In most cases, Third Formers take courses listed as a level I and Fourth Formers take courses listed as a level II. Fifth and Sixth Form courses are based on level of preparation, interest and personal academic needs. In most cases courses can be taken be either Fifth or Sixth Form students.
Students will spend the fall and early winter on drawing assignments. Working mostly with graphite, marker and charcoal they will have the opportunity to grasp a basic understanding of beginner drawing terms and concepts such as contour drawing, negative space, value and tone. Subsequently, they will work with watercolors, acrylic paints and mixed media in order to grasp a basic understanding of the art world and the art-making process. Students will explore projects that are designed to develop artistic ability, provide art awareness, understand aesthetics, and instill appreciation for both art history and art making. Throughout the year, projects are focused on the elements of art media and may include colored pencil, pastel, scratch board and oil bar.
Prerequisite: Drawing & Painting I
* Students may also submit portfolio work showing advanced skills.
Students will further their ability and understanding of 2-D art. In the fall and early winter students will complete a variety of drawing projects. They will develop a strong sense of design through decision-making and problem-solving projects that may include media such as graphite, charcoal and acrylic paint. The winter and spring terms will be devoted to developing painting skills and techniques using acrylic and watercolor paints, pastel, oil bars and scratch board. Students will also be assigned an art history project focused on one artist of their choosing. They will offer a power point presentation on their artist's work and will develop their own painting in the style of that artist. The subjects considered and studied for this course are still life, landscape and abstraction.
English 1 reflects the goals and topics of the form's theme – A Sense of Place: Community and Belonging. The focus is on the development of reading skills, comprehension, studying vocabulary in context, improving grammar skills and developing sentence and paragraph writing techniques. Third Form students learn methods for analyzing readings and identifying literary devices such as setting and figures of speech. Students develop and look for connections between texts in the core program. Students also start developing their individual writing styles through memoirs, persuasive speeches, creative writing prompts and analytical assignments. Students will use a variety of texts, short stories and poetry throughout their literary exploration.
The overall goal of fourth form English is to improve students' verbal and written self-expression, comprehension of written material (and other media), and appreciation for the interconnectedness of all creative works. The class draws on a wide range of classic and contemporary source material: poems, short stories, essays, novels, non-fiction, songs and films. Reading and writing assignments follow the theme of the Hero's Journey and the tests and challenges that must be faced as part of a hero’s journey.. While the development of fundamental reading and writing skills continues as a central focus, each student will be challenged to set personal goals throughout the year. In coordination with his history and technology courses, he will develop hands-on creative projects related to the student’s interest, the material being studied, and the overall theme.
This course is a companion to the US History course and primarily explores American literature. The themes of independence and self-expression in the context of the relationship between the individual and society are examined using both classic and contemporary texts. Students will examine the process of defining and testing their own convictions by exploring the themes in literature and finding connections to their own lives. They will also study how characters assert their voices and convictions, and then apply what they've learned from the reading in the hope of accomplishing academic and personal goals while becoming stronger and more courageous individuals and community members.
The course will integrate elements of a challenge-based learning curriculum throughout the year: focusing on the "big ideas" of individuality, the common good, self-expression, achieving greatness, and courage to overcome adversity. An advanced section of English 3 with somewhat higher demands for reading, writing and discussion is offered to motivated students of demonstrated ability.
Throughout the year, students will also be preparing for the SAT and ACT tests, and for the college application process.
English 4 places a strong emphasis on active reading, careful writing and revision, and thoughtful student-centered discussion. The course is built around literary works – fiction, nonfiction and poetry – representing a variety of cultures and voices. Students are challenged to apply the ideas presented in the texts to their own evolving values and beliefs, recognizing connections between the works and real life experiences. Their goal is to become articulate and persuasive in making assertions and responding to others.
This course is geared toward successful results on the AP Exam for English Language and Composition. The syllabus follows the College Board requirements and extra reading is included to enhance the readiness of the students for college-level English in a seminar style class. Over the course of the year students read a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction to become familiar with and practiced in an abundance of literary styles. The stories and essays of authors such as James Joyce, Annie Dillard, Michael Chabon, John McPhee and Richard Selzer receive particular attention. If relevant, students will read a play in advance of a class trip to a live performance in Hartford or New Haven.
Analytical and Creative Writing is designed to improve a student's writing skills. Students develop an interest in writing and strengthen the skills needed in college composition through careful practice of all phases of the writing process. A strong emphasis is placed on writing with clarity and original detail, as well as on improving one's work through proofreading and writing multiple drafts. A weekly blog is produced, as well as a short story during the Winter Term and multiple opinion articles in the Spring Term. Each student also completes his college essay in the first half of the Fall Term.
English as a Second Language, a course directed at international students, is offered at three levels: ESL II, III and IV. Students take a placement test at the beginning of each year, and based on the results of the test along with their former placement and their academic schedule, South Kent places them in the most appropriate section. Every level has a focus on developing communication skills: pronunciation and spoken English, reading, writing, vocabulary and grammar. A primary goal in this course is also to introduce American culture in a tangible way. Students will stay in ESL until benchmarks are reached that support their readiness to compete in college using English as the language of instruction. A minimum score of 450 on the Critical Reading and Writing section of the SAT or a score of 90 on the TOEFL iBT will qualify a student to "graduate" from the ESL program.
ESL II is designed to make sure the students are completely comfortable in their English studies at South Kent School. More advanced grammar and reading comprehension skills are taught and practiced, and vocabulary and idiom study continues. Second level writing instruction progresses to more sophisticated paragraphs and multi-paragraph essays. The boys also practice public speaking in their classroom, both extemporaneously and with short prepared speeches. Students practice test-taking skills with middle-school level materials. Taking notes on live lectures and videos further develops students' listening skills.
ESL III begins to prepare students for college level work with high school level grammar instruction, vocabulary and grade-appropriate reading assignments. Students practice writing different types of five-paragraph essays. TOEFL preparation is a strong focus, including delivering longer speeches in preparation for the TOEFL speaking sections and careful listening to lectures and conversations. During the spring term, students practice taking sections of model TOEFL tests.
ESL IV works to prepare students for an easy transition into college level work by further developing the more sophisticated reading, writing and vocabulary skills required at the senior high school level. Writing assignments include longer reports, creative writing and speeches for various public occasions. Listening and note-taking continue to be important components of ESL IV, with exposure to a variety of lectures, conversation occasions, and audio-visual materials followed by tests on content. TOEFL preparation is a strong focus throughout the year.
History / Social Sciences Department
Using a cultural model approach, Third Form World History provides the boys with a framework in which to begin navigating their own sense of belonging and place in the community, both on campus and in the world at large. The course will focus on students becoming proficient in a series of specific history skills related to reading, research, writing and presentation while we explore the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome and up to early medieval Europe. Our study of each civilization will be based on the themes of government, religion, economics, education and family; students will frequently be asked to draw parallels between ancient times and their own world. Appropriate use of technology will be a key component in developing and honing research, communication, and organizational skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century. Assessment will be a combination of traditional examinations and project-based activities requiring critical and analytical skills in writing and creating.
History II builds upon the skills developed in History I. Students are taught to apply the cultural model approach to world history from the Middle Ages through the Second World War. In keeping with the overall theme of the Fourth Form, The Quest: Coming of Age, students are encouraged to inquire into the meaning and nature of the hero in different cultures throughout history. At the conclusion of History II, students should be familiar with the major historical and cultural movements of this time. Additionally, students should be able to answer the following questions: Why do cultures need heroes? What are the stages of a hero's journey? What is the impact of cultural institutions on the individual and society? How do forces change these institutions?
History IV is designed to help each boy develop exemplary communication skills that will prepare him for college and life. Students will expand their skills to critically think, read and write in a highly competitive and changing world. The course will be focused on the following areas of study: political legitimacy, globalism, populism, and intercultural connections.
United States History is the foundation for the fifth-form core classes. Students will follow the American Experience from pre-colonial Native American Civilizations through the present while connecting it all using the analytical tool of G.R.E.E.F. Government, Religion, Education, Economy and Family are societal attributes that the students will analyze in order to better understand how American society changed and the impact change can have during different time periods of American history. The themes, events and people discussed in United States History are further explored from an American literature perspective in English III while connections to the present are explored in Current Political Issues. The result is a truly holistic approach to American Studies with the students ending the year with a clear understanding of America’s past and present.
American Government & Politics
The study of microeconomics requires students to understand that, in any economy, the existence of limited resources along with unlimited wants results in the need to make choices. An effective AP course, therefore, begins by introducing the concepts of opportunity costs and trade-offs, and illustrates these concepts by using the production possibilities curve or other analytical examples. The course can then proceed to a consideration of how different types of economies determine which goods and services to produce, how to produce them, and to whom to distribute them. It is also important that students understand why and how specialization and exchange increase the total output of goods and services. Students need to be able to differentiate between absolute and comparative advantage, to identify comparative advantage from differences in output levels and opportunity costs, and to determine the basis under which mutually advantageous trade can take place between countries. Specific examples from actual economic situations can be used to illustrate and reinforce the principles involved. The importance of property rights, the role of incentives in the functioning of free markets, and the principle of marginal analysis should be highlighted.
Syracuse University Project Advance EEE 370 will introduce you to the exciting development of entrepreneurship around the globe. The creation of new ventures continues to grow, providing dramatically different career paths to the entrepreneur. In this course you will discover why this is happening, who the entrepreneur is, and how new venture creation can be viewed as a process. You will examine entrepreneurship in different settings, including new business ventures, mature corporations, and social agencies. You will be exposed to a wide range of disciplines, including marketing, sociology, finance, operations, and accounting. You will learn both the theory and the practice of entrepreneurship.
World Languages Department
The objective of this course is to introduce students to Spanish culture and language by reading, writing, speaking and listening to Spanish. Students will learn to understand and respond to simple questions, commands and sentences as well as read and comprehend simple texts. The course covers basic grammar and introduces cultural material related to the Spanish-speaking world.
This course emphasizes the spoken word, more use of the present tense of regular and irregular verbs, and some practice of the preterit and imperfect tenses. Dialogues and discussions will help improve general comprehension and communication skills. The class continues to emphasize cultural awareness.
This course is designed for the intermediate student. It is a transition course between the elementary levels of Spanish I and II and the more advanced levels of Spanish 4 and AP Spanish. Handouts from the text Enfoques supplement the student's iPad textbook. Topics covered are the preterite and imperfect tenses, the future and conditional tenses, the present perfect and pluperfect tenses and the present subjunctive tense. Non-verbal topics include interrogative words and direct and indirect object pronouns and their placement in relation to the verb. A variety of short readings increase the student's vocabulary. Once a week, students log into their account and use the Rosetta Stone program to continue their sequential mastery of written and spoken Spanish.
This course continues the work of Spanish III by reviewing the material presented in that course and introducing new material such as expanding the uses of the present subjunctive to include indefinite antecedents and conjunctions, double object pronouns and their position in relation to the verb, the imperfect subjunctive and its uses in both past time and in conditional sentences. Selections from Enfoques supplement the student's iPad textbook. Once a week, students log into their account and use the Rosetta Stone program to continue their sequential mastery of written and spoken Spanish.
This course prepares the student to be successful on the Advanced Placement Spanish Language Exam. Since all four language skills (modalities) are measured on the exam, the course has specific objectives for each one: listening comprehension–students should be able to understand conversations, narratives and interviews given in Spanish; reading comprehension–students should be able to read material encountered in everyday situations, from newspapers to recipes and instructions; writing–students are expected to have mastered sufficient vocabulary and display a control of grammatical structures in order to express themselves clearly in formal and informal essays of varying lengths; and speaking–students will practice formal and informal presentations. Because oral expression is of the greatest importance, Spanish will be spoken in class on almost all occasions. The course will be the equivalent of a third year college course in Spanish.
South Kent School’s goal is to provide students with an applications-oriented, investigative mathematics curriculum. Students learn to use appropriate strategies and tools including technology to solve problems, to communicate and reason mathematically, and to enhance their understanding of mathematics and real-world issues. The use of a graphing calculator application on the iPad is an essential part of each course.
Algebra I serves as a formal introduction to the language and techniques of algebra. Students explore variables and word problems, solving equations and inequalities, and modeling linear functions. Additional work includes exponential functions, radical expressions, polynomials, and factoring. Emphasis is placed on achieving a high level of proficiency, attacking word problems, and analyzing real data sets. Prerequisite: Pre-Algebra
Roughly 2400 years ago, Euclid of Alexandria wrote Elements which served as the world's geometry textbook until only recently. Studied by Abraham Lincoln in order to sharpen his mind and truly appreciate mathematical deduction, it is still the basis of what we consider a first year course in geometry. Topics include measuring angles, line segments, perimeters, areas, and volumes using real-world applications. Deductive reasoning in the form of proofs is also introduced. Students use iPad applications, especially a school-wide graphing calculator app, to investigate and establish geometric properties and to learn geometric concepts. Prerequisite: Algebra I
Algebra II expands on Algebra I concepts and introduces more advanced techniques. New topics include functions and functional notation, quadratic functions, logarithmic functions, rational functions, and statistics. Emphasis is placed on understanding and solving equations using tables, graphs, and formulas. Students explore functions using the iPad and a school-wide iPad app. Prerequisite: Algebra I
FTS takes hands on approach to Algebra II and Precalculus concepts for those students who need more experience with analysis and algebra prior to Precalculus. There is heavy emphasis on modeling and evaluating statistics. In the first part of the course, case studies are used to model functions including linear, quadratic and exponential. The second segment of the course utilizes measurement and navigation tasks to teach trigonometry, the unit circle, and wave motion. In the third portion, fundamental statistics are used to analyze student crafted data sets in group projects. This course leads to Precalculus for underclassmen. Prerequisites: Geometry and Algebra II.
Introduction to Finance introduces the fundamental principles of financial planning, and elaborates on many financial instruments which will be used by students throughout their lives. Taxes, loans, insurance, investments and retirement planning are all covered and practiced in projects and assignments throughout the year. Managing your personal finances is not a skill you are born with, but it can be learned to better evaluate, plan, and implement personal financial goals. Prerequisite: Functions, Trigonometry and Statistics (FTS) or Precalculus.
Precalculus serves as a foundation for calculus by providing the tools of functional analysis and the opportunity to model applications and make predictions. Emphasis is placed on proficiency in describing functions numerically, graphically, and algebraically with and without the aid of technology. A basic library of functions is studied in depth. A keystone of the course is trigonometry. The iPad graphing calculator app is used intensively. Prerequisite: Geometry, Algebra II, and Department recommendation.
This course serves as a grounding in the basics of calculus in preparation for a college calculus course. It begins with an intensive review of functions and trigonometry and their applications to develop numerical, graphical, and analytical techniques of problem solving. The concepts of limits, derivatives, and integrals are introduced with an emphasis on applications and practical problem solving. Prerequisite: Precalculus
Syracuse University MAT 221-222 is a two-course sequence in college statistics. The first-semester course provides students with knowledge of elementary probability and statistics. Students will learn basic concepts of descriptive statistics, data collection, probability, and random variables. These concepts prepare students for the second-semester course, which develops a working understanding of the use of a variety of inferential techniques. The sequence culminates in a data analysis project, in which students develop and solve a statistical problem using the methods learned in the course. An iPad with statistical apps is required for the course. Prerequisites: This course is open to seniors who have completed or are currently taking Introduction to Calculus. Department recommendation is also required.
MAT 295 is the first course of a three-semester course in Calculus offered by the Department of Mathematics at Syracuse University. This sequence is designed for science and engineering majors, and for students in other disciplines who intend to take upper level mathematics courses. MAT 295 covers concepts of functions, limits, differentiation, integration, and includes applications of these concepts such as graph sketching, optimization, linearization, and the computation of areas, volumes, and arc lengths. No calculators are used in this course. Prerequisite: Introduction to Calculus. Juniors or Seniors who have completed Precalculus with a 95 average and have the department’s recommendation are also eligible.
This course is designed to incorporate choral singing as an integral part of the weekly Monday service. It is meant to help draw the congregation together through music as one united voice for the purpose of worship. Students rehearse once a week to learn songs appropriate for the Liturgical season. No prior choral experience is necessary to be part of this vocal group, which is organized in the spirit of serving the South Kent School community.
Private instructions in a variety of instrumental lessons may be arranged for an additional fee. These will be provided on campus by instructors.
Designed primarily for Third Formers, this course will introduce students to the fundamentals of geology, chemistry and simple physics through hands-on, challenge-based projects.
Biology is the study of life. The diverse forms of life found on earth provide biologists with an amazing array of organisms to study. Life can be viewed from many perspectives. What is the composition of living things? How is life organized? How did living organisms originate? Can we save endangered species? This course is designed to help students learn about the biological sciences and to look for answers to some of the world's most enduring mysteries. Students have the opportunity to sharpen their abilities to make observations, formulate hypotheses, record information, analyze data and draw conclusions. Topics covered, and the problem-solving skills that are developed, are connected to real-world applications. Throughout the year, the theme of environmental sustainability is stressed. Our digital text focuses on the following crucial areas: experimentation and the process of science, modern content, evolutionary perspective, emphasis on visuals, accuracy and consistency, critical thinking, and media–active learning with technology. Completion of this course will prepare students to move on to study Chemistry, Physics, Physiology and the environmental electives.
Anatomy and Physiology explores the wonders of the human body, its structures and their functions. We examine gross and microscopic anatomy, and also delve into complex, wide-ranging topics of physiology. This course is designed to be informative to all students but, in particular, to challenge students desiring a future in the field of healthcare. Anatomy and Physiology will discuss broad topics relating to the human body and also become very specific as we navigate through the specific organ systems. A strong focus on overall health and well-being guides the course as students gain important skills on how to optimize their performance in all areas of life.
Chemistry I is a lab-based general study of the structure and interaction of matter and energy. The course is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of basic chemical principles of the quantum mechanical model, the periodic table, and, principally, the conservation laws. Students are introduced to Excel Spreadsheets to process and analyze quantitative data, but they primarily do graphical analysis using the iPad Numbers application. Students are encouraged to purchase the TI 84 Silver Edition calculator, which contains special programs, such as linear and quadratic regressions, and the periodic table, that support solving problems involving gases and the gas laws. Labs in Chemistry I are hands-on, observation-based labs exploring the properties of elements and compounds, or stoichiometric mole-mass reaction calculations. This class includes a mandatory lab session one evening a week through the fall and spring terms.
The intention of this course is to provide an introduction to understanding on a deeper level the role of chemistry in the modern world. This is accomplished by providing a rational basis for interpreting and predicting chemical phenomena through examples of chemical behaviors observed in nature. This course is intended for for students with an interest and background in science. The successful completion (B+ or better) of a prior high school chemistry course and the permission of the instructor is required. A general mathematical understanding of Algebra I and II, including but not limited to; decimals, exponents, logarithms, quadratics, and all types of equations is essential to success in this course. Calculus however, is not required. Topics included are atomic structure, electronic structure and chemical bonding, descriptive solution chemistry, and introductions to biochemistry, biopolymer chemistry, nuclear chemistry, and many others.
Ecology is the study of how organisms interact with each other and with the non-living parts of their environment. At South Kent, ecology students learn about the origin and diversity of life, animal behavior, population growth and decline, and the structure and function of ecological communities. Ecology is an active course that rewards curiosity and requires a substantial amount of independent work. Students venture outside the classroom to study fields, forests and aquatic environments. They study living and preserved specimens, collect and evaluate data, and prepare formal scientific reports. A digital textbook serves as the primary reference for the course.
Advanced Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary lab science course focusing on how humans interact with their surroundings and how science can be used to solve environmental problems. The course integrates ecology, meteorology, geology, chemistry, biology and other scientific disciplines. Environmental sustainability and stewardship are the underlying themes. Students practice the scientific method, learning how to pose scientific questions, make predictions, collect and evaluate data, carry out experiments and prepare formal scientific reports. Students also examine how South Kent School's operations affect the environment, and they explore ways to promote conservation and innovation on campus. Although this course is not designed as an AP class, successful students who are willing to complete a moderate amount of independent work may opt to take the Advanced Placement Environmental Science exam. A digital textbook serves as the primary reference for the course.
This course is a mathematically advanced treatment of the fundamental principles of physics that developed from the time of Galileo through the first half of the nineteenth century. The course begins with classical mechanics, which includes kinematics, Newtonian dynamics, energetics, and an assortment of conservation laws. Rotational motion and the conditions for static equilibrium are studied. Gravity and electrostatics provide the first examples of fundamental forces and their associated fields. Various examples of simple harmonic motion and wave phenomena are explored. Successful completion of Pre-calculus is required before enrolling in this class.
This physics course begins with an introduction to fluid dynamics and the kinetic theory of gases. Then we consider the two major achievements of nineteenth century physics: thermodynamics and electromagnetism. Applications will include the analysis of electric circuits and optical systems. Einstein's theory of relativity brings our tour of modern physics into the twentieth century, where we also examine the quantum revolution and its continuing repercussions. Successful completion of Advanced Physics I is required before enrolling in this class.
Engineering & Applied Technology
This course is offered to all students interested in engineering or the fields of robotics and automation. During the fall and winter, students will be challenged to design, program and build a robot that will compete in the US FIRST Technology Competition using a Tetrix robot designed with SolidWorks and programmed in RobotC. The robot will run in both tele-operated and autonomous modes. Emphasis will be placed on the design process and the development of 21st century skills; teamwork, problem solving, ideation, project management and communications. During the spring, the students will compete in regional events with the robot they have built and programmed with the goal of qualifying for national and international competitions.