While there are many amazing experiences each and everyday at BCHA, from special programs to chesed opportunities to field trips, our middle school students do have the chance to bring their education to life in a variety of ways:
Our fifth grade students delve deep into the history of our country and with that learn about early explorers and the colonial period. With a full year of study behind them, students finish off the year with Colonial Days, where they get the opportunity to experience a day in the life of early Colonial Americans. Along those same lines, the students have also taken field trips connected to history, such as this past year’s trip to the New Canaan Historical Society. Our 5th grade also leads our school’s annual Memorial Day commemoration.
Another highlight of the 5th grade curriculum is the Invention Convention. Students begin the process by brainstorming a new, useful invention. After they have their idea, they work through the process of designing, crafting, and marketing their new invention. This process touches on all aspects of our general studies program and allows students to build critical presentation skills, as the culminating activity brings parents into the building to see all of the amazing inventions.
Sixth grade sees our students showing off their creativity. Be it found poetry or creating models of the keilim of the Beit HaMikdash to designing and creating their own rockets, our students look to come up with new and ingenious ideas. This creativity is on display in our school as well with the creation of personally designed stepping stones which can be found on our property. This science project, built around teaching students about material strength has allowed our students to express their creativity and to provide a much needed path to the back field of the school.
As well, learning all year about the ancient world, from Mesopotamia to Egypt to Greece and Rome, our students dig deep into this period in history and learn about the history of Jews during this time. At the end of the year, our sixth grade students have taken a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where they get the chance to see first-hand artifacts from the people and places that they have learned about all year.
As our students mature, they take a larger role in the school community, especially when it comes to the commemoration of important events on the Jewish calendar. Our 7th grade students take the lead when it comes to commemorating the tragedy and loss of the Holcaust through our school’s thoughtful assembly on Yom HaShoah. These students share the stories and lives of those we lost and create a record for future generations.
As part of the seventh grade year, our students have had the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C. This trip, while a chance for students to bond and take a break from the classroom, gives our students the opportunity to see our nation’s capital, to visit national monuments, and to visit a variety of museums, including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, a poignant experience that deepens their understanding of this historical time and to further establish the lessons learned while preparing to commemorate Yom HaShoah.
As leaders of our middle school, our 8th grade students take the helm of many of the activities that happen throughout the year, from chesed projects to collecting toys for David’s Closet at Stamford Hospital to running Color War, an event that gives our students the chance to leave their mark on their middle school experience. Along those lines, our students have begun participating, in what is a curriculum designed by the school in concert with the Jewish Historical Society of Fairfield County, in the L’Dor v’Dor Oral History Project. This gives students the chance to interview a member of their family and to learn about their past and with that give future generations stories that might have otherwise been lost.
As well, our students, as part of their Israel education in 8th grade, in preparation for their amazing class trip to Israel, work to build a program for the commemoration of Yom HaZikaron. Our students learn about our homeland and the sacrifices so many families have made to protect that homeland and to continue to make Israel a home for all Jews. With all of this in place, and with the hard work of all involved, our students head off to Israel at the end of the school year for an unforgettable journey where they will make memories for a lifetime.