The Westminster Experience - Upper School

Westminster’s upper school (grades 7 - 8) provides an extraordinary academic and personal development program for your child.  A well-rounded, challenging academic curriculum, with daily guidance toward personal responsibility and independent study skills, is combined with close attention to each child’s individual development. Within a warm, nurturing environment, children are encouraged and taught how to exercise respect, kindness, responsibility, integrity, and resilience, as well as the knowledge, skills and attitudes fundamental to their delight in learning—today and always. Firmly grounded in the school’s overall mission and philosophy, the upper-school program provides a carefully planned, consistent approach to all aspects of your child’s intellectual, emotional, and social development.

In the upper school, students look forward to coming to school each day and are proud of what they accomplish. Daily work, special projects, and a rich program of engaging activities provide many opportunities to explore the world, discover special interests, exercise creativity, and learn how to express themselves as individuals. A challenging curriculum provides motivation to learn in depth about a broad array of subjects.  The children’s curiosity, imagination, and motivation are sparked by a team of dedicated, creative teachers who are enthusiastic about the subjects they teach and consistent in their high expectations.

As in the earlier grades at Westminster, a specialist is employed to teach each academic subject.  Many of our teachers hold an undergraduate and/or graduate degree in the subject he or she teaches and a master’s degree in education, or have a comparable background. Seventh and 8th-grade students have a separate teacher and classroom for English/language arts, math, history/geography, science, French, Latin, art, music, and PE.  This approach provides an “immersion” environment in each class, where the teacher’s background, passion, effort, and creativity are all directed toward the subject under study.  Each day, the students enter classrooms in which all of the lessons, displays, and special activities are designed to engage their interest and further their knowledge of each subject.

The upper-school teachers work closely to coordinate the daily schedule of classes, quizzes, tests, projects, field trips, and other activities to ensure a steady workload and balance of activities for the students. Since all of the grade-level teachers know and teach all of the children, they are especially able to keep a close eye on each individual’s progress, whether academic, social, or emotional.  Small classes provide the opportunity for individual attention.  Teachers and parents are in close communication, through personal conferences, telephone calls, teacher postings on Edline, and emails.  The teachers provide a warm welcome and a helping hand for each student, taking a personal interest in supporting the child’s progress, not only as a scholar, but as an individual developing his/her own personality and navigating the world of friends, peer relations, and general life skills.