English at Holy Child is a trip into the 18th century, into the minds of novelists and poets now and in ancient times, and explores the art of writing and expressing oneself in whatever century or medium. In the English Department, we take Cornelia Connelly’s preference for “actions not words” to heart. When you walk into a classroom, you are more likely to see students active in this student-centered curriculum, rather than a lecturing teacher.
In freshman and sophomore years, we focus on a strong groundwork for future success. Students might be discussing the night’s reading with each other, passing a volleyball from speaker to speaker as a physical reminder that they are speaking with each other and not just the teacher. Or, you might see them in pairs, working on laptops, collaborating on topic sentences that will be shared with the rest of the class electronically. Sophomores will be analyzing the grammatical structure of a sentence by a well-known author; then working together to mirror that writer’s style. They might be acting out scenes from Macbeth or making animotos of vocabulary they’re learning from the bard.
A junior might be presenting a virtual poster that she has created online to teach her peers about the life of early African American writer Phyllis Wheatley, using links to show photographs of the poet or video of Wheatley’s home town. Or, students could be working on a Great Gatsby project, using iPads to create a gossip magazine covering the events of the novel. The AP English Literature classroom might have carved pumpkins representing a symbol the students have chosen from The Scarlet Letter, which they will consider thoroughly in an analytical essay.
We are committed to ensuring that our students take away the skills they will need to be successful communicators in their adult lives—that they are able to read critically, to think analytically, to speak persuasively, and to write effectively. And the one thing our returning college students relate again and again is that, “We really learned how to write at Holy Child, much more than our college friends!”
"A girl should choose Holy Child because it is a place where she can truly learn life skills and build confidence both in and out of the classroom. The teachers want you to succeed, and they are willing to put in extra time to make sure that happens. I have never met so many people who look forward to going to school and classes every day because they are excited to see their friends and feel like they can truly be themselves."
– Caitlyn ‘15, a freshman at Brown University
"By choosing Holy Child, you avail yourself to a myriad of opportunities. Holy Child is a place where your voice will be heard and appreciated. After my four years at Holy Child, I feel empowered in everything that I do. If you’re looking for supportive teachers, countless academic and social endeavors, and an incredibly close-knit community, then Holy Child is the place for you."
– Hope ‘15, a freshman at Savannah School of Art and Design
"Holy Child is a really special community. At Holy Child, you not only form strong bonds with your classmates, but also with your teachers, administrators, and even alumnae. All members of the community genuinely take interest in you and your life and care about your success. You are never alone at Holy Child; you’re part of a family."
– Allison ‘15, a freshman at Fordham University