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.

Course books for the 2018-2019 School Year can be ordered from MBS Direct at www.mbsdirect.net.

  • Simply search for "Saint James School" and click on the "Saint James School - Maryland" link.
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Departments

Math

The Mathematics Department at Saint James School prides itself in offering courses designed to appropriately challenge all students. Ranging from Algebra I all the way through post-AP offerings, our goal is to develop 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. Our curriculum is designed to help students strengthen their reasoning ability and appropriate usage of technology in learning content. Students new to Saint James will enroll in the appropriate level of mathematics based on previous coursework, recommendations, and completion of a placement test.

ALGEBRA I

Algebra I addresses 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 introduces 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. At minimum, a scientific calculator is required. While not necessary for this course, students may choose to purchase a TI-83 or TI-84 family calculator, as it is required for future courses.

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. Content includes the building blocks of geometry, two and three-dimensional figures and their properties, area and volume, congruence and similarity, and an introduction to right triangle trigonometry. Students will also use Geogebra, a free online graphing and drawing utility to clarify and develop a deeper understanding of geometric concepts. At minimum, a scientific calculator is required. While not necessary for this course, students may choose to purchase a TI-83 or TI-84 family calculator, as it is required for future courses.

TEXT: Geometry, by Ron Larson

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

ALGEBRA II

Students examine 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-83/84 family calculator for this course.

TEXT: Precalculus Ninth Edition, by Sullivan

PREREQUISITE: Algebra I and Geometry with a grade of C or higher, or a score of 75% or higher on the Algebra I and Geometry Placement Tests.

MATH ANALYSIS

Math Analysis is a precalculus-level class for students who have completed Algebra II, but who are not ready for the rigorous pace of Precalculus. In preparation for college-level calculus, the course covers solving various families of equations, functions and their inverses, exponential and logarithmic functions, power functions, polynomial and rational functions, and trigonometry. Students are required to have a TI-83/84 family calculator for this course.

TEXT: Precalculus Ninth Edition, by Sullivan

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

PRECALCULUS

While the content in Precalculus is like Math Analysis, this course is designed more specifically to prepare students for AP Calculus offerings. Topics include solving various families of equations, functions and their inverses, exponential and logarithmic functions, power functions, polynomial and rational functions, trigonometry, sequences and series. If time allows, students are also introduced to limits and derivatives. Students are required to have a TI-83/84 graphing calculator for this course.

TEXT: Precalculus Ninth Edition, by Sullivan

PREREQUISITE: Algebra II with a grade of B or higher, Math Analysis with a grade of B- or higher, or a score of 85% or higher on the Algebra II & Trigonometry placement test.

INTRODUCTORY CALCULUS

While this course covers many of the same topics as AP Calculus AB, emphasis will be on how these ideas are used in real-world applications. The course is designed for students interested in studying calculus, but not necessarily at the AP-level. Areas of focus include a review of key algebraic and trigonometric concepts, limits and continuity, derivatives and rates of change, integration and its applications, including accumulation or loss of value of a given function, and calculating area and volumes using integration. Students who complete this course will have a solid foundation for first-semester college calculus.

PREREQUISITE: Open only to Sixth Form students; successful completion of Precalculus or Math Analysis.

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 at least a TI-83/84 family graphing calculator and to take the AP Calculus AB Exam in May.

TEXT: Calculus for the AP Course Second Edition, by Sullivan and Miranda

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 and the Assistant Headmaster.

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, and the manipulation of sequences and series.. 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 at least a TI-83/84 family graphing calculator and to take the AP Calculus BC Exam in May.

TEXT: Calculus for the AP Course Second Edition, by Sullivan and Miranda

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

ADVANCED PLACEMENT CALCULUS BC (with AB already completed)

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 at least a TI-83/84 family graphing calculator and to take the AP Calculus BC Exam.

TEXT: Calculus for the AP Course Second Edition, by Sullivan and Miranda

PREREQUISITE: AP Calculus AB with a score of 3 or higher on the AP Calculus AB test. Permission of the Mathematics Department Chair and the Assistant Headmaster (Note that students who qualify for this course may be added to the Full Year BC course if sign-ups for this class are low).

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: Multivariable Calculus Seventh Edition, by Stewart

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

LINEAR ALGEBRA

This course is an advanced, post-AP offering; topics include matrices, vector spaces, linear transformations, characteristic (Eigen) values, and inner products. Students are required to have a TI 83/84 family graphing calculator. The course is offered in alternating years with Multivariable Calculus.

TEXT: Elementary Linear Algebra: Applications Version – 11th edition, by Anton and Rorres

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

STATISTICS

A full year course, the three main ideas covered include Data Science, Change and Randomness, and Estimation and Inference. Each trimester focuses on one of these ideas. Completion of this course will provide students a solid foundation for college-level work in these areas. Students are required to have at least a TI-83/84 family graphing calculator for this course.

Trimester 1 - Data Science: Do you ever question something you read in the news and wonder if the data makes sense? In Major League Baseball, is the team with the most Home Runs also the top team in the league? Would a survey of 1000 people in Washington County give us an accurate picture of nationwide employment figures? These are the types of questions we will consider during the first trimester. Students will be introduced to statistics, ways to represent and interpret data, and as the trimester progresses, design and conduct their own experiments to arrive at various conclusions.

Trimester 2 - Chance and Randomness: What is the probability of winning the daily Pick-4 Lottery? How likely is it to roll three 7’s in a row with dice? How many possible class schedule combinations are there for an incoming college freshman? During the second trimester, students will focus on the topics of probability, combinatorics, and common probability distributions such as binomial, normal, and Poisson. As with the first trimester, students will engage in many activities and experiments, allowing the opportunity to learn and apply the concepts to real situations.

Trimester 3 - Estimation and Inference: Suppose the college counselor tell us that 40% of all Saint James graduates go on to a state college, but a recent survey of 100 randomly selected graduates indicates that 65% went on to a state college. Is this difference enough to reject the college counseling claim? During the third trimester, the focus will be on sampling distributions and inference testing, which looks at questions similar to the one posed above. Again, students will learn concepts and apply them by performing research and a variety of experiments.

TEXT: Discovering Statistics Second Edition - Hawkes Learning System

PREREQUISITE: Completion of Algebra 2; can be taken simultaneously with all math offerings Precalculus/Math Analysis and higher.

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

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, by Stephen Nowicki

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, 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-83 or TI-84 graphing calculator.

TEXT: Modern Chemistry, by Sarquis and Sarquis

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

PREREQUISITE: Biology

ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY

In order to understand the principles of anatomy and physiology, the course will use eveolution and the concepts of physics to understand the relationship between form and function. In addition, the fundamental physiological process of homeostasis is used to form a comprehensive understanding of the body systems. Labs for each body system will explore the topics of histology, genetics, biochemistry and pathology. Significant time will be spent learning the muscles of the body by building them out of clay and placing them on anatomically accurate skeletons, as well as the dissections of organs such as the eye, heart and brain. Significant lab time will also be spent on neurophysiology, the use of probes to measure physiological processes, and an introduction to molecular biology techniques such as PCR.

TEXT: Hole’s Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology

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., by Campbell

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

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 9th Edition, by Zumdahl

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 and the Assistant Headmaster.

AP COMPUTER SCIENCE A

AP Computer Science A is equivalent to a first-semester, college-level course in computer science. The course introduces students to computer science with fundamental topics that include problem solving, design strategies and methodologies, organization of data (data structures), approaches to processing data (algorithms), analysis of potential solutions, and the ethical and social implications of computing. The course emphasizes both object-oriented and imperative problem solving and design using Java language. These techniques represent proven approaches for developing solutions that can scale up from small, simple problems to large, complex problems. The AP Computer Science A course curriculum is compatible with many CS1 courses in colleges and universities. Students are required to take the AP Computer Science A Exam in May (course description as outlined by College Board).

TEXT: Java Software Solutions for AP Computer Science, 3rd Edition, by Lewis, Loftus, and Cocking

PREREQUISITE: Open to sixth form only (unless by permission of the Assistant Headmaster)

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 and the Assistant Headmaster.

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 – INTRODUCTION TO 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 a formal 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 a formal 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 – BRITISH LITERATURE (for the 2018-19 school year, English IV is transitioning from American Literature to British Literature)

Students 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: Tale of Two Cities, Macbeth, Paradise Lost, Brave New World, Passage to India, Vocabulary Plus for the New SAT

ENGLISH FORM V – BRITISH LITERATURE (English V will transition to American Literature beginning in the 2019-20 school year)

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: Canterbury Tales, 1984, Hamlet, Atonement, The Mousetrap, Vocabulary Plus for the New SAT.

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, Wide Sargasso Sea.

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 Poisonwood Bible, The Stranger, Richard III, Beloved, When Rainclouds Gather, Purple Hibiscus, White Tiger, 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, individual and group work, 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, short essays, and creative projects.

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

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 a year-long research paper in order to learn research skills. Students also 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 history of the major areas of the world beyond Europe and the United States. In addition to history, the course surveys the geography, religion, culture, and current events of the Middle East, China, the Indian Subcontinent, Latin America, and sub-Saharan Africa. The goals of improving student skills in writing, public speaking, and critical thinking are met through the assignment of research papers, primary source analysis, oral presentations, group projects, and current event discussions.

TEXTS: An Ordinary Man by Paul Rusesabignia, Finding Nouf, by Zoë Ferraris; a history department-issued binder.

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 settlement of North America, the American Revolution, America’s founding documents, 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.

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, contextualization, comparison, causation, and continuity and change over time) and content learning objectives organized around the themes prescribed by The College Board. In addition, students regularly analyze primary sources and secondary texts. The curriculum covers nine historical periods from 1491 to the present-day, with most of the AP Exam’s weight focused on the periods between 1607 and 1980. Students are required to take the AP United States History exam in May.

TEXTS: The American Pageant AP Edition, 16th ed., by Kennedy and Cohen; Amsco’s United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Exam

PREREQUISITE: Permission of the History Department Chair and Assistant 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; Civilization, The West and the Rest, by Niall Ferguson

PREREQUISITE: Permission of the History Department Chair and Assistant Headmaster

AP EUROPEAN HISTORY

This course is designed to prepare the students for the AP European History exam. The content is divided chronologically into five units covering the period from the Renaissance to the post-Cold War era. Each unit has assigned readings, lectures, and activities that focus on developing the reading, reasoning, and writing skills (including a research paper) necessary for college level historical study. Students are required to take the AP European History exam in May.

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

PREREQUISITE: Permission of the History Department Chair and Assistant Headmaster

MODERN TIMES: DEFINING THE UNITED STATES IN POLITICS, ECONOMICS, AND WAR

This course offers students a basic understanding of political structures and economic systems of the United States in modern times. With an emphasis on the Constitution, an introduction to microeconomics, and the history and impact of the Vietnam War, students learn how the government functions and has been viewed by the general public. They also make connections to the present day through regular integration and discussion of current events, primary source documents, and film. The goal is to expose students to political development and practical economics so that they emerge as critical thinkers in a college seminar format. Regular assessments include reading quizzes, tests, trimester examinations, research projects, and daily class participation. In addition, each student is required to give a substantial oral presentation on a topic of his/her choice.

TEXTS: Magruder’s American Government, by William McClenaghan, 2011 edition. (Hardcover); An American Ordeal,by George Donelson Moss 6th Edition; Naked Economics, by Charles Wheelan 2010 Edition

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.

INTRODUCTION TO RELIGION

Introduction to Religion is a one-trimester course providing students with cultural literacy skills for navigating and understanding a diverse world. The course has three primary aims. First, it offers a set of concepts and vocabulary equipping students with the ability to speak about different religions and understand their distinctive practices and beliefs. Given the short duration of the class, study of world religions cannot delve below the surface; all the same, students will gain both a basic familiarity with the major religious traditions of the world and come away with valuable skills for sensitively encountering them in the future. Second, the course aims to help students better understand and appreciate the Christian context of Saint James and its Chapel. As such, students will survey the Bible and some of the principal stories of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Third, the course seeks to instill in students a deeper self-awareness about their own values and commitments, whatever those happen to be (this course is required of all new third and fourth form students).

TEXT: World Religions: A Voyage of Discovery, by Jeffrey Brodd

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 drama for one trimester each; students in Third through Sixth Forms choose art, dance 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 Assistant 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 Assistant 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 Assistant 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 Assistant 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 Assistant 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.

THEATER AND THE CREATIVE PROCESS

Theater and the Creative Process is a course dedicated to examining the process of theater making. Students examine plays that exemplify structure and varied styles of playwriting. Plays read are guided by written analysis and discussion aimed to hone a student’s ability to evaluate narrative arc. Students experience writing dialogue and receiving feedback, and learn to communicate complex ideas to actors. Supplementary work includes explorations in the business of theater and current events in contemporary arts. Theater and the Creative Process will conclude with a class showcase.

PLAY SELECTIONS: Night Mother, Waiting for Godot, The Piano Lesson, Oedipus Rex, A Doll's House

DRAMA, RELIGION & MUSIC (DRM)

Drama, Religion, and Music 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 music, stage production, and acting. Additionally, students will explore Christianity’s history, scripture, sacramental life, and how they shape life and worship at Saint James School. During the Winter Trimester, the Second Formers work together under the direction of the Fine Arts faculty to perform A Christmas Carol.

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.

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, using web pages and magazine articles. 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-speaking and French-speaking countries. Additional authentic material in the forms of magazine articles, web pages, and video clips supplement the textbook.

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 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. Additional authentic material in the forms of magazine articles, web pages, and video clips supplement the textbook.

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

ADVANCED PLACEMENT SPANISH LITERATURE AND CULTURE (offered when needed)

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 Assistant Headmaster.

HISPANIC LITERATURE, CULTURE, AND FILM (offered when needed)

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 Assistant Headmaster.

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; Classical Mythology & More: A Reader Workbook

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. Students also complete the survey of classical mythology which they began in first-year Latin.

TEXTS: Lingua Latina: Pars I: Familia Romana; Classical Mythology & More: A Reader Workbook

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.

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 Assistant Headmaster.