Health and Well-Being
The academic year begins with four-day experiential learning programs—LEAP Week in Middle School and Outdoor Experience in Upper School. These programs build community, foster a sense of belonging, and facilitate the development of friendships before classes start.
Social and Emotional Curriculum
Waynflete believes that success in and out of school requires social-emotional strengths and academic skills. Since early adolescence is a time of rapid physical change and intense emotions, middle school is a critical time to practice both. Studies show that students with a positive mindset, an understanding of the physical and emotional changes they are experiencing, and strategies for navigating peer relationships are better prepared for academic success.
During LEAP Week (Learn-Explore-Appreciate-Play) students in Grades 6-8 are introduced to each other and the school through a variety of interactive academic and social learning experiences. Team-based activities provide students with the opportunity to learn skills for building friendships and effective collaboration before classes begin. Students are also encouraged to reflect on the impact their speech has on others, their own learning goals, and their willingness to persevere through challenges.
Children of this age are surprisingly open to a curriculum that provides space for them to learn about and discuss what they’re experiencing. During the school year, small groups of students meet each week in Sixth Grade Seminar, where they focus on how the brain affects emotions and practice active listening, managing their feelings, and cultivating empathy through curiosity about each other. The Seventh Grade Seminar builds on this work, with a focus on forging positive connections and social belonging. The Eighth Grade Seminar continues this work, with a focus on developing positive leadership in middle school.
This curriculum changes the way students experience their first years of adolescence for the better.
Middle School Advising Program
Advisors are the primary guides for students as they navigate the curriculum, cocurricular offerings, and their personal lives. Students begin each school day by checking in with their advisors and join their advising groups for lunch, discussion, and activities once a week. Time is set aside during the year for students to meet individually with their advisors to measure progress, consider course selections for the following year, and explore new interests. These conversations eventually lead to the college process that starts with informational programs in sophomore year and begins in earnest during spring semester of junior year.
Waynflete is committed to engaging students in programs that address the needs of the wider community. Students are introduced to local community service opportunities through projects undertaken by advising groups each year (juniors and seniors must fulfill an additional individual community service requirement each year). Many of the cocurricular activity offerings in Middle School focus on community service.
Middle School students choose from a range of cocurricular activities in addition to their academic classes. Faculty advisors help students explore new areas of interest, exercise leadership, and engage with multiage peer groups that share similar interests.