The Broader Curriculum

Elementary School students become oriented to laboratory usage and safety, learn to use a microscope, to observe carefully, make detailed notes of findings and draw conclusions. Accuracy and attention to detail are improved as students learn the scientific method. Experimentation, comparison of results and analysis of error sharpen these skills.

Fundamental principles of electricity are addressed and students build simple electrical circuits and observe magnetism. Botany is introduced, with a study of plants, their internal construction and functions, as well as types, families and classes of plants. Students gain an understanding of basic weather theory, weather patterns and try their hand at predicting the weather. They may make their own rain gauges and barometers as part of the experience. Elementary School students also learn about the circulatory system, with a comprehensive look at its components, importance, function and relationship with major body organs.

A variety of elective courses in science are offered including:  Animals of Long Ago, Beginning Anatomy and Physiology, Elementary Chemistry and numerous courses from the Basic Biology Series, among others. Integrating research skills with biological and physical science is a key focus of the science program.

All students participate in Delphi’s annual Science Fair. Students present their projects to judges that hold doctorate degrees in scientific areas. They are evaluated on presentation, knowledge, effective experimentation, results and research. Winners are determined by the combined evaluations of all the judges; personal feedback is given to students that wish to improve their performance.

Geography & History

Interactive and lively seminars covering historical trade routes, geography and history engage the students throughout their Elementary School years. Students also complete courses in U.S. History, where they create an extensive time line, create skits and explore foods, games and traditions of early U.S. settlers and pioneers. They may also learn about homesteading, the Old West and Native American culture. In addition to the reading program's emphasis on historical figures and events, students research and write reports on several famous figures throughout U.S. history.

Students are oriented to their physical surroundings in courses about the Earth, including latitude, longitude, equator and poles, spin and how the seasons are created. Map reading is expanded from the introductory material of the Lower School. Elementary students learn to interpret political maps, resource maps, contour maps and population density maps. By drawing out a comprehensive world map and labeling a large globe, students become familiar with the continents, oceans, major rivers, deserts and mountains of earth. Extensive map study goes hand in hand with the world history, trade routes and other studies of geographical land types and features.

The diversity of the Bay Area and the student population at Delphi Academy lends itself to important cultural discussions, celebrations and appreciation of other nationalities, traditions, religions and languages. Students learn to respect their own heritage as well as that of others, and can relate cultural differences and similarities of countries and people in an historical and social context.


Learning the techniques of research and observation provides students with basic tools by which any subject can be more easily and effectively learned. Students learn to use library facilities, becoming familiar with references, classification and researching. Logic is introduced as a way to help students evaluate the relative importance of facts and to distinguish between the rational and irrational.

In addition to participation in the Science Fair, students complete several complex research assignments requiring observation and reference study.

Life Skills, Ethics & Integrity

Social skills, morals, responsibility, communication skills, health and safety are emphasized in Forms 3 and 4. The importance of manners, social rituals and how manners relate to the interactions of different cultural groups are addressed. Greater emphasis is placed on responsible behavior as regards the students’ contribution to their own families and their own lives. Communication skills are further addressed, helping students duplicate, acknowledge, originate and be able to see another’s point of view.

An important skill introduced at this level is the ability to help other students. The student learns specific ways to help other students in their studies, and may work with younger students or with students at their own level. Contribution to another’s education in a positive way is a feat that students can be proud of. Helping others gives students perspective and can help them do well in their own studies, too.

Foreign Language

The students' grasp of a foreign language is increased to a vocabulary of approximately 300 words. Emphasis is on carrying on a conversation in various real-life situations. Delphi Academy teaches Spanish as the standard foreign language in each Form, but with enough demand, also offers Hindi, Mandarin or French as elective choices during After School Activities.

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