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Curriculum

Curriculum

Lower School Curriculum

Our Lower School curriculum emphasizes the core subjects of reading, mathematics and written expression, and also places importance on science, social studies and the integration of concepts throughout different disciplines in order to develop each student’s foundational learning and critical thinking. Kindergarteners through 4th graders also participate in daily physical education and a wide array of exciting enrichments in academics, fine arts, Spanish and STEAM.

The Lower School building features bright, engaging classrooms that include the latest in educational technology, including 70-inch touch screen monitors. A central gallery space located in the center of the Lower School building allows for large group gatherings, presentations, and special events such as International Night and Mother's Day Tea.

Pre-Kindergarten

The Pre-Kindergarten program instills a love of learning by nurturing and encouraging the development of the whole child. The program supports the development of the child spiritually through daily devotions, prayer, and chapel. It promotes intellectual development by exposing students to a language rich environment including lessons and hands-on activities. Social and emotional growth is encouraged with opportunities to learn intentionally through role-playing and classroom interaction. Physical growth is strengthened as students experience fine and gross motor activities.

Pre-Kindergarten students are excited to learn as they are introduced to The Land of the Letter People, a comprehensive curriculum that integrates knowledge across various subject areas focusing on oral language, phonological/phonemic awareness, print awareness and alphabetic knowledge. The program content and themes incorporate math, science, social studies, health and safety, art, music and movement, and sign language lessons that are interactive and age appropriate for our youngest Warriors.

Highlights in Pre-Kindergarten include the Dr. Seuss Unit, Teddy Bear Day and the Letter People.

Kindergarten

St. David’s Kindergarten provides children with a strong foundation for future success while creating a secure, nurturing environment. Kindergarten students experience a developmentally appropriate curriculum, integrating different learning styles through academic and hands-on activities as well as utilizing various technology resources. The Kindergarten Language Arts program is phonics based, integrated with reading, writing, and literature. Students enjoy meeting letter characters as they learn phonics skills presented though the LetterLand program. Kindergarteners develop math skills through the use of manipulative materials, games, and hands-on activities. Science and Social Studies concepts are taught through thematic units that are relevant, engaging, and fun. Students engage in weekly science experiments joining friends and teachers from other classes, building community and friendships through exploration. St. David's Kindergarten students can be found singing, dancing, creating, building, and learning together.

Highlights of kindergarten include Wonka Day, Super Science Fridays and the buddy program with our fourth grade students.

1st Grade

In the first grade at St. David’s School, we challenge the creative and curious nature of children by creating an environment that will foster a love of learning. We begin to prepare young children for further education and success by providing challenging opportunities for students to excel.

The first grade language arts curriculum is a phonics- based program using Letterland which is an interactive program that appeals to the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learner. This program gives students the knowledge of letter-sound correspondences and strategies they need to be successful readers. This combined with “Reading for Meaning” in our reading workshop helps students form good reading habits and learn to select books on their reading level using a literature based leveled-reader library.

The first grade mathematics program utilizes a hands-on approach using manipulatives to understand concepts for problem solving and computation. Students learn number sense, problem solving, and math facts fluency through center-based and differentiated small group instruction.

In science, first graders learn to observe, compare, classify, gather data, measure, make predictions, hypothesize and infer outcomes using a hands-on approach with The National Geographic Curriculum. These skills are demonstrated through a classroom project which is presented at our yearly science festival.

The social studies curriculum helps students become a more responsible citizen by learning about good character traits. The curriculum also gives students an opportunity to explore their community, town, state, country and the world. They learn about local, state, and national government and geography through map and globe skills. Students participate in a yearly International Night Festival where they study a different country and its culture.

Highlights of first grade include the Thanksgiving play and collaborative centers on Fridays.

2nd Grade

Second grade at St. David’s is characterized by providing opportunities that encourage student independence and the development of communication skills. Second grade students learn to accurately and efficiently decode multi-syllable words of increasing complexity. They continue to refine the accuracy and fluency of their oral reading and read with appropriate intonation and expression. Reading comprehension strategy instruction accelerates in second grade, as students learn to take greater responsibility for monitoring their understanding of texts. Students actively engage with different texts by making predictions/connections, and actively participating in book discussions. With a strong phonics foundation, students are able to connect what they are reading and articulate their comprehension through writing. Writing instruction is focused on having students organize, plan, write, and edit rough drafts in order to produce a piece of writing that clearly communicates a main idea. Various writing genres, such as informational, opinion, narrative and creative writing, are explored in this grade level.

St. David’s uses a hands-on and interactive approach to math instruction. Second grade builds upon fundamental mathematical concepts learned in first grade. Through a spiraling approach, students develop a deeper understanding of numbers and operations, time, money, data, fractions, and measurement. Second grade students build number sense and learn relationships among numbers. The use of manipulatives continues to be an integral part of the second grade curriculum, as students connect abstract concepts of place value, renaming in both addition and subtraction, and comparative values of fractions to concrete understanding. Through individual and cooperative learning assignments students develop essential skills in life science, earth science, and physical science. Students develop a broader sense of citizenship within a community and examine basic economic principles. In addition to exploring the basic principles of government, second grade students extend their understanding of historical references, and learn to differentiate between events that took place long ago and more recently.

Highlights of second grade include the Valentine’s Day Tea and the Charlotte’s Web County Fair.

3rd Grade

Third grade at St. David’s inspires learners in their final year of early childhood to reach their full potential by facilitating independence and building a solid foundation of academic skills, strategies and behaviors. Students gain confidence in their academic abilities while building interpersonal skills thru cooperative tasks. Reading focus shifts from learning to read to reading to learn. Using a variety of genres, students master strategies as they move beyond decoding to comprehending and analyzing literature. While the fundamentals of grammar, mechanics, and sentence structure are introduced in earlier grades, third graders hone these skills and apply them to reading responses and written products. Third grade students build their vocabulary base using the Wordly Wise curriculum. Math content emphasizes numeration, operation and computations, data, probability, geometry, measurement, decimals, fractions, and spatial sense. Multiplication and division are new concepts. Our program is rich in problem solving and students are encouraged to use acquired learning to find multiple solutions to everyday problems.

Third grade scientists develop a love of science by exploring topic in earth, life, and physical science. Students work cooperatively using the scientific method to investigate the natural world. A central focus of social studies curriculum is citizenship and government, with an emphasis on colonial America and their quest for independence. Students learn the states and capitals, major landmarks, and the branches of national government. Students showcase their learning on Presidents’ Night as they research a president, construct a speech, and present to parents in the Chapel.

Highlights of third grade include the natural disaster project, Presidents’ Night and a field trip to the North Carolina Zoo.

4th Grade

As students enter the fourth grade at St. David’s School, they embark on their last year in the lower school. The curriculum reflects the changing nature of the students’ learning style, and faith, knowledge, and virtue develop through leadership roles and relationships.

For literacy, the program emphasizes the continued development and proficiency in decoding, comprehension, literacy genres, and analysis, listening skills, and critical thinking. These skills are taught through the use of novel studies, oral reading tasks, and current non-fiction resources. Through the study of grammar and the writing craft, students produce various types of writing forms, such as essay, poetry, response to literature, and narrative composition. Students are presented with new vocabulary bi-weekly to study synonyms, antonyms, definitions, and parts of speech.

Fourth grade math challenges students to problem solve and critically think through innovative and collaborative grouping. Through hands-on and project-based learning, students discern and analyze mathematical data in multiple representations. Students develop number sense and fluency, algebraic expressions, fractions, decimals, and geometry.

Our social studies program focuses on North Carolina’s past, present, and future. Particular emphasis is placed on geography, economics, and cultural events, which have shaped the state’s history. The use of primary sources, map skills, technology and integration with the literacy and science curriculum appeal to the students’ understanding of current events and past events. Field trips within the state deliver a hands-on approach to learning North Carolina history.

Fourth grade science focuses on world-wide ecosystems, forces and motion, and adaptations of living things. Students investigate energy, vibrations, sound, and circuits through hands-on lab opportunities. Using the scientific method, students learn to record their observations, summarize their discoveries, and participate in engineering projects.

Highlights of fourth grade include participating in the weekly Chapel services, big and little buddies with seniors and kindergarteners, and exploring North Carolina with trips to the mountains and the coast.

Enrichment Classes

Art

The Lower School visual arts curriculum has been designed to promote continuity from kindergarten through the twelfth grade. Lower School students are introduced to age appropriate skills, media, tools and concepts that will be developed and expanded each successive year. The purpose of the visual arts program is to foster an appreciation of fine art, understanding of elements and principles of art, skill in the use of a variety of media, and the joy of the creative process.

Library

The St. David’s Library program promotes the love of reading, provides access to resources in various forms and encourages the members of our school community to become lifelong independent learners. We facilitate inquiry, discovery, evaluation, and application of knowledge and truth in order that the lives and spirits of those in our community may be enriched, to the end that God is honored and Christ’s Truth revealed. Students learn to find, evaluate, and use information and are encouraged to pursue personal interests in research and pleasure reading.

Math

The Lower School music department engages the children in learning and appreciating the fundamentals of music and rhythm. Students are exposed to a variety of musical genres and using the Orff method, are actively involved in making music with instruments including xylophones, drums and recorders. Students both participate in musical performances in Chapel and in two yearly division-wide productions.

Music

The Lower School music department engages the children in learning and appreciating the fundamentals of music and rhythm. Students are exposed to a variety of musical genres and using the Orff method, are actively involved in making music with instruments including xylophones, drums and recorders. Students both participate in musical performances in Chapel and in two yearly division-wide productions.

PE

The Lower School Physical Education program at St. David’s School encourages children to engage in physical activity in the hopes of developing a desire in the child to maintain physical fitness throughout life. Students gain confidence in both individual skills and applying those skills in cooperative and team sport games. Students also experience winning and losing in a healthy, fun environment where we encourage positive responses to both experiences.

Spanish

Our Lower School Spanish program sets the foundation for the love of language acquisition through interactive stories and lively conversations. Students are engaged in a mix of listening, repeated questions and answers and storytelling to create an immersion-like environment that keeps the students interest and attention and increases comprehension.

STEAM

Through the exploration and integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math, students draw connections between the subjects and use the engineering, design and scientific process to question, investigate, analyze, and report on the world around them. Utilizing hands-on projects, including coding, robotics and design challenges, STEAM concepts are taught across all of the lower school grades, enriching and strengthening the core curriculum.

Writing

In writing enrichment, students will review skills that will improve their ability to communicate through the written word. These grade-appropriate skills will reinforce what is being taught in the classroom. Using literature, games, art, singing, and a wide variety of writing assignments, students will practice essential skills and increase both their proficiency in, and enjoyment of, the writing process.

Middle and Upper School Curriculum

English/Language Arts

We explore the great texts of world literature. Through the cultivation of the habits of curiosity, close reading, rich discussion, and effective writing, our teachers invite students to join the pursuit of goodness, truth, and beauty.

English 5

English 5 is a course designed to prepare students to become analytical and critical thinkers as they study various genres of literature. An emphasis on literary elements, as well as oral and written expression, is incorporated into this course. An expansive class library is available to enrich and encourage students as they cultivate their tastes and an appreciation for the gift of reading. By the end of the year, students should have a solid foundation as readers, writers, and thinkers. (Full Year Course)

Language Arts 5

As a complement to the English 5 course, Language Arts 5 integrates the components of vocabulary, grammar, and writing. Students enhance their vocabulary skills through the combined study of Latin roots and advanced English vocabulary. The grammar study provides students with a solid understanding of parts of speech, components of a sentence, phrases, and clauses. Students practice their developing grammar and writing skills, particularly correct sentence and paragraph formation, through various types of writing assignments, including creative writing, essay writing, and research-based writing. By the end of year, Language Arts 5 students will have a solid foundation in grammar and written expression. (Full Year Course)

English 6

The English 6 course facilitates the development of students’ skills in reading and fluency of expression through the study of excellent selections of literature. Students read and carefully examine a variety of novels, short stories, and poems. Vocabulary study is given high priority and is approached in the context of literature. Students are guided to use their own words, both oral and written, to express clearly what they have read and understood. Oral skills are taught and integrated throughout the course, from reading passages aloud to articulating literary concepts in class discussion. By the end of year, English 6 students will read well at an advanced pace, and be able to express themselves through discussion and writing. (Full Year Course)

English 7

English 7 is a literature course focusing on the development of reading comprehension, vocabulary, and analysis of the text. Particular attention is given to developing the habit of critical thinking by delving deeper into the elements of fiction including character, setting, plot, and theme, and by giving students the opportunity to develop their own thoughts about the literature through intentional class discussions and their own writing. By the end of the year, through their introduction to great literature, students will gain a greater awareness of the community and world around them, developing empathy for those around them. (Full Year Course)

English 8

English 8 is a course whose foundation is fine literature. Through the study of short stories, novels, poetry, and drama, students establish the habit of critical thinking. From there, they develop and hone communication skills, both oral and written as they learn to express themselves clearly, concisely, and correctly. English 8 students are expected to have a solid foundation in grammar and to read well at an advanced pace, and, by the end of the year, to have a strong fundamental grasp on the art of the essay and seminar-style discussion. (Full Year Course)

Eastern North Carolina: Fact, Folklore and Food

Did you know the accents of many “Down Easterners” reflect parts of the Elizabethan English dialect spoken in colonial Carolina? Did you know that “true” eastern North Carolina clam chowder is made with water not milk? Are you interested in learning about an area of our state that is rich in history, folklore, and food? Students in seventh and eighth grades will enjoy reading stories as well as watching footage of people and places that make this region so unique. As a culminating activity, a trip will be planned to eastern North Carolina with the intention of producing a documentary of this experience. (Semester Elective) (Pass/Fail)

Journalism/Yearbook

This course introduces students to the skills of interviewing and writing for the school’s yearbook, Logos. Students will learn the fundamentals of copywriting and creating spreads. Also, members of the class will produce stories and images to chronicle the school year. (Full Year Elective - Graded)

Write Right

“Write Right” provides students with a solid understanding of parts of speech, components of a sentence, phrases, and clauses. Students practice their developing grammar and writing skills, particularly correct sentence and paragraph formation, through various types of writing assignments. (Semester Elective - Graded)

English I

English I is an introduction to literature and composition with an emphasis on interpretation, discussion, and the development of analytical skills. As students practice close, critical reading, they will continually expand their lexicon with key vocabulary words from core texts and will examine the role of worldview in both the formation and experience of literary works. (Full Year Course)

English II

English II is a challenging look into the literary canon. Students will build upon their skills of literary analysis and apply their ability to identify authorial intent, worldview, and themes to an increasingly wide array of texts across cultures and time periods. Students will explore foundational works such as Homer’s Odyssey, Beowulf, and the Book of Esther, which will inform our study of more contemporary texts. Particular emphasis is placed on the development of the Heroic Narrative through literature, as well as the different ways that literature throughout human history has articulated the problem of evil. English II also looks forward, as it marks the beginning of each student’s experience with Dante’s Divine Comedy, a course of study that will run through their senior year, as well as continuing the exploration of Shakespeare that is consistent throughout the English curriculum. (Full Year Course)

English III

English III is an American Literature course that exposes students to a rich body of canonical works. Students are challenged to think critically through philosophical perspectives as diverse as Transcendentalism, Realism, Puritanism and Existentialism. Engaging America’s literary tradition is an essential part of understanding American history. With this in mind, students read slave narratives alongside Cold War literature and, by appreciating the literature of the past, come to better understand their own culture and place in history. The course emphasizes writing, informed discussion, public speaking and literary analysis. Students are expected to express ideas with clarity, coherence, and precision, both orally and in writing. Students engage in the writing process in a wide variety of styles and genres, including analytical essays, the Research Paper, creative narrative, and journaling. (Full Year Course)

English IV

English IV is a college preparatory course that immerses students in the power of language. Students will examine a diverse and weighty collection of literary works as they cultivate the invaluable skills of close reading, critical interpretation, collaborative discourse, written analysis, and curiosity. Works such as Lewis’ Mere Christianity and Shelley’s Frankenstein will invite students to exercise their moral imagination. The course serves as a culminating experience of the English curriculum at St. David’s, as students continue their look into the power of the short story, the profundity of Shakespeare through Hamlet, and Dante’s Divine Comedy. Students will read thoroughly, write extensively, and discuss broadly in this course as they nourish their lifelong pursuit of the good, the true, and the beautiful. (Full Year Course)

AP Literature

AP Literature and Composition is a college level class devoted to one end: the reading, comprehension, and analysis of great literature. Each of these skills is invaluable to the student’s mature enjoyment of literature, lasting beyond the demands of college. First, comes the careful reading of the text. Next, follows the articulation of the substance of the work in the dialectic of classroom discussion and in written essays both in and out of the classroom setting. It is in the dialectic that students begin to work with each other to uncover and to possess what are to that moment unknown portrayals of truth, beauty, and goodness.

Students in AP Literature are given the opportunity to take the AP Exam at the end of the year. If they chose to do so, they will have been well prepared by a conscientious participation in the objectives of the course. Prerequisite: Recommendation from the department. (Full Year Course)

AP Language and Composition

AP Composition prepares students for writing at the college level through extensive writing practice and the close reading of well-crafted works. Students will cultivate an appreciation for writing that is precise and effective as they each develop their own unique voice. Students will learn various modes of discourse, namely narrative, expository, and persuasive writing. In addition to the written word, students will develop the art of speaking beautifully; students will be expected to engage in thoughtful discourse as they write, read, and examine pieces.

Students in AP Language and Composition are given the opportunity to take the AP Exam at the end of the year. If they chose to do so, they will have been well prepared by a conscientious participation in the objectives of the course. Prerequisite: Recommendation from the department. (Full Year Course)

History

We teach the art of historical study through primary sources, to form students who appreciate the depth and context of human history in order to realize their own role in the world.

World Geography 5

This course explores North and South America in addition to Europe. It serves as a foundational course for further study of geography and history at St. David’s School. Using map skills and the five themes of geography, students learn the location of countries and the effect that environment has on lifestyles and historical events. World Geography 5 equips students with map and geography skills, such as using latitude and longitude, map legends, and timelines. (Full Year Course)

World Cultures 6

In World Cultures, students study the history, geography, cultures, religions, and modern problems of Asia and Africa. Specific areas include China, Korea, Japan, India, the Middle East, and the continent of Africa. They continue with geography skills gained in World Geography 5, expand their knowledge and understanding of chronology, discuss historical cause and effect, and examine major religions through a Christian worldview. Each semester culminates with the Global Innovation Project in which each student selects a problem affecting a previously-studied culture and offers solutions to that problem. (Full Year Course)

Bible Survey 7

The influence of the Bible on our western culture is practically immeasurable. In addition to being the sacred text of Jews and Christians, it has the respect of Muslims and other world religions. Furthermore, a full or complete understanding of western literature, art, music, and drama is impossible without some measure of Biblical literacy. The goal of this class is to give students a basic introduction to the content, organization, and historical impact of the Bible. Students will exit this course prepared to recognize and discuss the Bible’s influence in western society. (Full Year Course)

United States History 8

This course is a study of American history from the founding of our government to the modern era. The class concentrates on the political, economic and social developments of the country. To help students understand the Constitution as a living document, both historical and current issues will be incorporated throughout the course. Class discussions, reading of primary sources, and essay writing workshops will challenge students to develop consistent arguments and to think critically. (Full Year Course)

Biblical Leadership – 8th grade boys

Biblical Leadership examines the Bible to find various themes and principles of leadership that apply to young men. Topics of study include calling, the character traits of a leader, the practical need for leadership etc. The class will include opportunities for the boys to be mentored by an Upper School student, as well as to be prepared to mentor a younger student as the semester moves on. Using Biblical and extra-biblical texts, students will gain a solid understanding of and the empowerment to live out a biblical model of leadership. Due to the impact on the integrity of the course, students are not permitted to drop Biblical Leadership for a study hall, during their JV or varsity sports season. (Semester Elective) (Pass/Fail)

Biblical Leadership – 8th grade girls

In Biblical Leadership students will have the opportunity to study the Bible to explore the characteristics and guidelines of leadership that apply to them, particularly as young women of God. Topics of study include but are not limited to: God’s calling and plan for our lives, the character traits of a leader, and servant leadership. There will be an opportunity for the girls to be mentored by an Upper School student as well as preparation to mentor a younger student as the semester progresses. Using biblical and extra-biblical texts, students will gain a better understanding of the scriptural model of leadership and how that affects our lives. Due to the impact on the integrity of the course, students are not permitted to drop Biblical Leadership for a study hall, during their JV or varsity sports season. (Semester Elective) (Pass/Fail)

The Life and Times of Christ

The Life and Times of Christ examines the historical and biblical evidence to reconcile the Christ of faith with the Jesus of history. Topics of study include the arguments for Christ’s existence, the historical context of Jesus’ world, and the various themes of the gospel accounts. The class will also introduce students to theological approaches and issues that historians and biblical scholars deal with from all over the world. (Semester Elective) (Pass/Fail)

The Sixties

The Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam War, protests, the draft. The 60’s decade is one of the most intriguing times in US history. It was a decade of change in many ways, and we are going to look at how politics, the media, war, and social reform all transformed during those ten years. This semester course will focus on how the American people used protests, clothing, and music to make their voices heard. Come prepared to investigate, experience, and reenact one of the country’s most pivotal and exciting decades! (Semester Elective) (Graded)

World War II

This course will examine one of the greatest conflicts in human history, World War II. Students will study the causes, and the implications of World War II; learn about the geographic areas involved, the major diplomatic, political and military events; and investigate some of the important people of the time. Themes explored will include the impact of war on soldiers and civilians, life on the home front, women in the war, the Japanese and German viewpoints, and postwar issues. (Semester Elective) (Graded)

Bible and the Ancient World

Bible and the Ancient World Students will study the historical evidence for events and civilizations found in the Old and New Testaments. This course is not only a survey of the Bible, but also an introduction to influential historical figures such as Hammurabi, Plato, and Alexander the Great, who provide a contextual backdrop to the Biblical events and teachings. Considerable time is devoted to the teaching of effective essay writing and interpretation of primary sources. (Full Year Course)

Modern World History

Modern World History is a survey course dedicated to examining non-Western cultures along with modern developments in Western Civilization. Beginning with the rise and expansion of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula in the seventh century A.D., students will trace the political, economic and religious developments that have shaped the modern world. In addition to the breadth of content, students will cultivate and hone skills that are necessary for the study of history including writing, primary source analysis, and argumentation. The course requires substantial reading and will introduce the student to the methods and means of intellectual history, social science and its place in critical historical study and the basic tenets of political science. (Full Year Course)

AP European History

Advanced Placement European History is equivalent to a college-level survey course in Western Civilization. Beginning with the Italian Renaissance, Advanced Placement European History examines the history of modern Europe and will prepare students for the AP European History examination. The five main countries whose histories compose the large narrative of the course include Great Britain, France, Russia, Prussia (modern day Germany), and Russia. Students will gain an increased awareness of the nature of history and the historian’s role, the relationships of history to the other social sciences and the humanities, and the principal political, social, and economic themes in Europe from 1450 to the present. Students are also expected to complete research at the college level for their major research assignment. Through essay writing, reading primary sources, and class participation, students will learn to engage history with discrimination and refine their writing skills. This class, in common with other AP courses, will require extensive independent preparation in addition to the coursework covered during class. Time spent in class, versus time spent in independent study, is more closely comparable to a college course than a traditional high school course. Prerequisites: Bible and the Ancient World, and departmental approval. (Full Year Course)

AP Seminar: The Origins of Religious Thought: A Comparison of East and West

In this course we consider the origins of the five great religions of the world: Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. In order to understand the teaching and meaning of these great religions, we begin with the careful reading of the ancient texts that shape them. After we have gained an idea of what these texts say and claim, we proceed to analyze the presuppositions that shape them. In the process of our analysis, we reflect upon the assumptions of our approach, taking into account the claims of contemporary secularism. Are these religions true? Are some or one more true than others? Is the concept of truth meaningless when approaching these diverse ways of looking at reality? Are there other categories equally important to that of truth, such as beauty or goodness? And how might these categories be present or absent in these religions?

The course concludes with a project, collaboratively undertaken by two or three students, which compares and contrasts the cultural developments of art and architecture (and perhaps of music) which issue from one of the religions we have covered with the corresponding development in Christianity. Texts: to set the question: Chance or the Dance by Thomas Howard; primary sources: The Bhagavad Gita; Old Testament; The Buddhist Scriptures; Plato: Phaedo; Aristotle: De Anima; New Testament; The Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds; The Koran.

AP Seminar is offered to 11th and 12th grade students, by approval of the History Department Chair. This course will follow the format of the new AP Seminar. (Full Year Course)

United States History

This course is a survey study of American history from 1607 to the present. In addition to learning the primary historical facts and understanding the major movements in the development of the United States, students will be expected to comprehend the philosophic concepts which have distinguished the nation from its founding to the present. The goal of the course is to give students a thorough understanding of the events, issues, ideas, and people that have shaped our nation. Prerequisites: Bible and the Ancient World. (Full Year Course)

AP United States History

Advanced Placement United States History is designed as a college level course that will require the students to develop the analytical skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the History discipline. The course prepares students not only for college level content, but also the self-pacing and independent study habits necessary to successfully engage at the collegiate level. Students will learn to assess historical materials and be able to interpret the importance of these materials as they pertain to historians’ interpretations to various events (historiography). Through class discussion, prepared debates, and writing assignments, students will be challenged to effectively articulate their ideas. Students will be tested on their grasp of historical knowledge through multiple-choice tests similar to those on the Advanced Placement exam. There will also be written essays and analytical research papers to teach the students to express themselves clearly and precisely and to cite sources and credit the writing and ideas of others. This class, in common with other AP courses, will require extensive independent preparation in addition to the coursework covered during class. Time spent in class, versus time spent in independent study, is more closely comparable to a college course than a traditional high school course. Prerequisites: Bible and the Ancient World, and departmental approval. (Full Year course)

AP Psychology

The AP Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. Some lab-like projects include modeling neurons and parts of the brain, as well as activities with other students. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. Psychology course material and discussions include some mature topics. As an Advanced Placement course, students can expect to be challenged to think critically about the way humans interact and about their own behavior, and tests, quizzes and other assessments will help prepare students for college level work and for the AP examination. This class, in common with other AP courses, will require extensive independent preparation in addition to the coursework covered during class. Time spent in class, versus time spent in independent study, is more closely comparable to a college course than a traditional high school course.

Prerequisites: Sophomore, junior, senior standing, and departmental approval. This elective course may not replace the core History class for sophomores or juniors. It must be taken in addition to the core class, or chosen as an elective by seniors. (Full Year Course)

AP Government

AP United States Government and Politics introduces students to key political ideas, institutions, policies, interactions, roles, and behaviors that characterize the political culture of the United States. The course examines politically significant concepts and themes, through which students learn to apply disciplinary reasoning, assess causes and consequences of political events, and interpret data to develop evidence-based arguments. This class, in common with other AP courses, will require extensive independent preparation in addition to the coursework covered during class. Time spent in class, versus time spent in independent study, is more closely comparable to a college course than a traditional high school course.

Prerequisites: Sophomore, junior, senior standing, and departmental approval. This elective course may not replace the core History class for sophomores or juniors. It must be taken in addition to the core class, or chosen as an elective by seniors. (Full Year Course)

Economics

Economics is an investigation of the present-day economic systems and will afford students an understanding of globalized markets. Students will utilize case studies, primary and secondary source texts, and numerous class visitors to learn about many different facets of the global economy including: banking, globalization and outsourcing, the stock and bond markets, private equity, venture capitalism, and the role of government in the economy. Additionally, students will learn the principles of both micro and macroeconomics and the basics of personal finance. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing. (Semester Elective)

Senior Seminar: The Shape of a Moral Life

Through readings, class dialogue, formal seminars, writings, quizzes, reflections, memory work, and projects, this class aims to help each student and the teacher to better articulate, appreciate, apply and live out the full-orbed Christian Worldview and Faith. This will include aspects of exploring our spiritual journey and our individual callings, and comparing and contrasting life according to the Kingdom of Jesus vs. other kingdoms, philosophies, and families of faith (whether religious or non-religious).

While the class clearly has a bent and bias toward Christianity, the teacher recognizes that each person is at a different point in their journey. With that in mind, the approach of the class will be to treat each person and their ideas, opinions, experiences, and feelings with respect and to learn from one another as we share. No student will be graded down for offering a critique of Christianity, in fact, honest questions and doubts are encouraged, for this will help all of us to learn what we really believe and value. This course meets outside the 7-class rotational schedule, during a period designed to include all seniors together in plenary session. Seminar discussion groups exist to provide further opportunities to explore topics in greater depth, under the supervision of various faculty members. Required for Seniors. (Full Year Course)

World History Electives

World History, the standard course for sophomores, is a year-long unit of two semester-long courses. Students in 11th and 12th grade, whose World History courses were structured differently and taught from a different perspective, may also choose to take one or both semesters of this course as electives. (World History is a graduation requirement, but sophomores may choose to fulfill this requirement instead with AP European History. All students are encouraged, however, to take World History as well.)

World History: Introduction to Historical Method

History is more than just a summary of what happened when. It is an attempt to understand who we are now in light of what happened before our time and era. History is a “narrative science” constrained by careful research but informed by questions of meaning shaped by faith, politics and social values. This course examines how history is studied, narrated and rendered meaningful. It is an introduction to the humanities through historical research. (Fall Semester)

World History: Non-Western Views of Time, Person and Reality

Historical study of western culture and society has produced a sophisticated picture of how social life functions, changes and unfolds. How have these methods of study been useful for the study of non-western societies and their histories? How have these methods changed once brought to bear upon non-western views of time, history and reality? This course is an introduction to the historical study of non-western cultures through the methods of cultural anthropology, sociology and comparative economics.
(Spring Semester)

Advanced Seminar - The Origins of Religious Thought: A Comparison of East and West

In this course, we consider the origins of the five great religions of the world: Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. In order to understand the teaching and meaning of these great religions, we begin with the careful reading of the ancient texts that shape them. After we have gained an idea of what these texts say and claim, we proceed to analyze the presuppositions that shape them. In the process of our analysis, we reflect upon the assumptions of our approach, taking into account the claims of contemporary secularism. Are these religions true? Are some or one more true than others? Is the concept of truth meaningless when approaching these diverse ways of looking at reality? Are there other categories equally important to that of truth, such as beauty or goodness? And how might these categories be present or absent in these religions?

The course concludes with a project, collaboratively undertaken by two or three students, which compares and contrasts the cultural developments of art and architecture (and perhaps of music) which issue from one of the religions we have covered with the corresponding development in Christianity. Texts: to set the question: Chance or the Dance by Thomas Howard; primary sources: The Bhagavad Gita; Old Testament; The Buddhist Scriptures; Plato: Phaedo; Aristotle: De Anima; New Testament; The Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds; The Koran. (Full Year Course)

The Rhetoric and Strategy of Persuasion

Aristotle defined rhetoric as “the art of observing in any case the available means of persuasion.” This sequence of courses is jointly an academic and a practical approach to understanding and practicing good argumentation and effective communication. In both courses, emphasis is placed upon both the analysis of others’ arguments and the students’ development of their own arguments, both written and oral. Readings include a wide variety of sources from famous speeches to academic analysis, from modern journalism to Internet flame wars. Film clips, advertisements, commercials, historical clips, and recordings are analyzed as well.

The Rhetoric and Strategy of Persuasion is offered as a two-semester sequence, with each course also available as a semester elective.

The Rhetoric of Persuasion

Topics include the three forms of persuasion (ethos, pathos, logos); the three forms of discourse (Political – what should we do, Forensic – what really happened, Epideictic – who is worthy of praise or blame); the emotions; body language and voice intonation. (Fall Semester)

The Strategy of Persuasion

Topics include the possible arrangements of a persuasive discourse; logic and the rules of reasoning; fallacies – informal and formal; and defining terms. (Spring semester)

Math

The Mathematics Department produces students who think logically and critically, use the tools to reason mathematically in order to solve problems. Students emerge with an appreciation for mathematics and its utility in understanding, observing, and testing God’s created order.

Mathematics 5

In Mathematics 5, students will focus on vocabulary, problem solving, reasoning, and review. Instruction will include a step-by-step approach to the development of math concepts and skills, as well as the use of cooperative learning, board work, teacher demonstrations, note-taking, and class recitation. Students will use the four fundamental operations of math (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) with whole numbers, decimals, and fractions. Geometry, measurement, data, probability, number theory, and ratios will be reinforced and developed throughout the year. The concepts of variables, inverse operations, integers, percentages, and the coordinate plane will be introduced. (Full Year Course)

Mathematics 5/6

In Mathematics 5/6, students will be challenged to apply math knowledge in new ways as they use the four fundamental operations of math (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) with whole numbers, decimals, fractions, and integers. Instruction will include review, vocabulary usage, teacher demonstrations, and a step-by-step approach to the development of math concepts and skills. Geometry, ratios, number theory, probability, data, and measurement will be reinforced and developed. Algebraic concepts and terminology will be introduced with the application of the order of operations, exponents, variables, algebraic expressions, inverse operations, ordered pairs and percentages. (Full Year Course)

Mathematics 6

Math 6 challenges students to use their math knowledge in new ways as they apply the four fundamental operations of mathematics using whole numbers, rational numbers and integers. Basic skills of geometry, ratios, graphs, charts, number theory, and problem solving are further developed. Algebraic concepts and terminology are related to the use of the order of operations, exponents, variables, inverse operations, ordered pairs, proportions, ratios, and percentages, as well as expressions and equations. (Full Year Course)

Mathematics 6/7

Math 6/7 challenges students to apply previously learned knowledge in new ways as they use the four fundamental operations of math with integers and rational numbers. Basic skills of geometry, ratios, graphs and charts, number theory, and problem solving are further developed. Algebraic concepts and terminology are introduced with the application of the order of operations, exponents, variables, inverse operations, ordered pairs, proportions, ratios, and percentages, as well as expressions and equations. (Full Year Course)

Mathematics 7

Mathematics 7 challenges students to apply previously learned knowledge in new ways as they use the four fundamental operations of math with integers and rational numbers. Basic skills of geometry, ratios, graphs and charts, number theory, and problem solving are further developed. Algebraic concepts and terminology are introduced with the application of the order of operations, exponents, variables, inverse operations, ordered pairs, proportions, ratios, and percentages, as well as expressions and equations. (Full Year Course)

Pre-Algebra (6, 7, 8)

Pre-Algebra provides the opportunity to learn and enjoy math by applying previously learned knowledge in new ways. The realm of numbers, variables, square roots, inequalities, multiples, algebraic expressions, and other fantastic concepts are waiting to be discovered. Students will explore exponents, scientific notation, formulas, factor trees, geometric designs, coordinate planes, monomials, and much, much more. The process of solving equations enables students to gain a better understanding of the relationships of the four basic operations using integers and rational numbers. Word problems, percentages, proportions, ratios, number theory, and the properties of mathematics are also key elements of this course. (Full Year Course)

Algebra I

Algebra is a means of mathematical representation and algebraic methods provide numerous problem-solving tools. The course is designed to move from the hands-on focus of Pre-Algebra into a greater emphasis on abstraction and conceptual understanding. This year we will explore the language of algebra in verbal, graphical and symbolic forms while modeling patterns and relationships with variables and functions. Linear relationships, systems of equations and inequalities, and polynomial operations including factoring are highlights of the course. Prerequisite: Pre-Algebra (A Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus or TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required) (Full Year Course)

Household Finances and Economics

Money is a powerful force in our lives that can help us achieve our dreams, cultivate the best in us, and allow us to experience much happiness; however, as Napoleon Hill said, “Money without brains is always dangerous.” In this Household Finance elective, you will learn how it is possible to become a master over your money rather than its slave by discovering the importance of working hard, budgeting carefully, investing wisely, saving for the future, and giving generously. (Semester elective) (Pass/Fail)

Geometry

Geometry moves from inductive to deductive reasoning to produce logical proofs. A basic understanding of undefined terms, properties, postulates, and theorems is developed and applied to two- and three-dimensional figures. Algebraic skills involving lines, graphs, equations, formulas, radicals, and trigonometry are reinforced. Hands-on explorations and activities enhance the visual and spatial nature of the course while connecting the intrinsic concepts of Euclidean Geometry. Technology is employed when applicable. Prerequisite: Algebra I (A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required.) (Full Year Course)

Algebra II

This course continues to develop many algebraic concepts that were presented in Algebra I, including the exploration of equations and inequalities, functions, and polynomials. Students will be introduced to matrices, rational, quadratic, exponential, and logarithmic functions and expressions, complex numbers, and the properties of conic sections. Graphing calculators will be used where appropriate. Prerequisite: Algebra I (A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required.) (Full Year Course)

Algebra II Honors

This course will cover the topics presented in Algebra II in a more abstract and in-depth manner. Its purpose is to prepare our most advanced mathematics students for the higher levels of AP math and science. Students will be required to generalize and apply concepts and use their problem-solving skills in broader contexts. Prerequisite: Geometry and departmental approval. (A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required.) (Full Year Course)

Advanced Functions and Modeling

The objective of this class is to teach students through in-depth study of mathematical modeling and applications of functions. The course will reinforce and expand on Algebra II skills and introduce concepts from pre-calculus and statistics. Topics will include data collection and analysis, probability, linear programming, and graphing and analysis of various types of functions such as polynomial, exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric. Problem solving skills will be developed through the use of technology and classroom investigations and activities. Prerequisite: Algebra II and Geometry. (A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required for this course.) (Full Year Course)

Pre-Calculus

The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the library of algebraic and transcendental functions, operations on those functions, and graphing techniques in preparation for an entry-level college mathematical course. The functions include linear, polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, rational, and trigonometric functions. Applications and modeling are included throughout the course of study. The curriculum includes a complete study of trigonometry, as well as advanced algebra topics, analytic geometry, and introduction to limits.

Prerequisite: Algebra II or AFM. (A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required for this course.) (Full Year Course)

Pre-Calculus Honors

Pre-Calculus Honors is designed to cover all of the material presented in Pre-Calculus while probing deeper into the theoretical applications in preparation for AP math and science courses. Our most advanced math students will be challenged in this course to promote creative thinking in order to apply the concepts they have learned to solve multi-faceted problems. This course will also cover additional topics such as sequences, series, mathematical induction, limits, and introduction to derivatives. Prerequisite: Algebra II Honors or Algebra II and departmental approval. (A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required for this course.) (Full Year Course)

Concepts in Calc/Stat Honors

This course is designed to provide a strong foundation for rising juniors and seniors. Whether their next math experience will be a collegiate course or a St. David’s senior course in AP Calculus AB or AP Statistics, this course will be a valuable preparation. The focus will be on introducing the concepts and methods of calculus and statistics. Students will utilize skills developed earlier in their mathematics courses to address conceptual and applied topics including limits, derivatives, anti-derivatives, optimization, and related rates. This course will also include the four major statistical themes: observing and exploring data, planning a statistically valid experiment, using probability and simulations for predicting outcomes, and confirming or rejecting models through statistical inference. Technology is an integral part of the course. Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus Honors or Pre-Calculus and department approval. (A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required for this course.) (Full Year Course)

Concepts in Statistics

This is a semester course designed to provide a strong foundation for students in Statistics. Whether their next math experience will be a collegiate course, or a St. David’s senior course in AP Statistics, this course will be a valuable preparation. The focus will be on introducing the concepts and methods of statistics. Students will study the four major statistical themes: observing and exploring data, planning a statistically valid experiment, using probability and simulations for predicting outcomes, and confirming or rejecting models through statistical inference. Technology is an integral part of the course. Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus Honors or Pre-Calculus and department approval. (A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required for this course.) (Semester Course)

Concepts in Calculus

This is a semester course designed to provide a strong foundation for students in Calculus. Whether their next math experience will be a collegiate course, or a St. David’s senior course in AP Calculus AB, this course will be a valuable preparation. The focus will be on introducing the concepts and methods of calculus. Students will utilize skills developed earlier in their mathematical courses to address conceptual and applied topics related to limits, derivatives, anti-derivatives, optimization, and related rates. Technology is an integral part of the course.

Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus Honors or Pre-Calculus and department approval. (A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required for this course.) (Semester Course)

AP Calculus (AB Level)

This course is designed to prepare students for the AP Calculus AB exam administered annually by the College Board for the purpose of obtaining college credit while still in secondary school. Topics emphasized are limits, derivatives, integrals, and the connections between them. Students will apply these skills in real-world problem-solving contexts. This course encourages independent thinking. Problem solving, logical reasoning and critical thinking skills will be emphasized through the use of cooperative learning and technology. Written work and the ability to express mastery of a problem through words is a major component of this course. A solid foundation in Pre-calculus, strong work ethic, and discipline should help the student succeed in the course and on the AP exam. The understanding and use of technology is essential in this course. This class, in common with other AP courses, will require extensive independent preparation in addition to the coursework covered during class. Time spent in class, versus time spent in independent study, is more closely comparable to a college course than a traditional high school course. Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus Honors or Pre-Calculus and departmental approval. (A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required for this course.) (Full Year Course)

AP Calculus (BC level)

This course is designed to prepare students for the AP Calculus BC exam administered annually by the College Board for the purpose of obtaining college credit while still in secondary school. Topics include a review of AP Calculus AB material, an in-depth study of the theoretical foundations of calculus, advanced techniques of integration, differential equations, introduction of vector analysis, polar coordinates, and infinite series. Written work and the ability to express mastery of a problem through words is a major component of this course. A solid foundation in AP Calculus AB, strong work ethic, and discipline should help the student succeed in the course and on the AP exam. The understanding and use of technology is essential in this course. This class, in common with other AP courses, will require extensive independent preparation in addition to the coursework covered during class. Time spent in class, versus time spent in independent study, is more closely comparable to a college course than a traditional high school course. Prerequisite: AP Calculus AB and departmental approval. (A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required for this course.) (Full Year Course)

AP Statistics

This course is designed to prepare students for the AP Statistics exam, administered annually by the College Board, for the purpose of obtaining college credit while still in secondary school. The focus of the course is to develop the skills required to collect, collate, and analyze data. Emphasis is placed on a variety of applications, designs of experiments, techniques of data analysis, and conceptual understanding. Course topics include but are not limited to the nature of data, probability, estimates, hypothesis testing, inferences, correlation, regression, and variance. This course requires a “mathematical maturity” and as well as interpretive and reasoning skills. Written work and the ability to express mastery of a problem through words is a major component of this course. Problem solving, logical reasoning and critical thinking skills will be emphasized through the use of cooperative learning and technology. A solid algebraic foundation, strong work ethic, and discipline should help the student succeed in the course and on the AP exam. The understanding and use of technology is essential in this course. This class, in common with other AP courses, will require extensive independent preparation in addition to the coursework covered during class. Time spent in class, versus time spent in independent study, is more closely comparable to a college course than a traditional high school course. Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus and departmental approval. (A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required for this course.) (Full Year Course)

Modern Languages

The study of modern languages at St. David’s is a sacred journey, on which students, themselves as strangers in a strange land, come to know a another culture through the window of its language.

Spanish 5

This 5th grade course is designed to continue the acquisition of basic Spanish language and the exploration of Spanish-speaking cultures begun in the Lower School. Through review, practice, and further development of their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, students build upon their knowledge and practice of basic Spanish language. (Full Year Course)

Spanish 6

This 6th grade elective course continues and culminates for Middle School students the study and acquisition of basic Spanish language and the exploration of Spanish-speaking cultures begun in the Lower School. Students continue to review, practice, and further develop their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in Spanish as well as further explore Spanish-speaking cultures. (Full Year Course)

Spanish 7

Spanish 7, the first in a two-year introductory level sequence, is a course designed to build a solid foundation in the four foreign language skills of listening and speaking, reading and writing as well as introduce students to the rich cultural heritage of Spain and the Spanish-speaking world. Through a variety of differentiated learning activities, students acquire basic vocabulary and beginning grammar with an emphasis on meaningful communication about themselves and others. As the year progresses, classroom instruction and interaction are increasingly conducted in Spanish. (Full Year Course)

Spanish 8

Spanish 8, the second in a two-year introductory level sequence, builds upon Spanish 7. This course continues to introduce students to the Spanish language as well as the cultures and geographies of Spain and the Spanish-speaking world. Through a variety of differentiated learning activities, students continue to acquire basic vocabulary and beginning grammar with an emphasis on meaningful communication about everyday topics pertaining to themselves and others. As the year progresses, classroom instruction and interaction are increasingly conducted in Spanish. (Full Year Course)

French 7

French 7, the first in a two-year introductory level sequence, is a course designed to build a solid foundation in the four foreign language skills of listening and speaking, reading and writing as well as to introduce students to the rich cultural heritage of France and the French-speaking world. Through a variety of differentiated learning activities, students acquire basic vocabulary and beginning grammar with an emphasis on meaningful communication about themselves and others. As the year progresses, classroom instruction and interaction are increasingly conducted in French. (Full Year Course)

French 8

French 8, the second in a two-year introductory level sequence, builds upon French 7. This course continues to introduce students to the French language as well as the cultures and geographies of France and the French-speaking world. Through a variety of differentiated learning activities, students continue to acquire basic vocabulary and beginning grammar with an emphasis on meaningful communication about everyday topics pertaining to themselves and others. As the year progresses, classroom instruction and interaction are increasingly conducted in French. (Full Year Course)

French I

This course, the first in a three-year sequence, introduces students to the French language as well as to the cultures and geographies of France and the French-speaking world. Through a variety of differentiated learning activities, including engagement with authentic French audio-visual and print materials, students acquire basic vocabulary and beginning grammar with an emphasis on meaningful communication about everyday topics pertaining to themselves and others. As the year progresses, classroom instruction and interaction are increasingly conducted in French. (Full Year Course)

French II

This course, the second in a three-year sequence, builds on the introductory year of French by further equipping students with listening and speaking, reading and writing skills for language acquisition. Through the use of authentic French audio-visual and print materials, students learn to communicate meaningfully beyond the basic descriptive level, summarizing, and reminiscing. Alongside their French language acquisition students continue to develop cultural literacy and sensitivity regarding the French-speaking world. Much of the classroom instruction and interaction are conducted in French. (Full Year Course)

French III

This course, the third in a three-year sequence, conducted almost exclusively in French, leads to more sophisticated communication in the language, including the expression of opinion and sentiment on a variety of topics. Students encounter authentic French audio-visual and print materials further enriching their cultural literacy and sensitivity as they also learn to express themselves meaningfully in the past, present, and future. (Full Year Course)

French IV Honors

This course, conducted entirely in French, seeks to prepare recommended students for the AP® level by blending a comprehensive review of grammar and vocabulary with the further acquisition of French language proficiency and francophone cultural literacy. Through the extensive classroom use of a wide variety of authentic French audio-visual and print materials, students gain a level of listening and reading comprehension as well as oral and written fluency so as to express themselves meaningfully and confidently on a wide variety of topics. (Full Year Course)

AP French Language and Culture

AP® French Language and Culture is intended for recommended students who wish to complete studies comparable to a college-level course (intermediate to pre-advanced range) in French. This course, which is conducted exclusively in French, provides students opportunities to review and refine the skills of listening and reading (interpretive communication), speaking and writing (interpersonal and presentational communication), using a variety of authentic French audio-visual and print materials in their preparation for the AP® Examination. The course is organized around six themes interpreted through the lenses of linguistic, cultural, and biblical perspectives: families and communities, beauty and aesthetics, global challenges, science and technology, contemporary life, personal and public identities.

Spanish I

This course, the first in a three-year sequence, introduces students to the Spanish language as well as to the cultures and geographies of Spain and the Spanish-speaking world. Through a variety of differentiated learning activities, including engagement with authentic Spanish audio-visual and print materials, students acquire basic vocabulary and beginning grammar with an emphasis on meaningful communication about everyday topics pertaining to themselves and others. As the year progresses, classroom instruction and interaction are increasingly conducted in Spanish. (Full Year Course)

Spanish II

This course, the second in a three-year sequence, builds on the introductory year of Spanish by further equipping students with listening and speaking, reading and writing skills for language acquisition. Through the use of authentic Spanish audio-visual and print materials, students learn to communicate meaningfully beyond the basic descriptive level, summarizing, and reminiscing. Alongside their Spanish language acquisition students continue to develop cultural literacy and sensitivity regarding the Spanish-speaking world. Much of the classroom instruction and interaction are conducted in Spanish. (Full Year Course)

Spanish III

This course, the third in a three-year sequence, conducted almost exclusively in Spanish, leads to more sophisticated communication in the language, including the expression of opinion and sentiment on a variety of topics. Students encounter authentic Spanish audio-visual and print materials further enriching their cultural literacy and sensitivity as they also learn to express themselves meaningfully in the past, present, and future. (Full Year Course)

Spanish Culture and Conversation

This course—newly devised for the 2017-2018 academic year—conducted entirely in Spanish, builds on the previous Spanish I-III sequence and seeks to further develop and enrich the students’ acquisition of conversational Spanish as well as their cultural literacy and sensitivity regarding the Hispanic world. Through the engagement with authentic Spanish audio-visual and print materials, students will explore, present, and discuss exclusively in Spanish topics pertaining to the history, geography, culture, and current events of countries in the Spanish-speaking world.

Spanish IV Honors

This course, conducted entirely in Spanish, seeks to prepare recommended students for the AP® level by blending a comprehensive review of grammar and vocabulary with the further acquisition of Spanish language proficiency and Hispanic cultural literacy. Through the extensive use of a wide variety of authentic Spanish audio-visual and print materials, students gain a level of listening and reading comprehension as well as oral and written fluency so as to express themselves meaningfully and confidently on a wide variety of topics.

AP Spanish Language and Culture

AP® Spanish Language and Culture is intended for recommended students who wish to complete studies comparable to a college-level course (intermediate to pre-advanced range) in Spanish. This course, which is conducted exclusively in Spanish, provides students opportunities to review and refine the skills of listening and reading (interpretive communication), speaking and writing (interpersonal and presentational communication), using a variety of authentic Spanish audio-visual and print materials in their preparation for the AP® Examination. The course is organized around six themes interpreted through the lenses of linguistic, cultural, and biblical perspectives: families and communities, beauty and aesthetics, global challenges, science and technology, contemporary life, personal and public identities.

Physical Education

We are committed to relevant and meaningful Physical Education, which helps students develop the skills, knowledge, virtues and dispositions to be physically active for the rest of their lives. We strongly believe that Physical Education is the ideal setting to support a 21st century learner.

Physical Education 5

The transition from lower to Middle School Physical Education will include new experiences such as dressing out for class, lockers, a larger facility, and interacting with a larger number of peers. A supportive environment will enable students to make this transition successfully, setting the stage for a positive Middle School experience. The P.E. program emphasizes learning, success and enjoyment for all students, conceptual knowledge, appropriate challenges and cooperation. The focus shifts from the practice of fundamental movement, to applying these skills in the field or court of specific sport activities. (Full Year Course)

Physical Education 6/Health 6

The P.E. program emphasizes learning, success and enjoyment for all students, conceptual knowledge, appropriate challenges and cooperation. The focus shifts from the practice of fundamental movement, to applying these skills in the field or court of specific sport activities. Health education in sixth grade is based on developing skills in relation to age-appropriate health topics. By developing skills related to effectively accessing health resources, communicating, analyzing peer and media influences, goal setting, decision making, and health advocacy, students in class will be able to achieve and maintain optimal wellness. Some of the topics that will be covered are healthy eating habits, mental and emotional health, benefits of healthy relationships, and communication skills involving feelings and actions. (Full Year Course)

Physical Education 7/8

Physical Education in seventh and eighth grade will be pursued in one of the following ways.

  • Participation in the Team/Lifetime Sports class
  • A commitment to a year-round physical activity such as swimming, equestrian sports or Tae Kwon Do, with the prior written approval of the PE Department Chair and Middle School Principal.
  • Serving as manager for one or more extra-curricular school sports teams.
  • Participation in one season per year of extra-curricular sports, or school-sponsored physical activity:

Fall Sports

  • *Cross Country
  • Cheerleading
  • *Football
  • Boys Soccer
  • Girls Tennis
  • Girls Volleyball

Winter Sports

  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Swimming
  • Track
Spring Sports
  • Baseball
  • Golf
  • Softball
  • Boys Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Girls Soccer
  • Boys Lacrosse
  • Girls Lacrosse

Team/Lifetime Sports

In Team/Lifetime Sports, seventh and eighth grade students may choose to engage actively in a wide variety of physical activities that will stimulate both the body and the mind. In the interest of enhancing physical fitness and athletic skill, this course will develop the students' interest in sports, lifetime fitness, and the competitive spirit that is inherent in us all. This course will provide the opportunity for students to experience team and lifetime sports and activities that will promote the concept of physical fitness for a lifetime. Basic motor skills and knowledge of athletic concepts are important tools in the development and continuation of an attitude of health and lifetime fitness. Topics include, but are not limited to: volleyball, basketball, soccer, team handball, football, badminton, ultimate Frisbee, and Futsal. (Semester Elective) (Pass/Fail)

Science

The Science Department at St. David’s School inspires curiosity at the wonders of creation. We strive to establish an environment that encourages students to take risks by asking questions, working with others, and building an understanding of the world through scientific experimentation.

General Science - 5th Grade

Students engage in an exciting activities-based curriculum that introduces topics in the natural and physical sciences. Relationships between the disciplines being studied and real-life applications are stressed as students develop their laboratory skills. Students keep a science notebook and technology is integrated where appropriate. (Full Year Course)

Life Science - 6th Grade

Life Science is a course designed to equip students to explore basic biological concepts through classroom discussions and inquiry-based study of taxonomy, plants, cells, genetics, and the human body. An emphasis is placed on developing the student’s science vocabulary and improving scientific method skills including: observation, predicting, inferring and formulation a hypothesis. (Full Year Course)

Earth Science - 7th Grade

Earth Science is a study of the earth, how it works and the interaction between its living and nonliving things. The course will touch on many different areas of science including geography, chemistry, geology, meteorology and oceanography. Students will explore the outdoors and investigate human interactions with the environment. This course also serves to help students become more organized and efficient by weaving study habits and organizational skills into daily instruction. (Full Year Course)

Physical Science - 8th Grade

Physical science introduces students to the disciplines of chemistry and physics. The course is intended to foster an interest and appreciation for science, as well as prepare students for more rigorous science courses in the Upper School. Lab work and other hands-on activities constitute a large component of the class, and students will work routinely both alone and in groups to establish various scientific principles in chemistry and physics. (Full Year Course)

Elements of Engineering

Elements of Engineering is a project-based course that will allow students the opportunity to experience a hands-on approach to understanding various challenges in engineering. We will explore a variety of topics ranging from construction design and aerodynamics to energy efficiency and electrodynamics.

(Semester Elective) (Graded)

Human Anatomy: An Internal Investigation

The human body is an amazing creation that is unique and complex. From the powerful strength of the skeleton to the detailed workings of the brain, this course will examine major systems of the human body. Throughout the semester, students will explore various topics related to the structure and function of the body through laboratory activities, projects, diagrams, dissections, presentations, and discussion. Human Anatomy: An Internal Investigation is designed for anyone with a love for science, an interest in medical professions, or those willing to expand their horizons. (Semester Elective)

Innovations in Fashion and Textile Design

Are you interested in fashion? Do the latest, cultural trends inspire you? Would you enjoy opportunities to explore your creative side and craft products of your own design? In our world today, some of the most important innovations have come about through the result of creative design thinking with a focus on both fashion and textiles. In this elective, students will have the opportunity to gain design experience and learn about the technical nature of textiles and the textile industry. During the course, students will work both individually and in teams to accomplish various projects that blend elements of design, fashion, textiles, and innovation. Projects will encourage empathetic awareness, and also incorporate the social and cultural impacts these elements bring to the world around us. Due to the cumulative nature of the class, students may not choose to drop this elective for the duration of a sports season, and reenter the class. (Spring Semester Elective) (Graded)

Household Finances and Economics

Money is a powerful force in our lives that can help us achieve our dreams, cultivate the best in us, and allow us to experience much happiness; however, as Napoleon Hill said, “Money without brains is always dangerous.” In this Household Finance elective, you will learn how it is possible to become a master over your money rather than its slave by discovering the importance of working hard, budgeting carefully, investing wisely, saving for the future, and giving generously. (Semester elective) (Pass/Fail)

Lego Robotics

Lego Robotics is designed for students with a strong interest in tinkering, building creatively, and collaborating. Students will use Legos as a medium for developing a wide range of STEM-related skills. The fall semester course will be punctuated by competition in the First Lego League. The course is also offered in the spring semester, without the competition element. (Semester Elective) (Pass/Fail) *This class may be taken more than once with permission from the instructor*

Biology

Biology is an all-inclusive survey course in life science. Topics covered will include the diversity of life, basic biochemistry, cell structure and division, genetics and ecology. Student understanding is reinforced through inquiry-based labs, a variety of hands-on investigations, dissection, and microscopy. (Lab Science) (Full Year Course)

AP Biology

AP Biology is an introductory college-level biology course. Students cultivate their understanding of biology through inquiry-based investigations as they explore the following topics: evolution, cellular processes—energy and communication, genetics, information transfer, ecology, and interactions. AP Biology will meet for lab periods once a week during Office Hours and once a week during flex period. Attendance to these classes is mandatory. This class, in common with other AP courses, will require extensive independent preparation in addition to the coursework covered during class. Time spent in class, versus time spent in independent study, is more closely comparable to a college course than a traditional high school course.

Prerequisite: Physics and Chemistry and departmental recommendation. (Lab Science) (Full Year Course)

Chemistry

This course provides the student with a broad introduction to chemical principles and concepts. Some of the topics covered include chemical quantities and equations, the atom, the periodic table, rates of reactions, acid-base chemistry, and chemical structures. The course draws on basic algebra skills such as solving equations and using ratios. Chemistry Honors will cover the same material as Chemistry, however the pacing of curriculum is slightly advanced and allows deeper exploration of more topics. (Lab Science) (Full Year Course)

AP Chemistry

AP Chemistry is comparable to a first-year two-semester college chemistry course, and the accompanying laboratory. Students spend the entire year studying a broad range of topics including atomic structure, mass relationships, gases, thermo-chemistry, chemical bonding, phases of matter, chemical kinetics and equilibrium, electrochemistry, and thermodynamics. Students must be proficient in math and problem solving, and have excellent organizational skills to successfully complete this course. AP Chemistry will meet for lab periods once a week during Office Hours. Attendance to these classes is mandatory. This class, in common with other AP courses, will require extensive independent preparation in addition to the coursework covered during class. Time spent in class, versus time spent in independent study, is more closely comparable to a college course than a traditional high school course. Prerequisite: Algebra II, Physics or Chemistry, and departmental recommendation. (Lab Science) (Full Year)

Physics

Physics is a course designed to give students more insight into the natural world. Relevant concepts are discussed in class and problem solving techniques are developed for various topics. These topics include mechanics, electricity and magnetism, waves, sound, and optics. In addition, an extended lab will be developed and carried out by students. The concepts discussed in class are supplemented with labs and demonstrations. Algebra II skills are pertinent to physics and are developed throughout this course. Prerequisite: Algebra II concurrently (Lab Science) (Full Year Course)

Physics Honors

Physics Honors balances the study of a broad scope of different physics topics with an in depth quantitative and qualitative focus in various areas of the science. These topics include mechanics, electricity and magnetism, waves, sound, and optics. In addition, an extended lab will be developed and carried out by students. The concepts discussed in class are supplemented with labs and demonstrations. An emphasis is on problem solving and Algebra II skills are used frequently. Prerequisite: Algebra II concurrently and departmental recommendation. (Lab Science) (Full Year Course)

AP Physics C: Electromagnetism

Whereas the Mechanics portion of AP Physics investigates the motion of physical objects, AP Physics C: Electromagnetism explores charges and charge interactions. Student will learn about electric phenomena, circuits, and magnetism. Calculus is used throughout as a mathematical tool necessary to solve relevant problems. Homework consists of weekly problem sets. Additionally, 20% of class time is set aside for lab activities to delve further into topics probed during the rest of class. This class, in common with other AP courses, will require extensive independent preparation in addition to the coursework covered during class. Time spent in class, versus time spent in independent study, is more closely comparable to a college course than a traditional high school course. Prerequisite: Physics, Calculus concurrently, Chemistry, and departmental recommendation. (Lab Science) (Full Year Course)

AP Environmental Science

The goal of AP Environmental Science is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts and methodologies required to understand the inter-relationships of the natural world. Topics covered will include geology, oceanography, biology, chemistry and geography. Students will identify and analyze environmental problems, both natural and human-made. Students will read a variety of texts describing environmental issues and write statements that reflect an understanding of the inter-relationships under investigation. Through this course, we will investigate problems through hands-on laboratory experiences or fieldwork at least one class period a week. This class, in common with other AP courses, will require extensive independent preparation in addition to the coursework covered during class. Time spent in class, versus time spent in independent study, is more closely comparable to a college course than a traditional high school course. This class is an elective, and does not fulfill a graduation requirement. Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry, plus departmental recommendation. (Lab Science) (Full Year Course)

Forensics

This introduction to forensic science explores the methods and techniques from many different science disciplines that are applied during the course of criminal investigations. Through practical, hands-on exercises, the study of case files and interaction with guest professionals both in class and off-campus, students will learn about the examining, collecting and analyzing of evidence from crime scenes and associated investigations. Prerequisite: Sophomore, junior or senior standing. (Semester Course)

Innovation and Design

In this course, students will learn how to integrate principles of design and innovation with practical entrepreneurial and business experiences. Additionally, each student will have the opportunity to build an innovation portfolio, which documents collaborative ideating, brainstorming, and creation. Furthermore, this course will include field trips to local companies and provide students with the chance to build a network of contacts and innovative mentors in the Raleigh area. Prerequisite: Sophomore, junior or senior standing. (Semester Class)

Introduction to Programming

A one-semester course (offered both semesters). This project-based course uses the Alice 3 software package from Carnegie Mellon University’s Alice Project. Alice is a tool for introductory computer programming for those who have never programmed before. Using 3D objects and animations, with a drag and drop interface, students will learn fundamental programming concepts as they build simple stories and games. Alice also serves as a bridge to the Java programming language. (Semester course) (No prior experience necessary)

AP Computer Science: Principles

The course is a year-long introductory computer science survey course. Using resources from Code.org, students will explore many of the big, foundational ideas of computing to understand better how these concepts are transforming the world we live in. The Alice 3 software package from Carnegie Mellon University’s Alice Project will enable students to apply 3D models and animations to explore object-oriented programming. We will also begin to explore the Java programming language. This course is designed to be rigorous, engaging, and approachable, and to prepare students for AP Computer Science Principles exam. (Full Year) (No prior experience necessary)

AP Computer Science: Programming

This course introduces fundamental computer science topics such as problem solving, design strategies, organization of data in data structures, common algorithms for processing data, analysis of potential solutions, and the ethical and social implications of computing. Using the Alice 3 software package from Carnegie Mellon University’s Alice Project, which uses 3D models and animations, and the the Java programming language, the course emphasizes both object-oriented and imperative problem solving and design. Students will find the course engaging and challenging (Full Year) (Permission from the Instructor)

Introduction to Computer Science - Middle School

Introduction to Computer Science is a semester-long introductory computer science survey course. With resources from Code.org, students will explore physical computing, HTML/CSS, and data. The Alice 3 software package from Carnegie Mellon University’s Alice Project will enable students to apply 3D models and animations to create simple stories and games, while learning fundamental programming concepts. This project based course will demonstrate Computer Science can be used for creativity, communication, and problem solving. (Semester course)

Fine Arts

The Fine Arts Department is committed to the belief that every child, as an image-bearer of the creator, is born with the capacity to be creative, whether through painting a picture, acting a scene, singing a melody, or playing an instrument. As the arts reflect the culture of a society, St. David’s excellence in the arts demonstrates the power of St. David’s students to enrich their community.

5th Grade Fine Arts Exploration

Create a picture! Sing a song! Become an actor! Play an instrument!

All fifth-grade students will have the opportunity to sample four areas of Fine Arts throughout the academic year. Each discipline will be taught for nine weeks by various Fine Arts faculty. At the end of each nine-week period, there will be a showcase of what they have learned in that quarter. Required for fifth graders. (Full Year Course in four 9-week rotations) (Pass/Fail)

6th Grade Choir and Theater Experience - “VOICE AND THE STAGE”

Come join the fun as we learn the basics of singing and acting technique. Your confidence will grow as you work toward the goals of staging a production and singing in choral ensemble by the end of the semester. Past groups have sung in choral concerts and have performed Annie, Beauty and The Best, Scrooge, School House Rock, Aristocats, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. (Semester or Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Band 6

Band 6 is for sixth graders who are beginning or second year players. Beginning concepts such as posture, breathing, and tone will be the initial focus, and intonation and balance will become major components. The players transition from primarily focusing on their own playing ability to playing in the context of a group. 5-8 scales will be learned and memorized, including the chromatic scale. Music will be selected from the method book and on par with the NC graded list, level 1-2. The purpose of this class is to prepare students for entrance into Concert Band.Due to the impact on the integrity of the course, students are not permitted to drop Band 6 for a study hall during their sports season. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

7th-8th Grade Vocal Ensemble

The Vocal Ensemble is a non-auditioned group that meets for the entire year. This group will sing a variety of literature in 3-4 part harmony and will have a solid working knowledge of the musical score. Sight reading and ear training will be a daily routine along with learning basic vocal pedagogy. Singers in the Vocal Ensemble go on an overnight spring competition trip. Selected singers from the Vocal Ensemble are also eligible to audition for N.C. All-State Choir and the N.C. Middle School Honors Chorus. Students unable to take this class for a full year may sign up for one semester. Due to the impact on the integrity of the course, students are not permitted to drop Vocal Ensemble for a study hall, during their JV or varsity sports season. (Semester or Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Concert Band

The Concert Band is open to students in the seventh and eighth grades who have successfully completed Band 6. Students work to achieve a more mature tone, precise intonation, range expansion, phrasing, musical interpretation, and expression. More advanced skills in harmony and musical theory are also covered. Regular individual playing tests and quizzes are given for evaluation and graded practice logs are turned in each week.

The Concert Band performs for the first time at the St. David’s Christmas Concert, Celebration of the Arts, the Spring Concert, as well as other campus events. In addition, the Concert Band embarks on an overnight trip to an adjudicated festival each spring. Due to the impact on the integrity of the course, students are not permitted to drop Concert Band for a study hall during their JV or varsity sports season. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Band 6 or director’s approval. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Beginning Guitar

The Beginning Guitar course is designed to introduce the novice player to the acoustical classical guitar. The student will learn basic music notation and apply that knowledge to the instrument. Concepts that will be covered include: how to tune the instrument, fingering charts, basic chords, tablature and traditional score writing, fingering styles, accompaniment verses melody and chordal progressions. Each student will need to provide his/her own acoustic six-string guitar (nylon string is preferable). This class will be small in number. Preference will be given to students who give the class a high priority on the course request form, and, if necessary, to students concurrently signed up for one of the performing class ensembles: Concert Band, Wind Ensemble or Middle School Vocal Ensemble. Seventh-eighth graders. (Semester Elective) (Pass/Fail)

Media Production

In the Media Production course, students will learn various skills associated with the creation of multiple forms of media. Instruction will include lessons with technologies such as video, sound equipment, lighting, computer editing, graphics, digital imaging, and more. Students will complete hands-on activities to obtain skills in production techniques and will even have the chance to sign up to help manage on-campus events like plays and/or live events.

Recommended prerequisite skills:

  • High aptitude for applying technology skills
  • Journalism experience
  • Highly organized
  • Long-term planner and thinker
  • Propensity for visual design
  • Advanced communication skills
  • Independent worker

*This class may be taken more than once with permission from the instructor* (Semester Elective) (Pass/Fail)

Theater Arts - Classical

In addition to fundamental acting skills and methodologies, students will develop scenes and monologues from classical playwrights. Emphasis will be focused on interpreting classical literature and materials that deal with period social issues and themes. The course will explore the genres of comedy and tragedy from authors including William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and George Bernard Shaw. The course is structured to grow the performance skills of novice and veteran students alike. This performing arts class may be taken more than once. (Semester Elective) (Graded)

Theater Arts - Contemporary

This performing arts class may be taken more than once. In addition to fundamental acting skills and methodologies of storytelling and characterization, students will develop scenes and monologues from contemporary playwrights. Emphasis will be focused on interpreting modern literature and materials that deal with current social issues and themes. The course will explore the genres of comedy, tragedy, farce and suspense from authors including Arthur Miller, Neil Simon and Tom Stoppard. The course is structured to grow the performance skills of novice and veteran students alike. (Semester Elective) (Graded)

Art 6

Using the elements of art and principles of design as a framework, students will use a variety of media and techniques to achieve proficiency in selected technical skills and techniques in art. Understanding that students have basic knowledge in the use of traditional art media, the objective of this course will be to refine those skills. Students will benefit from the creative process of making art as well as the satisfaction of the finished product. Areas that students will explore are basic techniques within drawing, painting, and sculpture. (Semester Elective) (Graded)

Art 7

Students will gain experience through advanced units of study in drawing, painting, sculpture, and design. Each unit will involve completing one major art project. Small art exercises will also be completed in order to learn specific techniques. Each project will incorporate aspects of the elements of art (line, shape, form, color, value, texture, and space) and the principles of design (balance, rhythm, movement, proportion, contrast, repetition, emphasis, harmony, and unity). Art 7 will also include the study of art history as well as individual artists. (Semester Elective) (Graded)

Art 8

Art 8 seeks to advance students in creating a variety of two and three-dimensional works. As in Art 7, the semester is broken into units that will build on conceptual skills while working in drawing, painting, sculpture, and design. Students will grow in their ability to use both style and medium in order to communicate their thoughts and ideas more effectively. (Semester Elective) (Graded)

Upper School Chorale

The Upper School Chorale is a non-auditioned choral group that regularly performs in our school and community. Instruction in the class will focus on how to sing properly while using and understanding the printed score. Emphasis is placed on sight-reading, vocal blend, harmonization and exploration of various music genres. Singers in the group participate in North Carolina All State Choir, North Carolina Honors Choir and the North Carolina Governors School in Choral Music. The group competes once a year at a chosen Southeastern United States adjudication, and periodically sings internationally in choir tours abroad (Italy-2012, Great Britain-2014, Bahamas-2015). This class is open to all boys in grades 9-12 and girls in grades 11-12. (Full Year or Semester Course)

Chorale Honors

Seniors in honors will participate fully in the activities of the Upper School Chorale. They are recognized as honors students by virtue of their contribution to the vocal arts program at St. David’s since ninth grade. Juniors in honors are recognized by virtue of their contribution to the vocal arts program since seventh grade. Within the context of these rehearsals, instruction will emphasize the improvement of vocal, sight-reading, and listening and blending skills. Students will study music theory and music history in order to appreciate the music they are singing at a higher level. The Chorale performs throughout the year at various concerts and festivals. Honors students will be given additional assignments, responsibility and opportunities for leadership, including possible membership in the Chamber Singers. Prerequisite: Seniors: participation in the choral program since 9th Grade, Juniors: participation in the choral program since 7th grade. Members of the Select Womens’ Ensemble (10th-12th grade). (Full Year Course)

Bel Canto Singers

The Bel Canto Singers is a non-auditioned, all girls choral group made up principally of ninth and tenth graders. They regularly perform in our school and community. Instruction in the class will focus on how to sing properly while using and understanding the printed score. Emphasis is placed on sight-reading, vocal blend, harmonization and exploration of various music genres. Singers in the group participate in, North Carolina Honors Choir and the North Carolina Governors School in Choral Music. The group competes once a year at a chosen Southeastern United States adjudication, and periodically sings internationally in choir tours abroad (Italy-2012, Great Britain-2014). (Full Year or Semester Course)

Bel Canto Singers Honors

The Select Women’s Ensemble is an auditioned group of mostly ninth and tenth grade girls who are also part of Bel Canto. Sophomores in Select Women’s Ensemble earn honors credit. Honors students will be given additional assignments, responsibility and opportunities for leadership. Pre-requisite: Members of the Select Womens' Ensemble (10th Grade). (Full Year Course)

Wind Ensemble

This instrumental ensemble is designed for 9th-12th graders playing instruments in the woodwind, brass and percussion families. Students are held to high standards of ensemble playing, being challenged each day toward musical proficiency. In this course students focus on developing fully-matured tone quality, strong technical skills, superior phrasing and musicianship, as well as advanced music theory concepts. Regular individual playing tests and quizzes are given for evaluation. Students in the Wind Ensemble are featured during various concerts and school assemblies throughout the year. In addition, the Wind Ensemble embarks on an annual overnight trip to an adjudicated festival each spring. Prerequisite: Three years of prior band experience or Director’s approval. (Full Year Course)

Wind Ensemble Honors

Wind Ensemble Honors is available to 11th -12th graders who have been in the band program continuously since the 7th grade, and for 12th graders who have been in the band program continuously since 9th grade. While participating in the Upper School Wind Ensemble, students are held to high standards of ensemble playing, being challenged each day toward musical proficiency. In this course students focus on developing fully mature tone quality, strong technical skills, superior phrasing and musicianship, as well as advanced music theory concepts. Regular individual playing tests and quizzes are given for evaluation. Students in the Wind Ensemble are featured during various concerts and school assemblies throughout the year. Honors students will be awarded honors credit and will be given additional responsibility and opportunities for leadership. In addition, Wind Ensemble honors embarks on an annual overnight tip to an adjudicated festival each spring. Juniors and Seniors: Continuous participation in Band program from 7th-11th grade, honors credit for 11th and 12th grade years. Seniors: Continuous participation in the Wind Ensemble from 9th-12th grade, honors credit for 12th grade. (Full Year Course)

AP Music Theory

Advanced Placement Music Theory is a course that focuses on the essential elements of music: melody, harmony, texture, rhythm, form and to some extent history and style. Students in the class develop their ability to recognize, understand and describe the basic materials and processes of music that is heard or is present in a score. They will rely heavily on their ability to read and write musical notation as they address fundamental aural, analytical, and compositional skills using both listening and written exercises. The students will master the basic elements of music, including intervals, major/minor and modal scales, chords, melodic/harmonic dictation, score-analysis, metric/rhythmic patterns, sight-singing and the terms used to describe these elements. Prerequisite: Must be able to read music and must have the approval of the instructor. (Full Year Course)

Foundations in Art

Foundations in Art is open to all students in the Upper School. This course introduces students to elements of two-dimensional and three-dimensional design and is a prerequisite for all other Upper School art classes. Visual awareness and sensitivity are expanded through study of the elements of art and principles of design used in famous works of art. Students are challenged to find visual solutions to problems by examining various media, techniques, and technology in creating designs, patterns, and form. Students gain a greater knowledge of color theory and design vocabulary. (Semester Course)

Drawing

In Drawing, students study value, proportion, composition, foreshortening, perspective and other related techniques through various drawing assignments. A variety of traditional drawing media, such as graphite, pen and ink, charcoal, and pastel are explored in creating original artwork. Students complete drawings using a variety of subject matter such as still life, self-portrait, and landscape. They will also be introduced to experimental projects that entice personal creativity. Prerequisite: Foundations in Art. (Semester Course)

Painting

In this class, students apply the principles learned in Drawing to works of art with paint. Color theory is emphasized. Students learn to mix paints in order to create a diverse palette of hues and values. Different painting media and tools are used throughout the course as students learn different properties painting. Students paint original paintings of still life, landscape, and figure based on the elements of design and perceptions of natural light and space. They will also be introduced to experimental project that entice personal creativity. Prerequisite: Foundations in Art; Drawing strongly recommended. (Semester Course)

Advanced Techniques in Art

This class offers students interested in exploring traditional as well as non-traditional methods of drawing, painting, and mixed media with an opportunity to create art through experimentation. Using the basic skills learned in Drawing and Painting, they will further develop their understanding of line, form, the abstract and the representational through class projects. Emphasis is given to problem solving and conceptual thinking. This class is for serious art students and is highly recommended for those interested in building a portfolio for AP Studio Art. Prerequisite: Junior standing, Drawing or Painting, teacher recommendation. (Semester Course)

Ceramics/Pottery

Students learn methods for creating unique pieces of pottery. Techniques for hand-building, glazing, and firing are learned. Three-dimensional design principles are applied in making a variety of decorative clay pieces. Students study master potters’ works and techniques to enrich their own creations. Prerequisite: Foundations in Art. (Semester Course)

Ceramic Sculpture

This course is for the student who seeks to further his/her understanding of creating sculpture. In this course, students will learn hand-building techniques for sculpting with clay. Students will learn how to further develop their conceptual ideas into sketches and finally into pieces of artwork. Methods of glazing and firing will also be explored. Prerequisite: Foundations in Art Design. (Semester Course)

Graphic Design

Graphic Design is an application within the field of art in which communication is the most important key to the success of an image. Students learn to create images that communicate using a fundamental knowledge of color, design, shape, and text. Students learn to use computer software to manipulate images and text that engage the viewer and promote information. All work is completed with Adobe Photoshop. Some projects students will complete include logo design, album cover design, book cover art, and advertising. Prerequisites: Foundations in Art. (Semester Course)

AP Studio Art

The AP Studio Art program is intended for highly motivated seniors interested in preparing a portfolio for the National AP Exam. Students can choose to pursue a two-dimensional design, three-dimensional design or drawing portfolio. The portfolio is comprised of 24 pieces of art. The class will be focused on developing and completing the concentration portion of the portfolio. Students are required to create 12 artworks for the concentration section during their senior year.

The 12 pieces required for the breadth section of the portfolio are to be completed prior to the student’s senior year. Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors interested in AP Studio Art are encouraged to discover their art interest in order to take the visual art courses specific to the type of AP portfolio they would complete their senior year. Prerequisite: Faculty approval and 10 to 12 completed works of art to be used for the general section of the 24- piece portfolio. (Full Year Course)

Color and Design A and B

Color and Design will focus on basic color theory principles, terminology, and applications, as well as trends and practices in today’s visual media marketplace. This class will extend and build on the concepts introduced in Foundations in Art. Students will develop skills in designing with color through projects that emphasize color mixing, color relationships, and the science of color perception. A variety of topics and media will be explored, including drawing, painting, and digital photography.

Public Speaking

Theater Arts: Classical

In addition to fundamental acting skills and methodologies, students will develop scenes and monologues from classical playwrights. Emphasis will be focused on interpreting classical literature and materials that deal with period social issues and themes. The course will explore the genres of comedy and tragedy from authors including William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and George Bernard Shaw. The course is structured to grow the performance skills of novice and veteran students alike. This Performing Arts elective may be taken more than once.

(Semester Course)

Yearbook

Would you like to be a part of producing a product that people will keep for a lifetime? In this course, students participate in the production of the school yearbook, Logos. During class, students learn how to conduct interviews, write copy, take photographs and design computer layouts. Students create yearbook spreads by compiling the information onto Jostens' online publishing software Yearbook Avenue. Students also acquire computer graphic skills using Adobe Photoshop®. Students assume responsibility for producing assigned pages of the yearbook that requires additional work outside of class. Outside of class, students are expected to attend events, take photographs, conduct interviews and collect information for assignments. It is recommended, but not required, that students have a digital camera for this class. Students may take Yearbook for more than one school year. (Full Year Course)