Middle School at PKS
middle school should be joyful, healthy, challenging, and transformative.
that all of us can make the world a better place… and have a responsibility to do so.
students should be prepared for the future they will inherit, not the past their parents remember. “Future-ready” skills such as collaboration, creative problem solving, mental flexibility, and data literacy are the new core competencies.
immersion during middle school is critical for true bilingualism, biliteracy, and biculturalism.
the world is our classroom.
A Day in the Life of a PKS Middle Schooler
A typical middle school day is structured in two parts. In the mornings, students attend:
English class, where they read Shakespeare, Roald Dahl, and Chinua Achebe; write prodigiously; hone the metalinguistic awareness they have already developed as bilingual thinkers; and fall deeply in love with the power of the written word. Our students are poets, playwrights, and sagamakers.
Math class, where our students use an inquiry-based approach to master the basics of computation and analysis. They then apply these tools as mathematicians, engineers, demographers, and philosophers. In part, they do this through a series of math “deep dives.”
Electives in both Movement and Making. Movement electives range from traditional ball sports (basketball, volleyball, futsol, etc.) to yoga and kung fu. Making electives include coding, music ensemble, pottery, robotics, painting, African drumming, and more.
In the afternoon, students attend an extended “Project Block” in which they focus on sustained, deep, authentic examinations of complex issues. Completing each project requires the core academic skills one expects (research, writing, computation, memorization), but focuses on 21st century skills including collaboration, flexibility, fearlessness, long-term planning, and true bilingualism and biculturalism.
Three of these projects take place on the ground in China as part of the PKS东南西北 travel program.
A sample project sequence can be found here.
After school, our students can sign up for activities that include competitive sports teams (basketball and volleyball for 2019-2020) and clubs (a Dungeons and Dragons club, a chess club, a carpentry club, and more). They can also stay on campus for an hour-long guided study hall.