Preparation for Upper School and Beyond
In Landon’s Middle School (Grade 6, Forms I and II), students begin to make the transition from boys to young men, and our academic curriculum adapts to equip our Bears with the tools they need to think critically, independently and analytically.
Our Running Start program helps new Bears and select rising sixth graders make freinds and get acquainted with the Middle School before the academic year even begins. Thanks to small class sizes (the average is 15 students), as well as honors courses in mathematics for Forms I and II, each Middle School boy has the opportunity to excel and learn strong fundamentals that will prepare him for Upper School and college. Our unique eight-day schedule with mid-morning breaks allows students to experience each class at different times for optimal learning and provides a window for students and teachers to get to know each other better, as well as to engage in clubs or service opportunities.
Steering Their Own Education
Boys study one of four languages — Spanish, French, Latin and Mandarin Chinese — and, with the help of a dedicated academic technologist, use appropriate educational technology as a learning supplement in the classrooms. Teachers challenge students to accept academic responsibility, develop and defend a personal point of view, advocate for themselves, and expand the boundaries of their intellectual imagination. In keeping with this approach, in the spring of 2014 middle schoolers were invited to participate in conferences with their parents and faculty advisors, a first at Landon. This change empowered our boys to take the lead in conversations about their learning and provided an opportunity for collaboration between advisors, parents and students.
The annual Mini-Mester program offers another occasion for boys to steer their education. Each year in the days leading up to spring break, students choose a field of study — from space exploration and crime scene investigation to guitar playing and sustainable living — and delve into it with on- and off-campus expeditions that encourage them to learn and build community with teachers and boys from other grades. Grade 6 and Form II students also participate in a grade-specific activity that takes them off campus to for an overnight trip (destinations have included The Mountain Institute, the Heifer Global Village, Echo Hill and Harpers Ferry) that provides experiential learning and bonding time with their peers.