To Learn, To Lead, To Serve: The Middle School Approach

by Keith Driscoll (Assistant Director)

The Middle School’s first term of Exploratory sessions was directed towards an introduction to the three common beliefs that guide St. Michaels University School’s vision statement: to learn, to lead, to serve. Each aspect of the statement was applied to a specific grade for deeper exploration. The students were therefore challenged, over 10 classes, to articulate how the schools vision is a part of their lives.

Grade 6 – To Learn

The Grade 6 students began this exploratory as a community, in Copeland Lecture Theatre. There they were introduced to the inner workings of their brain, based on Mel Levine’s research. In following small group sessions, students took these fundamental learnings to develop and individualize how to effectively study and organize their thoughts, notes and binders to build a strong foundation for academic success here at the Middle School.

Grade 7 – To Serve

The Grade 7 students were introduced to what it means to serve, inside and outside of the school. Their first few lessons centred on essential questions such as: what is service, why is service important and what does service look like? Upon completing this introduction students were asked to partake in one of six service projects. These projects were: Creek Enhancement, Shoebox Survival Kit, Senior Citizen Visits, Street Service, Canadian Red Cross and Planting Bulbs for Cancer. The students with the assistance of a teacher worked on formulating the plans and acquiring the required materials to complete a service activity.

Grade 8 – To Lead

The Grade 8 students explored the concepts of leadership with a focus on developing personal leadership skills. The students worked in small groups with a teacher completing activities, discussing outcomes and completing personal reflections in an effort to understand the many aspects of leadership. The students also were afforded the opportunity to meet with Senior School students that have taken on leadership opportunities within the school. These students discussed the nature of leadership as it applied to their specific leadership organizations in the Senior School. The students were also encouraged to seek and develop opportunities within the Middle School where they could demonstrate some of these new found skills.

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