An independent Catholic school for young women in grades 7-12


The English curriculum seeks to develop life-long readers, eloquent and persuasive speakers and insightful writers. Students begin with essential vocabulary, syntax and grammar skills in middle school and develop as writers though practice, analysis, conferencing and re-writing. Teachers present a variety of genres from which to investigate themes in literature. Students rely on a variety of methods for literary analysis including student-led seminars which broaden their perspectives and improve their proficiency in self-expression.


English Classes

English Literature 7

In this course students learn to read actively, think critically, and communicate clearly, both orally and in writing. To develop these essential skills, they experience various genres of literature – poetry, drama, short stories, and novels – and examine the elements of these literary forms.  Through the reading selections, students explore themes such as loyalty, love, justice, freedom, identity, and individuality. Past works have included A Christmas Carol, The Outsiders, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.  (Grade 7)

English Literature 8

Eighth grade English builds upon the 7th grade foundation: students recognize and gain appreciation for the nuances and artistry of the written word. Relying on close reading analysis, students use textual evidence to make inferences and analyze how writers use rhetorical strategies such as symbolism, tone and point of view  to develop characters and theme. In the writing strand, students hone their essay composition skills and use auxiliary vocabulary and grammar studies to promote their command of scholarly writing.  Along with various short stories and poems, past  works have included: Of Mice and Men, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, To Kill a Mockingbird, Animal Farm, and Romeo and Juliet. (Grade 8)

English I

At the start of upper school English studies, students become more expressive, imaginative and creative readers and writers. Students write to develop their own style, language and voice and become more critical and comprehensive readers. Students are confronted with the complexity of  individual movement toward the common good through literature selections that share thematic content about awakening  moral consciousness.  Past selections have included Jane Eyre, Lord of the Flies, The Catcher in the Rye,  and Rebecca. (Grade 9)

Freshman Studies

The Freshman Study Skills course provides each 9th grade student with a foundation in grammar, writing, public speaking, and organization that will serve her across all disciplines. Students will practice the elements of research, writing a thesis statement, identifying supporting evidence and crafting conclusions. Additional units of practice will vary with the needs of students and department input. (Grade 9)

English II

Sophomores investigate stories of universal human experience that transcend boundaries of language and translation.  In the first semester, students read great tragedies from ancient and modern eras including those written by Sophocles, Shakespeare and Ibsen.  During second semester students consider variations of journey stories, including works by Homer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  In addition to writing analytical essays on these texts, students also undertake a significant and independent research paper that requires them to create a multi-faceted solution to a profoundly-researched global issue. (Grade 10)

English III

Juniors survey American Literature from its early foundations through the twentieth century with close reading and analysis of representative works supplemented by independent reading and research. Essential questions such as “what is the relationship between literature and place” and “how does literature both reflect and shape a society” focus students’ exploration of their rich oral and written tradition. Students develop an understanding of rhetorical conventions including argumentation, persuasion, rational and emotional appeal and parallelism as they mature as critical thinkers and strategic readers. All students will create an independent, documented literary analysis research paper. These titles are representative works: The Crucible, Billy Budd, The Glass Menagerie, The Great Gatsby. (Grade 11)

AP English Language and Composition

The AP English Language and Composition course aligns to an introductory college-level rhetoric and writing curriculum, which requires students to develop evidence-based analytic and argumentative essays that proceed through several stages or drafts. Students evaluate, synthesize, and cite research to support their arguments. Throughout the course, students develop a personal style by making appropriate grammatical choices. Additionally, students read and analyze the rhetorical elements and their effects in non-fiction texts, including graphic images as forms of text, from many disciplines and historical periods. (Grade 11)

English IV

As seniors think about the world, they develop empathy by reading the hallmarks of the British canon.  Through analysis of these texts and personal reflection, students consider the world as it is presented, share complex and often conflicting reflections on those observations, and learn to  consider multiple perspectives as they balance conflicting worldviews.   Student writing includes the personal essay and the academic essay.   Texts read vary, but these authors are representative: E.M. Foster, Evelyn Waugh, Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen, William Shakespeare. (Grade 12)

AP English Literature and Composition

AP Literature is a college-level course approved by the College Board  that provides qualified seniors opportunities to develop interpretive literary skills through examination of a variety of literary genres. Writing assignments include formal, timed, analytical and creative essays, and encourage the close reading of texts, assessing structural devices and thematic language in order to develop insight into the human experience. Through independent and class activities, students will prepare for the College Board Advanced Placement examination in the spring. (Grade 12)


Meet Our Faculty

Olivia Griffiths


Samantha Kinn


Michael Mayer


Katharine Plato


Lisa Sanford