Christ Presbyterian Academy

Curricula

College Preparatory. Biblical Worldview.

The middle school academic program is designed to challenge students at all levels. Our primary focus is providing a college preparatory curriculum and expectations that develop and support a biblical worldview. Students receive from their teachers the “best practices instruction” recognized by the National Middle School Association. A unique aspect of the academic program is the effort to weave the curriculum in such a way that units of study incorporate multiple subject areas.

Deeper Learning Across Each Discipline

English

All middle school English classes integrate and synthesize skills from writing, grammar, vocabulary, and literature to encourage a student’s ability to communicate on universal themes found in the human experience.

All skills are presented sequentially according to student development and integrated accordingly to encourage effective communication. Within the study of literature, students focus on universal themes found in short stories, poetry, non-fiction, memoirs, and various visual media. Also within the study of literature, students analyze for a variety of literary devices, author’s purpose, tone, mood, and appeals. Present in both literature and grammar class is an emphasis on writing in various modes and in various lengths to create effective writers at any level.

History/Geography

Sixth graders take World Geography as part of a two-fold academic plan: (1) Knowledge of the design and functions of various world countries and cultures allows students to gain understanding as they actively participate in service/ outreach projects. (2) Foundational understandings in World Geography are critical in preparing students for seventh grade World History.

Seventh graders take World History. This course parallels units in seventh grade Bible and English classes. Students visit the [Nashville] Parthenon, a culminating event after the study of ancient Greece and Rome, as well as a study of mythology in literature. History and literature classes provide a basis for the development of the Greek Festival, a cross-curricular, seventh grade event.

Eighth graders take American History and Government. This course parallels units in Bible and English classes. Eighth grade students visit Washington, D.C. in the spring and complete a packet of assignments designed to blend what they have learned with what they experience during the trip. Eighth grade American History class combines with all other subjects to form the basis for the development of ’40s Day, a cross-curricular, eighth grade event.

Mathematics

Sixth grade math includes a review of basic operations, decimals, variables, fractions, ratios, proportions, data, graphs, tools of geometry, integers, probability, equations, and inequalities. Students who qualify through previous fifth grade coursework performance and standardized testing are placed in Pre-Algebra. These students spend a brief period of time reviewing the basics presented in Math 6. They are expected to perform at the same level as seventh grade PreAlgebra students.

Seventh grade students take Math 7 or Pre-Algebra. Seventh graders who have already successfully completed Pre-Algebra in sixth grade take Algebra I.

Math students will move to Pre-Algebra in eighth grade. Eighth grade students who completed Pre-Algebra in seventh grade take Algebra I. Students who successfully completed Algebra I in seventh grade take Geometry.

A unique feature of CPA’s middle school math department is the continual oversight by faculty and staff of each student’s progress. This allows for students to be placed accurately from one year to the next based on their developmental level and achievement. Students also have daily opportunities to receive additional help in math through Math Lab. Math teachers are available during this time to help students with concepts that may need to be reinforced.

Bible

Bible classes work together vertically, with courses in the grade above and below, to create an entire study of the Bible. The primary emphasis in middle school is to help develop and cultivate a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In sixth grade, students study the fundamental components of Scripture, taking a brief survey of each book in the Bible. Great emphasis is placed on Christian worldview, service, and the New City Catechism.

Seventh grade Bible is an in-depth look at Genesis through Malachi. Key concepts include, Redemptive History, the depravity of man, and the love of the Godhead.

The following year, students spend the first semester exploring the life of Christ and celebrating the coming of the promised Messiah. Second semester of eighth grade year is spent studying the theological implications of the Epistles and the culmination of the Holy Scriptures with Revelations, which reiterates the truths of both testaments.

Science

All middle school science teachers are trained in a STEM program called Project Lead The Way (PTLW). This program offers additional classroom experiences that transform the way students approach and solve problems, collaborate in designing solutions, and communicating results and outcomes to others. Sixth graders study Flight and Space through PTLW projects. Additional topics of study include earth science (structure and formations) geologic history, oceans, and weather.

Seventh graders take Life Science. Units of study are scientific method, cells, heredity, genetics, bacteria, viruses, protists, fungi, human body systems, animal body systems, and frog dissection. From these areas of study students engage in a PLTW Medical Detectives unit. This allows for opportunity for the students to find ways to solve real-world problems.

Eighth graders take either Physical Science or Introduction to Physical Science (IPS). Physical Science includes units on matter, solids, liquids, gases, atoms, periodic table, chemicals, motion, forces, machines, energy, and power. IPS units of study are volume, mass, closed systems, characteristic properties, identifying substances, solubility, separation of mixtures, compounds, and a final sludge test requiring a complete analysis of matter. Both of these classes use an end of course project to assimilate multiple units of study to solve larger problems. Placement in Physical Science or IPS is based on prior performance and test scores in math and science.

Foreign Language

Sixth and seventh grade students are introduced to Spanish and Latin, respectively. These introductory classes familiarize students with the language so they are better prepared for the options available in eighth and ninth grades.

Spanish I and Latin I are upper school-level classes offered to eighth grade students who qualify. Each class meets the same requirements as its upper school counterpart. Students who take Spanish I or Latin I do not take the nine-week exploratory classes.

Technology

As seen through our 1:1 iPad program in middle school, the integration of technology is a core priority at CPA. Technology and computer applications are woven throughout the middle school curriculum. Each class takes part in the integration of various skills during the middle school years. Among the wide variety of applications taught are word processing, spreadsheets, multimedia applications, and blogging. Eighth graders in the exploratory rotation also take a nine week class on basic programming.

Intro to College Counseling

Middle school students receive a glimpse into the college world during CPA Middle School College Week held in the fall. The week culminates with a school-wide tailgate party.

In addition to fun-filled activities, faculty share insights into their own college decisions and experiences, helping the students think through important factors of the pre-admissions process. Students can ask questions about college culture, how to select a major, vocational calling, scholarships, financial aid, and more. CPA’s College Counseling team visits each grade, presenting on the college selection process and timeline in high school.

Arts

Students experience a variety of art forms through exploratory classes. Sixth through eighth students participate in theatre and visual arts. All middle school students can choose to participate in band as an alternative to the other arts classes.

Seventh grade and Eighth grade students also have an option of auditioning for Concert Choir. Both band and Concert Choir meet during the school day and attend various competitive events throughout the school year.

Athletics

The middle school athletic program offers more than 10 team sports competing in the Harpeth Valley Athletic Conference (HVAC). Students try out for teams, spend the season learning fundamentals, competition, teamwork, all preparing them for athletics at the varsity level. 

Unique Approaches and Advantages

CPA Middle School has a unique approach to developing students into independent managers of time, relationships, personal and corporate goals, and classroom engagement.

As students begin their walk into young-adulthood, more autonomy and responsibility is given while faculty balances appropriate input and guidance. Students are encouraged to begin exploring their own passions and interests throughout their curricular objectives. 

Project Lead the Way

All middle school science teachers are trained in a STEM program called Project Lead The Way (PTLW). This program offers additional classroom experiences that transform the way students approach and solve problems, collaborate in designing solutions, and communicate results and outcomes to others. Sixth graders study Flight and Space through PTLW projects. Additional topics of study include earth science (structure and formations) geologic history, oceans, and weather.

Lego Robotics

The middle school's robust LEGO Robotics program allows students to hone their engineering skills and collaborate with other makers in the broader LEGO Robotics community. Led by coaches, participants develop critical thinking and team-building skills, basic STEM applications, and even presentation skills as they must present their solutions with a dash of creativity in competition settings.

Students can build whatever is in their imagination and, at the same time, develop spatial reasoning and learn about structural integrity, design, and a practical sense of geometry.

CPA Middle School's Lego Robotics program placed first in Robot Strategy and Innovation at the FIRST Lego League State Meet in Spring 2019. 

Chapel

Middle school students attend Chapel bimonthly, participating in corporate worship and study of the Bible. Speakers share the gospel message in ways accessible and applicable to young adults and students at the middle school age. Bible classes and advisories integrate with Chapel messages, creating an aligned spiritual life curriculum across grades 6-8. 

A Chapel Field Guide is created that outlines the year's topics and provides scripture references and prompts for main takeaways as our teachers speak. Bible teachers are also following up each chapel with a directed discussion in class. 

Middle School College Week

Middle school students receive a glimpse into the college world during CPA Middle School College Week held in the fall. The week culminates with a school-wide tailgate party.

In addition to fun-filled activities, faculty share insights into their own college decisions and experiences, helping the students think through important factors of the pre-admissions process. Students can ask questions about college culture, how to select a major, vocational calling, scholarships, financial aid, and more. CPA’s College Counseling team visits each grade, presenting on the college selection process and timeline in upper school.

Cross-Curricular Grade Events

Seventh Grade Greek Day
Seventh Grade Greek Day is a culmination of the students' month-long interdisciplinary study of the history of Greece and its influence on western culture. In history classes, students learn about Ancient Greece and the rise of city-states, and in literature classes, students study Greek mythology and its influence on modern culture and literature. Students get outside the classroom to tour the Parthenon and compete in their own Olympic Games. To cap it off, students perform A Day in the Life, a play based on life during the Golden Age of Greece. Year in and year out, this unit proves to be a class favorite!

Eighth Grade '40s Day
The 1940s was a special time in history, and our eighth graders find a way to make it even more special with the recreation of the USO SHOW in the early spring. In the fall, our eighth graders begin a journey of using the serve learning module to connect with local senior living facilities. Our goal is twofold: to build a relationship with the seniors and to better understand from them what historical events were taking place during the ’40s. This has proven to be the most impactful event of the whole year, as we invite parents, grandparents, and our new friends from the senior living centers to join in the celebration of this era.

Class Trips

Sixth Grade: Chattanooga
Sixth grade expands their Science unit by visiting Chattanooga and taking in the Tennessee Aquarium, Chattanooga Zoo, and IMAX Theatre. The trip includes a riverboat cruise, adventures at the Chattanooga Rock Climbing Wall, and the UTC Student Activities Center (swimming and playing games). On the way back to Nashville, students visit Sewanee, The University of South. 

Seventh Grade: Barefoot Republic
The seventh-grade trip is focused on relationship-building and opportunities for the students to examine their relationship with Christ. The camp experience features class team building activities and nights with rich devotionals and personal reflection time. The trip gives students an opportunity to connect their differences, strengthen as a class, and learn about others. 

Eighth Grade: Washington, D.C.
Eighth grade studies American History and visits Washington, D.C. in the spring. History faculty prepares students to understand the legacy of American democracy and sacrifices made by founding fathers, public servants, and armed forces. The memorials, monuments, and museums studied before the trip create deep understanding for the students. The trip is a deeper learning experience and a coming-of-age adventure for the grade as they prepare for upper school.