Upper School Culture
The Wilberforce Upper School offers a compelling and distinctive private high school experience, consisting of faculty and students in community, together pursuing faith, scholarship, and friendship. Students are challenged academically while being solidly equipped to engage the world around them as Wilberforce provides the skills to be lifelong learners and builders of Christian community.
Wilberforce high school students are challenged to do excellent work and meet high academic expectations. Students follow a rigorous, accelerated curriculum in all subject areas, and are equipped to take ownership in their studies.
In Humane Letters (our combined literature, history, and philosophy course), Upper School students are taught how to wrestle with primary sources, rather than reading pre-digested secondary textbooks. For instance, instead of reading a textbook about the American Revolution, Grade 9 students analyze and debate the Federalist Papers. Humane Letters students also engage in Socratic-style discussion, where they are taught how to read and understand texts, how to make interpretations and defend them, how to disagree well, and how to lead and facilitate discussions.
Wilberforce Upper School students also engage in an accelerated math and science curriculum. All students begin calculus and physics in Grade 11, and are taught MATLAB (a college-level programming language) to help them understand the interconnectedness of mathematical equations. Classes include both single-gender and coeducational settings, providing students more room to explore and discuss their studies, and encourages girls in particular to devote themselves to STEM studies.
Intentional Faculty-Led Culture
The faculty creates a genuine and richly Christian learning environment. Students are not required to be Christian to attend, but our faculty members model how to live, think, and relate to others as mature Christians while inviting students to join them in Christian discipleship. The faculty also models a growth mindset, where students are encouraged to explore and enjoy the learning experience. Our teachers also encourage leadership opportunities for our students, such as The Clapham Chronicle, a student-led and published newsletter that includes student articles, pieces, and artwork.
Every Middle and Upper School student is assigned a house, where they are given leadership and team-building opportunities. This house system also helps to foster community amongst the Middle and Upper School students across class lines. Learn more about our Houses.
Becoming a Wolverine
Students are encouraged participate in many different areas, such as athletics and specialty clubs like Debate, Strategic Games, Robotics, Fine Arts, Theatre, and more. These extracurriculars are designed to enable broad participation, as all students may grow in joyful discovery and skill in many avenues. Wilberforce also encourages student-led organizations and opportunities, welcoming new ideas for clubs and supporting students who wish to pioneer new things in the school.
Joyful discovery is an important part of all of our classes. We talk to each other to deduce the meaning of literature, like the Declaration of Independence. We get so much more out of it this way, instead of just passively listening to a lecture, where a teacher tells you what you should think. - Upper School student