Wednesday, Apr 16th

Last updateThu, 03 Apr 2014 10am

Located On Lake Norman



High School Curriculum

Upper School Curriculum Overview

Upper School at SouthLake Christian Academy is a challenging college preparatory curriculum integrated with Biblical teachings designed to teach students how to think independently, logically and thoughtfully. Consistent with our Statement of Philosophy, "Educating Mind, Body, and Soul, we are committed to the intellectual, physical and spiritual development of each SouthLake Christian student. We provide an academic environment that allows each student the opportunity to expand on lessons learned in earlier grades and prepare them for the academic, spiritual and life challenges they will face in college and beyond. These challenges are real and we believe learning to respond appropriately to life's challenges is at the very core of the educational process.

We strongly encourage students to participate in athletics, the arts, and community service. Participation in these activities allows students to learn the importance of cooperation, physical well being, developing artistic gifts and the sharing of themselves. These activities combined with the college preparatory curriculum help every student reach his or her full potential and transform the SouthLake educational experience into a lifetime of success.

View Course Descriptions

Composition 1, II, III

Composition I is the implementation of current aspects of writing instruction in order to improve the skill level of students' writing. Grammar essentials are incorporated as students focus on the mechanics of effective sentence construction. This class is required for all ninth through eleventh grade students.

English I

Reading for this course includes selected short stories, plays, novels, mythology and poetry, including Julius Caesar. Analysis of themes and genres use class discussion, group projects and position papers/essays.

English I Honors

This course encompasses all the requirements of English I with vocabulary study. In addition, students read, discuss and analyze selected classic novels. Selections include the Odyssey, Aeneid, Ivanhoe, The Prince, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Effective analysis includes emphasis on mechanics and style. Prerequisites: Language Arts Department placement.

English II

English II is a study of plays, novels and poetry from the time of the Reformation through the Twentieth Century, including how authors implement different literary elements such as theme, foreshadowing, irony and symbolism into their writing. Study also includes the historical situation of the author to understand the theme and intention of the work. Texts include Romeo and Juliet, Pilgrim's Progress, Cyrano de Bergerac, and Tale of Two Cities.

English II Honors

This course encompasses all the requirements of English II. In addition to the literary works studied in English II, students in English II Honors are required to read, discuss and analyze Crime and Punishment and Les Miserables. Prerequisites: Language Arts Department placement

English III

American literature is a novel-based study from primary source writings of American authors. American writings such as Our Town, The Crucible, Red Badge of Courage, The Scarlet Letter, Cotton Mather, as well as works of Jonathan Edwards are among the selections studied.

English III Honors

This course continues to build in the areas of language arts while emphasizing American literature. Through the study of American literature, students gain further understanding of modern historical settings, philosophies, and worldviews as presented in literature. Students read primary sources to correspond with the American history curriculum. Selections include Moby Dick, and Plymouth Plantation as well as works of Jonathan Edwards. Prerequisites: Language Arts Department placement.

English IV

British literature is a novel-based study from primary source writings of British authors. Students read selections that not only are classics of British literature to prepare them academically, but also are readings to challenge and deepen their Christian faith such as Mere Christianity by CS Lewis. Other selections include works of Shakespeare, Ben Johnson and the Cavalier poets, as well as writings of Austen, Dickens and Copperfield.

AP English

Through lectures, small group discussions, comprehensive reading and critical writing, the English AP class explores the major periods, authors and literature themes that shaped the thinking and history of British literature. Typical readings for this course are Shakespeare's Hamlet and Macbeth, Milton's Paradise Lost, as well as an abundance of short stories and essays. Prerequisites: Advised verbal score on the PSAT.

Physical Science

Is a course generally covering two disciplines: chemistry and physics. In chemistry, the nature and behavior of atoms is explored. The focus of physics is energy and mechanics. Physical Science is a preparatory class for upper high school science courses.


Biology covers the study of nature and the continuity of life. The nature of living things, along with their anatomy and physiology, are investigated. Also, ecological issues of today and current biological advances are explored. Biology Honors: This course is designed for strong honors students who are encouraged to explore, while they seek to grasp the material they need to learn. Major areas of emphasis include human health and social and environmental issues. Prerequisites: Science department placement.


Chemistry is the study of the composition, structure, and properties of matter and the transformations it undergoes. This is a problem-solving course designed to coordinate the theoretical elements of the science with laboratory experimentation. Students receive an introduction to the major divisions of chemistry. Prerequisites: Biology and Geometry.

Chemistry Honors

This honors course is a theoretical approach to topics covered in chemistry, with one extended lab period per cycle. Some independent work is required. Students address such topics as atomic structure, chemical bonding, the mole concept formulas and equations, periodicity, physical states of matter, kinematics, equilibrium, oxidation-reductions, acids and bases and organic chemistry. Prerequisites: Algebra II and Science department placement.


Physics is the study of the phenomena of motion, force, energy, sound, electricity, magnetism, light and other selected topics. The conceptual development of some central themes of physics and their practical applications are emphasized, as well as the methods used to discover and explain physical phenomena. This course will include laboratory exercises, problem-solving activities and study projects. Prerequisites: Biology, chemistry (may be taken concurrently), Algebra II and Science department placement.


The cardiovascular, skeletal, muscular, circulatory and endocrine systems will be among the topics studied with the balance of structure and function. Emphasis is placed on the relationship of structure to function. Prerequisites: Biology with a "C" minimum grade.

Spanish I

Spanish I provides an introduction to the fundamentals of grammar, sounds of the language and vocabulary based on daily life. The aim is to provide an elementary proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing.

Spanish II

Spanish II continues to give students basic proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing. In addition to new material being introduced, the fundamentals of Spanish I continue to be emphasized. Prerequisites: Spanish I or Foreign Language Department placement.

Spanish III

Classes are conducted entirely in Spanish, to provide an opportunity for serious students to continue progressing towards fluency in conversation as well as reading and writing. An extensive body of grammar and vocabulary is presented.

Spanish IV Honors

This course includes a comprehensive and intensive review and expansion of grammar and vocabulary. Students are challenged to express themselves in conversation and in written papers. A large component of the course is a study of representative literature in prose, poetry and drama within historical periods. In lieu of Spanish IV, students may request to take a college credit class in Spanish at a local junior or community college.

World History I

This course examines the world through time, focusing on the historical development of phenomena, and the rise and fall of civilizations with their unique contributions to humanity. Reading, writing and study skills are developed through the review of primary and secondary sources.

World History II

The course of study begins with the Reformation Period and continues through to the present time. Students analyze each period of time in light of the "ism of the ages" and the tensions of the time.

World History II Honors

The course of study begins with the Reformation Period and continues through to the present time. Students analyze each period of time in light of the "ism of the ages" and the tensions of the time.


This course is an introduction to American government and politics to show the interrelationships between and among the various levels and branches of government with instruction of the pre-suppositional foundations from history. Second semester study includes a basic introduction to economic concepts as they relate to micro and macro environments and the global economy.

AP Microconomics

This course introduces economic analysis of choices made by individuals, businesses, and industries in the market economy. Topics include the price mechanism, supply and demand, optimizing economic behavior, costs and revenue, market structures, factor markets, income distribution, market failure, and government intervention. Upon completion, students should be able to identify and evaluate consumer and business alternatives in order to efficiently achieve economic objectives.

American History

This study of American history is vital to students' recognition of their heritage and understanding of democratic values. The U.S. history course emphasizes advanced college preparatory skills such as essay writing, research and discussion. Primary source materials from American history are read. A major analytical research paper is required second semester.

AP US History

This course is designed to develop a student's knowledge of the historical content, including an understanding of the major themes in American history with the awareness of the connections between historical events and the corresponding literature. Emphasis is placed on the ability to relate events to contemporary issues, where applicable, and to analyze the historical evidence. The AP exam is required to be taken in May.

Algebra 1

Topics of study include variables, polynomials, relations, functions and algebraic expressions. Prerequisites: Pre-Algebra.

Algebra II

Algebra II continues students' study of advanced algebraic concepts including functions, polynomials, rational expressions, complex numbers, systems of equations and inequalities and matrices. Prerequisites: Algebra I.

Algebra II/Trigonometry Honors

This pure and applied mathematics course integrates geometry, discrete mathematics and statistics together with algebra. Students study new topics such as exponential and logarithmic functions, matrices, trigonometry and conic sections, series and combinations. Prerequisites: Algebra I and Math Department placement.


Students are introduced to geometric reasoning involving basic geometric figures. Geometric properties and formulas dealing with triangles, circles and other polygons are taught along with the use of deductive and inductive reasoning to develop conclusions in Euclidean Geometry. Basic constructions and coordinate geometry are integrated throughout the curriculum. Prerequisites: Algebra I.

Honors Pre-Calculus

This is an investigative approach to mathematical ideas and processes of functions graphically, numerically and algebraically. Students gain a broader, deeper and more useful understanding of the concepts or processes in preparation for the study of calculus. Prerequisites: Algebra II/Trigonometry and Geometry, as well as Math Department placement.


This course introduces concepts of differentiation and integration and their applications to solving problems; the course is designed for students needing one semester of calculus. Topics include functions, graphing, differentiation, and integration with emphasis on applications drawn from business, economics, and biological and behavioral sciences. The AP Examination is required to be taken in May.

Functions and Statistics

Instructs students to analyze meaning and significance of statistical results. Students learn to interpret graphs, scatterplots and discover the Central Limit Theorem.


The life of Christ is studied through the Gospel accounts, building a thorough understanding of Christ, His person and work. Also, the history and doctrine of the New Testament Church, from the books of Acts through Revelation, is studied. Students are introduced to the cultural, historical and doctrinal aspects of the New Testament following the Gospels.

Health/Physical Education

This class assists students in developing proactive health behaviors and participating successfully in lifetime sports.

Fine Arts

Students may choose from courses such as Choir, Strings, Music Appreciation, Studio Art, Computer Graphics, and Technology Art. Our Fine Arts staff also offers private lessons during after school hours. Upper School students participate in a major drama production each spring. See the Fine Arts area of the website for more detailed information.

Art History

This course covers the development of art forms from ancient times to the Renaissance. Emphasis is placed on content, terminology, design, and style. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an historical understanding of art as a product reflective of human social development.

Photography I

This course introduces photographic equipment, theory, and processes. Emphasis is placed on camera operation, composition, darkroom technique, and creative expression. Upon completion, students should be able to successfully expose, develop, and print a well-conceived composition. Using their own 35mm camera to take photographs, students will develop printing techniques such as burning, dodging, controlling density and contrast, and basic photo finishing.

Photography II

This course introduces the creative manipulation of alternative photographic materials and processes such as toning, hand coloring, infrared, and multiple exposure. Emphasis is placed on personal vision and modes of seeing. Upon completion, students should be able to create properly exposed images using a variety of photographic materials and processes.


This course provides an introduction to three-dimensional design principles using the medium of clay. Emphasis is placed on fundamentals of forming, surface design, glaze application, and firing. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate skills in slab and coil construction, simple wheel forms, glaze technique, and creative expression. Assignments are structured to encourage students to explore their own personal expression.

Computer Science

Students develop a portfolio of their computer skills work to document computer proficiency. Topics of study include the computer keyboard, word processing and document development in the software program Microsoft Office. Spreadsheet and database development are also introduced, as well as PowerPoint slide show production.

"...We are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." II Corinthians 10:5

"The Mission of SouthLake Christian Academy is twofold. The first is to assist the Christian family by providing an education marked by a biblical worldview, academic excellence and affordability so that students are equipped to be salt and light for God's glory. The second is evangelical in scope, to present God's Word and biblical worldview daily to non-believers with the promise of God's redemptive plan, to be a force and voice for Jesus Christ that will resonate throughout non-believing families."