills, each unique and well written, including “notes from the playwright,” historical background and biographies of present-day actors, chosen to perform lead roles in the play.
In social studies, American History is covered, from early colonization through the Civil War. Students dig deep into the religious, political and economic motivations behind the founding of our country. Many students choose to participate in the Rhode Island Mock Trial as part of these studies and bring back an even greater understanding of how and why our nation came to be.
Algebra I is taught the entire Eighth Grade year and prepares students to move on to higher math levels upon graduation. Human Physiology and Physics are both taught throughout the year in Science with numerous experiments and projects that keep students interested and engaged.
By the Eighth Grade, Spanish skills are well developed and give Pennfield students the advantage of knowing a second language upon entering a secondary school. Most students place into higher level Spanish classes and find picking up another language easier with both their Spanish and English skills so well honed.
And by the end of this last year at Pennfield our students are not only well prepared for but are quite ready to move on to their next wonderful and challenging new learning adventures in secondary school.