Upper School

Upper school at Oak Hill is a time of exploration, celebration, leadership, and service. Fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-graders begin to explore themselves as growing individuals and begin to make decisions on based on their strengths, talents, and interests. We call ourselves an elemiddle school because our students enjoy the nurturing elements of an elementary school combined with the leadership opportunities and independence of a middle school. We are very intentional in preserving our students’ childhood while providing opportunities for self-awareness and discovery. An education at Oak Hill is one that fulfills children’s curiosity while instilling values of service, academic vigor, and character.

Every aspect of the upper school curriculum is exploratory in nature. The philosophy is academic vigor rather than rigor. Students are given the freedom to take ownership in their learning, receive and give grace when there are bumps in the road, and become resilient when facing challenges.

Oak Hill teachers honor children’s developmental needs by taking into account milestones in physical, social-emotional, and cognitive growth patterns. Every day recess and PE are scheduled for every child in every grade. Team sports, cooperative activities and empathy building exercises help children make connections and build relationships. Morning meetings and advisory sessions ensure that every student has solid connection with peers and adults in the school community. Service projects and experiences build momentum in becoming servant leaders and a voice for the underserved in the Nashville community and beyond.

Students reach the pinnacle of their Oak Hill education in sixth grade. Students are challenged to apply the foundational skills they have developed during their Oak Hill experience. They exemplify their growth by showing accountability, responsibility, strong academic ability, and rich character.

 

MATH:

The mission of Oak Hill’s math program is to enable and inspire students to become independent problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and confident and capable mathematicians.  By using math journals, manipulatives, and technology, students learn and apply math skills in a fluid environment by working in small groups, partners, and individually. Our program provides the flexibility of differentiation for each learner based on his or her academic needs. Students apply math skills in real world situations in order to understand the relevance of math in everyday life.

 

SOCIAL STUDIES:

The mission of Oak Hill’s social studies program is to nurture and develop responsible, caring, well-informed, and actively engaged citizens. Students will have meaningful and authentic real-life opportunities to learn and serve in order to build empathy and tolerance by understanding multiple perspectives. By incorporating the Storyline method at each grade level, teachers use the power of story to create a meaningful, real-life context through which students learn concepts and skills.

 

LANGUAGE ARTS:

The mission of Oak Hill’s language arts program is to instill a love of reading and writing in every student which is integral to becoming a lifelong learner. Our language arts program uses the reading and workshop model with mini lessons focused on specific reading, writing, and word study skills. As a community of readers, students expand their worldview and build empathy for others as they question, research, explore, and discover their world through various genres. As a community of writers, students create and communicate through the written word. Students participate in a whole language approach to word study with explicit phonics, spelling, vocabulary, and grammar instruction. Collaboration and communication are key components of the language arts curriculum as students participate in book clubs and whole class discussions in reading and peer reviews in writing.

 

SCIENCE:

The mission of Oak Hill’s science program is to encourage students to utilize many 21st-century skills within the context of science concepts. These skills include critical thinking, problem solving, and information literacy, especially when instruction addresses the nature of science and the use of science practices. Students will participate in meaningful, hands-on experiences that enable them to explore a variety of scientific concepts and make sense of these concepts through peer interactions and science notebooks.

 

PHYSICAL EDUCATION:

Oak Hill provides physical education for every student, kindergarten through sixth grade everyday. Developmentally appropriate programs are designed to encourage each child to participate at their own unique ability level. Our department’s mission is to develop physically literate individuals who have the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity. All students learn skills necessary to participate in a variety of lifetime fitness activities with a strong focus on the  benefits of developing healthy habits and lifestyle.


MUSIC:

Music is an integral part of each child’s education at Oak Hill School, as it helps them gain a greater understanding about the world around them and foster creativity, self-expression, communication, imagination, evaluation, and understanding.  Our music classes meet twice during a six day rotation with two music teachers, offering a sequential and well-articulated course based on national standards and geared to the developmental level appropriate for each child.

Students experience music through singing, playing instruments, moving, listening, analyzing, evaluating, creating, notating, and improvising.  They share musical ideas and show support for each others’ abilities through classroom activities, technology tasks, and public performances.

Fifth- and sixth-grade students utilize skills that they’ve learned from kindergarten through fourth grade that demonstrates mastery of music skills in a performance ensemble.  Fifth- and sixth-grade students participate in band or choir, exploring performance techniques, music reading, ensemble collaboration, and surveying music genres from around the world and various time periods.

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