The Waring School Core Program is designed to help students make the transition from elementary school to the Waring School program. We emphasize building skills in a demanding but supportive environment. Because students spend two years in Core, they can develop important skills at their own pace.

The Core program focuses on developing skills in several areas. Students learn to read critically and to write expressively and analytically. They participate in discussion-based classes, learning to voice their own ideas and to listen to the ideas of others. They undertake investigations, research, and long-term projects, and they begin to communicate in spoken French. They establish a strong foundation in all subject areas.

Students learn to manage their time within a demanding program, establishing work habits that prepare them not only for our upper-school program, but also for a lifetime of learning. For most students, whether they come into the program in the 6th or 7th grade, these are new skills and expectations, and we therefore place a premium on progress and growth rather than on meeting rigid standards.

Organizational skills, such as note taking, keeping track of assignments, and test taking are part of every class. The Core Program works to develop strong readers who go beyond understanding the narrative of literature to interpretation. Students learn to take part in discussions where they begin to find their spoken and written “voice.” They are expected to write in both their creative writing classes and their humanities classes, where they undertake analytical essay writing and research projects. The Science Program involves hands-on projects and oral presentations in class. Both the Humanities and Science Programs are on two-year cycles alternating the study of India and China with Africa, and physics topics with biology topics. The math curriculum emphasizes a solid foundation while giving strong students opportunities to move ahead.
The Core experience includes Math, Science, and Humanities, but also a rich set of programs not typically found at the middle school level. Core students take a Writing class that meets twice a week. All Waring students begin their study of French in Core with a partial immersion program, which, in addition to regular French classes, offers music, math enrichment, and geography in French. Weekly Core Art classes focus on beginning drawing skills. Theater courses and productions develop stage presence and voice projection; all Core students have the option of being in at least one play a year. The Waring Athletics program gives all Core students the chance to play on Junior Varsity or participate in instructional teams. Core students also sing in a chorus that meets twice a week, generally begin private music lessons, and take music theory classes. Core students take frequent trips, such as visits to BSO rehearsals, outings to museums, a yearly trip to Montreal, and other locations, all of which serve to enhance our program. Core students also have the option to participate in the middle school Math Circle, our competitive math team.

In Core, we give students the tools and experiences that allow them to develop habits of active thinking and reading and a willingness to take positive risks, both in our multi-faceted academic program and as members of a strong community.