Middle School Science encompasses Life Science in 6th grade, Physical Science in 7th grade, Earth Science and High School GeoScience in 8th grade. Each class builds on previous knowledge to prepare students for high school courses such as biology and chemistry. Lab experiments, projects, and student presentations are integrated throughout science. Science class is designed for cooperative learning group instruction and involves a large amount of project based learning. SJA also integrates a yearlong Oceanography STREAM project into all core classes that focus on local problems affecting our area.


The English curriculum focuses on the parts of speech, grammar, and writing skills. Students have access to practice activities that are engaging and informative through use of the interactive whiteboard, workbook pages, teacher-created handouts, collaborative learning, and other activities utilizing Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education. Grammar skills are practiced daily and knowledge of these skills is translated into quality writing. Students write a variety of genres including essays that involve all stages of the writing process—persuasive (which includes some research), narrative, compare and contrast, descriptive, poetry, original myths, story re-tells, journal prompts, and creative writing pieces. Eighth grade students complete a research paper, which includes MLA format and correct source citation. In addition, students use MLA format for all formal pieces of writing. Writing across the curriculum activities are prevalent, where teachers from other content areas collaborate with the English teachers on writing projects involving real world problems and real world solutions.


Reading is taught through novel studies, stories and poetry in the textbook, the Great Book series, primary sources, and various non-fiction texts. Vocabulary skills are practiced daily and are incorporated into the curriculum. Students participate in shared inquiry activities where they create questions from the text and then gather in Socratic Seminars or Literature Circles to answer, infer, and speculate. Students are exposed to a wide variety of literature throughout the course. Reading Logs and reading Journals are kept. Webquests, Wikis, and Prezis are just a few of the technology platforms used for student presentations and analysis. Students are exposed to the plays of William Shakespeare, and 7th and 8th grades participate in a performance of one of the plays. Students are challenged as 21st century learners through encouragement of critical thinking, collaboration, and problem solving.

Social Studies

United States and world geography, ancient civilization, and American history are components of the middle school Social Studies curriculum. Inquiry based projects, webquests, discussion, presentations, guest speakers, computer research, and field trips are utilized to enhance learning and critical thinking skills. Students make connections to current events to stimulate discussions and global problem situations.


Our math curriculum focuses on the student’s ability to perform math in the real world. Manipulative materials are used at all grade levels to facilitate differentiated instruction. There is concentration on basic skills and problem solving while also integrating technology. The middle school curriculum begins preparing students for high school in the fifth grade with basic algebra notation. Knowledge of fraction and decimal operations is crucial. Sixth grade continues to develop the student’s algebraic understanding with one step equations. Other sixth grade topics include ratio, percent, integers, and geometry. Seventh grade focuses on pre-algebra skills with integers and also includes solving multi-step equations, inequalities, linear equations and working with polynomials. Accelerated classes are offered, to include Algebra 1 and Geometry for high school credit.


The center of our Religion program is faith formation. The emphasis is placed on Christian living and the life of Jesus. This is accomplished by making a conscious effort to integrate faith into the life of each student by creating a Christ-centered atmosphere. Core topics covered in Middle School are the Ten Commandments, Salvation History, Sacraments and Church History. Middle School students participate in school masses as lectors, altar guild, altar servers and partner with younger students as mentors. Students also participate in various service projects designed to promote the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.


The Spanish course is designed to introduce students to develop vocabulary and grammar skills based on contexts related to daily living.

Students are immersed in the culture and language of Spanish speaking countries around the world. Students become more aware and gain knowledge of the culturally diverse Spanish speaking world.

By the end of the course, students are able to communicate in many topics including daily routines, greetings and farewells, descriptions, time and weather, school, sports and leisure activities, food, family, clothing, home, and health.

Grade Level Outlook

  • 6th - Extensive practice: speaking, reading aloud, and expressing to become a better Spanish speaker.
  • 7th - Students become better speakers, readers and writers.
  • 8th - Students become confident speakers, and are comfortable reading and answering/analyzing.

Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics
Academics at St. John the Apostle Catholic School for Grades 1-5
Music, Spanish, Art, Physical Education and Technology information
Information on Middle School Core subjects.
Physical Education, Music, Art, Technology
Little Rays - Junior Kindergarten program in Virginia Beach at St. John the Apostle Catholic School
Information on Art, Music and Physical Education for Pre K through Kindergarten at St. John the Apostle Catholic School.

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