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Becoming A Young Man of Character

The Belmont Hill curricular and co-curricular experience is intentionally structured as a pathway to becoming a man of character. While individual journeys are personal and unique, there are common themes, progressions, and rites of passage that help shape each boy’s adventure collectively as well. Explore the interactive descriptions below to understand this journey by Form and by discipline. Those seeking even greater academic detail can easily find full course descriptions in our Curriculum Guide.

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Form I

Form I boys enter Belmont Hill with a sense of passion, curiosity, and wonder along with an established record of academic achievement. By asking the thematic question: Who are my heroes and why? Form I students explore their own values by examining their role models as well as their own individual attributes. The boys contemplate the foundational aspects of each discipline, along with a commitment to study skills, learning that personal responsibility is an essential element of character. Highlights include the required study of Latin for all Form I students paired with ancient history, culminating in a competitive Greek and Roman Field Day. A fall Form retreat each year also fosters the opportunity for our boys to bond early in the fall while still new to campus.

Academic Courses

Form II

Form II boys are intentionally challenged at Belmont Hill, and it can be a year where one experiences healthy failures that catalyze growth. The thematic question is: Finding your voice - what qualities matter to you and why? This concept undergirds the coursework during this eighth grade year. At this point in the journey, boys build a stronger sense of Belmont Hill as their school, and deeper relationships tend to take hold through a cultural emphasis on seeking extra help and self-advocacy, while accountability is a prime area of emphasis. A major highlight is the annual trip to Washington D.C in the spring, which connects intentionally with their curricular work in history. Students also have the opportunity to apply for a Civil Rights Trip to the South in the summer after Form II, which helps the boys establish empathy as a key component of their character development.

Academic Courses

Form III

Ninth Grade at Belmont Hill is unique in that the boys become the leaders of the Middle School rather than the bottom of an Upper School. As new students enter the grade, there is a designed emphasis on the exploration of self-identity and an examination of others throughout the program. Leadership and Responsibility drive many conversations as students begin to transition to our Upper School. Form III is a year in which a heavy emphasis is placed on community service, including Form III’s organization and execution of the School’s annual Turkey Drive. Additionally, all students in Form III take part in an Ethics class taught by the Head of School that invites the boys to explore challenging moral decisions and to imagine themselves walking in the shoes of others. The Form retreat to open the year provides a wonderful bonding experience for the boys as they start a new year.  

Academic Courses

Environmental Science, Conceptual Physics, Intro Engineering, or Computer Science I

Form IV

In the first year of the Upper School, Belmont Hill boys are offered more curricular choices and tackle new challenges. Often unexpected passions take hold in new ways, and preconceived ideas of identity academically or athletically might be re-defined into a deeper and more nuanced sense of self. Teacher-coach mentors are often critical components in this transitional year as boys begin to see their futures in a new way. Pathways for honors and AP courses emerge, as our boys use this year to stretch themselves.

Academic Courses

20th Century World History or AP European History

Form V

The Form V year at Belmont Hill purposefully comes with a substantial amount of rigor as boys begin taking their first look toward the college process in earnest. This journey requires them to have even more agency in shaping their academic and extracurricular experience on campus. Often, the sense of brotherhood within the class deepens dramatically during this demanding year. Academic opportunities like ASR (Advanced Science Research), Advanced Action Research (AAR), and leadership opportunities through the Peer Leader program become available to them in addition to more elective choices academically. This is a year when it becomes clear that our boys are actively steering their own education and their own college search as they look to the future.

Academic Courses

Introduction to Pre-Calculus, Pre-Calculus, or Pre-Calculus A

Chemistry, AP Chemistry, Adv. Earth Science, Adv. Marine Bio, Adv. Exercise Physiology, AP Computer Science Principles, or AP Computer Science A

Form VI

Seniors at Belmont Hill are not just asked to lead within their class; they lead the entire community. Beginning the year with a powerful Form retreat, Form VI is a moment where the mosaic of the class becomes complete. Well-developed values and passions transition into conviction and action -- combined with both humor and joy -- and take shape in leadership on the athletic fields and across campus. Graduates leave campus with a sense of accomplishment and confidence as they look to lead at their next path along their life’s journey. The highlight experience of the year is the carving of their own wooden panel, a graduation requirement that becomes their permanent physical legacy on the walls of our campus. Thoughtful programming transitions these boys into members of the robust and active alumni community, and the panels offer them a reason to return to visit Belmont Hill time and time again. The School emphasizes the end of senior year as the beginning of a new relationship with Belmont Hill moving forward. 

Academic Courses

Statistics, AP Statistics, Calculus, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, Multivariable Calculus, or Linear Algebra

Adv. Earth Science, Adv. Marine Bio, Adv. Exercise Physiology, AP Environmental Science, Physics, AP Physics I, AP Physics C, AP Computer Science Principles, AP Computer Science A

Chinese 4, 4A, 5, 5A, or 6A, French 5A or AP, Spanish 4, 5, 5A, A, AP Lang., AP Lit.

  • Grade 7
  • Grade 8
  • Grade 9
  • Grade 10
  • Grade 11
  • Grade 12

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