ENGLISH: American literature, novels, short stories, essays, autobiographies and poems from the Puritans through the moderns. Authors include Bradstreet, Douglass, Hawthorne, Thoreau, Melville, Twain, Cather, Fitzgerald, Morrison and selected poets.
ALGEBRA II: study of mathematical relations, functions and transformations; specific topics include polynomial and rational functions, trigonometric functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, and the complex number system. The TI-84 graphing calculator is used as a tool for extension, exploration and solution.
ALGEBRA II WITH EXTENDED EXPLORATIONS: in-depth study of mathematical relations, functions and transformations; specific topics include polynomial and rational functions, trigonometric functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, and the complex number system. The TI-84 graphing calculator is used as a tool for extension, exploration and solution.
ALGEBRA II AND PRECALCULUS: an in-depth study of Algebra II and Precalculus; specific topics include polynomial functions, rational functions, trigonometric functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, sequences and series, vectors, parametric equations, polar coordinates and graphs. An introduction to the study of Calculus will include the topics of limits, continuity and derivatives. This course prepares students for Advanced Calculus and may be taken with the permission of the Math Department.
UNITED STATES HISTORY: a chronological survey introducing students to political, economic, social and cultural developments in American history from 1492 to the present, incorporating the study of the US Constitution and federal government, extensive work with primary sources and a focused introduction to historiography. Students travel to Washington, DC, in April to meet with people who work in or with the US government.
CHEMISTRY: an investigation into the nature of matter and chemical change. Specific topics include electron configuration, bonding, gas behavior, the concept of moles, stoichiometry, redox reactions, thermochemistry and acid-base chemistry. Whenever possible, the course explores the chemistry of environmental issues, and the year culminates with an independent research project (open also to XI and XII).
FRENCH III COMPREHENSIVE: for students who began in Class VII, this course emphasizes speaking, reading and writing through the study of increasingly advanced vocabulary and grammar, the examination of French society and culture and the reading of short literary and expository texts.
FRENCH III: the expansion and refinement of speaking, writing and reading skills through the continuing study of grammar and the in-depth analysis and discussion of current events and literary works.
COMPREHENSIVE MANDARIN II: continued development of skills in communication, reading and writing; broader and more intensive vocabulary and syntax; work with facility and fluency in tones for individual characters as well as lexical formations and radicals to aid in memorization of characters. This course may be offered when there is sufficient enrollment.
MANDARIN III: for students who began in Class V, continued study of increasingly advanced syntax and vocabulary, with discussion of a broader range of issues in Chinese society, history and culture.
COMPREHENSIVE SPANISH II: for students who began in Class IX, this intermediate course continues the study of syntax, vocabulary and cultural understanding of the Hispanic world. Emphasis is placed on the study of the past tenses. A variety of media resources are used to enhance the student’s reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.
SPANISH III: strengthening of communication skills and cultural competency in Spanish through the study of literary texts and short films from Latin America and Spain, with emphasis on textual analysis, cultural understanding and analytical writing.
LATIN III: in the fall, readings from either Caesar’s De Bello Gallico or Cicero’s In Catilinam; in the spring, selections from Books I, II, and IV of Vergil’s Aeneid.
DRAMA (half credit; throughout the year): in the first semester, concentration on elements of the actor’s art: motivation, objective, physical realization and script analysis. In the second semester, students consider scenic and costume design, stage management, prop building and stage carpentry as part of the preparation for performance of a full-length play. Post-production, they explore elements of playwriting and directing.
MUSIC: see Class IX.
STUDIO ART (half credit; throughout the year): students work in observational drawing, collage, and printmaking on expressive assignments with one required museum study assignment.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION: see Class IX.
CO-CURRICULAR SOPHOMORE SEMINAR: a yearlong class in health education, service leadership development and public speaking (required of all students in Class X).
COMMUNITY SERVICE: The students on the Upper School Diversity Committee also hold weekly meetings as well as lead discussions on issues such as race, gender and political ideology. Among the student clubs in the Upper School are several groups that offer opportunities for celebrating shared identity and creating cultural programming for the whole community. As some students evidence a particularly strong commitment to supporting Brearley’s ongoing equity efforts, the School commits to sending those in Upper School to the Student Diversity Leadership Conference, hosted annually by the National Association of Independent Schools.
UPPER SCHOOL ART: offerings may include Ceramics, Bookmaking, Drawing at the Met and Photography.
POETRY WORKSHOP: a yearlong course that offers a rigorous apprenticeship to the art of poetry writing. The course is conducted as a workshop, the focus of which is student work. Students learn to write about what they know (e.g., family, grief, place) as a metaphor for the broader human experience. Over the course of the year, they develop their skills in using imagery, figurative language, lineation, repetition, meter, rhyme and syntax. In addition to completing writing assignments, students are expected to read modern poetry and other relevant literature to deepen their understanding of their practice. Not for credit.
ADVANCED SCIENCE RESEARCH SEMINAR: a three-year sequence that includes reading and discussion of peer-reviewed scientific articles with their authors who visit Brearley from various New York City research institutions; cutting-edge laboratory experiments that may include RNA interference, Polymerase Chain Reaction and DNA barcoding; opportunities for research internships and entry in Intel or Siemens competitions. This program accepts 5 new students from Class X each year for a total of 15 enrolled students. Not for credit.