At Shipley, we understand that Middle School is a time of significant change for adolescents. They are developing physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually, and we provide the appropriate environment to nurture this growth. With guidance and empathy supporting an academically challenging curriculum based in critical thinking and creative exploration, our Middle School students develop deep knowledge of themselves as learners and as people.


Our Middle School curriculum is developed with the adolescent brain and learning styles in mind, serving not only as a transition between the foundation of Lower School and the rigorous college preparation of Upper School, but also as an important academic journey of its own. Visit the Middle School curriculum page to learn more.

Character Education: Deeply Rooted Learning

Character Education continues seamlessly from Lower School into Middle School, encouraging students to discover their passions and talents as they begin to be self-sufficient, learning to navigate their daily schedule, as well as the direction of their learning path.

As they become more aware of their own identity as people and learners, they begin to understand and ask questions about their role in the greater community.

While 6th graders look inward to determine what kind of learners they are, 7th and 8th graders learn about responsibility and leadership—and they all apply these lessons to their lives in school and beyond.

The Character Education program continues to be integrated into every classroom, and students are further supported by an advisory program that creates an open dialogue between students and teachers, making students feel safe and respected as they explore the issues that affect their lives. Communication is key, and teachers, parents, and students work as a team to ensure each student is having the best educational experience possible.

Beyond the Classroom: The Confidence to Explore

We believe that learning happens all the time, and our extracurricular courses and programs provide students with the opportunity to take an active role in what they want to learn. Some examples include:
  • Athletics program: Competitive team sports and physical education that promote lifelong fitness
  • Music Arts and Theater Arts programs
    • Annual Middle School musical production
    • Musical ensembles: Chorus, wind ensemble, strings ensemble, and handbells/percussion
    • Drama: Taken by all 6th graders and optional for 7th and 8th graders
  • Elective activities:
    • Mini-courses: These meet regularly and change several times each year. Recent mini-course titles have included: Stock and Chess Club, Indoor Wiffle Ball, Backgammon, Reading Olympics, Movie Club, Science Olympiad, Pickle Ball, and Meditation, to name just a few.
    • Service: Students are offered a range of opportunities to choose from and do community service on almost a monthly basis. These opportunities take them into our surrounding suburban community or into Philadelphia.
    • Student Leadership: Students are encouraged to participate in leadership opportunities throughout the Middle School. Whether running for elected office as grade-level representatives, participating on the voluntary Student Leadership Team, becoming a student leader Service Leader, presenting sports reports or mobilizing the Middle School for our annual Speak-Up!, Impact Day, or Ezra Day.

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The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.