7 – 12th Curriculum

Upper School Curriculum

7th – 12th  Grade Sequence of Curriculum Mathematics

Beginning in 7th grade students progress through math at a more individualized pace.   The following is the traditional course sequence.   The Upper School options begin with 7th Grade Fundamentals though some students may have taken this course in 6th grade.   The accelerated sequence puts students on track to take Algebra I in 8th grade.  However, this is not required and many students benefit greatly from taking a slower track which would put Algebra I in 9th grade, but still provide sufficient opportunity to complete Algebra II in 11th grade and leave room for an advanced college math option during the senior year. 

HLA uses BJU Press math courses because they provide a rigorous standard program of study, while aligned with national college readiness standards. The BJU materials have comprehensive examples and practice work. Additionally, they tie mathematics to real world applications and help students understand how mathematical principles point us to the creator who set the laws of the universe in motion. 

Math: BJU Fundamentals of Math 

Fundamentals of Math covers math concepts such as whole numbers, decimals, number theory, fractions, and an introduction to algebra and geometry. Problem solving skills and the applications of math to real life are emphasized.  Fundamentals is an excellent transitional text to solidify math computational skills and introduce algebraic concepts before students move into a traditional upper math sequence.

 Pre-Algebra: BJU 

Pre-Algebra eases the transition from arithmetic to algebra. Algebraic expressions and linear equations are applied throughout a thorough review of operations on integers, fractions, decimals, percents, and radicals. Students explore relations and functions using equations, tables, and graphs. Chapters on statistics and geometry extend foundational concepts in preparation for high school courses. Problem-solving and real-life uses of math are featured in each chapter. Dominion through Math exercises regularly illustrate how mathematics can be used to manage God’s creation to His glory.

Algebra 1: BJU 

Algebra I develops an understanding of algebra by justifying methods and by explaining how to solve problems. Concepts discussed include graphing, solving systems of equations, operations with polynomials and radicals, factoring polynomials, solving rational equations, and graphing quadratic functions.

 

Geometry: BJU Press 

The geometry program by BJU Press is traditional in nature, requiring students to prove theorems and calculate with formulas. Each lesson reinforces geometry concepts and helps develop critical thinking skills.  This program also continues practice in algebra. 

Algebra II: BJU Press

BJU Press Algebra II continues the study of advanced algebra concepts including linear relationships, systems of equations, quadratic equations, matrices, polynomial functions, radicals and logarithmic equations, rational expressions, introduction to trigonometry, sequences and series, probability and statistics as well as analytical geometry.

Pre-Calculus:  BJU 

BJU Precalculus continues the succession of advanced math.  Students will master functions, trigonometry, vectors and polar graphs as well as advanced systems and analytical geometry, inferential geometry and be introduced to limits, derivatives and integrals.   Successfully completing this course prepares students for college level mathematics.  

(under consideration) BJU Principles of Consumer Math

Advanced Option:  students taking college math for credit through community college dual enrollment once they have completed the sequence of courses on campus at HLA. 

Science Sequence : BJU Press

BJU press has created an engaging and rigorous sequence of science texts which present science concepts within the framework of a Christian Worldview.   Each text also introduces students to current topics and career options within each discipline. The material covered in these texts is generally considered ‘honors’ level material. Students will learn the science of life in this colorful textbook that displays an engaging design sure to grab their attention from the very first day. 

Science Labs: BJU Press and teacher created

Labs are often the most exciting part of a life science class. These labs will make the subject come alive for your student!  Lab manuals include worksheets, activities, and labs and teacher created activities as well as selections called “Applications”. Class Investigation activities are true laboratory experiments. Each one provides clear instructions for the student and asks probing questions, requiring students to think through what they are observing and studying. Many of these labs can be completed with minimal materials. Research Investigations require students to use other sources to discover information about science topics. Field Investigations involve students making observations outside the lab or classroom. Personal Investigations are activities that students can complete on their own and often involve preparing oral or written reports.

In addition to text lab experiences teachers have the option to create labs for their classes.   

7th/8th (Durham) The Life Science/ Earth Science sequence will be offered in Durham in alternating academic years. Students in 7th and 8th grade will be combined into one class, depending on enrollment. 

Life Science typically 7th grade (Apex): Each chapter of Life Science includes well-researched material written at grade level, colorful images to reinforce text content, boxes with fun facts and helpful explanations, a list of key terms, a chapter summary, thought-provoking review questions, and extra questions to prepare students for standardized tests. Students will study cell biology, genetics, the history of life, microbiology, botany, zoology, ecology, and human anatomy and physiology, all within a biblical framework.

Earth Science  typically 8th Grade (Apex) :  BJU Earth Science  guides students in an examination of God’s handiwork. Affirming the young earth creationist view of the Earth’s history and disproving the evolutionary views pervading the scientific community and modern culture, the science educational materials presents an engaging study of scientific philosophies and models, meteorology, geology, and oceanography.

Special NOTE: BJU Earth Science fulfills the NC Environmental Science requirement and will be issued high school science level credit when taken in 8th grade provided the student passes this course.   This course may also be taken by students higher than 8th grade if they have not completed this requirement. This is also a graduation requirement. 

Biology

Within the framework of a Christian Worldview and Creationist perspective, BJU Biology covers the cellular and molecular biology, ecology, organism biology and the study of human life. 

This course satisfies the NC requirement for a life science course at the high school level.   It is required for graduation.

Physical Science 9th or 10th grade or higher

BJU Physical Science provides a rigorous general introduction to the study of matter and energy that satisfies the NC requirement for a physical science.   Students will receive a thorough introduction to both chemistry and physics concepts, as well as methodologies of measurement and investigation.   This course satisfies the NC requirement for a physical science course.

Chemistry: Upon enrollment into Algebra II or Geometry 10th grade or higher

BJU: Chemistry is a rigorous physical science course that covers chemistry from a Biblical perspective.  Measuring, calculating and organized problem solving are integral to the study of matter, organic chemistry, nuclear chemistry.  Modern topics of material chemistry are also included in this course. This course satisfies the NC requirement for a physical science course.  

Physics: 11th or 12th grade – prerequisites Algebra II / corequisite PreCalculus

BJU Physics is an advanced, rigorous and math intensive science course which covers modern physics concepts, geometric optics and light, classical mechanics, electromagnetics, and thermodynamics and matter within a Christian worldview. 

Additional advanced science may be offered to students during the senior year.  This potentially will be accomplished through the dual enrollment program in the local community colleges. 

English Language Art  (ELA)  Sequence 7 – 12 grade

English Language Arts at HLA is a rigorous sequence of courses to prepare students for advanced composition.   A thorough and enjoyable sequence of literature is aligned with History when possible.   Students continue the study of words and spelling as well as the conventions of grammar until the sequence is completed.  

Word Study and Spelling: Megawords  At this time HLA has been integrating the Megawords program into appropriate grades.  Each grade will be assigned the appropriate level according to which levels have been completed by this cohort of students.  

Megawords is a research based program in word study, spelling, vocabulary and reading fluency. Because automatic decoding and pronunciation of multi-syllable words is crucial to developing reading fluency, Megawords focuses on phonetic patterns and word structural analysis. This format teaches the reading, spelling, and contextual use of multisyllabic words through multisensory instruction and a systematic progression of skills. Its goal is “to teach students word attack strategies that they can apply to sounding out any unfamiliar word.”   Not only are spelling patterns taught, but word decoding skills are perfected with this program and practice in reading fluency is embedded into the program.  Within each book, words are presented in lists arranged by word structure and spelling pattern.  Practice is also provided to allow students to monitor and record their own progress in reading fluency.  

The Megawords program extends from level 5 through level 8 in the Upper School curriculum. 

Grammar: The proper use of the conventions of formal English language writing is important to both the quality and ease of composition.  In addition to teacher created lessons the following materials are incorporated into the grade level work.   Grammar fluency is also integral to speaking and presentation skills.  

The Easy Grammar Series  is an award-winning and proven grammar curriculum which provides  thorough and appropriately sequenced instruction in all areas of grammar instruction including punctuation, parts of speech and grammatical structures. Lessons at each level should take 10 – 20 minutes per day of student independent work.  The teacher reinforces concepts within the classroom and provides evaluation and application opportunities both as assessments and in writing assignments. Easy Grammar is slightly unique in that it uses a “preposition based approach” to understanding different phrases and word functions within a sentence.  The beauty of this approach is that students sort out phrases prior to identifying the function of other parts of speech.  

7th grade Easy Grammar Plus This is the most thorough treatment of grammatical structures, and punctuation in the series.   Completion of this course prepares students for fluent upper grade writing. 

This level is followed by the Easy Grammar Ultimate Series at appropriate grade levels. This text in the series provides appropriate systematic review and practice of grammatical structures and punctuation. 

8th grade: Easy Grammar Ultimate 8  

9th grade: Easy Grammar Ultimate 9  

10th grade: Easy Grammar Ultimate 10 

11th – 12 Grade: Grammar is covered through composition as students learn to edit their work.

Writing and Composition:   In the upper school, the focus of writing is on formal composition for both academic and practical purposes.  

Following the elementary school sequence of Institute for Excellence in Writing curriculum, the Upper School transitions to Write With Skill by Susan Wise Bauer.   This series uses time tested techniques presented in a developmentally appropriate sequence.   Within these texts directions are written to the student, in a step by step presentation, which makes satellite work more independent.  The classroom teacher introduces and reinforces each major concept and convention and provides practice within the class as well as feedback and evaluation to the students.  Detailed rubrics are provided to guide the student’s product creation.   Modeling instruction is provided within the text using works of literature and other writing.

(This program is being phased into the grade levels fo the next two years.  Each grade will work on the appropriate text within that framework.  Eventually grades 7 – 9 will complete Writing With Skill in sequence and grades 10 – 12 will practice composition within their literature study, other academic subject areas and through teacher created assignments). 

Write With Skill I teaches paragraph construction, topic sentences, note taking, writing narrative summaries, outlines, word choices and the use of a thesaurus, chronological narratives (particularly from science and history), descriptions of places, scientific descriptions, descriptions of people, biographical sketches, literary criticism applied to prose, literary criticism applied to poetry, and researching, footnoting, and citing works that were used. Students apply research skills and documentation in brief compositions then write a thousand-word researched composition at the end of the year.

Write With Skill II teaches paragraph construction, topic sentences, note taking, writing narrative summaries, outlines, word choices and the use of a thesaurus, chronological narratives (particularly from science and history), descriptions of places, scientific descriptions, descriptions of people, biographical sketches, literary criticism applied to prose, literary criticism applied to poetry, and researching, footnoting, and citing works that were used. Students apply research skills and documentation in brief compositions then write a thousand-word researched composition at the end of the year.

Write With Skill III teaches paragraph construction, topic sentences, note taking, writing narrative summaries, outlines, word choices and the use of a thesaurus, chronological narratives (particularly from science and history), descriptions of places, scientific descriptions, descriptions of people, biographical sketches, literary criticism applied to prose, literary criticism applied to poetry, and researching, footnoting, and citing works that were used. Students apply research skills and documentation in brief compositions then write a thousand-word researched composition at the end of the year.

Following the completion of the Writing With Skills sequence Grade 11 & 12  (2021-2022) and Grades 10 – 11 (2022 – 2023 and beyond) Composition will cover grammar as students edit their own work. 

Grade 12 (2021-2022 and beyond)  Research and apologetic writing will include practice in editing as students learn the conventions of this specialized form of composition. 

Literature Integrated with History

Literature and History:  During middle and high school, history and literature are taught connectedly through historical fiction and excellent reference sources.   BJU Press literature anthologies as listed below are used in grades 8 – 11 to provide a comprehensive framework of instruction in both literary analysis and literary composition.   

ADDITIONAL LITERATURE: In addition to the revised BJU anthologies, each year includes a selection of other literature and writing (plays, narratives, etc) which will round out the student’s exposure to literary works.  

SCHOOL LIBRARY:  Students at the Upper School also have access to a carefully cultivated school library and are assigned and encouraged to read from the culturally diverse selections provided.  

Middle school Eastern and World Cultures   The culturally diverse Sonlight curriculum provides a bridge between elementary school and the formal study of geography/culture/government/history in high school using traditional texts.   

The Sonlight curriculum incorporates student research with reference materials and a wide selection of literature and historical fiction to engage students and broaden their understanding of the world and its diverse people.  Students will read as many as 15 different selections each year using this curriculum.  

7 – 8th grade Durham is currently a combined class: World Cultural Geography (Literature and History credit) alternating years with Eastern Hemisphere (Literature and History credit).

Eastern Hemisphere (Literature and History credit)

History is taught through two reference books and great literature in this Sonlight curriculum which focuses on countries and cultures of the Eastern Hemisphere with a special emphasis on the 10/40 Window where 90% of the world’s unevangelized populations live.   In this year students will read about missionaries and both ancient and modern cultures of this region of the world. 

World Cultural Geography Through this literature and text based overview students will see the connected flow of human history from creation through the present, and they’ll have a great time doing so. This level also helps students develop critical thinking skills and understand the world today by seeing how we got where we are. The 36-week study helps them understand their own and others’ cultures by seeing connections between civilizations around the world and throughout time.

APEX CAMPUS

7th grade Apex Eastern Hemisphere (Literature and History credit) Sonlight Curriculum

History is taught through two reference books and great literature in this Sonlight curriculum which focuses on countries and cultures of the Eastern Hemisphere with a special emphasis on the 10/40 Window where 90% of the world’s unevangelized populations live.   In this year students will read about missionaries and both ancient and modern cultures of this region of the world. 

History grades 8 – 11 moves to a more traditional approach with a textual spine.  Class projects, explorations and discussion round out the program and provide for student engagement as well as providing practice in critical thinking and analysis of information. 

The revised BJU History Curriculum has been adopted for 8th grade and up.  BJU Press has done an outstanding job of updating their curriculum and including more non-western governments, as well as a thorough and broad discussion of history through the lens of a Biblical Worldview.   Students are challenged to think critically and formulate an understanding of how historical events impact today’s society. 

Cultural Geography

Students will cover political, geographic and cultural geography from a Christian world view.  The BJU text provides a geographic approach to key historical events while also teaching types of government, economics, religion and eight cultural regions. 

World History

World History is covered from a Chirstian Worldview perspective as the history of the world is presented with an emphasis on Modern World History. There is substantial coverage of non-Western civilizations.  This course also presents a comparative survey of government, economic, cultural and religious systems. 

US History part 1 and part II

The history of the US from European exploration to 1870 is presented along with a thorough concurrent presentation of the structure of American government and economic development.  The contribution of various religions to American heritage is incorporated as well as an analysis of American culture. 

In the continuation US History the historical period 1870 – present provides the framework for looking at the development of government and economics of the United States and the world.   The lens of coverage is widened to include how the United States interacted with the World through the Industrial Revolution, two World Wars, and the modern age.  Geography and government is included within this course. 

Grade 12 (Apex) Comparative World Religions, Government and Philosophies with Apologetics

Using the text, Understanding the Times by David Nobel and Jeff Myers and published by Summit Ministries, students will explore the ideas and forces shaping our times. Understanding the Times offers a comprehensive look at how the tenets of the Christian worldview compares with five major competing worldviews of our day: Islam, Secularism, Marxism, New Spirituality, and Postmodernism.  There is an emphasis on Christian Apologetics as students learn through dialogue, research and writing. 

Understanding the Times is a systematic way to understand the ideas that rule our world. This course is a graduation requirement for HLA because of the importance to our mission of preparing Christian students to stand in their faith within modern culture.

Literature

7th grade Apex and Combined 7 – 8 Grades in Durham cover substantial literature within the Sonlight cultural history program.  In addition these classes may read additional selections at the discretion of the teacher.  

8th grade (Apex) BJU: Fundamentals of Literatureconcurrent with Cultural Geography

This text introduces the formal study of  literature through an organized presentation of literary works with a focus on conflict, theme, character, structure, point of view and moral tone. Major genres and a range of literary selections from different cultures are included.  This literary review coincides with the study of Cultural Geography. 

9th Grade (Apex) BJU: Elements of Literature concurrent with World History

This course furthers the formal study of literature through a variety of genres and models.   The focus is on thinking about literary analysis through a Christian Worldview.  

10th Grade (Apex) BJU: American Literature I and additional literature selections

This course mirrors the development of the United States as a nation through a historical presentation of American literature.  American Literature introduces students to more than seventy authors in a study that connects the authors’ lives and beliefs as revealed in their writings with the corresponding literary periods up through 1870. Lessons examine Colonial-Revolutionary, Romantic, Realistic/Naturalistic, and Modern periods and issues relevant to each period such as Darwinism and religious liberalism.

11th Grade (Apex) BJU American Literature II and additional literature selections post 1870

This is the continued study of American literature through the major time periods covered in the concurrent history.  This year’s series incorporates Realistic/Naturalistic, and Modern periods and issues relevant to each period such as Darwinism and religious liberalism. 

12 Grade (Apex) 

This literature course partners the Worldview and Apologetics study undertaken in this grade with Understanding the Times.   A variety of selections are incorporated into the research and writing assignments to ensure students are exposed to a wide range of authors (including traditional British Lit selections, genre and literary periods).   A main text and individual literature has not been determined for this course at this time. 

Integrated Core Courses:  These courses are often viewed as “electives” within a standard program of study.  These particular ‘electives’ are integrated into HLA’s overall program because of their importance to our mission.  

Foreign Language Courses:

Because of the emphasis on cultural relevance HLA has decided to provide a thorough introduction to Spanish in middle school and a high school Spanish language credit for high school. 

7th/8th Spanish Introduction. En Vivo offers a realistic approach to learning the Spanish language while encompassing interesting cultural elements to which students can relate. There are 5 units, with 5 lessons in each unit, weaving both spoken and written activities into the lessons. Students will learn how to talk about daily life, sports and pastimes, places in the community and will be given vocabulary to enhance their time in each of these places. This curriculum offers an excellent review of the concepts presented in each unit, along with a personal spotlight, highlighting the lives of various kids throughout the Spanish-speaking world, with cultural and geographical details.

Spanish 1 and 2 : BJU Spanish  High School Level Credit options:

Spanish 1 introduces students to beginning Spanish and and Spanish level 2 furthers that with more advanced language study. . Students will learn how to ask and answer questions in Spanish, give and follow directions, purchase items, make small talk, and present the gospel. The textbook is rich with activities to help students gain confidence with the Spanish language.  This course is divided across two years of instruction.  Both courses use the BJU curriculum. 

Leadership:  Growing Leaders

Leadership is a key ingredient to the education HLA provides for its students. Learning leadership skills from a Biblical perspective helps HLA’s students grow into young men and women who are equipped to face life’s challenges and difficulties.  Our middle school leadership curriculum is a Growing Leaders curriculum developed by Dr. Tim Elmore.  Specifically the class is using the Habitudes for Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum, which uses memorable imagery, real-life stories and practical experiences to teach timeless emotional skills in a way that is relevant to students today. Much of the class’ time is spent on developing five core competencies that every student needs to succeed in life:  Self Awareness, Self Management, Social Awareness, Relational Skills, and Responsible Decision Making.

Apologetics 9th Grade

The goal for this class is to personally think through the tough questions and evidence that help form the foundation of faith in Christ. The class will explore questions like: Does God exist? Can all religions be true? Is the Bible trustworthy? Does the Bible conflict with modern science? Did Jesus really rise from the dead? The desire is that as students look at these questions they may discover that the evidence for the Christian faith is very good. HLA prays that as this happens, students will be drawn a step or two closer to the brilliance of Jesus and will desire to point others to the hope they have in Him!

Required Books

  • Book: I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist by Norm Geisler & Frank Turek
  • Workbook: I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist Curriculum by Apologia Press

 

I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist   By Norman L. Geisler, Frank Turek,

This unique text provides students with a clear framework to explore and understand the tenets of Christian Faith by examining the evidence that Christianity is not only more reasonable than all other belief systems, but is indeed more rational than unbelief itself. Students explore arguments for the existence of a creator God as the source of morality and examine the reliability of the New Testament accounts concerning Jesus. The final section of the book deals with a detailed investigation of the claims of Christ.  This course is integral to Heritage Leadership Academy’s mission to prepare students to engage their world.