Our English teachers emphasize the fact that writing is a process. Therefore, students at each level continually are reminded of the elements involved in writing. These include prewriting or brainstorming, organizing one’s ideas, writing at least one rough draft, revising thoroughly, editing and proofreading, and finally sharing a finished piece.
Our students learn to develop their own style while gaining the solid fundamentals of English grammar. Key to development of skill in writing is the active role of the teacher, guiding students to evaluate the logic and persuasiveness of what they have written. Thus, they develop the life skill of communicating clear ideas through clear writing.
In the Middle School, we offer a sixth-/seventh-grade curriculum which loops in a two-year cycle. This course places an equal emphasis on both literature and writing. The program is individualized to meet the developmental needs of each student. English 8 builds upon the skills acquired at the previous level and meets the needs of new students. At this stage, methods and terminology of literary analysis, and research skills are introduced. Our 9th-grade Composition and Literature is designed to ensure that students receive a firm and extensive grounding in grammar, vocabulary, literary analysis, and the writing process, as well as a strong emphasis on developing research papers. One of the goals is to prepare students to meet the expectations of the high school curriculum.
Upper School students usually take World Literature or Advanced World Literature in the 10th grade. In the 11th and 12th grades, students choose from one of the elective offerings. Motivated students who demonstrate strong reading, writing, and critical thinking skills may apply to take AP English Language and Composition or AP English Literature and Composition in the 11th and 12th grades.