Middle School Program
Middle School Curriculum

8th Grade Academic Overview

Mathematics: Throughout each math course, students continue to develop their conceptual understanding, computational fluency, abstract reasoning and problem solving skills
  • Courses offered: Algebra I or Honors Geometry
  • Placement is based on skill level and pacing needs; most 8th graders take algebra.
  • Total of five math sections
Science: Students continue to actively engage in scientific inquiry skills and practice scientific habits of mind.
Class is hands-on, experiential and collaborative.
  • Content covers the concepts of physical science, primarily physics and chemistry.
  • A health unit convers neuroscience and its applications for teenage learning and risk-management.
  • Class activities emphasize active use of the scientific process, application of content knowledge to answer questions and development of evidence-based explanations.
  • Projects integrate engineering, technology and design thinking into our science curriculum.
Social Studies: Students learn to be informed and engaged citizens through study of US history, Washington state history and government. Themes include purpose and structure of government, rights and American identity.
  • Units include The Constitution, 2016 presidential election, Lewis and Clark, Steven’s Treaties, immigration and women’s rights.
  • Homework, assessments and projects emphasize critical thinking, productive discussion, shifting perspectives, persuasive analytical writing, collaboration and connections to current events.
  • Students are encouraged to be active learners and stretch in their thinking.
English/Writing: Students read a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts, including short stories, essays, novels, plays and poetry. They build their skills in both creative and academic writing, and they deepen their understanding of the writing process. A year-long thematic focus explores identity, rights, and power.
  • Students continue to strengthen their reading, analysis and evaluation skills.
  • Students refine writing skills, practicing idea-development, organization, word choice and conventions.
  • Students expand their speaking and listening skills through small and large group discussion, seminar and collaborative assignments.
  • Students are expected to be active in learning, stretch their thinking, anticipate growth and embrace discomfort.
International Language: In 8th grade students complete the second half of a high school 1 course in their chosen language.
  • French, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish are offered, with sufficient enrollment.
  • Curriculum includes study of culture as well as language.
  • Daily practice and review are required to master course content.  If a student chooses to continue with the same language in high school, it is their mastery of the content and skills in their chosen language at the end of 8th grade that decides whether she is ready to move into Level 2 of that language in 9th grade.
  • Significantly more investment (time and quality of studying) from 7th grade.
  • Successful completion (at least 80% average over two years) may lead to 2nd year IL in 9th grade.
Religion: Commitment to community service is the focal point of the eighth-grade religion program.  Class focuses on Catholic social teaching and the belief that each person is created in the image of God.  Every person from the moment of conception to natural death has inherent dignity and a right to living a life consistent with that dignity.
  • Students discover their own power for making a difference in the lives of others through community service.
  • Students examine the life of Jesus as our Sacred Heart model for living a life of justice, respect and love.
  • Students will explore the meaning behind Catholic traditions and Christian holidays.
Physical Education: Students continue to build sports skills and habits that will support lifelong fitness.
  • Emphasis is on teamwork and sportsmanship.
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.
  • Courses offered include studio art, public speaking, maker lab, video production and computer programming.
  • Students select one course per semester.
FOREST RIDGE SCHOOL OF THE SACRED HEART   .  4800 139th Avenue S.E.  .  Bellevue, WA, 98006-3015  .  425-641-0700