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The English curriculum is designed to teach the skills necessary for informed discussion; for close, critical reading of texts both literary and non-literary; and for clear, controlled, and strong writing. To these ends, every course includes substantial reading in important literature as well as frequent composition. Students build their understanding of not only what great writing means but also how authors construct meaning. Students develop their skills in writing both in their own time and within the limitations of class time.

In every course, there are workshops during which students examine writing samples by fellow students and others. Study includes selections from the major traditional genres: short fiction, lyric poetry, epic poetry, the essay, the novel, and the drama. In addition to engaging in textual analysis, students are required to build their skills in an oral presentation. As students progress through the levels offered in English, they become increasingly independent in reading, writing, and thinking.


Students are required to enroll in English every semester.  

Honors sections are offered to qualified students in Classes 9 through 12. Advanced Placement sections are offered to qualified students in English 11 and English 12. Placement in an Honors or Advanced Placement section requires special permission. Only those students who have demonstrated commitment to excellence in English will be allowed to participate in the Honors or AP program. In order to be qualified for an AP course, a student must have earned a year-end grade of A- or higher for the prerequisite, or a B in a previous Honors course, and must have permission of the Head of the Upper School. Students in English 11 AP are required to take the AP Examination in English Language and Composition; students in English 12 AP are required to take the AP Examination in English Literature and Composition.


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