Grades 6 to 10

The Middle Years Program

Curriculum Guide

Dwight School offers the Middle Years Program of the International Baccalaureate in Grades 6 through 10. What follows is the complete curriculum guide for this program. To see this curriculum brought to life at Dwight, visit the individual grade pages here (Grades 6-8) and here (Grades 9-10).

Overview

The Middle Years Program (MYP) provides a framework of academic rigor that encourages students to embrace and understand the connections between traditional subjects and the real world. Learning encourages students to become creative, critical, and reflective thinkers through the use of the IB Learner Profile attributes.

The MYP is designed to:

  • Teach a broad base of disciplines;
  • Teach not only the subject content but also how to apply the content in different contexts;
  • Promote learning in multiple subjects concurrently and identifying linkages through concepts;
  • Encourage the use of a variety of teaching methodologies;
  • Emphasize development of the whole student, including the affective, cognitive, creative, and physical; and
  • Empower students to participate in service.


The MYP curriculum requires mastery of eight subjects: Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, Physical and Health Education, Design, and Arts. The engine driving the MYP through every class moves on the belief that there are different approaches to learning. All students can be taught to be independent problem-solvers with strong study skills.

MYP teachers use internationally published IB assessment criteria as a benchmark for their grading. They provide a variety of assessment tasks, such as open-ended activities, investigations, organized debates, hands-on experimentations, and reflections, allowing students to demonstrate their achievement according to the determined criteria. In addition, the MYP provides experiential learning through service, whereby students take planned action and reflect on their personal growth.

The MYP culminates with the submission of a Personal Project in grade ten, an independent, eight-month long assignment that showcases the skills that our students have developed throughout the five years of their MYP studies. The project is a rich opportunity for students to create an extended piece of work that challenges their own creativity and thinking about personal issues and to share their experiences throughout the process with the school community at an exhibition. Graded against a rigorous set of IB criteria, the Personal Project is not only an integral part of the MYP, but also a continuation requirement for students moving towards the Diploma Program.

Language and Literature

Overview

Dwight’s English Department strives to help students become better readers, writers, listeners, speakers, and thinkers. The curriculum design and instruction are based on the belief that incisive questions have a value greater than the mere clarity of their answers. Through this philosophy, students are helped to see the merit of inquiry and reflection. A strong foundation in writing conventions such as grammar, vocabulary, mechanics, and style is also an integral part of students’ intellectual development. Dwight students are consistently encouraged to improve their writing through proofreading, editing, and revision.

English teachers at Dwight love literature, and their passion fuels classroom discussions on a daily basis. Students respond to literature through oral and written communication, enabling them to develop and refine their command of the English language. They read novels, poetry, and drama from a diverse range of authors, cultures, and time periods, in order to understand how literature can be both a mirror and a magnifying glass — reflecting and focusing us on aspects of our own identities as well as the world around us. The English Department demonstrates and celebrates these values through school-wide oratory contests, essay competitions, and an unceasing commitment to Dwight’s students.

Language and Literature 6

Grade 6 English incorporates all of the fundamental skills of literacy. Students examine themes that directly impact their lives, such as change, choice, identity, and community. They also explore literary elements and figurative language through the close study of works including selected scenes from William Shakespeare; Lois Lowry’s Newbery Medal-winning novel The Giver; Linda Sue Park’s novel A Long Walk to Water; and short stories from a wide variety of authors, time periods, and perspectives. Summer reading is integral to the start of the year while supplemental workshops encourage and facilitate independent reading throughout the school year. Woven into the literature curriculum is a sharp focus on grammar, mechanics, spelling, and vocabulary. Writing includes essays, memoirs, fantasies, poetry, and personal speeches.

Language and Literature 7

Grade 7 English students read a range of texts including Nobel Prize winner William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, Walter Dean Myer’s Monster, William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and short stories and poetry from a variety of authors, time periods, and perspectives. Each text is examined through both a thematic and a stylistic lens, dictated by the unit’s guiding questions. As a means of deepening their connection to the literature, students are consistently asked to make text-to-self connections and generate personal responses to the readings. Writing skills are a focus in the classroom and in assessments. Students practice organizing and drafting formal essays, with particular emphases on the use of textual evidence and argument. Other assessments include analytical tests, group and individual oral presentations, visual projects, acting performances, debates, and creative writing pieces. In addition, students are consistently presented with vocabulary, spelling, and grammar-building exercises designed to improve their writing and language skills.

Language and Literature 8

Grade 8 English is a literature-centered course that emphasizes the development of active reading and comprehension skills. Students learn to generate clear, concise prose and apply textual evidence in their writing. Vocabulary, spelling, grammar, and mechanics are regularly incorporated into the literature curriculum, which, in part, runs parallel to the social studies curriculum. Themes of self-assertion, prejudice, integrity, and injustice are explored in Sherman Alexie’s Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian; Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, and Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese, while linguistic devices and plot techniques are studied in William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Assessments for the course include persuasive and personal essays, visual projects, unit tests, weekly quizzes, speeches, and regular written exercises.

Language and Literature 9

MYP Language and Literature 9 is a course designed to build upon the Middle School curriculum and to develop the more challenging reading, writing, and critical thinking skills demanded of the International Baccalaureate program. Students read and analyze Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha, George Orwell’s 1984, J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in The Rye, Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and selected poetry and short stories. Despite the differences in style, voice, and genre, these units share common themes centered on free will, fate, and the evolution of one’s own identity. Class discussions compel students to ponder how cultural, religious, and political contexts affect the development of the individual and of society. Written assessments include formal essays, personal reflections, persuasive speeches, and various creative pieces. The writing curriculum is enhanced through regular lessons and assessments on grammar, mechanics, and vocabulary.

Language and Literature 10

MYP Language and Literature 10 is the last course of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program, ultimately preparing students for the rigors of the two-year Diploma Program. The curriculum includes David Mitchell’s Black Swan Green, Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, Reginald Rose’s Twelve Angry Men, William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, selected poetry, and short stories. As students read and analyze these texts on the turbulent intersections of identity and fate, they make connections to past works and to their own lives. They also learn to trace the development of recurring themes, narrative perspectives, and literary devices that transcend genre, time, and culture. The course provides a range of opportunities for oral and written expression, including tests, essays, dramatic scenes, formal speeches, and creative writing. The curriculum is supplemented by regular lessons and assessments on grammar and vocabulary.


Mathematics

Overview

The ultimate goal of the Mathematics Department is for students to gain a thorough understanding of the key concepts in math and to be able to apply these concepts at the level appropriate to their mathematical development and aptitude. Students are expected to know and use mathematical concepts and skills appropriately. Students are encouraged to develop computational and manipulative skills that will help them in all aspects of problem solving. Whenever possible, students will appreciate the cultural and utilitarian aspects of mathematics and its applicability to other subjects and everyday life.

Our math teachers understand the learning needs of our students and employ different techniques to accommodate different backgrounds and cater to their learning styles. We strive to make our courses enjoyable, accessible, and appropriately challenging for each student. Starting in grade 6, we offer different levels of math, accelerating those who have a strong aptitude one or even two levels beyond their grade. We also offer courses designed to focus on strengthening foundational skills for those students who need it. At all levels, the focus is to enhance students’ problem solving skills and develop their analytical abilities.

We regularly encourage students to participate in the American Math Competitions and in summer courses for talented students conducted by our online school, Dwight Global, or well-known universities.

Math 6

The Mathematics 6 course is designed for students to use their critical thinking skills and recognize the existence of mathematics in the world around them. The curriculum provides students with a strong background in numbers, operations, and arithmetic, allowing them to be successful in subsequent mathematics courses. Throughout the course, students work collaboratively and independently, and learn to critique their peers’ work. Students apply their skills towards graphing, logic, rational numbers, order of operations, data analysis, probability and statistics, and geometry. This course provides students with many opportunities to demonstrate their mastery of mathematics. Throughout the year, students in this course are assessed using the Middle Years Program Criteria; A: Knowing and Understanding, B: Investigating Patterns, C: Communicating, and D: Applying Mathematics in Real-Life Contexts.

Pre-algebra

Pre-algebra is an introductory algebra course. The course is designed to introduce students to abstract mathematics concepts and thinking and begin to develop the concept of pro-numeration. Students learn how to apply mathematical expressions, equations, and graphs to various real-life examples and how to represent situations using multiple facets. Students apply their algebra skills through graphing, order of operations, linear equations, linear inequalities, logic, rational and irrational numbers, radicals, proportions, and applications of percentages. This course provides students many opportunities to demonstrate their mastery of pre-algebra. Throughout the year, students in this course are assessed using the Middle Years Program Criteria; A: Knowing and Understanding, B: Investigating Patterns, C: Communicating, and D: Applying Mathematics in Real-Life Contexts.

Algebra I

Algebra I focuses on the elementary rules of mathematics, building a strong foundation for future mathematics courses. The curriculum includes solving and graphing linear equations and inequalities, simplifying exponential and radical expressions, and exploring polynomials. Students learn various ways to solve quadratic and rational equations. Discussions are frequent to relate these topics to various real-life situations. Throughout the year, students in this course are assessed using the Middle Years Program Criteria; A: Knowing and Understanding, B: Investigating Patterns, C: Communicating, and D: Applying Mathematics in Real-Life Contexts.

Geometry

This course focuses on the theorems of Euclid, with some formal proofs, but an emphasis on the understanding of the concepts and properties of these theorems and an application to numerical and problem solving situations. After the study of triangle properties, students are introduced to the three basic trigonometric ratios and their application to real-life situations. Students work on problems involving two and three-dimensional objects and the calculation of area, surface area, and volume. Throughout the year, students in this course are assessed using the Middle Years Program Criteria; A: Knowing and Understanding, B: Investigating Patterns, C: Communicating, and D: Applying Mathematics in Real-Life Contexts.

Geometry with Algebra

The first part of this course focuses on elementary rules of mathematics, building a strong foundation for future mathematics courses. Students focus on solving and graphing linear equations and inequalities, as well as polynomials.

The course then transitions to Geometry with a focus on the theorems of Euclid with some formal proofs, but an emphasis on the understanding of the concepts and properties of these theorems and an application to numerical and problem-solving situations. After the study of triangle properties, students are introduced to the three basic trigonometric ratios and their application to real-life situations. Students work on problems involving two and three-dimensional objects and the calculation of area, surface area, and volume. Throughout the year, students in this course are assessed using the Middle Years Program Criteria; A: Knowing and Understanding, B: Investigating Patterns, C: Communicating, and D: Applying Mathematics in Real-Life Contexts.


Geometry Honors

The Geometry Honors curriculum is presented within a problem-solving context, linking traditional geometry concepts to both previously learned and newer algebraic concepts. These problems presented to the students encourage flexibility in thinking and require students to examine problems using familiar concepts, but in novel situations. Students study Euclidean theorems requiring formal proofs. From similarity in triangles, students proceed to the study of trigonometry and the right triangle using the three basic ratios of sine, cosine, and tangent, followed by a study of three-dimensional solids including prisms, cylinders, pyramids, cones, and spheres. The course concludes with coordinate proofs and geometric transformations. Throughout the year, students in this course are assessed using the Middle Years Program Criteria; A: Knowing and Understanding, B: Investigating Patterns, C: Communicating, and D: Applying Mathematics in Real-Life Contexts.

Geometry Foundations

The goal of Geometry Foundations is to provide a strong foundation in basic math concepts, while covering the essential aspects of the geometry curriculum. The focus of the class will be on the understanding of basic Euclidean statements and their application to numerical problems, without emphasizing formal proofs. The introduction to trigonometry through a study of the right-angled triangle allows students to develop a firm understanding of the basic ratios. Students will strengthen their understanding of algebra using mathematical models to represent and understand quantitative relationships, analyzing change in various contexts, and solving multi-step equations. Throughout the year, students in this course are assessed using the Middle Years Program Criteria; A: Knowing and Understanding, B: Investigating Patterns, C: Communicating, and D: Applying Mathematics in Real-Life Contexts.

Algebra II & Trigonometry

The Algebra II & Trigonometry course allows students to develop an understanding of mathematical concepts and principles and apply their skills to solve problems related to real-world contexts. The curriculum includes algebraic systems of equations and inequalities, sequences and series, direct and inverse variation, statistics, probability, permutations and combinations, and the study of various types of functions

The course concludes with a study of trigonometry, focusing on triangle trigonometry, trigonometric identities, and trigonometric graphs.

In Algebra II & Trig, there is emphasis placed on building skills needed to prepare students for a smooth transition to the Diploma Program. Throughout the year, students in this course are assessed using the Middle Years Program Criteria; A: Knowing and Understanding, B: Investigating Patterns, C: Communicating, and D: Applying Mathematics in Real-Life Contexts.


Algebra II & Trigonometry Honors

The Algebra II & Trigonometry Honors course offers students a more in-depth study of the topics offered in Algebra II & Trigonometry. Students are expected to analyze problems and apply skills both graphically and algebraically in both theoretical and real-world applications. The curriculum includes algebraic systems of equations and inequalities, sequences and series, direct and inverse variation, statistics, probability, permutations and combinations, and an in-depth study of various types of functions. The course concludes with a study of trigonometry, focusing on triangle trigonometry, trigonometric identities and n introduction to trigonometric ratios and trigonometric graphs

In Algebra II & Trig Honors there is emphasis placed on building skills needed to prepare students for a smooth transition to the Diploma Program. Throughout the year, students in this course are assessed using the Middle Years Program Criteria; A: Knowing and Understanding, B: Investigating Patterns, C: Communicating, and D: Applying Mathematics in Real-Life Contexts.

Algebra II & Trigonometry Foundations

As a modified Algebra II & Trigonometry course, the main concepts from Algebra II & Trigonometry are taught in depth, but at a more methodical pace. The course begins with a thorough review of linear equations and graphs, and then students learn multiple ways to solve different systems of equations, while discussing problem-solving tactics throughout. The course includes a study of exponents, factoring, quadratic equations, and trigonometry. Students also develop test-taking strategies, as this course involves a great deal of standardized test preparation. After completion of this course, most students will be prepared to take IB Mathematical Studies SL. Throughout the year, students in this course are assessed using the Middle Years Program Criteria; A: Knowing and Understanding, B: Investigating Patterns, C: Communicating, and D: Applying Mathematics in Real-Life Contexts.

Pre-Calculus

This course offers students an integrated approach to precalculus and calculus. It includes the elements of algebra and analytic geometry necessary to study calculus of one variable. Topics covered in this course include functions, limits, continuity, differentiation of algebraic functions, and applications of differentiation.

Assessment consists of homework, in-class quizzes and tests, and investigations.

Pre-Calculus Honors

This is a class for students who are looking for the most challenging mathematics class, with a view of taking the Higher Level IB mathematics course in their junior and senior year. During the year, students will build on the skills they developed during the Algebra II Honors course, becoming better at analyzing problems, working accurately, and explaining their methods. They deepen their knowledge of trigonometry and algebra and are introduced to the differentiation and integration of simple functions. They also use these calculus skills to solve problems involving slopes of lines and areas under curves, and to solve kinematics problems. Assessment consists of homework, in-class quizzes and tests, and mathematical portfolio assignments. Students will take the IB Mathematics Standard Level examination at the end of their junior year.

Sciences

Overview

At Dwight, the study of science is a balanced learning experience in which the interests and abilities of every student are supported and developed. Along with an understanding of scientific concepts and processes, we also emphasize opportunities for creativity and the development of individual interests. Whether through structured inquiry in the classroom or extra-curricular clubs and competitions, our students have many avenues for individual expression and collaboration with peers. From vegetable gardening to astronomy, from robotics to the Science Olympiad, student-driven science activities permeate the life of Dwight School. As an IB school, we support the scientific pursuits of students through the Personal Project, the Group 4 Project, and the Extended Essay. Such activities fit within the larger IB science curriculum model in which the scientific method is a way of thinking, science is a way of knowing, and the student as a scientist is developing as an international citizen. Whether this citizen becomes a researcher, engineer, or layperson, our aim is that he/she will be a scientifically and technologically literate member of society who forms opinions supported by evidence and reason, and who takes action ethically and responsibly.

Science 6 | General Science

In this course, students study an introduction to chemistry, biology, and physics. The course culminates in an application to astronomy and earth science. Students learn about the scientific method to test a hypothesis. In the study of chemistry, they learn about the Bohr model of the atom, ionic and covalent bonding, and write balanced chemical equations. They perform various experiments to determine whether there is a physical or chemical change. Students are introduced to the pH scale and make an indicator to see if common liquids like orange juice and detergent are acids, bases, or neutral. In their study of biology, students observe plant and animal cells to see their similarities and differences and learn how to categorize organisms. Students will explore waves, sound, and color. In an introduction to planet earth, students will study its place in the solar system, geological processes, and natural resources.

For all units, the students write lab reports to analyze their findings. They write essays, complete homework assignments, and take quizzes and tests to focus their learning on the above key content areas. Finally, participation in group discussions and group work, and effort in all areas, are assessed.

Science 7 | Earth Science

Students will continue their studies of biology, chemistry, and physics with applications to astronomy and Earth science. Acids and bases will be approached from a chemical perspective. Ecosystems and biomes will be studied from an experimental and experiential point of view. In physics, our study of waves will focus on electromagnetic and seismic waves. For all units, students will be assessed summatively through unit tests, as well as experimental lab reports and projects.

Science 8 | Physical Science

In Physical Science, students build on their previous year’s work in biology, chemistry, and physics to engage in original experimental design through controlled investigations in the study of the scientific method.. The Law of Conservation of Matter is “discovered” as students change matter with energy and determine if mass is created, lost, or neither. Students then examine forms of energy and explore the relationship between potential and kinetic energy. They learn about Isaac Newton’s first and second laws of motion as well as work, power, and simple and compound machines. In their unit on chemistry, students are able to use Bohr models to draw compounds, both ionically and covalently, and balance equations with polyatomic ions. For all units, students write lab reports to analyze their findings. They write essays, take quizzes and tests, and complete homework assignments to focus their learning on the above key content areas.

In the biology unit, students will be introduced to genetics and will then choose a system of the human body to research and present to the class. Our search for Earth-like exoplanets will comprise the focus of the astronomy section of the course.


Biology 9

This course provides an introduction to the unity and diversity of life from the molecular to the community level from an evolutionary perspective. It focuses on the interrelationship between the structure and function of living things, along with exploring the effects of human interaction with the natural environment. Frequent laboratory experiences will augment knowledge gained through class study. This course provides students with an exceptional basic background for further study in biology or other sciences.

Physical Science 9

This half credit course meets every other cycle day. Each trimester we will explore one of three core ideas in physical science, the structure of matter, energy, and waves. Students will investigate these topics through frequent hands on activities in the lab, relating their results to scientific theory. The application of math skills to science will be emphasized and developed throughout the course.

Chemistry 10

This class explores how the world is constructed on an atomic scale. Students learn how these tiny atomic and molecular constituents give rise to larger material behavior and how people can use this understanding of matter to impact the world in a variety of ways (i.e. politically, socially, environmentally). Students learn to shift scales and make valuable predictions by mastering conversions and manipulating equations. Beyond regular homework assignments, quizzes, and exams, the course provides opportunities for students to express themselves creatively with labs that emphasize problem solving, a 1,000-word essay exploring the need of science in light of pressing world concerns, and multimedia atomic history presentations.

Physics 10

This introduction to physics serves as a bridge between Middle Years sciences and Diploma Program physics. We study an introduction to Kinematics, Forces and Newton’s Laws, Work, Energy & Power, and Momentum. Conservation Laws form an overarching theme and provide a basis for a mathematical treatment of simple physical situations. Hands-on Investigations feature a combination of children’s toys and sports objects as well as modern electronic sensors and computer interfaces.

Individuals and Societies

Overview

As globalization accelerates and the United States becomes more involved with countries around the world, there is a need to educate better-informed, global citizens. The challenge is not only to understand the characteristics of civilizations and countries but also to recognize patterns of behavior. The more students are taught to recognize these patterns, the more history makes sense and the better students are able to identify possible outcomes and solutions. True global citizens must be informed in order to be engaged. As an IB school, Dwight provides a unique environment in which students and faculty benefit from interacting with one another. The Dwight community is a truly global one, with representatives from over 40 countries.

Individuals and Societies 6

This course explores how humans have created structure throughout history, covering the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Rome, India, and China, continuing through the Middle Ages in Europe. Students examine how these civilizations defined governmental and religious systems, as well as how those systems influence us today. Major themes include the achievements of societies, the origins and influence of religions, the development of political systems, how ideas spread, and how geography affects the development of civilizations and the growth of cities.

Art history and architecture are important aspects of the course. The students visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art and begin to recognize art from different periods studied. Interdisciplinary lessons are planned with art, design, and English classes. Students begin developing proficiency in writing a research paper by gathering information from various sources while also learning note-taking, outlining, paraphrasing, summarizing, categorizing, paragraphing, bibliography writing, and citation.

Individuals and Societies 7

This course is the first year of a two-year thematic study of American history. In this first year, students study how conflicts have shaped U.S. identity and history. The year begins with an analysis of the causes and events leading up to the American Revolution and students explore how the struggle for independence shaped the new nation. The second major conflict explored is the American Civil War. Commencing with the socioeconomic and political differences between the North and the South, the course covers the major events leading up to the war, the war itself, and how that war reshaped American identity. The final unit focuses on American involvement in the two world wars of the 20th century — the reasons behind American involvement, the impact of the wars domestically and globally, and how American perceptions changed. While the primary textbook for the course is a digital version of History Alive: The United States, students also use primary sources, supplementary readings, and film to gain further understanding of the subject matter, as well as to appreciate perspectives. Organization, note-taking, presentation, and research skills are a few of the areas that are stressed throughout the year. Assessments include quizzes, tests, debates, group projects, oral presentations, and written summaries and responses. Students put these skills to work while researching and writing their LaGuardia research paper in the third trimester.

Individuals and Societies 8

This course is the second year of a two-year thematic study of American History. Eighth grade students examine U.S. history starting with a unit that covers the evolution of the American political system, including a study of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, key Amendments, as well as important Supreme Court decisions. The next unit focuses on the ongoing challenge of extending the founding fathers’ ideals of freedom, equality, and rights to previously disenfranchised segments of the population — and specifically as it applies to the experience of Native Americans, African-Americans, and other minorities. Immigration is a separate unit, and is studied in the context of the Industrial Revolution and the Progressive Era. Finally, current events, examined and placed into a historical context, and geography, enrich student understanding of America’s development and American identity today. Note-taking, writing, presentation, and research skills are stressed throughout the year. While the primary textbook is History Alive: The United States, students also peruse a number of supplementary readings and analyze films that provide different perspectives on the material. Assessments include quizzes and tests, written summaries and responses, debates, visual projects, and oral presentations. In addition, students develop their writing and researching skills through completion of their independent research LaGuardia paper.

Individuals and Societies 9

The chief aim of Big History, our ninth grade social studies course, is to develop students’ critical thinking skills in non-fiction literacy, including inquiry research, debate, essay writing, and multimedia presentations. Using a uniquely interdisciplinary approach developed by the Gates Foundation, this course traces the timeline of the universe from the big bang to the present day asking most broadly, “Where do we come from?” Combining world history with a bit of science and the history of science, this course seeks to connect innumerable avenues for student-led inquiry.

Individuals and Societies 10

In this course, students explore U.S. history through the conceptual lenses of systems, change, and global relations. Students begin the year by examining how ideologies shape government systems. They research varying perspectives on the role of government in the U.S. and current debates in politics, as well as historical trends dating back to the American Revolution. The culminating project of the trimester is the Museum of Controversy, designed for the Dwight Community to inform all about issues in American politics today. The following trimester, students evaluate methods of change used in reform movements such as the abolitionist, women’s, labor, and civil rights movements. Students learn to critically analyze primary sources and develop organized and analytical essays that evaluate the effectiveness of the aforementioned movements. The final trimester focuses on and culminates in a study of global relationships fostered by the United States. Students explore how American foreign policy has changed over time, and debate how much the U.S. should intervene in foreign affairs. Students continue to develop key skills such as debating, cooperative group work, essay writing, public speaking and presentations, with an emphasis on research paper writing through the LaGuardia Research Project.

World Language

Overview

All MYP students at Dwight are required to study a world language. We offer Language Acquisition and Literature classes in Spanish, French, or Chinese (Mandarin). In addition, we offer German classes for a tuition supplement, with Dwight teachers. For other languages we draw upon the resources of a Manhattan language school to arrange classes for supplemental tuition. We offer beginner classes in grade 6 for French, Spanish, and Chinese (Mandarin) and in grade 9 for French and Spanish.

Students are required to choose a language in grade 6 or upon entry to the School. Once the language choice is made, we expect the students to continue with this language through grade 12. Requests for changes to the language studied are considered case by case. Students who join Dwight after grade 6 can only join a Mandarin class if they pass the entrance test for Mandarin. If they are not at the required level, they will be asked to join a French or Spanish class.

Language acquisition in the MYP aims to develop a respect for, and understanding of, other languages and cultures, and is equally designed to equip the student with a skills base to facilitate further language learning.

Notes

* highlights a course for which there is an extra tuition fee

Please note that language A, B and ab initio courses in languages other than those taught at Dwight can be arranged through the Head of World Language for an extra tuition fee.


French B 6

This course covers a range of basic vocabulary and grammatical structures which will allow students to access the language throughout the rest of their school career. Students learn the French alphabet and numbers, how to describe where they live, and to talk about their homes and describe them. They learn to describe people and talk about their family, friends and pets, give opinions and express what they like or don’t like to do. Grammar includes the concept of feminine and masculine nouns, plural, forming negatives, possessive adjectives, regular verbs in the present tense and the irregular verbs “to have” and “to be”. Students start to learn a range of reading strategies, and to describe and respond to visual and written text. They start to produce language orally, working on intonation and pronunciation and in writing within the conventions of a limited number of text types.

French B 7

This course covers the topics of towns, shopping, and finding one’s way around school and different school systems in the French speaking world, food, the best ways to stay healthy, leisure, and activities. Grammar includes conjugation of regular and irregular verbs and making negative statements. Reflexive verbs are introduced and possessive adjectives and numbers are reviewed. The perfect tense is introduced, as well as the immediate future. Students start to gain the skills they need to make comparison between their original culture and those of the French speaking world. They also gain a better understanding of writing with a sense of audience, purpose, and context, and begin to practice using a variety of text types.

French B I

This course covers the topics of holidays and traveling, family, helping at home, ordering food from restaurants in a French speaking country, clothes, parts of the body, and ailments. Grammar includes revision of the past and present tenses, the imperfect, use of adjectives, and negatives. Students continue to develop the skills needed to communicate clearly and in an authentic manner by learning to identify and express ideas and opinions, use appropriate conventions, and drawing conclusions from information they gather. Students learn to respond to texts and visual stimuli using a range of vocabulary and grammar structures and in speaking, they continue to use clear pronunciation and a good intonation.

French B II

This course reviews and deepens the topics of individuals and relationships, and discusses the advantages and disadvantage of a variety of places we live. It also covers the topics of culture in French speaking countries, with a closer look at French cinema, music and poetry, and finally, students will talk about the future, their plans, and career ideas. New grammar includes past, present, and future tenses, as well as the conditional, relative clauses and a variety of impersonal structures. Students will further develop the use of conventions in writing a range of text types. They identify ideas, opinions, and attitudes from visual and spoken texts and can construct meaning, draw conclusions, and give supporting details to express their own ideas.

French B III

French III is a stepping stone to the IB Diploma Program. Students hone their receptive, productive, and interactive skills via reading comprehension, essay writing, and daily conversation. Grammar plays an important role, and all the essential grammatical elements are taught in this class in preparation for IB Language B in the eleventh and twelfth grades. MYP projects include presentations on francophone countries, debates on current global issues, and media articles from newspapers, magazines, and the Internet. Students analyze visual and written texts and draw conclusions, they express opinions with a global perspective, and use elaborate, varied, and idiomatic language.

French B Foundations I (Grade 9 beginners)

This course covers a range of basic vocabulary and grammatical structures which will allow students to access the language throughout the rest of their school career. Students learn the French alphabet and numbers, how to describe people and themselves, tell time, link weather and seasons to activities, give opinions and express what they like or don’t like to do, talk about food, and discuss their daily school schedules and overall routines. Grammar includes the concept of feminine and masculine nouns, articles, plural, forming negatives, regular verbs in the present tense and the irregular verbs “to have,” “to be,” "to do," to want," and "to be able." Students start to learn a range of reading strategies, and to describe and respond to visual and written text. They start to produce language orally, working on intonation and pronunciation, and in writing within the conventions of a limited number of text types.

French B Foundations II (Grade 10 beginners)

This course builds upon the material covered in French Foundations I. Topics covered include, towns, shopping and finding one’s way around, planning a party, sports and leisure activities, exploring amusement parks, daily routine, and talking about vacations. Grammar includes conjugation of regular and irregular verbs and making negative statements. Reflexive verbs are introduced and possessive adjectives and numbers are reviewed. The perfect tense is introduced, as well as the immediate future. Students continue to gain the skills they need to make comparisons between their original culture and those of the French-speaking world. They also gain a better understanding of writing with a sense of audience, purpose, and context and begin to practice using a variety of text types.

French A 6

This course covers francophone countries, giving opinions, knowledge of famous French people, school life, and leisure time. In exploring those themes, students read and analyze works of French literature by authors such as Molière, Patrick Modiano, Jules Verne, and Michel Tournier. They analyze and memorize poetry. The course covers the indicative and imperative modes, use of tenses, spelling rules, word categories, and basic sentence structure.

French A 7-8

This course is devoted to reading literary excerpts and a few integral literary works. Students read and analyze a French play as well as works covering the major genres and eras of French literature (short stories, philosophical tales, poetry, excerpts of autobiographies, and novels). They also read excerpts of pertinent translated world literature. The selection of works, introducing themes and concepts studied in the later years of the IB program, is chosen amongst the recommended readings listed by the Education Nationale for these grades and by the IB, in preparation for the Diploma Program. Along with these readings, students review various points of grammar and practice essential aspects of literary analysis. They also produce creative writing integrating the conventions of each genre studied. This cohesive approach contributes to improve students’ writing and is done on a regular basis during the year.

French A 9-10

This course is the final step to prepare students for the French Literature IB Course. Students read literary excerpts covering the major genres and eras of French literature (short stories, philosophical tales, poetry, excerpts of autobiographies, and novels) as well as a few integral literary works. They also read excerpts of pertinent translated world literature, in preparation for the Translated Works component of their DP program. Students refine their study of the various aspects of literary analysis. They practice creative writing integrating the conventions of each genre studied, oral and written commentary, as well as essay writing and oral presentations aligned with IB requirements.

Spanish B 6

This course covers a range of basic vocabulary and grammatical structures which will allow students to access the language throughout the rest of their school career. Students learn the Spanish alphabet and numbers, how to describe people and themselves, give opinions and express what they like or don’t like to do, and talk about food. Grammar includes the concept of feminine and masculine nouns, plural, forming negatives, regular verbs in the present tense, and the irregular verbs “to have” and “to be”. Students start to learn a range of reading strategies, and to describe and respond to visual and written text. They start to produce language orally, working on intonation and pronunciation, and in writing within the conventions of a limited number of text types.

Spanish B 7

This course covers the topics of towns, shopping, and finding one’s way around, planning a party, sports and leisure activities, and exploring amusement parks. Grammar includes conjugation of regular and irregular verbs and making negative statements, reflexive verbs are introduced, and possessive adjectives and numbers are reviewed. The preterit tense is introduced, as well as the immediate future. Students start to gain the skills they need to make comparisons between their original culture and those of the Spanish-speaking world. They also gain a better understanding of writing with a sense of audience, purpose, and context and begin to practice using a variety of text types.

Spanish B I

Spanish I students begin to comprehend the perspectives, practices, and products of the Spanish-speaking world. Via “perspectives,” students learn through culture about the world views, attitudes, and belief systems that frame what Hispanics think and do. By the end of this course, students are able to name all regions where Spanish is the official language, the typical foods enjoyed in these regions, as well as some different customs practiced by its people. In addition, students in Spanish I will be familiar with, and comfortably conjugate, regular and irregular verbs in the present tense and other grammatical facets of the target language, as well as pertinent vocabulary for this level.

Spanish B II

Spanish II is a prerequisite for Spanish III. This course is designed to give students the opportunity to communicate in the target language as well as continue to develop world language skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students in Spanish II will develop and expand upon their prior knowledge and communicative skills at their own pace but, with a common goal. At the conclusion of Spanish II, all students will be able to engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions in both the present and past tenses of the target language.

Spanish B III / Spanish B III Honors

This course is a prerequisite for IB Spanish I. It encourages students to practice every element of the language skills to increase proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The course also provides review and amplification of grammatical structures previously taught, and introduction to more advanced structural concepts. Students continue to advance their knowledge on culture, history, geography, and literature of Spanish-speaking authors. Honors students also read, discuss, and analyze excerpts of literature, introducing themes, which will be studied in the IB program.

Students of Spanish Honors will improve their reading comprehension through various types of selections including authentic materials, such as newspapers and magazine articles, as well as short stories written by famous Spanish and Latin-American writers. Students work individually and in groups to prepare oral presentations and written essays, which are evaluated internally using the MYP criteria.

Spanish B Foundations I

This course covers a range of basic vocabulary and grammatical structures which will allow students to access the language throughout the rest of their school career. Students learn the Spanish alphabet and numbers, how to describe people and themselves, give opinions and express what they like or don’t like to do, talk about food, and discuss their daily school schedules. Grammar includes the concept of feminine and masculine nouns, articles, plural, forming negatives, regular verbs in the present tense, and the irregular verbs “to have” and “to be” as well as the verb gustar. Students start to learn a range of reading strategies, and to describe and respond to visual and written text. They start to produce language orally, working on intonation and pronunciation, and in writing within the conventions of a limited number of text types.

Spanish B Foundations II

This course builds upon the material covered in Spanish Foundations I. Topics covered include, towns, shopping, and finding one’s way around, planning a party, sports and leisure activities, exploring amusement parks, daily routine, and talking about vacations. Grammar includes conjugation of regular and irregular verbs and making negative statements. Reflexive verbs are introduced, and possessive adjectives and numbers are reviewed. The preterit tense is introduced, as well as the immediate future. Students continue to gain the skills they need to make comparisons between their original culture and those of the Spanish-speaking world. They also gain a better understanding of writing with a sense of audience, purpose, and context and begin to practice using a variety of text types.

Mandarin B 6

Mandarin B 6 is an introductory course of Mandarin Chinese. The course is designed to introduce students to the principles of character and phonetic (pinyin) writing, tones’ pronunciation, and basic vocabulary.

The written and spoken aspects of the language are equally emphasized. General vocabulary and elementary grammar skills are developed. Students learn basic greetings, numbers, dates, and vocabulary relative to family, occupations, time, and daily routines. A last but not less important goal of the course is to present to students the fascinating universe of Chinese culture (including festivals, the calendar, traditional medicine, and cooking). We ask questions such as: How are Chinese characters structured? Why did the Chinese people never moved away from this complicated writing system? What are the advantages of character-based writing?

Mandarin B 7

Mandarin B 7 is designed to build on the foundations established in Mandarin B 6 and to advance students’ knowledge of basic grammar, vocabulary, and writing. The written and spoken aspects of the language are equally emphasized. General vocabulary and elementary grammar skills are further developed and students acquire competency to converse about topics such as likes and dislikes, clothing, transportations, physical appearance, Chinese and world geography, school, health, and hobbies. A last but not less important goal of the course is to present to students the fascinating universe of Chinese culture (including festivals, the calendar, traditional medicine, and cooking).

Mandarin B I

Mandarin B I is an advanced beginner course of Mandarin Chinese. The course is designed to further develop the language competence established in Mandarin B 6 and 7 and to advance students’ knowledge of general grammar, vocabulary, and writing. The written and spoken aspects of the language are equally emphasized. General vocabulary and more complex grammar skills are developed. Students acquire competency to converse about food, shopping, restaurants, pastimes, the home, and the neighborhood. A last but not less important goal of the course is to present to students the fascinating universe of Chinese culture (including festivals, the calendar, traditional medicine, and cooking). Students are guided to identify the unique aspects of Chinese culture and to compare it to their own culture, thus helping them to develop critical thinking skills.

Mandarin B II

This course aims to develop interpretive communication skills in Mandarin and builds on a solid foundation in character writing. The course emphasizes spelling with the Pinyin system, tone accuracy, character writing, and covers a range of topics and grammar structures. In-class writing drills, vocabulary quizzes, and conversation practice are done on a regular basis. Online learning and computer-based learning activities are also given as a way to immerse the students in Chinese.

Mandarin B III

The course is designed as a solid preparation for the IB Chinese exam. This class emphasizes analyzing the basic structure of Chinese literary pieces and building up a solid foundation in Chinese idiomatic phrases. There is also comparison of the styles of different literature pieces in Chinese. The course includes daily drills on listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Mandarin A 6-10

For native speakers in grades nine and ten, the instruction for each of these grades is a preparation for the IB DP exam literature exam. Literary analysis based on selected texts, essay writing, oral presentations and discussions are important features of the curriculum. The courses are adapted to individual students in the class and vary according to the participants.

German B 6-7*

In German 6 and 7, students build on the sixth grade curriculum in developing language and literature comprehension skills for advanced non-native speakers. A total immersion approach ensures that students become more fluent in German at an accelerated pace. Emphasis is placed on preparing students to use German in a range of areas and situations. Grammar skills are honed by incorporating exercises connected with texts and stories dealt with during the trimester. A further aim of this course is to help students develop advanced reading and writing skills and become more aware of linguistic similarities and differences between German and their native language.

German B I*

In German I, language and literature are integrated to include a reading segment on contemporary short stories, poems, and other writings. Students at this level develop their writing more extensively by focusing on the process of brainstorming, short essay writing, and editing techniques. Included in this course is a more formal approach to written work, such as letter and journal writing, creative writing, and essays. The reading segment consists of texts with a focus on short stories containing a certain element of surprise in order to maintain and develop close reading skills.

German B II*

The language skills acquired in German B I are developed at a more intensive level, with an emphasis on a structured approach to German grammar. Listening, speaking, reading, and writing components become more integrated within a total immersion approach. Short stories form a basis for vocabulary-building and conversation exercises. One of the main goals of this course is to cultivate listening, reading, and writing skills in order to develop a holistic approach to foreign language learning at the pre-IB level. Students read texts that are aimed to expand individual communicative skills and introduce them to typical aspects of German life.

German B III*

This course is the last year of German classes taught before the two-year IB Diploma Program. Essay writing, reading and listening comprehension, discussions, and conversation form a significant component of preparation for IB Language B SL or HL in the eleventh and twelfth grades. An important segment in this course covers an extensive grammar review.

German A 6-10*

For native speakers in grades 6-10 only, the instruction for each of these grades is based on the “Deutschbuch” series textbooks and workbooks, (currently used in the “Gymnasien” in Germany). Literary analysis based on selected texts, essay writing, oral presentations, and discussions are important features of the curriculum. The courses are adapted to individual students in the class and vary according to the participants.

Hebrew B 6-10*

The courses are adapted to individual students in the class and vary according to the participants. Hebrew B is a stepping stone for the IB DP Hebrew exam in which students learn to communicate using a variety of grammatical structures and vocabulary. In addition to the language, students explore the culture and history of Israel.

Introductory Latin*

The method used in the Latin classes is a reading-based Latin language course, where the students are able to read and translate stories from the very first class. This deductive process of language learning is achieved through graded readings and vocabulary. The introductory course begins the formal study of grammar, including recognizing nouns, adjectives, and verbs as distinct parts of speech. The study includes declensions, conjugations, gender, number, and agreement of subject/verb and noun/adjective.

Intermediate Latin*

This intermediate course is a continuation of Introductory Latin, which uses the reading-based method of language learning. This deductive process is achieved through graded readings and vocabulary. It allows students to learn the grammatical constructions and vocabulary directly from the reading exercises. In addition to the study of the Latin language, the course incorporates listening, speaking, reading aloud, and writing skills. Roman culture, word building, and English word derivation continue to be essential components of the course. The intermediate course continues the study of present and imperfect tenses of regular and irregular verb conjugations, declensions, and prepositional phrases. In March, the students participate in the National Latin Exam — an international assessment.

Visual and Performing Arts

Overview

It is Dwight’s philosophy that all young people are artists, and we strive to open doors, both metaphorically and literally, through which their artistic expression can emerge in as many disciplines and forms of expression as possible. Through individual and group settings, we utilize our facilities and those of New York City – the great arts capital we inhabit – to prepare our students for college and the world.

Visual and Performing Arts 6

This grade six course includes drama, visual art, and music, which rotate by trimester. In order to meet the course objectives for Drama 6, students study a variety of performance techniques. In addition to the use of theatrical skill­building exercises and improvisational techniques, this course introduces character performance and development. Students study performance technique, dramatic structure, the elements of a play and the relevance of drama to the world around us. Special emphasis is placed on students’ abilities to learn and grow as performers and artists, as well as to be risk takers both onstage and off.

In Visual Arts 6 Students take advantage of and explore the rich artistic resources of New York City through visiting a museum or gallery to then write a critical analysis of an exhibition. They practice skills and concepts learned in class and explore their own interests in the visual arts in their MYP process journal, in which they are required to create an independent artwork each week. Students learn about art from other times and places. Inspired by these studies, students explore themes and techniques in personally relevant ways. Projects include explorations of two and three dimensional media.

In Music 6, students develop their skills in reading rhythm and melody, first acquired in Timothy House. Students use these skills to compose using conventional notation and graphic scores. In the performance strand of the course, students form bands, discuss and select repertoire, rehearse, perform and evaluate the attributes of performance. In addition to the performance and composition strands, students listen to, analyze and reflect on the music of different eras and cultures.

Visual and Performing Arts 7

This grade seven course includes drama, visual art, and music, which rotate by trimester. In order to meet the course objectives for Drama 7, students study a variety of performance techniques. Students create texts for performance collaboratively and individually. In addition to the continued use of theatrical skill­-building exercises and improvisational techniques, this course introduces scenic performance and development. Students are introduced to longer form scenic structures in both their writing and performing and explore sketch and standup comedy in performance. Special emphasis is placed on students’ abilities to learn and grow as performers and artists, as well as to be risk takers both onstage and off.

In Visual Arts 7 Students take advantage of and explore the rich artistic resources of New York City through visiting a museum or gallery and writing a critical analysis of an exhibition. They practice skills and concepts learned in class and explore their own interests in the visual arts in their MYP process journal, in which they are required to create an independent artwork each week. Students learn about art from other times and places. Inspired by these studies, students explore themes and techniques in personally relevant ways. Projects include explorations of two and three dimensional media.

In Music 7, students develop their skills in reading musical notation and chord sequences. Students use these skills to compose in conventional notation through the iPad app Notion. In the performance strand of the course, students form bands, discuss and select repertoire, rehearse, perform and evaluate the attributes of performance. In addition to the performance and composition strands, students listen to, analyze and reflect on the music of different eras and cultures. In addition, students use iPads to create multi­-layered performances/compositions.

Visual and Performing Arts 8

This grade 8 course includes drama, visual art, and music, which rotate by trimester. In order to meet the course objectives for Drama 8, students will revisit character and scene studies in relation to a study of status in performance, and how status can shift the ways in which actors and characters behave on stage. Students will write original scenes exploring status, and experience long-form improvisational structures such as the LaRonde, The Harold, and The Henry, in which characters and situations are revisited. In addition to the continued use of theatrical skill­ building exercises and improvisations, this course reinforces performance and development.

Working with methods including printmaking and contour drawing, Visual Arts 8 explores how artists can and have interacted with the everyday world. Artists studied may include Warhol, Lichtenstein and Dine. Students practice skills, learn concepts and make art work in class. Weekly assignments in their MYP process journals allow students to extend classroom learning and explore their own interests.

In Music 8, students develop their skills in harmony, structure, sampling and sequencing. Students use these skills to compose in GarageBand/Logic. In the performance strand of the course, students form bands, discuss and select repertoire, rehearse, perform and evaluate the attributes of performance. In addition to the performance and composition strands, students listen to, analyse and reflect on the music of different eras and cultures. In addition, students study the role and input of the composer, arranger, lyricist, conductor, producer and other roles associated with a major musical production.


Visual Arts 9

In Visual Arts 9, our inquiry questions include: What is the relationship between how we see our surroundings and how we represent our surroundings? To what extent can personal and cultural expression of ideas and feelings be communicated using aesthetic understanding?

To respond to these questions, students are encouraged to cultivate observation skills and self­ expression, as well as critical thinking and problem­ solving skills. Students are introduced to drawing techniques with emphasis on observation of still ­lifes and self­ portraits, which test and perfect their skills. Then, color is explored through hands-­on experimentation to discover color mixing and basic color theory. Each student is given a sketchbook (a.k.a. MYP Process Journal), where they create independent work of their choice to supplement in-­class assignments and to provide opportunities further self­-expression. Art making is integrated with research into various artists, cultures and contexts. Students learn to discuss and evaluate their own work through group and individual critiques, challenging the students to give and receive constructive criticism. Ultimately, students learn about the collaborative nature of discovery in the art studio, as well as how to self­ direct their exploration to create products that exhibit skill, knowledge and creativity.

Visual Arts 10

Building on the drawing and painting skills developed in Visual Art 9, this course aims to introduce students to some of the myriad forms of expression and possibility in the visual arts. Through research into important 20th and 21st century artists and/or movements and investigations of a variety of media, students explore new ways of communicating through the visual arts. Additional thematic projects invite students to create personally relevant work in response to their understandings of the world around them, while deepening their ability to conceive of multiple solutions to visual challenges. Ongoing individual feedback is supplemented by peer conferencing and group critiques, allowing students to form a mutually supportive artistic community.

Visual Arts 10 Honors

In Visual Arts 10 and Visual Arts 10 Honors, our guiding questions include: How can images communicate something that words cannot express? How can I express what interests me? How does one evaluate a work of art? How does art help us understand and communicate with other cultures? How and why are the elements of art and principles of design used in Visual Art? To respond to these questions, students are encouraged to cultivate observation skills and self-expression, as well as critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Students are introduced to figure drawing with emphasis on observation of contour edge, proportion and composition. In their sketchbook (a.k.a. Research Workbook), students research the history of figurative representation, thus discovering that one can learn about a culture through close investigation of its artwork. Many field trips to the local museums, large and small, provide students with opportunities to draw from established artworks and learn through observation. Students challenge their understanding of the classical representation of the figure by using and manipulating the figure to express social and political concepts.

Digital Media 9

Digital Media 9 is a Visual Arts course that introduces digital tools such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash along with Sketchup to enhance the scope of student creative expression in multimedia. Students create projects within a range of disciplines that include architecture, game design, and animation. Students make connections between and among these overlapping domains.

Digital Media 10

Digital Media 10 is a Visual Arts course that utilizes digital tools Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash along with Sketchup to further enhance the scope of student creative expression in multimedia. Students create projects within a range of disciplines that include architecture, game design, and animation. Students are expected to be able to work within design parameters given for each project, and to investigate the history of each medium. The final project allows the students to create a multimedia project that reflects their understanding of the technical, artistic, and expressive possibilities of time­-based media.

Theater 9

In order to meet the course objectives for Theater 9, students study a variety of theatrical practices including performing a monologue, stage combat, performing a Shakespearean scene, and performing a contemporary scene. Students will also study and practice improvisational exercises and establish a reflection routine in their MYP Process Journal. Students are asked to review and critique one play per trimester. Students are also encouraged to participate in Scene Nights, which are evenings of performance that take place in the fall and spring. Students study performance technique, dramatic structure, the elements of a play, and the relevance of drama to the world around us. Special emphasis is placed on students’ abilities to learn and grow as performers and artists, as well as to be risk­ takers both onstage and off

Theater 10

In Theater 10, theatre is taught using the lenses of presenting theater, theater processes and theater in context. The students in grade ten theatre are striving to develop their knowledge and understanding of basic terminology and conventions, their skills as actors, directors and playwrights and their capacity to collaborate and solve problems creatively. Throughout the course, students will develop their ability to respond to the theatrical works by seeing three plays or ‘theater pieces’ and writing analytical reviews.

Music 9

This is a comprehensive and fulfilling music course that aims to promote a lasting love and appreciation of music through active involvement in listening, composing, and performing. Students undertake detailed studies of music of many different styles and genres, and learn the appropriate theoretical and analytical skills to respond to it. Performance skills are developed by means of a wide variety of performance projects, including both solo and ensemble work. All students have regular opportunities to perform in the classroom and are also strongly encouraged to participate in School concerts. Students compose using Sibelius music software and develop their skills in presenting a score, engraving and mixing.

Music 10

This is a comprehensive and fulfilling music course that aims to promote a lasting love and appreciation of music through active involvement in listening, composing, and performing. Students undertake detailed studies of music of many different styles and genres, and learn the appropriate theoretical and analytical skills to respond to it. Performance skills are developed by means of a wide variety of performance projects, including both solo and ensemble work. All students have regular opportunities to perform in the classroom and are also strongly encouraged to participate in School concerts. Students compose for film using Sibelius music software and extend their ability to develop musical ideas that are apt for the chosen media.

Dance 6-10

This course is designed to provide students with a fundamental knowledge of dance vocabulary, and to develop skills in ballet, jazz, and modern dance technique. Attention is placed on proper body alignment, movement efficiency, strength, and flexibility. Students also explore and research a variety of “dance pioneers” to better understand and appreciate the history of dance.

Emphasis is placed on student choreography, performance and ongoing artistic growth. All dance students are invited to participate in a fully staged dance performance. Further, this course will develop student appreciation of dance as an art form and lifetime activity.

Film 10

This introductory course offers students the opportunity to examine why we study film, and how innovations in cinema have led to innovations that have affected various forms of visual media through the present. Utilizing screenings, discussions, multi-­media-­enhanced lectures and demonstrations, students begin to understand conventions and motifs that contribute to the “language of cinema.” The course is divided into three principal areas of investigation: American cinema, global cinema and documentary cinema. Students contribute to this understanding of film by learning basic production practices; taking part in various camera, sound, directing, and editing activities. All students work on a final collaborative narrative film and an individual documentary effort.

Physical and Health Education

Overview

It is the belief of the Dwight’s Physical Education Department and that of the IB, that physical education and health play a unique and significant role in the total development of the child. Dwight’s Physical Education Department aims to stimulate the mind, body, and spirit of every child that walks through our doors. Our philosophy focuses on more than just participating in sports and games but rather holistic learning, lifelong fitness, interdisciplinary connections, international mindedness, and the acquisition of motor skills. We empower our students to take ownership of their personal health while being accountable for their actions. All students in kindergarten through grade ten take part in regular physical education classes. An optional recreational activity period, “AM Sports,” is offered to Lower School students from 7:30-7:55 am before the school day begins. In addition to physical education, students in grades six through ten also participate in health education courses. This unique pairing of physical and health education provides students with a well-rounded approach to personal health.

P.E. & Health 6

In grade 6 physical education, we participate in international, recreational, and group games, as well as the exploration of movement composition. Grade 6 physical education focuses on skill building in these areas to prepare for more complex games and experiences as they progress through MYP P.E. The health education content includes the study of personal health and hygiene, building positive relationships including anti-bullying, basic human anatomy and puberty education, simple nutrition, and decision-making skills that include a basic introduction to drug and alcohol education.

P.E. & Health 7

In grade 7, the focus of the course is the application of movement skills and knowledge to team, individual, and dual physical activities. A large focus is the assessment and maintenance of physical fitness to improve health and performance. Knowledge of physical fitness concepts, principles and strategies, positive social interaction, and group dynamics, are taught through specific units of activity. These units include team sports, racket games, personal health and wellness, movement composition, recreational games, and lifetime activities. Health content includes the study of nutrition awareness, the physical and emotional changes that occur during adolescence and puberty, human anatomy of reproductive systems, peer pressure and decision-making skills, as well as drug and alcohol education.

P.E. & Health 8

Physical education in grade 8 is a comprehensive course that includes both health and physical education content. The course aims to provide students with as much exposure as possible to the many ways the body can be active and to provide an atmosphere that encourages personal and social responsibility. Our cooperative games unit sets the stage for the rest of the year where students must learn to work together to accomplish group goals, recognize personal strengths and weakness, and to be open-minded in difficult or challenging situations. Throughout the year, students improve their skills, increase their knowledge, and most importantly, establish a healthy attitude towards physical activity. The health content includes human growth and development, basic human anatomy, nutrition, decision-making skills, as well as drug and alcohol education.

P.E. & Health 9

In grade 9, the physical education focus is to expose students a variety of sports, games, and fitness experiences. Units may include traditional activities such as soccer, basketball, track, handball, badminton, and volleyball, as well as international games, and movement competition. Throughout these units, character education as well as personal and social responsibility are emphasized. Students are assessed in the following areas: performance, movement composition, content knowledge, and health and social tasks. High school health content includes the study of nutrition education, human growth and development, and drug and alcohol education.

P.E. & Health 10

This tenth grade course is the final year of formal physical education at Dwight. This class is a comprehensive course where students takes their current knowledge and apply it towards building a personal fitness plan for their future. Experience in units such as team sports, racket games, strength and conditioning, movement composition, and lifetime activities provide experiences for students to explore potential lifelong physical activity connections. While improving their physical abilities, students also work on developing their social and personal living skills such as cooperation, accountability, and leadership. High school health content includes the study of nutrition education, human growth and development, and drug and alcohol education.

Design

Overview

Dwight School’s Technology program strives to ensure that all Dwight students are critically engaged 21st century learners who are able to make the right choices about which technology to use in a rapidly changing world. Fun, yet responsible, use is at the center of technology at Dwight as students learn to create, communicate, and collaborate in a number of ways. Whether researching a paper, creating a video game, editing a movie, or writing a blog post, students make purposeful use of technology to share with their community and connect with the world around them.

Our faculty love investigating the “next big thing” in an effort to figure out how best to use it in the classroom. They also love exploring students’ interests in a piece of technology as they brainstorm projects, work collaboratively, and look to redefine what is possible.

Technology 6

This course is the first year of a five-year technology sequence in which students learn to solve problems using the Design Cycle. In sixth grade, students are introduced to the stages of the Design Cycle: Inquiring and analyzing, Developing ideas, Creating the solution, and Evaluating. Technology is infused into each stage of the process by using research tools to investigate; drawing and painting tools to develop ideas; and communication and collaboration tools to evaluate and share their work.

Students complete the stages of the design cycle three or more times throughout the year with investigations into digital citizenship topics, architecture, computer-aided design (CAD), coding and game design, and robotics. As students complete these projects, they learn how to create posters, graphic designs, 3-D models, presentations, computer programs, and programmable robots. The curriculum is designed to engage students to use technology effectively by researching, designing, creating, collaborating, and communicating as a tool to reach out beyond the confines of our classroom.

Technology 7

This course is the second year of a five-year technology sequence in which students learn to solve problems using the Design Cycle. In seventh grade, students build on their investigations into the stages of the Design Cycle: Inquiring and analyzing, Developing ideas, Creating the solution, and Evaluating. Technology is infused into each stage of the process using research tools to investigate; drawing, painting, 3-D imaging, and animation tools to create, and communication and collaboration tools to evaluate and share their work.

Students complete the stages of the design cycle three or more times throughout the year with further investigations into digital citizenship, graphic design, web design, and architectural design. Game design is specifically used to initiate thorough investigations through immersion into the deeper implications of the Design Cycle. Students are expected to provide structured feedback to several student game designs and to reflect on feedback received from their peers in order to effect revisions of their designs.

As students plan these projects, they begin by following a design brief, created by their teacher. Throughout the year, students are gradually expected to create increasingly complicated creations based on design briefs. The curriculum is sequenced to guide students to be able to ultimately create a design brief for their own individualized final animation project.

Technology 8

This course is the third year of a five-year technology sequence in which students learn to solve problems using the Design Cycle: Inquiring and analyzing, Developing ideas, Creating the solution, and Evaluating. Technology is infused into each stage of the process by using research tools to investigate, concept-mapping tools to plan, drawing and painting tools to create, and communication and collaboration tools to evaluate and share their work.

Students start the year with an interdisciplinary investigation into how different forms of media can influence an audience.. As game designers, students go through several iterations of the design cycle to create the best product possible. After a class investigation into the media, students use the design cycle to create media messages of their own.

Through all the projects, students are encouraged to choose from several technological tools. It is through this choice that the main goal of the curriculum becomes clear. This course is not only about teaching specific technology tools, but the main objective is about exploring different types of tools and learning how to choose the best tool option for the task at hand.

Technology 9

This course is the fourth year of a five-year technology sequence in which students learn to solve problems using the Design Cycle. In ninth grade students are gradually immersed to the stages of the Design Cycle: Inquiring and analyzing, Developing ideas, Creating the solution, and Evaluating. Technology is infused into each stage of the process by using research tools to investigate, concept-mapping tools to plan, drawing and painting tools to create, and communication and collaboration tools to evaluate and share their work. Students complete the stages of the Design Cycle three or more times throughout the year with investigations into creative problem-solving strategies, engineering, computer-aided design, programming, electronics, and innovation in preparation for creating their own technology-driven designs produced in a variety of media from 3D-printed objects to programmable circuitry.

Technology 10

Inquiry and problem-solving are at the center of this design course, which is focused on providing students with authentic problems that require advanced skills in design, prototyping, creation, and testing. In tenth grade, students are immersed in the stages of the Design Cycle: Inquiring and analyzing, Developing ideas, Creating the solution, and Evaluating. Technology is infused into each stage of the process by using research tools to investigate, concept-mapping tools to plan, drawing and painting tools to create, and communication and collaboration tools to evaluate and share their work. Students complete the stages of the Design Cycle three or more times throughout the year with investigations into creative problem-solving strategies, engineering, computer-aided design, programming, electronics, and innovation in preparation for creating their own technology-driven designs produced in a variety of media, from 3D-printed objects to programmable circuitry.

Service as Action

All Middle Years Program students strive to be caring members of the community who demonstrate a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the environment. Service activities are opportunities for students to engage in action. Through responsible action, students can develop the kinds of attributes described by the International Baccalaureate Learner Profile that are essential for success in future academic pursuits and life beyond the classroom.

In keeping with our mission and the curriculum of the IB, all students have the opportunity to join several after-school service clubs and events. Students in grades 6-8 are required to participate in a grade-wide service day focusing on various issues. In the past, we have worked with organizations such as CityMeals on Wheels, Jewish Home Lifecare, and Central Park Conservancy. Students in grades 9 and 10 are required to take action by self-selecting one service activity per trimester. Students document what they have learned from their participation through written reflections and by posting evidence of what they have experienced in a portfolio on their ManageBac accounts. Please visit our website to access a current list of suggested service opportunities that are being held both at School and beyond.

Student Activities

Dwight School supports the philosophy that student activities are an integral part of a well-rounded International Baccalaureate education. All Middle Years Program students are encouraged to participate in at least one after-school activity per term. Our athletic program is run independently of the activities program and offers students in grades 7-12 opportunities to participate in interscholastic competition. For more information about activity choices and athletic teams, please visit our School website.

Travel Abroad

An integral part of the Dwight journey is experiencing the world outside the classroom, whether on a team-building program in New York’s Catskills Mountains with the entire class, or on an intense, two-week service-learning program with peers in Kenya.

As an international school, Dwight has sent students to China, Japan, Korea, England, Switzerland, Canada, Italy, France, Africa, Australia, Brazil, Peru, Russia, India, Costa Rica, and Saudi Arabia, with new programs being formed every year. Domestic programs include visits to Arizona, Maine, New Hampshire, Florida, Washington, DC, and Boston.

Starting in the fifth grade, Dwight offers travel opportunities through partnerships with our international campuses as well as with outside organizations. Each of the following programs embodies Dwight’s three pillars – personalized learning, community, and global vision – in its own unique way. Our seventh grade students have the opportunity to travel to our campus in Seoul, South Korea. Our ninth grade students can also travel to Asia, this time visiting our school in Shanghai, China.

Specific all-class highlights in the Middle Years Program include a one-night sixth grade orientation in The Catskills, a seventh grade trip to Boston, an eighth grade trip to Washington, DC, and a two-day ninth grade orientation trip to Frost Valley, NY.