The abilities to read critically, to interpret figures of speech and characters’motivations, to analyze narrative and poetic structures, to speak with conviction, to listen with empathy, and to write clearly and confidently are not only crucial to literature studies but also are invaluable skills for understanding this ever-changing global community. Our English program is skill based but also fosters a lifelong love of reading whose foundation is an investigative, curious spirit and a desire at every turn to respond with the student’s own observations, beliefs, and analysis. SCH students graduate with the critical-thinking tools, the writing abilities, and the questing spirit that will make them confident to face whatever the world places in their paths.
In Middle School for Girls, the English program supports students’ developing fluency in reading and writing. We foster a culture of reading that includes self-selected books as well as common, class texts. Students learn to read critically and interpret a mix of contemporary and classical works. We read books that appeal to girls and offer them windows into other worlds, e.g., Romeo and Juliet, Coraline, Incantation,
and The Secret Life of Bees
. We emphasize the drafting process, and students learn effective writing and revision practices. The writing assignments embrace expository, poetic, narrative, and analytic writing forms. We teach usage and grammar and mechanics explicitly and in the context of student writing. Our girls leave the Middle School as critical readers and dynamic writers.