Stoneleigh-Burnham Course Catalog

Explore courses by clicking on departments below.

The mission of the Stoneleigh-Burnham English Department is to teach students to read attentively, think critically, and write precisely. Starting in seventh grade and building to the IB diploma program in their junior and senior years, students engage with a wide range of literary styles and perspectives that foster a global mindset and a broader outlook on themselves and the world. In the classroom, we support independent thought and individual development through inquiry-based learning; we encourage our students to understand themselves as learners, to explore personal connections to the curriculum, and to find their own voices in discussion and writing. Focusing on writing as a process, we push our students to refine their skills in both analytical and creative assignments. Students are driven to understand the greater context in which literature is written and received, as well as the stylistic and technical choices writers make, and to use this knowledge as they articulate their own ideas in speaking and writing.

4 years required for graduation from Upper School

English Department Staff

The English Language (EL) Department prepares international students with intermediate – advanced English skills for successful work in mainstream classes at Stoneleigh-Burnham. In EL courses, students are presented with reading, writing, listening, and speaking challenges appropriate to their level of proficiency with English. Students build linguistic and cultural skills necessary to succeed in an American academic setting; to speak and write clearly, think critically and analytically, and work both independently and cooperatively. Reading selections increase in complexity of language and sophistication of content as the students approach the transition to mainstream classes. The EL Department believes that English Learners develop crucial skills and confidence in a safe, nurturing environment where each student is encouraged to celebrate her cultural heritage and explore her personal identity. In so doing, students develop strong, authentic voices in English as well as foster intercultural understanding in the SBS community. The EL Department also believes that language learning does not stop once a student has transitioned into a grade-level English course. For this reason, students who have recently transitioned are supported through the Extension Program.

English Language Department Staff

The dance department is designed to aid girls in the development of kinesthetic intelligence and to provide opportunities for self-expression and communication. Dancers build self-esteem and strength. With class offerings from the beginning to advanced levels, girls discover that dance is an art form that links mind and body.

Dance Department Staff

The History Department strives to instill in our students a sense of global citizenship that will inspire them to be lifelong learners who understand history as more than a series of events that happened in the past; and to appreciate the relevance of the past to their present and future world. The underclass curriculum has a strong international focus, which establishes the core knowledge and skills needed for success in the International Baccalaureate curriculum. We use a system of “skill mapping” that allows us to increase the complexity and rigor of research, writing, and analytical skills concurrent with grade level. Students are encouraged to become eloquent debaters of the past by using primary source material to create and defend logical theses in strong and well-crafted essays. Ever present in our classrooms is the school-wide goal of helping girls to find their voice and to increase their sense of purpose and identity in a truly global environment.

3 years required including United States History

History Department Staff

The study of language encourages students to expand their view of the world, and promotes critical reflection on the relation of language and culture, language and thought. It fosters an understanding of the interrelation of language and human nature and contributes to cultural awareness and literacy. At SBS we teach the four skills and the cultures of the languages we teach in small class settings where girls have the opportunity to interact with confidence. They are encouraged to explore language in listening, speaking, reading, and writing from the introductory levels through the challenging curriculum of the International Baccalaureate.

Small class size guarantees personal attention from experienced language faculty who have worked and studied abroad. Student travel options are available, including immersion and home stay.

Computer labs equipped with software for listening, recording, and interactive online activities enhance the study of languages.

3 consecutive years of the same language required; 4 years recommended

Languages Department Staff

The Stoneleigh-Burnham Mathematics Department believes that each and every student should be challenged to develop her mathematical interests and abilities as much as possible while she is at Stoneleigh-Burnham School. To this end, we maintain a curriculum with a sufficient variety of offerings at all levels so that each student may be placed in the appropriate courses from the time she enters until she graduates. As a result, most of our students continue to take courses within the department beyond the minimum graduation requirements.

Our goals for our students include the following:

  • To see themselves as competent and self-confident mathematicians.
  • To appreciate the abstract beauty of mathematical theories and to use appropriate mathematical vocabulary to express themselves.
  • To make real-life connections to applications of mathematics, in particular, to develop a sense of financial literacy applicable to their own lives.
  • To develop math stamina, the ability to take time to wrestle with difficult problems.
  • To make appropriate use of technology in the study of mathematics.

3 years required including Algebra 2, 4 years recommended

Mathematics Department Staff

The Stoneleigh-Burnham instrumental and vocal music program welcomes each student at her level and helps her continue to grow as a musician. From beginner through advanced, through a wide variety of musical styles, students are encouraged to explore and develop their love of music. SBS has been recognized as a pioneer in girls’ music education for its award-winning vocal, jazz and classical groups and for instituting a course in rock band. Whether you want to begin an instrument or continue a passion, the Stoneleigh-Burnham music program has a rich variety of offerings to meet individual needs.

Music Department Staff

Rhetoric is the ancient art of argumentation and discourse. People often disagree with each other, and this course will lead students down the path of civil discourse. By exploring the nature of shared and unshared assumptions, students will be able to engage in debate and persuasive speaking intelligently and politely. Students will use logical arguments based on inductive and deductive reasoning. They will learn to create an emotional reaction in an audience. They will also learn to project a trustworthy, authoritative, and charismatic image. When writing speeches, students will keep in mind the speaker, the content, and the listener. Listening skills will be stressed.

This course is required of all 10th graders.

The mission of the science department at Stoneleigh-Burnham School is to provide each of our students with the tools, confidence, and knowledge to tackle scientific questions. We encourage curiosity, critical thinking, and reflection through hands-on inquiry. Laboratory investigations incorporate experiment design and technology applications. They also build collaboration and communication skills. We stress the practical application of classroom science to the real world, and draw deliberate connections between the various science disciplines.

3 years required for graduation (two courses must be lab science); four recommended

Science Department Staff

Stoneleigh-Burnham provides information technology resources to facilitate and enrich our community’s educational, workplace, and residential experience. Students have access to three computer labs, as well as many additional computers situated throughout the school. All academic computers are networked, allowing access to printers and the school’s email/messaging system. Our in-school network is available for academic purposes during all class and study hall hours.

Students who wish to bring their own computers to Stoneleigh-Burnham are encouraged to do so. All students who intend to use the student wireless system must register their computers with the Technology Department and comply with all applicable rules and regulations.

The Technology Department makes an effort to assist students with personal computer issues and, as necessary, help to arrange for outside service and repairs. The school will provide virus protection for all student-owned computers.

This course is required of all 9th graders.

Technology Department Staff

Drama is a long-standing tradition at Stoneleigh-Burnham School. Students explore theater through practice, performance, and design, and thus gain experience in all areas of theatrical production. In the main stage play each year, students act, direct, design the set, and help to run the technical aspects of the production. Acting classes are offered from the beginner level to the advanced.

Theater Department Staff

Studying the visual arts is an interactive hands-on learning experience where students learn the basic concepts and skills that are common to all visual arts disciplines. Students develop their problem-solving skills by learning how to design and execute a piece, assess it, and refine it. In the beginning-level classes, the focus is on developing the skills and concepts of the discipline, which will enhance a student’s ability to express herself in the visual arts. In the upper level classes, emphasis is placed on learning how to critique, analyze, and interpret art while undertaking more complex and meaningful studio projects. Art making affords an outlet for personal expression and girls may explore and express things they cannot communicate in words.

Our curriculum supports the needs of girls by offering them many opportunities in the arts. A conscious effort is made to use the work of women artists as examples in the classroom. The artists who exhibit in the Geissler Gallery are often women, and each gives a gallery talk to the student body about her experience and life as an artist. We also offer assistance in portfolio preparation to seniors for college admission.

2 trimesters of the arts are required each year

Visual Arts Department Staff