Upper School

Grades 5 - 8

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Guided by experienced and dedicated teachers in small classes of up to 15 students, our Upper School students develop confidence and become independent learners who are ready to begin finding their place in the world. Even before they graduate from The Well, our students have not only established a strong academic foundation, but they have also developed skills for being capable leaders, reliable friends, and confident individuals who can interact with people of all ages and take initiative to create their own path.

The Well School take a holistic approach to every child’s education. The Upper School curriculum centers on humanities, bringing in history, language, ethics, mindfulness, and current events to each unit and area of inquiry. Our teachers use multi-modal learning strategies such as simulations, projects, and class discussions and are supportive of individual learning styles. Spending plenty of time outdoors and limiting screen use are also key aspects of our approach.

Upper School students regularly have Specials classes in Art, Spanish, Physical Activity (“PA”, daily), Music, and Theater. Milestones in the Upper School include the 5th Grade Greek Olympics, the medieval banquet, theater productions, poetry recitals, coffee house performances, camping trips and hikes, the annual Science Fair, fitness challenges, and Project Weeks at the end of the school year. Everyone tries everything and learns to take risks and make productive mistakes in a safe space.

We also teach the value of community responsibility and the idea that leaders are those who serve their community. Throughout their Upper School experience, students earn increasing levels of freedom and responsibility. They help run the school by organizing annual school-wide events, and every Upper School student works with a team of peers to clean buildings at the end of the day under the supervision of the Eighth Grade leaders. 

The challenges and struggles inherent to the middle school experience are embraced at The Well as learning opportunities. The ability to look someone in the eye and say one’s thoughts clearly and respectfully is explicitly taught, whether one is communicating their point of view in an academic debate or a personal conflict. Our students learn how to advocate for themselves and others, and feel comfortable speaking with adults, peers, and younger children. In countless facets of life at school, we work with students on developing communication skills, self-reflection, recognition and appreciation of individual differences and strengths, and resilience; utilizing structured problem-solving; taking risks and trying new things; and ultimately embracing the whole person.

At the end of their time at The Well School, our students’ rigorous academic and social-emotional educations have prepared them to be successful and functional in any environment and situation, ready to embark on a lifetime journey of enjoyment of learning.