Creating self-determined, independent learners.
To better understand the nature of our mastery-based academic program, we recommend reading through the About Us section of our website (specifically the pages on Forms, Not Grades, Study Technology and The Delphi Program) before diving into this Academics section.
It is also beneficial to read the earlier page in this section covering Our Approach, so the basics of our philosophy, as well as how these basics are implemented in each school, Lower through Upper, is understood prior to reading about each.
Middle School Program
The Middle School years form the critical transition period from a student who is competent in the basics of reading, writing and mathematics to one who has not only mastered them, but also is launching into more serious academic study.
These are the years that many students are lost academically. They are often some of the hardest socially as well, resulting in children less in touch with their families, their friends and even themselves. Delphian's goal is to give young people a challenging educational structure that involves them responsibly and creatively with their environment.
Our concentration at this level is on maintaining and raising the standards of the fundamentals already mastered, and upon helping these bright young students to become focused and independent learners. The practical application required throughout our program helps students gain an ever-increasing understanding of how academic subjects integrate and relate to their own lives.
Critical Thinking, Not Criticism
It's never too early to begin teaching students how to think critically. The benefits of our mastery-based independent study method is that children are studying with the purpose of finding ways to apply the subject to their lives, rather than studying to pass an exam.
When study is connected to purpose and use, the information studied becomes useful. Suddenly, students find they can relate what they're studying to other information they've already learned. We encourage them to seek these connections and regularly evaluate new information against old. This is the beginning of critical thinking skills, the foundation of reason.
Specific courses and projects are designed for Middle School students to raise their willingness and ability to connect their education to their lives. They learn to draw conclusions from the information they're learning, and to make judgments based on comparisons of related information. The program is designed to connect Middle School aged students to their education, and to each other, in meaningful ways. Often it restores or strengthens their own educational goals, purposes and interests.
Application and Assistance
Middle School curriculum encompasses the usual core academic subjects—writing, reading, English, science, history, government and current events, geography, mathematics—as well as expanding into foreign language, study and life skills. It also includes an extensive practical program that provides each student with important real-life experience in conducting experiments, making useful products, participating in activities that further enhance understanding of the subjects taught, or learning a new skill.
Although students are studying independently, they're also regularly interacting with each other and their supervisor. Checksheets call for demonstrations, drills and practical projects that students are often required to do with another student. Some courses even establish 'twinships,' where two students work together on the same course, helping each other through the drills and demonstrations and checking each other's understanding at required times. Twinships are an important way our program helps students learn to take responsibility for others.
All of this interaction, along with the independent nature of the program overall, encourages students to help and work with each other. They want to see their classmates succeed.
Delphian is one of the most mutually supportive student environments you will ever encounter.
Students generally enter Delphian's Middle School around the age of eleven and a half and graduate to Upper School by fourteen years of age.
Download the Delphian School Graduation Requirements Handbook for a complete listing of requirements for graduation from each Form.