BCS Middle School Curriculum

Middle School classes at Berks Christian School provide a safe environment where students can start to explore weighty subjects, think critically, and develop a passion for learning. With a faculty devoted to teaching all academic material from a Christ-centered perspective, middle school students are guided to grow intellectually and spiritually.

Bible

Middle School Bible teaches students how to apply the Bible to their own lives. They gain a deeper understanding of God's redemptive story for mankind from the beginning of the world to the end. They also learn to apply Christian living skills by studying real-life stories and situations. Participation in verse study to memorize and understand Scripture also continues.

The BCS Middle School Bible curriculum is on a two year rotation with students learning about the life of Christ one year, and focusing on heroes of the Old Testament the next. Projects such as a personal testimony paper, Bible journal, community service, and research paper on Christ's miracles enhance learning.

Mathematics

Berks Christian School’s math curriculum is a fun, hands-on and manipulative-filled subject with visuals to help students master mathematical concepts.  Middle School students gain understanding of numbers and operations, pre-algebra to basic algebra, probabilities, pre-geometry, and Algebra I to move toward further application.  Middle Schoolers learn new things about matrices, linear algebra, and problem solving for everyday life with applications that relate to their age group, like how slope applies to amusement park rides.

Science

Middle School students master the fields of earth/space science, life science, and basic physics from a Biblical perspective.  Hands-on and visually-based subject areas include the study of earthquakes and volcanoes, weathering, natural resources, the solar system, cells, animal and plant classification, heredity and genetics, body systems, atoms and molecules, electricity, and motion and machines. Middle School students see how their knowledge applies to the real world with field trips to places like the Franklin Institute, planetariums, and Longwood Gardens.

English Language arts

Students in BCS MIddle School enjoy a literature-based curriculum which teaches grammar, vocabulary, spelling, writing, and public speaking through the context of selected novels.  This allows the students to see what they are learning in a true-to-life context.  Novels include Johnny Tremain, Number the Stars, Caddie Woodlawn, The Incredible Journey, Anne of Green Gables, Rifles for Watie, and The Bronze Bow. Writing and composition workshops where students learn to pre-write, draft, revise, and edit enable the students to become proficient with writing projects such as fictional narrative, persuasive essay, editorial, research paper, historical fiction, and limericks. Foundational grammar principles are reinforced while emphasizing writing to clarify concepts.

History

In sixth grade, students build their knowledge of ancient cultures with fun projects such as making Egyptian masks and pyramids, celebrating the Chinese New Year, and holding a class Olympics. Later in Middle School, in Geography and World Cultures, students explore the globe, studying the people groups, governments, and cultures represented by its many nations.

Computer Science & Technology

Student activities involve intermediate technology projects that are designed to teach advanced technology skills. Some technology projects focus on a specific technology skill such as word processing, presentation, graphics, or databases, while other projects combine software to encourage students to transfer their skills from one application to another. Students then practice the skill to complete a meaningful task. Review activities are included to help students gain confidence in using their skills.

Visual Art

Art classes at Berks Christian offer an exploration of basic art techniques and historical study. Students are provided the opportunity to work with variety of materials (clay, paint, charcoal, pastels, etc.) while being made aware of issue, concepts, and accomplishments of the past and present. By looking at artists and art movements, students are inspired to personal creativity. The art curriculum is designed to increase each student’s ability to see, analyze, and depict visual images as well as understand the broad cultural and historical context in which art is made and experienced.

Music

BCS Middle School students learn how to read music, sight-sing, play instruments, and appreciate various types of music. Students also have the chance to play an instrument in the Berks Christian School band. If the instrument is new, private lessons can be arranged by BCS music faculty.

Physical Education

Students enjoy sport-specific physical education class where basic skills for soccer, volleyball, bowling, basketball, baseball, and track are reviewed.  Additional team sports are incorporated such as dodge ball, kickball, and football.  Students also learn about fitness through fitness competitions including the Presidential Physical Fitness Challenge.

Flex Courses

Each quarter, students in Middle School and High School choose Flex courses which are offered once or twice a week for a half-hour. Flex courses provide an opportunity for students to explore a topic that interests them on a short-term, introductory level. Courses include things like chess, casserole cooking, creative writing, word games, photography, historical film, and gardening. Other Flex periods are dedicated to optional student activities like Worship Team and Student Council. Students may also choose to use their Flex period to receive tutoring help in an academic subject or as an extra study hall.

High School Curriculum

The High School program at BCS focuses on academic rigor and building Christ-like character in students and paving the way for them to graduate from the learning environment of school to the serving environment of their post-high school life. By encouraging maturity, developing skills and passions, and cultivating high standards, BCS seeks to graduate students who are prepared for whatever God may have planned for them.

Bible

Our 9th and 10th graders take Bible together and rotate through two curricula. The first year's study centers on the New Testament. Students memorize Matthew 5 while studying the Beatitudes, write a paper about church doctrine, and memorize attributes and themes of each book of the New Testament. Projects integrate the teaching with practical application. On alternate years, students learn Bible study skills and complete a project on a particular book of the Bible.
11th and 12th grade students also rotate through two courses. One course guides students through the book of Luke verse by verse, observing Jesus' life and the implications of the gospel. Along with practical Bible teaching, the class studies the spiritual disciplines with the help of Richard Foster's book, The Celebration Of Discipline. The class spends time discussing and working on projects that help to shape a life modeled after Jesus.  The second course in the rotation is The Early Church and Foundations of Doctrine.  Focusing on a study of the book of Acts and C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity, students develop a strong sense of church history and a unified overview of Christian Doctrine.

Mathematics

Math students at BCS see the artistic side of math with geometry, learn logic though deductive and inductive reasoning, build understanding of linear algebra, and move toward quadratic problem solving. We have a kite flying day to apply the Pythagorean Theorem and other triangle relationships. Middle School and High School students look forward to the math department’s favorite annual holiday: Pi Day, March 14. They also participate in an international online World Math Day. Courses offered include Geometry, Algebra 2, Advanced Math, Consumer Math, Business Math, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus.

Science

The Science department at Berks Christian is a state-of-the-art facility outfitted with microscopes, laboratory equipment, gas lines, and fire retardant lab desks with sinks. Physical Science offers an introduction to principles of both chemistry and physics. Biology covers basic cell anatomy, life processes, photosynthesis, genetics, human heredity, and animal kingdoms. In Chemistry, students learn about the periodic table and elements, physical and chemical changes, types of reactions, stoichiometry, gas laws, nuclear chemistry, acids, bases, salts, and solutions. Physics students learn about mechanical physics and forces, electrical physics and circuits, vectors, and sound waves.

English Language Arts

BCS’s English department offers a literature-based curriculum which teaches grammar, vocabulary, spelling, writing, and public speaking through selected novels to allow students to see what they are learning in a true-to-life context. The Hiding Place, Pride and Prejudice, The Day I was Crucified, Macbeth, Pilgrim’s Progress, The Scarlet Letter, and Oliver Twist are studied. Students utilize previously learned grammar concepts in various mediums such as research papers, speeches, and journalistic writing. Grammar handbooks are available for editing and “reminder” purposes. A step-by-step process for writing research papers is taught. Students hand in a final research paper of 6-8 pages on a topic of their choice.

Social Studies

Social Studies at BCS encompasses the history and government of the US as well as nations around the world. United States History I and II take students at Berks Christian from the exploration of America to the Modern Era. Students look at how Christianity shaped the nation, look at documents as the key to understanding the past, and complete cultural projects to better understand the struggles of different people groups. United States Government offers an overview of each form of government. Students create a timeline of events that shaped our government, perform speeches and learn through discussions and debates. In European History, students explore the European continent and its significance in world history through the lens of the Bible. Berks Christian is located near the heart of some of the nation's most historically rich areas—Philadelphia, Gettysburg, Valley Forge, and Washington D.C. Trips to these locations enable the history department to provide a wealth of knowledge to our students.

Computer Science & Technology

Berks Christian School’s computer lab is moving students into the future with relevant technology education. Students explore web applications, office applications, and how to use online tools to collaborate. In addition, they focus on learning HTML programming language, how the web works, and follow current events in technology. They put their technology experience together and look at business applications, careers in technology, learning about multimedia, and additional html. Favorite projects of students are putting together a short film and creating a web-based multimedia portfolio.

Spanish

Berks Christian School offers Spanish through conventional classroom instruction combined with online learning tools. Ninth grade students are required to take Spanish I, where they are introduced to the language, learning vocabulary words, present tense verbs, basic grammar concepts, and sentence structure. Tenth graders continue with Spanish II, moving to a more advanced level of knowledge with a broader vocabulary. Present tense and past tense verbs are mastered.

Visual Art

The practice of creating art is an ongoing discipline rooted in rich history. Art classes at Berks Christian offer an exploration in basic art making techniques and historical study. Students are provided the opportunity to work with variety of materials (clay, paint, charcoal, pastels, etc...) while being made aware of issues, concepts, and accomplishments of the past and present. By looking at other artists and art movements, it inspires students and stimulates new ideas. This course will provide students with a greater comprehension of visual language and the vocabulary to communicate about visual images. The goal of this course is to increase each student’s ability to see, analyze, and depict visual images as well as understand the broad cultural and historical context in which art is made and experienced.

Music

Music opportunities at BCS are various and available to all high school students. The Berks Christian High School Choir is for any student who wants to sing and refine his or her musical skills during the high school years. We perform two major concerts a year and often are asked to perform once or twice in addition to that.

Physical Education and Health

Physical Education and Health introduce students to an active and healthy lifestyle. Phys Ed classes emphasize team sports at a high school level. Fitness competitions, skills tests, and a variety of athletic disciplines are incorporated throughout the curriculum. High school health is a blend of practical knowledge, common-sense, and Godly principles designed to assist the student in making good life-choices. The curriculum used is Christ centered and incorporates topics that impact ones physical, mental, social, and spiritual health. Topics include the human body and its many systems, nutrition, fitness, and improving one’s spiritual health.

Online Electives

BCS students may take courses online through Alpha & Omega, an online learning program. Courses are self-paced and monitored by BCS faculty members. This program allows students to study such courses as Civics, Music Theory, Digital Arts, Essentials of Business, and French, classes we are unable to offer on-site at BCS.

Flex Courses

Each quarter, students in Middle School and High School choose Flex courses which are offered once or twice a week for a half-hour. Flex courses provide an opportunity for students to explore a topic that interests them on a short-term, introductory level. Courses include things like chess, casserole cooking, creative writing, word games, photography, historical film, and gardening. Other Flex periods are dedicated to optional student activities like Worship Team and Student Council. Students may also choose to use their Flex period to receive tutoring help in an academic subject or as an extra study hall.