Middle School

A middle school education at Providence Country Day offers grades 5-8 students a hands-on and inquiry based approach to learning. The small class size and collaborative environment empowers and nurtures students at this critical stage in their development.
Inquiry and intellectual curiosity drive much of the challenging curriculum, which provides a solid foundation for college-preparatory work in our high school program. While classroom focus is on the traditional subjects and the arts, experiential and interdisciplinary learning is a hallmark of the Middle School program. We take advantage of frequent out-of-classroom opportunities to connect the subject matter with relevant, real-world experiences and foster creative thinking.

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  • Middle School Curriculum

    As a private middle school, we have more flexibility in our curriculum. The curriculum in the Middle School is designed to stimulate students’ natural curiosity, their need to explore and question, and their desire to ask “why?” or “why not?” within a safe and caring environment. 

    PCD’s Middle School curriculum includes English (reading and writing), World Languages (Latin and Spanish), History (geography, civics, US and Rhode Island history), Mathematics (Math 6 and 7, pre-algebra, algebra, algebra II), Performing Arts (band and chorus), Science (ecological science, life science, physical science), and Visual Art (2D, 3D, digital media).

    With class sizes as small as 10 to 12 students, individualized attention is an integral part of the experience.

    Another essential piece to our middle school program is balance. There is ample time worked into the students’ week for arts, sports and even just simple study breaks. 

    The Middle School curriculum provides a solid foundation for college-preparatory work in PCD’s Upper School program.

    Grade 5
    Grade 6
    Grade 7
    Grade 8
    5th Grade English
    5th Grade Reading
    6th Grade English
    6th Grade Reading
    7th Grade English
    8th Grade English
    World Languages
    5th Grade Latin
    5th Grade Spanish
    6th Grade Latin
    6th Grade Spanish
    7th Grade Latin
    7th Grade Spanish
    8th Grade Latin
    8th Grade Spanish
    Ancient History
    US History & Civics
    US & Rhode Island History
    5th Grade Mathematics
    6th Grade Mathematics
    7th Grade Mathematics
    Algebra I
    Algebra I
    Algebra II Honors
    Performing Arts
    5th Grade Earth Science
    6th Grade Ecological Science
    7th Grade Life Science
    Introductory Physical Science
    Visual Arts
    2D Art
    3D Art
    2D Art
    3D Art
    2D Art
    3D Art
    2D Art
    3D Art
  • Middle School Environment

    While classroom focus is on the traditional subjects and the arts, the entire Middle School experience is lively and engaging. The program uses experiential and interdisciplinary approaches through project-based, inquiry-based, and place-based learning.

    The Middle School leverages frequent out-of-classroom opportunities, such as visits to Newport and Chewonki, the Boston Freedom Trail, and outdoor nature classes. These experiences connect traditional subject matter to relevant, real-world experiences and foster creative thinking.

    PCD Middle School also incorporates school-wide, long-term projects such as our Drop and Read program. The Drop and Read program is a week-long project where students read a carefully selected book, pair their analysis with an art-based research project, and showcase their work at an event with a local artist.
    Advisory and tutorial time with PCD faculty are built into the Middle School schedule, giving students additional opportunities to strengthen connections with their teachers.

    Another important piece of our Middle School is, of course, our educators. Middle School faculty members aren’t just teachers. They are both academic leaders and mentors who inspire students not only to pursue deeper levels of understanding, but also to work cooperatively and see themselves as part of a team of problem solvers. Students are challenged to take risks both in and out of the classroom and are called to lead the school's numerous initiatives in community service, the arts, athletics, and student government.

    The opportunities for positive intellectual and character growth are abundant in the Middle School.

    Students emerge from PCD Middle School as confident, well-rounded individuals who eagerly embrace future challenges.
  • Middle School Athletics

    Participation in athletics is an essential part of the PCD middle school student experience. Middle School students must participate in a PCD team sport in each of the three sports seasons.

    We love and respect that every one of our students is different;. Some are travel team veterans, some would rather spend free time in the art studio. But we also believe that the painter will benefit from being on the soccer team. And on the flip side, the tennis ace will find a new means of expression with a paint brush or a piece of clay.

    The benefits of being on a team and regular physical activity are indisputable—proven through research as well as on the PCD playing fields and courts.

    When students try new things, they get better at what they're good at, while discovering new talents as well. Confirmed "non-athletes" have found a life-long love of a new sport, because they were required to participate broadly.

    There is something for everyone here and the athletic requirement ensures that students take advantage of the opportunities.

Middle School Daily Schedule

PCD uses a seven-day rotating schedule. Classes meet in a similar sequence each day, but the sequence starts with a different period each day. The schedule enhances the student learning experience with built-in flexibility and a more efficient workflow. Students have the opportunity to perform during individual peak times, and a regular block when the school can gather in its entirety allows for unique off-campus activities without sacrificing valuable classroom time. An extended 60-minute teaching period at the start of each day in the middle school supports greater variety of instruction to help make the vital connections between theory and practice.

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  • Advising

    Every middle schooler is a member of an advisory group that meets at least once during each seven-day cycle. Groups are led by middle school faculty and can be single or multi-grade in make-up. Students work together on all-school service projects, the current community curriculum, and issues of general interest such as study habits, respectful behavior, technology best practices, etc.
  • Learning Center

    Some students need support above and beyond the regular classroom experience and benefit from the expertise of the learning specialists in The Learning Center.

    The Learning Center faculty work with students to identify individual learning styles and provide the necessary tools to support academic success. PCD's learning specialists prepare a profile for each student to help classroom teachers develop appropriate teaching strategies. Learning Center instruction is planned in coordination with each student's classroom teachers. Depending on the student's needs, either individual or small group sessions are integrated into the curriculum and focus on strengthening basic skills in reading, language development, written expression, math, reasoning, and study techniques.

    Instruction is designed to help students maximize strengths and understand their unique learning styles. Structured, multi-sensory techniques are used to help students discover their strongest channels for learning and to develop skills to use those channels effectively.
  • Tutorials

    A daily tutorial period is built into the schedule so all teachers and students are available at the same time each day. This dedicated period makes it easy for students to check in with teachers for extra help, questions about assignments, and other kinds of academic or extra-curricular guidance.

Middle School Clubs

Our rotating schedule offers up new blocks of time that can be turned into new opportunities. Having a dedicated club period means that everyone can participate, and clubs don't have to compete with other after school commitments.

Clubs rotate each term so all middle school students take part in three different clubs each year. Clubs are faculty created but student inspired, and vary depending on student and teacher interest, giving students the chance to pursue existing interests as well as discover new ones. In addition to building skills, clubs provide enrichment outside of the classroom, and, because they are mixed grades, clubs also broaden social circles.

Middle school students have regular opportunities to explore interests and discover new ones with like-minded students. The options vary year-to-year, based on student and faculty interest.

List of 12 items.

  • Board Games Club

    Students share their interest in board games through a variety of friendly competitions.
  • Book Club

    The group chooses a book to read together or students can read independently.
  • Chess Club

    Students improve their gamesmanship and compete against other area middle schools.
  • Electric Football

    Students participate in a fun, competitive game, requiring creativity, strategy, and skill.
  • The Future is Now Robotics

    Students learn the basics of coding, mechanics, and robotics, while building fully programmable automatons using Lego's Mindstorm EV3 kits.
  • Girls Basketball

    Girls shoot hoops, play mini games, and develop skills in a friendly, stress-free environment.
  • Harry Potter Club

    The Harry Potter club explores the plots, character development, and settings of J. K. Rowling’s most popular series of books through role-playing and interactive games.
  • Kindness Club

    Students explore and implement ways to foster a culture of kindness and acceptance—at PCD and the broader community.
  • Red & Black Goes Green

    Students explore the diverse PCD campus, raising their “nature IQ,” as well as research ways to make PCD greener. “Reduce, reuse and recycle” is the club’s motto and the ultimate goal is to reduce our impact on the environment.
  • Stock Market Club

    Students are given $100,000 of virtual money to invest and compete with students around the country.
  • Strength Training

    Students learn and practices fitness and weight training exercises.
  • Syfy/Comic Book Club

    Students explore and discuss their favorite comic books and super heroes.

Middle School Drop & Read

Drop & Read offers middle schoolers a unique opportunity for project-based learning that gets both students and faculty out of the traditional classroom setting. By participating in multi-disciplinary discussions and group activities students are encouraged to embrace new perspectives and deepen their understanding of themselves and their peers, while discovering new ways to discern meaning from a text.

For one week before winter break, everyone in the middle school (students and teachers in grades 5-8) suspends traditional classroom instruction and reads a book that has been selected to support the annual community curriculum. This rare opportunity allows middlers to immerse themselves in a multi-disciplinary approach to reading—to focus exclusively on one book, theme, and project, and share the experience in a collaborative learning environment with their peers.

Applying to PCD's Middle School: Next Steps

Applying to PCD requires a completed application form, official school transcripts, an entrance exam, two teacher recommendations, an interview with a member of PCD’s Admissions Office team, and neuro-psychological or psycho-educational testing results (if applicable).

International applicants must also include the International Student Supplement form and results of the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).

If you are interested in attending PCD, request more information below!