The English curriculum encompasses grammar, vocabulary development, literature and writing skills. The small class size allows for the teacher to identify and target strengths and weaknesses in each student. Grammar lessons include learning to recognize the parts of speech, phrases and clauses, with additional focus on syntax within various types of sentence structure. Vocabulary development incorporates the understanding of words based on context clues, Greek and Latin roots and elements of vocabulary and places emphasis on the usage and understanding of new, expanding vocabulary in writing and everyday speech.

In the 7th grade literature class, the basic groundwork for understanding the elements of fiction such as theme, characterization, conflict and setting are covered, and students discuss these elements in literature seminars.  In the later grade levels of literature, instructors challenge students to identify these different elements of fiction in each book independently and contribute their different findings and analyses in class discussions of the chosen literary work. Each year, there is an increase in difficulty of the reading materials.

Reading Selections

  • Grade 7: Short stories, poems, The Invisible Man, Of Mice and Men, The Pearl, Zlata’s Diary and other literary selections
  • Grade 8: Short stories, poems, plays, Cannery Row, Dracula, Lord of the Flies, To Kill a Mockingbird and other literary selections
  • Grade 9:  Short stories, poems, plays, The Moon Is Down, A Separate Peace, Fahrenheit 451, All Quiet on the Western Front, Rebecca and other literary selections