Academics by Grade
Courses in Windows software and an Introduction to Programming form the core of the Grade 10 program. The Windows course introduces students to the world of programming using a visual-oriented method of writing instructions. Students learn how computers perform the tasks given to them by exploring topics such as Visual Basic, object-oriented programming, even-driven Windows programming, user interface protocols and debugging. The goal is to engage students in all of these technologies, enabling the building of complete GUI (Graphical User Interface) based, object-oriented Windows applications using the Visual Basic programming language.See the PK-Grade 12 Educational Technology sequence.
Grade 10 English builds on the skills developed and solidified in Grade 9: close and critical reading of texts, composing sustained written arguments that develop and support a clearly-written thesis, researching and synthesizing a diverse body of materials, and expressing oneself persuasively in oral communication. Students read representative classics and become firmly grounded in textual analysis while also developing a shared cultural frame of reference essential for participation in the intellectual life of an educated community. Texts include such titles as: The Odyssey
, Sophocles’ Antigone
, Shakespeare’s The Tempest
, Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience
, Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
, as well as contemporary novels from different cultures, such as The Farming of Bones
.See the PK-Grade 12 English/Lanuage Arts sequence.
In Grades 10 and 11, students may elect Ballet or Tap or both. The Ballet course is based on the curriculum of the Royal Academy of Ballet at the beginner to intermediate levels. The fundamentals taught in the course will help students define their technique and accelerate their ability to adapt to their dance styles. The Tap course is designed for the novice or intermediate dancer and focuses on rhythmic abilities while learning tap technique. Dance students typically audition for the several performance opportunities available throughout the academic year.
See the PK- Grade 12 Dance sequence.
The major focus in Grade 10 - the final year of the Health program - is teaching important life skills using strategies and techniques to promote good decision-making.
See the PK-Grade 12 Health sequence.
Focus is on the shaping of modern society in Europe, beginning with the Renaissance, but also examining parallel developments in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Students enroll either in World Civilizations II or Advanced Placement European History. Prerequisites and other requirements determine which course is best suited for student preparation and needs. Students who enroll in AP European History are required to sit for the AP exam administered by the College Board. Students enrolled in Civilizations II may also sit for the examination with the proper preparation.
See the PK-Grade 12 History & Social Studies sequence.
Geometry or a combination of Geometry and Trigonometry are the focus of Grade 10. Geometry is a year-long course that employs a deductive approach to student learning and discovery in the development of logical reasoning. The course requires prior mastery of algebraic concepts, including quadratics and radical expressions. Students explore both Euclidean and solid geometries, with a particular emphasis on plane geometry. Topics include introduction to logic and proofs, triangles, special quadrilaterals, polygons, perimeter and area of figures, surface area and volume of solids, shapes, circles, and trigonometry. The advanced course, Geo/Trig, also includes indirect proofs, sequences, pattern recognition, and vectors. Beginning in 2012, advanced students will be able to take a new course which combines Trigonometry with Pre-Calculus.
See the PK-Grade 12 Mathematics sequence.
The Senior School's Music program is performance-based and offers students the opportunity to perform in a variety of groups and ensembles. These include Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, String Ensemble, Chorus, and Chamber Singers. Students are expected to attend rehearsals, maintain a consistent practice schedule, and participate in a number of performances throughout the school year.
See the PK-Grade 12 Music sequence.
Eighty percent of Senior School students play on a Sewickley Academy athletic team, thereby meeting the Physical Education requirement. Teams include mens' and womens' soccer, cross-country, basketball, lacrosse, as well as field hockey, baseball and softball. Students may also take In or After-School Physical Education, which focuses on personal fitness, or Theater Dance.
See the PK-Grade 12 Physical Education sequence.
Students study Chemistry, a survey course that introduces the student to the structure and composition of matter and the processes by which matter undergoes change. Using a combination of laboratory work, class discussion, and problem solving, students learn chemical concepts and how they apply to our world. Topics include atomic structure and the Periodic Table, bonding and shapes of molecules, properties of solutions, chemical equilibrium, rates of reactions, electrochemistry, and acids and bases. An advanced, college-level course is available to students who have demonstrated success and serious interest in science. In addition to the topics noted above, the College in High School Chemistry course (CHS) also covers stoichiometry and thermochemistry.
See the PK-Grade 12 Science sequence.
During Grade 10, Social Science is incorporated into Human Geography and additional history courses.
See the PK-Grade 12 Social Science sequence.
Students may elect Acting II, an intermediate course designed for the serious actor. It focuses on the process of character development using the world of the play and textual analysis. It also intensifies the need for both physical and emotional character development. Students may also elect Public Speaking, a class intended to give a broad introduction to the art of public speaking and on methods of effective delivery to various types of audiences.
See the PK-Grade 12 Theater & Drama sequence.
Grade 10 students may elect Ceramics II: Fundamentals or Ceramics III: Hand Building. Both courses expand the basic knowledge and skills in hand building and wheel-thrown ceramics. Students learn how a kiln is stacked and fired. The course also offers further development in the elements and principles of design, knowledge of artists, and art heritage. In Hand Building, various tools include the clay extruder, plaster molds, heat guns, and sand blaster. Slip/glaze applications include dip, pour, trail, and spray. Glaze firing will include high-fire gas reduction, low-fire electric oxidation, and Raku.
In Grade 10 Drawing/Painting, students move to life drawing, self-portraits, and limited figure work. The painting aspect of the course explores the artistic style of abstract expressionism, which is characterized by emotional intensity, spontaneity, and unique use of color and texture. Students work with water color, acylics, oils/mixed medium on canvas, and/or paper to complete several finished works.
See the PK-Grade 12 Visual Arts sequence.
In Grade 10, all world language classes are conducted in the target language. Students read and write increasingly complex, challenging works from a variety of genres, as well as learn and practice grammatical and syntactical structures. Grammar is continuously reviewed to strengthen language skills.
See the PK-Grade 12 World Languages sequence.