The Masters School provides a challenging academic environment that encourages critical, creative and independent habits of thought and a lifelong passion for learning. We promote and celebrate academic achievement, artistic development, ethical action, athletic endeavor and personal growth. Our diverse community encourages students to participate actively in decisions affecting their lives and to develop an appreciation of their responsibilities to the larger world.

Academic Departments

List of 9 items.

  • Health

    The course focus is on the eight dimensions of health which include social and cultural health, physical and sexual health, spiritual health, intellectual health, emotional and mental health, occupational health, environmental health and financial health. These dimensions represent attributes of total well-being. Each symbolizes a core area of a person’s life impacting their level of health and happiness. Our goal is for students to understand the things that affect their total well-being, consider current health behaviors and attitudes, and make the necessary changes that influence their overall health in a positive way.
    Our curriculum is skills-based, allowing students an opportunity to learn health and wellness tools and apply them to their daily lives.
    Fifth graders participate in health class four times per cycle for approximately seven weeks. Sixth graders have health class twice per cycle in the second and third trimesters. Seventh and eighth graders have health class four times per cycle for half of the academic year.
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  • Humanities

    English and history stand at the center of our rigorous interdisciplinary humanities curriculum. These two subjects are linked thematically, with each grade level focusing on a specific topic or concept. Short and long-term interactive and interdisciplinary projects challenge students at each level.
    As students progress through middle school, they continue to strengthen skills and acquire new ones. In English, they advance in reading comprehension, writing, literary analysis, speech and grammar. In history, they learn how to think critically about past events and analyze the relationship between cause and effect while refining their research, writing and organizational skills. Students also develop note taking skills and become adept users of primary and secondary sources, both material and digital.
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  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship

    The middle school Innovation and Entrepreneurship curriculum introduces students to skills and technologies that will allow them to thrive in the modern world. In alignment with the upper school IEC electives, the curriculum features materials from Project Lead the Way (PLTW), which combines topics under the science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) umbrella. 

    The first two years of middle school IEC are dedicated to design thinking, prototyping and solid modeling. Students collaborate in diverse groups to brainstorm, research and test concepts for assistive devices and toys, and learn to use computer-aided design (CAD) to manufacture their prototypes. 

    In seventh grade, students will use block coding to program microcomputers that interact with the physical world. Eighth grade students progress to MIT App Inventor to extend their understanding of block coding and software design.

    Throughout each of these courses, students are actively exploring how technology can improve society and our quality of life, and be a power for good in the world. 
    Grades 5 and 6 meet twice per cycle for IEC classes, while seventh and eighth grade students meet four times. Students who wish to explore these and more STEAM topics can also enroll in the after-school Middle School Makers course, and utilize the makerspace in the IEC building.
  • Mathematics

    The middle school math program enables students to expand their skill base while challenging them with activities that foster growth, deeper understanding, and open communication. Students practice problem-solving strategies and critical thinking allowing for discussion, investigation, and self-discovery of concepts and their applications.  
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  • Modern and Classical Languages

    The middle school language program is a four-year experience introducing students to the fundamentals of language acquisition and the linguistic elements of the target language. Fifth graders are introduced to the study of language and culture, spending one trimester each studying French, Mandarin and Spanish. All sixth graders take a full year of Latin and in grade 7, students begin a two-year journey in a language selected from our four offerings: French, Latin, Mandarin, or Spanish.
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  • Performing Arts

    Our middle school offers many curricular and extracurricular arts opportunities. Classes are taught four times per week, with instruction in piano, music theory, composition, world music, puppetry, photography, and more. Middle school extracurricular groups include three rock bands, jazz band, orchestra, choir, percussion ensemble, and musical theater troupe.
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  • Physical Education

    Physical education class is required for all fifth and sixth grade students and is included during the school day. The students participate in a variety of games, physical activities and sports to develop basic athletic skills and to experience the joy of playing. We provide a balanced program where our students are introduced to a variety of sports, fitness activities and cooperative games. The wide range of activities will both help develop our students and give them the experience to make an educated choice when entering seventh and eighth grade athletics.   
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  • Science

    The middle school science program achieves two primary goals. First, we give students a working knowledge of the scientific method as a systematic approach to problem solving. And second, we help them develop connections between what they learn in the classroom and their lives beyond it. We take a discovery approach to learning because students learn best when they uncover relationships and ideas themselves. In the laboratory we stress objectivity in observation, accuracy in data gathering and recording, and analysis and presentation of data.
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  • Visual Arts

    The middle school visual arts program provides a creative environment in which students explore visual communication in two- and three-dimensional forms. They gain hands-on experience with a broad range of materials and techniques while working on projects designed to develop craft as well as cognitive skills related to thematic grade-level investigations.

    Students work in a variety of artistic disciplines including drawing, painting, photography, and sculpture; and they learn and use the elements and principles of design as they explore their creative potential. The children keep art journals to monitor their progress throughout the year, and assessments are based on effort rather than ability level. Our goal is for our visual arts students to develop and expand their artistic voice while gaining a better understanding of self and their relationship and responsibility to the world community.
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Faculty Advisors

All middle school students are matched with a faculty advisor at the beginning of every academic year. The advisor — usually a grade-level teacher — advocates on behalf of students as they navigate academic and social challenges. In small groups, advisors discuss issues related to friendship, leadership, stewardship, self-management, goal setting, and decision-making. 

Experience-based Learning

We believe it’s important that students see how their lessons relate to the real world outside the classroom. So at every grade level, The Masters School incorporates field trips that bring learning to life. In the middle school years, adventures include many enriching opportunities, some of which are listed below:

  • Ellis Island
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Metropolitan Opera
  • Lincoln Center Backstage Tours
  • Tenement Museum
  • Hudson River Museum
  • Museum of Chinese in America
  • Historic Philadelphia
  • Phillipsburg Manor
  • West Point
  • Sunnyside (Washington Irving’s home)
  • Seining in the Hudson River
  • Canoeing on Constitution Marsh