Arts in the Middle School
The Middle School arts program is designed to gently bridge a student's transition from total involvement in all arts areas to more focused and demanding involvement in those areas of personal strength and interest. The middle school program is viewed as essential to the success of the PreK-12 curriculum. At this level students can not only rapidly increase their command of technique and their depth of understanding of theory, but here students begin to learn that development of skills can often mean hard work as well as enjoyment, and finding solutions to creative challenges can sometimes be frustrating as well as rewarding.
At the sixth grade level students are involved in a rotational wheel curriculum one period a day. Part of this curriculum includes intensive instruction in visual arts and drama. In the afternoon sixth graders choose between involvement in band or chorus. Sixth graders, like their lower school counterparts, experience instruction in a variety of arts areas, but instruction becomes more focused and frequent.
In the seventh and eighth grades students choose the arts courses in which they have particular interest. Electives are offered in all five areas taught in the upper school (band, chorus, dance, drama, and visual arts) and can be either semester or year-long courses. Though there is no arts requirement for seventh and eighth graders, the arts courses in the middle school are highly subscribed.
The success of the upper school arts program is due in large part to the success of the middle school program; students who choose to participate voluntarily in the arts at this level are the ones who most frequently continue that involvement throughout their high school careers. It is fascinating to see children that perhaps have not taken art before, suddenly find a hidden talent that they did not know they had. That is the Bolles experience and why all things are possible at Bolles.