Grades 5-8

Core Curriculum


Reading is taught using a diverse selection of written text, such as novels, short stories and poetry. Graphic organizers, reading projects and book talks support comprehension and help students make personal connections to what they are reading. Students are taught to be active readers by connecting, predicting, summarizing, visualizing, inferring and inquiry.

Students learn and practice writing techniques - sentence and paragraph structure, grammar and essay types - in English class and across the curriculum. A multi-step writing process and Writer’s Workshop are key instructional components that help students refine their written communication skills.


In fifth and sixth grades, students follow a defined curriculum. Beginning in seventh grade, they are grouped according to learning styles and developmental needs. Problem solving, critical thinking, and expressing one’s mathematical thinking in writing are key goals of the program. Students learn to read for understanding, organize facts and determine the best problem solving strategies. 


The middle school history curriculum is taught in chronological sequence:
  • Fifth grade: Early humans and ancient civilizations
  • Sixth and seventh grades: Ancient civilizations, the Middle Ages
  • Eighth grade: US History
Classes are often interactive, such as the study of Greek civilization, giving students the opportunity to apply critical thinking skills to discussion and debate of real-life situations. There is a strong focus on study skills, such as note and test-taking strategies. Students learn to write expository essays, gathering information from textbooks, media and other primary sources.


The inquisitive nature of a middle school mind drives the discovery of scientific principles. By teaching the scientific method early in the science curriculum, students focus on developing critical thinking skills and how to apply these skills to real world situations. The annual Science Fair is a showcase for students in grades 5-7 to share their scientific curiosity and acumen, while the 8th graders focus on using those skills in written form through a scientific research paper. Students learn to interpret results, analyze data, draw conclusions and apply these skills to produce a developmentally appropriate science fair project or paper.

A look inside your classroom

    • Science Classroom

    • Maker Lab

Episcopal Day School of St. Matthew

16 Baldwin Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94401

The Episcopal Church of Saint Matthew

1 S El Camino Real, San Mateo, CA 94401

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Episcopal Day admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, national and ethnic origin color, sex, age, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, including gender identity or expression, veteran status, or disability in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.