In the Middle School (Grades 6–8), we make sure you can explore the subjects you love while focusing on a well-rounded course schedule. Your day is structured so that you have plenty of breaks to stay sharp — you never have more than two classes in a row! — and our eight-day class cycle means you take subjects at different times each day to experience every course when you are feeling your best.
Classes are small (the average is 14 students) at Landon. You have required courses in English, math, science, and depending on the grade, social studies, history or geography. You select your language class — Chinese, French, Latin or Spanish. We also offer three honors classes in mathematics.
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.
In the spring, you will learn about specific topics that interest you during our annual Mini-Mester program. From exploring some of Washington’s most famous monuments and museums to making your own film to using forensics clues at a pretend crime scene to solve a mystery, you will learn about topics that aren’t often taught in a classroom.
You will also have off-campus day field trips, as well as overnight trips to places such as The Mountain Institute, the Heifer Global Village, Echo Hill and Harpers Ferry, to deepen the lessons you learn in the classroom. And collaborations with Holton-Arms School provide the opportunity to work alongside girls in your grade level to complete fun academic challenges.
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.
We understand that every boy learns differently. If you need extra help, a learning specialist from our Center for Teaching and Learning Resources will work with you and your parents to develop a plan tailored to help you achieve your goals and develop confidence in your learning style.
You will dive deeper into the study of grammar and sharpen your writing skills through journal writing. You will read American classics such as Tom Sawyer and Old Yeller, which take place during the same time period you’ll study in Grade 6 history (1820–present), and your teachers will introduce you to American poetry.
Want to know in detail how the human body works... or why a person ends up with blond hair and green eyes? Those questions and more will be answered in this course, where you will learn about heredity, ecology and the environment, cell biology, and the human body systems. You will also spend a month studying robotics and competing in teams to program and maneuver state-of-the-art NXT LEGO robots through a series of obstacles. Several teams will even be chose to compete in the USFIRST robotics competition!
A world language is a requirement for all students in Grade 6 and Forms I and II, and you can pick the language — Chinese, French, Latin or Spanish — of your choice. You will learn the language by listening, speaking and writing as you acquire aural skills and develop the ability to accurately use the language in everyday situations.
You will do more than simply study maps in geography class; you will also learn about the physical geography, diverse non-Western cultures, and social problems in other parts of the world. You will explore the ancient cultures of Africa, Asia and Southwest Asia and compare them to present-day cultures.
This course will help you prepare for Form II algebra by introducing you to the principles and methods of mathematics and their application to a broad range of problem-solving and decision-making situations. Topics covered include positive and negative numbers, the number system, ratios, equations and inequalities, graphing, geometry, and probability.
What is mankind’s place in the universe? You will come to understand the answer to this question more fully as you study meteorology, oceanography, geology and astronomy and learn about concepts such as heat, density and buoyancy. You will learn by doing as you enjoy hands-on investigations such as boat building, water table studies, and rock and mineral identification.
Form I classes in Chinese, French, Latin and Spanish continue to emphasize pronunciation, grammar fundamentals, and reading, writing and listening comprehension. You will begin to build up a strong vocabulary that will provide the basis for future courses, and will learn about the customs, cultures and accomplishments of the countries where your chosen language is spoken.
Form II English will help you become a master writer as you learn what makes a strong piece of writing, whether it is an essay, speech or book report. Teachers help broaden your vocabulary and guide you through complicated grammar topics. And you will dive into literature that deals with ethical topics such as fairness, caring and values.
You will learn the fundamentals of algebra beginning with the basic operations of real numbers and running through more challenging quadratic equations. You will learn how to graph and solve linear equations, solve word problems, and solve problems with systems of equations (problem-solving by graphing, addition/multiplication and substitution), exponents, radicals and factoring. By the end of the year, you will be primed for future classes in algebra and geometry.
You will hone your quantitative and laboratory skills in this class that is split into two segment. In the first, you will study in depth essential concepts in physics such as velocity, acceleration, Newton’s laws, electricity and magnetism. In the second, you will focus on atomic and chemical reactions as part of an introduction to chemistry. Lab work will lead you to a greater grasp of concepts such as acceleration, gravity, currents and momentum.
Form II classes in Chinese, French, Latin and Spanish build upon knowledge gain in previous language courses with an increased emphasis on reading, more complex grammar and vocabulary, and oral expression. Chinese, French and Spanish classes are conducted primarily in the language studied, and you will be expected to communicate in that language. In Latin, students begin to read and write the language in a more sophisticated fashion.