Success in the modern world depends more than ever on communication skills. The English Department engages students in the challenge to acquire the skills necessary for successful communication: reading, thinking, analyzing and writing. Through literature, writing assignments and class discussions, we seek to introduce students to the issues and ideas that will help them to explore their own identity and the nature of the world around them.
Ninth grade English begins with a focus on the study skills necessary for success at St. John's Prep. Through exercises which involve reading and composition assignments students learn note taking, outlining, analytical and organizational skills. The literary focus of the ninth grade exposes the students to the four major genres: novels, short stories, poetry and drama. Tenth grade English is divided into a study of archetypes in literature and the study of tragedy. Eleventh grade English presents a chronological study of American literature and twelfth grade English centers on a chronological study of British literature.
In all four years of English, it should be noted that an important factor in the differences in work load in classes is the number and difficulty of outside readings and writing assignments. For example, an Accelerated class may read three outside readings per quarter, while an Honors class may cover five, and a CP1 class two. Similarly, while all students will write often each quarter, the difficulty of the assignments will reflect the level of the class.