The Middle School English program lays the foundation for students to read, write, and speak well. In addition to these primary goals, we build a comfortable and open community for girls to explore and share ideas and opinions. The curriculum includes the analysis of literature, the study of grammar and usage, vocabulary, spelling, and the development of writing skills across multiple genres. At their core, these activities are designed to foster each girl’s love of reading, intellectual fortitude, and writer’s voice.
Middle School Academics (5-8)
With the guidance of a caring and dedicated faculty, middle school students develop the skills needed for success in the classroom. The focus of every class is to challenge and provide support to our students. Through this intentional balance, our students strengthen their self-esteem and confidence and become well equipped to tackle the challenges of upper school and beyond.
The Harpeth Hall School's Middle School Leadership Development program is designed to help each student realize and embrace her leadership potential.
Harpeth Hall Middle School receives recognition for excellence in STEM.
Middle School students' creative writing is highlighted in the annual publication Intersections.
Several Harpeth Hall Middle School students received recognition in the EngineerGirl essay competition.
Every Harpeth Hall student joins one of four Spirit Clubs to celebrate Honeybear fun!
Explore our Curriculum
The middle school mathematics program stresses performance in basic operations using natural through real numbers and proficiency in working with percentages, fractions and decimals. Skill in solving and graphing equations and inequalities, performance in linear, square, and cubic measure, and practice with problems in statistics and probability are explored in depth. Problem solving and real-world application are incorporated into daily lessons. Communication in the language of mathematics is emphasized through written reports and oral presentations in each grade. Appropriate and fluent use of technology is inherent in each course.
The Middle School science program is designed to encourage wonder, teach scientific skills, and facilitate experiment-based inquiry and the engineering design process while exploring a broad range of topics within the earth, life, chemical, and physical sciences. In everything we do, the emphasis is placed on helping students make meaningful connections between the material learned in class and the world around them.
Harpeth Hall’s leadership development program sees every girl as a leader. Grounded in respect, integrity, individuality, goodness, and trust, girls hone their leadership skills through a variety of experiences, including public speaking, classroom presentations, on the athletic field, on stage, and in interactions with the greater community through service learning and internships.
The SEEK Program was established to provide seventh and eighth grade students a means to pursue independent study in an area of her choice. The initiative is designed to encourage a student to expand her learning beyond the standard curriculum with the support of an in-school and/or out-of-school adult mentor. A student with the desire and passion to explore a particular topic or subject of interest will be provided with the guidance and financial support necessary to complete the study of her choice. The topic she chooses to explore may be an extension of work she has done for a specific class, study in an area untapped by the Middle School curriculum, or the pursuit of a new skill or creative endeavor.
The Middle School language curriculum seeks to offer a variety of language experiences for fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students. Students begin their foreign language study in the fifth grade and continue in the sixth grade with a conversation-based program in Chinese, French, or Spanish. Seventh graders may choose Chinese, French, Latin, or Spanish and continue the study of the same language in eighth grade.
The Middle School Social Studies program is designed to cultivate a foundational awareness of complex global connections and the knowledge that a student’s actions can, and should, make a positive change in her world. Through a study of geography, history, civics, and current issues, our students learn to listen carefully and openly to the ideas of others as she learns to shape and clearly express her own.
Computational thinking is emphasized in both our math and science middle school courses. We believe these skills empower our students to solve current and future problems with perseverance, collaboration, and innovation. Through programming projects and unplugged activities, students explore the steps of computational thinking including decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction, and algorithm design. More in-depth projects occur in 7th and 8th grade as students design apps in collaboration with service learning projects, program Lego Mindstorm Robots to tackle challenges, create interactive toys using physical computing and learn CSS and HTML to code a website of their choice. Development of research skills, an understanding of copyright issues and digital literacy are all components of the website project. This integrated curriculum allows our students to develop the computational tools needed to be productive digital citizens rather than passive users of technology.
Middle School is an ideal time to learn healthy ways to balance one’s life. Our emphasis on leadership development and the role it plays in helping girls learn to make meaningful choices is woven throughout the Life Balance curriculum. Various formats are used as springboards for discussion of the following developmentally-appropriate principles of our wellness model: leadership, relationships, emotional life, mind-body connection, meaningful life purpose, movement, and nutrition.
Students have additional opportunities to grow their talents during enrichment class electives that meet during the school day. Enrichment classes include Forensics Club, First Lego League Robotics Team, Model United Nations, Number Crunchers, Library Leaders, and the Middle School Literary Magazine.
When students graduate from Harpeth Hall, they have the skills to perform sophisticated research and comfort with computers and many common applications. Information literacy skills, including library and technology skills along with digital citizenship, are taught at all grade levels and across all disciplines. These skills are taught within the context of the curriculum.
The Middle School visual arts program is designed to stimulate and encourage creativity, build confidence in technical abilities, and provide students with a solid foundation in the elements and principles of art. Skills are developed in each medium through age-appropriate projects that build upon what students have learned the previous years, as they advance from fifth through eighth grades. Student artwork is continually displayed in the halls of the Middle School. All students receive sketchbooks to establish the habit of drawing, and sketchbook assignments are given throughout the course. An introduction to various important art and artists of the world is incorporated into appropriate lessons. At each grade level, a love of art and creating art is nurtured, and individual self-expression encouraged.
Middle School drama and speech courses are designed to give students opportunities to explore basic communication and presentation skills. Course work provides opportunities to explore different modes of self-expression related to public speaking and drama in an environment in which the student feels challenged, yet safe and encouraged. Classes impart useful information and provide a forum for presentations, discussions, and peer critiques designed to broaden the students’ intellectual understanding and appreciation of the art form involved.
Music courses in the Middle School are designed to give students a broad experience in both choral and orchestral music, as well as a survey of music history and music theory. The primary focus is on acquiring techniques that will enhance their performance skills as well as prepare them for Upper School ensembles. The program includes music from a variety of cultures, countries, and languages.
Middle School dance covers creative movement, modern, Ballet, jazz, and tap techniques. The goal of each class is to provide a nonthreatening environment that helps the student become comfortable with movement in a wide variety of genres. Opportunities for performance are available in the co-curricular Dance Companies, which meet after school.
The Middle School physical education program promotes the importance of lifetime fitness and physical activity. Core movements and exercises, such as body weight push-ups and squats, are intertwined throughout the program. Students are encouraged to understand the importance of regular physical activity as an essential component of one’s overall physical and mental health. The program is designed for every student to find their own love of physical activity by introducing students to a variety of activities and sports that focus on movement and fitness. Students will learn how to work with a team, practice good sportsmanship, and demonstrate respect for self and others while participating in games and sports.
Harpeth Hall will welcome more than 700 young girls to campus this summer to participate in our summer camp programs. These camps draw on the best of Harpeth Hall’s academic, arts, and athletic offerings.