We believe that effective communication skills empower students to flourish as capable leaders. We also believe that a love of reading and the skill of being a discerning, critical, and appreciative reader are intrinsic attributes of life-long learners. These beliefs guide our English Department’s curricular decisions through each phase of our students’ education at Forest Ridge.
In middle school, writing is emphasized at every grade level, and dedicated writing specialists works with students in 7th and 8th grade. With an emphasis on process, students practice expressing ideas clearly to a variety of audiences for a variety of purposes. Focusing on critical and creative thinking, each girl develops her own writing voice and practices cultivating powerful responses. Through our skills- and analysis-based reading program, students learn to appreciate the aesthetics of the written word as well as its power to transmit ideas and give voice. Students analyze vocabulary words in context and focus on individualized reading challenges in a supportive reading community. Across grade levels, students practice literary dialogue in partnerships, book clubs, and class-wide discussions.
The Upper School English curriculum aims to further students’ critical and analytical reading and writing skills in preparation for college and beyond. We choose readings that reflect our literary and cultural heritage from classical to modern times, and that also express the richness of our multicultural world. Students explore the moral, philosophical, psychological, and religious themes found in literature and reflect on the relevance of these themes in their own lives. We strive to include stories told from many voices, so that students can recognize others’ perspectives and better understand what influences their own. Writing instruction, in a variety of modes, focuses on the ability to communicate ideas effectively to diverse audiences. We emphasize skills of invention and revision, and development of a genuine and individual voice.