The St. Thomas More Cathedral School Middle School Program seeks to inspire a love of learning, an attitude of inquiry and passion for truth. The curriculum guidelines are provided by The Diocese of Arlington Catholic Schools and core instruction includes religion, reading, language arts, mathematics, science, social studies and Spanish. Students begin studying freshman level Spanish in 6th grade which culminates in an 8th grade end of year test with the goal for students to be placed in Spanish II as high school freshman.
Middle school students participate in the following special classes: art, technology and physical education. An optional in-school instrumental band program and after-school choir are offered to supplement music education, in addition to a weekly school-wide singing practice.
Instructional methods at St. Thomas More include cross-curricular units, cooperative groups, direct instruction, discovery learning and hands-on activities incorporating current technology. Academic games and independent investigations are incorporated into all classes. Homework is assigned to review lessons and practice skills. Classroom lessons are supported through a resource program, field trips, guest speakers and community service projects. Students attend and actively participate in weekly Mass and Prayer Partner activities with younger students. The annual Middle School Service Day provides students with an opportunity to learn to follow Jesus’ path of service to others. The service activities encompass helping in the school, parish and community at large.
St. Thomas More Cathedral School enhances educational objectives by participation in activities including science fairs, The National Geographic Bee, Diocesan Shakespeare Festival, Sea Perch and Art Night as well as cross-curricular activities in Spanish and technology. All 6th graders at STM are welcome to join the Battle of the Books, attend meetings during the school year and compete in the diocesan competition.
Eighth grade students at St. Thomas More are responsible for video recording and editing morning prayers and announcements, helping with Pre-K students and leading Student Council. They also perform in the Diocesan Shakespeare Festival in May after an intense exploration of a Shakespearean play. Math in the eighth grade is divided into two tracks: pre-algebra and algebra. Students take an algebra aptitude test at the end of the seventh grade to help determine their eighth grade math placement.
At the end of the year sixth grade kayaks the Potomac, seventh graders complete a ropes course at Sandy Spring and eighth grade students embark on a culminating trip to Old Rag for a challenging and rewarding hike.
Special middle school activities
- Sea Perch Program
- Author Visits
- Shakespeare Festival
- Old Rag Hike
- Battle of the Books
- Science Fair
- National Geographic Bee
- Service Day
- Prayer Partners