We nurture strong readers, skilled writers, and competent communicators, so they might become critical thinkers and global citizens who engage in their world.
Our English teachers emphasize writing as a process. At every level, students are accompanied and ushered through prewriting or brainstorming, organizing ideas, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading, and, finally, sharing with the audience.
Our students learn to develop their own style while gaining and practicing the fundamentals of English grammar and vocabulary. Key to development of the skill of writing is the active role of the teacher, guiding students to evaluate the logic and persuasiveness of what they have written. In this way, our students develop the life skill of communicating clear ideas through clear writing.
We believe reading is both foundational and elevating. It is an opportunity to see ourselves, but also to enter the lives of people and places we have not yet encountered. We work to nurture an appreciative attachment to the written word, foster understanding of others, and encourage students to develop questions that lead to deeper, sharper understandings. Discussion of works is an integral part of our curriculum.
In the Middle School, we offer a sixth-/seventh-grade curriculum which loops in a two-year cycle. This course places equal emphasis on literature and writing. The program is individualized to meet the developmental needs of each student. English 8 builds upon the skills acquired in our sixth-/seventh-grade classes 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 course 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 may choose from one of our 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.