The program approaches the study of literature in a manner that balances traditional skills, such as critical reading and expository writing, with 21st century literacies, such as creating and analyzing multimedia texts. Covering a variety of media, including literature, film, and comics, the curriculum emphasizes the skills necessary for effective communication and critical thinking in a complex and changing world.
Specific goals include clear and creative thinking in discussion and in composition, a mastery of literary content, and the acquisition of a rich vocabulary. The study of writing as a process is practiced intensively throughout the four years in the Upper School.
English courses emphasize class discussion, multimedia presentations, and group work as well as frequent writing in the form of essays, journals, and blogs. The objectives of the curriculum aim to help students develop both a strong confidence in reading and writing skills, and a lifelong love of literature.
The ninth grade focuses on literature of identity, the tenth grade expands into world literature, the eleventh grade surveys American literature, and the twelfth grade offers a variety of semester-long seminars tailored to students’ interests.
Honors sections are offered in the tenth grade, and Advanced Placement courses are offered in the eleventh and twelfth grades.