Explore Grades 6-8

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The Facts


Your Middle School Experience

What will my day be like?


Students arrive around 8 a.m. to catch up with friends in their homeroom or talk with teachers, and classes begin at 8:10 a.m. Landon School has an eight-day class cycle, so your schedule changes from day to day. That means you will take subjects at different times each day to experience every class when you are energetic and focused.

To make sure you are ready to learn when you are in the classroom, you will never have more than two classes in a row! In addition to daily recess and lunch to break up your classes, you will have study halls, school meetings, a long advisory period (where you meet with your designated faculty advisor and other advisees), and a small-group discussion about ethics. Each day ends with sports from 2:30–3:40 p.m.

What classes will I have?


The Middle School curriculum is made up of five core academic subjects: English, history, math (honors options available), science, and a world language of your choice (Chinese, French, Latin or Spanish). You will also take a studio arts class and either meet regularly with a music group or take a theatrical arts class, depending on how you choose to fulfill the Middle School’s performing arts requirement.


Grade 6 students take a “foundations” course to teach them important study skills, learn about U.S. history from the 1830s to the present in social studies, and learn about the human body and how to program robots in life science class.

Form I (Grade 7) boys explore the greater world and its diverse cultures in geography class, and learn about meteorology, geology, astronomy and more through hands-on investigations in earth science class.

Form II (Grade 8) students learn about ancient history through the early Medieval period, tackle algebra, learn to become master writers in English class, and take a once-a-cycle health and wellness class.

What if I need extra help with schoolwork?

We understand that every boy learns differently. If you need extra help, your teachers and the Middle School specialist from our Center for Teaching and Learning Resources will work with you and your parents to develop a plan tailored to your strengths and needs so you can improve academically, complete your work on time, and develop a sense of confidence in your learning style.

Where do I sit for lunch?


Lunch tables are assigned and change every month, with one teacher at each table. Once a week, there is free seating, and you may sit wherever you want. Sixth, seventh and eighth graders eat lunch together at 11:40 a.m. Lunch, which is included in the cost of tuition, offers hot meals, as well as salad, soup, cereal, yogurt, peanut butter and jelly, and fresh fruit each day. Dessert is usually served once a week on Friday.

What sports can I play?


In addition to daily recess, every Middle School boy plays sports from 2:30–3:40 p.m. each day. You can choose from several interscholastic options each season or play intramurals, which include a variety of sports and games. Our 13 interscholastic options are listed below.

  • Fall: Cross country, football, soccer, water polo
  • Winter: Basketball, ice hockey, swimming, wrestling
  • Spring: Baseball, golf, lacrosse, tennis, track and field

Do I have to play sports every season?

Landon School Middle School cross country

Yes. At Landon, we believe sports are a fun way for you to bond with your classmates and learn about the values of perseverance, teamwork, honor, fair play and healthy living. That is why every middle schooler participates in athletics — interscholastic or intramural — every school day. There are 13 interscholastic options total and several each season so that you and your teammates can test your skills against other schools. You can also choose to participate in intramurals, where fitness and friendly competition with classmates are the focus. Click here to see a full list of options by season.

Can I do both sports and art?


Yes! Arts, like sports, are a required part of your day. You will take a studio art class each year that you are in Middle School to develop your skills in painting, drawing, sculpting and other mediums.

To fulfill your performing arts requirement, you have two options. First, you can participate in a music group of your choice — Band, Chorus, Choir, Glee Club, Handbells or Strings — that performs for the school, the greater community, at competitions near and far, and at noteworthy local venues such as the Kennedy Center. You can also audition for the Jazz Ensemble, which is made up primarily of Upper School boys.


Second, you can take a theatrical arts class that provides in-depth acting training, as well as instruction in behind-the-scenes areas such as lighting and set design. Whether you take this class or not, you can — and are encouraged to — take part in the two Middle School plays staged annually with your peers at Holton-Arms. Recent productions include the Disney musical The Lion King Jr. , Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and #SCREEN/PLAY, a series of three short comedic plays about life in the digital age.

Is community service required?

Landon School Middle School community service

While community service is voluntary at Landon, we offer a wide range of opportunities to serve others, and most boys participate in at least one project. The Middle School partners with 17 organizations to provide you with community service options, and 38 events are scheduled for the 2017–18 school year. You can act as a “buddy” for Special Olympics athletes during basketball games hosted in Landon’s gym, serve meals to the homeless with Thrive DC, pack Thanksgiving baskets for in-need families, or clean up local trails for the good of the environment.


Are there field trips?


Our location in Bethesda, close to Washington, D.C., provides so many field trip opportunities, and you will take both day trips and overnight trips to extend classroom learning and have fun with your Bear brothers and teacher-coach-mentors.

For example, each grade takes an outdoor adventure trip in the fall where students both bond with one another and learn that they are capable of far more than you know. Grade 6 does a two-night trip to Echo Hill, Form I does a day trip to Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School, and Form II visits The Mountain Institute in Pennsylvania for two nights.

Each spring you will participate in our two-day Mini-Mester program, where you select a course of study that interests you and often travel to locations around the D.C. area — including the U.S. Naval Academy, the National Mall, the Spy Museum, the National Air and Space Museum, and Great Falls — to learn outside the classroom. And Form II students close out their time in the Middle School with a rafting trip in June.

Will I have the opportunity to travel internationally?

Landon-Holton Belize trip 2016

Yes! If you'd like to expand your horizons internationally and immerse yourself in a foreign culture, you can participate in one of our summer "Global Journeys." Grade 6 students have the opportunity to travel to the Spanish-speaking Central American country of Costa Rica, live among locals, engage in service activities, and explore what makes the country unique. Activities include a waterfall hike, coffee farm tour and surfing lessons. Students in Forms I and II (Grades 7 and 8) from both Landon and Holton-Arms have the opportunity to travel to English-speaking Belize to live among indigenous peoples in four different communities. Activities include visiting Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve and Xunatunich Mayan Ruins National Park, taking surfing lessons, and snorkeling in the Caribbean Ocean at night to learn about local marine life.

Are there extracurricular clubs?

Landon Middle School clubs

Yes! Each year, members of our faculty and staff sponsor several extracurricular clubs that meet before or after the regular school day at no extra cost to families. For the 2016–17 school year, there are six clubs that meet once a week: Math Club, Jazz Band, Junior Bearitones (singing), Digital Media Club, Chess and Strategic Games, and the Form II Film Society.

Are there fun events?

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Each Halloween, Middle School boys compete against each other and students from the Lower and Upper Schools in our annual Pumpkin Races, where they race pumpkins they have decorated and outfitted with wheels. You will bond with Bears from the Lower, Middle and Upper Schools when you all compete together in the All-School Bear Games, featuring “capture the flag,” dodgeball and a tug-o-war. Our annual Azalea Festival offers middle schoolers the opportunity to enjoy rides and games at the FunLand carnival and volunteer alongside their classmates at drink stations that raise money for student financial aid.

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Who can I ask if I have questions?


Landon teacher-coach-mentors will always be there for you. The same men and women who teach you in the classroom also coach you on the athletics field, advise you on the Student Council, lead after-school clubs, and direct you on the stage.

In addition to your teachers, you have a faculty advisor, an academic dean and a guidance counselor to talk to. You will meet with your advisor several times during an eight-day cycle — both one on one and in groups with other students — to discuss what is happening at school, in your life, or in the world around us.

How will I make new friends?

Our class sizes average 14 students in the Middle School so you will get to know your classmates well. Sports, theatrical arts, music groups, lunch, clubs and advisory groups offer other ways to meet and bond with new people from your grade and others.

At the start of your Middle School career you will be named to one of eight Bear Teams, made up of approximately 30 students (7–10 from each Middle School grade), and stay on that team throughout your Middle School career. You will get to know your Bear Team members well as you work together throughout the year and compete against other Bear Teams in our spring All-School Bear Games.

We also pair you with another family before you start school to get your questions asked and answered and meet new people. There are also meet-and-greet sessions in the spring, as well as orientation in the fall before school begins.

Are there events with girls schools?

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Definitely! Even though Landon is a boys school, you’ll have opportunities to participate in activities with girls throughout the year. From when they arrive on campus as third grade Bears, Landon boys collaborate with girls from Holton-Arms School and other area girls schools in hands-on learning activities for science, math and other academic subjects. You will also work together on community service programs, dramatic and musical performances and art exhibits.

A GLOBAL EDUCATION
Middle School students looking to expand their horizons internationally and immerse themselves in a foreign culture can do so through our summer "Global Journeys" trips to Costa Rica and Belize. Grade 6 students have the opportunity to travel to the Spanish-speaking Central American country of Costa Rica, live among locals, engage in service activities, take surfing lessons, and explore what makes the country unique. Students in Forms I and II (Grades 7 and 8) from both Landon and Holton-Arms can travel to English-speaking Belize to live among indigenous peoples in four different communities. Activities include visiting Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve and Xunatunich Mayan Ruins National Park, taking surfing lessons, and snorkeling in the Caribbean Ocean at night to learn about local marine life.

“MAD” FOR THE ARTS
The Middle School celebrates performing and studio arts regularly through “MAD” (Music-Art-Drama) Day assemblies, where students perform for one another. Each boy joins a performing group ­— instrumental, choral or theatrical — and may participate in two extracurricular drama productions with Holton-Arms girls each year. Studio arts classes expose students to drawing, painting and other mediums, as they work in two Middle School art studios and the gardens of our 75-acre campus. Middle schoolers have won awards in the prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and showcase their work in the annual All-School Art Show in Landow Gallery.

SPRING AWAKENING
Each year in the days leading up to spring break, Middle School students participate in “Mini-Mester” program, where they choose a field of study to explore with two days of on- and off-campus adventures that provide the opportunity for experiential learning. Past years have offered more than a dozen study concentrations, including “Spies, Crimes and Forensic Science,” which placed students in the middle of a simulated adventure at the International Spy Museum, and “To Infinity and Beyond!,” which probed space exploration with trips to the Air and Space Museum and Goddard Space Flight Center.

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