Upper School

A Small School That Thinks Big and Aims High

Whether you’re designing a stock portfolio in AP Investment Math, collaborating on a marketing plan with the CEO of Ben & Jerry’s in your Environmental Studies class, Zooming in with alumni journalists in your publications club, or tagging sea turtles in the Bahamas, the upper school experience will inspire you and prepare you for life beyond Derryfield.


In the upper school, Derryfield students understand that what they learn matters, and are called upon to turn their discoveries into lifelong passion pursuits. Through exposure to numerous interdisciplinary and advanced topics courses, authentic relationships with faculty, and uniquely designed independent projects, each student’s experience is highly personal and engaging. As a result, our upper school students see the immediate impact they can have on their own trajectory, as well as the world at large.

Creative Arts

The Creative Arts Department at Derryfield is committed to promoting artistic excellence through self-discovery, creative expression, and collaboration. Our program builds confidence and discipline in students by encouraging creative risk-taking and the application of technical skills. The Creative Arts faculty also promotes empathy and an appreciation for the artistic contributions of others.


The exhilaration of a hard-fought game, the bonds between teammates, the thrill of putting your preparation to the test and seeing it pay off… at Derryfield, we can’t imagine life without these great aspects of our athletics program! It’s a win-win situation where the program is both competitive and inclusive, offering great team experiences and excellent individual player development. Many of our graduating varsity athletes play in college (50+ colleges and universities in the past 10 years)—and some go even further.


The Derryfield School’s College Counseling Program focuses on two of our core values: aim high and balance. We work individually with students and their families to think big, plan ahead, and find a college fit that will meet their wants and needs.

Thrive in An Increasingly Interconnected World

Passion Pursuits

Exploration courses are designed to immerse students and faculty in experiences and pursuits that inspire new interests, broaden skills, and sharpen awareness of the community outside of the classroom. Rooted in academic and real world skills, they are designed on a pass/fail basis to encourage students and faculty to take risks, to be playful, and to venture into new territory, such as the Art of Beekeeping, Forensics, Sports Broadcasting, Personal Finance, Podcasting and more.

Reimagining Rigor

At Derryfield, we replaced Advanced Placement (AP) classes with our own Advanced Topics (AT) courses, which are top level, custom-designed courses that integrate rich content with innovative problem solving, student research, and real world application. These courses focus on building the skill sets we know universities and workplaces desire: skills like critical and creative thinking, and collaboration.

Launch Event

A Real World Experience

Since 1985, seniors have been offered the opportunity to spend the last five weeks of their Derryfield careers pursuing an outside interest as part of an Independent Study Project. The independent project is a valuable and logical conclusion to a Derryfield education, at a time in the year when seniors are secure in their college plans and ready to test their mettle! Through the ISP experience, seniors gain a deeper appreciation of their own talents and of the importance of serving and learning from others.

Creating a Roadmap for Success

Students in the high school are introduced to The Pathways Program, which provides 1-to-1 personal coaching to intentionally connect each student’s strengths and interests to the School’s vast offerings in the curriculum, clubs, and service opportunities. It helps students select their courses and cultivate a secure and confident identity, as they work their way toward the college process. This is a unique program that you will not find anywhere else.

Dylan Fanburg

Upper School Faces


Hometown: Bedford

Grade: 11

DS Interests: Theatre and Soccer
Discovered at DS: I found out that it was really easy to make new friends.