The Barrington High School English department provides opportunities for students to unlock meaning and possibility in language, question conventions, and wrestle with the ideas enshrined in literature that shape our existence and culture. In an age of immediacy and globalization, the ability to recognize patterns and make meaning by reading carefully and communicating clearly have never been more important. In a serious study of literature and the English language, students learn how to read carefully, with attention to language, text, purpose, and audience. An understanding of archetypal patterns and rhetorical strategies guides our study of classic and contemporary novels, drama, poetry, non-fiction, and visual and oral media. Speaking and active listening provide an important underpinning to our curriculum, a set of skills formally taught in every course. In every English class, clear, sophisticated, cohesive writing is the goal, with an emphasis on original voice, the building of a strong argument with supporting details, and the effective manipulation of grammar, diction, and syntax. We want every student to graduate with the understanding that words have power and help us shape our perceptions, and that the imaginative use of language empowers us and offers us a richer appreciation of life.
Students must take eight full semesters of English to graduate and meet state requirements, choosing from a rich array of courses that are both challenging and appropriately responsive to student needs and abilities. The research paper assigned in junior English courses is required of all students to graduate.
After spending four years of enriching study in our English classrooms, students should understand that ...
- our understanding of words helps us refine our relationship to the world;
- our reading of the world creates a context for making meaning of language;
- the insightful use of language shapes our awareness of ourselves and others;
- our ever-evolving facility with language creates an appreciation for, and understanding of, life;
- the imaginative use of language, ideas, and communication inspires and empowers us.