AGES 11–13


The CDS Middle School has a friendly, family-orientated, and supportive ethos, creating an environment where all students are challenged be their best. Our middle school curriculum is structured by high standards organized through assessments and rubrics, includes electives for students to explore their interests and develop their creativity, and includes many exciting opportunities to learn beyond the classroom.
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About Our Middle School Curriculum

At our international middle school in Costa Rica, we have high expectations for all our students and ensure they’re challenged to master the knowledge, skills, and understanding required at each grade level. We believe that learning happens best when students learn for the sake of learning and not because they are working towards an external reward, so we approach assessments as opportunities to emphasize each student’s personal journey to mastery.  


Standards, Assessments, and Rubrics

Our Middle School assesses students using a standards-based approach. We follow the US Common Core State Standards. Teachers are constantly assessing students, “taking the temperature” of their learning to provide them with clear, action-oriented feedback about the next steps required to move forwards. We use rubrics that map out each student’s journey towards mastering the standards that we prioritize over the course of the year.


To the greatest extent possible, all students should master the curriculum by the end of the school year, and we support students who need an extra boost to achieve this. Our reporting system tracks their progress over time.  



We believe strongly in a holistic approach to education that develops students emotionally, socially, and academically. All students dedicate four hours per week to an elective of their choice. We also have a dedicated advisory program, a range of electives, community learning, and passion projects alongside a range of extra-curricular and enrichment options — including robotics, STEAM, and various music options — for students to follow their passions, develop their creativity, and achieve personal fulfillment.  


Learning Beyond the Classroom

A significant part of our international middle school in Costa Rica is that we offer opportunities to further the curriculum beyond the classroom to help our students grow into successful young adults. Each student meets every day with a small group and an advisor. This advisor is the contact point and mentor for each student in our school.  


Clubs and Sports

We encourage our middle schoolers to get involved in clubs including the National Junior Honor Society, Writing Club, and the Art and Tech Club. Our Middle School athletics program also offers full schedules in swimming, volleyball, and soccer.  


The Global Games

All our middle schoolers are invited to compete in the “Global Games,” an Olympics-themed event hosted in Orlando, Florida. The games, held in December annually, are between Nord Anglia Education schools across the Americas in various individual and team sports. 


Middle School Trips and Adventures

Costa Rica, with its unique biodiversity and topography, naturally provides rich opportunities for off-campus trips to extend our learning beyond the classroom. Our trips capitalize on Costa Rica’s focus on sustainability and ecology, while emphasizing personal growth and leadership. 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students can join well-organized, developmentally appropriate trips that both synthesize classroom learning and spark new ideas for future areas of study. Past trips have included camping in Punta Uva and working alongside researchers investigating turtle-hatching in Tortuga.


Every child has their own exciting journey. Our teachers build up the individual strengths of each student, creating activities and projects based on our internationally recognized curriculum and qualifications, so they can discover their path to the world's best colleges and universities.

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