The eighth grade at Saint Andrew’s is a particularly exciting one for it is a year of culminating experiences. Focusing on the transition from Middle to High School, students spend time preparing for high school applications and placement examinations. Great emphasis is placed on the Six Pillars of Character that permeate our school: respect, responsibility, citizenship, trustworthiness, fairness and caring.
Academically students are required to demonstrate an expanded application of skills taught throughout the Middle School. This is reflected in the completion of final examinations in all academic subjects. Eight grade social studies covers the history of the United States, beginning with Colonial America and ending with World War I. Students examine industrialization, abolition of slavery, Congressional debates, urbanization, war and the development of the republic. Using French or Spanish, eight graders continue to develop the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Integrating culture into the foreign language program deepens their appreciation of other cultures and so students are expected to give numerous oral presentations throughout the year. Spanish is spoken exclusively in the classroom during this year. Advanced-level mathematics courses complement the work already done in previous years. The goal of the eighth grade mathematics student to be well prepared for an accelerated course in high school. Past graduates have placed in Algebra I, Geometry, Trigonometry and Calculus during their Freshman year in High School. In English, a love of literature is instilled in the students as they are guided towards self-independence and independent thinking. Students write in various modes including paragraphs, essays, biographical narratives, creative writing, poetry, scripts for plays or skits, persuasive writing, comparative analysis and a research paper. Science in the eighth grade focuses on chemistry and physics. Physical education, technology, music, art and religion are vital components that enhance our core curriculum.
A major highlight of the eighth grade year is an eight-day overnight trip to Washington, D.C., where they enhance their classroom learning by walking in the footsteps of the nation’s ancestors.