Middle School Curriculum

JPA middle school students. Jay Pritzker Academy, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Jay-Pritzker-Academy-Siem-Reap-Cambodia.
Reading & Language Arts

Throughout the middle school grades, students expand their increasingly complex vocabulary while learning to better express ideas, opinions, and interpretations of texts.

Students also develop higher thinking skills as they embark on critical analysis of literature and gain exposure to different types of literary works. They explore various aspects of literature and story-telling, such as rising and falling action, themes, and literary elements, as well as identifying an author’s purpose and target readership.

Students work on their own writing skills, starting with a strong foundation in language mechanics. They learn to put complex thoughts to paper in well-written paragraphs and go on to compose engaging essays and stories using various literary techniques and styles.


In middle school, students transition from skill-based mathematics, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and long division, to concept-based learning in order to apply their knowledge to solving real-life problems. Students explore higher level mathematical concepts, gaining both confidence and ability in solving challenging and complex problems in Algebra 1.


Both life and physical science are covered during middle school, from genes and heredity through to weather patterns and basic chemistry. In their final year, students become familiar with the principles of motion, energy, mass and the practical applications of physics in real-world situations. Technology and frequent laboratories are integrated into science courses allowing students to discover, test and measure the world around them.

Khmer Studies

Students strengthen their productive and receptive skills in the Khmer language as well as growing their understanding of Khmer culture and literature. During the middle years, they also study mathematics in Khmer in preparation for the many high school subjects they will be required to study as part of the Cambodian curriculum.

Social Studies

Students study ancient civilizations including Egypt, China, Rome, and the Khmer Empire, drawing bridges from the past to the modern world. They study America from prehistory through to the Civil War, looking at the founding of America in the context of common human aspirations. They examine the ideals of the early colonists and their reasons for seeking a new country.

In their final year of middle school, students delve deeper into geography and world cultures, sharpening their map and graph reading abilities as well as their research and data interpretation skills. Students become aware of the many cultures and religions of the world. They explore how civilization has been influenced by culture, geography, economics, conflict, and religion. Students learn to see their own culture in a global context.

Character development and the importance of service are also an integral part of social studies as students learn to become contributing members of society.