During these middle years we encourage our students to maintain their curiosity and creativity while stretching their self confidence and self-advocacy. Students begin to think critically and reason abstractly. The BFIS learning experience in the Middle School is one in which, at a time of rapid intellectual and personal change, students strengthen their independent learning skills and begin to pursue specific learning interests.
New Middle School Building
We believe in giving adolescents every opportunity to develop their character at this integral phase of their lives. We have just inaugurated a new middle school building to support our students and both their educational and socio-emotional needs. This new building simultaneously freed up space within the current high school building, giving more room for our older students and allowing for future renovations. The new middle school building supports future-focused instruction and assessment with larger classrooms, equipped labs with technology integration and spaces to create and design. It is a beautiful building that will give middle school students everything they need in order to grow during these formative years.
We all know that adolescence is a time of a tremendous development and transition. Middle schoolers are not only experiencing physical changes associated with puberty, but they are also experiencing social and emotional changes tied to adolescent brain development. At BFIS we honor the developmental uniqueness of these young adolescents, and provide a safe and supportive school environment, student-initiated learning, student roles in decision making and engaging learning strategies and activities.
K-12 English Language Arts Philosophy
At BFIS, we believe that a strong English Language Arts curriculum encourages a life-long love and appreciation of reading and writing. We understand that literacy is the key to understanding and communicating with others and we are committed to developing, in our students, the skills of readers, writers, listeners, and speakers.
- We believe that students learn English Language Arts best when:
- students are thinking critically and creatively
- student-centered approaches to teaching and learning are employed
- literary and non-literary texts are studied to offer comprehensive historical, social, and multicultural contexts
- effective communication & collaboration skills are taught and practiced
- students are writing across a variety of text types
- students are reading and analyzing a variety of genres
- students are engaged in ongoing reflection of their progress towards learning targets, standards, and benchmarks
Through our English Language Arts program, students will:
- use writing and reading for inquiry, thinking, and processing ideas
- exhibit the confidence to identify as readers and writers
- demonstrate skills in speaking and reflective listening
- read, discuss, and analyze rich literary and non-literary texts
- embody the mindset and skills of critical consumers and producers of media
- comprehend and communicate across multiple text types to address task, purpose, perspective, and intended audience
- hone their research skills to gather and present information in a variety of oral and written formats
*Our curriculum is based on the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts.
Our reading and writing units of study are adopted from Teachers College, Readers and Writers Workshop.
English Language Arts Grade Level Maps
K-12 Social Math Philosophy
At BFIS, we believe that we can use mathematics to describe the world around us. It is our aim to develop joyful, confident, and curious mathematicians. Our mathematics program strives to meet the needs of all learners by providing support and/or enrichment, depending on individual needs. Thus, we promote a curriculum that intends to meet the different needs of our students. This philosophy highlights the shared beliefs and values we hold for our PK-12 mathematics program.
- We believe that students learn mathematics best when they:
- find joy in their learning
- are presented with relevant and realistic contexts or situations
- construct their learning through both individual and collaborative approaches
- take risks and make mistakes in an emotionally safe and nurturing environment
- find patterns and structure through inquiry and investigation
- access the curriculum through differentiated instructional strategies tailored to students’ needs
- feel empowered to use mathematics to solve problems that are relevant to them
Through our mathematics program, students will:
- communicate mathematics, reason and justify their thinking
- create a process and plan for problem solving
- persevere in solving problems
- develop a conceptual understanding of mathematics
- think and reflect critically, creatively and logically
- attend to precision
- use appropriate tools strategically
*Our curriculum is based on the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.
Grade Level Maps
K-12 Science Philosophy
At BFIS, we believe that students should learn science by doing science. Through this hands-on and practical approach to the teaching and learning of science, students are engaged in the inquiry process across the disciplines of Physical Science, Life Science, Earth and Space Science, and the applications of science through Engineering and Technology. All students will complete their studies of the sciences at BFIS through the IB program in grades eleven and twelve. This philosophy highlights the shared beliefs and values we hold for our K-12 science program.
- We believe that students learn science best when they:
- engage in the inquiry process as they conduct investigations
- think critically
- acquire knowledge and skills through student-centered approaches
- apply their science knowledge to explain phenomena and/or to solve real-world problems
Through our science program, students will:
- ask questions as they develop a sense of wonder and curiosity about the way that science and scientists work
- define and solve meaningful, real-world problems
- develop and use models
- plan and carry out investigations
- analyze and interpret data
- use mathematics and computational thinking
- construct explanations
- formulate arguments based on evidence as they engage in ethical and evidence-based debates with peers
- obtain, evaluate and communicate information and complex understandings using scientific terminology
- apply 21st century skills such as, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, information literacy, media literacy, technology literacy
*Our curriculum is based off of the Next Generation Science Standards.
Grade Level Maps
K-12 Social Studies Philosophy
At BFIS, we believe that a strong social studies curriculum is the key to developing skilled, empathetic, and knowledgeable citizens who are willing and able to take informed action in their community, nation, and world. The shared beliefs and values we hold for our PK-12 social studies program are:
- We believe that students learn social studies best when:
- learning is driven by inquiry in order for students to make meaning and find relevance in the content.
- units of study are based on vertically aligned curriculum standards that are rigorous and challenging for all students, with attention to developmental and age appropriateness.
- hands-on and student-centered approaches to teaching and learning are employed. This often includes project-based learning.
- connections are made within and across disciplines through the integration of other subject areas.
- the core values of the school community are reflected and reinforced through the social studies curriculum.
Through our social studies program, students will be able to:
- apply disciplinary tools and concepts in the humanities.
- act as curious learners who plan inquiries to investigate compelling questions.
- think critically and use their knowledge to take informed action.
- demonstrate an understanding of different perspectives throughout history and modern times.
- show empathy and actively engage as global citizens.
- practice 21st century skills, such as critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and problem solving that will prepare them for the challenges of college and/or career and civic life.
*Our curriculum is based off of the C3 Framework for Social Studies Standards.
Spanish Curriculum for ESO Diploma: In Historia de España, we study from the prehistoric times until the 17th century. We focus specifically in the history of Spain and Catalunya. The aim is to research the foundations of our culture. The skills which are most useful are researching for information, oral presentations, art projects and cultural trips to local sites.
In the World Languages Department at Benjamin Franklin International School we believe that language, communication and culture are at the heart of the human experience. There are two essential features in our program: applying best-practice regarding language acquisition and making multiculturalism explicit in our classrooms. As language acquisition specialists, teachers in the World Languages Department, use a thematic and communicative approach language pedagogy.
- Spanish as a Foreign Language
- French as a Foreign Language
- Spanish/Catalan Studies (for non-local students)
Spanish Language and Catalan Language courses are mandatory for Spanish students in order to get the ESO Certificate (Educación Secundaria Obligatoria).
Middle School Spanish and Catalan courses at BFIS are designed to consolidate the reading, oral and writing skills by increasing vocabulary, reading comprehension and being exposed to different texts. The aim for these years is to familiarize students with the means to understand and create text, give opinions, practice grammar and spelling rules and develop their vocabulary. Students are also introduced to Spain’s linguistic reality and exposed to the three literary genres of poetry, narrative and drama through a selection of readings.
6th grade programming design provides an introduction to coding for students using Scratch (MIT’s visual programming language) and Lego Robotics. Our goal is for students to enjoy coding and to build foundational and transferable skills such as algorithmic thinking, problem solving, troubleshooting, resilience, creativity, communication, and collaboration.
PK-10 Physical Education Philosophy
At BFIS, we believe that physical education is an integral part of the development of every student and is a critical component to having a complete educational experience. It is our aim to develop physically literate individuals and we promote lifelong physical fitness and wellness. Our physical education program is designed to be inclusive of all students. This philosophy highlights the shared beliefs and values we hold for our PK-10 physical education program.
- We believe that students learn physical education best when they:
- find motivation, passion, and joy for maintaining a physically active lifestyle.
- have opportunities and choices as they are exposed to and try a variety of new activities, games and sports.
- set personal goals, receive feedback on their progress, and reflect on their achievements.
- understand the connection between what they learn in PE and how it applies to their lives.
- are supported to take risks in a safe environment.
Through our physical education program, students will:
- show competency in a variety of transferable skills including: motor skills, movement patterns, self-discipline, and critical thinking.
- apply knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies and tactics related to movement and performance.
- demonstrate knowledge and skills to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical activity and fitness.
- exhibit responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others while strengthening peer relationships as they demonstrate fair play, sportsmanship, and collaboration.
- recognize the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and/or social interaction.
- create lifelong healthy habits.
*Our curriculum is aligned to the SHAPE America's National Standards for Physical Education.
Our Middle School Physical Education program provides opportunities for students to try a variety of individual and team sports and activities in the following areas:
- Invasion Games
- Striking & Fielding Games
- Net & Wall Games
- Outdoor Adventure
Middle school Wellness explores topics relevant to the student’s adolescent lives. It focuses on the development of self esteem from a variety of international backgrounds, and practices decision-making, refusal skills, and making informed attitudes & beliefs about relevant health risks. To promote healthy choices, unit content focuses on the following topics: Substance Abuse (alcohol, tobacco, & drugs), Human Growth & Development (puberty & sexuality), Nutrition (making choices & disordered eating), Conflict Management (bullying & communication skills).
Flex is a program that will provide increased options for middle school students to explore a topic of interest or to get additional support in one or more subjects. The goals of the program are to:
- Provide time for personalized support
- Provide choice based on interest or passion
- Match teacher expertise with students needs or interests
- Foster relatioships between teachers and students
From Grades 6 to 8 our EAL (English as an Additional Language) Department offers help to those students . Our English as an Additional Language department offers support to our students who speak English as an additional language and would benefit from support in improving their English language skills. EAL students in both Pull Out and Push In programs receive focused instruction in the areas of grammar, vocabulary, spelling, composition, and academic reading skills. At every grade level, an EAL teacher coordinates with the core subject teachers to ensure that EAL students develop a solid language foundation in order to adjust well socially and to achieve academic success in the Middle School and beyond.
All students should have the opportunity, instruction, guidance and support necessary to succeed in school and maximize their individual academic, social and emotional potential. We believe that all students must be active participants, at the center of the learning process, in an environment that encourages them to pursue their dreams. Students that qualify for Learning Support at BFIS have mild to moderate learning differences and the aptitude to meet curriculum and assessment requirements.
Our counselors at Middle School help students develop the understanding, strategies and skills that support a positive sense of self, promote respectful relationships and build student capacity to recognize and manage their own emotions. Academic counseling is also available to all students to help them understand their individual strengths, to set goals, and to assist them in planning an appropriate program of studies. Counselors, teachers and parents will work together to support and encourage all students in reaching their full potential.
BFIS transitioned to 1:1 devices to enhance the learning experience for students in the 2018-2019 school year. Chromebooks were provided by the school, which worked with the technology BFIS had at that time. With the transition to the new middle school building, we have made major improvements with our technologies, especially in the MS classrooms and beyond. In order to take advantage of these improvements as well as the evolving curriculum that teachers are providing, BFIS has made the decision to shift to Bring Your Own Device (B.Y.O.D.) for all middle school students.
SUCCESS FOR ALL STUDENTS