Middle School Messing Around 5

Nurturing hearts, minds, & spirits

Time and time again, young alumni will stop by campus to visit and tell us all of the wonderful things that they are doing—we’ll hear stories of the various courses they’re taking or jobs that they’re embarking upon, and it always gives me a sense of satisfaction. Even more gratifying is when they tell us how well prepared they are for their current undertakings because of their experience in the Upper School at Heathwood. This, after all, is the goal of our academic program: to inspire our students to explore their academic passions and to provide them with the tools and habits that they need to excel.

Our academic program has three key elements that distinguish it from other programs:

A challenging and supportive educational experience that provides an excellent foundation for college.
Occasions for deep analysis and scholarship—for not simply absorbing knowledge but also contributing to it.
Opportunities for exploring new interests and passions.
We provide these elements through a careful sequencing of core classes, a rich selection of electives and AP courses, an outstanding faculty (the most honored independent school faculty in the state), and a number of signature programs, most notably our Senior Exhibition capstone research project (modeled after a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation process) and our Winterim program, an immersive, experiential learning program that transforms the world into our classroom.

A challenging and supportive educational experience that provides an excellent foundation for college.
Occasions for deep analysis and scholarship—for not simply absorbing knowledge but also contributing to it.

Honors Science and Research: Independent Exploration

The Honors Science and Research program is designed to challenge students academically and provide authentic laboratory experiences that prepare them for future success in the sciences. Freshmen, sophomores and juniors who meet specific academic prerequisites and have both an interest and aptitude for science, may choose to participate in the program. The Honors Science courses challenge students with a faster pace of instruction, a larger volume of content, and increased performance expectations.

Students participating in the program must design, implement, and analyze results from an independent experimental research project. They write up their work in a formal scientific report and present it publicly in two different forums. The first presentation is to the Heathwood community during the annual Honors Science Research Symposium. Students also present and compete at the Annual Meeting of the South Carolina Junior Academy of Science (SCJAS).

Honors Science students meet twice a week in an Honors Research Course that provides instruction and support for their independent research requirement.

Throughout this program students are challenged to excel in the classroom and the laboratory. This combination of theory and practice is powerful in preparing students for success in Advanced Placement (AP) and college science courses. More importantly, this approach is designed to ignite a life-long love of the sciences that may lead to an eventual career in the field.

Student Research 

Heathwood Honors Science students gain valuable experience each year taking part in the South Carolina Junior Academy of Science (SCJAS) Annual Meeting. Their projects compete in one of thirteen categories: Biochemistry, Botany, Cell/Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Consumer Affairs, Engineering, Math and Computer Science, Microbiology, Physics, Physiology & Health, Psychology &Sociology, or Zoology.

Symposium Schedule

Visual Art Concentration (VAC) Diploma Distinction

The Visual Art Concentration continues Heathwood Hall’s long tradition of knowing each student and encouraging and recognizing the dedicated pursuit of excellence in each student’s areas of interest and passion. VAC students fulfill all of Heathwood Hall’s normal graduation requirements, but with increased Visual Art requirements and dedicated art-making time outside of class.

VAC requirements include:

  • Additional Art Studio Classes, plus Art History
  • Minimum hours of Art Studio work outside of class meetings, at least half on campus
  • Winterim Internship as an Apprentice to a Relevant Artist
  • Art-themed Senior Exhibition Project (year-long research project with committee)
  • Ambitous Art Exhibition during Spring Semester of Senior Year

Minimum Art Studio hours logged outside of class meetings:

  • 120 hours each academic year for Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors (approximately 4 hours per full school week)
  • Up to 60 hours of each academic year may be logged off-campus;  at least 60 hours must be logged on-campus

Ideally, students enter the VAC as Freshmen. Sophomores and beginning Juniors may enter as long as previous coursework and remaining semesters allow for completion of the requirements. Studio Hours begin at point of entry. VAC students are reviewed regularly and may elect to stop pursuing the VAC at any time.

Upper School Art Faculty: Scotty Peek, speek@heathwood.org (link sends e-mail)

Click here for more details.

Senior Exhibition

Heathwood faculty encourage and respect the academic curiosity and interests of their students at every stage of the Heathwood experience. Seniors in the Upper School take their curiosity to a new level, as they are required to identify one area of deep interest and develop it into a scholarly exhibition. 

Supported by a joint committee of adults and peers, each senior pursues a yearlong scholarly research project resulting in a lengthy research paper (or paper and original product.) The committee is made up of two Heathwood Hall faculty members and an outside expert in the field of the student’s chosen topic.   

In addition to thinking deeply and writing thoroughly about their topic, seniors must also take part in the Senior Symposium, in which they demonstrate mastery of their topic through a public presentation. These presentations are held in an open forum, and the Heathwood Hall community and other interested people are invited to attend. 

Successful completion of the Senior Exhibition is a requirement for graduation and an important step in our students’ life-long journey of learning they will soon continue in college. 

Click here to see the 2018 Senior Exhibition Topics and Schedule.


The WINTERIM program at Heathwood Hall is a valuable and exciting learning opportunity for Upper School students. Winterim occurs annually during the first week in March and provides a rich educational experience that takes place beyond the traditional classroom and outside the daily academic schedule.

Students may choose to participate in activities that are staged locally, or they may choose to become involved in a program that travels regionally, domestically, or even internationally. Students also have an opportunity to become immersed in a job shadowing, or internship, experience.

The Winterim curriculum focuses on four core areas: academic and/or cultural enrichment, service, wilderness immersion, and internship opportunities. It is strongly recommended that students engage in a program grounded in each of the four core areas during their time in the Upper School. At a minimum, all students are required to engage in at least one internship during their four years as an upper school student.

Knowing young people often learn best when they are able to choose a subject and become actively immersed in its study, Heathwood faculty members have offered a wide variety of Winterim experiences for Heathwood students for nearly forty years, providing students with incredible learning opportunities in our own community, around the country, and around the world. The richness of experiences and the ongoing success of Winterim have made it a Program of Distinction at Heathwood Hall.



At Heathwood Hall, we use technology mindfully and creatively to enhance teaching and learning across our campus. For more than 30 years, we’ve been a leader in educational technology, continually capitalizing on opportunities to expand what and how we teach our students. We know that mere access to information is hardly a unique resource; rather, it’s how and why that information is used that deepens learning. Our faculty emphasizes critical thinking across the academic disciplines, encouraging students to use technology as tool to deepen curiosity and advance understanding.

The modern students live daily lives in which they access information, media, and communicate with digital devices to include computers, tablets, and cell phones. To facilitate a learning environment that meets students where they are we implemented one-to-one programs in grades 3-12. These programs are built upon an ecosystem that allows students to collaborate with students and faculty, access their school resources, and manage their academic life digitally. Students in grades 3-8 use Apple iPads and students in grade 9-12 use laptop computers (Apple or Windows). These devices together with Google Apps for Education and our Learning Management System, Haiku, make for a power learning environment supporting our rich curriculum and enhancing students’ 21st century skills.

Our technology resources include:

  • Dual platform environment supporting Windows and Mac applications
  • One-to-one iPad program for grades 3-8 and laptop program in grades 9-12; iPads available in K-2 classrooms and computer labs available for all students
  • 63 SMARTBoard interactive whiteboards with ceiling mounted projectors and audio systems for most every teaching classroom on campus
  • Campus-wide wireless network
  • High-speed internet connection supporting our students and faculty as they take advantage of online content; enterprise-class internet connection also supports our Learning Management System and Google Apps for Education providing all students access to the Google suite of online productivity tools
  • Enterprise-class network infrastructure providing the sufficient capacity and reliability to the instruction and learning of our students