Upper School

Welcome to the Upper School at St. Paul! The St. Paul upper school experience is thoughtfully designed to compliment and to extend the foundation laid in our lower school and to prepare students for the challenges that lie ahead at their next-level schools. It is characterized by new challenges and opportunities, increased responsibility, and, most importantly, it is rooted in loving relationships that inspire our students to see themselves as image bearers of Christ.

In the upper school our academic curriculum remains anchored in the four core disciplines of mathematics, language arts, science and history. Our third graders receive instruction in each discipline from one homeroom teacher, but our fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students rotate through discipline-specific faculty rather than staying with a self-contained classroom with a single teacher. Our 4th-6th grade homeroom teachers serve as subject-matter experts in a core discipline. This structure allows us to focus more intently on each subject in order to prepare our students well for entrance into and success in the most rigorous and selective preparatory schools in Nashville.

At this stage of development, students are eager to extend their interests and relationships beyond the school day and outside the classroom. We accommodate this interest by providing a broad selection of extra-curricular activities to our upper school. From track, football, golf, and basketball to Spirit Team, Chess Club, and our acting troupe, the St. Paul Players, upper school students have a myriad of activities from which to choose. Of course, being able to successfully manage a commitment to any extra-curricular activity depends heavily on one’s ability to balance classwork, homework and practices.  Our faculty work hard to equip students with tools and habits needed to meet this challenge. In addition to the incorporation of study skills at each grade level, the day’s end in the upper school is devoted to careful examination of homework assignments for the following day as well as short-term and longer-term projects.

Extra-curricular activities extend beyond campus. An annual highlight for many upper school students is the annual off-campus trip. Beginning with a day trip to Mammoth Cave in third grade and extending to a five-day excursion to Washington, DC in sixth grade, off-campus trips allow students to deepen relationships with peers and teachers, to learn by exploring the world around them, and to have fun.

In the upper school at St. Paul, we develop independent learners and confident leaders who, after sixth grade, are ready to leave us and make a lasting impact in the school of their choice.  If you have questions about the upper school, I deeply welcome the opportunity to spend time with you.


Susan Cobb
Assistant Head of School for Academics
Upper School Head