Grade 10 - Exploration Year

Exploration is the theme of Grade 10. It builds on the foundational skills of Grade 9 by encouraging students to become more confident in taking risks scholastically as they explore a variety of academic disciplines and interests and discover their passions and strengths.

A wide selection of electives are available to provide a basis for advanced study in the senior grades and a preview of more specialized areas of study. Cross-curricular themes are established to help students scaffold their knowledge by providing a context of key ideas that transcend subject boundaries. 

The Grade 10 curriculum has optional units to further expand the student experience. Integrated into the academic timetable, are learning outcomes associated with Planning 10 designed to help students in a wide range of areas from university planning to improving organizational skills in the classroom and beyond through lectures, discussions, and contact with academic advisors. Health and career education as well as financial literacy form important strands of this coursework. Our aim throughout is to enable students to develop life skills, become self-directed, set goals, make thoughtful decisions, and take control of their personal planning. 

Students walking to class

Unless they are advanced in a particular subject, all students take:

*If a student is lacks background in the languages offered, he/she may take a second elective course instead.

Grade 10 Electives:

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Coding Robotic Applications 11

The intent of this course is to teach students programming skills through robotic applications. Students will learn C-based languages—RobotC, Python, and Choregraphe—which will enable them to write the instructions necessary for a robot to perform various tasks. Students are presented with a variety of challenges through which they will learn basic programming concepts, data types, variable usage, logical statements, control flow, and algorithm development. Students will then expand their skills as they explore a self-directed project. Upon completion of this course, students should have the confidence and knowhow to move into any aspect of programming that they desire.   

AP Chemistry 11

The course material matches the prescribed learning outcomes for Chemistry 11 prepared by the provincial government and often expands into additional areas of interest including the behaviour of gases. Students may be required to participate in national chemistry competitions such as the Avogadro exam. A solid understanding of this course helps students who study biology, medicine, physics or engineering. The AP option moves at a faster pace to allow for extra units such as redox chemistry to be included in order to allow time for AP material in grade 12.

Chemistry 11

Chemistry 11 is a survey course designed to provide a strong foundation for post-secondary science. The material covered in Grades 9 and 10 is thoroughly reviewed and followed by an intense study of stoichiometry. The fundamentals of organic chemistry are introduced in preparation for further studies at the university level. A unit on solution chemistry provides the basis for topics covered in Chemistry 12. To succeed in this course, students must be comfortable with algebra and have a firm grasp of the chemistry concepts taught in previous grades.

Foundations of Mathematics & Pre-Calculus 10

Foundations of Mathematics and Pre-Calculus 10 is a course designed to build on concepts introduced in Mathematics 9 in addition to preparing students for the complex concepts developed in Pre-Calculus 11 and 12.  The core curriculum consists of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, number operations and data analysis.  Major emphasis is placed on symbolic manipulation, sophisticated generalisation of mathematical concepts, and the development of formal mathematics.The following mathematical processes are emphasized throughout the year: Communication, Problem Solving, Connections, Reasoning, Mental Mathematics, Technology and Estimation, Visualization

English Language Enrichment

In this course students will be involved in making and discovering meaning. They are invited to become writers, readers, and participants in our shared literary culture. The main part of the mark will be based on in-class work and prep assignments. Particular emphasis will be placed on spoken English and pronunciation via authentic real life lessons.

One of the highlights of the year has to be the students’ examination and perhaps performances of Romeo and Juliet.  Our primary goal for our ELE students is that they become able to discuss, read, comprehend, and write the English texts they encounter in their other courses.  

English 10

English 10 students will read independently as well as assigned nonfiction prose, novels, short fiction, verse, and Shakespeare.  Students will write approximately once a week in a variety of different styles, with particular attention to the expository essay as well as the comparison synthesis and personal reflective essays.  Grammar and vocabulary studies will become part of the students’ writing process.  Students will speak informally and formally, at times from memory, at times with interpretive emotion.

Grade 10 climaxes with the four week genre studies unit, when students are reassigned into specialized classes to study such esoteric topics as the romance novel, Ian Fleming, debate, children’s literature, or photojournalism.

Social Studies 10

This course explores the themes of economic and technological change, culture and society, politics and law and the environment in Canada from 1918 to present day. After World War I, Canada participated in significant global events to help redefine the Canadian identity. New political ideologies challenged the old systems and political reform transformed Canadian society. As the country developed greater autonomy away from England, it faced challenges not only in the growing relationship with the United States, but also continued concerns regarding the Government’s relationship with French and Indigenous Canadians. The course also looks at Canada in a foreign affairs context with an emphasis on middle power policies, peacekeeping participation in 21st Century conflicts, and global economic relations.

Science 10

All Grade 10 students cover the biology and chemistry units in half the year with one specialist teacher and the physics and earth science topics in the remaining half of the year with another specialist teacher. Many of the topics are integrated through fieldwork studies at nearby locations such as the estuary, beach and Mill Stream salmon run. An inquiry based, problem solving approach is encouraged wherever possible and students are introduced to the empirical nature of science by collecting and analysing their own data. In conjunction with the mathematics department, specific IT objectives are reached by having students handle and present data they have obtained through observation and measurement.

The biology unit covers an introduction to ecosystems and the factors that determine the sustainability of natural environments. Topics such as food chains, pyramids of biomass, succession and keystone species are investigated with particular reference to the estuarine environment. Students visit the Bamfield Marine Research Station on the West coast of the island for a 3 day field trip which involves a variety of lab and beach activities designed to complement and enhance the curriculum.

In chemistry, different types of chemical reactions are examined and described in terms of word and symbol equations. Isotopes and their importance in dating materials is described. Radioactivity of various kinds is described and related to their common sources. Problems associated with radioactivity are discussed and linked to the development of atomic weapons, cancer and atomic power. Motion is a major topic in physics with both uniform motion and acceleration described in terms of Newton’s Laws and simple equations. The course concludes with a consideration of energy transfer in natural systems, particularly weather and the movements of wind and water on a global scale. Tectonic plate theory, volcanism and seismic forces are also studied in this earth and space science section.

French 10

Designed for students who have had previous French instruction, this course fulfills the BC prescribed French learning outcomes. Listening, speaking and writing skills are emphasized, alongside a sound grammatical understanding. French 10 is a continuation of French 9, which is a prerequisite for this course. It offers a natural progression of the scope and sequence of the French language and continues with detailed grammatical explanations throughout the course.

Spanish 10

A continuation of Spanish 9, this is a second-year course. This course will expose the students to the diverse and exciting Spanish speaking world. As the year progresses, the majority of the class will be conducted in Spanish. The students will be able to discuss topics relating to school, home, food and eating. The students will also learn to describe events in the present and the past. Listening, speaking and writing skills are emphasised, coupled with a sound grammatical understanding. This course places special emphasis on speaking skills in everyday situations. There is a very strong cultural component to the class where the students will learn about various cultural traditions from the Spanish speaking world. An in-depth look at Latin America will take place through presentations on various aspects of its culture and history.

Mandarin Chinese 10

The emphasis in Mandarin Chinese 10 is on the communicative approach in which students are encouraged to convey meaning and knowledge, primarily orally but also in written form. The confidence to “take risks” is a hallmark of this instructional philosophy and a variety of methods are used to develop the necessary ease with this learning environment. The small student to teacher ratio is a critical factor as is the level of teacher expertise. Typically, students will be expected to describe or narrate, with some supporting detail, events, situations, or experiences. They are encouraged to exchange opinions on topics of interest, apply idiomatic expressions with some fluency and interact with increased independence in familiar life situations. Students also acquire knowledge by having them view, listen to, and read creative works, and respond to them in various ways. Cultural awareness is increased by having students identify customs and traditions from various cultures in the Canadian mosaic, and compare them with those of Chinese cultures.

Beginner's Spanish

This class will expose the students to the diverse and exciting Spanish-speaking world. The majority of instruction will be conducted in Spanish. There will be a heavy emphasis on listening and speaking. New material and new concepts will be introduced through a thematic approach. Students will be able to discuss topics relating to school, after-school activities, celebrations, travel, eating, shopping and getting around town. The students will also learn to describe events in the present and the future. There is a very strong cultural component to the class where the students will learn about various cultural traditions from the Spanish-speaking world. An in-depth look at Mexico will take place through presentations on various aspects of the culture and history.

Successful students in this class are provided with the equivalent preparation required to advance to Spanish 11 in the following school year.

Introduction to Business 11

This course looks at the general theory of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Accounting. The Marketing mix is explored in detail after the students are exposed to some behavioural psychology and how it impacts our decision making processes. The sales process is looked at in some detail and students are asked to enter the marketplace and sell advertising for the annual Brentwood Regatta Souvenir program. Opportunities for initiating other entrepreneurial endeavours are explored, characteristics of the global market are defined and personal networking is encouraged. Rudimentary market analysis is conducted and ways to control and manage cash flow and tracking expenses are presented as part of an introduction to accounting. Business registration and taxation, cash flow processes, and sources of funding and support for a venture are also introduced. Students are encouraged to enroll in this course in preparation for senior business courses such as Entrepreneurship 12, Financial Accounting 12, AP Microeconomics, and AP Macroeconomics.

Marketing 11

This course looks at the general theory of Marketing and its role in our everyday lives. The Marketing mix is explored in detail after the students are exposed to some behavioural psychology and how it impacts our decision making processes. Practical experience is offered through a number of initiatives during the year. To better appreciate the role of customer service in marketing and business, students get practical experience through their Front of House work at the Bunch Theatre. The sales process is looked at in some detail and students are asked to enter the marketplace and sell advertising for the annual Brentwood Regatta Souvenir program. 

Global Studies 11

This course will examine the many complex and fascinating issues that affect our global community. Students will study the various concepts and perspectives through individual and group research and in-depth class discussions. Topics include globalization, human rights, trade, development, foreign aid, gender issues, terrorism, and international organizations. These concepts are examined in their historical contexts and through the analysis of current events. Students use several case studies from different countries, concentrating on the relationship between the developed and developing world. The focus of the coursework is to help students gain an appreciation of the interdependence of these topics and so develop a greater ability to interpret and understand global events.

Natural Philosophy and Ethics 11

This course is a broad-ranging discussion and research based study of issues that arise from the development of technologies. Students adopt an ethical perspective. They are encouraged to challenge and debate accepted positions in areas such as biomedical and computer technology. The nature of ethics and value systems are analyzed as well as the premises behind scientific thought.

Pseudoscience, logical fallacies and the relationship between science and the media are also discussed and illustrated through a variety of case studies. The course covers all of the prescribed learning outcomes for Science and Technology 11 and students receive this credit at the end of the course thereby fulfilling their graduation requirement for a Science 11.

Applied Coding Explorations 11

Students will explore concepts such as Top Down Design, basic coding structure, event driven applications and user interface design while learning the Javascript language. Javascript is widely used in mobile app development and large scale interactive web applications (Facebook, Netflix, eBay) and is now rapidly moving into the desktop application environment. No prior coding knowledge is required, the language constructs are introduced through a graphical block environment which allows students to gradually migrate to hand typed code. Students may also have the opportunity to delve into physical computing.

Music Theory & Composition 12

In this course, students study music theory fundamentals together for two blocks per week and sight reading for one block per week. During the remaining weekly blocks students  split into (a) those wishing to pursue more advanced studies, i.e. AP Music Theory harmony, and (b) those wishing to pursue a more relaxed music appreciation course, including: analysis, composition and technology in various genres from popular music to classical. Depending on which path they choose to follow, students will be exposed to the following skill sets during the course of the year:

  • Theory Fundamentals
  • Intermediate Harmony (AP only)
  • Analysis and Music Appreciation
  • Aural Skills
  • Sight and Rhythm Reading
  • Music Composition, Orchestration and Arranging
  • Music Software and Technology

Students have the option of challenging the AP Music Theory exam in May. Students also have the option of registering for the Royal Conservatory Advanced theory exam which also occurs in May.

This course will benefit all music students in all our group and private music tuition courses. It will especially benefit those students taking examinations in their instrument where theory is a co-requisite in order to receive their certificate.


A robot

Offered as part of the Brentwood Arts progamme, Robotics will provide students with an introduction to the world of robotics using VEX Robotics technology. This is very much a ‘hands-on’ course, where they will learn most concepts through investigative activities.  Students are exposed to the engineering process as they design, build, and program robots to solve a variety of problems.  Good problem solving skills are essential, as is the ability to work effectively on a team.  As a member of a 3-person ‘engineering firm’, students will develop skills in problem solving, communication, presentation, organization, time management, research, self-assessment, and leadership.

This course will also expose students to some of the contemporary happenings in robotics, including current robot lab research and applications.

Design 11

In this course students will develop skills connected to assessing and analyzing design problems, and working alone or as part of a team to visualize, produce and critique solutions. Examples looked at in class will come from a broad range of fields, including: fashion design, architecture and interior design, environmental design, industrial design, product design, and visual art. Ideally, students will learn a little about all of these fields, but, more importantly, will learn to think like designers: researching needs, developing models, surveying clients, trouble-shooting productions and learning from challenges and successes.

Biology 11

A thorough understanding of biology provides students with a foundation for studies in ecology, the environment and medicine. To fully comprehend the science of biology, students must first familiarize themselves with classification systems and evolutionary theories. The origin of life according to the heterotroph hypothesis is followed by a study of the Monerans emphasizing bacteria. Protists, plants and animals are then studied in a sequence that depicts the evolutionary progression of life. The oceanfront campus provides a unique opportunity for students to examine a living marine environment.

AP Biology 11

This course represents the first year of the Advanced Placement Biology, a two-year course leading to the AP Biology exam, and that gives credit for both Biology 11 and Biology 12. A solid understanding of the additional material taught in this course may provide students with first-year biology credit in university. The first term focus is a study of biochemistry, cells and cellular processes. The animal kingdom and evolutionary themes are explored in the second term. The year concludes with a study of heredity including classical genetics, DNA, protein synthesis and the regulation of the genome. The students visit the University of Victoria to conduct several labs related to the study of biotechnology and genetic engineering.

Beginner's Mandarin Chinese

This is a provincially prescribed curriculum designed for students who may not have taken Mandarin Chinese 5 to 10. Successful completion of this course should provide students with a level of competence that will allow them to successfully participate in Mandarin Chinese 11 and 12 courses. 

To provide students with an equivalent preparation for Mandarin Chinese 11 and 12 courses, this course incorporates material from the prescribed learning outcomes, suggested instructional strategies, suggested assessment strategies, and recommended learning resources identified for grades 5 to 10.

A major aim of this course is to balance expectations regarding the emergent language skills of students who are new to the study of Mandarin Chinese with consideration of their ages, life experiences, and prior knowledge. It is expected that students will.

  • introduce themselves and others using appropriate family-relationship terms
  • identify and exchange preferences and interests
  • use appropriate vocabulary to communicate needs, desires, and emotions
  • describe events, experiences, and procedures sequentially
  • recognize and apply commonly used idiomatic expressions
  • participate in a variety of situations drawn from real life

As students acquire increasing variety in vocabulary and language structures, they are able to communicate about more topics. Assessment focuses on the communication of meaning and the extent to which students are able to share ideas and information. Although oral interaction is most important, students also need feedback and support in developing written skills.

AP World History 12

AP World History focuses on developing students’ abilities to think conceptually about world history from approximately 8,000 BCE to the present and apply historical thinking skills. Five themes of equal importance — focusing on the environment, cultures, state-building, economic systems, and social structures — provide areas of historical inquiry for investigation across different periods and regions. AP World History encompasses the history of the five major geographical regions of the globe: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania, with special focus on historical developments and processes that cross multiple regions.

Applied Coding Explorations 11

Students will explore concepts such as Top Down Design, basic coding structure, event driven applications and user interface design while learning the Javascript language. Javascript is widely used in mobile app development and large scale interactive web applications (Facebook, Netflix, eBay) and is now rapidly moving into the desktop application environment. No prior coding knowledge is required, the language constructs are introduced through a graphical block environment which allows students to gradually migrate to hand typed code. Students may also have the opportunity to delve into physical computing.

AP Seminar 11

AP Seminar is a foundational course that engages students in cross-curricular conversations that explore the complexities of academic and real-world topics and issues by analyzing divergent perspectives. Using an inquiry framework, students practice reading and analyzing articles, research studies, and foundational literary and philosophical texts; listening to and viewing speeches, broadcasts, and personal accounts; and experiencing artistic works and performances. Students learn to synthesize information from multiple sources, develop their own perspectives in research-based written essays, and design and deliver oral and visual presentations, both individually and as part of a team. Ultimately, the course aims to equip students with the power to analyze and evaluate information with accuracy and precision in order to craft and communicate evidence-based arguments.

Students engage in conversations about complex academic and real-world issues through a variety of lenses, considering multiple points of view. Teachers have the flexibility to choose one or more appropriate themes that allow for deep interdisciplinary exploration based on:

  • Concepts or issues from other AP courses
  • Student interests
  • Local and/or civic issues
  • Academic problems or questions
  • Global or international topics

Exploring different points of view and making connections across disciplines are fundamental components of the AP Seminar experience. Students consider each topic through a variety of lenses and from multiple perspectives, many of which are divergent or competing. Analyzing topics through multiple lenses aids in interdisciplinary understanding and helps students gain a rich appreciation for the complexity of important issues. Teachers should encourage students to explore a topic through several of the following lenses: cultural and social, artistic and philosophical, political and historical, environmental, economic, scientific, futuristic, ethical.

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