Middle School

Puddletown’s middle school program is for adolescent ages 12 through 15. The Puddletown middle school program provides the opportunity for adolescents to realize they are strong, worthy, and capable. It responds to the adolescent’s need to exhibit creativity, to problem solve, to take responsibility, and to claim independence. We want each learner to find a place in the community and become a respectful, responsible, and ethical contributor to society.

The adolescent goes through a profound, intensive and rapid development both physically and emotionally. And with those physical and emotional changes, come very specific needs that differ from those of elementary-aged students.  During this time, young adults are seeking to understand their place in society and how they can make a difference in the world. Continuing to build on the sense of justice and fairness that began to develop in their elementary years, the adolescent program strives to support student interest in working with high ideals, and the work with projects that require action and meaningful contributions. Giving adolescents the opportunity to experience self-worth through real and important work—a process Montessori called “valorization” gives rise to the importance of integrating academic studies with purposeful work. We want to support adolescent student growth that leads to meaningful work within the school community, and beyond.

At the middle school level, adolescents continue to receive lessons in a mixed-age grouping in an environment created to encourage community building, deep self-knowledge, and capable confidence.

Puddletown’s middle school program meets at the following times:

  • 8:45-9 arrival
  • 3:15-3:30 p.m. dismissal 
  • After care 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. (drop-in may be available with 24 hour notice)

MIDDLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM

We believe that a learner-centered approach builds skills to manage time, exercise choice, organize themselves, and practice self-regulation within a group context. This development of independent self-management is crucial. Choice is an integral part of a Montessori education both as a way of integrating connection and as a motivation. Making choices available whenever possible strengthens engagement. This engagement allows us to provide challenges, projects and presentations that learners can take on enthusiastically. Adolescents who experience this level of engagement develop the skills of a lifelong learner.  

Key components:

  • Sense of belonging/connection to the community
  • Independence and responsibility (and economic independence); A level of independence from their families while receiving support from adults
  • Purposeful and challenging work (real work and authentic responsibilities)
  • Positive communication with adults and peers
  • Opportunity for self-definition and self-expression (discover their purpose, find their voice and speak their truth)
  • Opportunity for creative expression
  • Competency and achievement
  • Experience with leadership and service
  • Intimate connection with the land/place (develop and ecological awareness); exposure to gardening, animal husbandry, and handcraft skills
  • Physical activity
  • Structure and clear limits
  • Opportunity to engage in physical work that would support their developmental growth while teaching worthwhile skills
  • Engagement in a microeconomy: students work to earn money and budget for common purchases selling to the public
  • Community connection 
  • Authentic combining of traditional academic learning with personal interests
  • Access to growth and exploration of the arts
  • Support while refining their senses of independence and purpose within society