In middle school, grades 6-8, the curriculum focuses on grammar, vocabulary, composition, literature and drama. Students participate in a full-scale dramatic production every other year. Grade 8 students also produce a school newspaper throughout the year.
Spanish and Latin
All students in grades 6-8 study two foreign languages, Spanish and Latin, and in grades 7-8 they participate in the National Junior Classical League’s National Latin Exam.
Social Studies focuses on the Ancient World in grade 6, the Early Modern World in grade 7, and the American Experience in grade 8. All students participate in National Geographic GeoBee, and in grades 7 and 8 students are able to take a history-based field trip to Washington D.C. and Williamsburg, or New York and Boston.
Although there are two mathematics streams - grade level and accelerated - all students in grade 6 study advanced mathematics; grade 7 studies Pre-Algebra and Algebra; and grade 8 studies Algebra. Students may participate in various local mathematics competitions.
Students study Earth Science in grade 6, Life Science in grade 7 and Physical Science in grade 8. Every year each grade takes a week-long science field trip: grade 6 goes to AstroCamp, grade 7 to Pali Mountain Institute, and grade 8 to Catalina Island Marine Institute. All Middle School students participate in the annual Science Fair and present their projects to the school community.
Every student has access to a school-owned Apple laptop computer, which they use for projects and class work. All students are exposed to and work with basic typing, word processing, Power Point and Excel programs.
Art and Music
Students have weekly art classes and have music classes twice per week. Depending on their interests and abilities, students are placed either in the strings division (Orchestra) or the winds division (Band). All students participate in the annual art show and two musical concerts during the year.
All students participate in physical education twice a week, and participation on afterschool competitive sports teams is not dependent upon tryouts. All are welcome!
In addition to science and social studies field trips, grades 6-8 students also enjoy field trips to local museums and libraries, and presentations by invited speakers at regularly scheduled assemblies. Students participate in class meetings, health and fitness education, geography and current events discussions, and practice public speaking and debate skills.
Students in grades 3-8 take the Educational Records Bureau standardized test in the spring. Students in grades 4-8 may attend Study Hall from 3:00-4:30 p.m. four days a week
High School Application and Acceptances
Beginning in the second half of grade 7, students, parents and administrators meet frequently to discuss local high schools, the application process, testing and test preparation, interview skills, and visitation programs and schedules. Many admissions directors from local high schools also visit our independent school to provide information about their schools to The Gooden School students in grade 8 class.
Students are regularly accepted to the following local high schools: Alverno, Don Bosco Tech, Flintridge Preparatory School, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, La Salle High School, Loyola High School, Maranatha High School, Mayfield Senior School, St. Francis High School, Webb Schools, and Westridge School.