Middle School Program

International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme

Grades 5 through 8
International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme logo
Middle School Students Around Computer
International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IBMYP)
  • The Red Oaks School implements the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme, which encourages middle school students to become active, compassionate, lifelong learners.
  • Students learn through inquiry, action, and reflection.
  • The delve deeply into subject matter and investigate broad concepts.
  • As students begin to grasp larger concepts, the IB curriculum encourages the pursuit of understanding across the boundaries that separate disciplines.
  • Students learn to navigate the complexity of today's rapidly changing world.

How a Unit of Study encourages cross-disciplinary thinking


Character and identity are developed through experiences that help one gain new perspectives.


Texts that exemplify survival and overcoming challenges, such as:

  • Into the Wild by Chris McCandless
  • Into Thin Air by John Krakauer
  • Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

Inquiry Questions

  • How do positive and negative experiences shape character?
  • How do characters' perspectives contribute to their identities?
  • How can one's perspective be affected by one's environment?
  • Are humans a product of nature or nurture?
  • How do writers develop characters through the five methods of characterization?


  • A multimedia project based on a character demonstrating his/her ability to survive and how survival molds identity.
  • A personal memoir about a challenge that shaped the student's identity using the five methods of characterization.

Units of Study:


In the fifth and sixth grades, students complete the Singapore Math program, a proven innovative approach that focuses on problem solving as well as traditional algorithms. Our seventh and eighth grade students typically study pre-algebra and Algebra I, with advanced students moving on to high school geometry.

Language and Literature

Red Oaks Middle School students develop skills in various genres of writing including personal narrative, expository pieces, poetry, research papers, and persuasive essays. They practice the writing process based on Readers and Writers Workshop: planning, drafting, revising, and editing with their teachers and peers. Middle School students actively consider major concepts and fundamental questions while reading increasingly sophisticated works of fiction and non-fiction.

Individuals and Societies (Social Studies)

Students deepen their understanding of human culture, attitudes, and beliefs in all their diversity, using the tools and methods of various subjects, including history, geography, economics, government, civics, religion, and sociology.

World Languages

Having studied Spanish throughout their years at Red Oaks, students become proficient speakers and writers of Spanish, gaining an understanding and appreciation of the cultures where Spanish is spoken. In fifth and sixth grade, Latin is added, enabling students to see commonalities in vocabulary and grammar among many languages.


Red Oaks students investigate relevant topics and important concepts in life, earth, and physical science using research, observation, and hands-on experimentation. Working independently and collaboratively, they learn how scientists investigate the world and explore the connections between science and everyday life.

Physical Education

Utilizing the facilities at the Greater Morristown YMCA, students strengthen their bodies, improve their skills, and learn the value of teamwork while mastering the rules and strategies of specific sports.

Health and Wellness

Students develop problem-solving skills and learn ways to understand and manage their feelings. Working in age-specific groups, they learn about the physical and emotional changes that occur during puberty and discuss reproduction and gender identity. Older students explore their own family values as they learn about topics such as sexual health, dating and relationships, and substance abuse.


The four-year IB Middle Years Program Design Course encourages innovation and creativity. Students explore real-life problems and work collaboratively to solve them. In the process they experiment, prototype, and adapt using the well-established design principles and processes of the design cycle.

Advisory Program

At Red Oaks, we believe in understanding and educating the whole child. While our curriculum is rich, interesting and rigorous, we understand that the “preen” and “teen” years are times of intense physical and neural change. Advisories with 10 to 12 students allow close relationships with a trusted adult, who knows each child emotionally and academically, and communicates with each family frequently. Middle School advisories also provide opportunities to grow and have fun in intimate groups through team-building activities, pot-luck lunches, etc.