Middle School Program
Middle School Curriculum

5th Grade Academic Overview

Mathematics: Throughout fifth-grade math, students will strengthen and extend their foundational skills with whole numbers, fractions and decimals while developing problem-solving strategies.
  • Placement in a section group is based on skill level and pacing needs; all fifth graders take 5th grade integrated math.
  • Three section groups are offered.
Science: Students learn science by doing science, working to develop scientific skills and habits of mind.
  • Class is hands-on, experiential and collaborative.
  • Course covers the broad concepts of experimental science, including units on being a scientist, oceanography, weather, properties of matter and nutrition.
  • Students will gain foundational scientific skills and develop practices preparing them for the rest of middle school science, particularly emphasizing supporting claims with evidence.
Social Studies: Students will learn about the people and history of the United States by studying America’s past. These units will provide each student with an opportunity to recognize rights and responsibilities of citizenship, develop and apply critical thinking skills and further understand American heritage and ideals.
  • Units include U.S. geography, Europeans in the New World, early English settlements, the British colonies, the Freedom Documents, slavery, the American Revolution, manifest destiny and westward settlement and the Civil War.
Reading and Writing: In reading workshop, students learn how to approach, analyze, discuss and summarize complex fiction, poetry and non-fiction texts. In writing workshop, they learn strategies for becoming powerful writers across genres.
  • The workshop model in both reading and writing emphasizes process over product, growth over time, conferring with teachers, using teacher and peer feedback to revise, regular assessment and reflection and student choice in topics and books.
  • Regular one-on-one teacher assessment guides the students to choose appropriately challenging independent reading novels and book club novels.
  • Students will compose a wide range of written genres (narrative, poetry, non-fiction research writing and memoir).
  • Students refine writing skills, practice idea development, organization, word choice and mechanics.
Creativity Lab: In the Fabrication and Innovation Shop, students explore their creativity and expand their engineering skills.
  • Class gives students the opportunity to work on and get feedback about maker skills, teamwork and their growth mindset.
  • Students use the engineering design process to solve problems and design solutions, integrating a variety of technology and maker tools.
  • Communication Lab: Students practice communication strategies through hands-on, experiential activities in a workshop format.
  • Communication skills developed include: presentation skills, active listening, conflict resolution, understanding emotions, diminishing vs. powerful language and digital citizenship.
Religion: This class is an introduction to the basic beliefs and practices of Catholicism. Students are also introduced to the Sacred Heart tradition and what makes it unique.  
  • Prayer experiences, community building and reflection are included.
  • Students practice using The Bible as a holy book reference. 
  • Class activities connect the learning to students’ experiences both in and out of school.
Physical Education: Students build sports skills and habits that will support lifelong fitness.
  • Emphasis is on teamwork, sportsmanship and being a part of a supportive community.
Fine Arts: In each of the classes, students not only develop and express their own creativity, but they also take risks in a supportive environment and learn to embrace process over product.
  • Students take Studio Art in first semester and Music in second semester.
  • Students and families celebrate their creative growth with an evening concert and art show in the spring.
FOREST RIDGE SCHOOL OF THE SACRED HEART   .  4800 139th Avenue S.E.  .  Bellevue, WA, 98006-3015  .  425-641-0700