Table of Contents

ISM Core Values and Mission
ISM School-Wide Student Goals
An Overview: The Middle School
Assessment and Grading for Learning
English Language Arts
Content/Skills
Instructional Practices
English Language Arts Honors
Journalism
Mathematics
Content/Skills
Instructional Practices
Courses
Mathematics Honors
Science
Content/Skills
Instructional Practices
Safety
Social Studies
Content/Skills
Instructional Practices
Be the Change
Modern Languages
Content/Skills
Resources
Physical Education
Content/Skills
Resources
Wellness
Content/Skills
Instructional Practices

4
5
6
9
11
12
12
12
13
14
14
14
14
15
16
16
17
17
18
19
20
20
21
22
22
23
24
25
26
27
28

Information Technology
Content/Skills
Robotics
Instructional Materials
Resources
Fine & Performing Arts
Visual Art
Drama
Music
Dance
Student Advisory Program
Classroom Without Walls
Support Services
Counseling
English-as-a-Second-Language
Learning Support
Middle School Library
Content/Skills
Instructional Practices
Print Resources
Electronic Resources
Clubs and Activities
After-School Activities
Athletics and Activities
Middle School Activities Program
Sports Activities
Non-Sporting Activities
Service Learning

29
30
31
31
31
32
32
33
36
36
37
38
39
39
40
41
43
43
43
43
43
44
44
44
45
45
45
46

4

ISM CORE VALUES AND MISSION

ISM Core Values
and Mission
We are an independent, international school with a structure, style and traditions that emanate from the
United States and with a curriculum and methodology that reflect the best in worldwide educational research
and practice. Our school is diverse and dynamic, and our students have the highest aspirations for their
education and future lives.

Core Values
Integrity, Service, Merit

Mission
To build a vibrant and enterprising learning community in which all strive to:
t
t
t
t
t
t
t

Accentuate learning, growth, perseverance and self-awareness as life-long values.
Nurture creativity and originality as precursors for critical and reflective thought and action.
Succeed collectively as well as individually, achieving our personal best in all aspects of school life.
Maintain a healthy balance in the time devoted to work, rest and recreation.
Involve our community in sustaining and safeguarding our environment.
Interact through honest, respectful and open communication.
Acknowledge and celebrate our differences and encourage empathy, compassion, understanding
and respect for human dignity.
t Live our lives positively, joyfully and ethically.

* Adopted by the Board of Trustees on 26 October 2015

Integrity, Service, Merit
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ISM SCHOOL-WIDE STUDENT GOALS

ISM School-Wide
Student Goals
In order to fulfill the school’s mission and to provide a framework for the organization of instructional program, we
want all members of the school community to be:
1. Effective Communicators: who can interact through a range of modes of communication and for a variety of
2.
3.
4.
5.

purposes.
Knowledgeable and Skilled Learners: who continually acquire useful knowledge and skills while developing
understanding(s) across a broad and balanced range of contexts.
Self-directed and Balanced Individuals: who strive to achieve their personal best and understand the
importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance.
Inquiring and Reflective Problem Solvers: who can think critically and creatively to make informed decisions
and then take appropriate action.
Responsible, Caring and Ethical Contributors: who can empathize and be tolerant of differences and are
committed to make a positive impact on their communities and environment.

Middle School Program Guide

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5

6 AN OVERVIEW: THE MIDDLE SCHOOL

An Overview:
The Middle School

iddle School at International School Manila is a time when students are
transitioning from childhood to their adolescent years. This is an exciting and
challenging time for both the students themselves and the adults in their lives
supporting them through this journey. We believe in the following characteristics that
are supported throughout our Middle School program.

M

We are: developmentally responsive, taking into consideration the nature of young
adolescents as the foundation on which all decisions are made; challenging, recognizing
that every student can learn and everyone is held to high expectations; empowering,
providing all students with the knowledge and skills they need to take control of
their lives; equitable, advocating for every student’s right to learn and providing
challenging and relevant learning opportunities; internationally minded, being aware
of the importance of acknowledging and benefiting from the cultural diversity that
exists in our community and how we use this to broaden perspectives and tolerance.

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AN OVERVIEW: THE MIDDLE SCHOOL 7

The Middle School comprises four grade levels, Grade 5 through Grade 8. The age range is from ten to
fourteen.
In general, all Middle School students are required to take English, Social Studies, Mathematics, Science,
Modern Language, Physical Education, Wellness and individual Elective options. At Grades 5 and 6 all
students take one semester of Art and one semester of Drama, along with music elective choices. In Grades
7 and 8 students can take a year-long elective and one semester or three semester choices.

REQUIRED COURSES

English Language Arts

GRADE 5

Year-long
Band
Chorus
Strings
Semester-long
Chorus
General Music
Adventure-Based Games
IT iLearn

Middle School Program Guide

Mathematics
Science
Social Studies
Modern Language
Physical Education Wellness
ELECTIVE COURSES
GRADE 6
GRADE 7 and GRADE 8
Semester-long
Year-long
Year-long
ArtMud
Band
Band
ArtSculpt
Chorus
Chorus
ArtStudio
Strings
Strings
ArtiSan
Be The Change
Semester-long
Blueprint for Success
Chorus
Chorus
General Music
Dance Remix
Team Sports
Dance Revolution
IT iDesign
DigiArt
Drama – Storm the Stage
Drama – Improv
Drama – Musical Theater
Drama – Technical Theater
Fun, Fast and Fit
Journalism
Innovation Tech
Music Madness
Robotics

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8 AN OVERVIEW: THE MIDDLE SCHOOL

The four core areas of the Middle School curriculum – English, Mathematics, Science and Social
Studies – collaborate to align the programs and ensure ongoing opportunities for student transfer of
understandings and skills between the different content areas from Grades 5 to 8.
Each set of content Standards and Indicators has been aligned vertically between the divisions of
the school and guides the instruction at each grade level in the core area courses. Additionally, the
collaboration between each content area ensures that students move towards achieving the ISM
school-wide student goals of becoming inquiring and reflective problem solvers, knowledgeable and
skilled learners, effective communicators, self-directed and balanced individuals and responsible,
caring and ethical contributors.
At the heart of each course are rich concepts that anchor student learning and guide the assessment
of Standards and Indicators. These concepts are the focus of each unit of study within the core areas.
They also reinforce the interconnectedness of content and skills by encouraging students to transfer
what they are learning in one class to what they are learning in another. The following are the concepts
at each grade level:

GRADE 5

GRADE 6

GRADE 7

GRADE 8

Organization

Structures

Identity

Systems

Patterns

Relationships

Innovation

Transformation

Adaptation

Cause and Effect

Interaction

Power

Change

Discovery

Truth

Interconnectedness

In addition to the concepts, there is a set of school-wide Transdisciplinary Skills which are a set of
broad, essential skills that transcend subject areas. These include communication, connection and
collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving, research, personal management and reflection.
These skills are incorporated into the learning experiences in each course and are a part of the
assessment process.
A final component of our Dispositions is the set of lifelong behaviors we want to cultivate in students.
They are rooted in common values that will help a student learn how to contribute positively to the
school community and society at large. These include being responsible, ethical, caring, creative,
balanced and self-directed.
Both within departments and across grade levels, teachers collaborate with one another to support
instruction for students within these frameworks. The opportunities for Middle School students to
transfer their learning experiences make for a richer, more rigorous academic program and solidify
the long-term development and reinforcement of their understandings.

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ASSESSMENT AND GRADING FOR LEARNING 9

Assessment and Grading
for Learning
Principles of Assessment
t Effective assessment improves student learning. Assessment for improved student learning and deep
understanding requires a range of assessment practices to be used with three overarching purposes:
1. Assessment FOR learning occurs when teachers use inferences about student progress to inform
their teaching (formative);
2. Assessment AS learning occurs when students reflect on and monitor their progress to inform
future learning goals (formative);
3. Assessment OF learning occurs when teachers use evidence of student learning to make judgments
on student achievement against goals and standards (usually summative but can also be used as
formative when followed by further instruction).
t Effective assessment recognizes learning differences. Learning is a complex process that is multi-dimensional,
integrated and revealed in student performance over time. Students learn differently and at different paces
and are assessed in ways that show their learning in the best light.
t Effective assessment measures what is truly valued. Assessment is based on a vision of the kinds of learning we
value most and how students might best achieve these.
t Effective assessment is valid. Assessment tools and processes are aligned to standards and directly measure
what they are intended to measure.
t Effective assessment is fair and ethical. Assessment is based on clear statements of purpose, standards and
criteria against which success will be measured. Students have a clear understanding of what is expected of
them. Assessments are non-discriminatory, culturally appropriate and allow for diversity in learning styles
t Effective assessment is efficient and feasible. Assessment tasks are clear, appropriate and well structured. They
are achievable in a reasonable time frame mainly within the classroom. They are designed to allow teachers
to give timely feedback to students.
t Effective assessment promotes learner self-reliance. Student involvement in the nature and timing of
assessment tasks promotes self-reliance. There are ample opportunities for students to monitor their
learning through self-assessment.
t Effective assessment is authentic and contextual. Assessments encourage students to engage in the thoughtful
application of knowledge and skills to real issues and problems.

Middle School Program Guide

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10 ASSESSMENT AND GRADING FOR LEARNING

Purposes of Assessment
The primary purpose of assessment is to improve student learning by:
t HJWJOHstudents the opportunity to demonstrate their learning, experience success and increase self-reliance
by understanding their own progress, setting realistic goals and planning the next stages of their learning;
t FOBCMJOHteachers to determine degrees of prior knowledge before starting new learning, ascertain degrees
of understanding at various stages of the learning process, identify and support learning differences and
learning styles, and monitor and modify teaching strategies and content;
t QSPWJEJOHparents with the opportunity to be partners in the learning process and give them information to
assist their child in planning for the future, both in the immediate and long term;
t QSPWJEJOHcurriculum leaders with the data necessary for effective curriculum evaluation and revision;
t QSPWJEJOH PUIFS learning institutions with the data necessary for admissions and grade/year placement
decisions and giving accurate information on what the child knows and is able to do, including strengths
and areas needing support.

Grading for Learning
At ISM, we believe that grades should reflect the level of understanding and achievement towards determined
standards and that student behaviors (effort, participation, adherence to class rules, etc.) should be included
separately. Therefore, the grade in each subject area will consist of two separate grading categories. These include
Achievement and Learning Habits and both will be reported in the semester report.
Within the Achievement and Learning Habits categories, grades will be reported on in subcategories to provide
further information to parents and students regarding strengths and areas for growth. Within the Achievement
category, students will be assessed on Knowledge and Understanding (What do you know?), Transfer of Learning
(How can you apply what you know?), and Communication of Learning (How can you communicate about what
you know?). Within the Learning Habits category, students will be assessed on Organization, Engagement, and
Collaboration.
Grades will be reported on a scale of 7-1 with 7 and 6 representing Exemplary Achievement and Learning Habits,
5 and 4 representing Proficient Achievement and Learning Habits, 3 and 2 representing Developing Achievement
and Learning Habits and a 1 representing Emerging Achievement and Learning Habits.

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ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS

11

English Language Arts
he Middle School English Language Arts program encourages students to
build upon their fundamental knowledge of language and communication
while exploring their own strengths and areas for improvement as readers,
writers, speakers, and listeners. A strong emphasis is placed on applying appropriate
strategies as readers and thinkers to make meaning from texts; students use these
same strategies to craft written, visual, or oral pieces that are sophisticated and
accessible to a targeted audience. Students explore the patterns and structures of text
in order to transfer their skills between different literacy contexts such as informational
and creative writing, fictional and non-fictional pieces, and visual modes and oral
discussions. Students are challenged to use figurative and non-figurative language
in their compositions and express themselves in ways that show understanding and
complexity.

T

Students explore patterns and structures
in text to help them transfer their skills
between literacy contexts.

Middle School Program Guide

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12 ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS

Content/Skills
The English Language Arts program is skills-based each student’s inclination and passion for reading and
and revisits the fundamental components of reading, writing. Self-reflection is a critical component of each
writing, speaking, and listening at each grade level in the course because it allows students to set and revisit
Middle School. The curriculum varies the complexity of personal growth goals as an ongoing aspect of their
texts and genres to build the sophistication of students’ communication development.
thinking each year and prepares them for the learning

English Language Arts Honors

ahead.

The aims and objectives of the English Honors program
Overarching essential questions encourage students to at ISM are:
think about communication as a part of their everyday
lives. These questions help focus each student’s

t To broaden and deepen student appreciation

attention on why English Language Arts is studied as

of literature by engaging in a study of

a part of the core curriculum. Students revisit these
questions throughout each unit of study. At the end of
each unit, these questions are used to guide reflection
on a student’s understanding of the unit of study.

challenging literary texts.
t To foster a greater sense of the artistry and
artfulness of language and writing.
t To extend each student’s English skills beyond
the regular English curriculum.

Why read? How do I grow as a reader?

t To foster a deeper understanding of how

Why write? How do I grow as a writer?

communication skills enrich and enhance the

Why speak? How do I grow as a speaker?

learning experience across the curriculum.

Why listen? How do I grow as a listener?

Instructional Practices
Students are viewed as individual learners who need
developmentally

appropriate

and

differentiated

instructional strategies throughout the year. During
each unit, students are encouraged to explore different
texts through the metacognitive reading strategies
and share their ideas with peers in small and whole
group discussions. They utilize their own learning
styles as they explore and analyze texts from different
perspectives. Independent writing and reading are
vital components of each course in order to encourage

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ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS 13

The English Honors program is offered in Grades 7 and 8 and caters to students who are able to incorporate more
sophisticated points of view, contexts, and levels of critical analyses into their use of communication skills. In
planning and implementing the curriculum, alternative texts, supplementary resources and additional assessment
tasks are identified that give students a wider range of opportunities to showcase their thinking and learning
within each unit of study. Honors students are expected to be self-directed, reflective and creative thinkers who
excel in this context.
A process has been established for the selection of students in the Honors program, which is communicated to all
parents and students at the beginning of each school year.

Journalism
In the Introduction to Journalism elective course, students learn about and experience what it means to be a
journalist. They practice gathering information, conducting interviews, and expressing their opinions in print,
electronic and video media. The composition of text in each of these types of media as well as the methods for
producing each type of publication is explored. The goal of the course is to give interested students an authentic
experience in communicating with an audience and purpose in mind while creating an awareness of a journalist’s
professional duties and responsibilities.

Middle School Program Guide

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14 MATHEMATICS

Mathematics
he Middle School Mathematics Department believes that all students have the
capacity to learn mathematics at a high level. We endeavor to move students along
the learning continuum while challenging and supporting them as they develop the
dispositions, skills, knowledge and understanding to effectively use and apply mathematics
inside and outside of the classroom.

T

Content/Skills
The ISM Mathematics curriculum is designed to provide students with the

Standards for Mathematical Practices:

opportunity to focus deeply on the major work of each grade. This focus
helps students gain strong foundations, including a solid understanding

1. Make sense of problems and persevere

of concepts, a high degree of procedural skill and fluency, and the ability to

in solving them.

apply the mathematics they know to solve problems inside and outside of

2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

the classroom. Our curriculum is a coherent body of knowledge made up of

3. Construct viable arguments and critique

interconnected concepts with articulated progressions from grade to grade so

the reasoning of others.

that students can build new understanding onto foundations built in previous

4. Model with mathematics.

years.

5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
6. Attend to precision.

We seek to develop varieties of expertise in our students though emphasis on

7. Look for and make use of structure.

The Standards for Mathematical Practices. These practices rest on important

8. Look for and express regularity in

“processes and proficiencies” with longstanding importance in mathematics

repeated reasoning.

education. These elements support a student’s ability to learn and apply more
demanding mathematics concepts and procedures while calling on students

Instructional Practices

to practice applying mathematical ways of thinking to real-world issues and

Instructional practices in the Middle

challenges. They prepare students to think and reason mathematically.

School

Mathematics

program

are

student-centered and designed to pursue

Courses

conceptual

The Grade 5 Mathematics course focuses on number and operations in
base ten, operations and fractions, and measurement and data. Specifically,
students will understand place value, perform operations with decimals,
perform operations with fraction, and understand the concept of volume.

skills and fluency, and application with

understanding,

equal intensity.

procedural

Instructional decisions

are informed through ongoing formative
assessment to ensure that all students

continually build skills and have access to
The Grade 6 Mathematics course focuses on ratios and proportional rich curricular content.
relationships, the number system, and expressions and equations.
Specifically, students will use ration reasoning to solve problems, divide
fractions by fractions, extend previous understanding of numbers
to the system of rational numbers, solve one-variable equations and
inequalities, and analyze quantitative relationships between dependent
and independent variables.

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MATHEMATICS 15

The Grade 7 Mathematics course focuses on ratios and proportional relationships, the number system, and
expressions and equations. Specifically, students will use proportional relationships to solve real-world and
mathematical problems, use operations with fractions to add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational numbers,
and solve real-life and mathematical problems using numerical and algebraic expressions and equations.
The Grade 8 Mathematics course focuses on expressions and equations, functions, and geometry. Specifically,
students will work with radicals and integer exponents, understand proportional relationships, lines, and linear
equations, solve linear equations and pairs of simultaneous linear equations, understand geometrical congruence
and similarity, apply the Pythagorean Theorem, and solve real-world mathematic problems involving volume of
cylinders, cones and spheres.

Mathematics Honors
In Grades 7 and 8, we offer courses for students who qualify for a more rigorous program than standard-level
mathematics.

The accelerated curriculum of the Mathematics Honors program challenges advanced learners

who demonstrate superior aptitude in reasoning and problem solving to use higher-order thinking skills.
The aims and objectives of the Math Honors program are:
t To broaden and deepen student appreciation of mathematics by engaging and extending students with more
demanding material, problem-solving and enrichment beyond the challenges provided in the standard math
curriculum.
t To provide students with the opportunity to see and apply mathematical skills and concepts in everyday life,
thereby making evident the fundamental importance of mathematics in the world around them.
t To develop inquisitive and active problem solvers who regularly use higher level thinking skills.
t To expand student understanding and appreciation of the nature of mathematical thinking.
Honors students are expected to apply concepts and make connections to new situations, demonstrate superior reasoning
and problem-solving abilities, be independent and desire challenges beyond the scope of a standard mathematics classroom.
The Grade 7 Mathematics Honors course focuses on algebraic reasoning, inductive reasoning, introduction to functions,
polynomials, rational expressions and equations, geometry, and statistics and probability. Specifically, students will extend
basic algebraic reasoning skills, develop their inductive reasoning skills and explore famous mathematical patterns, investigate
the concepts of relations and functions, perform operations with polynomials, perform operations with rational expressions
and solve equations containing rational expressions, investigate congruence and similarity of polygons, investigate and apply
the Pythagorean Theorem, develop their statistical problem solving skills and expand their understanding of measures of
central tendency.
The Grade 8 Mathematics Honors course focuses on algebraic reasoning, geometry, introduction to functions, systems
of equations, quadratic functions, and statistics and probability. Specifically, students will solve equations and inequalities
with fractional terms, explore the Pythagorean Theorem and its applications, investigate the properties and relationships in
geometry, examine the concepts of relations and functions, solve systems of equations with two variables and graph systems
of inequalities, factor quadratic functions and solve quadratic equations and calculate simple and compound probability.
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16 SCIENCE

Science
he Science program at ISM fosters in students a sense of wonder and curiosity
about themselves and the changing world around them. Using the scientific
process, students are encouraged to think critically, solve problems, evaluate
evidence and make supported conclusions. Students develop knowledge, skills
and understanding through active inquiry and meaningful investigation to make
connections with scientific concepts and principles.

T

Content/Skills
Throughout Middle School Science, students develop their understanding of concepts in
scientific inquiry, life science, physical science, earth science, space science and technology.
These units of study are carefully aligned to Science Standards and Indicators from Kindergarten
to Grade 12 in an integrated, sequential and developmentally-appropriate manner. The essential
skills of Science include designing and conducting investigations accurately and safely, making
observations and inferences, predicting, measuring, organizing and displaying quantitative
data, using detailed evidence in supporting conclusions, and evaluating the investigation
along with the ISM school-wide Transdisciplinary Skills.

In Grade 5, students will use the scientific process

In Grade 7, students will use the scientific process

to conduct and design investigations while learning

to conduct and design investigations while learning

about rocks and minerals, Earth’s changing surface,

about natural selection, forces and motion, density,

earthworms and composting, and sound and light.

heat transfer and the solar system.

In Grade 6, students will use the scientific process

In Grade 8, students will use the scientific process

to conduct and design investigations while learning

to conduct and design investigations while learning

about matter, cells, ecosystems, magnets, circuits,

about human body systems, physical and chemical

plate tectonics and Earth’s history.

reactions, simple machines, pollution and ecology.

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SCIENCE

Instructional Practices
Instructional practices in the Science classroom are differentiated and aligned with the essential
learning outcomes for each unit. Students of all abilities gain a coherent understanding of the
living, physical and material components of the world around them while engaged in the
scientific process. Through fun and meaningful exploration in hands-on, minds-on, inquirybased methodology, students are immersed in a variety of situations and experiences. During
a typical day in any Middle School Science classroom, one may observe teacher and studentled discussions, laboratory and fieldwork investigations, individual and small-group instruction,
various projects being carried out, a diverse assortment of assessments being taken and the
integration of a wide range of technology.

Safety
Student safety is paramount when participating in scientific activities. The Middle School
Science Department will direct students to wear goggles, aprons, rubber gloves and/or
facemasks when necessary. Guidelines for appropriate behavior while in the Science laboratory
will be implemented and adhered to. Furthermore, students are expected to enter the Science
laboratory with closed-toed shoes (such as PE shoes or sneakers); flip-flops and sandals present
a safety hazard and are not acceptable footwear.

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18

SOCIAL STUDIES

Social Studies
he Middle School Social Studies program integrates studies in the social
sciences - history, cultural studies, geography, current events, sociology
and anthropology. The course is based on the intended learnings of ISM
that include subject-specific Standards and Indicators and Transdisciplinary Skills. In
Social Studies classes, students are encouraged to go beyond the surface of problems,
to ask questions, to reflect, to make connections, to develop and test theories, to
experiment with new ideas, to analyze problems, to debate hot topics, and to create
meaningful and useful products. Social Studies students are given opportunities to
become engaged in their own education, to take responsibility for learning and to
develop concerns that transfer beyond the confines of the classroom.

T

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SOCIAL STUDIES 19

Content/Skills
The Social Studies curriculum emanates from school-wide Standards that include such key ideas as patterns of
continuity and change, the causes and effects of interactions among societies, the influence of physical and human
geography on people and places over time, and the influence and structure of social, economic and governmental
systems. Units of study are developed around rich concepts that are common to the core subject areas in the
Middle School. Each unit in Middle School Social Studies is developed around unit understandings and essential
questions. Students work to “uncover” the answers to the essential questions over the course of a unit in order to
achieve deep understanding of concepts.
In Grade 5, students study topics such as the organizational structures of ancient civilizations,
mapping geographical patterns, the age of exploration, and perspectives on the causes and
outcomes of change in our world.
In Grade 6, students study topics such as government and social structures in society,
relationships between people and the environment, the impact of the past on the present,
the movement of people and population demographics and early humans and the Neolithic
Revolution.
In Grade 7, students study topics such as features of culture, innovations in societies, the
social, political and economic interactions of people, the concept of truth and the reasons for
differences in perspectives.
In Grade 8, students study topics such as the justification and use of power through government
systems, political and social revolutions and human rights and global issues.
Overarching essential questions encourage students to think about Social Studies as a part of
their everyday lives. These guiding questions help students to understand why social studies is
a part of the core curriculum and directly connected to their lives. Students come back to these
questions repeatedly throughout each unit of study. Overarching essential questions include:
t How does the study of the world help us to understand our place in it?
t How does the study of the past help us to understand the present and prepare for
the future?
t How is Social Studies about me?

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SOCIAL STUDIES

Instructional Practices
Instructional practices in the Social Studies classroom vary in accordance with learning objectives. They range
from traditional whole-class presentations to small-group activities and individualized instruction. Cooperative
learning activities complement teacher-led discussions, writing workshops, individual research projects, smallgroup instruction, hands-on activities and simulations. The use of technology is regularly integrated into the Social
Studies program.

Be The Change
Be The Change is a semester-long elective course for students in Grades 7 and 8. The goal of
the Be The Change course is to cultivate a sense of empathy and compassion in students for all
members of the local and global community and the planet we share. Students develop selfawareness through an opportunity to discover, discuss and reflect on a variety of problems.
Students examine their actions and responses to uncover their passions and find ways to affect
change through active global citizenry.

Students develop self-awareness through an opportunity
to discover, discuss and reflect on a variety of problems.

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Middle School Program Guide

MODERN LANGUAGES

Modern Languages
he Middle School Modern Languages program seeks
to provide an environment where students feel
confident to take risks while exploring the complex
process of acquiring a new language. The Modern Languages
courses are carefully sequenced from Middle School to High
School. Functional themes and situations are mastered first,
followed by more academic themes in the High School.
The program focuses on the interpersonal, interpretive and
presentation modes of communication. Throughout the
program, the language-study process is used as a vehicle to
discover connections between the target language’s culture
and the students’ own culture and language. Assessment is
carried out through a variety of listening, speaking, reading
and writing tasks. Communication and conversation drive our
instructional approach.

T

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22

MODERN LANGUAGES

Content/Skills
The Introductory Courses Level A aim to develop

communicate in oral and written forms with coherence

students’ confidence and ability to interact in the target

and a reasonable degree of grammatical accuracy

language through engaging students in a thematic and

within the range of themes studied.

communicative approach. The themes explored are
personal information, family and friends, school, home,

Level C courses aim to provide students with the skills

city, free time and entertainment, hobbies and sports,

necessary to begin analyzing, debating and interacting in

shopping, health and food. These themes and in-class

the target language at an intermediate level. Vocabulary

learning experiences are closely linked to students’

and advanced grammar continue to be introduced

interests and awareness of the world. Vocabulary and

through the same instructional approach designed to

grammar structures are learned in context to further

engage students in the language learning process. The

students’ ability to interact in the target language. By the

themes studied are expanded to encourage discussion and

end of these courses, students will have acquired skills

interaction with authentic materials of the target culture

to communicate in oral and written forms with some

and language. By the end of the Level C course, students

coherence and a reasonable amount of grammatical

are expected to use the language with grammatical

accuracy within the range of themes studied.

accuracy and to express themselves spontaneously during
class.

Level B courses follow the same instructional approach
as the introductory courses. The aim is to build upon

Upon completion of Grade 6 and Grade 8, students

basic grammar and vocabulary to further students’

will be evaluated based on in-class performance and

abilities to express themselves and support their

placed in the most suitable level for the following year.

opinions in the target language. The same themes as

Students from Grade 6 will usually be placed in Level

Level A are used as the context to develop students’

A or B. Students from Grade 8 will usually be placed in

confidence and fluency with the basic language,

High School Level 2 or 3.

grammar, concepts and vocabulary. By the end of
these courses, students will have acquired skills to

Resources
The ISM Modern Languages Department is equipped with a variety of materials used to
engage students in the target language and culture. The materials include iPads, subscriptions
to websites, audio-visual equipment, books, movies, music, games and mini-whiteboards.
Lesson resources are created by our Modern Languages teachers in order to provide the most
appropriate, relevant and engaging learning experiences for our students. These resources are
shared with students via Google Drive and teachers’ blogs.

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Middle School Program Guide

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

23

Physical Education

hysical Education is an important part of the total educational program. The ISM Middle School

P

Physical Education program provides each student with the opportunity to participate in a
comprehensive curriculum of activity.

The program has two primary focal points. The first is to equip students with levels of motor skills that enable
safe, satisfying participation in lifelong activities. They will acquire the language and knowledge they need to
participate successfully. The second focal point is to equip students with the knowledge and skills essential to
monitoring and managing their own health-related levels of fitness.
Students participate in physical activities that allow them to develop an understanding of the physical
abilities of themselves and others. Students become aware of the social benefits of physical activity through
participation. The program promotes the spirit of cooperation, leadership, fair play and friendly competition.
Students receive instruction in skill development, the application of rules and strategies in the following
different movement forms: health-related fitness activities, aerobic exercise, team sports, individual and dual
sports, gymnastics, outdoor pursuits, aquatics, dance, and recreational games. Ongoing assessment includes
both written and performance-based skill evaluations.
Our mission is to empower all students to sustain regular, lifelong physical activity as a foundation for a
healthy, productive and fulfilling life.

Middle School Program Guide

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24

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

In addition to the core Physical Education program, students in Middle School at ISM also have the opportunity
to choose from a variety of PE based electives:

Content/Skills

Adventure-Based Games

In Grades 5 and 6, students develop their understanding

For Grade 5 students, this semester-long elective

of sports and fitness-related concepts through

course is aimed at developing: personal confidence,

participation in numerous competitive and non-

cooperation in a group, increased levels of agility and

competitive situations. The focus is on the continued

coordination, develop a self-joy in one’s physical self and

development of basic skills that can be incorporated

in being with others. Students will have the opportunity

into a variety of activities instead of specific sports. Team

to engage in activities that have an element of surprise,

and individual values are also developed as students

that challenge, have a risk and are FUN and SAFE. They

evaluate their interactions with others on a regular

will be guided through activities that will enhance their

basis. Additionally, students have the opportunity to

team-building, problem-solving and communication

select Adventure-Based Games or Team Sports elective

skills. They will experience being leaders, followers

courses for one semester.

and observers and learn how to perform such roles
effectively so that the group can reach its goal.

In Grade 7 and 8, students have the opportunity to
transfer their knowledge into more realistic sports and

Team Sports

game situations. They also gain a greater understanding

For Grade 6 students, this semester-long elective

of their social responsibility, fitness development and

course is aimed at those who wish to further their

knowledge of rules through participation in competitive

abilities in a wide variety of team sports such as

team and individual activities, evaluation and feedback

Basketball, Soccer, Water Polo, Touch Rugby, Volleyball,

sessions together with research projects. Students have

Flag Football and Floor Hockey, among others. By

the opportunity to select Fun, Fast and Fit elective for

playing fun and competitive games against opponents,

one semester.

students will explore advanced skills and tactics.
Through teamwork, communication and cooperation,

Grade 5 and 6

the students will make collaborative efforts to devise

Motor Skill Development in the courses:

and incorporate existing skills, tactics and strategies
to gain an advantage over and to pressure opponents.

t Invasion Skills

This will be a very active course that will promote high

t Movement Skills

levels of activity and fitness with an aim to develop a

t Aquatic Skills

positive attitude towards lifelong participation in sports

t Net Skills

and exercise.

t Striking and Fielding Skills
Overarching Themes:
t Teamwork
t Cooperation
t Competition
t Communication
t Healthy Lifestyles
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Middle School Program Guide

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

The Grade 7 and 8 Physical Education program will provide the opportunity for students to incorporate the motor
skills developed in Grades 5 and 6 into cooperative and competitive situations and games. The focus will change
to increased participation in enjoyable and physically demanding lessons. Students will develop skills and team
tactics, together with their social interaction, leadership, personal management and communication skills.

Grade 7 and 8
Activities will include the following (and potentially others):
t Basketball, Soccer, Touch Rugby, Hockey
t Climbing, Gymnastics, Fitness, Track & Field
t Swimming, Survival, Water Polo
t Volleyball, Pickleball, Table Tennis, Badminton
t Softball, Cricket

Fun, Fast and Fit
This is a fun PE elective created for Grade 7 and 8 students. It uses music, movement and the power of fitness to
boost energy, increase skill level and generally make you feel awesome. Best of all, there are a number of different
types of fitness activities to suit everyone. The music and activities change regularly, so there’s always new stuff to
look forward to.
The aim of this course is to promote an interest in physical activity, which will lead to participation and involvement
in and out of school and throughout life. This course has been designed for individuals who have an interest
in physical activity as a lifestyle. A wide variety of activities are covered; students will be introduced to fun and
challenging activities including movement, martial arts, sports conditioning, team challenges, dance, yoga and
pilates. Students will develop the spirit of success both as individuals and as a group while feeling motivated to
work harder each time. The course will focus on the importance of an active lifestyle and the benefits of regular
physical activity. Students will be provided with the opportunity to develop their own fitness lessons and will be
expected to maintain a high level of effort and participation.

Resources
ISM houses some of the best sports facilities in the Philippines. Throughout the Physical Education program,
students have access to two floodlit synthetic turf sports fields, a six-lane running track, three indoor gyms, three
swimming pools, eight covered tennis courts, a nine-line climbing facility, a fitness suite, two air-conditioned fitness
rooms, a fully equipped Olympic gymnastics area and a covered utility area.

Middle School Program Guide

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25

26 WELLNESS

Wellness
SM expects each of its students to work towards becoming knowledgeable,
respectful and responsible citizens. In keeping with these aims, the Middle
School Wellness program seeks to inform students about issues related to
their personal health and to assist them in developing the skills necessary to make
good decisions about their health and safety.

I

Our program is based on the premise that in order to achieve
a state of wellness, students must understand the interrelated
nature of physical, mental, emotional, environmental and social
health.
By following our Wellness Standards and Indicators, students
will understand that:
t Personal choices related to health promotion and
disease prevention will enhance health.
t The influence of family, peers, culture, media,
technology and other factors affect health behaviors.
t Practicing health-enhancing behaviors can help them
avoid or reduce health risks.
t Advocating for personal, family and community
health promotes healthy behaviors and choices.

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Middle School Program Guide

WELLNESS

Content/Skills
The Middle School Wellness program presents health information that is developmentally appropriate
for the students at each grade level. Course topics have been carefully selected to address the particular
needs of our students at various stages of their pre-adolescence and adolescence and to assist them in
making good decisions about their own health and safety during these years.
In Grade 5, students are taught the importance

effects of inhalant abuse on the body and mind.

of a holistic approach to health that places equal

The course ends with a unit on growth and personal

emphasis on physical, mental, emotional and

development. Topics in this unit include changes

social well-being. The course begins by examining

during puberty, personal hygiene, building better

healthy eating habits, nutrition and the importance

relationships (peers, friends, family, teachers) and

of physical fitness. Students then explore various

safe use of the Internet when communicating with

health-enhancing behaviors and learn how to keep

friends online.

safe both at home and in the wider community. In
the substance abuse unit, students investigate the

In Grade 7, the course begins with personal goal

effects of caffeine on the body and mind, decision-

setting then moves into an investigation of how fast

making skills and peer pressure. The fourth unit

food and a lack of physical activity affect the body

of study looks at personal development. This unit

systems. In unit two, students focus on social health

focuses on the different body changes that occur

and the importance of developing social thinking

during puberty, the reproductive system and ways

skills to help in maneuvering through social media,

that students can develop healthy personal care

in developing conflict management strategies, in

routines.

recognizing and addressing bullying, and in coping
with unhealthy relationships. This is followed by

In Grade 6, the course is divided into four units

a drug education unit. The topics of study for this

of study, beginning with physical health. This

unit include the effects of tobacco and nicotine

physical health unit augments lessons already

on one’s health, peer pressure, the role of media

presented in our Physical Education program and

in teen drug use, refusal skills, proper use of over-

provides students with information on the benefits

the-counter and prescription medications, and an

of physical fitness, as well as nutrition, healthy

exploration of natural remedies. Lastly, students

eating habits and body image. The next unit of

continue their investigation of physical health

study is emotional health. This unit investigates

by studying in-depth the reproductive systems,

the importance of making healthy decisions and

including guidelines for the care and maintenance

provides strategies for managing emotions. In

of these systems.

the substance abuse unit, the students study the

Middle School Program Guide

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27

28 WELLNESS

In Grade 8, students are introduced to topics that are
relevant for teens who will soon be entering High
School. As in all Wellness courses at ISM, the importance
of good decision-making based on factual information

Instructional Practices

and values is emphasized. In the first unit, students study
the most common eating disorders and the importance

Readings accompanied by lecture and class discussion

of balance in one’s life. The second unit explores mental

are used to introduce and reinforce key concepts

health issues with a focus on teen depression. In the

and ideas in all Wellness courses. These practices are

substance abuse unit, students investigate the effects of

augmented by a wide variety of instructional practices

alcohol and marijuana on the body and mind, the power

including small-group activities and discussions, journal

of peer pressure and skills to deal with this pressure.

writing, and individual and group projects. Students are

The following unit of study is an investigation of one’s

assessed through teacher observation, tests, quizzes,

rights over his/her body and how to protect these rights

and completion of assignments and projects.

through assertive communication. This provides the
background necessary for the last unit, human sexuality,
in which students examine teen sexuality, pregnancy
and sexually transmitted diseases.

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Middle School Program Guide

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY 29

Information
Technology
T

he Middle School Information Technology curriculum
presents a variety of options, including integrated projects
in all subjects as well as optional exploratory technology

classes. This ensures growth beyond basic computer literacy and
incorporates technology as a tool in all academic as well as social
pursuits. The curriculum has been prompted by the changes in the
“real world” of technology and continues to be modified throughout
the Middle School years depending on technological advancement.
We believe that students thrive in an environment in which education
with technology is a seamless part of their lives. All students in Grades
7 to 12 are required to “Bring Their Own Device” (BYOD) to support this.

Middle School Program Guide

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30 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Content/Skills
The Middle School Information Technology

the iterative design cycle of analysis, design,

curriculum focuses on three key areas: Web

development and testing.

Awareness, Cyber Safety and Presentation
Design. It aims to equip students with an

In Grades 7 and Grade 8, students focus on

understanding of Web 2.0 applications, to

how to leverage technology to further their

discuss appropriate online behavior, and

learning and to gain a depth of understanding

to explore fundamental skills in editing

not possible with traditional tools. Students

digital images and sounds, data collection,

collaborate when necessary within private

spreadsheet management, graphing and the

or topic-based social networks. They work in

application of multimedia presentations.

teams using collaborative tools like blogs and
wikis to develop documents and presentations.

In Grade 5, students acquire an introduction

They also learn advanced search techniques

to Web 2.0 tools such as podcasts, wikis and

and sharpen their ability to accurately and

RSS feeds via technology integration within

effectively disseminate information from

the core subject areas. Students investigate

social networks and search engines to

online educational resources, web search

accomplish their goals. Students also have

strategies and cyber safety. Students also

the opportunity to enroll in the Innovation

have the opportunity to enroll in the IT iLearn

Technology elective course that focuses on

elective, which explores wikis, blogs and

redesigning digital images, learning coding

social networks.

basics, producing films, publishing interactive
books, designing technology projects and

In Grade 6, students learn how to manage

integrating technology into everyday life.

information on the web using collaborative
tools via technology integration within the

All technological learning in Middle School

core subject areas. Online behavior and cyber

is integrated within the context of their core

safety are discussed in the context of student

subject areas with extensive support provided

web activity. Students continue to develop

by technology specialists.

their understanding of digital imagery and
multimedia presentations by using digital
cameras to capture content for their work.
Students also have the opportunity to enroll
in the IT iDesign elective, which focuses on

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Middle School Program Guide

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Robotics
This is a problems-based course in which students will work primarily in teams to design, build
and program robots. The main hardware for the robots will be EV3 Mindstorms, which uses
both LEGO materials and computer programming software. Creativity, teamwork, and critical
thinking will be used to solve problems through the design, investigation, building, testing,
redesigning and reflecting on the process stages.

Instructional Materials
A truly strong point in instructional practices in the Middle School Information Technology
classes is the integration of computer skills across all subject areas. Middle School technology
integrators employ a variety of teaching strategies including auditory, visual and kinesthetic
approaches. Within these modalities, teachers undertake discussions of the subject matter,
demonstration lessons to augment and supplement discussions, and the performance of
hands-on activities to reinforce the first two levels. Cooperative learning activities and studentled presentations further typify the teaching-learning interaction.

Resources
Students have access to computer laboratories as well as laptop carts. The labs are connected to
the ISM network’s file servers. A standard roaming electronic desktop is maintained throughout
the school, which features Windows and Mac-based software applications plus those for email
and Internet access (including webmail/email), word-processing, multimedia presentations
and lesson supplements.

Middle School Program Guide

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31

32 FINE & PERFORMING ARTS

Fine & Performing Arts
he Fine and Performing Arts program in the Middle School
covers four subject areas: Visual Art, Music, Drama and Dance.
It is enhanced by the diverse opportunities available within and
beyond the classroom. It seeks to emphasize the importance of process
while striving for excellence in performance or product. Recognizing
the importance of reflecting the ethnic and cultural diversity of the
school’s community, the program encourages individual expression
while developing respect and appreciation for others.

T

Visual Art
Grades 5 and 6 - Foundations of Art
In this compulsory semester course, assignments
emphasize building basic skills and an appreciation
of the elements of art and principles of design. The
course is designed to encourage the development of
creative thinking, a respect for quality and originality,
self-confidence, visual and tactile perception, and the
ability to work independently
The

program

concentrates

on

practical

studio

production but also includes discussion of aesthetics,
art criticism and art history. Assignment units will build

Grades 7 and 8 – Electives

on the structure already established and familiar to art

In the semester-long courses in Grades 7 and 8,

students in the Elementary School. During Grades 5

the assignments allow students to develop more

and 6 the two semesters of art will include increasingly

challenging work based on a theme. In order to cater

demanding assignments that cover five basic art

to individual student interests, the following semester

experiences across the year: drawing, painting, fiber

courses are offered: ARTstudio – drawing, painting,

and fabric, form and construction, and printing.

print and mixed media; ARTmud – clay; ARTsculpt –
sculpture; ARTisan – functional art and design; and
DigiART – photography, graphic design and moviemaking.

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Middle School Program Guide

FINE & PERFORMING ARTS

Drama
Middle School Drama develops and stimulates creative thought, collaboration and teamwork,
improvisational skills and physical awareness. Our program is inclusive, enriching and geared
towards developing self-esteem, lateral thinking and problem-solving skills, all of which can be
transferred to other disciplines of the ISM Middle School curriculum.

Grade 5 and 6 Exploratory
Content/Skills
Grades 5 and 6 Middle School Drama students learn the basis of performance through
interactive and active lessons. Students develop collaborative skills as they work in wholeclass and small-group settings to explore drama in different forms. In Grade 5, students
investigate the drama building blocks through ensemble games and storytelling. In Grade
6, students further expand their skills through looking at ensemble building, improvisation
and physical comedy. In addition to being designed for students of any experience level,
both Grade 5 and 6 Drama are hands-on and practical in their approach to both onstage and
behind-the-scenes features of the theater.

Grade 5 Drama Units
Introduction to Drama
This unit is designed to introduce students to the building blocks of Drama. The student
will participate in practical activities which will develop ensemble skills, group work,
communications skills as well as the fundamentals to build a performance. Students will reflect
on their learning within class discussions and journal entries.

Storytelling
This unit is designed to give students exposure to the importance of storytelling. The students will
examine what are the elements of drama and how they are used to create scripts and characters.
They will learn how to work collaboratively to produce original plays. The students will work to
perform their final scripts to an invited audience.

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33

34

FINE & PERFORMING ARTS

Grade 6 Drama Units
Ensemble Building

Physical comedy

The focus of this unit is to build a sense of community

actors to leave the voice behind and focus on body

and collaboration. The importance of being able to

and expression to communicate a message or story.

work together as a group effectively is an essential part

Students will develop physical comedy skills in class

of becoming an active citizen. Through working as an

exercises, investigate the genre of street theater, and

ensemble the students will focus and enhance their

create their own street theater performance, which

leadership skills, such as speaking in public, reading

will then be performed live to an audience. They will

non-verbals, and facilitating group work and discussion.

have opportunities to become more aware of their

This will be undertaken through exercises, collaborative

bodies and learn how to communicate intentionally

challenges, research, and reflection.

without sound, as well as collaborating in small groups

Physical comedy is a unique form of theater that allows

and reflecting upon their acting experiences in journal

Improvisation

entries and group discussions.

The ability to think on the spot and use your creativity
is a 21st Century skill. Through this unit, students will

Grade 7 and 8 Elective

examine how to challenge themselves by thinking
creatively and working collaboratively. The art of

Content and Skills Overview

improvisation will be defined, developed, and extended

Grades 7 and 8 Middle School Drama students continue

through exploring the basic building blocks of

to build upon the skills explored in Grades 5 and 6,

improvisation and applying those skills to the creative

including improvisation, collaboration, use of voice

framework of Theater Sports.

and body, and group performance. Students are able to
select four different courses to supplement their drama
needs. Each course offers them a unique viewpoint on
Theater as well as continuing to build the important life
skills of communication and collaboration.

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Middle School Program Guide

FINE & PERFORMING ARTS

Grade 7 and 8 Drama Units
Storm the Stage: Theater 101
(Semester or year-long course)

Realizing Visions: Technical Theater 101
(Semester course)

Students learn the processes behind analyzing play

vision for the stage with lighting, sound, and set design.

scripts and realizing them in performance. These

The students will explore these different aspects of

processes include: physical explorations of character,

technical theater in the first part of the course and

narrative and themes; developing a performance

then specialize in areas of interest by designing and

vision;

techniques.

implementing the tech for performances. In order to

Working alongside students from Technical Theater

provide these practical opportunities for working with

101, the group will utilize all elements of the theatrical

actors, Technical Theater 101 will run alongside Storm

experience (lights, sound, costumes, props, ensemble

the Stage, Triple Threat Training and/or the Semester 2

acting) to “put a show on!”

Middle School musical.

Triple Threat Training:
The Art of Musical Theater (Semester course)

Theater “Improv-able”: Becoming a Devising 007
(Semester course)

Students explore how acting, singing and dancing work

Building on the skills learnt in Improvisation in Grade 6,

together to not only create spectacle but also drive

this unit focusses on the 21st century skills of devising.

the narrative and character development in Musical

Through creative games and fun, students will learn

Theater. After initial explorations of these skills, students

that anything can be developed into a performance.

select, choreograph, and perform ensemble scenes

One of the key concepts of the unit is that creativity,

where all three performance skills are utilized. The

collaboration and communication can be developed

course is structured so as to support both beginning

whilst having enormous amounts of fun. Through a

and experienced performers to develop both their

mix of theater games, improvisations, and devising the

individual abilities and an understanding of the power

students will create original performances that will be

of ensemble performance.

based on a theme.

rehearsal

and

Middle School Program Guide

performance

This course focusses on how to design and create a

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35

36

FINE & PERFORMING ARTS

Music

violin, viola, cello or bass while the focus in band is on playing

Middle School students are exposed to music in a variety

instruments in the woodwind, brass and percussion families.

of year-long and semester-long courses offered in General

Band and String classes are taught year-long and students

Music, Choir, Band and Strings.

may enter these programs at a Beginning, Intermediate or
Advanced skill level.

General Music
Students can explore a broad range of musical topics in

All performance groups in the Music Department are

General Music. Students look at the elements of music and

highlighted at several concerts throughout the year.

experiment with different instrument groups on how these
can be employed. Students also use loop-based software to
create electronic compositions. Seventh and eighth grade

Dance

students enrolled in Music Madness further extend their

Dance offers students the chance to explore their movement

music experiences through units such as guitar, keyboard,

potential and develop spatial awareness. Throughout the

world music, musical theater, movie soundtracks, computer-

semester, different dance forms such as modern, jazz and hip

based composition and the history of rock and roll.

hop and the foundations of choreography will be explored.
Above all, this course is designed to give students the

Choir

confidence to move forward into ISM’s already thriving Dance

Students may choose to develop their vocal talents by taking

program at the High School level and to inspire them to

a semester or full year of Choir. Grade 7 and 8 singers at every

experiment with different avenues of movement expression.

level of ability and stage of physical transition are encouraged

For this reason, the course is suitable for both experienced

to develop their vocal skills and musicianship in Choir.

and beginning dancers. As part of this program, the students
are given the opportunity to share, celebrate and showcase

Band and Strings

their talent through participation in school activities and

Students interested in learning to play an instrument may

dance recitals

choose to take Band or Strings. String students choose to play

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Middle School Program Guide

STUDENT ADVISORY PROGRAM

37

Student Advisory
Program
he Student Advisory program focuses on addressing the social and emotional needs
of Middle School students while building a sense of small-group community and
strengthening student-adult relationships. Students are placed in small groups with
a teacher-advisor. Groups generally meet twice a week to share perspectives on relevant issues,
play collaborative games, and build organizational skills. It is a time of friendship, support and
social-emotional learning. The school-wide Dispositions provide a framework for Advisory, along
with three Advisory objectives developed by faculty: self-awareness, a sense of belonging, and
time for “inspiring, memorable fun”. Each grade level also addresses developmentally appropriate
issues such as relationship skills, stress-reduction skills, goal-setting, decision-making and
healthy risk-taking. Time is also allotted for study skills and organization. Advisory supports
the Counseling Department and social-emotional learning that occurs throughout the Middle
School program-Wellness classes, other academic courses, and co-curricular activities-- by giving
students the opportunity to share and apply their learning to issues they are facing in the context
of a safe environment. Teacher-advisors serve as mentors and a first line of academic support for
their advisory students.

T

Student Advisory Specifics
t Each Advisory is made up of a maximum of thirteen students in the same grade level who
meet with an assigned advisor throughout the year.
t Advisory period takes place twice each week.
t Regular assemblies reinforce Advisory themes structured around ISM’s Dispositions: caring,
responsible, self-directed, ethical/fair, creative, balanced.
t Advisory sessions include circle discussions, group sharing, collaborative games, inspiring
videos, time to get organized, and reflective activities.
t Various activities focus on community building, “character strengths” development, service
learning, mindfulness, study skills, self-expression and self-regulation.
t Advisory teachers serve as advocates for their students.

Middle School Program Guide

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38 CLASSROOM WITHOUT WALLS

Classroom
Without Walls
T

he Classroom Without Walls (CWW) program at ISM spans Grades 5 to 8 in the
Middle School. This program engages students in activities outside the school
and is linked to the academic program and Service Learning.

Students in the Middle School attend two experiential programs during the school year. These
programs offer experiences at a level appropriate to the respective grades. Some common
elements run throughout the Classroom Without Walls program for all grade levels. The
September activities focus on team-building, while the February trip focuses on fieldwork,
outdoor challenges, health and social education, community and service.

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Middle School Program Guide

SUPPORT SERVICES 39

Support Services
Counseling
The Middle School Counseling program is designed to help students develop holistically as
they move through the different levels of Middle School. This is accomplished by providing
consultation and support through individual and group counseling, grade-level initiatives,
crisis intervention and facilitation of communication among students, parents, teachers and
administrators. There are three Counselors in the Middle School. While working as a team, they
divide the responsibilities for individual students alphabetically by surname.

Kid Talk: The Counseling Department facilitates
this support structure to ensure that all students
receive any intervention necessary that will help
with their global functioning.
Grade Level Activities: The Counseling Team
works with each grade level and conducts
grade-level assemblies to address a variety of
issues adolescents face. A large part of these
efforts is to create positive relationships and a
congenial atmosphere at school.
Group Guidance: At different times throughout
the year, the Counselors conduct group guidance
sessions. These sessions are designed to help
students gain insight into their behaviors,
understand their attitudes, interests and
capabilities, and learn how to make intelligent
decisions. Special interest group guidance

Middle School Program Guide

sessions can also be suggested and requested
by students (e.g. Dealing with Stress, Developing
Studying Skills, Adjusting to Moving Away).

Individual Counseling: The Counselors are
trained to help Middle School students with
school-related problems arising from academic,
personal, social or family conflicts. Some common
problems include adjustment to school, changing
peer relationships, parent expectations and study
habits. Confidentiality is observed. Students are
free to make an appointment with any of the
Counselors when a need arises.
Parenting Groups: The Counselors arrange
workshops throughout the year to help parents
improve their parenting style and strengthen
their relationship with their child.

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40

ENGLISH-AS-A-SECOND-LANGUAGE

English-as-a-SecondLanguage (ESL) Program
earning English, but also learning in English, is a formidable task and
the ESL program at ISM is designed to help students successfully
meet this challenge. ISM offers specialized language instruction for
students whose first language is other than English.

L

ESL Inclusion Support
Research shows that language learning is greatly enhanced by meaningful use in authentic learning
environments. Our program ensures that students have access to the mainstream curriculum as well as
meaningful daily interactions with their English-speaking peers. In this inclusive model of teaching and
learning, language specialists and content specialists work together to ensure that all language learners
are able to access the curriculum. ESL teachers and content teachers co-plan and co-teach lessons to
explicitly integrate language and content in English, Social Studies and Science classes.

English for Academic Purposes (EAP)
In addition to support in English, Science and Social Studies classes, ESL students are enrolled in the
English for Academic Purposes (EAP) class. This is an intensive course designed to provide students with
the explicit instruction, academic language, and specialized support they need to be successful in their
core classes. The focus on academic language enables students to develop the skills, strategies, and
language they need to participate and function successfully in the mainstream classes. There is a focus
on vocabulary enrichment, academic writing, textual analysis, research and problem-solving skills that
support the concepts introduced in the core classes. The EAP class is compulsory for all ESL students and
replaces the Modern Language option.

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Middle School Program Guide

LEARNING SUPPORT

Learning Support
T

he Learning Support Department at International School Manila coordinates
programs and services for students with learning needs. The model is based
on the belief that students vary in their learning profiles and that individuals respond
best to educational programs that are specifically targeted to meet their individual
needs.
The Learning Support Program provides three levels of support. Levels of support are
determined on an individual basis and according to each student’s identified learning needs.
Determination of level of support is made by the Learning Support Resource Team (LSRT) based
upon information provided by Admissions, school reports, standardized testing, teachers and
parents. A Learning Support teacher assigned to the student in partnership with the parents
then develops a Learning Support Plan. This Plan includes specific goals for the student’s
improvement.

Levels of support are determined on an
individual basis and according to each
student’s identified learning needs.

Middle School Program Guide

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41

42

LEARNING SUPPORT

Level 1 (LS1)

language pathologist in a small-group setting

LS1 students receive support in the mainstream

and implemented in the mainstream classes.

classes. Each student is provided with a Learning

In the Middle School, the LS3 student also

Support Plan. The LS Plan includes individual

receives Strategy Instruction class. The LS3

goals and guidance to teachers on how to

program is not available beyond Grade 6.

implement classroom accommodations that
address the student’s needs. The Case Manager

Strategy Instruction is designed to provide

consistently monitors the student’s progress

students with strategies to improve their

and provides direct and indirect support within

individual organizational, study and self-

mainstream classes.

advocacy skills. Additionally, it provides
students with a range of strategies to use across

Level 2 (LS2)

content areas to maximize success. This class

LS2 students receive support in the mainstream

is recommended for students requiring direct

classes and in a small-group setting. Each student

support in their regular academic program.

is provided with a Learning Support Plan. The LS

Placement in Strategy Instruction will be

Plan identifies goals and specific interventions

determined by the LSRT. Strategy Instruction

for students with identified needs who may

is taught by an LS teacher and supports the

require more significant accommodations

mainstream core classes’ curriculum. This is

and/or modifications. These are implemented

usually in lieu of a Modern Language course.

through direct and indirect services in core
classes and in Strategy Instruction.

Level 3 (LS3)
The LS3 student may require significant
modifications and/or accommodations to the
content of the curriculum as well as direct
instruction in social skills. Social skills training
is taught by an LS teacher or a speech and

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Middle School Program Guide

MIDDLE SCHOOL LIBRARY 43

Middle School Library
T

he Middle School Library functions as the information hub of the Middle
School. It aims to support and enrich the curriculum, empower student
learning, promote literature and encourage students to read, write, and
research for understanding and enjoyment.

Content/Skills
Students develop and apply research skills to discover

and caters for a wide variety of abilities and interests. Fiction

ideas and information from a variety of sources, print and

is arranged by genre to enable students easier access. In

non-print, including electronic databases, websites, and

addition, we subscribe to Overdrive, an online library that

additional applications. Students learn to employ critical

allows students to check out titles and read on their own

thinking skills to seek, organize, analyze, synthesize and

devices even though they may not be in the physical library

evaluate information and ideas.

space.

Instructional Practices

The non-fiction collection features books on a wide range of

Research skills are introduced and reinforced using a

relevant topics to support the MS curriculum. Additionally,

cooperative and collaborative approach with classroom

the MS Library has collections to support English-as-a-

teachers. Librarians and teachers plan and teach together in

Second-Language (ESL) learners and Learning Support (LS)

the Library and in classrooms to ensure all students receive

students. There is also a non-English collection of popular

instruction on research procedures including questioning,

MS titles in various languages.

information seeking strategies, location and access of
resources, and how to engage with information. Learning

Electronic Resources

about credibility and plagiarism, as well as skill development

All patrons have online access to the MS Library catalog and

in note-taking and bibliography creation, gives students

the MS Library website. Our website features links to all of

skills to become more information-literate individuals.

the MS Library research databases, tutorials, MS Library
news and various sites to enhance and promote information

Print Resources

literacy. In addition, the MS Library features a collection of

The MS Library collection has been chosen to reflect the

iPads, which can be used by students for research, mobile

needs of our Middle School and wider community. The

searching, reading, applications and games.

fiction collection is regularly updated with the newest titles

Middle School Program Guide

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44

CLUBS AND ACTIVITIES

Clubs and Activities
MS After-School Activities (MS AFAC)
http://ms-activities.ism-online.org/

Athletics and Activities (ATAC)
http://atac.ism-online.org/

ISM offers a variety of afternoon activities for interested The ATAC Office (located by the Middle School Gym)
Middle School students. Students may enroll in either

oversees the competitive aspect of the Middle School

sport activities or mini-courses by registering with

Sports program in which students try out for teams that

the AFAC Office for after-school programs and via the compete against other schools in local seasonal sports
Middle School Activities Coordinator for intramural leagues. If a student is successful in gaining a place on
activities at the beginning of each semester or season.

a Middle School team, a high level of commitment and
dedication is expected. The Middle School competitive

All activities available to Middle School students such sports program follows the High School seasonal sports
as sports, clubs, Fine Arts offerings and workshops

structure:

are publicized through the school website with links
to the Fine and Performing Arts blog, Middle School
Activities and ATAC blogs and via MS notice boards and
publication in the parent/student bulletins during the
school year.

t 1st Season: (Aug to mid-Oct) Volleyball,
Soccer, Cross Country
t 2nd Season: (Nov to late Jan) Basketball,
Tennis, Rugby, Touch
t 3rd Season: (Feb to mid-April) Track & Field,
Baseball/Softball, Badminton, Mixed Touch
t All Year-Round Sports: Sailfish Swim Team,
Gymnastics, Wall Climbing, Tae Kwon Do,
Aikido, Judo, Table Tennis, Chess
A ‘tryout’ week at the beginning of the season is used to
select students for the above teams. All Middle School
students are eligible to try out for team selection.

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Middle School Program Guide

CLUBS AND ACTIVITIES

Middle School Activities Program
This program is coordinated out of the AFAC Office located in the Elementary School Administration Area. The program
offers a wide variety of activities which includes recreational/non-competitive sports, languages, music, Fine Arts and
dance for students from Grades 5 to 8.

Student Ambassadors
Sports Activities

The Student Ambassadors play an active role in creating

A range of sports and activities is offered from 3:00 P.M.

an engaging environment that encourages respect and

to 4:30 P.M. This program is offered to students who

mutual appreciation among the student body. Students

want to keep active as well as develop skills and take

volunteer their time and attend weekly meetings to

part in a rotating selection of sports and activities. Fun,

prepare for upcoming activities. Student Ambassadors

low-level intramural games are a part of this program

will be involved with:

with students being able to play in mini-tournaments
and mixed-ability teams. Exact details and offerings

t

New student orientation

are available via the Middle School AFAC handbook on

t

Departing student send-off

the Middle School website. The program also includes

t

Student-led assemblies

organized activities in assembly times, lunch breaks and

t

Student-led events

other dedicated times.

t

Supporting all school activities

Dance

Student Council

A large range of different dance types are available

The Student Council is composed of elected

(exact details and offerings are available via the AFAC

representatives from all grade levels. Under the

website). Most dance courses have different levels to

supervision of faculty advisors and with the help of

cater for all abilities. Types of dance on offer include

teacher and parent chaperones, the Student Council

Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Dance Mash.

offers a variety of activities throughout the school year.
These include Middle School Parties, Spirit Week, Pep

Non-Sporting Activities

Rallies and other special events.

The activities program offers a variety of non-sporting
clubs and activities that will enhance and develop skills.

The Student Council comprises an Executive Council

These clubs (exact details and offerings are available

and two elected Grade Level Representatives from

via the AFAC website) include Digital Imagery, Born to

each of the grade levels. Additionally, there is a Student

Move, Lego League, Lego Robotics, Library Technicians,

Council Representative elected in each Advisory. This

Math Counts, MUN, Philippine Cultural Club, Salinlahi

group gathers feedback from the entire student body

(MS Yearbook), Yoga, Art and Clay.

and attends a monthly meeting.
New clubs and activities are offered every year. Please
visit the AFAC blog at the beginning of the school year
to see what is available.

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45

46 SERVICE LEARNING

Service Learning
I

n the Middle School, students have various opportunities to engage in
service learning projects that connect their passions, talents, and concerns.
Through the MS Service Learning Program students:
t

Gain a better understanding of themselves and their “place” in the world;

t

Develop sustainable, mutually beneficial relationships within the community;

t

Apply what they learn to real-world problems; and

t

Are empowered to make positive change in the world.

There are three layers to service in the Middle

are also opportunities for students to transfer knowledge

School: Co-curricular, Grade Level, and Curricular.

and skills developed in the classroom to real-world
problems.

Voluntary co-curricular activities such as Saturday Service
and Service Learning Clubs allow students to explore

The third layer of Service Learning takes place through

ways to make a difference in the community. Throughout

our curriculum. Various examples of service learning are

the year, students have an opportunity to participate in

embedded in class content connecting global and local

twenty Saturday Service events organized with ISM Service

issues of concern with the Middle School curriculum.

Partners, some opportunities include volunteering at an

Some examples include math classes that measure

animal shelter, interacting with disabled children at Chosen

and report on waste produced by ISM students, the Be

Children’s Village, planting trees at La Mesa Watershed,

the Change elective course, and the interdisciplinary

and visiting the Tzu Chi recycling center. These trips are

capstone project, Advocating for Change.

planned and are promoted by Service Clubs that meet
during lunch and after school. Middle School Saturday

Service Learning serves as a vehicle for experiential,

Service is open to both ISM students and their parents.

inquiry-based learning and supports our mission to
“involve our community in sustaining and safeguarding

Grade level service projects, such as Classroom Without

our environment” and “acknowledge and celebrate

Walls (CWW) and Project Awesome, strive to strengthen

our differences and encourage empathy, compassion,

bonds within our own community and develop mutually

understanding and respect for human dignity.”

beneficial relationship with partners in the community
outside our school. CWW projects include partnerships
with schools for underprivileged and disabled children,
interaction

with

indigenous

communities,

and

environmental projects such as tree planting, organic
farming, and coral reef preservation. CWW gives students
the opportunity to identify local issues, contribute to a
solution, and reflect on their experiences. These projects

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Middle School Program Guide

Photos are courtesy of the Admissions and Advancement Office, Claire Stevens, Cory Willey, Eugene Perez,
Francis Aylward, Ishan Pradhan and Marsha Hillman.

International School Manila
University Parkway, Fort Bonifacio Global City, 1634 Taguig, Philippines
5SVOL-JOF  
t'BY  

www.ismanila.org