The tenth grade courses offer students a myriad of choices. Moreover, the curriculum is complemented by various spiritual opportunities, which foster a Christian environment that is unique to St. Paul’s Episcopal School. Sophomores are supported by a 9th and 10th grade counselor and given a wide variety of co-curricular opportunities, which build a strong connection to fellow students and the St. Paul’s family.
The tenth grade curriculum is highlighted by a variety of academic pursuits, which taken together fulfill the school’s mission to educate the whole child. The course descriptions below reveal that the course-load expands and challenges students beyond that of the freshman year. By the end of the tenth grade year, students are prepared to take the next steps towards college admissions.
This course, a survey of world literature, emphasizes critical reading, the mechanics and correct usage involved in effective expository writing, and organization of ideas. Major works include The Merchant of Venice, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Count of Monte Cristo, Kafka’s novelette The Metamorphosis, The Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Inferno. The basic elements of research writing are introduced, especially the organizational component. Vocabulary is taught using in context through assigned readings. Evaluations are based on test results, quiz grades, essays, projects, homework, journal entries, and the research paper.
This course is designed for sophomores who would likely benefit from additional writing instruction and practice beyond the requirements of their grade level English class. The course provides additional support for writing projects across the curriculum, especially in the required English and history classes. At ninth grade this course supports specifically the Heroes, Mythology and Poetry projects, among others. At tenth grade this course supports those assignments mutually agreed upon by the affected teachers. No additional homework is placed on the student as a result of enrollment in this course. Composition is available on a 1-year basis only. Selection is primarily by teacher recommendation, with consideration given for test scores and grades. Parents and students should indicate their desire to take or not take this course by signing the recommendation letter.
Students in this class are responsible for publishing the school newspaper and maintaining the Epistle website. Emphasis is on writing skills, editing, layout, web site design, and photojournalism.
The speech course is designed to enhance students’ overall communication skills; specifically, speech delivery, critical thinking, writing, organizing and outlining. Outlines and speeches carry equal weight in evaluation. In addition to speechmaking, students will also study nonverbal communication, interview skills and debate. Speech students will discuss current events regularly. Speech is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors.
WORLD HISTORY II: THE MODERN WORLD
This tenth grade level course is a survey of world history from 1500 to the present. Coverage will include both western and non-western cultures. Geography and current events will be year-long areas of focus. Special emphasis will be given to writing both standard essays and document-based questions. Skills developed in World History I will be refined and expanded. Evaluations will include unit tests, quizzes, homework and a variety of in-class activities and out-of-class assignments.
AP EUROPEAN HISTORY
Advanced Placement European History provides a study of political, diplomatic, social, economic, and cultural history of Europe from the Renaissance to the present. The demands of the class are equivalent to those made by an introductory college course. This survey course utilizes a college level textbook and primary source outside readings. Emphasis is on the development of analytical thinking, reading comprehension, organizational techniques, note taking and essay writing. Particular emphasis is given to the DBQ (document-based question). Evaluation is based on unit tests, chapter quizzes, homework, and a variety of in-class and out-of-class assignments. The second semester grade will be an average of second and third quarter and no St. Paul's second semester exam will be given for the course. All students enrolled in the Advanced Placement courses will be required to take the Advanced Placement exam, for which there is an additional fee.
Algebra I is the prerequisite. This course is designed to enable students to learn to reason inductively in a mathematical system, through formal proof. In addition, students practice problem-solving skills by applying algebra to plane and solid geometry concepts. The basic topics are definitions, theorems, postulates, congruence, similarity, measurement, coordinate geometry, transformations, constructions, trigonometry and space. Graphing calculators with Cabri geometry software and computer software Geometer Sketchpad can be used to enhance visualization. Cooperative learning groups, special class projects, and SAT/ACT preparation are periodically used. Students are evaluated on quizzes, tests, homework completion and group work.
This traditional second-year algebra course connects algebra principles to other areas of mathematics as well as to real-life applications. It begins with a review and extension of topics from Algebra I. Emphasis is on simplifying various types of algebraic expressions as well as equation solving and application with word problems. Additional topics include algebraic proofs, linear equations, determinants, complex numbers, logarithms, solving quadratic systems, operations with radicals, solving polynomial functions, rational equations, and statistics. Students are evaluated on tests, quizzes, and homework completion.
HONORS ALGEBRA II/TRIGONOMETRY
This is an accelerated version of the Algebra II course and is open to selected students. This second-year algebra course strives to connect algebra principles to other areas of mathematics as well as to real-life applications. In addition to the areas of study addressed in Algebra II, this course content includes analytical geometry, logarithms, circular and trigonometric functions and their identities, matrices. All topics emphasize both theory and application. Students are evaluated on quizzes, tests and homework completion.
Chemistry is a survey course with emphasis on measurement, problem solving, energy concepts, atomic structure, periodic trends, chemical bonding, chemical reactions, the gas laws, and solution chemistry. Numerous labs are performed to illustrate the lecture material.
Honors Chemistry is an advanced survey course in chemistry. The course emphasis includes: measurement, problem solving, energy concepts, atomic structure, periodic trends, chemical bonding and reactions, gas laws, solution chemistry, basic organic chemistry, acid based chemistry, basics of rate laws, and basics of equilibrium. Numerous labs are performed to illustrate the lecture material. Students must be pre-approved to take this course.
This course introduces the student to the concept of studying a foreign language and to basic Spanish grammar. Vocabulary drawn from everyday life is enhanced through idiomatic study in an effort to highlight cultural differences. All four communicative skills—listening, speaking, reading, and writing—receive equal attention. In addition to traditional methods and resources which are used by the teacher, Rosetta Stone gives students an invaluable tool to strengthen those fundamental communication skills.
This course continues the examination of the structure of the language begun in Spanish I. Emphasis is placed on the mastery of grammatical patterns, while continuing the emphasis on oral communication and cultural enrichment. In addition to traditional methods and resources which are used by the teacher, Rosetta Stone gives students an invaluable tool to strengthen those fundamental communication skills.
This course equips students with basic tools for second language acquisition. Daily practice in the primary skills of communication--listening, speaking, reading, and writing--fosters understanding of French vocabulary, grammar, and syntax. Cultural activities highlight the similarities and differences between French and American life. In addition to traditional methods and resources which are used by the teacher, Rosetta Stone gives students an invaluable tool to strengthen those fundamental communication skills. Chapter tests assess listening, reading and writing skills.
This course strengthens and expands communication skills introduced in French I. Increased emphasis is placed on oral proficiency and reading comprehension at the intermediate level. Cultural topics feature important aspects of daily life in France and in other French-speaking countries. In addition to traditional methods and resources which are used by the teacher, Rosetta Stone gives students an invaluable tool to strengthen those fundamental communication skills. Chapter tests assess listening, reading and writing skills.
Fine and Performing Arts
This studio course introduces students to the elements and principles of design through experimental work with a variety of media. Drawing skills are emphasized during first quarter, followed by painting, 2D design, relief and stencil printmaking processes and 3D design activities. A broad overview of Art Movements and artists from the Egyptians through the 20th century artists is incorporated into the studio portion of the course. Class critiques at the end of each project reinforce the objectives and allow the students to learn from one another and become articulate when discussing art. Teacher evaluation, based on individual abilities and skill levels, is integral to the course. Teacher approval required to continue to Art II or Photography I or II.
This art elective affords students the opportunity to continue the study of two-dimensional concepts while exploring three-dimensional design. Project inspiration is often gathered from Modern and Post-Modern artists, their styles, media, and various themes / concepts. Students study the artists from a historical as well as a technical perspective involving a variety of mediums. Specific media explored include: painting, printmaking, collage, found objects, mosaics, wire, wood, and cut paper. 3-D sculptural construction and presentation expand the students’ experience with new concepts and materials while preparing students for AP Art. Elements and principles of design, composition, subject matter, color, space and form are addressed as students search for personal forms of expression. Class critiques and discussions are an integral part of the course. Art I is a prerequisite and teacher approval is required.
The photography program enables students to study photography as an art form. The Photography I course introduces basic digital photography with an emphasis on controlling the photographic variables. Specific areas of study include: proper use and control of a digital SLR camera, mastery of basic shooting, elements and principles of design, composition and the life and work of selected photographers. All classes carry a $175.00 (camera lease from the school) or $75.00 (if DSLR is already owned) fee per semester to cover camera lease (optional), printer paper, ink and mat board.
Women’s Chorus gives students an opportunity to participate in a performing group that concentrates on individual and group choral enrichment. The group participates in required outside performance activities with the St. Paul’s Singers and separately. Because this class is performance based, with no homework, participation at performances is mandatory. Evaluation is based on participation in class and attendance at required performances.
Men’s Chorus gives students an opportunity to participate in a performing group that concentrates on individual and group choral enrichment. The group participates in required outside performance activities with the St. Paul’s Singers and separately. Because this class is performance based, with no homework, participation at performances is mandatory. Evaluation is based on participation in class and attendance at required performances.
Chorale gives qualified students the opportunity to participate in a performing group that concentrates on individual and group choral enrichment. The group participates in required outside performance activities with the St. Paul’s Singers and separately. Because this class is performance based, with no homework, participation at performances is mandatory. Evaluation is based on participation in class and attendance at required performances. Students must qualify by audition.
Show Choir gives qualified students an opportunity to participate in a class that combines the toughest demands of athletics, including team spirit, with the finest forms of contemporary vocal music and closely choreographed dance routines. The group participates in required outside performance activities with the St. Paul's Singers and separately. Because this class is performance based, with no homework, participation at performances is mandatory. Evaluation is based on participation in class and attendance at required performances. Students must qualify by both vocal and dance audition.
Chamber Singers gives advanced chorus students opportunities to participate in a performing group that concentrates on individual and group choral enrichment in a small ensemble setting. The group participates in required outside performance activities with the St. Paul's Singers and separately. Because this class is performance based, with no homework, participation at performances is mandatory. Evaluation is based on participation in class and attendance at required performances. Students must qualify by audition.
Students in this course learn the use of a variety of equipment (flags, hoops, props, etc.) along with dance styles including lyrical, jazz, military, and modern to interpret musical selections. The Visual Ensemble performs during halftime at football games, pep rallies, and parades. Performances and extracurricular practices are scheduled throughout the year as required by the band director. The Visual Ensemble meets daily during the first semester to develop and improve all aspects of the field show. Students attend evening rehearsals in the summer (July) and a Band Camp during August to learn the music and field performance for the upcoming season. Students will receive .5 elective credits for the class (first semester, only) and may pair it with another class for the second semester.
Advanced Strings (The Chamber Strings) refines the higher points of orchestral ensemble playing through the study of music history, theory, and pedagogy. Students are required to attend numerous performances outside of the school day, as well as all church and school performances. Advanced Strings prepares students to compete at a collegiate level. Students are expected to maintain performance skills and demonstrate behavior required to participate in the Chamber Strings. Advanced Strings is a full year course. Students must qualify by audition.
THEATER: PERFORMANCE AND PRODUCTION
This course provides an avenue of creative expression, growth in self-confidence, an outlet for creative energy, and makes students a more discerning audience. Using Theatre: Art in Action as a text, the course will focus on acting, production and technical theater. This elective will benefit the students taking any college course in the arts, public speaking, humanities, and/or survey of literature.
The Advanced Band performs at Winter and Spring Concerts, District and State Level concert competitions and numerous special performances. Students meet daily after marching season to prepare literature to be performed for the upcoming concerts. Time is taken during these rehearsals to advance each student’s ability level. Students individually compete for the Alabama All-State Band, Solo and Ensemble Festival, and various other honor bands
throughout the Southeast.
Physical Education: Weight Room
In the upper school, the focus is on health-enhancing physical activity, with emphasis on learning how and why to live healthy for a lifetime. Students learn how to make physical activity a part of their everyday lives beyond high school, with such activities as aerobics, body toning and recreational games. Cardiovascular efficiency, muscular endurance, flexibility, and muscular strength are emphasized at this level. Upper school weight room classes are available to students in the ninth through twelfth grades. Due to limited space, the coaching staff selects all participants. The classes are segregated by sex and are taught by members of the coaching staff. Weight, speed, and power training are taught to the inexperienced and experienced athlete. Programs specific to each sport, whether in-season or out-of-season, are developed by each coach and administered by the weight room teachers. Progress is measured up to three times a year in the strength, speed, and power categories.
Alternative Instruction Program
DIRECTED STUDY 10
Directed Study is part of the Alternative Instruction Program which is designed to provide students with environments which meet the full spectrum of student learning styles. Therefore, Directed Study is a guided study period that offers one on one study support for students. This study support may also be provided in a group instruction process as in a mini lesson or note taking or listening skills or other study techniques. Directed study teachers provide monitoring and shaping of independent learning behaviors and give feedback to students and parents.