Randolph-Macon Academy Middle School's English program features a double period of English. In today's world, there is an added call for college students and employees who can write well. R-MA's double English program ensures that our graduates can do just that.
At the Middle School level, students must participate in a school-wide speech contest, complete cross-curricular writing projects, and often give presentations in their own classes. There is a strong emphasis on reading in and out of the classroom.
Sixth grade English focuses on providing a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. Students are taught the writing process through the composition of paragraphs, short works of fiction, essays, and poetry. Essential library and research skills are introduced. Students read from a variety of literary genres with an emphasis on increasing reading comprehension and building vocabulary.
Grammar and writing skills are further reviewed and developed in the seventh grade, with daily practice and essay assignments requiring greater depth, length, and sophistication. It is also a course designed to make the principles of grammar and punctuation of practical use to students. The objective of seventh grade literary studies is to cultivate in the student an appreciation for the various types of literature. In order to familiarize students with different genres and styles, several novels are read and discussed throughout the year.
To prepare for high school, eighth graders intensify their writing practice with essay assignments requiring greater depth and complexity of thought. Research skills, including internet research, culminate with the writing of a formal research paper. Students’ study of literature continues with an increased emphasis on developing critical thinking skills. Oral communication skills are strengthened through formal seminar discussions, oral presentations, and an annual speech contest.
All Middle School students are required to participate in the Speech Contest each year. Students learn the research process and are taken step-by-step through drafting, revising, and practicing their speeches. Here are the first-place winners from 2015: