Worcester Preparatory School Middle/Upper School offers a traditional, academic college preparatory program of studies. Departmental teaching gives the student the opportunity to work with a number of outstanding instructors each year. The use of iPads in Grades 6, 7 and 8 encourages students to prepare reports, enrich classroom learning and work on independent projects. Each academic subject has materials that can be utilized on iPads. Homework is required for all academic subjects. Summer reading is required.
Following is a sampling of courses Worcester Preparatory School offers to its Middle and Upper School students. The list is not all inclusive and courses may be added, changed, or deleted as required.
English - The basics of English grammar, composition and literature are stressed at Worcester Preparatory School. Special emphasis is placed upon writing and vocabulary development at all levels. English 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 courses emphasize composition/grammar and literature. Upper division courses carry a greater stress on literature. Composition requirements include the writing of various types of paragraphs, letters, research papers, book reports, short stories, and poetry. Students are exposed to literature in various forms: plays, novels, tales, epics, short stories, and poetry.
Foreign Language - Students in Grades 6-8 are required to take Latin which stresses Latin root words and the structure and appreciation of language.
Literature - Literature is a yearlong course for 6th and 7th graders designed to build reading skills. Reading comprehension, critical thinking, discussion, vocabulary development, and analysis are strengthened while encouraging students to read and write creatively.
History - In Grade 6 students learn about ancient civilizations. Content beginning with the period of exploration and continuing until the Civil War is offered in American History to the seventh graders. Students become acquainted with important people and events in American History. The relationship between historical and present day events is explored. World Geography, Grade 8, includes a history of geographic studies and a detailed analysis of various geographic regions. The development of map skills is stressed, and students learn to appreciate the different ways of life in the various regions around the world.
Math - A general mathematics course is taken by most Grade 6 students. PreAlgebra, which reviews all basic skills taught in the Lower School, is taken by seventh graders and advanced sixth graders. Most students take Algebra I in Grade 8, Geometry in Grade 9, and Algebra II in Grade 10. Accelerated students are scheduled for these courses in earlier grade levels.
Science - Middle School science courses are taught in two well-equipped modern science labs. The main science lab is a spacious facility which is enhanced with extensive scientific apparatus including microscopes, models, laser equipment, specimens, an environmental chamber, technology resources, and storage areas. Safety equipment includes eye washes, a shower, and blankets. Adjacent to this lab is an experiment preparation room with refrigeration facilities, and chemical and equipment storage. A smaller lab also includes the same safety features and storage. A lecture room is also adjacent to the main lab.
Science courses at the Worcester Preparatory School are designed to meet the needs of scientifically-oriented students as well as those desiring a basic science background. Lab work, demonstrations, and investigations are all integral parts of the program as students are encouraged to discover through experimentation, discussion, and lecture. All students are required to take a science course each year.
Grade 6 science features a broad variety of topics including: ecology, human biology, chemistry, and physics.This course serves as a foundation to future studies in science.
The Grade 7 Life Science course surveys the plant and animal kingdom and provides a foundation for future studies in the field of life science. Enhancing the curriculum at this level is a series of dissections of different species such as worms, frogs, fish, clams, crayfish, and fetal pigs.
Grade 8 students study Earth Science. This course emphasizes basic knowledge of the earth and use of this knowledge as a key to the development of an informed citizenry. Environmental and economic concerns are studied as well as awareness of natural phenomena and utilization of energy sources.
Art - Grades 6 and 7 art students are introduced to five major concepts: line, form/shape, color/value, texture, and space. Each project in which the students engage helps to explain one or more of the concepts.
Grade 8 is introduced to five additional concepts of art: emphasis, proportion, balance, rhythm, and unity. These concepts are explored through the use of visual aids, sequential learning, creative activities, and class discussions.
Technology - All students in Grades 6-8 have scheduled sessions in technologies. Students work on technology-related skills during regular class sessions in courses such as English, literature, science, social studies, Latin, mathematics, art, physical education, and music. Through classroom and lab studies, students learn to use digital devices through programs and apps (word processing, database, spreadsheet, draw, paint); print, video, and photo-editing programs; educational learning programs; multimedia programs; art and music programs, etc.
During the Middle School years, students continue to practice the skills learned in Lower School. Teachers place an emphasis upon wise, safe, and efficient use of technologies. Students learn to use technologies as their assistants in education so that they can complete reports, term papers, and projects on the computer; find information relevant to their work; communicate safely and politely online; and understand how to use technologies to help them move forward in their learning.
Some Worcester Preparatory School projects have received national and state awards for excellence in computer use in education.
Music - In Middle School students learn about the expansion of musical ideas, orchestral instruments, melody, harmony, rhythm, articulation and well known composers. They learn to relate music to its historical and social setting. Students gain an increasing awareness of musical style, periods of music, and participate in choral performances.
Physical Education - The physical education program provides students with activities that will help them develop the skills, coordination, fitness, and good sportsmanship, which come from involvement in healthy physical activities with others. At all levels, emphasis is placed upon the development of the skills of movement and the conditioning of the heart, lungs, and muscle systems of the body. Students develop an appreciation of good physical conditioning as well as an interest and desire to participate in lifetime recreational sports. A balance is provided in those activities commonly grouped as team and individual sports, self-testing activities, dance and rhythms.
The program generally presents basic skills which can be employed in a comprehensive intramural, interscholastic, and recreational program for all boys and girls.
Some of the activities for girls include archery, basketball, field hockey, dance, tennis, volleyball, softball, lacrosse, and track and field.
Boys' activities include soccer, volleyball, basketball, archery, conditioning, dance, tennis, track and field, and lacrosse.
Physical education is required of all Middle School students. The course meets four times a week.