The English Department curriculum at Allen Academy is designed to inspire students to love reading, to become thoughtful and critical readers, and to find their own voice through both written and spoken communication. It is our belief that the goal of reading is to travel to different worlds, venture inside other people’s minds and lives, and discover perspectives outside of our own. Through composition, we learn how to utilize language to share the complex ideas floating around in our heads, communicating our opinions effectively.
Through independent reading, book clubs/literature circles, and whole-group selections, we assist students in exploring and understanding texts that both nurture and challenge them to explore beyond the boundaries of their norm. Through a variety of genres, locations, and time periods, literature is utilized as a way to encourage personal growth – both academically and emotionally. As they master the critical skills necessary for understanding the words of others, the faculty strives to empower students to use composition as a method of communicating ideas, finding and refining their own voice through the writing process.
The English Department’s focus in the Lower School begins with establishing a foundation of understanding through fluency and comprehension, while fostering a genuine love for the written word. As students transition into Middle School, we strive to maintain student appreciation of literature by offering students choices in novel selections in summer reading, independent reading, and literature circles/book clubs. By encouraging diversity within their choices, we seek to engage students, encouraging them to actively seek out personal interests rather than passively reading assigned texts. Composition skills are further developed, extending the use of feedback and reflection through process papers. By the end of Upper School, students are expected to have mastered the art of narrative, informational, and argumentative composition. Feedback is a critical element in the refinement of students’ skills, providing valuable insight into the development and structure of their work.
Through continual exposure to meaningful literature in a variety of subject areas and perspectives, students at Allen are taught to embrace diversity of thinking and the importance of communicating clearly through written language. We regularly engage our students in discussion and reflection, fostering a mindset that values and respects that we each have unique experiences and stories to share with the world.
Lower School Course Descriptions
Middle School Courses
English 6 English 7 English 8
Upper School Courses
English I English II * English III/IV – Literature and Composition * English III/IV – Language and Composition AP English (III and IV) Humanities Seminar
- English III/IV Literature and Composition and Language and Composition are offered in alternating years