Academics
Upper School (Grades 5-8)

Grades 5-6 Transition

The experience that is at once a bridge and a destination.

Grade 5- 6 Transition at Renbrook

After fifteen months of careful research, Renbrook School has created a divisional realignment and a reimagined fifth and sixth-grade experience for its students beginning in the fall of 2021. This “division within a division” is at once a bridge and a destination of its own. 

This intentionally designed program and curriculum within the Upper School better serves students during pivotal years. During the ages of 10, 11, and 12 years, children grow in maturity, executive functioning, and in their social-emotional and cognitive capabilities. As they develop in their desire and capacity for independence, they are ripe for increased challenge with appropriate support. As they transition from a lower school homeroom experience to a decentralized upper school model, this hybrid approach to balanced support and independence serves our students best.

The program nurtures and challenges students with a modified “advisory family” and subject-specific teachers who will provide appropriate exercises in organization and executive functioning. As a part of the Upper School, fifth and sixth graders take advantage of opportunities to capture their passion and celebrate their developing identity. A modified team sport experience including both intramural and interscholastic opportunities, visual and performing arts, musical theater, and student-driven clubs are just a few of the ways that students develop agency, confidence, and independence.

List of 7 items.

  • Humanities Program - Grades 5 & 6

    The fifth and sixth-grade Humanities programs marry the themes, content, guiding questions, and skills to complement these most important liberal arts subjects. With the equivalent of two academic periods per day, fundamental skills of close reading, writing, and textual analysis build a firm academic foundation and provide ample opportunities for collaborative, project-based learning.
  • World Language Program: Spanish, French, and Latin Grade 5

    Designed to build our students’ foundation in language acquisition, this study of linguistics examines language, grammar, and syntax through three lenses: Spanish, French, and Latin. Transitioning each trimester, students gain exposure to each language and culture to support an informed decision for their three-year language program in grades 6 – 8.  
  • Science - Designing a Sustainable Future - Grade 5

    Designed to build a strong foundation in science while developing key engineering and technology skills, the fifth-grade science program will cover topics in astronomy, earth science, chemistry, and ecology. Students will problem solve to answer the question: How does life and its building blocks transform to create the world we live in and how can we use this information to sustain life in seemingly uninhabitable environments? 
  • Earth Science - Grade 6

    Designed to capitalize on the innate curiosity of students, sixth-grade science is divided into two major areas of study: geology and meteorology. Students gain hands-on exposure to the resources and rich geological history surrounding our vast campus and state, while also putting the daily weather patterns into a scientific context.
  • Laptop Program and Technology Integration - Grades 5 & 6

    Fifth and sixth-grade students are provided a combination laptop/tablet to enhance their learning throughout the Upper School experience. With targeted technology training in productive use and digital citizenship, students will develop the skills and work habits to responsibly incorporate technology into their learning. 
  • Arts Program Opportunities - Grades 5 & 6

    Students have access to an array of arts opportunities in the Upper School. Each year, students take visual and performing arts. Music options include concert band, chorus, jazz band, and strings. Our Winter Musical is a community-wide effort that has recently included titles like The Little Mermaid, Jr., Aladdin, Jr., and School of Rock.
  • Sports - Grade 5 & 6

    Students in grades 5 and 6 have the choice to participate in intramural sports or to join one of our interscholastic sports teams. With an array of offerings, these programs teach some of our most prized character skills: humility, perseverance, sacrifice, and teamwork.

    Sports offerings include:
    BaseballGymnasticsSoccer
    BasketballLacrosseSoftball
    Cross CountryPhysical FitnessSquash
    Field HockeyProject AdventureTennis
    Skiing/Snowboarding

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