Preparing Boys for Life

Seventh Grade

FORM I (SEVENTH GRADE) IS MUCH MORE THAN CHOOSING A LANGUAGE TO STUDY OR TAKing ALGEBRA. IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT YEAR IN OUR MIDDLE SCHOOL. EDUCATION IN FORM I EXTENDS BEYOND THE CLASSROOM TO INCLUDE APPROPRIATE GOAL SETTING, UNDERSTANDING IDENTITY, LEARNING ABOUT CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY, AND FINDING YOUR PASSION. OUR MIDDLE GRADE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL WORKS TO PROVIDE A PLACE FOR BOYS TO LEARN BY DOING AND BUILD A PROCESS OF GOOD DECISION MAKING SKILLS.

Form I begins with an overnight trip to South Mountain YMCA just outside Reading, Pennsylvania. The purpose of this trip is to explore the themes of teamwork, goal setting, and decision-making and helps set the tone for the rest of the year. During the trip, we encourage the boys to challenge themselves, take risks, and show courage in their decisions.

For many, it is a highlight of the shared middle school experience. Form I is a year when most of our boys learn who they are and where they fit in our school. Our role is to assist them in finding their voice as well as listening to each other. We teach them more than just English, math, history, science, and languages. We teach them to be thoughtful, kind, and giving young men as we prepare them for life. We help them find out who they are and where they fit in their world.

Haverford Highlight: Documentary filmmaking

As part of Middle School Xcursion Days, during which faculty and students delve into passion projects, students created a documentary of Crosman Hall, the Middle School that stood on Haverford's campus from 1957-2019. Learn more about our new Middle School >

Mathematics

Algebra I, Part I

This course is designed as the first part of a comprehensive algebra curriculum. Beginning with an evaluation of algebraic expressions and integer operations, the students will continue their study of variables and their uses in our world. As the year progresses, our Algebra students will investigate algebraic equations and inequalities, including those involving decimals and fractions, exponents, ratios and proportions, and linear functions and their graphs. Developing a strong understanding of Number Sense will be emphasized throughout the year.

Accelerated Algebra 1

This course is a comprehensive, fast-paced Algebra I course. Students qualify for this course based on their grades, scores on math aptitude tests, and demonstrated problem solving ability. It assumes that the students have the prerequisite knowledge of operations with whole numbers, integers, fractions, decimals and percents. It emphasizes solutions of single variable equations, systems of linear equations in two variables, basic operations with polynomials, factoring, and the solution of quadratic equations using various methods. Considerable focus will be placed on multiple representations of these solutions, especially graphs. Students will become familiar with handheld technology tools, like the TI-83/-84 family of calculators.

Science

The Form I science course builds on the skills and experiences introduced in 6th grade by introducing rigorous content. Through research, measurement, laboratory techniques, organization, note taking, cooperative and inquiry-based learning the boys have the opportunity to investigate topics such as:

  • Scientific method
  • Periodic table
  • Chemical interactions
  • Structure of Earth
  • Plate tectonics
  • Plant and animal cells
  • Human body systems

History

Seventh grade U.S. History continues building on the content and skills that the students learned in sixth grade by focusing on the major political, economic, and social trends in American history from the 1850s (pre-Civil War) to the late 1900s. In addition, each week the students examine noteworthy current events and contextualize them in relation to the historical situations that we have covered in class.

The curriculum includes an emphasis on several study strategies, including reading comprehension, note-taking skills, and test preparation, in order to promote more effective learning. Moreover, the course employs a variety of teaching methods (such as a Socratic seminar, a Shark Tank invention and presentation, and a 1920s magazine) to encourage both creative and critical thinking skills and to foster an active engagement with the course material.

English

Form I English centers on the reading and writing process. Students learn specific strategies and skills in mini-lessons and utilize them in whole-class and independent activities and assignments. We emphasize thoughtful literacy as students learn how to talk and write about texts and then practice these skills in partnerships, small groups and class discussions. Students will read a wide variety of poems, short stories, and several novels, including The Giver, The Outsiders, and Mississippi Trial, 1955. Formal research writing, personal narratives, and expository essays allow students to make connections between the texts they read and the world in which they live.

 

Modern & Classical Languages

Latin

Students in Form I Latin dive into the language, culture, and mythic history of the ancient Mediterranean to better understand the Romans and their lasting influence on the modern world. The Form I curriculum focuses on the basics of Latin grammar and translation, such as understanding parts of speech, sentence structure, and syntax. Students also learn how Latin roots have grown into the language we speak today, developing their Latin and English vocabulary simultaneously; this forms a helpful counterpart to the work Form I students do with grammar in their English class. Students will also explore Roman culture, including the Greek and Roman gods, religion and the myths that the ancients used to understand the world around them. Students explore other aspects of Roman culture, like architecture, art, and food, developing a thorough knowledge of daily life throughout the empire.

Spanish

During seventh and eighth grade, students receive a solid foundation in the structure of the Spanish language as well as an understanding of the cultural background of Spanish speaking countries. These introductory levels are taught with an emphasis on basic vocabulary and fundamental grammatical concepts. In their Spanish classes, students will engage in easy conversation, as they work on speaking in complete and correct sentences. They will also read easy texts, summarize them in their own words and narrate a story in front of the class. We use DESCUBRE as a textbook to study all the grammatical concepts, and also supplement our curriculum with easy readers, online resources and fables.

Visual Arts

Drawing

The seventh grade boys take part each year in an extended unit on drawing from life with an emphasis on direct observation. This unit includes an in depth study of contour, gesture, a variety of mark making, value, composition, and perspective.

2-D and 3-D

The seventh grade artists work throughout the course on drawing, painting and printmaking. Students spend this term practicing their drawing techniques, refreshing their knowledge of color theory and being introduced to several forms of printmaking. Pattern, design, symmetry, balance, scale and perspective are all topics of discussion throughout the course as drawings and paintings are produced. As a way to experience the many ways to create an image the students learn how to transform their drawings into printed form. Some of the various printmaking techniques that are taught are; mono prints, block and linoleum cut printing, and a final silk-screen printing project on tee shirts.

Design and Multimedia

Seventh grade boys will spend a portion of the year working with intermediate multimedia concepts.They will study contrast and value, composition (i.e. rule of thirds, leading lines, and framing) in photography. The boys will also work on several animation projects using stop motion, and Adobe Flash. They will also work with Adobe Photoshop during a unit on graphic design.

Learn more about our esteemed Visual Arts Program >

Theater

This course of study is cross-curricular with their Form I English class. The class’s goal is to enhance the student’s knowledge of literary terms and begin to read some classic and modern plays from diverse playwrights. They will learn the elements of play writing and work on creating their own original play.

Each play will then be read, shared and peer edited. The top plays will be performed during third trimester in class, produced in a fall production the following year and/or entered in the Philadelphia Young Playwrights Festival.

Learn more about our thriving Theater Program >

Music

Seventh grade students refine music literacy skills through the study of guitar. Repertoire is selected from folk, classical and popular genres. Students learn to read a guitar chord chart, and to accompany folk and rock songs using a variety of major and minor chords. In class, culture and diversity are discussed through the exploration of the birth of Rock and Roll as well as study of Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story. Students also travel to the Kimmel Center to experience a live performance of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

In addition, all middle school boys are encouraged to join our performing ensembles: The Fantastic Fords Concert Band, The Haverford School Orchestra, Centennial Singers and Celebrantes.

Learn about our music programs >

Health & Physical Education

The primary goal of the Health and Physical Education curriculum is to provide the boys with the framework necessary to develop and maintain a fitness plan that they can utilize for a lifetime. Through the health portion of the curriculum the boys are introduced to nutrition, physical activity, mental and emotional health, character development and bullying prevention. Through the physical education curriculum, we aim to provide the boys with a variety of lifetime sports and activities that will give the boys the sport skills necessary to establish a lifetime commitment to a healthy lifestyle. It is the department’s goal to improve students' physical fitness, overall well being, skill development and teamwork in a fun and learning environment.

  • Trimester Fitness Testing: mile run, push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, resting heart rate, blood pressure and body composition.
  • Gaelic Football
  • Hurling
  • Cricket
  • Rugby
  • Flag Football
  • Soccer
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Squash
  • Badminton
  • Volleyball
  • Weight Training
  • Swimming
  • Floor Hockey
  • Basketball
  • Climbing/Bouldering (also during split for double period for all indoor activities)
  • Frisbee Golf
  • Tennis
  • Softball/smashball
  • Lacrosse
  • Track and Field