Programs
Academics

Middle School (Grades 5-8)

Journey of a Lifetime

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  • Navigating Opportunities and Choices in a Safe, Supportive Environment

We view Middle School as a journey, one that involves asking questions, investigating new ideas, taking risks, and making thoughtful choices. On this journey, girls are exposed to a wide range of academic subjects, athletics, fine arts, community service activities, and leadership opportunities. They develop friendships, gain self-confidence, and learn to think independently.
The middle school journey allows for the energy, joy, and purpose girls bring to their learning. Every girl leaves ready for an ongoing voyage that will take her anywhere she can imagine.

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  • A Safe and Supportive Environment

    The landscape through which our girls travel is a challenging college-preparatory curriculum, suited to the learning of adolescent girls. Talented teachers provide a supportive environment, delighting in watching each girl discover her own path. With adolescent development in mind, the Intermediate Division introduces fifth and sixth grade girls to the fundamentals of community, leadership, and responsibility while in the Senior Division, seventh and eighth grade girls assume additional responsibilities appropriate for their level of maturity.
  • Discovering Her Place In a Digital World

    Beginning in fifth grade, each middle school girl receives her own laptop and creates, explores, and communicates using technology throughout the day and from home. In a digitally rich learning environment, girls develop skills to navigate the online world thoughtfully and safely while benefiting from the added dimension of technology in the classroom.
  • Weekly Advisories: A Critical Connection Outside the Classroom

    Middle school girls meet weekly with a small group of peers and an adult advisor who connects with each girl as a mentor and discussion leader, guiding girls in evaluating their behavior and healthy decision-making. Over the course of four years, the counseling and advisory programs work in tandem to support the development of confident young women with a strong sense of self-worth.
  • Student-Led Parent Conferences

    Beginning in seventh grade, each girl carefully prepares for and leads a conference with her parents and all of her teachers. Focusing on the girl’s academic strengths and goals, these conferences instill a sense of ownership in the learning process and build on the self-confidence, independence, and leadership skills that are a focal point of seventh grade classes and activities.

Curriculum

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  • Fifth Grade

    Exploring New Frontiers

    In an interdisciplinary project called Happy Trails, fifth grade girls explore westward expansion and pioneering in the United States first by exploring primary documents, composing articles and letters related to the topic, and reading novels about modern-day pioneers such as female astronauts or Civil Rights leaders. Then their learning extends beyond the classroom: in science, they create water filtration systems using only materials available to American pioneers, while in math they build a full-scale covered wagon and learn to measure area, volume, and perimeter. Through such hands-on and connected learning, they become pioneers in their own education; they learn, as does every pioneer, that success lies both in developing individual strengths and in working within a community.
    • English
    • American Studies
    • Science
    • Math
    • World Languages: Spanish and Chinese
    • Fine Arts
    • Physical Education
  • Sixth Grade

    Building Bridges

    From teambuilding at our fall retreat to working in groups in pre-algebra, sixth grade is all about making connections. Step into a sixth grade music class to find girls presenting self-composed operas about the earthquakes and volcanoes they study in science. Listen to stories about the class trip to Nashville and find that the Greek myths studied in humanities come alive on a visit to the Parthenon. Or watch a sixth grade volleyball match to witness girls learning to work together, build relationships, and rely on one another. Whether she is communicating through her laptop with a girl in a different country or making new friends at school, every sixth grade girl at Hutchison is constantly building bridges—to explore, to connect, and to reach success.
    • Humanities
    • Earth Science
    • Introduction to Pre-Algebra
    • World Languages: Spanish and Chinese
    • Fine Arts
    • Physical Education
  • Seventh Grade

    Trails of Discovery

    Seventh grade for our girls involves blazing new trails, discovering many routes to a single destination, and expanding horizons. Building on the foundation of their years in the Intermediate Division, girls entering the Senior Division enjoy long-term projects of their own design and choices between Chinese and Spanish as a focus for language study. They carry that same sense of independence beyond the school walls, whether they are exploring marine life on a class trip to Dauphin Island, completing a day of service at the Memphis Food Bank, representing a different point of view in Model United Nations, or discussing civil rights, both local and global, in challenging class activities. This seventh grade journey allows girls to discover their passions, their individualities, and their places in a broader world.
    • English
    • Global Studies
    • Life Science
    • Pre-Algebra II and Algebra I
    • World Languages: Spanish and Chinese
    • Fine Arts
    • Physical Education
  • Eighth Grade

    Charting Her Own Course

    During an evening event that takes place in her science classroom, a girl demonstrates for her parents how she has programmed and designed her robot to navigate using its light sensors. At the end of the semester in English, she contributes her own ideas for the essay topics that will become choices on a student-designed final assessment. In an executive board meeting, she works with other eighth grade girls to plan a special convocation to celebrate International Week. Whether she is composing a speech to deliver to parents or creating a dramatic production in the theater, an eighth grade girl owns her learning. Guided by her teachers, she approaches assignments and classes as opportunities to make choices, think critically, learn deeply, and take considered risks. With the knowledge and skills she has developed throughout Middle School as her compass, each eighth grade girl at Hutchison faces expanding horizons with self-confidence and intellectual curiosity.
    • Humanities: English and Global Studies
    • STEM: Physical Science, Algebra I, and Geometry
    • World Languages: Spanish, Chinese, and a Taste of Latin
    • Fine Arts
    • Physical Education

Middle School

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Upcoming Events

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  • Admissions Events

    Jan. 18 - Coffee for Prospective Parents
    Jan. 23-26 - US Interviews (Grades 9-12)
    Feb. 3 - ISEE Testing
    Feb. 16 - New Student Contracts Issued
    Mar. 1 - New Student Contracts Due

    VIEW CALENDAR

RECENT NEWS

Experience

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  • Life at Hutchison

    Learn more about the Hutchison experience and why a girl's school is your daughter's best opportunity to excel.

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  • Defining Personal Leadership

    Leadership opportunities go beyond being a class officer. Class presentations and required speeches in seventh and eighth grade are important milestones toward discovering her own voice, passions, and strengths.

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  • Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit

    Emotional and physical health are best developed as a lifestyle. Healthy choices are embedded in our physical education classes. Team sports include basketball, cross-country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, track, and volleyball.

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  • Creative Exploration

    Middle school girls spend an entire quarter every year on each of the following: visual arts, dance, music, and theatre. The fine arts journey allows girls to discover new interests and take creative risks.

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  • Speaking Her Mind

    The 20-seat Harkness table is home to Socratic seminars where girls voice opinions on a range of issues and class “participation” involves listening, speaking in response to others, and synthesizing ideas.

Come and experience

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  • Life at Hutchison

    Contact us today to tour our campus, meet with our admissions staff, and see the opportunities that Hutchison offers.
Hutchison is the leading private girls school in Memphis for ages 2 years old through twelfth grade.