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Upper School

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U.S. Leadership, Ethics, and Development


The Leadership, Ethics, and Development program (LEAD) is designed to foster each student’s social, emotional, physical, and ethical growth. Intentional and age appropriate curricula will encourage students to develop skills to confidently navigate adolescence and prepare them to be purposeful citizens in any community. Through active experiences and intellectual opportunities students will engage in character development, personal and peer leadership, and support a healthy school and community culture. Each year classes will focus on a specific theme: sixth grade = breaking the ice, seventh grade = embracing community, eighth grade = self-advocacy, ninth grade = identity, tenth grade = belonging, eleventh grade = influence/immersion, twelfth grade = purpose. Subtopics explored in age appropriate ways each year include self-awareness, relationships, effective communication, feedback, decision making, coping strategies, ethical engagement, team building, and self-care. These courses are Pass/Fail.
  • LEAD: Identity

    Ninth grade LEAD classes will explore the theme of identity. Initially, the focus will be on a successful transition to high school, understanding the norms and expectations of Derryfield, and developing positive relationships with peers and adults in the community. Ongoing skill development will include time management, healthy decision making, self-care, communication, personal leadership, and self-reflection. Throughout the year, students will ponder: How their identity is shaped; How the choices they make impact themselves, those around them, and the events in their lives; and How they choose and refine the aspects of their identity they decide to share.
  • LEAD: Belonging

    Tenth grade LEAD classes will explore the theme of belonging. Building on the self-awareness gained in the ninth grade, this year will focus on helping students understand their impact on their community and how the community impacts them. Ongoing skill development will include building emotional intelligence, resilience, healthy coping strategies and decision making, understanding leadership frameworks, and utilizing personal reflection. Throughout the year, students will recognize how they bring value to the community in their own unique way and how to share those talents and skills with the rest of the community. 
  • LEAD: Influence and Immersion

    The 11th grade LEAD classes will explore the themes of influence and immersion. Students will be asked to explore the influence they have in their community and will allow for immersive experiences that encourage students to engage with others and contribute to the common good. The fall will be an opportunity for juniors to assume leadership roles in guiding the underclass LEAD offerings and begin collaborative and innovative design thinking projects that will carry into the winter. In the late winter and spring, students will immerse themselves in an introspective and intentional beginning to their college search that matches their understanding of who they are with what they want for the years ahead and within their college experience.
  • LEAD: Purpose and Transference

    The 12th grade LEAD classes will explore the themes of purpose and transference. The curriculum supports students in continuing to explore and articulate who they are by providing the time, space, and guidance to continue the important work of planning for and applying to colleges, to solidify Independent Senior Project (ISP) opportunities, and to intentionally approach issues of transition to life beyond high school. In the fall, seniors will work closely with the college counseling office and English teachers to create compelling applications and essays that reflect their unique strengths and articulate their contributions to a college community. In the winter, students will develop concrete plans for their ISP experience, developing networking skills and learning to be self-advocates. In the spring, students will consider the transition to life beyond Derryfield including building important life skills and exploring issues common in the college experience.


The Derryfield School

2108 River Road, Manchester, NH 03104     p: 603.669.4524     f: 603.625.9715