• Departments & Courses

    All Saint James School students are grounded in the basic skills and content of traditional liberal arts and sciences. Advanced Placement (AP) courses are offered for able and interested students who are keen to pursue subjects in greater depth. Electives are offered to upper-form students for enrichment and the exploration of new interests.

    A dedicated faculty inspires, teaches, and encourages our students to meet a particular challenge or to strive for an ambitious goal. Our teachers are available to students either by appointment or informally, and students are urged to seek out a teacher whenever they need extra help.

    Small classes, typically 10-12 students, ensure that each student is engaged and actively involved in the day’s lesson. To learn more about the Saint James School curriculum, please see "Departments" below. Under each department is a list of course offerings.

    2016 Fall Exams

    Fall exams will begin Wednesday, November 16th to Saturday, November 19th. Please note that on November 19th exams will have an earlier start time at 8:00 am. Click here to view the 2016 Fall Exam Schedule.



    Departments

    Math

    The Mathematics Department accommodates students at a variety of ability levels. All first year students are required to take a mathematics placement test. The department develops creative problem solvers by encouraging students to appreciate and to embrace mathematical thinking. Within each classroom, students will learn to work successfully in individual and cooperative situations. The curriculum is designed to help students strengthen their reasoning ability and understand the benefits of technology in real-life situations.

    PRE-ALGEBRA

    This course bridges the gap between basic math and Algebra, and prepares students to study Algebra I the following year. Topics include the following: operations with positive and negative integers and exponents; solutions to one-, two-, and three-step equations and inequalities; operations with fractions and decimals, rates, proportions, percents, simple and compound interest and commission; statistics and probability; the coordinate plane, graphing, and the solution of a system of equations by graphing; and geometric figures, area, volume, and congruent figures.

    TEXT: Pre-Algebra by John Carter et al.

    ALGEBRA I

    Algebra I introduces the basic principles of future mathematics courses, and students transition from the concrete to the abstract through a wide range of problem-solving situations. The class emphasizes the concepts of functions and covers the real number system, operations with positive and negative numbers, simplifying algebraic expressions, solving and graphing linear equations and inequalities, applying rules of exponents, understanding operations involving polynomials, simplifying rational expressions and square roots, solving both rational and quadratic equations, and an introduction to probability. Students are required to have a TI-84 calculator for this course.

    TEXT: Algebra I, by Ron Larson

    GEOMETRY

    In this course, students develop skills in deductive reasoning and geometric construction and apply this knowledge to solve problems about the space in which they live. Students will learn about symmetry and transformations, discover and prove properties of polygons and circles, study area and volume relationships, and apply the Pythagorean theorem. Students use Geometer’s Sketchpad, a computer program, to clarify and develop a deeper understanding of geometric concepts. Students are required to have a TI-84 calculator for this course.

    TEXT: Discovering Geometry, An Investigative Approach, 4th ed. by Michael Serra

    PREREQUISITE: Algebra I with a C or higher or a score of 75% on Algebra I Placement Test.

    ALGEBRA II WITH TRIGONOMETRY

    This course examines the manipulative skills in real-number algebra. Students review and extend their ability to manipulate polynomial and rational expressions and to solve linear, quadratic, fractional, and radical equations and inequalities. An introduction to the concepts of rational exponents, functions, logarithms and elementary statistics is provided. The course concludes with an instruction in elementary trigonometry. Students are required to have a TI-84 calculator for this course.

    TEXT: Algebra 2 by Ron Larson

    PREREQUISITE: Algebra I and Geometry with a grade of B- or higher, or a score of 80% or higher on the Algebra I and Geometry Placement Tests.

    MATH ANALYSIS

    This course is designed to utilize all the mathematical concepts developed in previous math courses and to sum up the basic concepts of mathematics. Math Analysis is a precalculus class for students who have completed Algebra II with Trigonometry but who are not ready for the rigorous pace of Precalculus. In preparation for college-level calculus, math analysis integrates a number of topics including functions, inverse functions, logarithms, functional trigonometry, polynomial equations, probability, and statistics. Students are required to have a TI-84 calculator for this course.

    TEXT: Precalculus With Limits, 3rd Edition by Ron Larson

    PREREQUISITE: Algebra 2 with a grade between B and a C- or a score of 70% to 88% on Algebra II placement test.

    PRECALCULUS

    In Precalculus, students examine functions as models for real-world applications. They study linear, exponential, power, and periodic functions, as well as polynomial and rational functions. An intense study of trigonometric functions is followed by the topics of matrices, sequences, series, probability, and statistics. Students are also introduced to limits and derivatives. Material is presented graphically, numerically, and algebraically in preparation for the Advanced Placement Calculus course. Students are required to have a TI-84 graphing calculator for this course.

    TEXT: Precalculus: Graphical, Numerical, and Algebraic by Franklin D. Demana,

    PREREQUISITE: Algebra II with a grade of B or higher, Math Analysis with a grade of B- or higher, or a score of 88% or higher on the Algebra II & Trigonometry placement test.

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT CALCULUS AB

    In this course, students study limits and differentiation, related rates, extrema of a function, the first and second derivative test, concavity and points of inflection, Rolle’s Theorem and the Mean Value Theorem, limits at infinity, optimization problems, the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, volumes of revolutions, logarithmic functions, trigonometric and inverse trigonometric functions, growth and decay, and periodic functions. Students are required to have a TI-89 graphing calculator and to take the AP Calculus AB Test.

    TEXT: Calculus: A Complete Course, 3rd Edition by Finney, Demana, et al.

    PREREQUISITE: Precalculus with a grade of B- or higher, or Math Analysis with a grade of A for all three trimesters. Permission of the Mathematics Department Chair.

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT CALCULUS BC

    This course includes those topics that, when added to the AP Calculus AB course, constitute a complete first-year course in Calculus at the college level. Topics covered: advanced integration techniques, polar and parametric analysis, the manipulation of sequences and series, and the rudiments of both multivariable calculus and differential equations. Students are required to have a TI-89 graphing calculator and to take the AP Calculus BC Test.

    TEXT: Calculus: A Complete Course, 3rd Edition by Finney, Demana, et al.

    PREREQUISITE: AP Calculus AB with a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Calculus AB test. Permission of the Mathematics Department Chair.

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT CALCULUS BC (FULL YEAR)

    In this course, students study AP Calculus AB topics plus the BC topics, which include advanced integration techniques, polar and parametric analysis, the manipulation of sequences and series, and the rudiments of both multivariable calculus and differential equations. The AP Calculus BC curriculum prescribed by the College Board includes all topics that constitute a complete first-year course in Calculus at the college level. Students are required to have a TI-89 graphing calculator and to take the AP Calculus BC Test.

    TEXT: Calculus: A Complete Course, 3rd Edition by Finney, Demana, et al.

    PREREQUISITE: Precalculus with a grade of A in all 3 trimesters or a score below 4 on the AP Calculus AB test. Permission of the Mathematics Department Chair.

    Multivariable Differential Calculus

    This is a rigorous course in which students study vectors and vector-valued functions in 2- and 3- space, tangent and normal vectors, curvature, functions of two or more variables, partial derivatives and differentiability, directional derivatives and gradients, maxima and minima, and optimization using Lagrange multipliers. Students are required to have a TI-89 graphing calculator. The course is offered in alternating years with Linear Algebra.

    TEXT: Calculus: A Complete Course, 3rd Edition by Finney, Demana, et al.

    PREREQUISITE: AP Calculus BC with a score of 3 or higher on the AP Calculus BC test. Permission of the Mathematics Department Chair.

    LINEAR ALGEBRA

    This is a rigorous course in which students study matrix theory and linear algebra, emphasizing topics useful in other disciplines such as physics, economics, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. Topics include: matrices, vector spaces, linear transformations, characteristic (Eigen) values, and inner products. Students are required to have a TI-89 graphing calculator. The course is offered in alternating years with Multivariable Calculus.

    TEXT: A First Course in Linear Algebra, 3rd ed. by Robert A. Breezer

    PREREQUISITE: AP Calculus BC with a score of 3 or higher, or completion of Multivariable Calculus. Permission of the Mathematics Department Chair.

    Science

    The Science Department engages and challenges students to develop a body of knowledge and processes that enable them to understand the natural world. Scientific background and skills are taught to allow students to develop scientific literacy while actively involving them in qualitative and quantitative problem-solving. The laboratory, which is an important part of inquiry, fosters both skills and knowledge. Students are encouraged to ask questions and conduct experiments in order to understand the natural world. Students design investigations, engage in scientific reasoning, manipulate equipment, record data, use technology, analyze results, and discuss findings.

    Introductory Physical Science and Robotics Course

    This course encourages students to use their scientific understanding to become aware of the implications of their behaviors on a global scale. This hands-on, lab based course focuses on atoms and the periodic table, force, motion, energy, and simple machines. Students conduct lab activities, experiments, and projects; emphasis is placed on group work, collecting data, and organizing results using technology. An additional module, Lego EV3, is designed to teach core computer programming logic and reasoning skills using a robotics context. Students build a robot focusing on three aspects: basic movement, sensors, and program flow.

    TEXT: Holt Science Spectrum, Physical Science

    Biology

    This course emphasizes the process of science rather than its product by focusing on the process of inquiry and discovery – students learn science by being scientists. Students search for applications and bring the science they encounter outside of school into the classroom. Biology is correlated with the other disciplines in a holistic approach, and contemporary social issues are addressed. Biology centers on the major unifying themes of evolution, genetic continuity, structure and function, diversity and unity, and regulation. Topics include ecology, evolution, organic molecules, cells, energy in living systems, genetics, and higher plants and animals. Students assimilate theory and application through class discussions, hands-on projects, and laboratory activities. Laboratory work is a strong component of this course, and students are introduced to proper lab procedures, data collection, and analysis of their results.

    TEXT: Biology, Stephen Nowicki, 2012

    Chemistry

    This course introduces students to the properties and behavior of matter. The class takes a broad, conceptual approach and introduces students to the material world through an extensive array of lecture-based discussions, demonstrations, projects, and laboratory explorations. The goal of the course is to develop a strong foundation in chemistry so students can successfully undertake advanced studies in chemistry, biology, and physics. Weekly laboratory work is a key component of this course. Students are encouraged to develop strong laboratory skills with their partner, and each lab pair is equipped with a lab drawer. Students conduct the labs independently, collecting data in a science notebook and developing lab report skills. Students are required to have a TI-84 graphing calculator.

    TEXT: Modern Chemistry, Rinehart, Winston and Holt, 2012

    PREREQUISITE: Co-enrollment in Algebra II with Trigonometry or a higher math, and a grade of B- or higher in Biology.

    Physics

    The foundation of this course is a thorough understanding of Newtonian mechanics. The first trimester covers straight-line motion, projectile motion, vector analysis, statics, and dynamics. The second trimester covers momentum, work, mechanical energy, electrostatics, and electric circuits. The third trimester covers wave properties, sound waves, the nature of light, and reflection and refraction of light. Students perform experiments to develop a greater understanding of theories and laws, and they use technology to develop skills in data collection, interpretation, and experimental design. Students are required to have a TI-84 graphing calculator.

    TEXT: Physics, by Serway and Faughn

    PREREQUISITE: Chemistry with a B- or above and enrollment in Precalculus or a higher math.

    Environmental Science

    Using the Saint James environment as a living laboratory, students discover the interconnections of the Earth, nature, and society. They build upon understandings from previous biological and physical science courses to examine the natural environment and to explore the complexities behind the global and local decisions we make as humans. Connections are made to economics, politics, and sociology as students address environmental issues involving sustainability, resource management, and global changes. The course integrates readings, discussions, qualitative and quantitative laboratory experiments, field trips, environmental monitoring, and numerical situations. The laboratory component of this course encompasses many outdoor experiences on campus, a community garden, and local natural resources.

    TEXT: Environmental Science, Holt, 2013

    PREREQUISITE: Biology

    Anatomy & Physiology

    This course provides an opportunity to explore the intricate and sophisticated relationship between structure and function in the human body. Students probe topics such as homeostasis, anatomical and physiological disorders, medical diagnosis and treatment, modern and past imaging techniques, biochemistry, cytology, histology, and a survey of the remarkable array of body systems that comprise the human body. Laboratory activities are a major component of this course and reinforce concepts and principles. Students conduct dissections from organs (eye and brain) to a large specimen (Felis Catus).

    TEXT: Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology, by Elaine N. Marleb

    PREREQUISITES: Biology and Chemistry with a grade of C or higher are strongly recommended.

    AP Biology

    In this course, students discover that science is as much a way of thinking and viewing the world as it is a body of knowledge. AP Biology centers on the major unifying themes of biology: evolution, genetic continuity, structure and function, diversity and unity, and regulation. Building on the ideas introduced in previous science courses, the class makes connections between the natural world and the laws of the physical world. Laboratory exploration provides opportunities to collect and analyze data, think critically, and solve problems. Students learn new laboratory skills using both technology and biotechnology equipment, and they learn to write detailed laboratory reports at a college level. Students are required to take the AP Biology exam.

    TEXT: Biology in Focus, 1st ed. Campbell

    PREREQUISITES: Biology, Chemistry, and Physics with a grade of A- are strongly recommended. Permission of the Science Department Chair.

    AP Chemistry

    This course is the equivalent of a rigorous college course in general chemistry. Emphasis is placed on the theoretical aspects of chemistry and how these principles apply to the real world. Quantum theory of atomic structure is introduced, as are modern theories of chemical bonding. In addition, the elements of physical chemistry, including stoichiometry, thermodynamics, chemical equilibrium, chemical kinetics, and electrochemistry are studied. Laboratory work is conducted weekly; students use technology to analyze and graph data, and they develop proper laboratory skills. Students are required to take the AP Chemistry exam.

    TEXT: Chemistry, Zumdahl, 9th Edition, 2014

    PREREQUISITES: Chemistry with a grade of A- or higher, and co-enrollment in Precalculus or a higher level math course. Permission of the Science Department Chair.

    AP Physics C- Mechanics

    This course provides a systematic introduction to the principles of classical mechanics and emphasizes problem solving. Topics are limited to those covered during a first semester calculus-based physics course taken by science majors in college. Mathematics is used to understand the physics of the topics, and calculus will be used to derive equations and solve problems. Laboratory work is a significant component of this course, and skills are strengthened using Vernier probeware and video analysis. Computers are used extensively to analyze and graph data. Students are required to have a TI-89 calculator. Students are required to take the AP Physics C Mechanics exam.

    TEXT: Fundamentals of Physics, 9th ed., Volume 1, by Jearl Walker

    PREREQUISITE: Co-enrollment in AP Calculus BC or a higher level mathematics course, and a grade of A- or higher in previous science courses. Permission of the Science Department Chair.

    English

    The English Department at Saint James School strives to create a community of readers, writers, and thinkers who appreciate the challenges of expository writing, the process of discovery in close reading of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and the importance of finding the right words to successfully debate and explore ideas in a welcoming and lively classroom setting. Our curriculum is designed to build and enhance a richer and deeper understanding of the craft that goes into effective writing and discussion.

    ENGLISH FORM II – COMPOSITION AND LITERATURE

    English II introduces students to critical reading of literature, expository writing, the study of grammar, sentence writing strategies, mechanics, and vocabulary. Theme, plot, characterization, setting, and other literary terms are explored through novels, short stories, drama, and poetry. Students read for detail, as well as for broad themes, and note-taking and annotating of the text are modeled and practiced. Writing is taught as a process: brainstorming, outlining, writing, and revising. Writing topics are based on the literature, and compositions and in-class writings are assigned each week. Students begin by writing sound paragraphs and build to an introduction to the five-paragraph essay.

    RECENT SELECTIONS: A Day No Pigs Would Die, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Hobbit, The Miracle Worker, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Watership Down, A Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley, Vocabulary Cartoons I, Best Remembered Poems, and A Family of Poems.

    ENGLISH FORM III – FOUNDATIONS IN COMPOSITION AND LITERATURE

    Foundations in Composition and Literature lays a strong foundation in writing and composition strategies, grammar and editing skills, and vocabulary study. Students develop thoughtful arguments and express them with strong thesis statements, appropriate use of textual support, and artful diction. By the end of the year, students build their writing skills from the expository paragraph to the five-paragraph essay. Creative writing, including poetry, is also incorporated into the course. Students are introduced to major works in American and British Literature and begin the process of critical examination of texts, styles, genres, literary elements, and devices. To complement the focus on literature, students engage in active note-taking and lively discussion of characters, issues, and themes.

    RECENT SELECTIONS: Lord of the Flies, Of Mice and Men, Macbeth, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, The Secret Life of Bees, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Fahrenheit 451, The Catcher in the Rye, Night, Vocabulary Energizers, and Vocabulary for Achievement.

    ENGLISH FORM IV – AMERICAN LITERATURE

    American Literature encourages students to develop critical reading and writing skills while exploring diverse and significant authors, texts, and genres. Engaged reading, active discussion, collaborative learning, and analytical writing assignments are the foundation of the course. Significant time is devoted to learning vocabulary, combining the instruction of grammar with the instruction of writing, and improving expository writing through peer revision and writing workshops.

    RECENT SELECTIONS: The Great Gatsby, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Fences, and Their Eyes Were Watching God.

    ENGLISH FORM V – BRITISH LITERATURE

    British Literature offers students the opportunity to explore a wide variety of thought-provoking material, ranging from the classic works of Shakespeare and Chaucer to the modern revelations of Orwell and McEwan. Through writing workshops, small group work, and class discussion, students are given the support and guidance to improve their analytical skills. Supplementary work includes SAT preparation, vocabulary study, and strategies for writing college essays.

    RECENT SELECTIONS: Beowulf, Canterbury Tales, 1984, Hamlet, Atonement, and The Mousetrap.

    ENGLISH FORM VI – WORLD LITERATURE

    The selection of material read in World Literature offers a variety of literary styles, settings, and tastes that give students the opportunity to work on honing their critical reading and expository writing skills. Active participation in the discussion of characterization, setting, issues and themes, cultural and historical background, and literary terms is the focus of our daily forum, along with weekly expository writing assignments and research presentations.

    RECENT SELECTIONS: Gilgamesh, Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, Things Fall Apart, Crime and Punishment, The Joy Luck Club, Henry IV, Part One, As You Like It, Heart of Darkness, and Wide Sargasso Sea.

    UPPER SCHOOL COMPOSITION AND LITERATURE

    Upper School Composition and Literature is a course dedicated to examining composition strategies for expository writing. The course emphasizes an active and lively workshop approach to brainstorming, outlining, organizing, creating drafts, and editing to hone writing skills and to build confidence through an active engagement in the writing process. Close reading, note-taking, and class discussion on a variety of fiction and non-fiction works, SAT preparation, and vocabulary study are all important components as students work to master these essential skills.

    PREREQUISITE: Permission of the English Department Chair and of the Associate Headmaster.

    RECENT SELECTIONS: Beowulf, The Thurber Carnival, On the Road with Charles Kuralt, Our Town, The Green Mile, Into Thin Air, and Direct Hits Core Vocabulary of the SAT, 5th Edition.

    AP ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION

    This course is designed to prepare the students for the AP English Language and Composition exam. Students in AP English Language and Composition read works by the masters of non-fiction and explore their use of language, style, and rhetoric to create meaning. Through close reading and frequent writing, students interpret and analyze rhetorical strategies and techniques and apply these strategies and techniques to their own writing. The course is taught in a seminar format where students are expected to be active participants, sharing from reading notes, annotations, and journals. Because of the strong emphasis on writing and revision, students frequently participate in writing workshops and peer reading sessions. Students are required to take the AP English Language and Composition exam.

    PREREQUISITE: Permission of the English Department Chair and of the Associate Headmaster.

    RECENT SELECTIONS: Into Thin Air, In Cold Blood, The Right Stuff, One Summer: America, 1927, The Things They Carried, Voice Lessons: Classroom Activities to Teach Diction, Detail, Imagery and Tone, Sentence Composing for College: A Worktext on Sentence Variety and Maturity, and The Language of Composition: Reading, Writing & Rhetoric.

    AP ENGLISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION

    This course is designed to prepare the students for the AP English Literature and Composition exam. Students in AP English Literature and Composition read carefully and critically a variety of novels, short stories, and poetry. Close reading allows students to learn how writers use language to entertain and to instruct. Consideration of diction, syntax, figurative language, and tone are hallmarks of the course. Students respond to the literature through lively class discussion, weekly compositions, oral presentations, and examination of literary analyses (student and professional). Students are required to take the AP English Literature and Composition exam.

    PREREQUISITE: Permission of the English Department Chair and of the Associate Headmaster.

    RECENT SELECTIONS: The Famished Road, The Tin Drum, The Poisonwood Bible, The Stranger, The Oedipus Plays, As You Like It, Beloved, and Sound and Sense.

    History, Religious Studies & Social Sciences

    Students in the History, Religion and Social Sciences Department learn about significant events, ideas, and historical figures. They read critically, analytically, and reflectively from several sources and write research papers and essays on the issues and trends they study. By engaging in daily discussions, students form their own opinions about the past and its relevance to today’s world and their own lives.

    Ancient History

    Students in Ancient History examine the major technological, economic, social, and cultural developments that transformed ancient societies into modern civilizations. Through discussions, group work, hands-on projects, and lectures, students learn about Prehistory and its people, trace the origin of civilization in the Fertile Crescent, and explore the histories of ancient Egypt, China, Greece, and Rome. They also examine the rise of European nation-states during the Middle Ages to set the foundation for further study in Modern European History. Students learn and practice active reading and study skills. To develop their written expression, they write paragraphs, essays, and creative projects.

    TEXTS: World History: Patterns Of Interaction by Beck, Black, Kreiger, Naylor, and Shabaka and Archimedes and the Door of Science, by Jeanne Bendick

    Introduction to Christianity

    Introduction to Christianity enables students to better understand Christianity’s history, scripture, sacramental life, and how they shape life and worship at Saint James School. Students discuss, write about, and reflect upon their own religious background in relation to Christian customs. The class meets once a week, and students are graded Pass/Fail. This course is required for all Second Formers and new Third Formers.

    TEXTS: The Bible (NRSV) and The Book of Common Prayer, 1979

    Modern European History

    Students in Modern European History examine the continuing growth of European Civilization from the beginning of the Renaissance to the Post-Cold War era. Through active reading and discussion, students learn about the Reformation, absolutism, the Enlightenment, the French and other major revolutions, the process of industrialization, societal changes, nationalism, and the two world wars of the 20th century. Students write essays and research papers and complete individual and group projects.

    TEXT: World History: Patterns Of Interaction by Beck, Black, Kreiger, Naylor, and Shabaka

    Developing Nations

    Developing Nations introduces students to the major areas of the world beyond Europe and the United States. The course surveys the history, geography and current events of the Middle East, China, the Indian Subcontinent, Latin America, and Africa. The goals of improving student skills in writing, public speaking, and critical thinking are met through the assignment of research papers, short essays, oral presentations, group projects, current event reports, and daily discussion.

    TEXTS: The Global Studies Series, McGraw Hill, Colonial Encounters, Longman Publications, An Ordinary Man by Paul Rusesabignia and Finding Nouf by Zoë Ferraris

    United States History

    United States History offers students a broad survey of the important trends, events, and changes that have marked our nation’s history. Significant topics include: The Civil War and Reconstruction, The Age of Industrialization, The Progressive Era, World Wars I and II, The Great Depression and New Deal, The Vietnam Conflict, and the Reagan Eighties. Through readings, class discussions, lectures, oral and written projects, analytical essays, and a research paper, students gain a stronger sense of the links between our country’s past, present, and future. TEXT: The Americans: Reconstruction to the 21st Century by Danzer et al.

    TEXT: The Americans: Reconstruction to the 21st Century by Danzer et al.

    AP United States History

    This course is designed to prepare the students for the AP United States History exam. Students focus on the development of historical thinking skills (chronological reasoning, comparing and contextualizing, crafting historical arguments using historical evidence, and interpreting and synthesizing historical narrative) and content learning objectives organized around the themes prescribed by The College Board. The curriculum covers the time period between 1491 and present-day, with most of the AP Exam’s weight focused on the period between 1607 and 1980. Students are required to take the AP United States History exam.

    TEXTS: America’s History, For the AP* Course, 16th ed. by Henretta et al. and Amsco’s United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Exam

    PREREQUISITE: Permission of the History Department Chair and Associate Headmaster

    AP World History

    This course is designed to prepare the students for the AP World History exam. It covers the evolution of the world’s history from the first societies to the present day through a study of Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. Students focus on the development of historical thinking skills (chronological reasoning, comparing and contextualizing, crafting historical arguments using historical evidence, and interpreting and synthesizing historical narrative), blending factual knowledge with the five themes designated by the College Board. Students are required to take the AP World History exam.

    TEXTS: The Earth and Its Peoples, A Global History, 4th ed. by Bulliet et al., Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond, and Civilization, The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson

    PREREQUISITE: Permission of the History Department Chair and Associate Headmaster

    AP European History

    This course is designed to prepare the students for the AP European History exam. The content is divided chronologically into fourteen units covering the period from the Renaissance to the end of the Cold War. Each unit has assigned readings, lecture, and occasional films, which focus on developing the reading, reasoning, and writing skills necessary for college level historical study. Students are required to take the AP European History exam.

    TEXTS: A History of The Modern World, 10th ed. by Palmer and Colton, and The Western Tradition, vol. 2, 5th ed., Eugene Weber, ed.

    PREREQUISITE: Permission of the History Department Chair and Associate Headmaster

    Political Economy

    Political Economy introduces students to the terminology and theoretical constructs in the fields of economics, political science, law, and sociology. Students explore political activity at the local, state, and national levels within the context of micro- and macro-economics, classical economic theories, economic history, the Constitution, the electoral process, laws, and legal processes.

    TEXTS: American Democracy Now, Naked Economics, Undressing The Dismal Science, and Outliers

    Psychology

    Designed as an introductory course, Psychology introduces the data, concepts, theories, principles, and methods of contemporary psychology while examining the dynamic factors that influence behavior. Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes, and the goals of psychology are specifically designed to help understand human and animal behavior through the use of the scientific method. Specific topics include learning, memory, cognition, consciousness, personality, social and developmental psychology, psychological disorders and therapies. Students use an introductory psychology book, which is accompanied by an online component with videos and an e-book. The class is offered as an elective in the Sixth Form.

    TEXT: Psychology, 4th ed., by Ciccarelli, S.K. & White, J.N.

    Fine Arts

    The Fine Arts—visual and performing—are recognized as rich opportunities for students to appreciate music, drama, drawing, and the visual arts, as well as to discover or polish their own artistic expression. The Fine Arts Department offers elective courses in Music and Art. The Saint James Mummers’ Society performs several drama productions each year. Students in the Second Form take art and music for one trimester each; students in Third through Sixth Forms choose art and music as electives.

    STUDIO ART I

    This introductory course is based on the precept that drawing and design are the foundation on which all forms of visual communication are built. Students begin with a comprehensive introduction to the basic vocabulary of art and design. From this foundation, students are exposed to a variety of artistic processes including sculpture, drawing, painting, and other various media. Students develop the skills to produce a robust range of work. Through supplementary studies of the elements and principles of design and specific vocabulary, students begin to gain the skills needed to discuss, critique, and analyze their own work and that of others.

    STUDIO ART II

    This course builds on and refines the basic vocabulary of art. Students begin to work with more complex media and processes. Students continue to broaden their art vocabulary while they study the elements and principles of design and possible careers in art.

    PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor and Associate Headmaster.

    STUDIO ART III

    Designed for motivated, self-disciplined students, this class focuses on developing each student’s personal vision and direction. The goal of this class is to develop a range of exemplar works for portfolio development. The course consists of advanced lessons and projects in a variety of media.

    PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor and Associate Headmaster.

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT STUDIO ART DRAWING

    This course is designed for students who plan to continue their study of visual arts in college. All portfolio work is structured to meet the standards and expectations of the College Board. As stated by the College Board, AP Studio Art is not based on a written exam; instead, students submit portfolios for evaluation at the end of the school year. All work submitted for review must be completed in the preceding school year.

    PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor and Associate Headmaster.

    ADVANCED ART & PORTFOLIO PREP

    This course is designed for students interested in continuing their study of visual arts at Saint James or who plan to study art in college. It is intended to give students the studio time necessary to create an exemplar portfolio for college applications. This class also offers time for a more student-directed study under the watchful guidance of the art teacher.

    PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor and Associate Headmaster.

    MUSIC HOW TO LISTEN TO MUSIC

    This Music Appreciation course brings together the study of musical elements, forms, and stylistic periods within the context of historical events, visual art, architecture, and religion. Most of the musical examples are taken from the standard repertoire although some examples of contemporary, jazz, or music beyond the Western tradition are included. A variety of concerts and field trip opportunities are included in this course.

    TEXT: Listen by Joseph Kerman and Gary Tomlinson and What to Listen for in Music by Aaron Copland

    MUSIC THEORY FUNDAMENTALS FORMS III-VI

    Music Theory is a practical course that develops music reading and aural skills along with an introduction to basic harmony and compositional form. It supplements private music lessons or choir for students wishing to improve their proficiency, and prepares students for AP Music Theory.

    TEXT: Music in Theory and Practice by Benward and Saker

    ADVANCED MUSIC THEORY

    Advanced Music Theory develops a student’s ability to recognize, understand, and describe the materials and processes of music that are heard or presented in a score. Students develop aural, analytical, and compositional skills using both listening and written exercises. Building Music Theory Fundamentals, the course includes more creative tasks, such as the harmonization of a melody by selecting appropriate chords, composing a musical bass line to provide four-voice counterpoint, or the realization of figured-bass notation. This course prepares students for the AP Music Theory exam if they wish to take it, and is equivalent to college level first year music theory.

    TEXT: A Musician’s Guide to Theory and Analysis by Jane Clendenning and Elizabeth Marvin.

    PREREQUISITE: Music Theory Fundamentals or equivalent skill level; permission of the Fine Arts Department Chair and Associate Headmaster.

    PRIVATE MUSIC INSTRUCTION

    This program is performance-oriented with lessons, studio classes, and ensembles taught by professional musicians. Ensembles for interested students are available. Students wishing to enroll in an ensemble are required to take private music instruction. More advanced students may play in chamber groups. Private music instruction is not recorded on transcript. Teacher evaluations are recorded each trimester.

    We have the following established ensembles:

    Girls’ and Boys’ A Cappella
    String Ensemble
    Flute Ensemble
    Clarinet & Sax Ensemble
    Brass Ensemble
    Percussion

    ELIGIBILITY: All students, regardless of age and level of ability, are eligible to enroll for music instruction. There is a fee for private music lessons.

    We have teachers in the following areas:

    Piano
    Organ
    Voice
    Guitar: acoustic, bass, electric
    Strings: violin, viola, cello, bass
    Brass: trumpet, horn, trombone, tuba
    Woodwinds: clarinet, flute, saxophone
    Percussion: drum set

    CHAPEL CHOIR – FORMS III-VI

    Chapel Choir is a performance class designed to develop skills in ensemble singing, music reading, listening, and performing. Singers learn vocal technique, offer service to the School and the community, deepen aesthetic understanding, and achieve a sense of community and teamwork through the enjoyment of singing. Repertoire is chosen to represent a wide range of historical periods and styles. This is a full-year, one credit course that is recorded on transcript.

    PREREQUISITE: Choir members audition for a place in choir and are screened for a good ear, ability to match pitch, and a willingness to learn.

    WELLNESS, ART & MUSIC (WAM)

    Wellness, Art & Music (WAM) is a course taken by all Second Formers. Each segment runs for one trimester. By the end of the year, students will have been introduced to the fundamentals of visual art and music (violin); additionally, students will explore health and wellness topics and learn some yoga poses and techniques for meditation and relaxation. The students come together once each week for ensemble work on piano, percussion, and wind instruments. During the Winter Trimester, the Second Formers work together under the direction of the Fine Arts faculty to perform Saint George & the Dragon, a tradition on the Saint James School stage. The course is graded with a Pass or Fail.

    WELLNESS

    Taking a body, mind & spirit approach to the Wellness segment, students will explore health and wellness topics including nutrition basics, exercise, rest, hygiene, drugs, alcohol, stress, and sex education. Once a week, the students are introduced to and guided in the practice of yoga, mindful meditation, and relaxation.

    ART

    All Second Form students are introduced to the visual arts for one trimester. Drawing and design are emphasized with preliminary instruction in painting and sculpture. Through in-class assignments, students are exposed to specific artists and are immersed in Fine Arts-specific vocabulary.

    MUSIC

    This class introduces all Second Form students to the violin, keyboard, wind instruments, and percussion. Students who have previous vocal or instrumental experience expand their knowledge, vocabulary, and sight-reading skills. Development of music notation skills reinforces newfound knowledge and stresses accuracy and attention to detail while fostering creativity. In all areas, there is an emphasis on playing together in ensemble.

    Classical and Modern Languages

    Most students at Saint James begin their study of foreign language in the Second Form by taking Latin. Upon entering the Third Form, students may continue their study of Latin, or they may begin a modern language, either Spanish or French. The language program stimulates interest in other cultures and their literature, history, and values. Students are required to complete a minimum of three years of language study (in one language), which provides a sound grammatical foundation and prepares students for college-level work. Courses are offered from Level I through Advanced Placement.

    LATIN I

    First-year Latin introduces students to the fundamental vocabulary and grammar of the language via the direct method. Through extended contextual reading and grammatical notes, the students learn Latin intuitively without resorting immediately to translation. This immersive approach challenges the students to listen, write, and even speak in the language. The study of Latin greatly enhances the students’ understanding of English and provides a valuable foundation for future study of the Romance languages. Significant time is also devoted to a broad survey of classical mythology and to topics of Roman history and geography.

    TEXTS: Lingua Latina: Pars I: Familia Romana

    LATIN II

    Second-year Latin continues and completes the sequence of study begun in the first year. Using the same immersive approach and extended contextual reading, students encounter the finer, more difficult points of Latin grammar and syntax, including the formation and uses of the subjunctive mood, gerunds and gerundives, the supine, and conditional clauses. The relationship between Latin and English, both structurally and etymologically, continues to underpin daily instruction. Increasing emphasis is given to discussing and analyzing the Latin text as a work of literature. To supplement the reading, Roman history and civilization are treated in depth.

    TEXTS: Lingua Latina: Pars I: Familia Romana

    LATIN III

    Third-year Latin exposes students to unadapted passages from the canonical authors of Latinity: Caesar, Catullus, Cicero, Vergil, Horace, and Ovid. In addition to examining the immense literary and cultural impact of these authors and their works, students become acquainted with the literary devices and other points of style that distinguish the prose and verse which they read. Assessments are designed to cultivate the specific skills required at the AP level (and in college courses), including learning to discuss and write about literature clearly and insightfully. Increasing emphasis is also given to interpreting any Latin passage at sight. In order to instill in the students a deeper appreciation for the manifold ways in which classical thought has shaped the Western world, a survey of Western art history caps the course.

    TEXTS: Latin for the New Millennium: Level III

    AP LATIN

    This course prepares students for the AP Latin exam; it is designed for those students who wish to continue their studies of Latin prose and poetry with a rigorous curriculum, approximately equivalent to an upper-intermediate college Latin course. The students read, translate, and analyze the required selections of Caesar’s Gallic War and Vergil’s Aeneid as they prepare for the AP Latin exam. The course demands that students reach beyond translation to read with critical, historical, and literary sensitivity. Students are required to take the AP Latin exam.

    TEXTS: Caesar: Selections from his Commentarii De Bello Gallico; Vergil’s Aeneid: Selected Readings from Books 1, 2, 4, and 6

    PREREQUISITE: Permission of the Foreign Language Department Chair and Associate Headmaster.

    SPANISH I & FRENCH I

    Level I courses are designed to provide a thorough introduction to Spanish and French. The four language skills of listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing are introduced and reinforced by aural exercises, simple conversation, skits, games, journal writing, literature, and authentic reading selections. Students are introduced to basic vocabulary and grammatical structures, including the present tense, preterite, reflexive verbs, present progressive, and object pronouns. Students experience Hispanic and Francophone cultures through cultural vignettes, music, and videos.

    SPANISH TEXT: Español (Santillana) Level 1
    FRENCH TEXT: Bon voyage! Level 1

    SPANISH II & FRENCH II

    Level II courses continue the sequence of language study, and students further develop the language skills introduced in Level I. Students refine aural, oral, and writing skills through class discussion, presentations, journals, and short essays. An emphasis is placed on more complex reading skills—reading for fluency, comprehension, and simple literary analysis. Students continue to learn new vocabulary and grammatical concepts, including the imperfect, future, conditional, and present perfect tenses, as well as commands and the present subjunctive. Level II courses provide ongoing opportunities to experience and appreciate cultural differences.

    SPANISH TEXT: Español (Santillana) Level 2
    FRENCH TEXT: Bon voyage! Level 2

    SPANISH III & FRENCH III

    Level III courses continue to build on the grammatical foundations introduced in Levels I and II. Students in Level III refine and apply language skills, and they are expected to converse comfortably in the target language, write extensive essays, read short essays and stories, take notes in the language, and give presentations. Advanced grammar is introduced, and previously studied material is now studied in more detail. The topics include the subjunctive and its many uses, the imperfect subjunctive, the perfect tenses, adjectives and pronouns. Poems, short stories, and selections from novels provide a sampling of classical and contemporary literature. The readings in the text emphasize the history and culture of Spanish- and French-speaking countries.

    SPANISH TEXT: Español (Santillana) Level 3
    FRENCH TEXT: Bon voyage! Level 3

    SPANISH IV & FRENCH IV

    Level IV courses are designed for those students who are interested in continuing their study of language and literature. Classes are conducted entirely in the target language, and the students are expected to speak and write accurately and confidently as they participate in a rigorous study of grammar, composition, and literature.

    PREREQUISITE: Permission of the Foreign Language Department Chair and Associate Headmaster.

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT SPANISH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT FRENCH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

    These courses prepare students for the AP Language and Culture exam; they are designed for qualified students with strong language skills and interest. Students should be able to converse and write extensively on a variety of topics, and they will read more sophisticated and complex literature. Special emphasis is given to refining grammar, composition, and listening skills. Students are required to take the AP Language and Culture exam.

    PREREQUISITE: Permission of the Foreign Language Department Chair and Associate Headmaster.

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT SPANISH LITERATURE AND CULTURE

    This course is designed to prepare students for the AP Spanish Literature and Culture exam. The students read, interpret, and analyze Hispanic literature from the Medieval era through the 20th and 21st centuries. The literature, which is selected by the College Board, is studied within its historical and cultural context. Students are required to take the AP Spanish Literature and Culture exam.

    PREREQUISITE: Permission of the Foreign Language Department Chair and Associate Headmaster.

    HISPANIC LITERATURE, CULTURE, AND FILM

    This course, taught in Spanish, presents six themes: power, love, family ties, women, mystery, and morality. Within each theme, the students read a wide variety of short stories, poems, plays, and excerpts of novels. Each piece of literature is studied in terms of the historical period or literary tradition in which it was written, thereby exposing the students to art, culture, literary movements, and historical events of various Hispanic countries. At the end of each unit, students watch a film that shares the same theme. This course is offered to those students who have completed the AP Spanish Language and Culture class.

    PREREQUISITE: Permission of the Foreign Language Department Chair and Associate Headmaster.

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