CTY Curriculum


The CTY mathematics curriculum is based on the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth’s Individually Paced Math Sequence, which covers arithmetic through calculus and follows a Diagnostic Testing and Prescriptive Instruction model. Mathematically talented students have the ability to learn material much more quickly than it is typically presented and this method, which allows them to study at a pace commensurate with their strong abilities, keeps their interest and motivation high, while still in a classroom setting.

Initially students take a diagnostic test to determine what material they already know and designate the appropriate starting place for each student in the curriculum. Once placed, students will work together as a class at learning appropriate material, while also working on specific strengths and weaknesses at an individual pace, taking a test at the end of each unit to demonstrate mastery before moving on to the next unit. The teacher monitors each student’s progress carefully, and offers support and individualized instruction as needed.

At the end of the first term, certain students will be offered a math enrichment option for the second term. These classes will introduce students to math concepts and applications not normally taught in traditional classrooms.


Arithmetic and Advanced Arithmetic: 
Students engage in an in-depth exploration and manipulation of the following: operations with numbers, fraction notation, multiplication and division, fraction notation and mixed numerals, decimal notation, exponents, prime and composite numbers, the use of graphs and charts, word problems, geometry, measurement, ratio, proportion and percent notation. Real life situations and practical problems are incorporated in most of these subject areas. Simple problems of profit, loss and interest rates are explored. Students also explore simple problems of tiling and quantification of building materials.

Arithmetic II reinforces the concepts and skills of Arithmetic I, including whole numbers, mental math, problem solving, patterns and functions, measurement, statistics and probability, fractions, decimals, geometry, percents and negative numbers. Additional work will likely be done with exponents, square roots, integers, estimation, and functions.


The following topics are treated in depth and with focus on algebraic reasoning: introduction to integers and algebraic expressions, multiplication and division of fractions, addition and subtraction of fractions, decimal notation, introduction to graphing and statistics, ratio and proportion, geometry and measurement, polynomials. Practical problems of area, distance, conservation, depletion of the ozone layer and the rate of ocean level rises and rate of land loss and more are also covered.

Algebra I 
This course is designed to introduce and reinforce skills in the following areas: statistics and probability; variation and linear models; quadratic and exponential models; and functions and the transformation of functions. Students develop facility in working with numbers, tables, equations, inequalities, and graphs. The focus is on solving word problems and reading carefully, and thus the building of algebra skills stems from the need to solve problems in a context, rather than from drill and practice for its own sake. Students learn how to use the graphing calculator appropriately as an effective problem-solving tool. In addition, students do a number of hands-on labs that require them to collect data, make conjectures, and draw conclusions. In addition, these activities and investigations will be followed up with discussions intended to elaborate on the real world meanings of their findings. Topics covered include equations and graphs that are linear and quadratic, distinguishing linear versus non-linear data, inequalities, the basic rules of exponents, simple exponential growth and decay, and other traditional Algebra I topics.


Algebra II &  Trigonometry: 
This course traditionally follows Geometry in the mathematics sequence and covers such topics as a review and extension of basic Algebra material, linear programming, complex numbers, functions, radicals, exponentials, logarithms, and trigonometry. In this course, real and complex numbers, algebraic expressions, and solutions of mathematical statements are applied to the study of elementary functions and their application to a variety of problem situations.

Pre-Calculus: CTY course
This is a course for students who have demonstrated solid ability and motivation in their study of intermediate algebra. In addition to the extension of the work with the elementary functions from Algebra II, topics include elementary statistics, probability, spirals, slope, velocity, polar coordinates, functional notation, trigonometry, polynomial and rational functions, inverses, logarithms, and recursive functions. Graphing calculators are used extensively. The course is designed to foster the mathematical maturity needed for the study of calculus.

Calculus: CTY course
Working within contexts whenever possible, key concepts are developed with applications in mind. Students learn to read the language of differential equations, and to appreciate that the two principal divisions of calculus —differential (rate problems) and integral (accumulation problems)—are unified by the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus.


Throughout the language arts curriculum, the goal is to have students study literary devices in their reading texts and then apply those skills to their writing. Writing skills are developed largely through the use of the writer’s workshop which focuses on the writing of the students, aiming to help students generate writing and explore the possibilities within that writing. They share the successes and difficulties they are having in their own work, and they learn to appreciate the accomplishments of other writers—both their peers and published authors. They also learn to articulate their responses to texts so that everyone in the workshop can better understand what makes a piece of writing work or not work. Sometimes pieces are workshopped in pairs, small group peer circles, and/or in a full-class workshop.

Junior Language Arts: P5-M1
Creative Writing I: Reading and Writing Stories and Poems
Working with the instructor, students develop close reading skills and an appreciation for authors and genres that are new to them. Throughout the course, students share their ideas with each other. Exploring a rich array of stories and poems from different cultures, countries, and generations, students learn to identify literary devices and incorporate them into their own writing.

Creative Writing II: Literature, Writing, and the Imagination
This course helps students develop the vocabulary and critical thinking skills necessary to discuss reading and writing in sophisticated ways. Students explore a range of reading and writing assignments. Through lively discussions, the instructor will encourage students to gain confidence in their abilities

Senior English: M2 – S4
Creative Writing III: Literature and Writing
This advanced literature course is designed to help students recognize the essential role of language in thinking, learning, and expressing, to appreciate literature as a reflection of human experience, and to strengthen their creative, logical, and critical thinking skills. All students learn a variety of approaches to the study of English literature so that they develop analytical skills, find their own voices, and read widely in multiple genres. Students are encouraged to develop confidence in their abilities, be motivated to seek further education, and demand more of themselves — intellectually, socially, and morally. Together the class will examine fiction, nonfiction, poetry and drama, building and expanding on their knowledge of literary terms. Students will also try their hand at creating their own pieces of writing from each of these genres. They will also learn techniques for revision. The class will produce a class anthology at the end of the year.

This course is appropriate for both new students and those who were enrolled last year.


Junior Science: P4 – P6
Beginner Young Scientists: 

Who are scientists and what do they do? In this course, students are introduced to the methods used by scientists working in the field. They learn about the basic nature of science and how it seeks to answer questions about the world around us.

Throughout the course, students become familiar with the methods of experimental investigation integral to all branches of science. Instructors present guidelines, strategies, and techniques, which students put into practice. For example, they might be challenged to design their own terrarium or create a field guide for the unique environment of Bermuda. They also might observe firsthand the behavior of simple animals and plants, recording notes and drawings in a scientist’s log, research what others have discovered about these organisms and report their findings to the class.

Students learn to question and hypothesize; identify and manipulate variables; observe, measure and record data; and analyze and interpret results. Throughout the year, students discuss their challenges and successes during class. As a culminating project, the students work in teams, or individually, to design and carry out their own original investigations.

Senior Science: M1 – S1
Beginner’s Marine Science 

A unique course to CTY, Marine Science teaches aspects of biology, chemistry, physics, geology, ecology, and environmental science as the students explore how the oceans and other marine habitats function and were formed. As they study the history of the Earth, they also discover how explorers and scientists classified the world they saw and how humanity is affected by and affects marine ecosystems. Stress is put on climate change as well.

Students learn the structure, formation, and features of the ocean basins, and examine currents, tides, and waves. Students investigate the biochemical cycles that affect seawater, and discover the ocean-atmosphere interactions that account for the variety of climates. They also learn about weather patterns and changes and to what extent weather may be predicted. They explore the unique marine life and ecosystems of Bermuda, from the shorelines to the coral reefs to the deep ocean. Students consider the ocean as a natural resource, and learn how local people struggle to balance economic and environmental concerns. In addition, students study how human civilizations are affecting marine systems and what steps have been taken to help maintain stability and balance in these systems.

In addition to their work in the classroom, students learn proper laboratory techniques and how to do field research. Field trips to nearby research resources and natural habitats (coral reefs, beaches, marshes, etc.) will complement reading, lectures, and lab work. Field trips may have to be organized on an occasional weekend.


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