Sixth grade has been described as a major crossroads of a child’s development, both physically and emotionally. At Wesley Prep, we think it is important that our students are in the proper environment during this period of their lives.
Research has shown that sixth graders within elementary schools behave and test better than sixth graders in a middle school environment. Because they are not being influenced by middle school and high school students, these eleven and twelve-year-olds have the chance to “act their age.” They are able to mature and develop into confident young people without the external “pressures” they would encounter at an older school. Wesley Prep students are given so many opportunities to learn and explore different areas, each student has the chance to figure out what they are passionate about and get to know what is important to them.
Factors favoring Sixth Grade in an Elementary School setting:
- Students are less likely to have discipline problems than their Middle School counterparts.
- Studies have shown that students in Elementary School test higher than those in Middle School.
- Students are not exposed to older teens who may have a negative influence on them.
- Middle Schools are usually larger than Elementary Schools – many parents and teachers believe that sixth graders do better in a smaller, more nurturing setting.
At Wesley Prep, our sixth graders are involved in extracurricular athletics, including flag football, volleyball, soccer, basketball, and track; robotics; a robust art program and musical theater. Our sixth grade program features a departmentalized setting, in which students are moving from one teacher to another throughout the day. These experiences are preparing our students for the multiple transitions they will make during seventh grade. Our sixth graders are encouraged to take on more responsibility and are viewed as the “leaders” of the school.