What We Learn


Humanities is a course of study that unifies content and skills from English/Language Arts, Social Studies through topics driven by the BFA mission. It is an exploration of the nature of humanity, primarily reflected in the disciplines of history, geography, and literature. Throughout Humanities 6-12 courses, many topics will be covered including genealogy, world religions, social justice movements and politics, race and culture in the United States, modern world history and literature, and ancient world philosophy. The emphasis in these courses is on all uses of language: listening, speaking, reading (both fiction and non-fiction), and writing.




Integrated Mathematics is a course that combines the strands of Algebra and Functions, Geometry and Trigonometry, Statistics and Probability with Discrete Mathematics. Each course features appropriate levels of the interwoven mathematical strands. Each of these strands is developed within coherent focused units connected by fundamental ideas. By actively investigating mathematics and its applications every year from an increasingly more mathematically sophisticated point of view, students' understanding of the mathematics in each strand deepens across the seven-year curriculum.




The science department at BFA has developed a mission-driven and vertically aligned science curriculum. Middle school science courses are integrated while the upper school courses offered cover science disciplines in Biology, Ecology, Earth science, Physics and Chemistry. Science concepts covered across all grade levels include: Systems, Models, Consistency & Change, Scale, Organization, Cause & Effect, Structure & Function, Variations, Diversity and Interdependency.




Literacy will be a key focus of instruction at BFA. Reading and writing instruction will happen every day in every academic area. Reading instruction focuses upon six core reading strategies (making connections, asking questions, visualizing, inferring, determining importance and synthesizing information) which are taught directly to students and supported through ongoing review and application. In addition to grade level textbooks, students are provided with opportunities to utilize trade paperbacks, high interest nonfiction texts, newspapers and magazines and other forms of printed material. Instructional practices that support dialogue and critical thinking (i.e. literature circles, Socratic seminars, learning logs, jigsaws) are encouraged throughout the literacy workshop.