Middle School

Grades 6, 7 and 8 are an exciting time in the students’ lives. So much happens developmentally and intellectually as they share in the many celebrations of this age. It is a time of both rapid changes and careful consolidation of skills, interests and friendships.

General and Judaic Studies Overall Critical Thinking Questions

Critical thinking questions guide the integration of units within a framework of thematic concepts and global education outcomes.

List of 3 items.

  • Grade Six

    Critical Thinking Questions
    • How can the individual best contribute to building a community?
    • How does our history significantly shape our identity?
    • How does our connection with others help create a just balance in the world?
    • How does our powerful connection with Israel affect our point of view?
    • How do patterns of behaviour affect the future of the world?
    • How does our understanding of history help shape the future of our global community?
  • Grade Seven

    Critical Thinking Questions
    • How can one confront and overcome challenges?
    • What are the most significant attributes that teaches one to be resilient?
    • How significantly does your point of view affect your perception of a perfect world?
    • What are the most essential characteristics of a leader?
    • What key patterns and trends of behaviour encourage hope?
    • How can we foster an environment that promotes sustainability?
  • Grade Eight

    Critical Thinking Questions
    • How important are our identities in impacting and influencing our relationships?
    • What significant lessons can we learn from our past to shape our future?
    • Can love conquer all?
    • How can the young generation create a positive and powerful change in the world?
    • How does our knowledge of patterns and trends help us express our own creativity?
    • To what extent can we control the consequences of our actions?

Middle School Program

Middle School
General Studies
Judaic Studies
Arts Block
Language Arts
Hebrew Language Arts
Visual Arts
Social Studies
Bible Studies
Jewish History
Health and Physical Education

Special Features:

  • Middle School program designed to meet the unique needs, interests and talents of students.
  • Major themes and shared critical thinking questions across General and Judaic Studies frame student inquiry.
  • General Studies curriculum is aligned with the Ontario curriculum and Judaic Studies with a scope and sequence created by staff based on best conjunction with the Critical Thinking Consortium and the Jewish Theological Seminary.          
  • Both programs are inspired by best practices in teaching and learning with a focus on critical thinking.
  • There is an emphasis on learning relationships that encourage children to become lifelong learners as members of the Jewish community and of the world.
  • Academic expectations are designed for 21st-century learners and are supported by an enhanced learning environment with technology and library resources.
  • The day begins in a homeroom program where global issues, as well as thoughtful questions, provide the context for rich discussions.
  • Students develop a keen awareness of the obligation to repair the world (Tikkun Olam). 
  • Leadership Opportunities: From Student Council, the Yearbook Committee to the Tikkun Olam Committee, there are leadership opportunities for all our Middle School students. Depending on their particular interests, students are encouraged to find the role that best suits their interests.

Curriculum Overview

General Studies

List of 6 items.

  • Language Arts

    The English language arts program is designed to encourage and enable students to be independent and enthusiastic readers, thoughtful writers, critical thinkers and confident speakers. The students delve into critical thinking questions and common themes in a broad spectrum of literary texts. They learn to examine a topic, organize ideas and information, use precise language and produce texts from the literature read during the year. Technology and digital media expand students’ ways to respond to literature and publish writing. Students are developing and strengthening grammar skills as they continue to study the qualities of clear and coherent writing. Oral presentations, in addition to formal, properly researched debates. are vehicles for students to express their opinions on a relevant issue or topic.
  • Social Studies

    Both the History and Geography courses have been designed to be inquiry-based and focused around critical thinking questions that help provide a larger context for student learning. Teachers are using the new Ontario social studies curriculum and integrating it with the study of Israel, global education outcomes and other subject areas in the General and Judaic Studies. The history portion of the course helps the students understand that a knowledge of the past provides a lens through which to understand the present and to view the future. The geography portion of the course is designed to provide students with a better understanding of their world. It looks at the relationship between humans and their natural and created environments. Engaging scenarios are included to make this course relevant to students. At the same time, international examples are used to broaden students’ geographical view of the world. Students are engaged in active learning through a variety of projects that includes the exploration of photographs, documents and other primary sources. All units of study incorporate reading and writing skills as part of the core curriculum and foster critical discussions and reflective thinking.
  • Math

    The goal of the mathematics program is for students to become proficient and confident mathematical problem solvers (confident in problem-based learning) as they develop and apply new conceptual understandings, facts and procedural knowledge through the mathematical processes including representing, reflecting, reasoning and proving their answers. This thoughtful approach helps students better understand what they are learning. Technology is used to help math come to life especially as students start using E-textbooks.
  • Science

    Students are engaged in rigorous and innovative science learning as they investigate and think critically about the world around them. In each grade, the students explore four units of study, as specified by the Ontario Curriculum, including Life Systems, Structures and Mechanisms, Properties of and Changes in Matter, and Conservation of Energy and Resources. This approach develops the students’ skills of inquiry and allows them to make connections between disciplines. The students apply their problem-solving skills to global issues of the 21st century with a focus on building a stronger connection to scientific advancements and challenges in Israel. Activities aim to build skills of questioning, scientific discussion and debate, experimentation, research and documentation in developmentally appropriate ways. The teachers and students use technology to support learning, research and communication, with a focus on analysis and evaluation of a variety of sources. Whether it is testing the construction of a bridge, designing a toy using hydraulics, or learning about the impact of a foreign species to the ecosystem, students learn how to apply science to the real world.
  • French

    Robbins Hebrew Academy recognizes the importance of French as one of Canada’s two official languages. With the advantage of learning three languages (English, Hebrew and French), students have the potential for more opportunities in participating in an increasingly globalized economy and a better understanding of Canada's history. The goal of the program is for students to use the language confidently and correctly in familiar contexts and authentic situations, to develop the strategies that will help them acquire the language, and to develop an appreciation of the French culture. The teacher engages the students in meaningful communication experiences using a balanced literacy approach and cooperative learning activities, thus creating a positive and dynamic learning environment. In planning both instruction and assessment, the teacher keeps in mind the importance of developing critical thinking skills with an eye to creating integrative projects with the General and Judaic Studies.
  • Health and Physical Education

    The physical education program promotes an active lifestyle through maximum participation in a wide range of sports, games and rhythmic activities. Students learn how skills, concepts and strategies learned in one activity can apply to other activities. They take on leadership opportunities as club helpers, junior assistant coaches, league organizers, referees and demonstrators. Students participate in a variety of discussions related to different health issues, personal growth and healthy relationships.

Judaic Studies

List of 4 items.

  • Hebrew Language Arts

    RHA Hebrew language curriculum prepares our graduates to be conversationally proficient in Hebrew. Our teaching methodology is based on best practices recommended by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) with a focus on speaking and comprehension. The Hebrew language is the common language of the Jewish people from history to Israel and to Jews living in the diaspora. It is a language for communication, for prayer and study. By creating rich opportunities for our students in conversational Hebrew, students continue to develop Hebrew language skills, which are further fostered by the study of various narratives and media that showcase Israeli culture and history. These texts are presented in conjunction with curricular themes and interdisciplinary units of study. Examples are: Myself; friendship; man and his environment; freedom; Israel: revival of the Hebrew language. Emphasis is placed on recognizing and applying linguistic and literary tools. Fundamentals of Hebrew grammar are reviewed and expanded during language arts classes. 
  • Bible Studies

    The Bible studies program at RHA is designed to engage students in developing a love of Torah study for its own sake and embrace it as an inspiring resource informing their values, moral commitments and ways of experiencing the world. At the same time, students develop the skills to independently read a section of the text and understand it. The students are encouraged to develop a curiosity toward learning the Torah as they look at the deeper meaning within the text and they relate the interpretations of the text to their lives today.  Students study the story of the Jewish people, the regions and the Jewish nation so that they can relate the past to the present. Students learn from the past events of the Bible and they connect it to their personal world and the world today. The focus is on selected books from the Chumash and the Prophets where the students learn about the origin of the human race and our behaviour through the eyes of the Bible. Students learn through pair and share, monologues, dividing into different points of view and studying in small groups (jigsaw). Students learn to appreciate the purpose of repeated themes in the Bible and specific expressions convey meaning allowing students to become interpreters of the classical text. Students are developing the technical and critical thinking skills required for reading and evaluating selected commentaries. Discussions focus on political, moral and religious issues raised in, and in relation to, the text, as well as, on the Mitzvot in the text.
  • Rabbinics

    The RHA Rabbinics Program helps students:
    a) develop a rich and nuanced understanding of themselves as Jews and shape their commitments to Jewish practice through a deep engagement with rabbinic teachings and texts. 
    • Students will develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary to draw from Jewish principles found in rabbinic literature, as they make decisions about how and when to act in this world based on a reflective study of rabbinic texts. 
    • The encounter with rabbinic texts will influence their sense of connection to their community, and help them to build and contribute to vibrant Jewish communities.
    b) Students will engage with rabbinic texts as a way to inform, inspire and deepen their commitment to acts of tzedek (justice) and hesed (loving-kindness).
    • students will learn that the rabbis developed a rich set of laws and practices that channel a desire to realize these principles.
    • students will utilize both the positive and negative models in rabbinic literature to internalize this Jewish obligation to act, to develop feelings of empathy and compassion, to confront ideas of right and just, and to build an awareness that individual actions make a difference. 
    c) Students will develop the skills to read, navigate and comprehend a variety of genres of rabbinic literature, fostering the ability to understand rabbinic texts independently. 
    • Students will gain the necessary skills and knowledge in order to facilitate understanding of rabbinic texts in their original language, affording students unmediated access the world of rabbinic literature. 
  • Jewish History

    The students explore how history has shaped their identity and how the challenges that faced today continue to shape a person’s identity. The students study various periods from ancient civilizations to modern history with a focus on the role of the Jewish people throughout the ages. By understanding the experiences and challenges the Jewish people faced in the past students are able to put their own Jewish life experiences into a context of greater historical events. Students are exposed to fundamental principles of historical analysis and assessment of sources.


List of 3 items.

  • Grade Six Leadership Trip

    In grade 6, students travel to camp for an overnight stay. The purpose of the trip is to create an opportunity for experiential learning in the natural world. The students focus on leadership, appreciating the value of teamwork, environmental education, communication skills and enhancing school spirit/ruach.
  • Grade Seven Montreal Trip

    Each spring, grade 7 students embark on a four day trip to Montreal. The trip is led by Evolve Tours, a company specializing in school tours. A very exciting itinerary can include some of the following highlights: Montreal Olympic Tower, Sh’aar Hashomayim Synagogue, Tour of Old Montreal, Holocaust Museum, Montreal Science Centre and a cruise down the St. Lawrence River.
  • Grade Eight New York City Trip

    Students look forward to their graduation trip in their final year of study at Robbins Hebrew Academy. Grade 8 students take a four day jam-packed trip to New York City with exciting cultural and educational experiences which can include, the Museum of Tolerance, Liberty Island, Statue of Liberty, Temple Emanu-El, a Broadway Show, Google New York, Museum of Natural History.