Brownell Talbot's grades 5-8 make up our Middle School. Defined by small class sizes, an impressive variety of instructional environments, and a whole-child approach to adolescent learning, BT's Middle School builds skills that help students transition from curious children into responsible teenagers.

A Supportive Environment for Appropriate Risk-Taking

BT's intentionally balanced education promotes academic excellence, physical activity, emotional engagement, social interaction, and age-appropriate life skills. This approach to Middle School education helps students become more confident and considerate decision-makers with more opportunities to explore individual passions.

Physics First Science Model

Brownell Talbot uses a “physics first” model in Middle School, in which the traditional order of science courses is reversed so that students learn physics before chemistry and biology. After studying a variety of life and physical sciences in fifth grade, sixth graders learn physics through earth science, seventh graders learn chemistry through environmental science, and eighth graders learn biology through ecology. The physics first model is generally more popular in high schools, but BT understands that physics is a foundational science and teaching it earlier prepares students for a deeper understanding of science in Upper School.

College Counseling and Student Support

Our counselors provide support and instruction within the domains of social emotional learning, academics, and college and career readiness. Counseling is a required course in grades 5-8. In sixth grade, students are introduced to college counseling as part of the curriculum and that instruction continues through eighth grade, often coupled with social emotional learning around emotional regulation, conflict resolution, and reducing stress and anxiety. In addition to counseling classes, every Middle School student belongs to an Advisory, which is focused on building relationships and a sense of belonging as well as practical skills like time management and organization. 

Performing and Visual Arts

Brownell Talbot’s fine arts curriculum enables students to understand, appreciate, and create exemplary works of art. Through authentic, innovative experiences across multiple disciplines, we foster resilient artists who collaborate, communicate, create, and think critically. Therefore, music and chorus, theatre, and art classes are required courses in Middle School. There are also a broad range of electives available to students, including band and strings.


A vital and required component of the Middle School language arts curriculum is speech, which is a required course for seventh and eighth graders. Much of the writing is an extension of work being done in the students’ English classes and is often creative in nature. A variety of speech assignments stressing skills in critical and creative thinking, organization, rhetoric, composition, and speech delivery techniques are offered with the objective of producing competent, confident, and self-possessed speakers.

Extracurricular Opportunities

Brownell Talbot has over 20 sports and enrichment activities available to Middle School students. In addition to more traditional offerings, BT students can test out interests like a capella, robotics, volleyball, chess, and more.

See What's Happening Middle School