The Oldfields English Department offers grade-level, elective, and honors courses that are both rich in content and rigorous in their expectations. English classes emphasize critical analysis of nonfiction and fictional writing and encourage the expression of concrete and abstract thinking through thesis-driven compositions. Our classes focus on students achieving proficiency in writing analytically, and our teachers use unique, engaging methods of helping them achieve this goal. Grammar, usage, and vocabulary are intentionally integrated at each grade level to foster effective writing. By the end of each year, students will have become perceptive readers, deep thinkers, and persuasive communicators.
We also believe that the study of literature and composition fosters a character-building education. Students are encouraged to explore their own beliefs and values by thoughtfully studying the moral development of characters in literature. Teaching character education through literature pushes students to engage in the complexity of ideas that so often shape broader social issues. In the end, students come together in a learning space that allows them to embrace their own way of thinking and to recognize and appreciate the value of the thought process of their peers.
The Oldfields English curriculum has several features that distinguish it from other programs:
- An exceptionally diverse selection of literature chosen from many traditions and from various genres, including film
- A process approach to writing and drafting, which uses collaborative feedback to benefit both the writer and the editor and teaches students to develop their own writing voice
- Seminar-style classes to encourage engagement and active participation, with frequent opportunities to make class presentations
- Honors courses offered in grades 10-12
- Student and faculty-staffed writing center