Oak Hill offers a variety of language and
elective courses for Middle School students.

Open the tabs below for more information on each.

Oak Hill School is proud to have offered the Mandarin Chinese program to the students since September 2006.

Our Mandarin classes teach students basic Chinese vocabulary, Chinese characters, Pinyin, grammar, sentences, and phrases. We teach our students to listen, talk, read, write and type in the Chinese language. The classes offer a way for students to learn to speak, read and write Chinese while exploring the art and culture of China. Our activity-based curriculum enables students to acquire practical communication skills and experience the joy of learning another language.

For the middle school Mandarin Chinese classes, we continue to teach the students Chinese vocabulary, phrases, pinyin, characters, grammar, and sentences.

Students develop skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing Mandarin Chinese while exploring the art and culture of China.

The basic textbook for this course is Learning Chinese With Me, which is further supplemented with authentic materials. The teaching materials are organized around thematic units that are essential to daily communication. The students have learnt the vocabulary related to the theme, the grammar and expressions they need to communicate about the theme.

All students are expected to be able to use Mandarin Chinese to communicate in various aspects of life. Language is part of culture, and it represents and reflects the worldviews and customs held by the people of a culture.

The middle school Mandarin class students create and nurture respect and love through achieving comprehension of another language.

Language strategies help students to meet the challenge of the unfamiliar. By rising to stiff linguistic challenges the student gains confidence as he or she discovers an entire new world both in language and in self. The Chinese language is a unique language, and the Chinese culture is one of the oldest and richest cultures in the world.

We strongly believe that learning the Chinese language will enrich the Oak Hill experience of the children and guide them along the path of becoming world citizens and lifelong learners.

The Middle School French program begins to transition students from building block French to functional usage. Students interact with authentic materials, play games using their language skills, and learn about Francophone countries around the world.

Compelling, contextualized, comprehensible input is the principle that drives the Middle School Spanish program.

Students new to the school, as well as continuing students from the elementary program, are presented the language in the context of mini-stories that evolve into longer readings. The students read, write and speak from the beginning always at appropriate levels. Students with prior Spanish experience from the elementary years are simply expected to respond based on what they know. Their responses are more complex than those of a classmate who is just beginning, but the instructor makes all responses comprehensible to students. The first year of Spanish 1 instruction covers two school years, at which time students are free to move into Spanish 2 in the 8th grade.

Students in Middle School and High School grades are able to participate in a biennial trip to Costa Rica.

This trip typically occurs during summer vacation and focuses on exposing our students to the many cultures within the Spanish language. In High School, students are able to participate in a cultural exchange and service trip to Mexico.

Humans are designed to move and be active.

The high school P.E. program is designed to improve the lives of students through engaging physical activities. We recognize the importance of regular physical activity and how it benefits students. The focus of high school P.E. is to encourage a lifestyle of physical activity by engaging students in movement activities that are fun and challenging. The goal is active participation and personal development for all students. Activities include games, fitness routines, sports, and an education of fitness principles.

Research has shown that regular physical activity creates improvements in:
•  Educational attainment
•  School engagement
•  Processing speed
•  Executive function/Inhibition/Mental flexibility
•  Memory
•  Academic performance
•  Brain structure and function
•  Concentration/Attention/Impulse control
•  Learning
•  AdHd management
•  Age-related cognitive decline management

Healthier, happier, more productive lives can be achieved through physical activity. All students in the Upper School are offered P.E. every day, which focuses on educating our students about healthy and active lifestyles. For students interested in playing extra-curricular sports, any sport that Oak Hill does not offer may played through the student’s home district.

Find out more about the benefits of physical activity and the worldwide agenda to improve the lives of children through: Designed to Move: A Physical Activity Agenda

The Middle School in grades 6, 7, and 8 use a progression of analytical and conceptual skills with each art project. Students create aesthetic resolutions using the elements of art and the principles of design. Bold graphic projects combine visual awareness, ingenuity, and critical thinking. Famous artists, styles, and historical foundations in the world of art are studied, compared, and appropriated. Contemporary visual expressions are critiqued and students develop the knowledge necessary to make informed responses when communicating ideas about art. Projects integrate current social, cultural, and environmental issues for visual displays and exhibits viewed by the Oak Hill community.

Middle School music ensembles that are designed to be challenging and performance driven able to encompass all instruments ranging from guitars, drums, wind instruments, strings, and vocalists. Through the study of music, Oak Hill music students develop critical listening skills, an understanding of the structure of all music, and an appreciation for music from a wide variety of cultures. Most importantly, the goal is to have fun and play good music while developing a strong sense of work ethic within a band setting.

The Natural World Program at Oak Hill School: The Landscape is the Curriculum

Oak Hill School is dedicated to integrating its natural environment into all phases of its curricula and community life. Its widely diverse 72-acre campus provides an outstanding opportunity to create an environmental awareness that recognizes the interdependence, beauty, and integrity of all of its members. This integration fulfills a desire by the Oak Hill community to reestablish in our students, our families, and our community a sense of place through an understanding of the local biotic system.

Oak Hill School sits on a 72 acre former horse ranch directly across from the confluence of the coast and middle forks of the Willamette River and from low lying Buford Park and the heights of Mt. Pisgah. Our built campus footprint sits on approximately 18 acres. Another 20 acres consists of pastures, orchards, a retention pond and adjacent grasslands. The remaining acreage consists of an upland oak savannah remnant, a mixed hardwood and fir transitional forest, riparian forest, and wet and dry prairie grasslands.

For the last 3 years the school has employed a resident naturalist whose activities include both curriculum-based and project-based integration of the landscape into all of the arts and sciences curricula. Student projects have included expansion of the oak savannah through student led reforestation, institution of worm composting for our food waste, introduction of bee colonies, expansion of the trail system, an ongoing streambank stabilization project including erosion control and habitat restoration, student garden pond rehabilitation, map and compass lessons, plant and wildlife identification projects, and initial mapping of natural areas for species identification plots.

All faculty members collaborate and all grade levels participate. Our focus throughout this program is the development of an age appropriate awareness that results in an attitude of respect, stewardship, and appreciation for the interdependent relationships required to sustain ourselves and our environment.

Activities are both project-based and curriculum-based. Project-based activities would include the semester-long mapping of the trail system and creation of trail signs, the year-long pond rehabilitation project, or the ongoing streambank stabilization project. Curriculum-based activities grow out of the current curriculum and might include activities like the month-long oak tree ecology lessons, forest life cycles lessons, or aquatic life lessons. The distinctions are not sharp, and often a project will grow from a curriculum event.

Collaborative Partnerships

Oak Hill School has working partnerships with the Camas Educational Network and Sequential Bio-Fuels. We have also established working relationships with BRING Recycling, the Willamette Resources and Educational Network, and Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah.

Community Outreach

Oak Hill School has opened its campus to a variety of community groups. We have hosted the Oregon State Extension Service’s Master Gardener Program, and partnered with both the Lane Community College’s Environmental Studies Program and the University of Oregon’s Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation. In addition, faculty, middle and high school students have participated in community service projects at Buford Park, Mt. Pisgah, and the West Eugene Wetlands, including invasive plant identification and removal, propagating native seed, and assisting in the native seed nursery at Buford Park.

The Middle School theatre arts program is part of a rotation. Each middle schooler will take theatre arts for one third of the year. This course is designed to introduce Middle School students to the wonderful world of theatre while stressing scholarship and high artistic standards. Students will explore all aspects of theatre and will focus on acting as an art form. Basic acting technique is explored through improvisational games, exercises and scene work. A safe environment is provided to encourage creativity and fun. During the Middle School years, students are exposed to significant playwrights and theatre history.

Another focus of this class is to develop personal self -confidence, communication skills and teamwork.

This course will evaluate students based on participation and good will. While these Middle School years are spent on the fundamentals of acting through process, occasionally a performance project will grow out of the class dynamic. An example of a class project was an environmental production which was performed at a Eugene festival. It launched an international Green Show Project which was be performed in conjunction with the King’s School, Thailand, in the fall of 2011.

The middle schoolers are also encouraged to audition for the Main Stage Production every spring. At Oak Hill School, every interested student gets a part in the show. The productions are specially chosen to meet the needs of the majority of student actors and technicians, and they are always collaborative.