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Grade 6

Upon entering middle school, students in grade 6 are introduced to a variety of courses and experiences.

They are tasked with learning many new topics, demonstrating mastery of content and skills, and then applying that learning to a wide range of new situations

Students will move to different classrooms during the day and change class groups and teachers. Each student demonstrates attainment and learning in each of the subject classes. Students also are expected to join after school activities including sports teams, creative experiences, and clubs that enrich their personal and social lives.

Assessment Practices

In Grade 6 classes, teachers assign a variety of types of assessments including quizzes, presentations, and in class essays to check students’ understanding. Students are marked against the MYP criterion on summative assessments such as tests, projects, or essays.

Grade 6 schedule

Students take 8 classes within a weekly schedule. Core courses meet three times a week for 70 minutes each session. Students take Music, PE, and Art or Design twice a week. Students also have a Health class, an Advisory session, a Project Period, and an Activity Period once a week where they interact with advisors and develop their learning skills appropriately.

The information below demonstrates the learning experiences available to students.

If you are a Grade 6 parent and have questions about your child’s learning or classwork, we encourage you to communicate directly with the classroom teacher. If you wish to discuss social issues or any other concerns, please contact your child’s Advisor or Grade Level Leader.

Grade 6 Curricular Program

Language and Literature

Students can choose between English or Chinese Language and Literature courses. Both courses address concepts of communication, creativity, connections, and perspective through studies of language texts and literary texts.

Students will be reading a range of texts including poetry, drama, novels, and non-fiction pieces. They will also be writing a variety of text types including informational, persuasive, narrative and descriptive.  

The MYP criteria being assessed at grade 6 are listed below:

  • Criteria A: Analyzing
  • Criteria B: Organizing
  • Criteria C: Producing Text
  • Criteria D: Using Language


This course explores the concepts of form, relationships, and logic. Our program that gives all students a sound knowledge of basic mathematical principles while allowing them to develop the skills needed to make connections in mathematics to real-world situations and recognize mathematical patterns through investigations.

The MYP criteria being assessed at grade 6 are listed below:

  • Criteria A: Knowing and Understanding
  • Criteria B: Investigating Patterns
  • Criteria C: Communicating
  • Criteria D: Applying Mathematics in Real Life Context


This course keeps inquiry as the foundation of teaching and learning. Students work independently and collaboratively to investigate topics through research, experimentation, and observation by making connections between science and every day life. The concepts addressed throughout the year include the ideas of change, relationships, and systems. Students are introduced to topics from areas of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics in this integrated science course.

The MYP criteria being assessed at grade 6 are listed below:

  • Criteria A: Knowing and Understanding
  • Criteria B: Designing and Inquiring
  • Criteria C: Processing and Evaluating
  • Criteria D: Reflecting on the Impacts of Science

Social Studies

Students are challenged to respect and understand the world from historical, geographical, social, economic, religious, and cultural perspectives. Through explorations that discuss the impact of these approaches on the individual, society and environment, the course approaches concepts of change, global interactions, systems, time, place, and space. Students are introduced to the topics of Geography, History, Economics and Politics in this integrated social studies course.

The MYP criteria being assessed at grade 6 are listed below:

  • Criteria A: Knowing and Understanding
  • Criteria B: Investigating
  • Criteria C: Communicating
  • Criteria D: Thinking Critically

Language B

Students are expected to develop competence in multiple languages while gaining respect for cultural perspectives that relate to the languages learned. At HIS, students can choose from Chinese, Spanish, or English language acquisition courses to develop their skills as multilingual learners. Various levels are offered for student growth in concepts of connections, creativity, and culture.

Students can choose a language pathway that best fits their mother tongue and individual language needs. With language classes for native speakers and speakers of other languages, the phase of instruction match student levels. Students can take courses in Chinese, Spanish, or English language acquisition. 

In Language B, teaching and learning is organized into six phases. These phases do not correspond to particular age groups or MYP year levels. Students will be placed in appropriate phases through initial assessment and continued progress each year in all four language skill areas: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. 

Our phases are generally grouped into three classes: phase 1 & 2 (beginners), phase 3 & 4 (intermediate), phase 5 & 6 (advanced).

Phase 1 & 2 students should: 

  • understand and respond to simple spoken and written texts
  • identify messages, facts, opinions, feelings and ideas presented in oral, visual and written language
  • demonstrate their comprehension in short oral and written form
  • interact to share information in a limited range of familiar situations using basic language appropriate to a limited range of interpersonal and cultural contexts
  • be aware that language varies according to purpose and audience

Phase 3 & 4 students should: 

  • understand and respond to a variety of spoken and written texts
  • interpret specific information, main ideas and some detail presented in complex oral, visual and written language, draw conclusions and recognize implied opinions and attitudes in texts read and viewed
  • engage in conversation and write structured text to share informative and organized ideas on topics of personal interest and global significance, in a range of interpersonal and cultural contexts
  • communicate substantial information containing relevant and developed ideas and justified opinions on events, experiences and some concepts explored in class
  • identify aspects of format and style; speak and write with a clear sense of audience and purpose

Phase 5 & 6 students should

  • analyze specific information, ideas, opinions and attitudes presented in oral, visual and written language
  • draw conclusions, infer information and recognize implied opinions and attitudes respond and react to questions and ideas in a range of spoken, visual and written texts engage actively in conversations in social and some academic situations to contribute
  • substantial information containing relevant and focused ideas supported by examples and illustrations.
  • organize information and ideas into a clear and effective structure to express their understanding and opinions on topics of personal interest and global significance. Interpret and
  • adapt aspects of format, register and style of language

The MYP criteria being assessed at grade 6 are listed below:

  • Criteria A: Comprehending Spoken & Visual Text
  • Criteria B: Comprehending Written and Visual Text
  • Criteria C: Communicating in Response to spoken / written / visual text
  • Criteria D: Using Language in Spoken or Written Form


The Grade 6 Music course focuses on creative thinking, skill development, the context of music, knowledge, and general musical understanding. Students will develop instrumental and performance skills, utilize technology to support their musical creations, and will explore the concepts of Aesthetics, Change, Communication, and Identity through class lessons. Throughout the course they practice and reflect on their progress through their process journals, while also presenting and performing for audiences at set dates.

The MYP criteria being assessed at grade 6 are listed below:

  • Criteria A: Knowing and Understanding
  • Criteria B: Developing Skills
  • Criteria C: Thinking Creatively
  • Criteria D: Responding

Visual Arts

In grade 6, students take one semester of Visual Arts, which meets twice a week. Through studying the arts, students are encouraged to think creatively, develop artistic skills, use their imaginations, see other perspectives, reflect on the context of art, and make connections between the investigation and the practice. The art courses focus on the concepts of aesthetics, change, communication, and identity.

Grade 6 Visual Arts students study the art of M.C. Escher and present his artistic methods to the class, focusing on his mathematical work with tessellations to create their own tiles that repeated and fit together in interesting ways. Students also learn about artists like Cai Guo-Qiang and Li Hongbo; discussing their innovative approaches. Students design a new method or tool to create art and to strive for innovation. They record their reflections, planning, and ideas in their sketchbooks throughout the process. Students later research and present about the art movement of Op Art, and create optical illusion covers for their sketchbooks.

The MYP criteria being assessed at grade 6 are listed below:

  • Criteria A: Knowing and Understanding
  • Criteria B: Developing Skills
  • Criteria C: Thinking Creatively
  • Criteria D: Responding


In grade 6, students take one semester of Design. The class meets twice a week. As a link between innovation and creativity, the Design course encourages students to explore the problems and potential solutions available to them. Using the design cycle as the foundation for the course, students use imagination, creativity, research, and collaboration to achieve their final products. The course focuses on key concepts of communication, communities, development, and systems.

The MYP criteria being assessed at grade 6 are listed below:

  • Criteria A: Inquiring and Analyzing
  • Criteria B: Developing Ideas
  • Criteria C: Creating the solution
  • Criteria D: Evaluating

Physical Health Education

Giving students an opportunity to understand and appreciate the value of being physically active and making healthy life choices is an important part of middle school. Students will learn about and learn through physical activity in the PE portion of the course, which meets twice a week, while they learn to respect each other and work collaboratively through the Health portion of the course, which meets once a week. Combined, the course addresses the concepts of change, communication, development, and relationships. Students will take part in elements of physical fitness, athletic skill building, aquatics, nutritional approaches and more during their PHE lessons.

The MYP criteria being assessed at grade 6 are listed below:

  • Criteria A: Knowing and Understanding
  • Criteria B: Planning for Performance
  • Criteria C: Applying and Performing
  • Criteria D: Reflecting and Improving Performance

Co-Curricular Programs

ATL Skills

The ATL Skills class meets weekly with a teacher to provide academic skill development and support the Personal Project timeline.

Students gain feedback and support from their project period instructor and projects coordinator.

In Grade 6, students focus on developing and maintaining self-management skills through appropriate use of the student planners. They also spend time learning how to effectively utilize the technology and software platforms available at HIS.


Approaches to Learning (ATL) Skills


Strands: Organization skills, affective skills and reflection skills
Unit Description:
Demonstrate and carry out the HIS Academic Game Plan. This consists of a digital filing system, a binder system, a daily planner, MLA format, ManageBac tools, goal-setting techniques and note-taking strategies. These strategies will be checked for usage by project period instructors.


Strands: Communication Skills
Unit Description:
Identify and evaluate a variety of media, reading skills and strategies. Including completing a first read, second read, third read, and close read of a short article with accompanying supportive media material 
such as audio, pictures and video.


Strands: Critical thinking skills, creative thinking skills and transfer skills
Unit Description:
Reflect on the ATL skills students have used throughout the year in a final task to be loaded onto ManageBac. This reflective paper will demonstrate the use of all five ATL skill categories, three of the learner profile traits, a global context and the product life cycle. 











Strands: Information literacy skills, media literacy skiils
Unit Description:
Complete an argumentative essay and work through the writing process. This will consist of a brainstorming process, an outline process, thesis statement, introduction, body, conclusion, a first draft, peer review, second draft, teacher review and published draft.


Strands: Collaboration skills, 
Unit Description: 
Practice filmmaking techniques in a group to showcase a film in the HIS Student Film Festival. Students will work through forming a group, delegating roles, idea creation, script-writing, storyboarding, filming, sound design editing, peer review, final cut, and production of a film of their creation.

IB Approaches to Learning

China Trip

At the end of September, the class participates in a China Trip to facilitate learning and understanding of the cultural elements of life in China. The grade 6 trip to nearby Qiandao Lake in Zhejiang Province. Students challenge themselves to try new experiences and collaborate to build a floating raft that can complete the challenge required. Their individual and team building skills are necessary parts of the trip experiences. 

For more information about the activities, transportation, accommodation, and schedule, access the Grade 6 China Trip page on the website.

Grade 6: Qiandaohu Experience

Service and Action

Students are encouraged to join a variety of activities through school-sponsored projects and events. Each student is encouraged to participate in service activities at HIS and within the surrounding community. They are requested to reflect on their contributions to the community and share it with their families and teachers each quarter. 

Students in Grade 6 are introduced to the elements of service as action and are challenged to think of ways to contribute to the HIS Community. They support the Model United Nations program during the West Lake MUN Conference each year, and have chances to volunteer at events and activities hosted at the school. 

The expected outcomes for Service include:

  • become more aware of their own strengths and areas for growth
  • undertake challenges that develop new skills
  • discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities
  • persevere in action
  • work collaboratively with others
  • develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural
  • understanding
  • consider the ethical implications of their actions.

Middle School Sports

Middle School students are able to join the a variety of sports teams to practice skills and learn teamwork. The HIS teams will practice for 4-6 week sessions in preparation for festival events at area or regional schools. HIS participates in the CISSA events held in Shanghai and the HISAC events, held in Hangzhou.

Middle School sports include those listed below. Students will generally practice twice a week from 3:30 - 4:30, and participate in one or two fixtures at the end of the season. Students joining six or more sports are eligible to win the Six Sport Athlete award presented at the end of the year. 

  • Touch Rugby - Coed (August & September)
  • Soccer - Boys' and Girls' teams (October - November)
  • Table Tennis - Coed (October - November)
  • Cross-Country - Coed training (September - October)
  • Floor Hockey - Coed (November - January)
  • Badminton - Coed (February - March)
  • Volleyball - Boys' and Girls' teams (March - April)
  • Basketball - Boys' and Girls' teams (April - May)
  • Track & Field - Coed (April - May)
  • Ultimate Frisbee - Coed (December / May)
  • Swimming - Coed (All Year)

See the HIS Athletics page on the website for more information.

HIS Swimming

After School Activities

With a variety of creative opportunities provided, students can develop their interests within a caring environment. Students are encouraged to create their own student-led activities that can run after school or during Activity Period. Activities include those listed below and more. 

Information about current sessions can be found on the HIS Activities webpage

  • Model United Nations
  • Art Club
  • Dance Groups
  • Musical Ensembles
  • Theater Performances
  • Global Issues Network (GIN) Club
  • Math Club
  • Robotics Club
  • Language Development
  • Outdoor Education
  • Computer Programming
  • National Honor Society
  • Wheels Around Hangzhou
  • Student Council

More information can be found on the HIS Website

Advisory Program

The Grade 6 advisory program provides opportunities for students to work in a small group with an advisor on topics ranging from appropriate technology usage to positive interactions. Students are enabled to reflect on their IB Learner Profile attributes in a supportive and challenging environment. Individualized attention and support are at the heart of this program, which is designed to support the development of positive values, strong character, and healthy social interactions. Advisors also support the Service as Action activities and reflections that students join over the course of the year. 

Advisory Program Topics


Skills: Personal organizational techniques, use of computer for maximization of organization


Skills: Understanding personal responsibilities, cooperating, behaving with empathy


Skills: Managing a safe online presence; appropriate technology usage


Skills: Supporting community programs, personal interactions, and collaborative projects

Student Life

Students at HIS take part in regular activities and events. From monthly spirit days to evening events including dances, chill evenings, sleepovers, and House activities, students benefit from an active planning committee with the HIS Student Council. To see the up to date activities, click the link to the Student Council page below:

HIS Student Council

Lunch Menu

See the updated lunch menu for HIS students


Units Overview

Grade 6 Brochure

Our Grade 6 Team

Zachary Baker

Zachary Baker

Titles: Upper School PE
Matthew Baxter

Matthew Baxter

Titles: Library Media Specialist, Professional Development Coordinator
Andrew Brown

Andrew Brown

Titles: Upper School Design Teacher
Suzanne Brown

Suzanne Brown

Titles: Upper School English Language & Literature Teacher, Upper School Social Studies Teacher
Katie Foster

Katie Foster

Titles: Upper School English Language B Teacher
Jessamine Koenig

Jessamine Koenig

Titles: Upper School Principal
Kyle Kresge

Kyle Kresge

Titles: Upper School Music Teacher
Lily Lin

Lily Lin

Titles: Upper School Mandarin Teacher
Patricia Long

Patricia Long

Titles: Upper School Vice Principal
Maneesha Maingot

Maneesha Maingot

Titles: Upper School Student Support
Alex May

Alex May

Titles: Upper School Mathematics Teacher
Nora May

Nora May

Titles: Upper School Health Teacher
Ellie Mockler

Ellie Mockler

Titles: Upper School Drama Teacher, Upper School Visual Arts Teacher
Filipe Nogueira

Filipe Nogueira

Titles: Director of Athletics and Activities, Upper School Physical Education Teacher
Rachel Pekin

Rachel Pekin

Titles: College Counselor, Upper School Student Support Services
Jamie Sanchez

Jamie Sanchez

Titles: Upper School Visual Arts Teacher
Natalie Stowell

Natalie Stowell

Titles: English Teacher, Spanish Language B Teacher
Jenny Wang

Jenny Wang

Titles: Upper School Mandarin Teacher
Vivian Wang

Vivian Wang

Titles: Lower School Aquatics Instructor
Yoyo Zhang

Yoyo Zhang

Titles: Upper School Mandarin Teacher
Amber Zhu

Amber Zhu

Titles: Upper School Mandarin Teacher