Course of Study
- NEW IN 2016-2017
- History and Social Sciences
- Performing Arts
- Physical Education
- Visual Arts
- World Languages
- Additional Programs
Whether in reading, writing, or speaking, the ability to use language artfully and interpret it critically enhances our understanding of self, others, and the world in which we live. The English Department’s goal is to develop these skills through the study of literature. Many different teaching styles are employed, but every English class seeks to have high levels of student participation in student-centered discussions. We seek to challenge the students as writers by asking them to write in a variety of genres and styles, but give special emphasis—particularly in the upper grade levels—to the formal academic essay. We also believe that students’ critical skills are best developed by encountering challenging reading in a variety of genres and styles and from a variety of historical periods and cultures. In the midst of this diversity, however, the larger focus of instruction is consistent at every grade level—to strengthen the skills with which young women express themselves and to enhance their ability to analyze the world around them.
The study of history and human societies is intrinsically fascinating and our classes capture that excitement. The Department’s courses foster rigorous thought about continuity and change over time and interactions among societies. They also teach students to think about history by analyzing geography, politics, economics, demography, social and cultural systems, as well as arts and ideas.
Our Middle School courses introduce ancient societies and modern world cultures in ways that breathe life into both old and recent history for students. Students begin honing their skills as readers, writers, and analysts, and build a base for more advanced Upper School study of American, European, and World history. In addition, the Department offers courses in non-historical social sciences, especially in our elective offerings.
Understanding the present and grappling with the future demands a comprehension of the past. History’s tales of human aspirations, strivings, accomplishments, and failings help our students become knowledgeable, engaged, effective citizens of their country and of the increasingly global society in which they live.
UNITED STATES HISTORY REQUIREMENT:
Students must satisfy the United States History requirement in Grade 10 by taking one of the two following year-long survey courses or by enrolling in the interdepartmental American Studies program.
MODERN HISTORY REQUIREMENT:
Students may satisfy the Modern History requirement in Grade 11 or 12 by taking one of the three following year-long survey courses:
The Department’s offering of electives aims to provide opportunities to pursue further study in history and social sciences. Electives offered in past years have included: Twentieth Century American Popular Culture, Politics, Globalization and International Economic Development, Economics, The Modern Middle East and South Asia, American Political Thought, The Sixties, History of Imperialism, Africa and the Atlantic World, Globalization in Latin America, The Supernatural in Latin American Culture and America in the Cold War.
The Mathematics Department prepares students for college-level mathematics, teaches students to become independent problem solvers, and strives to motivate students to appreciate the elegance and wonder of mathematics. The Department is aware of developmental issues unique to young women in math; to that end, our courses can be viewed as an ongoing open dialogue among teacher and students. The Department emphasizes the integration of technology in its courses. Calculators and computer software help the students apply what they learn to real world applications and also to visualize more challenging mathematical concepts. The Department uses many teaching strategies including lecture, partner work, collaborative groups, and projects in the pursuit of its goal of providing young women with the best possible mathematics education.
The Department requires the use of a TI-Nspire CX graphing calculator in all courses beginning with Geometry or Geometry Honors.In order to develop students’ number sense, no calculators are used in Pre-Algebra and Algebra I.
The Performing and Visual Arts Departments at Marlborough believe that there is an interrelationship and interdependence among all disciplines in the arts. The programs are designed to enable students to form an appreciation for the creative process, develop the personal commitment needed to complete a piece of work, establish an appropriate level of technique and skill in their chosen disciplines, and to recognize artistic quality. Students are expected to communicate effectively in both verbal and written form about the art genre in which they are participating, develop confidence in their accomplishments, value cooperative interaction, and to cultivate a personal approach evolving from the aesthetics of a broad range of artistic styles and disciplines. The Fine Arts: Performing Arts Department offers a full range of courses in dance, theater, and music. Dance Dimensions, Marlborough Chamber Choir, Marlborough Ensemble Theatre and Instrumental Ensemble are performing groups open only by audition. The Fine Arts: Visual Arts Department offers a full range of courses in drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, ceramics, metals, filmmaking, and digital arts.
Promoting the physical well-being of the members of the Marlborough School community is part of the mission of the School. The Physical Education Department serves as the leader and main constituent in attaining this goal. The Department recognizes the individual needs of the students and strives to help each student develop her personal capabilities to her fullest potential. Through participation in a variety of physical activities the Department helps students develop an appreciation for the importance of regular exercise and behavior patterns that will lead to a healthy lifestyle, reduced stress, illness prevention, proper nutrition, and overall fitness. In addition to teaching the particular skills and strategies for specific sports, the Department helps students develop socialization and leadership skills through activities that foster cooperation, team building, and sportsmanship. Various modes of technology are utilized to enhance the students’ understanding of fitness and the sports included in our curriculum. Each student is nurtured to develop a positive self-image as a “physically-educated” individual, able to implement the knowledge and skills she learns in class into her life. This goal is explicitly expressed in our Department philosophy of "Fit for Life."
In Grades 7-8 students are exposed to a variety of activities to expand their experiences and develop into well-rounded young women. By exploring new activities in the various units, some students may choose to pursue their interests in a more competitive direction by joining an athletic team.
In Grades 9-12 students enroll in six semester electives. The focus in Grades 9-12 is on life-long skills, personal fitness, stress management, and more in-depth instruction in activities of special interest to the students. Dance electives can fulfill the Physical Education requirement.
The goals of the Science Department at Marlborough School are as follows: to help students develop an understanding of science concepts and skills that enable them to develop a love of science and an appreciation for the role of science and technology in everyday life; to provide students with the fullest possible preparation for success in college science programs; to nurture self-confidence and a sense of worth in young women, intellectually, emotionally, and socially at all levels of scientific endeavor; to promote the concept of working in cooperative groups; and to demonstrate the interrelatedness of scientific disciplines through the use of innovative curricula and a variety of teaching methods.
The curriculum is structured so that students have an opportunity to discover, explore, manipulate, contemplate, and experience real science. Laboratory and classroom experiences foster critical-thinking and problem-solving skills that enable students to take charge of their life-long learning process. The laboratory, in particular, is a place for students to test their ability to think critically and creatively while working cooperatively with their peers. Students are also provided with opportunities to develop their skills in using computers for data collection and analysis in the laboratory, and to research and study via the Internet.
The Fine Arts: Performing and Visual Departments at Marlborough believe that there are interrelationship and interdependence among all disciplines in the arts. The departments’ programs are designed to enable students to form an appreciation for the creative process, to develop the personal commitment needed to complete a piece of work, to develop an appropriate level of technique and skill in their chosen disciplines, and to recognize artistic quality. Students are expected to communicate effectively in both verbal and written form about the art genre in which they are participating, to develop pride in their accomplishments, to value cooperative interaction, and to develop a personal approach evolving from the aesthetics of a broad range of artistic styles and disciplines. The Fine Arts: Performing Arts Department offers a full range of courses in dance, theater, and music. Dance Dimensions, Marlborough Chamber Choir, Drama Ensemble and Instrumental Ensemble are performing groups open only by audition. The Fine Arts: Visual Arts Department offers a full range of courses in drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, ceramics, metals, filmmaking, and digital arts.
In the modern languages, French, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish, the sequence of courses develops the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and includes appropriate cultural, historical, and literary materials at all levels. The goal of the Department is to enable students to communicate with a native speaker at increasingly higher levels of proficiency and to instill a sympathetic appreciation of the cultures of nations which use Chinese, French, or Spanish as their native or principal language. In the Latin courses, speaking and listening are less emphasized, and special attention is given to the structure of the language, cultural, historical, and literary aspects of Latin, and its linguistic relationship to English, all of which have exerted considerable influence on our own historical development. Students are encouraged to go beyond Level III in world languages either by taking more advanced courses in their current language, or by starting a second world language.
Research advances human knowledge and deepens understanding. Asking a question and creating a hypothesis are essential to any research project in any discipline. Formulating questions to be answered, however, may or may not have practical applications since it really depends upon the nature of the study. Pure or basic research aims to increase knowledge without an intentional application, while applied research extends knowledge for specific practical purposes. Pure research is thus focused upon a theoretical understanding of a topic. Applied research will increase our knowledge as applied to actual events. The following classes are offered for students interested in research: