The English curriculum teaches students to read carefully and appreciatively and to write clearly and expressively, emphasizing critical thinking and problem solving. Paying attention to the traditional building blocks of communication while engaging students in web research and interactive presentations prepares them for the varied demands of college and life. The fundamental assumption is that by working with language, literature, and ideas in a dynamic fashion, students develop their abilities not only to communicate but also to think and reason critically, making them more aware of the multiple aspects of communication in a complex world.
The goal of the history curriculum is to introduce students to the rich cultural variety of the human community, to acquaint them with the development of the major traditions underlying civilization and to provide them with an opportunity to read history in depth. Topics include the recent development of societies around the globe, as well as the organization and dynamics of social, economic, religious and political institutions that shape the world today. Students learn through multimedia presentations, which include the use of SMARTBoards and tablets that help to spark debate and discussions.
The Languages Department prepares students to live in a fast-moving, global society. Berkshire not only provides the opportunity for a language student to become fluent but also focuses on developing cultural sensitivity by studying each language’s unique civilization. Modern languages are taught in the target language, and the Department encourages each student to participate in immersion outlets such as clubs, language-based trips and exchange programs. Berkshire offers Chinese, French, Latin and Spanish. To support students and help them achieve their academic goals, a range of materials are employed that include work in Berkshire’s state-of-the-art Language Lab, as well as French, Spanish and Chinese satellite TV broadcasts.
Berkshire offers a broad selection of visual and performing arts opportunities including: Studio Art, Ceramics, Photography, Digital Art, Sculpture & 3D Design, music, dance, and theater. Introductory to advanced options are available, allowing students to explore new mediums or cultivate an existing talent.
Our first-rate arts faculty is matched only by the facilities in which they teach and the students they guide. On any given day, you'll find students performing on stage in Allen Theater, rehearsing in the Music Center or exploring their creative side in the Fine Arts Center.
The mathematics curriculum is designed to help students appreciate the nature, beauty, and scope of mathematics and to understand its potential in dealing with the world’s increasing technological complexities. Students develop collaboration and logical analysis skills by exploring mathematical modeling of real-world scenarios and incorporating problem-based learning. From Algebra I to Multivariable Calculus to Linear Algebra, all courses provide a deep foundation in mathematics to prepare students for college.
Berkshire’s science curriculum teaches students the skills of logical and critical thinking, problem solving, research, and clear communication, and prepares students to find patterns underlying collections of facts. Students learn how to use an array of instruments, to collect and analyze data, and to present their results in professional scientific formats.
Students who have demonstrated a strong commitment and aptitude in a particular subject may be placed in an advanced section of a course. Advanced courses are accelerated and extend the curriculum of a regular course, challenging the student to apply concepts and skills at a higher level. Placement in an advanced course is determined by the department in consultation with the Dean of Academics.
All departments at Berkshire offer Advanced Placement (AP) courses that can help a motivated and qualified student prepare for the College Board Advanced Placement Exams. Selection for an Advanced Placement course requires the successful completion of all course prerequisites and is determined by the department. Students who score successfully on the examination may be eligible for advanced standing in many colleges and universities. All students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses are required to take the AP Examination for that course.