It is our mission at BCEMS to provide a life-long skills foundation for our students through the education of the head, heart and hands.
More specifically, we expect our students to think in an outside-the-box manner, solve problems effectively and with confidence, demonstrate excellence, seek sources of personal inspiration, and serve others with a sense of commitment and pride.
Berry College Middle School has a one class per grade structure for grades 5 through 8. Our curriculum is based on national standards and we consciously strive to teach students the joy of learning. Our students regularly achieve in the superior range on standardized assessments, and our teachers place a strong emphasis on building and strengthening fundamentals in all major content areas. Teaching and learning at Berry is guided by an integrated constructivist model of theory and practice, in which students construct knowledge and apply it in new ways based on their experiences both in and outside of the classroom.
Middle school students at BCMS take classes in the Barstow and Hamrick Hall buildings on the mountain campus, they take advantage of quarterly College Week Experiences in the Cook building on the College’s main campus. Our students have regular opportunities to work, play and learn using the wealth of Berry College’s resources, including its broad base of research, laboratory & athletic facilities.
Our middle school is designed to gradually increase the level of academic rigor and structure as students age and develop. 7th and 8th graders at BCMS are responsible for navigating class changes, managing work loads, excelling on mid-year and final exams, and engaging as participants in the wealth of extracurricular activities offered at the school.
In addition to their work in core academic classes, BCMS students have the opportunity to study Algebra, Spanish, journalism, drumming, film and puppetry. Students with exceptional ability in a particular area of interest may in the 8th grade opt to engage in an independent study (such as Geometry, Advanced Algebra, Spanish 2, etc.) under the supervision of our middle school faculty.
All students at BCMS contribute as school leaders. These students help manage our weekly assemblies, plan and lead our monthly Viking Assembly held at Frost Chapel, contribute their time as “buddies” to lower grade students, serve as members of our H3O (Head, Heart and Hands) Service Organization, and mentor younger students at the Elementary School. As service learning is a key philosophy at Berry, all middle school students engage in a variety of service projects, applying their newly mastered skills in service to the community.
A Capstone Experience is required of each student in the 8th grade. Serving as an educational rite of passage at BCEMS, this experience engages each student's academic (head), reflective (heart) and service (hands) skills, thereby enhancing one's understanding of social justice as a core principle of democracy. The Capstone Experience contains four phases of independent study, all of which are completed and documented within a student portfolio over the course of an academic year.
While many schools work to phase out shared studies classes like physical education, art and music, we at Berry believe in the power of an integrated curriculum aiding the development of a well-rounded child. That is why we purposely and regularly integrate the following additional experiences into our weekly middle school schedule:
- Drama/Film/Puppetry Arts
- Physical Education
- Computing & Technology
- Viking Assembly
At BCMS, we believe in the power of hands-on learning. Our classes regularly use the wealth of land and resources at Berry College for study and also pursue a variety of learning opportunities away from Berry’s campus. Some of our middle school field trips & activities include:
Costa Rica expedition, Earthworks Pottery, Berry Science Lab, Berry College Water treatment plant, Berry College Dairy, Tremont Science Center, Georgia Aquarium, Channel 9 Experience, Raccoon Mountain spelunking, Weinman Mineral Museum, Martha Berry Museum, Jamestown, Okefenokee Swamp, fossil hunting expedition, Cumberland Island, Yorktown, Tybee Island, Ship & Sea Museum, Etowah River Trip, & local area plays/festivals/events.