Middle School

Mariners Christian School’s Middle School is an extraordinary program that maintains exemplary academics in a Christ-honoring environment. Focused on the whole-child, a broad range of educational experiences are offered which appeal to varied interests, talents, and passions including electives, enrichments, athletics, service and ministry opportunities, clubs, leadership development, and course offerings.

Combined with rigorous academics and expansive program offerings, the spiritual growth of all students is prioritized developing authentic faith and a deepening love for Christ. At the culmination of the middle school years, students are prepared for future success, equipped with a biblical worldview, thriving in their gifts and talents, and trained as difference makers for His Kingdom. 

Distinctive Middle School Characteristics: 

  • Learning environment dedicated to honoring God and others maintaining the highest of standards
  • Vibrant community purposed to build strong relationships and provide an active student life through multiple social events and activities
  • Purposeful spiritual formation including weekly chapel program, Christian Apologetics and Bible Program, biblical worldview integration across every subject, and intentional discipleship of every student
  • Dedication to building content mastery within and across each subject 
  • Extending learning to develop “Scholars of the Discipline” through identified habits, practices, skills unique to each content area 
  • Focus on critical thinking skills to ensure students learn to think, communicate, analyze, apply, and transfer knowledge 
  • Variety of academic course offerings designed to meet needs of all learners from honors courses to intervention and support 
  • Mariners Institute of the Arts offering distinct opportunities in visual and performing arts 
  • Comprehensive Athletics Program 
  • Development of student leadership through Associated Student Body, Peer Assistance Leadership, Student Ministries Team, Student Worship Leaders, and multi-grade level small groups. 
  • Grade Level Experiential Week with 6th grade attending outdoor science camp, 7th grade participating in Serve Week, and the 8th grade trip to Washington, DC. 
  • Commitment to supporting personal growth and development of every student

Bible

We develop theologians, disciples, and apologists who are able to study the Bible, walk in the Spirit daily, defend Truth, and confront controversial cultural issues from a biblical perspective. Students learn to be theologians,  with the ability to analyze biblical text to understand the meaning and application of a passage to their lives. Students learn to be disciples, developing habits and skills to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit in applying and living out the meaning of the passage to their lives. These habits and skills will help students abide in Christ and include the introduction of the Spiritual Disciplines. Finally, we train middle school students in the skills and practices of an apologist. These skills include good listening techniques, critical thinking in analyzing our biblical worldview as well as competing worldviews, asking good questions, and learning tactics in answering skeptics and finding answers to tough questions. When our students graduate, we want them to know what they believe, why they believe it, and why it matters.

 

In addition to learning how to read, understand, and apply God’s word to their lives, students will learn the themes of the New Testament books and how the events of the Old and New Testament come together to form a coherent story of God’s plan for redemption. Students will also be introduced to apologetics and will learn to make a case for the Bible, Jesus as the Messiah, and Jesus as God.

Students are taught skills on how best to read and understand Scripture, including looking at genre, audience, history and the purpose of a passage to gather the meaning and application. In addition, students are introduced to methods on how to grow closer in their relationship with God through the spiritual disciplines. Finally, students are trained on how to make a case for God as the Creator, the reliability of the Old Testament, the Resurrection, and basic Christian theology.

Over the course of the year, 8th grade students study, internalize, and respond to some of the most important passages from Scripture, including the Psalms, Romans and the Gospels. The apologetic units of study for 8th grade are the following: The Case for Truth, Worldview analysis, the problem of evil, personal testimony/sharing Gospel, and Cultural apologetics. Finally, students will be taught how to defend the truths of the Bible and be trained on how to answer common objections from skeptics.

English Language Arts

Middle School English Language Arts provides a well-balanced literacy and composition program while helping students develop as Scholars of the Discipline. English scholars read, write, think, and speak well. English scholars learn to evaluate literature through a biblical worldview. Our students display the habits and practices necessary to excel in an academically rigorous program.

Students evaluate literature and develop enduring understandings to extend beyond the literature itself. This academically rigorous program includes the use of Kaplan’s Depth and Complexity, Modern Language Association’s (MLA) standards in the production and citation of writing, Greek and Latin roots vocabulary, and a comprehensive grammar program. This curricular approach provides a platform for students to transfer skills from one text to another. In addition to course content, the program maintains an ongoing focus on college and career readiness skills, which prepare students for real-world connections. 

 

In 6th grade literature, students dig beneath the basic plot of a story or text to find patterns, themes, perspectives, and application to life outside the classroom. They often respond to what they read both through discussion and in writing. Inclusion of text evidence strengthens student writing. To add depth and clarity to their writing, students incorporate strategies such as sentence patterns for variety. They also work on their grammar, vocabulary, and persuasive writing.

7th grade English students develop more complex writing skills with an increasing awareness of using vivid descriptive words and sentence patterns for effective expression.

Literature is used to teach content, literary elements, and themes with a goal of developing these skills to be used in any literary work independently as they become stronger readers and ultimately life-long learners. 

Classroom discussion, questioning, and Socratic seminars offer students the opportunity to speak, listen, and offer peer feedback.

 

Having established a solid writing foundation, 8th grade scholars demonstrate more independence, find their voice in writing, and are able to respond to the varying demands of audience, task, and purpose. Content is used to teach skills such as evaluating motive, observing multiple perspectives, understanding author's diction, and recognizing the use of rhetorical devices in literature, nonfiction, speeches, and poetry. Engaging in research, writing, and technology, 8th grade scholars independently complete a Capstone Research project as well as a collaborative Podcast project. Regular participation in Socratic Seminars allow scholars to explore concepts, deepen their understanding of complex literature, and exchange ideas with an eye toward preparation for high school. 

Honors Offerings: An Honors English program benefits students who demonstrate a need for advanced levels of learning.

History

Our History program concentrates on developing scholars of the discipline who read, write and think like historians.  The department provides students with a comprehensive course of study focused on literacy skills, historical content mastery, inquiry-based learning, and civic responsibility. The program is grounded in the California History-Social Science Framework, a biblical worldview, and research-based instructional practices.  Learning is brought to life through interactive curriculum and experiential lessons such as simulations, problem-solving group work, gallery walks, and act-it-outs.

MCS history teachers routinely and explicitly teach the skills of sourcing and provide opportunities to practice them through History Mysteries (investigative source analysis) and DBQs (Document-Based Questions).  Socratic seminars and debates require students to analyze primary and secondary sources, evaluate their importance, and defend a position.  History teachers also have been known from time to time to teach in full costume and character.  Don’t be surprised if you see George Washington, Cleopatra, or Queen Elizabeth roaming the halls!

 

Sixth grade students will discover how the Neolithic and Agricultural Revolutions led to the emergence of ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, ancient Israel, China, India, Greece and Rome. The students experience Ancient Greek and Roman art and architecture through a field trip to the Getty Villa in Malibu. 

Seventh grade students explore the medieval through early modern periods  of world history with a focus on the rise and fall of empires, the development of religions and languages, and movements of people, ideas, and goods.  Students experience world history beyond the classroom with a field trip to the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

8th grade students will dive deep into the history of the United States from the establishment of the original British colonies to the Industrial Revolution with a focus on the Constitution and how our government works.  In the Fall, 8th graders spend a life-changing week in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, visiting the significant places and memorials of the people who have helped to establish and shape our great nation. 

Math

We develop mathematicians through focus, coherence, and rigor. The attention to rigor reflects the balance of conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and application. Our program is a standards-based hybrid program, based on California State and Common Core math standards.

We encourage students to experience a productive struggle and persevere as they tackle their work throughout the school year. We welcome mistakes as they are a springboard to learning opportunities. Math is about the process, just like our faith. God’s purpose is the process itself. We love what Oswald Chambers shares with us in His Utmost for His Highest: “The question of whether or not we arrive at a particular goal is of little importance, and reaching it becomes merely an episode along the way.  What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself.”  

Pearson Realize is the award-winning digital platform used across all grade levels. This is a rigorous, supportive, and engaging learning management system that gives students the ability to take control of their own learning. 

 

Math 6: Instruction focuses on four critical areas: (1) connecting ratio and rate to whole number multiplication and division and using concepts of ratio and rate to solve problems; (2) completing understanding of division of fractions and extending the notion of number to the system of rational numbers, which includes negative numbers; (3) writing, interpreting, and using expressions and equations; and (4) developing understanding of statistical thinking.

Math 7 Instruction focuses on four critical areas: (1) developing understanding of and applying proportional relationships; (2) developing understanding of operations with rational numbers and working with expressions and linear equations; (3) solving problems involving scale drawings and informal geometric constructions, and working with two- and three-dimensional shapes to solve problems involving area, surface area, and volume; and (4) drawing inferences about populations based on samples.

Algebra I: The main purpose of Algebra I is to develop students' fluency with linear, quadratic, and exponential functions. The critical areas of instruction involve deepening and extending students’ understanding of linear and exponential relationships by comparing and contrasting those relationships and by applying linear models to data that exhibit a linear trend. In addition, students engage in methods for analyzing, solving, and using exponential and quadratic functions. Some of the overarching elements of the Algebra I course include the notion of function, solving equations, rates of change and growth patterns, graphs as representations of functions, and modeling. 

Science

Middle School students are led in phenomenon-based instruction emphasizing the 8 Next Generation Science Standards Practices in order to develop science scholars with skills to think scientifically about the real world. Scholars are provided with many hands-on and collaborative learning opportunities through research, experiments, dissections, inquiry-based projects, and engineering challenges. The science program includes all of the Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI’s) of the Next Generation Science Standards and is taught from a distinctly Christian worldview.

To emphasize science in the real world, students participate in a 4-day outdoor education science camp in 6th grade and an environmental clean up during 7th grade community service week. 

 

In 6th grade, students explore Earth science emphasizing plate tectonics, shaping of earth’s surface, energy and earth’s systems, weather and climate, as well as ecology and natural resources. Throughout the year, the theme verse, “Jesus Christ is the same today, yesterday, and forever” Hebrews 13:8 emphasizes God’s consistent nature shown through the many dynamic cycles studied throughout the year. To emphasize science in the real world, students participate in a 4-day outdoor education science camp in 6th grade and an environmental clean up during 7th grade community service week.

In 7th grade, students explore Life Science emphasizing light, cell structure and processes, genetics and heredity, creation and evolution, and human body systems. This allows students to see God’s intentionality in design from the smallest unit of life to the vastness of the sun and the energy it provides. The consistency in His incredible design reminds us of His consistency in our ever changing world.

 In 8th grade, students explore Physical Science. The study begins with a focus on Chemistry including basic terminology, chemical formulas, and the periodic table. In this unit, students are provided foundational knowledge in the areas biochemistry and biology. Content studies continue with a focus on Physics including motion, energy, forces, and Newton’s Laws. Astronomy is integrated within the context of Chemistry and Physics which culminates in a year-long Mariners Agency for Space Exploration and Colonization (M.A.S.E.C) Project applying the content and skills learned across the year. Biblical integration focuses on God’s creation and all He has designed, from the smallest to the largest known things including all of the forces and processes that hold them all together.

Spanish

This course is an interactive, blended course that is paced to complete Spanish I by the end of the 8th grade year. Students immerse themselves in the vibrant and beautiful Spanish language and culture to develop fluency and literacy. In addition to acquiring reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in the Spanish language, students will also be provided learning experiences including hands-on projects, cultural activities, exposure to Spanish literature and art, and real life opportunities to use the language through exciting field trips! Note: Unless specified by a parent, 7th and 8th grade students are automatically enrolled in a Spanish course which takes the place of an elective choice.

6th Grade Electives

  • Advanced Instrumental Ensemble
  • Chamber String Orchestra
  • Advanced Band
  • Art
  • Digital Design Media
  • Intro to Programming
  • Guitar for Beginners
  • Maker Design
  • Peer Assistance Leadership
  • Speech and Debate
  • Study Hall
  • Theatre Arts for the Stage
  • Worship

7th & 8th Grade Electives

  • Art
  • Assosciated Student Body
  • Advanced Band
  • Digital Media Design
  • Choir
  • Culinary Arts and Nutrition
  • Creative Writing
  • Design Squad
  • Intermediate Programming
  • Chamber String Orchestra
  • Peer Assistance Leadership
  • Photography
  • Sewing Design
  • Speech and Debate
  • Study Hall
  • Theatre Acting for the Stage
  • Theatre Production and Design
  • Woordworking
  • Worship
  • Yearbook

Educational Technology

Educational technology is just one of the many tools that will be used to continually develop MCS students into strong digital age learners and prepare them to be college and career ready. 

Therefore, it is the goal of MCS to train students in the wise and appropriate use of digital devices and social media, ensure the privacy rights of all students, maintain academic integrity, and limit disruptions to the learning environment.

Initial Educational Technology instruction is provided in the Elementary Technology and Middle School Educational Technology classes by our Digital Learning Coaches for both the Elementary and Middle School level. These coaches support our classroom teachers with technology integration in their curriculum across all grades and content.  Our technology integration will not supplant the teacher or the human interaction that is so essential for learning; it is intended for use as a tool to enhance learning for all children.

Every middle school student and teaching faculty member utilizes an 1:1 device (Apple iPad) at MCS, which enhances student learning and the overall educational experience to prepare students for high school and beyond.  1:1 devices enhance student ownership, engagement, and hands-on learning.

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Building a firm-foundation through Christ-centered Education.

Fischer Avenue
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Phone 714.437.1700 • Fax 714.437.7976
© 2019, Mariners Christian School. All rights reserved.

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