An intensive and tailored curriculum serves the particular needs of students in Grades Six, Seven and Eight, making the Middle School program at BWL an ideal environment for young people. The sincere love of learning that The Birch Wathen Lenox School strives to instill early in every student's education continues to be of vital importance in Middle School. Students attend sophisticated core classes and continue a wide range of studies, as the academic demands and expectations increase each year. Dedicated teachers and advisors, trimester grades, comments, conferences, and computerized communications, ensure a continuous and current flow of information among teachers, students and parents.
Each year, Lower and Middle School Division heads collaborate in creating a smooth transition for students from fifth to sixth grade, not only by teaching students the crucial study and organizational skills they will require to succeed, but also by inviting parents to informative lectures and discussions that will help them guide their own sons and daughters toward Middle School. In turn, as Middle School nears an end, Middle and Upper School Division Heads ensure that the next transition from eighth to ninth grade will happen seamlessly.
Middle School at BWL takes students from a comparatively self- contained Lower School homeroom structure, to the individualized schedules of the Upper School. In Middle School, ability grouping is always available in math, given the cumulative aspect of the subject. Depending on the size and make-up of the grade, more challenging groups can be arranged for English, as well as for math.
BWL taps into the rich cultural and educational resources of New York City to reinforce the material presented each day at School. Frequent class trips work in tandem with an interdisciplinary approach to art, music, math, science, English, history and foreign language, creating an impressive atmosphere for learning.
There are designated study and research skills periods each week in which specialists address the unique needs of every student, stressing strategies of study and organization. The integration of up-to-date resources in the library, computer and science labs, and every class- room in between assures that students develop distinct proficiencies using today's advanced technological tools.
Mandatory community service helps build social awareness and unites Middle School students as they assist each other and those who are less fortunate. Opportunities to serve as leaders in School government positions empower students to make their mark and to promote positive change.
Energizing physical education classes and wide-ranging interscholastic athletics throughout Middle School further underscore the healthy spirit of fitness and competition. In Grade Eight, through required health-education classes, the Physical Education department plays a significant role in guiding the students toward better decision-making for their bodies and minds.
Additional extracurricular activities provide students the opportunity to explore interests in areas such as the student Newspaper, Yearbook, Earth Club, Drama Club, Choral and Vocal Ensembles, Games Club, and Film Club.
With the sturdy foundation to approach their work both honestly and diligently, students in Middle School learn to thrive and take academic risks. The goal is that they increase autonomy in the process of their efforts, as they approach the Upper School. Coursework brings together focused studies, led by passionate teachers, who facilitate students' growth in ways that extend beyond the classroom.