The Upper School meets St. Catherine’s Mission of providing a rigorous college preparatory curriculum. Preparing each girl for leadership and service in a global community entails a breadth of curricular and co-curricular choices and a flexible program that allows each girl to pursue her own interests in depth. A strong advising program, close relationships with teachers both in and out of the classroom, engagement in the community, and self-reflection are central to personal growth. While Upper School students are introduced to the major academic disciplines, the curriculum emphasizes skills that help students synthesize learning across disciplines and that prepare students for success: critical thinking, advanced research, problem solving, collaboration, and written and oral communication. In addition, the rich offerings in the visual and performing arts nurture creative thinking and expression. X-Term focuses on experiential learning. The Intensive Studies Program (ISP) in the Arts, Entrepreneurship, Global Engagement, or STEM allows motivated students a deep personalized learning program, combining coursework, community service, and a capstone project.
Central to the philosophy of the Upper School is the increased independence of our students. With this independence comes the responsibility each girl has to live with integrity, contribute to a positive community, and use her unique gifts to make the world a better place.
Academic Opportunities in Upper School
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AP and Honors Level Classes
St. Catherine's offers extensive honors level and Advanced Placement (AP) courses across all disciplines which provides our students with many options for exploration and mastery. With this wide array of academic offerings, each girl develops a class schedule that is uniquely tailored to her interests and passions.
Within the Armfield Science Center resides a state-of-the-art Independent Research Lab which allows girls to conduct year-round, college-level projects such as harnessing the wind energy from industrial air conditioning units, discovering the effects of biodegradable soap on the freshwater environment or using 3D printing to build mold-inhibiting food containers.
The Internship Program
In the summer before her senior year, each girl has the opportunity to experience potential careers by working with professionals at places such as VCU Medical Center, Richmond CenterStage and CapTech. The internship placements are as unique as every student.
X-Term is a unique year-long cohort with St. Christopher’s School. Students select topics that range from a story of jazz in New Orleans to a cultural exchange in Costa Rica, to community service at Boaz & Ruth.
The Upper School Saints for Life Program is a co-curricular program that offers students 12 different grade-level experiences each year in topics such as Health & Wellness, Diversity & Inclusion, Local & Global Citizenship and Leadership & Empowerment.
"The diversity of outlooks and interests of our students creates a lively atmosphere where learning both inside and outside the classroom are valued. We seek to celebrate each girl, to cultivate a love of learning that will last a lifetime, and to prepare our students to thrive in our complex global world."
Made possible by the Robert P. Holding Foundation, St. Catherine’s offers one merit scholarship opportunity annually to new students who apply to St. Catherine’s School in grades 9, 10 or 11. A separate scholarship application process is required. The Scholarship Application process will open in November 2023 for 2024-2025 Enrollment consideration. For more information click here or contact Jennifer Cullinan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let's Get Started
The best way to get started is to come to St. Catherine’s for a campus tour, to catch a glimpse of School life, to meet our teachers and to see teaching and learning up close.