Enrichment, academics promoted through 'Viking Block'

By Matthew Bernat | Oct 11, 2017
Photo by: Matthew Bernat Wareham Middle School Principal Peter Steedman and Assistant Principal Sandi Ponte discuss Viking Block on Wednesday.

Wareham Middle School Principal Peter Steedman touted the benefits of the “Viking Block” at Wednesday’s School Committee meeting, saying the new program is having a positive impact.

Steedman said Viking Block is designed to promote academics, provide intervention services and offer enrichment lessons. Different programs focused on those areas are held throughout the week.

“This is an exciting time for Wareham Middle School,” said Steedman. “This Viking Block is allowing us to address the many needs of our students.”

Viking Block is held every day in the school for nearly an hour. Grade seven and eight students participate during third period. Grades five and six have it during sixth period

Steedman said grade seven students are given additional time to focus on mathematics and English for the academic portion. Grade eight students, in addition to mathematics and English, also have time to work on science as well.

Regarding enrichment, grade five students are provided lessons on songwriting, yoga and drama. Grade six students have time for drama, music and wellness programs, which are focused on health.

Under enrichment, grade seven students now have the “Try Engineering” program. Steedman described that as a project-based, computer program where students explore science.

Another component of the Viking Block is Viking Time. Launched last year, Viking Time is an advisory program that promotes social skills and behavioral expectations.

Steedman noted that it allows students and teachers to participate in a “common conversation.” As an example, he said that the recently held Rachel’s Challenge, a program designed to reduce violence, was discussed.

“Together, students reflected on Rachel’s Challenge and how to promote caring, kindness and compassion in our community,” said Steedman.

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