Course Catalog

Courses are open to all forms unless otherwise stated. Courses at the upper levels of each department throughout the academic program are labeled “Advanced Study” to denote the quality and rigor of college-level instruction. “Advanced Topics Tutorials” are individualized and often student-directed courses allowing further advanced study in particular disciplines.

St. Andrew's student-teacher ratio is 5:1, with an average class size of 11 students. Sizes of individual classes may depend upon the department and the level of the course.



Latin 1

Provides an introduction to the basic forms and syntax of Latin. Students learn an introductory history of the ancient Greco-Roman world through the middle stages of the Roman Republic. Readings include passages of historical and mythological interest. Text: Minkova and Tunberg, Latin for the New Millennium, Level 1.

Latin 2

Continues the study of Latin grammar and sentence structure through close reading and composition and begins to introduce students to the prose of Latin authors. Students also continue their study of Roman history through the end of the Roman Republic. Texts: Minkova and Tunberg, Latin for the New Millenium, Levels 1 and 2.

Latin 3

Students learn to read Latin prose through extensive study of the works of Caesar and Cicero. Students explore the dynamic structures of Caesar's historical narratives and Ciceronian rhetoric, and also begin to read Latin poetry. They begin to compose longer passages in Latin, imitating more systematically the prosaic styles and vocabulary of Caesar and Cicero. Readings include:

  • selections from Caesar, Commentaries on the Gallic War, Book II;
  • Cicero, First Oration against Catiline, Second Oration against Verres; and
  • Ovid, Metamorphoses.

Latin 4

Coursework includes continued readings in Latin prose and poetry, while also emphasizing review of grammar and vocabulary. Readings may include selections from Catullus, Cicero, and Ovid's Metamorphoses.

Advanced Study in Latin: Vergil

Students read the epic poetry of Vergil's Aeneid, while exploring the historical, social and political background of the Augustan period. This intensive reading and writing course teaches students to read both carefully and closely; students develop skills of close analysis and sensitivity to literary nuance. Students also learn the craft of literary criticism by writing commentaries and short essays and by reading secondary criticism. In its readings in Latin this course follows generally the syllabus for Advanced Placement Latin: Vergil; students read the entire Aeneid in English. Texts include:

  • Pharr, Vergil's Aeneid;
  • Weiden Boyd, ed., Vergil's Aeneid 10 and 12; and
  • Vergil (trans. Fagles), The Aeneid.

Advanced Study in Latin: Catullus and Horace


Students read the lyric poetry of Catullus and Horace and gain an understanding and appreciation of poetic structure, versification, and literary criticism. Students read and write extensively, presenting their readings to class and responding to secondary criticism. They begin to gain a sense of the breadth of Latin literature, as they read theses authors as a counterweight to Vergil and consider how each poet approaches similar thematic material. Texts include:

  • Garrison, ed., The Student's Catullus; and
  • Garrison, ed., Horace: Epodes and Odes.

Advanced Topics Tutorial in Latin

Not Offered 2017-18


This individualized course allows the advanced student to explore further literature in Latin according to the interest of the student and instructor. Readings may include:

  • books of Vergil's Aeneid not read in Advanced Study in Latin: Vergil;
  • selections from Roman comedy (Plautus and Terence);
  • orations of Cicero; and
  • histories (Livy, Sallust, and Tacitus).


Greek 1

Half-credit elective

A half-credit course that introduces students with backgrounds in both Latin and modern languages to the vocabulary, grammar, and syntax of Attic Greek. Students read, in Greek, rudimentary passages, continuous narratives, and selections from the New Testament. Text: Balme and Lawall, Athenaze Book 1, or Hansen and Quinn, Greek: An Intensive Course.

Greek 2

Prerequisite: Greek 1

Half-credit elective

Continues the grammatical study of Attic Greek, and introduces students to the rhetoric of Lysias and the literature and philosophy of Plato. Texts include:

  • Balme and Lawall, Athenaze Book 1 and 2; or Hansen and Quinn, Greek: An Intensive Course;
  • Scodel, ed., Lysias, On the Murder of Eratosthenes; and
  • Helm, ed., Plato: Apology.

Greek 3


Half or Full-Credit Elective

This individualized course allows dedicated students to pursue their interest in Greek language and literature by reading Greek texts of different styles, time periods, and dialects. Texts will include selections from the following genres:

  • Attic oratory (Lysias, On the Murder of Eratosthenes);
  • tragedy (selections from Euripides' Medea); and
  • epic (selections from Homer's Odyssey).



English Literature I

This course introduces first-year students to critical thinking, careful reading, and effective writing. Students learn close reading skills—the ability to discern tone, character, diction, syntax, and symbolism—through extensive reading of classic and contemporary literature. Readings focus on themes and issues connected to American life (III Form Students concurrently take US History), such as the changing meaning of the “American dream”, the particular American tension between the individual and the community. Class discussion focuses on both the readings and the issues contained therein, and develops skills of critical thinking, listening, and debating. Texts are chosen and examined both for their rhetorical power, and as models for student writing.

Writing assignments are frequent and primarily analytical in nature: students develop the ability to craft a written analysis of a text, and learn to explore diction, imagery, character, and meaning in their writing. Students work throughout the year on the important rudiments of clean and clear writing: paragraph structure, grammar and punctuation. Through the use of journals, exploratory writings, papers, exhibitions, and two semester exams, students learn to write precisely, effectively and convincingly.

Texts include:

  • E.L. Doctorow, Ragtime;
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby;
  • James Baldwin, Go Tell It On The Mountain;
  • Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn;
  • Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God;
  • Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire;
  • Edward Albee, The Zoo Story; and
  • Short fiction, essays and poetry by Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, Kate Chopin, Mary Oliver and Richard Wilbur.

English Literature 2

In this course, second-year students explore how literature from a variety of traditions illuminates and gives meaning to the human experience. In reading a diverse group of texts, students consider ways these texts present perspectives on place and culture, identity and belief. Through class discussions and writing assignments, students focus on the power of effective argument, and through the year learn how to craft their own.

Building on the habits of close textual analysis developed in English Literature I, this course examines linguistic patterns and choices an author makes in a text and introduces students to the language of argument. Students pursue questions such as:

  • What does an argument look like?
  • What is the difference between observation and a claim?
  • What constitutes evidence?
  • What makes certain arguments stronger than others?
  • How do we adjudicate between positions or conflicting arguments presented in the text?
  • How do we deal with ambiguity and do justice to the complexity of the text?

Students also examine how a work of fiction, in and of itself, articulates an argument.

Discussions about argument translate directly into the teaching of writing, considered specifically as a process: in order to generate ideas and craft a logical and persuasive argument, students must commit to the process of developing, drafting, and revising their essays. Students write frequent journals and short exploratory essays and learn to develop these pieces into more polished papers of three to four pages. By the end of the year, students are expected to be able to write grammatically clean, clear, and effective prose.

Texts include:

  • Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place;
  • T.C. Boyle, The Tortilla Curtain;
  • Athol Fugard,"Master Harold" … and the boys;
  • William Shakespeare, Othello;
  • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice;
  • Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness; and
  • Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart.

Advanced Study in English Literature 3

This course for third-year students canvasses a range of literary genres, including poetry, plays, novellas, and novels. Students continue to develop their skills of close textual analysis and build on their familiarity with the conventions of literary argument. They work on longer, more sustained and sophisticated analytical arguments in their writing assignments about literature and, in the latter half of the year, begin developing their own paper topics.

The culminating project of the year is the Junior Exhibition: students read an assigned novella on their own, devise a central question about the text that serves as their paper topic, and write a seven- to eight-page paper that they subsequently assess and critique in a 30-minute oral defense with their teacher. Students rework and revise this essay after their oral defense.

Texts include:

  • William Shakespeare, Hamlet;
  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein;
  • Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights;
  • James Joyce, Dubliners;
  • Cormac Macarthy, All the Pretty Horses;
  • Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon;
  • Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man;
  • Philip Roth, Goodbye, Columbus;
  • Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time; and
  • selected poetry.

Advanced Study in English Literature 4

This course is an intensive, one-semester introduction to advanced forms of literary study. It challenges fourth-year students to become more independent, insightful readers and more forceful, artful writers with confident, critical voices. Through careful study of narrative structure, form, and style, students learn to discern and articulate authors' methods of making meaning. In this course, all VI Formers study Toni Morrison’s Beloved as a central text, as well as one or two other texts , introducing students to the kind of focused analysis and comparative study that occurs in college literature courses.

The centerpiece of the course is the Senior Exhibition. The summer before the VI Form year begins, each student chooses a work of literature from a short list of exhibition books to read during that summer. Through rereading throughout the semester, forming critical questions, and writing and rewriting, students develop a critical argument and work to clarify, complicate and polish the argument over the course of the project. Although the drafting process involves frequent meetings with the instructor, the project is essentially independent and culminates in a 45-minute oral exhibition in which students assess, discuss, and refine their papers in a critique with at least two members of the English Department. The Senior Exhibition is a challenging and exciting project that prepares students to think and work independently, to refine and explore sophisticated concepts, to revise and rework thoughts into polished prose, and to self-assess in the interest of improvement.

In addition to Beloved, course texts for AS English Literature 4 have included:

  • Truman Capote, In Cold Blood;
  • Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending;
  • Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot;
  • Art Spiegelman, Maus;
  • Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day;
  • Herman Melville, Benito Cereno;
  • Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close; and
  • Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried.

Exhibition texts for AS English Literature 4 recently have included:

  • Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao;
  • Isabel Allende, The House of the Spirits;
  • Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin;
  • Tim O’Brien, In the Lake of the Woods;
  • Nadine Gordimer, The House Gun;
  • Edward P. Jones, The Known World;
  • Zadie Smith, White Teeth; and
  • Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse.

Advanced Study in English 4: History, Literature, and the Contested Past


This interdisciplinary VI Form course, taught jointly by members of the English and History Departments, examines how novelists, poets and historians have wrestled with and made sense of the past, and their own relation to it. Structured around a series of case studies at the intersection of literature, history and memory, the course explores the relationship between the documented past (historical primary sources) and the imagined one (literature). Students study novels and poems deeply shaped by the social and cultural moments from which they emerged and consider how an understanding of the historical circumstances that produced a work of literature can inform their reading of it. They also examine how writers of fiction have used history as source, inspiration and charge. Can the imaginative work of literature actually help us more fully understand the “real” past? What responsibility does the novelist have to history? Students also consider how the construction of a narrative—the storytelling—of a novelist differs from that of a historian. What might each learn from the other?

Case studies and related texts may include the following:

  • slavery and its legacy, with Toni Morrison’s Beloved or Edward Jones’ The Known World;
  • the American immigrant experience, with The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz;
  • war and its effects, both social and personal, with Pat Barker’s Regeneration or Tim O’Brien’s In the Lake of the Woods; and
  • Reagan-era political and cultural identities and the AIDS crisis, with Tony Kushner’s play Angels in America.

Senior Spring Seminars & Tutorials

Following completion of AS English 4 in the fall semester, VI Form students may use their spring semester to take either a directed seminar in English or a tutorial offered in various disciplines by faculty throughout the school. Comprised of three students or fewer, these tutorials offer a culminating academic experience for graduating seniors, as they have the opportunity to work very closely with a faculty member on a topic of their particular interest and passion. Each tutorial possesses strong written and oral components: students write and deliver weekly essays of three to four pages and discuss their findings among their classmates. Both the English seminar and the tutorials (no matter the discipline) are designed to help students further hone their skills of research, writing, argumentation and problem solving that will serve them well in college and beyond.

Topics of recent English seminars have included:

  • the Victorian novel;
  • Shakespearean tragedy;
  • modern drama;
  • American autobiography;
  • modernist poetry;
  • the gothic novel;
  • the modern short story; and
  • American film.

Students have also had the opportunity to take seminars on creative writing, the expository essay, and literary journalism (many of which use the New Yorker and other literary journals as texts). For more information on tutorials, visit our Senior Tutorial Program page.

Advanced Topics Tutorial in English Literature

Not Offered 2017-18

This individualized course, to be taken in the VI Form concurrently with AS English 4, allows the advanced student to explore further literature according to the interest of the student and instructor. This course offers the opportunity for student-directed reading and research. Departmental permission required.

Creative Writing

Creative Writing 1

Half-credit Elective

Through class discussion of both contemporary examples and student work, students are introduced to strategies and techniques used in the composition of original verse and fiction. Students will explore tone, voice, diction, theme, and style in a given text, with the goal of becoming attuned to the nuances and rhythms of language. Writing assignments will allow students to develop both the confidence and the ability write creatively and precisely in a variety of forms and styles.

Creative Writing 2

Prerequisite: Creative Writing I

Half-credit elective

Students continue to refine their writing skills in prose and verse, through readings in a wide range of authors both classic and contemporary, and through class discussion and critique of student work. Careful attention is paid to tone and voice, style, selection of detail, narrative and formal structures, and rhetorical proficiency.


United States History: Research Challenges

Open to III and IV Form students

This course serves not only as an in-depth introduction to American history but also as an introduction to the field of history itself. Students use primary sources to answer authentic historical questions; these "research challenges" require written responses based on students primary source reading and additional research. Prepared each class period with his or her own research and arguments, each student is actively invested in and responsible for the class discussion. This method encourages students to think deeply about the past, to ask questions and interpret evidence, to develop cogent arguments, and to collaborate with their peers. By the end of the course, students will have an understanding of American history, and a well-developed ability and desire to ask meaningful questions when presented with an unfamiliar historical text, whether document or newspaper, film or book. Course readings come from a primary source reader developed by the History Department, supplemented by journal articles, excerpts from monographs, and texts, such as the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.

United States History: Interpretations of the Past


This is our U.S. history course for students who enter St. Andrew's in the sophomore or junior year; it can be taken in the junior or senior year. While the texts and topics in this course differ slightly from those encountered in U.S. History: Research Challenges, they share the same methods and objectives. Course readings include a series of monographs and primary documents, and selections from the following:

  • Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave;
  • Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States; and
  • John Parker, His Promised Land.

Advanced Study in History: 20th Century History

In order to understand the current challenges of the current century, one must understand the important events and questions faced in the twentieth century. Therefore the goal of 20th Century History is to generate thoughtful, well-informed twenty-first century citizens of the world.

Toward this end, students will use the first semester to study the first two World Wars. We look at the reasons the wars started, the way they were fought, and they way these wars were ended. To understand the first half of the twentieth century, we must also study genocide, and we try to understand the motivations behind these events, as well as the international response. We dig deep to understand fascism, communism, and republicanism. In the second semester students study the major events of the Cold War like the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the war in Vietnam. Discussions questions include: When should a country go to war? How should a nation best apply the lessons from the past? How should a nation respond to a country it has identified as its enemy?What do I need to know in order to understand the twenty-first century world?

In the final third of the course, students study the rise of Communist China, and read The Looming Tower—a Pulitzer prize winning book that explores the long and short term history of the attacks of September 11, 2001. Emphasis is placed on critical reading of primary and secondary sources and written work that requires careful analysis, independent thought, and compelling argumentation. Texts include the following:

  • Ian Kershaw, Hitler;
  • The Communist Manifesto;
  • Eugene Sledge, With the Old Breed;
  • The Stanford Prison Experiment;
  • The Milgram Experiment; and
  • Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower.

Advanced Study in History: Ancient Greece & Rome

Formerly Offered As As History: Western Civilization

Who were the Greeks? Who are the Romans? What is Western Civilization? This advanced study course focuses questions of identity in ancient Greece, ancient Rome, and today. Students will look at how different cultures identify themselves in comparison with other groups, as well as how difference within a culture is used to develop cultural identity. Using poems, histories, plays, and other primary sources, this course asks students to begin to understand ancient cultures on their own terms, not merely as precursors to the modern West. As a result, we pay special attention to the role of gender, sexuality, and ethnic difference both in the daily lives of the ancient world and in the construction of a cultural identity. Students begin to develop the critical reading skills necessary to identify “invisible” members of ancient societies.

In addition to reading from a variety of ancient authors including Homer, Herodotus, Aristophanes, Livy, Vergil, and Augustine, students learn the skills of research through an annotated bibliography and a scholarly research paper.

Advanced Study in History: East Asia and the Japanese Empire

This Advanced Study course will introduce students to the history of modern East Asia through the lens of the Japanese Empire, its foundations in Japan, its expansion throughout the region, and its ultimate downfall. While students will study Japan itself and its transformation into a “modern” nation-state, this will not be the sole focus of the course. Students will examine Korea, Taiwan, Manchuria, China, the various European and American colonies in Southeast Asia (the Dutch East Indies (which later became Indonesia), French Indochina (which later became Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia), the British colonies that later became Malaysia, Singapore, and Burma/Myanmar, and the American colony of the Philippines) the non-colonized kingdom of Thailand, and Russia and the Soviet Union, particularly as they were important actors in the region.

The course will address questions relating to nationalism, militarism, imperialism, colonialism and the emergence of “modernity” in East Asia. Why and how did Japan join the ranks of imperialist powers? What were the various reactions among people who found themselves colonized by Japan? How did this experience affect their later development into independent nation-states? What were the legacies of war and imperialism in the region, and how did they affect the emergence of the Cold War as both a global phenomenon, and as a particular historical moment in East Asia? How did this period in time shape the present and how is it remembered today?

Students will work with primary sources, including government reports, personal and official correspondence, journalistic accounts, and diaries. Students will also read books and articles written by scholars from around the world, as well as fictional works—whether written at the time or more recently—that may help illuminate various issues. Finally, images, maps, and documentary and narrative films will give students both a flavor of life at the time and a sense of how historical memory works in contemporary cultural production.

Advanced Study in History: Global Studies


What forces—cultural, economic, and political—will shape the twenty-first century? And what are our obligations as citizens in this new globalized, interconnected, "flat" world? Drawing on a range of disciplines, including ethics, economics, geography, ecology and cultural and literary study, students will work to develop an intellectual toolkit for understanding some of the most pressing issues facing the world today. This work will serve as the foundation for crafting informed points-of-view, responding to the ideas of others, and attempting to articulate paths forward. Students first examine the duties and obligations of citizens in a global world, and ways in which the media and popular culture shape—and misshape—our understanding of people and events beyond our national borders. Further topics include:

  • the scope and limits of military power;
  • the emergence of the international human rights movement;
  • world poverty;
  • nuclear weapons, war crimes and genocide;
  • the cultural and political impact of economic globalization; and
  • the debate over climate change, overpopulation and environmental collapse.

Each unit is framed around a series of readings that offer multiple perspectives on a single issue. Course readings include newspaper and magazine articles, and all students will receive a year-long subscription to The Week. Texts include Fareed Zakaria, The Post-American World; and Dambisa Moyo and Niall Ferguson, Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa

Advanced Study in History: History of the Middle East

What forces have brought the Middle East to the current situation and, given that information, what are the best chances for peace in the future? This Advanced Study course is designed to provide students with the background and the skills to understand events that are transpiring in the region today. Students will further develop their ability to analyze opinionated sources rigorously, and to approach potentially controversial issues in a helpful and scholarly manner.

The course begins with an investigation and discussion of a contemporary event, and then leaps backwards in time to study the historical roots of modern events. Students will examine the origins of Islam, the rise of the Muslim empires, explore the Crusades, the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire, Zionism, Israel and the Palestinians. The course then concludes by examining Iraq and Iran from the 20th century to the present. Throughout the course, students discuss journalism in the Middle East and always seek connections between past and present. Forms of evaluation will vary, including presentations, position papers, journalistic writings, and a major research paper. We read many primary sources: selections from the Qur’an; a knight's journal; and writings by Jamal al-Afgani, Theodor Herzl, Yasir Arafat, Hanan Ashrawi, Yitzak Rabin, King Hussein of Jordan, Ariel Sharon, Marwan Barghouti, the Ayatollah Khomeini, George W. Bush, Osama bin Laden and others. We also use selections from an assortment of secondary sources, including writings by Akbar Ahmed, Sayed Hossein Nasr, Bernard Louis, Edward Said, Jason Goodwin, Daniel Bar-On, and Sami Adwan.

Advanced Study in History: History of Social Reform Movements

How is change—social, economic, political—achieved in American society? In societies around the world? What role can individuals play in social change? In this Advanced Study course, we will seek answers to these questions through historical study of social reform movements that have created—or attempted to create—that change. The course pays particular attention to issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, class and power in our study, examining how these issues can both unite and divide efforts for social change. We will also examine how participation in social movements shapes the identities of the individuals involved in them. The first half of the course will focus on the history of social movements in the United States (internationalized, at times, by comparisons with movements with similar aims in other countries). The second half of the year will look beyond the U.S., to consider issues of social reform in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and/or Africa (case studies vary from year to year). While the focus of the course is historical, in understanding how and why some efforts to create change in society have succeeded while others have failed, students may begin to see how social change may be possible today.

Topics for the American portion of the class may include: utopian societies, abolition, women's suffrage, eugenics, the civil rights and black power movements, women's liberation, the conservative movement, and the environmental movement. Topics for the international portion may include: Gandhi and Indian independence, Nazism, the anti-apartheid movement, the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland, and the movement against Pinochet's dictatorship in Chile, the democratic uprisings in the Arab world in 2011. (The interests of the students who take the class will help to shape this list.)

The course approaches this history with extensive reading in primary sources (including literature, film, art and music), immersing students in the ideas, tactics and challenges of these movements. Articles and chapters from secondary scholarship supplement these readings, allowing us to consider and respond to the arguments historians have made about the movements we study. Representative sources include:
  • the debates over the 15th Amendment from the American Equal Rights Association Convention;
  • texts from advocates and opponents of the American Indian Boarding School Movement;
  • Stokely Carmichael's position paper, “Basis of Black Power;”
  • the New York Radical Women's protest against the Miss America pageant;
  • Gandhi's writings on non-violent non-cooperation;
  • Leni Riefenstahl's film, Triumph of the Will;
  • the arpillera tapestries made to protest the Pinochet regime;
  • the songs of the Irish Republican movement; and
  • the training materials from the April 6th Movement, a driving force behind the 2011 democratic movement in Egypt.

A few months into the class, each student will choose a particular historical case study to examine in an original research project. In addition to this research paper, the course will culminate with students designing a campaign for a social reform movement of their choice, past or present, thereby allowing students to take their historical study and put it into action.

Advanced Study in History: Modern European History

Not Offered 2017-18

This course explores the cultural, economic, political and social events and ideas that have shaped European history from 1450 until the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Students examine the rise of modern Europe and the impact of European actions during this time period, both on the continent and throughout the word, with a focus on the following topic areas:

  • the Renaissance;
  • the Protestant Reformation;
  • the Age of Discovery;
  • the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment;
  • absolutism;
  • the "Glorious Revolution";
  • the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars;
  • the Industrial Revolution;
  • Romanticism and other ideological "-isms";
  • the rise of nation-states; and
  • the road to World War I.

Students write analytical essays, conduct independent research, and read from primary and secondary sources.

Advanced Study in History: History, Literature, and the Contested Past


This interdisciplinary VI Form course, taught jointly by members of the English and History Departments, examines how historians, novelists, and poets have wrestled with and made sense of the past, and their own relation to it. Structured around a series of case studies at the intersection of literature, history and memory, the course explores the relationship between the documented past (historical primary sources) and the imagined one (literature). Students study novels and poems deeply shaped by the social and cultural moments from which they emerged and consider how an understanding of the historical circumstances that produced a work of literature can inform their reading of it. They also examine how writers of fiction have used history as source, inspiration and charge. Can the imaginative work of literature actually help us more fully understand the “real” past? What responsibility does the novelist have to history? Students also consider how the construction of a narrative—the storytelling—of a novelist differs from that of a historian. What might each learn from the other?

Case studies and related texts may include the following:

  • slavery and its legacy, with Toni Morrison’s Beloved or Edward Jones’ The Known World;
  • the American immigrant experience, with The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz;
  • war and its effects, both social and personal, with Pat Barker’s Regeneration or Tim O’Brien’s In the Lake of the Woods; and
  • Reagan-era political and cultural identities and the AIDS crisis, with Tony Kushner’s play Angels in America.

Great History Books



In this course, students are introduced to a wide range of historical topics by reading entire books of historical scholarship. Students examine the ways in which the author collects and uses evidence to create and sustain a historical argument. Over the course of the year, students read four books, each one taught by a different member of the History Department, with a focus on opportunities for interdisciplinary study. Selected texts may include:

  • Drew Gilpin Faust, This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War;
  • Jung Chang, Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China;
  • Christopher R. Browning, Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland;
  • Nicholas Lemann, The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy;
  • William Cronon, Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England;
  • John W. Dower, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II;
  • Timothy B. Tyson, Blood Done Sign My Name.

Advanced Topics Tutorial in History

Not Offered 2017-18


This individualized course allows the advanced VI Form student to explore further topics and research in history outside of normal departmental curriculum. For example, in a recent tutorial, students researched the antebellum Episcopal Church in Delaware and its dual participation in and opposition to slavery. Students studied the broad history of slavery in the mid-Atlantic region and then worked through extensive diocesan and individual church archives to understand the church's fluctuating stance on slavery. Their research contributed to a larger ongoing contemporary history project. Students experienced real-life deadlines for their written work and presented their papers and findings to the Diocesan Committee on Slavery in Delaware intermittently during the school year.


Problem Solving in Algebra & Geometry

Open to III and IV Form students

This course introduces students to the problem-solving techniques used by mathematicians and employed throughout the St. Andrew’s math curriculum. Students move beyond the straightforward application of algorithms and are pushed to use abstract reasoning and creativity to solve problems they have not explicitly seen before. They learn that good mathematicians do not immediately see the answer to every problem but enjoy experimenting with possible solutions. The disciplines of algebra and geometry provide excellent vehicles to practice and hone the skills required for such an approach. Although students may enter the course with a variety of backgrounds in algebra and geometry, they are equally challenged in applying and synthesizing their knowledge as they collaborate with peers in class and puzzle through solutions. Students also develop resilience and good communication skills, while solidifying their skills in algebra and recognizing its connections to geometry.

Honors Problem Solving in Geometry & Algebra II

Open to III and IV Form students

This course develops the problem-solving skills required for advanced mathematics, with an emphasis on the in-depth study of traditional topics of geometry, such parametrics and vectors. Students explore the relationships between geometry and more advanced algebraic topics, including quadratics, transformations. Students are expected to have a mastery of basic algebra and a facility with the investigative and collaborative approach of problem solving. Placement is determined by the department.

Problem Solving in Geometry & Algebra II

Open to IV Form Students

Prerequisite: Intro to Problem Solving in Algebra and Geometry

This course continues to develop the problem-solving skills introduced in Problem Solving in Algebra and Geometry with greater emphasis on traditional topics of geometry. Students explore the relationships between geometry and more advanced algebraic topics, including quadratics and transformations. Further topics are studied in depth, including parametrics and vectors. Students are expected to have a mastery of basic algebra and a facility with the investigative and collaborative approach of problem solving.

Honors Problem Solving Algebra II & Trigonometry

Open to IV and V Form Students

Prerequisites: Honors Problem Solving in Geometry & Algebra II

This course covers all of the topics in Problem Solving in Geometry and Algebra 2, and adds a full treatment of trigonometry. While students consider the properties and applications of each of the major trigonometric function families in isolation, significant time is also dedicated to the study of function composition and transformations. Text: Larson et al., Algebra and Trigonometry.

Problem Solving in Precalculus & Trigonometry

Open to V and VI Form students

Prerequisite: Problem Solving in Geometry and Algebra II

This precalculus course reviews and expands on the study of functions introduced in Problem Solving in Geometry and Algebra 2. Special emphasis is placed on using functions to model real-world phenomena. Students also study bivariate data analysis and a full treatment of trigonometry. Text: Connally et al., Functions Modeling Change: A Preparation for Calculus.

Honors Precalculus & Differential Calculus

Open to V Form Students

Prerequisite: Honors Problem Solving in Algebra II & Trigonometry

In the first half of the year, Honors Precalculus students review topics in trigonometry and study a variety of precalculus topics drawn from discrete mathematics and analysis. The second half of the course covers differential calculus and its applications to prepare students for Advanced Study in Calculus BC. Text: Hughes-Hallett et al., Calculus and supplementary material.


Open to VI Form Students

Prerequisites: Problem Solving in Precalculus & Trigonometry

This course is a study of the concepts and skills of differential and integral calculus. An emphasis on the applications of calculus allows students the opportunity to investigate and collaborate on projects. While this course provides students with a sound understanding of calculus, it is not intended to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Calculus AB examination. Text: Hughes-Hallett et al.,Calculus.

Advanced Study in Calculus AB

Open to V and VI Form Students

Prerequisites: Problem Solving in Precalculus & Trigonometry or Honors Problem Solving in Algebra II & Trigonometry

This course covers differential and integral calculus, with an emphasis on applications drawn from the physical, biological and social sciences. After completing this course, students may elect to review independently for and take the Advanced Placement Calculus AB examination. Text: Hughes-Hallett et al., Calculus.

Advanced Study in Calculus BC

Open to V and VI Form Students

Prerequisites: Honors Precalculus & Differential Calculus

This course continues the study of calculus begun in the second half of Honors Precalculus. Students study integral calculus and its applications, as well as polynomial series approximations. After completing this course, students may elect to review independently for and take the Advanced Placement Calculus BC examination. Text: Hughes-Hallett et al., Calculus.

Advanced Study in Mathematical Economics

Open to V and VI Forms

Corequisite: AS Calculus AB or AS Calculus BC

A basic understanding of economics is fast becoming a requirement for effective citizenship in a modern democracy. This course aims to provide students the necessary tools to understand and participate in discussions of economic policy. In any authentic economics curriculum students study decision-making: they learn to recognize the myriad constraints in life—not only those of budget and how to spend one’s money, but also those of time and how to spend one’s life—and then study how to maximize various goods in the face of those constraints. This is not a course in finance. Stocks and bonds are largely just an example of a particular marketplace. Their role in macroeconomic policy is important to understand, but the real focus of the course will be the study of scarcity in general. Heavy emphasis will be placed on the application of mathematical techniques drawn from algebra, calculus and statistics. Some new techniques will be introduced, but much of the focus will be on the application of previously studied concepts.

Advanced Study in Statistics

Open to VI Form students

Prerequisites: Problem Solving in Geometry & Algebra II

This course is a non-calculus-based introduction to statistics that focuses on four major themes: exploring and analyzing data, planning studies and collecting data, mathematical modeling, and testing hypotheses through statistical inference. After completing this course, students may elect to review independently for and take the Advanced Placement Statistics examination. Text: Bock, Velleman, DeVeau, Stats: Modeling the World.

Advanced Study in Multivariable Calculus

Not Offered 2017-18 (will be incorporated into Advanced Topics Tutorial in Mathematics)

Prerequisites: AS Calculus BC and a score of 5 on the AP Calculus BC exam

This course extends the ideas of single-variable calculus to functions of two or more variables, vector-valued functions and vector fields. Numerous applications taken from the physical, life and social sciences motivate the development of each topic. Additional topics chosen from differential equations and linear algebra are covered as time permits. Text: Larson, et al., Calculus.

Advanced Topics Tutorial in Mathematics

Open to VI Form Students

Prerequisites: AS Calculus BC

Advanced Topics Tutorial in Mathematics has, in recent years, focused on an introduction to linear algebra. Matrices and their relationship to systems of linear equations are studied in detail. Special emphasis is given to the application of matrices to various disciplines, including economics, game theory, computer science, statistics, physics, and biology.

Modern Languages


Chinese 1

Offers students an introduction to Chinese language and culture. Students develop Chinese listening and speaking skills in everyday situations, and work on building basic reading comprehension and writing skills. Chinese history, art, calligraphy and cuisine are also integrated into the course. Students master a minimum of 300 characters, become familiar with basic sentence patterns and expressions, and are able to converse on such topics as family, hobbies, school life, shopping, weather and transportation. Text: Yuehua Liu and Tao-chung Yao, et al., Integrated Chinese, Level 1, Part I.

Chinese 2

This course builds on the skills mastered in Chinese 1. Short plays, poems, songs and online resources supplement the textbook as students develop listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Students learn approximately 300 characters, as well as more sophisticated sentence patterns. They write and converse on topics such as dining, travel, a doctor's appointment, renting an apartment and other basic survival subjects. Text: Yuehua Liu and Tao-chung Yao, et al., Integrated Chinese, Level 1, Part II.

Chinese 3

Conducted entirely in Chinese, this intermediate level course strengthens the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing through comparative cultural and social studies. Students study the full complexity of Chinese society from the viewpoint of an American student living in China. Movies and articles from newspapers and magazines supplement readings in the text. Text: Yuehua Liu and Tao-chung Yao, et al., Integrated Chinese, Level 2, Part II.

Chinese 4

Conducted entirely in Chinese, this course prepares students to participate in ongoing discussions of important Chinese social and political issues. It equips students with the necessary vocabulary and advanced sentence patterns to engage in discursive writing and oral presentation. Students discuss current issues such as China's economic reform, population policy and the relationship between mainland China and Taiwan. Movies and television programs, articles from Chinese newspapers and magazines, and online resources continue to supplement readings in the text. Text: Jennifer Li-chia Liu, Connection II: A Cognitive Approach to Intermediate Chinese.

Advanced Study in Chinese

This advanced course is designed to be equivalent to the first semester of a third-year college-level course for students who have mastered basic Chinese language skills. Students discuss themes such as population and housing, education and employment, family, women and children, and economic development issues. Students lead discussion in class and write weekly three- to four-page essays. Text: Liu et al., A New Text for a Modern China.


French 1

This introductory course is designed for students with little or no prior exposure to French language and culture. The program provides an overview of basic grammar and vocabulary, centered around four areas of focus: communication, cultures, connections, and communities. Students learn to communicate information, concepts and ideas in French, both orally and in writing, and will record and videotape their work. They are exposed to the varied customs and cultures of the French-speaking world, make connections with other disciplines, including history, geography, fine arts, and science, and learn to recognize distinctive cultural viewpoints in literary and non-literary contexts. Using their native language as a basis for comparison, students reflect on the structures and sounds of French and also explore the interconnectedness of the larger global community. This course is conducted primarily in French. Text: Espaces: Rendez-vous avec le monde francophone (Vistas).

French 2

Students in French 2 further develop their skills in the four areas of language proficiency: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Readings canvas Francophone culture and literature. Students hone their listening comprehension skills through performing skits, presenting oral reports, and working with interactive audio and video sequences. This course is conducted primarily in French. Text: Espaces: Rendez-vous avec le monde francophone (Vistas).

French 3

Taught entirely in French, this course offers students advanced study in French grammar and composition. Students read a complete literary work in French, and will analyze the text and discern authorial intention and tone. Grammar is taught within the reading context. Other activities include skits, oral drills, games, and the use of multimedia resources. Texts have included:

  • Tahar benJelloun, Le Racisme Explique a Ma Fille;
  • Antoine St. Exupery, Le Petit Prince;
  • René Goscinny, Asterix le Gaulois; and
  • Victor Hugo, Notre-Dame de Paris.

French 4

Students in French 4 study the history of French and Francophone literature from the Middle Ages to the present. Students read and discuss excerpts from a variety of texts and genres, in addition to exploring the major historical events of each period. They refine their knowledge of the language, undertaking an in-depth review of the major grammatical concepts. Text: Bette Hirsch and Chantal Thompson, Moments Littéraires: An Anthology for Intermediate French.

Advanced Study in French

This course aims to refine students' command of sophisticated vocabulary and linguistic structures in French, while also developing their skills in literary analysis. Students in this course will develop a thesis, write a formal dissertation, and present a final exhibition, in French. We examine works of art, literature, theater and film from France, the Caribbean, West Africa, Asia and Canada. Readings are supplemented with nonfiction texts and articles in order to situate the works in their political and historical contexts. Texts have included:

  • Camara Laye, L'enfant noir;
  • Ferdinand Oyono, Une vie de boy;
  • Simone Schwartz-Bart, Pluie et vent sur Telumee Miracle;
  • and Michel Tournier, Vendredi ou des limbes du Pacifique.

Advanced Topics Tutorial in French

Prerequisite: AS French

This college-level course allows students to pursue the reading and discussion of works of French literature, representing a variety of historical and cultural perspectives. Students will continue to strengthen and deepen their skills as readers, writers and speakers of French, and ultimately devise a final project that will represent the culmination of their years of work in the St. Andrew's French program.


Spanish 1

Offers an introduction to the basic vocabulary and grammatical structures of the Spanish language, and to Hispanic culture both abroad and here in the United States. Students will build a foundation in speaking, writing, reading and listening comprehension skills. Situational dialogues, paired activities, skits, and oral evaluations allow students to develop their communicative skills in Spanish. Students also receive a strong grounding in the grammar of the language and acquire a broad range of vocabulary. Text: Vistas: Introducción a la lengua española, 4th ed., and supplemental readings.

Spanish 2

This course reviews and builds upon the concepts presented in Spanish 1. Students continue to develop a mastery of Spanish grammar, acquire vocabulary, and improve the form and content of their active language skills. Readings continue to expose students to various aspects of Spanish and Hispanic life and culture. Text: Vistas: Introducción a la lengua española, 4th ed., and supplemental readings.

Spanish 3

In this intermediate course, conducted entirely in Spanish, students engage in a variety of oral and written Spanish communication activities. Short stories, poems, a short novel, and two plays serve as the centerpiece for ongoing class discussion of Hispanic literature and culture. Grammar is learned and reviewed through the authentic, communicative format of the readings. Throughout the year, students write short response papers and take frequent oral exams or interviews in Spanish. At the end of each semester, students give exhibitions in which they demonstrate the working knowledge and language skills they have developed. Texts: Blanco and Tocaimaza-Hatch, Imagina: Espagnol sin barreras.

Spanish 4

Conducted in Spanish, this course offers a study of various aspects of the Hispanic world, using short stories, periodicals, essays, films, and fine art from Latin America. This course also dedicates a substantial amount of time to a rigorous reinforcement of grammatical structures and correct usage of the language in its spoken and written forms. Grammatical study emphasizes the written and oral usage of all verb tenses, especially the subjunctive and the past tenses, and problematic prepositions. Texts: Enfoques: Curso intermedio de lengua española, and supplemental readings.

Advanced Study in Spanish: Hispanic Worldview

Conducted in Spanish, this college-level course provides students with a larger context for the literature of Latin America that students began to study in Spanish 3 and Spanish 4. The course begins with a study of pre-Colombian civilizations, but its primary focus is on twentieth century and current events in Latin America. Topics include:

  • the political importance of the Mexican Muralism movement;
  • the rise of dictatorships in Latin America;
  • the role of women in resistance movements, particularly in Chile and Argentina;
  • U.S. involvement in Latin American politics and issues; and
  • the age of revolution in Latin America.

The course ends with a major paper and oral presentation on a subject of the student's choice. In conjunction with the study of Latin America, students prepare for the Advanced Placement Spanish Language Exam with reviews of grammar and vocabulary interspersed throughout lessons, class discussions, readings, and oral exams.Texts:

  • Couch et al., Una vez mas; and
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Cinco Maestros and El coronel no tiene quien le escriba.

Advanced Topics Tutorial in Spanish: Hispanic Authors of the 20th and 21st Centuries

Prerequisite: AS Spanish

This college-level course is the culmination of a student's progress through St. Andrew's Spanish program; of her development of bilingualism in listening, speaking, reading, and writing; and in her understanding of the Hispanic world view through the intensive study of Hispanic literature. Students read major literary works of Federico Garcia Lorca, Jorge Luis Borges, Ana Maria Matute, Miguel de Unamuno, Isabel Allende, Laura Esquivel, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. In addition to readings and numerous response papers, at the end of each semester students present a literary commentary on one of the major works they have studied.

Religious Studies

History of Religious Thought


IIn this course, students rigorously examine the claims of great thinkers from Aquinas to Marx, Avicenna to Vivekananda, Maimonides to the Dalai Lama, St. Theresa of Avila to contemporary theologians and philosophers. In dialogue with such scholars and with the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Bible, the Qur’an, the Upanishads and Buddhist Scriptures, students consider differing answers to central religious questions such as:

  • Is there a divine? If so, how have people claimed to know the nature of the divine?
  • What is religious experience? What, if anything, happens after death?
  • Why does suffering exist?
  • How shall we act in the world as a result of our views on the divine?

Our studies are informed by classroom visits with imams, rabbis, ministers, and scholars, as well as trips to local places of worship (synagogues, mosques, churches, etc.) and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.

Students write frequent short analytical essays. In conjunction with their work in English Literature 2, they build their understanding of argument, evidence, the difference between an observation and a claim, and how to deal with ambiguity and complexity in an author’s writings. To prepare students for their work in Advanced Study history courses and VI Form philosophy and religious studies electives, students examine their own positions in the context of the wider scope of human history and culture, strengthening their ability to identify a writer’s rhetorical maneuvers and implicit assumptions. About midway through the course, they write and deliver a ten-minute long talk exploring a religious or philosophical conundrum. For their capstone project, students use their shorter writings from the year as the backbone for a ten to twelve page theological analysis, then assess and critique their papers in an oral defense with their teacher and a classmate.

Applied Ethics

Open to VI Form students

This course introduces students to the basic principles of moral reasoning, with the goal of enabling students to engage independently in critical analysis of contemporary ethical issues. Discussion topics include:

  • abortion;
  • euthanasia;
  • cloning;
  • the death penalty;
  • sexual orientation;
  • poverty and welfare;
  • drug legalization;
  • animal rights; and
  • just war theory.

Students prepare short position papers on these issues, and present their viewpoints in class for discussion and debate.

Asian Philosophy & Religious Traditions

Open to VI Form students

Half-credit Elective

What happens when my truth and your truth are not the same? In this class, students explore what it means to live in a world where so many religions and worldviews coexist. As a complement to History of Religious Thought, students study traditions including (but not limited to):

  • Hinduism;
  • Buddhism;
  • Confucianism;
  • Taoism;
  • Jainism; and
  • Sikhism.

The course seeks to understand historical and contemporary expressions of the world's religions through readings, films, current events, site visits, written reflections, and classroom discussions. Students consider why religions exist in the first place, and how, as global citizens, we might enter into a more effective dialogue with various traditions.

The Call to Serve

Open to VI Form students

This course examines the intellectual, moral, and spiritual mandates for community service as an integral part of human development. By participating in service-learning work, students develop a sense of their individual link to the larger world, and a sense of responsibility to care for it. Students explore concepts such as vocation, voluntarism, and the “ethic of care." The aim of the course is to find links between school coursework, opportunities to serve our world, and how students react to those opportunities. Weekly journals reflect on both classroom discussions and various service activities. Guest lecturers—advocates for the homeless and those with disabilities; blood bank executives; United Way representatives; Habitat for Humanity builders—join us in the classroom to share their insights and experiences of serving others.

Religion and Gender

Open to VI Form students

In this course, students explore the relationship between religion and gender, examining the extent to which gender norms impact the formation of religious texts, practices, and leaders, and the extent to which religions influence conceptions of gender in society. Students study the experiences of cisgender and transgender people from an array of racial, economic, and sexually-oriented backgrounds who have come to understand themselves in relation to their particular faith traditions. While exploring feminist and queer theories, students consider the degree to which it is appropriate to distinguish between the experiences of men and women when speaking about God(s) both historically and in our current society. This course includes readings, written reflections, pop culture video analysis, guest speakers, and regular classroom discussion.

Religion and Violence

Open to VI Form students

Throughout history, there has existed an uneasy relationship between religion and violence. In this course, students will critically examine the intersection of religion and violence, studying two central questions:

  • How is it that violent acts are committed and justified in the name of religion? What is, for example, the path from "Blessed are the peacemakers" to the brutality of the Crusades?
  • How have religious movements actually sought to alleviate violent conflict? What role, for example, did religious traditions have in the Civil Rights Movement and the Indian Independence Movement in the 20th century?

Students will look both to historical and present-day examples, focusing on conflicts noted above as well as those located in Latin America, the Middle East, and the Africa.




Open to III and IV Form students

As the first course in the departmental sequence, Biology is designed to equip students with scientific skills that they will continue to draw upon throughout their education. Particular emphasis is placed upon systematic observation and the formation and testing of scientific hypotheses. Students learn to be skeptical and to construct scientific explanations that are detailed, logical and supported by evidence. The course also seeks to stimulate student appreciation and concern for the natural world. Areas of primary conceptual focus include:

  • energy transformation;
  • genetics;
  • evolution;
  • ecology;
  • human impacts on the environment; and
  • the diversity and characteristics of species.

Each spring, students journey to nearby Lewes, Delaware to review research conducted at the University of Delaware's College of Marine Studies and to tour dune, beach and forest ecosystems at Cape Henlopen State Park. Texts:

  • Hoagland, Dodson and Hauck, Exploring the Way Life Works: The Science of Biology;
  • Johnson and Raven, Biology: Principles and Explorations;
  • Jane Goodall, Through a Window; and
  • Farley Mowat, Never Cry Wolf.

Advanced Study in Biology

Open to VI Form students

Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry

The aim of this advanced biology course is to more closely examine a range of topics in biology, with a thematic emphasis on the unity of life and life's molecular basis. Topics that recur throughout the year include:

  • evolution;
  • the structure-function relationship;
  • the importance of energy; and
  • the role of information.

In addition to its factual content, the course stresses rigorous scientific analysis and reasoning. Many lab investigations are student-designed and involve long-term, open-ended inquiry. Several labs closely follow the College Board's Advanced Placement recommendations. Text: Campbell, Reece and Mitchell, Biology: Concepts and Connections.

Advanced Study in Environmental Science

Open to VI Form students

Prerequisites: Biology

This college-level course is intended to foster in its students the awareness and appreciation of the natural world and the interdependencies that exist within it. Students explore the natural environment and resources of the School and surrounding areas while becoming acquainted with the principles and methods used to examine environmental issues. Topics include:

  • sustainability;
  • ecosystems;
  • population dynamics;
  • water;
  • energy efficiency:
  • climate change:
  • food resources; and
  • biodiversity.

The course includes visiting speakers, supplemental readings, investigations and labs drawn from college curricula, and a year-long independent project. Students make visits to nearby organizations and locales that provide insight into environmental issues, including a spray irrigation water treatment plant, a local cemetery and an organic farm. An overnight camping trip exposes students to the natural beauty of the Appalachian Mountains; students hike the Appalachian Trail and canoe on Antietam Creek. Students are prepared to sit for the Advanced Placement Environmental Science examination at the end of the year. Texts: Miller, Living in the Environment; McPhee, Encounters with the Archdruid, and supplemental readings.



Open to IV and V Form students

Prerequisite: Problem Solving in Algebra & Geometry

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of descriptive and theoretical chemistry. Emphasis is placed on how physical and chemical properties and processes may be explained in terms of the kinetic-molecular theory and the electronic structure of atoms. While this course stresses conceptual understanding, it also includes substantial treatments of chemical calculations and problem solving. Weekly laboratory work complements class discussions and demonstrations. The course syllabus generally reflects the breadth and depth of the College Board SAT Subject Test in Chemistry. Text: Russo and Silver, Introductory Chemistry, 2nd ed.

Honors Chemistry

Open to V and VI Form students

Prerequisites: Honors Physics

Honors Chemistry applies the foundation of concepts, computational techniques, and laboratory practices students learn in Honors Physics to support their study of chemistry. The course begins with an introduction to descriptive and analytical chemistry through several weeks of laboratory work. Students here become familiar with important chemical properties and tools for uncovering patterns of chemical behavior and the laws that govern them. Laboratory work remains the central focus of the course as it recreates the empirical lines of evidence and creative reasoning from which modern chemical theory evolved during the 19th and 20th centuries. Students are challenged to construct their knowledge from their own experiments and collaborative discussions that utilize their prior knowledge of physics. Text: Brown et al., Chemistry: The Central Science, 10th ed.

Advanced Study in Chemistry

Open to VI Form students

Prerequisite: Honors Chemistry and Honors Physics

This course offers students an opportunity to continue their study of chemistry at an advanced level by further exploring topics in physical and organic chemistry. The course is laboratory-centered with structured experiments that extend the students' experience with analytical techniques and instrumentation, followed by opened-ended projects that develop students' research skills. Text: Brown et al., Chemistry: The Central Science, 10th ed.



Open to IV, V, and VI Form students

Corequisite: Problem Solving in Geometry & Algebra II

In Physics, students discover the fundamental laws that govern nature through the process of inquiry—posing their own questions within an agreed-upon framework and conducting careful experiments to find their own answers. The class is taught using Modeling Instruction pedagogy, a research-based approach developed at Arizona State University. Students organize their knowledge according to a series of physical models which can be used to analyze and explain increasingly complex phenomena. This course also devotes significant time to helping students articulate the methods and results of their experiments to their peers in discussion, in writing, and in the models they create to explain the physical world. Text: Adapted from publically available Modeling Instruction materials.

Honors Physics

Open to IV and V Form students

Corequisite: Honors Problem Solving in Algebra II & trigonometry

The Honors Physics curriculum is derived from a course developed by the Physical Science Study Committee (PSSC), a group first organized at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the auspices of the National Science Foundation. This rigorous curriculum is coupled with the Modeling Instruction pedagogy used in Physics 1 to create a unique and research-based approach to teaching physics. Its strength resides in its guidance of students through experiments and conceptual constructions that require authentic scientific thinking and practice. Rather than asking students to memorize a catalogue of facts and equations, coursework is organized around a a series of physical models students use to explain and predict the structure and interactions of matter. Each student is called on to develop his or her abilities to analyze, infer, evaluate, synthesize and reason quantitatively from the results of his or her experimental work. Laboratories involve extensive use of computer-interfaced instrumentation. Text: Teacher-authored text inspired by Haber-Schaim et al., PSSC Physics.

Advanced Study in Physics (Algebra-Based)

Not Offered 2017-18

Open to VI Form students

Prerequisite: Physics

This course explores college-level, algebra-based physics through work generally aligned with that of the new Advanced Placement Physics 1 curriculum. It focuses on the conservation principles of classical (Newtonian) mechanics (Conservation of Mass, Conservation of Charge, Conservation of Momentum and Conservation of Energy). Students’ understanding of elementary kinematics, dynamics, and energy conservation is strengthened with review of models and representations of the motion of individual objects and interactions between objects, and is then extended with explorations of projectile motion, oscillating motion (including pendulums, spring-mass systems and circular motion), orbital/planetary motion, and wave mechanics. Linear and angular momentum are introduced as conserved quantities that simplify the analysis of more complex motions of objects and systems of objects. Students review models and representations of energy conservation and learn additional forms of potential energy (including electric potential energy) and are introduced to electric circuits, emphasizing conservation of charge and conservation of energy in simple resistive circuits.

Beyond the AP Physics 1 curriculum, students may use the concepts of conservation of energy, mass, and charge to explore chemistry topics such as stoichiometry, reaction energetics and reaction rates, and may also study electric circuit analysis and wave mechanics. Text: Etkina, et al. College Physics.

Advanced Study in Physics (Calculus-Based)

Open to VI Form students

Prerequisite: Honors Physics

corequisite: AS Calculus BC

This course covers a calculus-based college-level physics curriculum, and includes explorations of mechanics, thermal physics, and electricity and magnetism. This course assumes a deep curiosity about physics and willingness to work on the part of the students. The course approaches the above topics by focusing on matter and its interactions at the atomic scale through students' creation and application of models. Toward this end, students learn V-Python, a powerful object-oriented computer-programming language that they use to model real physical systems. Students are prepared to sit for the Advanced Placement Physics examination, Level C. Text: Chabay and Sherwood, Matter and Interactions (vols. 1-2).

Computer Science

Computer Science 1

Half-credit elective

In this course, students are introduced to object-oriented program design using the Java computer programming language. Platforms for teaching Java may include BlueJ, Eclipse, and Sun’s native Java Development Kit. Through a project-based approach, students are led to a mastery of Java’s syntax, data types, and control structures. Course topics include arrays, lists, two-dimensional graphics, and basic Graphic User Interface (GUI) design.

Computer Science 2

Prerequisite: Computer Science 1

Half-credit Elective

Students extend their knowledge of Java programming learned in Computer Science 1. The course begins with concepts of inheritance and polymorphism and continues through the study of interfaces and abstract classes. Course topics also include recursion, analysis of algorithms, data structures.

Students use case studies to pursue a more in-depth exploration of these concepts. Independent completion of all programming projects is encouraged and supported by student participation in the American Computer Science League.

Computer Science 3

Prerequisite: Computer Science 2

Half-credit elective

Students in this course explore a multitude of new programming languages and techniques in order to form a foundation on which to work collaboratively as a software development team in the latter part of the course. Students work together to develop a deliverable software package, solving problems as they arise and enhancing its features, using the language skills and programming techniques developed throughout their study of computer science at St. Andrew's.

Visual & Performing Arts

Introduction to the Arts

Required for III Form students

Half-credit course

Team-taught by visual and performing arts faculty, this course introduces all III Form students to the breadth of the arts curriculum at St. Andrew's through six-week long workshops in dance, music, theatre, and art (students will have rotated through all four by the completion of the course). Developing an appreciation of art patronage is also a strong component of this course; students are asked to attend and reflect upon both peer and professional performances and exhibits offered at the School throughout the year.

Art History

Half-credit elective

Surveying the history of art from Ancient Egypt to late 20th century America, this course aims to create an intellectual foundation allowing students to become more aware of the role art and architecture have in the growth of human societies. By studying specific historical periods and analyzing cultural contexts, students develop an appreciation for how a community’s buildings, sculptures, textiles, and paintings reflect the values, beliefs and worldview of its people. In addition to this generally chronological overview of artistic creations in Western culture, students also investigate non-western civilizations through the lens of cross-cultural contrasts: what, for example, does the Gothic Cathedral at Chartres (12th century France), have in common with the Great Stupa at Sanchi (1st century BCE India)? Explorations of history are guided by thematic categories ranging from themes of sacred architecture, to images of power and authority, to the changing role of narrative in art. Students write frequent short analytical papers and keep an art journal of both personal reflections and examples of art culled from various media. Text: Helen Gardner, Art Through the Ages.

Art in Biology

Not offered 2017-18

Half-credit course

This course gives students an understanding of how artists and biologists have crossed paths throughout history and influenced their respective bodies of work and research. Since the dawn of human civilization, artists have drawn upon nature for inspiration: beginning with the cave paintings of Lascaux through the art of such masters as Audubon, humans have strived to express the beauty of the natural world and its biodiversity in their art. Students will explore historic links between art and biology and use these links to inspire their own creative projects, such as stenciling using transformed bacterial cultures. Coursework includes:

  • an exploration of biologic evolution through sculpture;
  • fine-art representations of symbiotic relationships; and
  • studies of biodiversity through student painting, drawing, or photography.

This is a studio art class in which the School's biology lab and greenhouse often serve as our studio.

Choral & Instrumental Music

Orchestral Methods

Half-credit elective

This course is intended for all orchestral instrumentalists, from beginning to advanced levels, who wish to participate in the School orchestra.

The course develops and practices techniques specific to the instrumental musician; separate class periods are offered for strings, winds, and percussion sections. The course develops solid technique in students through the practice of scales, sight-reading, and rehearsal of the orchestra repertoire. Open to all forms, this course may be repeated.

Chamber Music

Half-credit Elective

This course allows advanced instrumental musicians to grow musically through deliberate preparation of appropriately challenging repertoire. Students develop their artistry through small ensemble rehearsals and regular performances in student recitals. All students in this course are also members of the orchestra and are required to audition for the Delaware All-State Orchestra and the Delaware Solo and Ensemble Festival (both organized by the Delaware Music Educators Association). Open to all forms, this course may be repeated.

Jazz Improvisations

Half-credit elective

Devoted to the study of jazz improvisation, this course allows students the opportunity to develop informed stylistic practice of their instrument through rehearsal and performance in small jazz combos. Students develop their jazz literacy by reading arranged compositions from a wide array of jazz styles and through careful study of chord/scale relationships in their improvisations. All students in this course are also members of the jazz ensemble. Open to all forms, this course may be repeated.

Music Theory

Half-credit elective

This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of music, including reading notes and rhythm. Students learn to construct melodies and to work with basic harmony. Regular ear-training exercises as well as music history listening assignments prepare students both to compose their own music and to analyze selected repertoire, ranging from the Baroque through the modern eras.

Music Composition

Prerequisite: Music Theory

Half-credit elective

Students study various methods of music composition and work in various styles, including jazz, classical, and rock. This course also introduces students to the School's digital composition studio and allows them to work with multimedia (such as composing music for TV and film). Students complete composition projects using computer programs including Sibelius, Finale, and Logic Pro.

Advanced Study in Music Theory and History

Prerequisite: Music Theory

This full-credit course is open to students who have demonstrated proficiency in the fundamentals of music (the ability to read and perform written music at a strong level; the possession of a working knowledge of all chord and scale types). Regular ear-training and part-writing assignments help students develop as composers; students produce original works on a monthly basis. Score analysis supplements readings as students develop interpretations of important repertoire, ranging from the medieval through the modern eras. Texts: Donald J. Grout and Claude V. Palisca, A History of Western Music; Stefan Kostka and Dorothy Payne, Tonal Harmony.


Half-credit elective

Choir is open to all students regardless of prior vocal experience and focuses on building individual and ensemble singing skills. Students learn basics of healthy singing through performance of a wide range of musical styles, as well as weekly small group or individual voice lessons, plus sight singing and theory practice. Students will performs as a choir at school gatherings, in the School chapel, and at our annual Service of Lessons and Carols. This course also prepares singers who would like to sing in Choral Scholars or Noxontones.

Choral Scholars

Admission is by audition

Half-credit Elective

Our Choral Scholars program challenges students with some previous vocal or choir experience. This course develops the complete choral singer through instruction in vocal development, sight-reading, ear training, music theory, and choral style. The Choral Scholars perform as the School's choral ensemble in the School chapel, at off-campus events, and on tours. Choral Scholars is open to all forms, but students must audition to join the program.


Dance 1

Half-credit Elective

This course builds a basic foundation for the beginning dancer by focusing on the fundamental positions and movements of a variety of dance styles, including ballet, modern and jazz. Students learn proper dance technique while developing physical and artistic awareness. Coursework addresses an overview of dance elements, including:

  • line;
  • form;
  • body placement;
  • movement quality;
  • musicality;
  • muscle control; and
  • artistic expression.

The course is designed to inspire an appreciation for the art of dance, while also preparing students for a more advanced study of dance technique. No previous dance experience is necessary.

Beginning Male Dance: Technique, Conditioning, and Analysis

Half-credit elective

This course is designed to introduce male students to the athleticism and technique of dance. A physically demanding course, it focuses intensely on elements of dance specific to male dancers, including:

  • jumps;
  • turns;
  • tricks;
  • strength-building;
  • flexibility;
  • agility;
  • stamina;
  • isolations, and
  • coordination.

Students divide their time between two major areas of focus: strength training, conditioning, and flexibility; and development of technical abilities in various styles of dance, including ballet, contemporary, and folk dances such as capoira and gopak. Using various technologies, including film, the class analyzes ways of maximizing the efficiency and dynamics of each step. If time allows, students learn basic skills of partnering as well.

Dance 2: Ballet

Half-credit Elective

Building on the foundation of students’ previous ballet experience, this course explores more advanced theories of classical ballet technique. Students increase their ballet vocabulary and perform more complex and advanced ballet combinations as they continue to refine their use of:

  • core control;
  • movement quality;
  • body placement; and
  • aesthetic line.

Increasing strength, agility, coordination, flexibility and stamina is emphasized. The aim of the course is to develop the discipline to combine the physical demands of ballet with artistic freedom of expression.

Dance 2: Contemporary

Half-credit elective

Building on the foundation of students’ previous modern dance experience, this course explores more advanced theories of modern and contemporary dance. Movement and creativity are highlighted with an emphasis on personal expression. Students practice floor exercises and center combinations designed to increase their:

  • core strength;
  • flexibility;
  • use of weight and momentum;
  • body isolation;
  • improvisation; and
  • freedom of movement.

Utilizing these tools, students develop their own personal styles through self-expression, movement and choreography, and ultimately have the opportunity to create their own choreographic piece.

Advanced Study in Dance

Prerequisites: Dance 1 and Dance 2: Ballet or Dance 2: Contemporary

This structure of this course is a working model of the professional dance world; students experience what it means to be a professional artist in the field of dance. Students will continue their training in advanced classical and contemporary technique while discovering other aspects of the profession. Each student will learn how to prepare a dance class from start to finish as well as the skills necessary to teach the class. They will also learn how to compose a piece of choreography and take that piece from conception to the stage. This process will require students to develop a concept, choose music, find dancers, schedule rehearsals, produce sets and props, create costumes, develop a lighting design and rehearse the piece until it is ready for the stage. Students will be doing the work of professional dancers, teachers and choreographers, and will develop a foundational understanding of the inner workings of the dance world.

Photography and Film Studies

Photography 1

Half-credit elective

This course allows students to explore the expressive qualities of black-and-white photography while learning both the fundamentals of image-making with a 35mm manual camera, and the functions of a black-and-white wet darkroom. Students hone their photographic voice in an open critique setting and learn to edit their work by compiling a comprehensive final portfolio. They are introduced to medium-format film and have the opportunity to experiment with a Holga camera. A study of historical and contemporary photography complements practical exercise and work in the darkroom. No prior experience is required, but access to a 35mm camera with manual exposure capability is necessary.

Photography 2

Prerequisite: Photography 1

Half-credit elective

Students in the second-year photography course continue to explore and refine the techniques and aesthetic possibilities of black-and-white photography. A series of assignments helps students to clarify their individual photographic voice, as they conduct research, complete project proposals and work within set parameters, while exploring the possibilities of their ideas. Each project allows students to make important editing, sequencing, format and size decisions. An examination of historical and contemporary photography complements the development of each project and overall personal vision. Students clarify their vision with an artist's statement composed at the completion of each project, and also play an important role in the preparation for student exhibitions.

Advanced Study in Photography

Prerequisite: Photography 1 and Photography 2

This course is an intensive studio art (in this case, photography) class designed for VI Form students interested in investigating advanced methods and concepts central to the visual arts. Students concentrate on hands-on studio work with individual faculty in one of the visual arts disciplines (painting, photography, sculpture, or film), and come together for lectures and discussions of contemporary issues in art, practical demonstrations, such as portfolio development, and critiques. Coordinated, thematic assignments stimulate comparative discussions among visual art disciplines as in an advanced collegiate fine arts seminar.

Film Studies 1

Half-credit elective

Film Studies introduces students to the basic elements of the film medium. Students examine both classic and contemporary films and analyze cinematography, plot, thematic and sound elements. In conjunction with the critical component of the course, students also explore the film production process. Students shoot and edit their own pieces for the class, and, during the latter part of the course, develop and produce individual projects.

Studio Art

Drawing 1

Half-credit elective

Students in this course work with a variety of media to create a visual language for describing natural form. Using charcoal, conte, and pastel, students render still-lifes, landscapes, and portraits with the goal of creating strong representational images.

Painting 1

Half-credit Elective

In Painting 1, students work on on still-lifes, landscapes, and portraits, and in doing so learn how to use color as a means for describing light and form.

Multi-Media Explorations in the Visual Arts

Not offered 2017-18

Prerequisite: Drawing 1 or Painting 1

Half-credit Elective

This studio art course allows students to work in a variety of wet and dry media, including inkwash, watercolor, printmaking, and digital photography. Students experiment with compositional strategies for making original work and create personal images both by combining different media techniques and by launching a working series, for which they will investigate a given subject from various points of view. The class is team-taught by visual arts faculty, in separate and combined sessions.

Ceramics 1

Half-credit elective

This course introduces students to the many techniques of handbuilding and throwing functional clay forms on the pottery wheel. Beginning with the most basic handbuilding methods, students learn to control the form and refine the surface of clay vessels. Working with slabs of clay, they learn about transfer printing of underglazes and also make patterns to create repeatable shapes. Plaster-mixing, mold-making, figurative sculpture and the basics of glaze formulation are also introduced in this class.

Ceramics 2

half-credit Elective

This course encourages students to work more independently on the pottery wheel as well as in other techniques and styles within the clay studio. As they combine thrown and handbuilt techniques on the wheel, students add originality and complexity to their work. Testing and formulating glazes as well as experimenting with clay additives round out students’ experience and skills.

Advanced Study in Studio Art

Prerequisite: two courses in any one visual art medium

This course is an intensive studio class designed for VI Form students interested in investigating advanced methods and concepts central to the visual arts. Students concentrate on hands-on studio work with individual faculty in one of the visual arts disciplines (painting, ceramics, photography, or film), and come together for lectures and discussions of contemporary issues in art, practical demonstrations, such as portfolio development, and critiques. Coordinated, thematic assignments stimulate comparative discussions among visual art disciplines as in an advanced fine arts seminar.


Acting 1

Half-credit elective

This course exposes students to the essential aspects of acting, and emphasizes acting as technique rather than emotion. Students study plays and selected scenes by Ibsen, Chekhov, Shakespeare, and Williams, and other more contemporary playwrights. They explore:

  • expanding vocal techniques;
  • physical alignment;
  • theatrical make-up;
  • stage combat;
  • script analysis; and
  • the First Folio technique of performing Shakespeare.

Time permitting, students attend at least one professional theatrical production during the course.

Acting 2

Prerequisite: Acting 1

Half-credit elective

Essentially a continuation of the Acting 1 class, this course delves deeper into the techniques of acting, focusing on script and character analysis as well as directing and improvisation. Student work is more individual and performance more frequent. By the end of the first semester, students will have three audition-quality monologues ready for performance and possible videotaping for college applications.

Public Speaking

Half-credit Elective

This course focuses on the fundamentals of speaking in public. Coursework seeks to enhance students' ability to use effective and engaging vocal dynamics and strategies, including:

  • emphasis;
  • pace;
  • pitch;
  • tone;
  • volume; and
  • clarity.

Assignments include:

  • experimenting with famous speeches;
  • conducting interviews;
  • preparing persuasive advertising;
  • sonnets;
  • theatrical monologues; and
  • impromptu speaking.

The course also explores techniques for calming and masking the nervous habits often provoked by public performance.

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