We cultivate compassionate and engaged citizens rooted in the core values of diversity and inclusion, who continuously strive for personal excellence through innovation and creativity, and who are committed to the Pilgrim School and Los Angeles communities.
Our Middle School program supports students in developing identity, a sense of belonging, and personal agency through opportunities to explore and achieve in and out of the classroom.
Our Middle School program is designed to challenge and excite students while supporting their social-emotional development in this critical period of transition. Students will learn to navigate new levels of independence and freedom, changing friend dynamics and increased responsibility. Middle School is a time of rapid personal growth, and students thrive in our caring and supportive environment.
Our core academic programs in English, mathematics, social studies, and science are supplemented with opportunities to dive deep into the arts, world language, and STEM through our electives and explorations courses. Students will expand their ability to think, reason, problem-solve, and communicate while also being given the space to explore and find their creative voice.
The goal of the English Department is to develop clear and meaningful communication through reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students learn to think critically, effectively express ideas, and examine varied interpretations of literature through reading for information and pleasure. We engage in a diverse selection of texts and regularly update the pieces that students read.
6th Grade English focuses on developing foundational skills necessary for success in middle and high school. Students analyze people, events, and ideas in texts and learn to annotate literature as they read. They work on developing a claim and writing organized paragraphs with textual evidence.
7th Grade English builds on the foundation set in the previous year. Students will explore various literary techniques and poetic devices while developing reading comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary. Students explore their imagination and voice through creative writing and continue to build skills in composing effective paragraphs.
8th Grade English prepares students for the materials and rigor of the high school curriculum. Critical thinking, reading strategies, and understanding of literary elements are enhanced through sophisticated core texts. The curriculum is also supplemented with essays, short stories, and poetry throughout the year. Through these works, students explore their own identities and the nature of the society they live in, and they are challenged to examine society from different perspectives.
The Mathematics department strives to create critical thinkers who embrace problem-solving as a creative process by encouraging students to explore first. Students use their failures and successes to develop learning pathways that are meaningful, interesting, and inspiring. They understand mathematics as a global language and engage in authentic applications across borders and boundaries.
Students in middle school develop a foundation in the core concepts across number sense, algebra, geometry, and statistical thinking. All students entering Pilgrim take an assessment to determine the appropriate course level. Students may take a more advanced course in middle school in consultation with school leadership.
Middle School students have taken the following courses in mathematics:
The Science Department prepares students to be curious, creative scientists knowledgeable in scientific processes, precise in their measurements, thoughtful in their conclusions, and skeptical of scientific claims. Students engage in authentic, self-directed inquiry to develop a global, ethical, and robust understanding of scientific principles and problem-solving strategies. Through independent and collaborative work, students find meaning and connection with the world around them.
6th Grade - The Dynamic Earth
What are the natural processes of the world and how do they affect the world around us?
7th Grade - The Living Earth Why is Earth such a special place, and what impacts do humans have on our surroundings?
8th Grade - The Physical Earth Why does matter important and how do interactions between energy and matter impact them both?
The Social Studies Department facilitates students’ development toward becoming engaged community members at all levels. Students form their responses to thematic questions in social sciences through an inquiry-based curriculum, research projects, and analysis of primary sources. Students engage with multiple perspectives - traditional narratives alongside historically excluded stories and voices. Students will build an understanding of the relationship between past and present to shape a better future.
6th Grade - Introduction to Social Studies What is Social Studies and how do people in those disciplines contribute to our understanding of how societies work?
7th Grade - World History What are the long-term changes and recurring patterns in world history?
8th Grade - U.S. History What do we mean when we say “we” in American history?
The World Language department immerses students in the target language and culture of the course. Language learning is an opportunity to expand knowledge while gaining respect, understanding, and enjoyment worldwide. In addition, students use the language to communicate with others and take pride in their ability to do so.
Students can take either Spanish or Mandarin. Students enter Middle School beginning at either our introductory course or taking a placement assessment to determine the appropriate level within the target language.
The goal of the Explorations program is to provide students with an opportunity to explore a variety of different subjects and topics during their time in Middle School. The Explorations that students take in Middle School lead directly to more extensive programs in High School.
Middle School students choose one Elective course that they take for the entire school year. Electives are an excellent way for students to dive deeper into the subjects where they are most passionate.
The Physical Education department empowers the vision that everyone is a student-athlete. Through interdisciplinary design and strategy/teamwork, our coaches look to facilitate continuing education in the world of play and athletics.
Middle School students take a PE class that meets every other day and can also participate in after-school athletics. To learn more about Pilgrim Athletics, click here.
The Advisory program in the Secondary School is a weekly, small group time for students and advisors to work together to strengthen community relationships through conversations and activities. The focus of advisory is building interpersonal relationships, communicating and having discussions, responsible decision making, global understanding, and emotional intelligence. Advisory is an open and safe space for students to approach topics of concern within the school, their lives, or their community with the support of an invested and engaged adult.