Moving into the Upper School marks a passage toward greater autonomy and responsibility for oneself, our school community and the world. Students have their own elected student government and hold a weekly “Town Meeting.” Lively discussions abound in Mr. Kelley’s “Headmaster’s Class,” where discussions encompass current events, values and preparation for entrance into selective and academically rigorous secondary schools.
In the Upper School, the emphasis is on the person you are and the person you are trying to become.
These are years of reaching out beyond the Pennfield campus as students share our core values of joy, respect and knowledge within agencies and organizations where they take on formidable community service projects. Every fall, students look forward to traveling to Maine, Massachusetts, or New Hampshire for a three-day outdoor educational experience where they gain a greater appreciation for nature while also practicing leadership, cooperation and teamwork skills and gaining a mutual respect for one another.
“For us, Pennfield is much more than a place for our children to achieve academic excellence. Pennfield is a community of caring, patience and nurturing that enables all the children there to excel and flourish as healthy, active participants in life. Stimulating confidence and promoting individual and community responsibility, Pennfield is helping to shape both bright minds and great attitudes for future success no matter what direction our children ultimately travel.”
Upper School students are assigned to a small Advisory group of other Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Grade peers. They meet as a group with their faculty Advisor weekly and as often as they wish individually. Topics at Advisory Group might include goal-setting, study skills, decision making and universal values. Advisors get to know their students well, as individuals and as learners, and help them to navigate obstacles, encourage them to try new things, challenge them to overcome fears and to stretch to new limits.
In the Upper School, each student has their own locker. They move from class to class throughout the day and participate in organized sports and club activities after school.
Art and Music take on new and exciting levels with students having the opportunity to choose a band instrument, participate in the spring theater production, and expand their artistic skills and knowledge of Art History.
By the Eighth Grade, Upper School students are ready and well prepared for their next big transition into secondary school and beyond.