On Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Middle School at Bank Street includes elementary grades 1 through 4. The child-centered instruction seen in the Lower School curriculum becomes more structured in the Middle School and students develop a foundation for academic success. Direct learning experiences are supplemented by less immediate sources of knowledge—students learn to gather information from books, museums, pictures, documents, and computer searches.
At the core of the Middle School’s progressive curriculum is social studies and the study of people. Under the guidance and support of their teachers, students make powerful connections between events from distant places and times and their own experiences. Projects at each grade level draw on and build each child’s developing skills as a reader and writer. Interdisciplinary activities enrich learning by integrating arts, math, and science.
The focus on fostering the social and emotional lives of children continues in Middle School with an emphasis on community. Children explore connections with their peers, learn to solve problems together, and deepen their understanding of themselves. From grade 1 through 8, students participate in the school’s Racial Justice and Advocacy curriculum, which focuses on developing a positive racial identity and prepares students to be advocates for social justice.