Curriculum Middle & High

The overarching goal of the English department is to prepare students to be successful at the college level by providing them with a comprehensive understanding of the English language. At all grade levels, reading, writing, speaking, and analytical thinking will be emphasized and assessed. We believe these skills will help strengthen students’ ability to interpret the world around them.
During their English studies at Saint Paul American School, students begin by mastering the foundations of English composition, and progressively move to a variety of specific writing, speaking, and literature courses. Students will analyze and respond to a wide range of literary texts that encompass a global perspective, with an emphasis on highly energetic, discussion-based learning experiences.
Along with the core English curriculum, each student must also enroll in at least one Speech course. The purpose of this requirement is aimed at helping students build confidence, refine verbal and nonverbal communication skills, and, ultimately, be able to successfully deliver a wide variety of practical speeches.
Students are also encouraged to engage in programs like Student Newsletter, Yearbook, and Creative Writing contests. These extracurricular pursuits provide students the opportunity to experiment with their writing skills and deepen their understanding in unique settings.
Ultimately, we hope to instill in our students a love of literature, as well as the confidence to communicate effectively.

Courses offered

  • MS English III ENG0806/ENG0807 (year-long)
    Course Description: MS English is a course focused on developing students’ reading, writing, and study skills. The curriculum will also emphasize analytical thinking and group work. During the year, students will participate in a variety of activities and thematic units to achieve this goal, and will also experiment with various forms of creative writing. Prerequisites: none Grade Level: 7-8
  • General English 9 ENG0944/ENG0945 (year-long) Course Description: General English 9 builds upon the students' prior knowledge of grammar, vocabulary, word usage, and mechanics of writing, and usually include the four aspects of language use: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Usually, the various genres of literature are introduced and defined, with writing exercises often linked to reading selections. Prerequisites: none Grade Level: 9
  • Honors English 9 ENG0964/ENG0965 (year-long) Course Description:This one-year course is a more rigorous version of the standard General English 9. It builds upon the students' prior knowledge of grammar, vocabulary, word usage, and mechanics of writing, and usually include the four aspects of language use: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Usually, the various genres of literature are introduced and defined, with writing exercises often linked to reading selections. Prerequisites: Successful honors application Grade Level: 9
  • Speech ENG1002 (1 semester long) Course Description: The primary purpose of Speech is to improve public speaking skills in a variety of settings. For each speech, topic selection, audience analysis, research, outlining, speech writing, and speech delivery will be emphasized. By the end of this course students will have improved verbal and nonverbal communication skills, and will be able to successfully and confidently present speeches in a variety of real-world situations. Prerequisites: none Grade Level: 12
  • General English 10 ENG1023/ENG1021 (year-long) Course Description: General English 10 offers a balanced focus on composition and literature. Typically, students learn about the alternate aims and audiences of written compositions by writing persuasive, critical, and creative multi-paragraph thematic essays and compositions. The study of literature encompasses various genres as students improve their reading rate and comprehension and develop the skills to determine authors' intent and theme and to recognize the techniques employed by the author to achieve the goal. Prerequisites: Graduation from the ESL program Grade Level: 10
  • Honors General English 10 ENG1024/ENG1025 (year-long) Course Description: This one-year course is a more rigorous version of the standard General English 10. It offers a balanced focus on composition and literature. Typically, students learn about the alternate aims and audiences of written compositions by writing persuasive, critical, and creative multi-paragraph thematic essays and compositions. The study of literature encompasses various genres as students improve their reading rate and comprehension and develop the skills to determine authors' intent and theme and to recognize the techniques employed by the author to achieve the goal. Prerequisites: Successful honors application Grade Level: 10
  • World Literature ENG1113/ENG1114 (year-long) Course Description: World Literature is a year-long study of canonical literature spanning the globe. In this course, students will examine short stories, novels, plays, poetry, and nonfiction within a historical and cultural context. Students take part in group discussions and class seminars, write essays, and deliver speeches to demonstrate their growing understanding of the relationship between local concerns and universal questions, the manner in which geography and culture can influence form, and world views of literature itself. Class discussions also encourage students to express opinions and support individual ideas from their readings. Prerequisites: none Grade Level: 11-12
  • Creative Writing ENG1204 (1 semester long) Course Description: Creative writing is focused on allowing students to display their creative and expressive writing skills. Exercises and assignments in each of the main literary genres— creative nonfiction, poetry, fiction, and drama—will help students discover their voice and tone while expanding vocabulary, building awareness of audience, and refining flow, context, meaning, and sentence variation. Creative writing will promote critical thinking and help students refine communication skills, which will aid students in writing more interesting essays, enhance their success in other classes, and set them apart in college applications as they continue on in the world of academia. Prerequisites: none Grade Level: 11-12
  • American Literature ENG1213/ENG1214 (year-long) Course Description: American Literature covers the literature of the United States from the early beginnings of the country until the present. Historical forces impacting the literature, as well as the regional influences, are also examined. The development of critical thinking and vocabulary building, along with writing skills, are emphasized. Prerequisites: none Grade Level: 11-12
  • AP Literature and Composition ENG1506/ENG1507 (year-long) Course Description: This class is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition exam given at the end of the school year. For success in the course, students need advanced English skills as well as a major commitment of their time and effort. During the class, students engage in careful reading and critical analysis of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. Students are expected to actively engage in class discussions, write critical essays, and deliver oral presentations about the literary texts studied in class. Prerequisites: Lexile score of 1100 and successful honors application Grade Level: 11-12

The modern language program at Saint Paul American School is dedicated to both helping students master a foreign language, as well as introduce them to the subtleties of a culture different from their own. Students are enrolled in two language classes a day, which focus on both oral and written Components. As students progress through the program, courses increasingly focus on HSK (HanYu ShuiPing KaoShi) mastery, including levels HSK 3-6, with the expectation that all graduates will reach the point of both spoken and written fluency in Chinese.
In an increasingly globalized world, language acquisition is a necessary step in promoting cultural awareness. Our unique concept of high school establishes a mutual credit exchange and dual diploma system between Saint Paul Preparatory School in the US, and the Second School Attached to Beijing Normal University. Many graduates continue to study both Chinese and English, recognizing the importance of multilingualism. Spanish is also an emerging curriculum addition that allows students to add or third or fourth language to their skill set.
Mastery of Chinese and English language ultimately prepares students to be global leaders in a wide variety of fields; with this goal in mind, the modern language program works diligently to prepare students for professional success in the global community.

Courses offered

Saint Paul American School has implemented an Experiential Learning Curriculum into the Chinese Language & Culture course. This program has been developed specifically for our students; allowing them to gain valuable real world experience using the Chinese Language as well as learning Chinese history and culture through hands on encounters. All students that participate in this program follow our LEAP format: Learn material, Experience Chinese culture and language in the form of experiential learning, and then Apply and Present this material to their peers.

  • Chinese I FOR1117 (1 semester long) Course Description: This course will introduce Pinyin, basic Chinese vocabulary, and useful terms and phrases in typical everyday conversations. We will help students experience and adapt to the atmosphere of speaking with native Chinese speakers. Students will grasp Chinese phonetics, tones and rhythms, and about 320 common Chinese words. Students can say simple and more typically well-known Chinese phrases, such as those used in self-introductions, and will also be able to conduct most routine communicative tasks for personal needs in Chinese, such as making an appointment, making an acquaintance, paying a visit, dating, shopping, etc.
    Prerequisites: none
    Grade Level: 7-12
  • Chinese II FOR1118 (1 semester long) Course Description: Students will continue to explore the communicative functions of the previous semester from Chinese I. This is particularly evident in the first five units. In Unit 6, a new topic is introduced about environmental protection. This parallel type content gives the students a more in-depth training in the communication skills targeted. The tasks focus on the communication skill required for daily life. As these tasks are extended both in depth and width, the students' vocabulary will be enlarged, and so will the ability to conduct daily communication. This will act as a bridge to their further Chinese study.
    Prerequisites: Chinese I or instructor approval
    Grade Level: 7-12
  • Chinese III FOR1101 (1 semester long) Course Description: This course will concentrate on practicing of listening, speaking, reading, and writing to improve students’ Chinese fluency. Students will learn to scan for information, expand vocabulary, and strengthen their knowledge of grammatical structures. Students will take part in everyday conversations in Chinese about familiar topics. Students will use more complex sentence structures, grammar patterns, and will express their opinions using basic yet appropriate expressions and language norms in Chinese.
    Prerequisites: Chinese II or instructor approval
    Grade Level: 7-12
  • Chinese IV FOR1102 (1 semester long) Course Description: Students in Chinese IV will learn more Chinese vocabulary, useful terms, grammar points and Chinese culture. Students should grasp about 500 new Chinese words. To cope with the general needs of conducting daily communication, the sentence's patterns and grammar concepts presented to students will be in an order that emphasizes functional usage. The language materials are arranged within situational topics.
    Prerequisites: Chinese III or instructor approval
    Grade Level: 7-12
  • Chinese V FOR1016 (1 semester long) Course Description: Students in level 5 will practice listening, speaking, reading and writing to improve students’ Chinese fluency. Students will learn to scan for information, expand vocabulary, and strengthen grammatical structures and know more about Chinese culture. Students will read and comprehend the text and will actively utilize new words; the grammar aspect analyzes some comparatively complex sentence patterns to train the students to use more complex sentence structures and grammar patterns.
    Prerequisites: Chinese IV or instructor approval
    Grade Level: 7-12
  • Chinese VI FOR1017 (1 semester long) Course Description: This course is designed for students who have a vocabulary of at least 1100 words and have completed the primary Chinese courses. The course will prepare the students to demonstrate their level of Chinese proficiency as high as being able to learn in a Chinese speaking college or university. Communicative modes of teaching are provided to help students with their Chinese language skills in interpersonal, interpretive and presentational ways.
    Prerequisites: Chinese V or instructor approval
    Grade Level: 7-12
  • HSK III FOR0906 (1 semester long) Course Description: HSK III is a test-preparation course with an aim at mastery of all reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills necessary for success taking the HSK 3 exam. Students will learn new words, as well as grammar elements and phrases, and will also refine their speaking and listening skills. Finally, classes will compliment students’ daily Chinese class.
    Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment in Chinese III
    Grade Level: 7-12
  • HSK IV FOR0907 (1 semester long) Course Description: HSK IV is a test-preparation course with an aim at mastery of all reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills necessary for success taking the HSK 4 exam. Students will learn new words, grammar elements and phrases, and will also refine their speaking and listening skills. Finally, classes will compliment students’ daily Chinese class.
    Prerequisites: HSK III or instructor approval
    Grade Level: 7-12
  • HSK V FOR0908 (1 semester long) Course Description: HSK V is a test-preparation course with an aim at mastery of all reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills necessary for success taking the HSK 5 exam. Students will learn new words, as well as grammar elements and phrases, and will also refine their listening skills. Classes will compliment students’ daily Chinese class.
    Prerequisites: HSK IV or instructor approval
    Grade Level: 7-12
  • HSK VI FOR0909 (1 semester long) Course Description: HSK VI is a test-preparation course with an aim at mastery of all reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills necessary for success taking the HSK 6 exam. Students will learn new words, grammar elements, and phrases, and will also refine their listening skills.
    Prerequisites: HSK V or instructor approval
    Grade Level: 7-12
  • AP Chinese FOR1502/FOR1503 (year-long) Course Description: AP Chinese is a full-year course that covers the equivalent of a secondyear college Chinese course. It is an advanced Mandarin Chinese course aimed at equipping students both linguistically and culturally to communicate successfully in Chinese within and beyond the school setting. This course prepares students to demonstrate their level of Chinese proficiency across the three communicative modes (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational) and the five goal areas (communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities) as outlined in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century.
    Prerequisites: HSK VI or instructor approval
    Grade Level: 9-12

The Information Services department provides students with the necessary computer application skills for them to be successful in their study and work in the future. Students have the opportunity to learn both about modern computer technologies, as well as how to utilize this technology to create original works.
During their studies at Saint Paul American School, students will master Microsoft Office applications; photo, audio and video editing applications; and program using web development and database languages. These courses will supply students with the necessary technological skills to hit the ground running in any undergraduate program in IT.
Students may take any of the following courses: Information Technology, Digital Art, or Web Development. Information Technology is designed to teach students proficient skills in Microsoft Office and Java Script programming. All lessons are project-based and incorporates cross-curricular exercises to teach software skills while reinforcing English, Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science concepts.
Digital Art expands on foundation skills, exposing students to new applications, including Google’s 3-d modeling, Sketch-up, video editing and advanced features of adobe Photoshop.
Multimedia Journalism is a combination of web development and journalism in the digital age. SPAS Student News (SSN) is a student organization connected with the multimedia journalism class. The SSN team is split into to branches, the broadcast team and the magazine team. The broadcast team produces a weekly news program covering a variety of local and nation news while the magazine team creates a monthly print and online news journal.

Courses offered

  • Information Technology TEC1005 (1 semester long) Course Description: Information Technology focuses on developing students’ computer literacy skills so as to adapt to emerging technologies used in the global marketplace. The focus will revolve around basic word processing skills, including all Microsoft Professional Office Suite programs: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, Access and Publisher. Students will experiment with these programs, complete a wide variety of project-based assessments.
    Prerequisites: none
    Grade Level: 9-12
  • Multimedia Journalism TEC1015 (1 semester long) Course Description: This course is designed to provide opportunities for students to engage in an in-depth examination of modern journalism. Students are responsible for the planning, design, writing/recording and publication of the school weekly newscast, newsletter publication and online digital content. This production process will involve feature writing, graphic design, videography, video editing, and distribution. Students will utilize outside media sources, and will also serve as campus reporters.
    Prerequisites: none
    Grade Level: 9-12

Courses in the Math department follow as much as possible a traditional American progression of high-school Mathematics classes. These start in Algebra I and continue through college-level Calculus. Emphasis is placed on graphing, functions, and critical thinking. Higher level classes require a high level of English because of the types of questions asked. Students are placed during their first term at Saint Paul American School in the class that best reflects their current Math level with consideration given to English ability. Students who finish our Math program will not only be ready for college courses, but will also be problem-solvers in many aspects of their lives; including finance, statistics, and applied sciences.

Courses offered

  • Algebra I MAT0902/MAT0904 (year-long) Course Description: This first-year course is the study of patterns and structure within the real number system. Topics include working with equations, graphing, and problem-solving strategies. Students become adept at solving problems that require the integration of a variety of mathematical concepts.
    Prerequisites: Pre-Algebra (or have equivalent math skills).
    Grade Level: 7-9
  • Honors Algebra I MAT0914/MAT0915 (year-long) Course Description: This first-year algebra course is designed for the highly-qualified, motivated student who is committed to a challenging course of study during each year of high school. The development of algebraic strategies to enhance problem-solving skills and the study of structure within the real number system form the basis of this course.
    Prerequisites: Pre-Algebra and successful honors application
    Grade Level: 7-9
  • Geometry MAT1003/MAT1004 (year-long) Course Description: This one-year course is a logical development of the inductive and deductive systems of reasoning. Emphasis is on developing visualization abilities, analytical skills, and logical reasoning through activity-oriented methods of instruction. The prerequisite for this course is successful completion of Algebra I.
    Prerequisites: Algebra I (or have equivalent math).
    Grade Level: 8-11
  • Honors Geometry MAT1009/MAT1010 (year-long) Course Description: This one-year course provides advanced study in Geometry for the more capable student. It is a rigorous, logical development of the deductive system of reasoning. Emphasis is on the development of logic, formal proofs, and algebraic applications to geometry. The prerequisite for this course is successful completion of Algebra I Honors.
    Prerequisites: Algebra I and successful honors application
    Grade Level: 8-11
  • Algebra II MAT1105/MAT1106 (year-long) Course Description: This second-year course in algebra represents a mathematical progression from the concept of numbers as experienced in arithmetic to the notion of properties of numbers without regard to their value, a necessary tool for science applications. Formal abstraction will enable students to understand and analyze data in many occupational and academic fields.
    Prerequisites: Geometry (or have equivalent math skills).
    Grade Level: 9-12
  • Honors Algebra II MAT1214/MAT1215 (year-long) Course Description: This second-year algebra course is designed for students who desire a more rigorous course of study than in the standard Algebra II curriculum. Students will develop a more in-depth study of the concept of numbers from arithmetic to the notion of discrete mathematics. Formal abstraction will enable students to understand and analyze data in many occupational and academic fields. Emphasis is placed on proof of mathematical assertions assumed in other courses.
    Prerequisites: Geometry and successful honors application
    Grade Level: 9-12
  • Math Topics MAT1107/MAT1108 (year-long) Course Description: Math Topics builds upon Algebra 2 to provide mastery of math in daily life and for university coursework in non-math courses. Students will learn to interpret mathematical relationships, estimate values, and present data. This course will emphasize critical thinking and communication skills as students gain strong math acumen for academic and professional life.
    Prerequisites: Algebra II
    Grade Level: 10-12
  • Honors Pre-calculus MAT1204/MAT1205 (year-long) Course Description: The purpose of this course is to prepare students for a Calculus class. Students gain extended knowledge and experience working with functions, and also broaden their Trigonometry skills. The year starts with some review of Algebra II and ends with an introduction to Calculus.
    Prerequisites: Algebra II with a C- or higher (or have equivalent math skills).
    Grade Level: 10-12
  • AP Calculus MAT1506/MAT1507 (year-long) Course Description: AP Calculus AB is a year-long course that is comparable to calculus courses offered during the first semester at US colleges and universities. It is expected that students who take an AP course in calculus will seek college credit, college placement, or both, from institutions of higher learning. Students will master concepts of differentiation and integration, graphical analysis including limits, asymptotes, and continuity.This rigorous study ultimately seeks to prepare students for success on the May AP examination.
    Prerequisites: Pre-calculus with a B- or higher and successful honors application
    Grade Level: 11-12
  • AP Statistics MAT1508/MAT1509 (year-long) Course Description: This course is designed to cover the four main topics on the AP Statistics exam: exploratory data analysis, planning and conducting a study, probability, and statistical inference. Topics will include: categorical and quantitative data, proportions, one sample means, matched pairs means, regression analysis, z-test, t-test, chi square test, z-intervals and paired ttests, amongst others. This course requires the use of a graphing calculator. This class is not as calculation rich as our other math offerings since the calculator or computer does most of the tedious calculations. Your job will be to understand which statistical procedure to apply and how to interpret the results.
    Prerequisites: Algebra II with a B- or higher and successful honors application
    Grade Level: 11-12
English Mathematics Social Studies Science
· MS English III
· General English 9
· Honors General English 9
· Speech
· General English 10
· Honors General English 10
· World Literature
· Creative Writing
· American Literature
· Algebra I
· Honors Algebra I
· Geometry
· Honors Geometry
· Algebra II
· Honors Algebra II
· Math Topics
· Honors Pre-Calculus
· MS Social Studies III
· Geography
· American Government
· World Government
· World History
· Honors World History
· US History
· Honors US History
· Financial Literacy
· Economics
· MS Science III
· Physical Science
· Honors Physical Science
· Biology
· Honors Biology
· Chemistry
Foreign Language Fine Arts Elective Information Services
· Chinese
· Spanish
· MS Music III/ESL Music
· MS Art III/ESL Art
· Band
· Art I
· Music
· Drama
· Digital Art
· ESL Science
· ESL English
· ESL Social Studies
· Academic English Support
· Wellness
· Academic Skills
· Leadership
· College Preparation
· Intensive English
· Information Technology
· Multimedia Journalism