The Pathfinder English curriculum is literature based. Students are exposed to both fiction and non-fiction from an array of genres, time periods and cultures. Critical thinking, vocabulary development and oral communication are also an integral part of the program. The curriculum enables students to achieve proficiency in the English Language Arts Learning Standards established by the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. Computers are available for student use for research and writing.
English 1 introduces students to the writing that will be expected of them throughout their four years. Grammar and spelling skills are stressed within the context of both creative and expository writing. Students are also introduced to literary analysis and research. Vocabulary development is integrated in all lessons, and is also addressed in dedicated activities. A major emphasis of this year is to prepare students for the English Language Arts portion of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System Test (MCAS), which will be administered in the spring of sophomore year.
In anticipation of the Spring MCAS exam, the sophomore course of study has been constructed to provide students with the necessary preparation to achieve proficiency in all areas of the English Language Arts test. Literature study emphasizes content interpretation and analysis through both oral and written communication. Vocabulary development is expanded to ensure students achieve mastery knowledge of literary terms. The writing process of drafting, revising and editing introduced in 9th grade is underscored. MCAS modeled writing assignments are completed throughout the year.
During the junior year, students study American literature. They explore, analyze and write about more complex content. With the MCAS test completed, students have more opportunities to develop, clarify and communicate ideas in both expressive and expository writing. Formal research papers are also completed. Dramatic reading and performance are integrated in their literature study.
The senior English curriculum is structured to provide students with the skills and proficiencies necessary for life after high school. World literature is studied and students continue to analyze, interpret and synthesize ideas in both written and oral discussion. In preparation for higher education, students continue to research and prepare papers according to MLA guidelines. Resumes and letters of introduction are completed for students' portfolios and interview techniques are explored.