Middle School

The Middle Years Programme at Keystone Academy is exciting, challenging and full of new academic opportunities and joys for our students. It provides them with the intellectual, emotional, social, and physical building blocks they need to flourish. Keystone Academy offers a model of integrated education that develops foundations for success in the Diploma Programme and at college. Learning in the Middle Years Programme is engaging and demanding: students confront increasingly original and sophisticated ideas, learn through inquiry, challenge conventional approaches, cultivate new forms of knowledge and master the skills that lead to real breakthroughs in their own knowledge. It is also a time when students focus their studies in order to build on the concepts and skills introduced in Primary School.

Keystone Academy Middle Years Programme continues to support the Chinese-English bilingualism started in the earlier grades. By employing a progressive model of language acquisition, affirmed by research and effective practice, students build true linguistic competency and cultural understanding in Chinese and English. Students use both languages throughout the school day in all their activities. The language program in the Middle Years Programme is designed as a gradual transition of emphasis between the two languages. Students from programs such as ours demonstrate a high correlation between complex thinking skills and advanced linguistic abilities. They have excellent cognitive flexibility and problem-solving skills.

Small class sizes of no more than 18 students allow students to explore a wide range of academic disciplines in depth. We ask our students to make interdisciplinary connections as a way to understand and participate effectively in their natural, social, and cultural worlds. The curriculum is designed to promote students’ intellectual advancement as well as the emotional, social, and physical development so important during the years of adolescence. The Middle Years Programme is a most effective preparation for success in the Diploma Programme.

The subjects taught in each grade at Keystone Academy Middle Years Programme are:

  • Language and Literature (Chinese and/or English)
  • Language Acquisition (Chinese and/or English)
  • Individuals and Societies (China and the World)
  • Chinese Arts (China and the World): Chinese Performing Arts and Chinese Visual Arts
  • Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • The Arts Drama/Theatre Music
  • Visual Arts
  • Design
  • Physical and Health Education

The strength of the Keystone program is the consistent and well-organized emphasis on rigorous student learning in the context of both Chinese and international perspectives. Students have many occasions to develop their skills in research, communication, collaboration, organization, and critical thinking – all crucial ingredients of success for the rigors of the High School academic program, university and beyond. International perspectives and intercultural competency are supported throughout the Middle Years Programme, as students refine their skills in two languages, and learn about the rest of the world’s cultures and traditions in all disciplines. Our unique initiative of the Keystone Chinese Thread finds full expression in the Middle Years Programme, as students learn about the cultural history of China in the context of World Civilization, and they learn to appreciate and express themselves in the traditional Chinese Arts. Independent study and individual presentations, begun in the later years of the Middle Years Programme, give students the opportunity to explore their passions and demonstrate their learning skills as they conduct research and write in-depth essays. Service learning is also a central part of the educational process at Keystone Academy, and is supported by the Middle Years Programme experience. Students learn not only about others but also participate in active ways to improve the lives of those around them.

The following are links to our school policies which guide our practices. The policies are updated yearly by a committee of teachers and administrators.

  1. Academic Integrity Policy
  2. Assessment Policy
  3. Language Policy
  4. SEN Policy
  5. Homework Policy
  6. Middle School Promotion Policy
  7. Middle School Service as Action Policy
  8. Community Partnership Policy

Meredith Phinney

Meredith Phinney is Head of Middle School at Keystone. She has been teaching English literature for over 18 years.



Terry Linton

Terry Linton is the Assistant Head of Middle School. He is an experienced international educator, and Keystone is his fourth IB World School.



Gao Hongwei

Hongwei Gao has been an IB educator for more than seventeen years. She is an MYP and DP workshop leader and a TOK examiner.