October 29, 2021
The 6th grade students will be in a modified departmental structure. Both 5th and 6th grades will share the same teachers. Emphasis for the 6th grade year will be on three elements: an integrated curriculum that shows the interconnectedness of academic subject areas, virtue formation, and servant leadership.
The Scriptures, predominantly the books of the Old Testament, are the basis for the sixth-grade religion curriculum. The Scriptures, which record the Lord’s words and deeds, reveal God’s desire to enter into friendship with us through Creation, the Law, and the Prophets, as expressed especially through the Wisdom Books. Virtue is studied through a Scriptural lens as students see these virtues incarnate in Old Testament heroes and heroines. They apply these lessons to their lives as they learn to become virtuous leaders. Works of classic Christian art are tangible pathways to see the beauty of God’s Word. The practice of lectio divina is emphasized as a way to meditate upon and interiorize the Word of God. Time in the Atrium continues to complement classroom instruction as well as visits to the Blessed Sacrament.
Engaging the mind to see the beauty and order of math and its application to real-world life experiences, Overbrook offers three levels of Math for 6th grade students: 6th grade level, 7th grade level, and an accelerated 7th and 8th grade combined level. All levels lead to success in high school math, offering mastery in the fundamental concepts and skills required for Algebra and higher level math at the pace of the student.
Students focus on acquiring overarching concepts fundamental to the understanding of Earth Systems while gaining technical fluency and applying mathematical skills. Scientific labs and engineering design method are integrated into the STEM and More learning and the Beyond the Brook Farm. Seeing the truth, goodness and beauty of the created world – and ourselves as members of it – informs all learning as students wonder, ponder, experiment, solve problems, and collaborate through an interactive course of study. An extended lab class provides the necessary time for in-depth content and collaborative investigations.
Literature and Vocabulary
Dynamic readers delve not only into content, but demonstrate a deeper understanding of how written communication touches our lives. Literature expresses culture, knowledge, and the complex terrain of the human heart. Studying a variety of genres of literature through the lens of a Catholic worldview, as well as intentionally integrating this study with other subjects, especially social studies, religion and English, has a powerful impact on student understanding and formation. Focus on word studies and expanding vocabulary through knowledge of Latin and Greek roots facilitates students’ communication skills and enables them to comprehend higher level content.
Effective oral and written communication is essential and is mastered when integrated with all areas of the curriculum. This course emphasizes mastery of fundamental grammar, including clear and effective sentence and paragraph structures for effective writing. Development of essays with craft and style is integrated with the humanities and science.
Geography and World History
The study of Geography gives concrete expression to understanding our global society today, fostering attitudes of unity as well as fundamental knowledge of our world. The importance of culture and the importance of historical memory frame the study of History and its impact on our lives. Probing deeper into units on Ancient Greece, Rome, and the Middle Ages also offers students a framework for understanding various aspects of our country’s foundations, as well as context for better understanding the events of the Renaissance and beyond.
Classical and World Language
Students continue the language elective chosen in 5th grade through the end of 6th grade preparing them for a confident entry into first year language course in 7th grade.
Latin – Students continue the pursuit of Latin grammar and vocabulary building knowledge in the base of all Romance languages as well as content vocabulary for sciences. This course adopts a classical approach with a strong foundation in word study, grammar, and syntax. Students will also continue to deepen and broaden their knowledge of English derivatives, the prayers of the Church in Latin, and Latin’s enduring appeal in the beauty of accessible primary sources.
Spanish – Students continue their study of Spanish begun in 5th grade building oral and written language skills in the context of customs, music, and traditions of the Spanish-speaking world. Students practice listening and speaking the Spanish language, as well as reading and writing in an interactive environment.
Music electives in the Middle School continue for two years to develop fluency of skills, resulting in confidence and enjoyment of the musical art chosen by each student.
Band – As a member of the Overbrook Band, students learn not only the intricacies of their own instrument and how to read music, but also how to play music together and create beauty in concert.
Handbells/Choir – This class provides a unique opportunity to develop both instrumental performance within a Handbell Ensemble, as well as vocal performance in a choir. Overbrook School is most fortunate to own a beautiful set of Schulmerich handbells. Students learn the various music techniques of ringing handbells as they work toward mastering the essential skill of working together to present beautiful music for the enjoyment of others. The Middle School Performance Choir teaches students to use their vocal instrument with confidence and proficiency. At the 6th grade level, students move beyond the general music curriculum with a program of personal vocal growth in addition to a study of vocal techniques necessary for the production of excellent choral sound in unison and in harmony.
Cantors - Students also have the opportunity to serve as Cantors, or leaders of prayer at Mass, who proclaim the Responsorial Psalm and Gospel Acclamation in song. Preparing young singers to be soloists at Mass by improving their vocal technique builds confidence to use their talents in praise of God at the service of worship.
The study of visual art forms the mind and heart to see beauty originating in God and leading us back to God. Training in observation and perspective enables the student artist to learn new techniques imitating the masters and developing their own skill and expression.
Overbook art studio introduces all students to artists, movements, and art history emphasizing artistic expression during the Renaissance. Students will create works of art in a variety of media, including but not limited to: painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, and mixed media. Full, free, and imaginative expression alongside careful, focused work is encouraged. Technique and skill development is important, yet experimentation, creative risk taking, and exploration is encouraged. Additional elective art class is available to our student artists.
Nurturing Body and Soul: Spiritual, Physical, and Emotional Flourishing
Atrium – The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
Following the pedagogy of The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, students continue their sacred work in the Atrium, focusing on God’s saving works through encountering the history of salvation. The experience of a holy space prepared for students to deepen their relationship with God as they study His Word and works has a lasting personal impact on the students. Time in Atrium complements their classroom study and time spent before the Blessed Sacrament in the school chapel.
PE and Health
Respecting our dignity as human beings, body and soul, personal growth in athletic discipline and attitudes of healthy physical fitness for life are taught and encouraged. Students will experience various exercise programs and learn nutrition, first aide, and safety setting them up for a healthy lifestyle into the future. Sports and essential skills are taught in order to strengthen individual talents and teamwork in order to build the determination and collaboration necessary for success on and off the playing field.
Elective Opportunities – In addition to student choice of language and performing arts, students will choose to explore other interests which may include but are not limited to: art, creative writing, gardening, and competitive clubs.