The English curriculum seeks to develop each student's ability to think critically and creatively and to express themselves with confidence and clarity in speech and writing. The English program is a continuum of coursework in which reading and writing skills are developed as a student progresses from grade to grade. The goal of the English Department is to teach students to read intelligently and learn to interpret literature and language. The program provides various and challenging assignments to foster these skills.
All English courses build on each other, and ninth grade English is designed to introduce students to concepts that will be further developed throughout their time at the Winter Sports School. Ninth grade English writing assignments emphasize sentence structure and paragraph construction, with the bulk of student writing focusing on personal experience. Students will also write expository papers throughout the year. Some specific areas of writing will be memoirs, exposure to epic writing, analysis of literature, persuasive writing, Letters to the Editor, autobiographies, and an end of year portfolio.
Students will read many literary forms: novels, short stories, plays, and poetry as well as works of non-fiction such as memoir, articles and essays. Students will practice close readings of texts in an effort to develop the necessary critical thinking skills to understand both content and style. Students continue to refine their writing skills in supporting thesis statements with specific details. We concentrate on both form and content in the writing. Prewriting, drafting, and revision are emphasized. Grammar and vocabulary practice are strategically interwoven into each unit of study. Students also review responsible and effective methods of library/Internet investigation, note taking, and documentation in completing an "I Search" project involving direct experience with primary sources. Students will spend an entire block of study working both independently and cooperatively on a Service Learning Project with focus on the experiences of victims of genocide. The students in Honors English 10 are given additional assignments for each unit of study to extend and augment their learning. A sampling of Sophomore English texts include The Secret Life of Bees, To Kill A Mockingbird, A Lesson Before Dying, Night, Survival in Auschwitz, The Glass Menagerie, Othello, A Raisin in The Sun, A Separate Peace and Lord of the Flies.
Building on the first two years of English at the Winter Sports School, Junior English continues to develop concepts already introduced to students. American and English Literature are integral parts of this course, and writing assignments begin to focus more on analysis of readings than on structure and content. Selected readings include The Book of the Dun Cow, Life of Pi, Hamlet, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 1984, and Brave New World, among others.
The senior English course covers a historical sampling of novels, poetry, drama, and essays. The course emphasizes critical reading skills and the application of literary themes and characters to the larger world through writing and class discussion. Students will practice a range of writing styles, including literary analyses, personal narratives, original poems and short stories, rhetorical critiques, college application essays, film analyses, and a modified research paper. Students are encouraged to approach writing as a process and to deem revision as the most crucial element of the writing process. Students will continue to build personal vocabulary and grammar skills. Finally, the Senior English course strives to nurture each student's aptitude and self-reliance which will only enhance their success in college by encouraging them to observe, participate in, and comment on the world around them. A sampling of Senior English texts include Writing With Style, The Brief Bedford Reader, Perrine's Sound and Sense, King Lear, A Thousand Acres, Death of A Salesman, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, and Revolutionary Road.