The study of the Humanities helps our students understand the past, the experiences of others, and our roles within global society; strengthen their creative and critical thinking skills; and become effective and clear communicators. The Upper School’s overall goal is to create engaged, passionate, and compassionate thinkers and citizens of the world.

Our English Department is committed to helping students attain excellence in the use of the English language for purposes of self-expression and literary exploration. Specific goals include clear and creative expression in both discussion and composition, a mastery of literary content, student confidence in reading and writing skills, the acquisition of a rich vocabulary, and a lifelong love of literature.

Challenge Assumptions

Our faculty members encourage students to contemplate essential questions about literature in order to challenge assumptions, provoke original thought, and develop cultural and moral awareness. The department takes an integrated approach to learning, in which close reading and thorough discussion leads to sustained, logical, and clear analysis and writing. Individual conferences with teachers help students appreciate the uniqueness of their own writing even as they seek to achieve increased effectiveness of expression and sophistication of thought and structure. Students graduate as keenly observant readers, commanding writers, and independent thinkers highly prepared for the intellectual rigors of college study.

Four-Year Curriculum

The English studies four-year curriculum begins with English Genres and then moves on to European, U.S., and World literature, offered at both regular and honors levels. AP Language and Composition, an introductory college-level course focusing on rhetoric, and AP Literature and Composition, an introductory college-level literature course, are offered to advanced upperclassmen, and ECE courses for UConn credit are also offered.

Core English Classes

Subject Level Grade(s)
English Genre* Regular 9
English Genre* Honors 9
European Literature* Regular 10
European Literature* Honors 10
United States Literature* Regular 11
United States Literature Honors 11
AP/ECE Language & Composition* AP/ECE 11
World Literature* Regular 12
World Literature Honors 12
ECE Seminar in Writing Through Literature* ECE 12
AP Literature & Composition* AP 12

Additional Offerings

Subject Level Grade(s)
Journalism and Creative Non-Fiction Regular 11–12
Creative Writing* Regular 12

History Department

Our History Department provides students with an understanding of influential moments in the history of ideas from the Paleolithic era to the contemporary world. While exploring the great ideas that have shaped humankind, we encourage our students to develop fundamental intellectual skills—thoughtful questioning, analyzing concepts, interpreting and synthesizing data, listening to opposing viewpoints, and constructing logical arguments. As a result of this focus on the history of ideas and the development of critical thinking skills, students learn to express their own thoughts with lucidity and acumen both in class discussions and in their writing.

Subject Level Grade(s)
World History* Regular 9
World History Honors 9
European History* Regular 10
European History* Honors 10
United States History* Regular 11
United States History* Honors/ECE 11
AP United States History* AP 11

Additional Offerings

Subject Level Grade(s)
American Government & Politics* ECE 11-12
AP American Government & Politics* AP 11-12
AP World History AP 12
AP European History AP 12
History of the Holocaust Regular 10-12
History of American Judaism* Regular 9-12
* Courses offered during the current school year
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