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.
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.
The goal of our Middle School Language Arts Program is to empower students to be effective writers, readers, listeners, and speakers. Units of study are designed to teach and assess the Common Core standards for English. Students use writing and reading for inquiry, thinking, and processing ideas. They read, discuss, and analyze rich literary and non-literary texts. At BFIS, students comprehend and communicate across multiple text types to address task, purpose, perspective, and intended audience. Above all, our intention is for students to identify as readers, writers and critical consumers of media.
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.
Through an inquiry-based learning approach, students, both individually and cooperatively, explore the concepts of math under the teachers's guidance, using the resources from the Connected Math Project (CMP3) aligned to the Common Core Standards in preparation for th IB program in later years. It is intended to provide students with the tools for independent thinking and active learning in a motivating atmosphere so as to guarantee successful math experience and competency, which are necessary for further secondary and post-secondary pursuits.
Differentiated Math Instruction
It is clearly understood that each child is an individual, and that individuals learn concepts at different rates and in different ways. It is the aim of the math program to provide all students with a common core of math and computer knowledge, with individual differences addressed by differing instructional approaches and speeds.
At all grade levels an emphasis is placed on the idea that scientific explanations are based on logical thinking, subject to rules of evidence, and are consistent with observational and experimental evidence. The approach is, to the greatest extent possible, to provide concrete, manipulative experiences involving practical problem solving. Students explore the physical, life, and earth and space sciences by engaging in the science and engineering practices, which include: asking questions and defining problems, developing and using models, planning and carrying out investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, using mathematics and computational thinking, constructing explanations and designing solutions, engaging in argument from evidence, and obtaining evaluating, and communicating information.
Written and oral communication and teamwork are encouraged at every stage. Through the integration of science with other disciplines, students are encouraged to consider the impact of science and technology on society and are made aware of the limitations of science.
The Social Studies Team seeks to develop students’ curiosity about civilizations starting with the earliest forms of society and ending with analysis of the reformation, revolutions, industrialization, and imperialism, as well as an understanding of the political, social, economic and cultural development of today’s society.
The goal of the Team is to prepare students to navigate and shape a world that is dynamic, laden with information, and globally interdependent. To this end, students develop the analytic, investigative and communicative skills on which knowledge is built, shared and critiqued within social sciences disciplines. Students are trained to critically consume information, pose thoughtful and complex questions, effectively locate, evaluate and synthesize information and communicate learning using a variety of media. Instructional strategies are designed to be highly participatory and to maximize the strengths of each student as well as to address some of the values of the IB learner profile.
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.
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.
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)
BFIS believes that IT skills are best learned in the context of other learning. Also, BFIS believes that technology can enhance the learning of subject area knowledge. With these beliefs in mind, the Middle School has put in place an integrated technology learning model. Students apply and learn IT skills throughout the course of their curricular learning.To complement their IT skills acquisition, a Communications Media class is required of students for one semester. In this course, students will utilize a variety of digital tools to learn to use IT in a productive and efficient manner, to express their ideas and show creativity, to analyze and solve problems, and to communicate their findings at both a local and global level. Students develop broader understandings of the hardware and software that shape the way that information can be stored, networked, and shared. Through problem solving activities, students learn how to explore, research, develop and create up-to-date digital solutions. Responsible digital citizenship is also emphasised.
Physical Education (PE)
The Physical Education Program promotes lifelong physical activity. Students meet once a week at nearby St. Ignasi and are introduced to a myriad of individual, team, and recreational activities. A wide variety of sports are offered. Many units are expanded upon each year to develop more understanding, higher individual or team play, and hopefully an interest to continue to pursue physical activity beyond their school years.
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).
SUCCESS FOR ALL STUDENTS