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HUMANITIES

The study of the Humanities helps our students understand the past, the experiences of others, and our roles within global society; strengthen their creative and critical thinking skills; and become effective and clear communicators. The Upper School’s overall goal is to create engaged, passionate, and compassionate thinkers and citizens of the world.

Our English Department is committed to helping students attain excellence in the use of the English language for purposes of self-expression and literary exploration. Specific goals include clear and creative expression in both discussion and composition, a mastery of literary content, student confidence in reading and writing skills, the acquisition of a rich vocabulary, and a lifelong love of literature.

Our faculty members encourage students to contemplate essential questions about literature in order to challenge assumptions, provoke original thought, and develop cultural and moral awareness. The department takes an integrated approach to learning, in which close reading and thorough discussion leads to sustained, logical, and clear analysis and writing. Individual conferences with teachers help students appreciate the uniqueness of their own writing even as they seek to achieve increased effectiveness of expression and sophistication of thought and structure. Students graduate as keenly observant readers, commanding writers, and independent thinkers highly prepared for the intellectual rigors of college study.


Our faculty members encourage students to contemplate essential questions about literature in order to challenge assumptions, provoke original thought, and develop cultural and moral awareness. The department takes an integrated approach to learning, in which close reading and thorough discussion leads to sustained, logical, and clear analysis and writing. Individual conferences with teachers help students appreciate the uniqueness of their own writing even as they seek to achieve increased effectiveness of expression and sophistication of thought and structure. Students graduate as keenly observant readers, commanding writers, and independent thinkers highly prepared for the intellectual rigors of college study.

The English studies four-year curriculum begins with English Genres and then moves on to European, U.S., and World literature, offered at both regular and honors levels. AP Language and Composition, an introductory college-level course focusing on rhetoric, and AP Literature and Composition, an introductory college-level literature course, are offered to advanced upperclassmen, and ECE courses for Uconn credit are also offered.


Core English Courses

Subject Level Grade(s)
English Genre*
Regular9
English GenreHonors9
European Literature*Regular10
European Literature*Honors10
United States Literature*College Prep11
United States Literature*Regular11
United States Literature*Honors11
World Literature*Regular12
AP Literature & Composition*AP12

Additional Offerings

Subject Level Grade(s)
Seminar in Writing  Through Literature
ECE11–12
Creative Writing: Short FormRegular10–12

Our History Department provides students with an understanding of influential moments in the history of ideas from the Paleolithic era to the contemporary world. While exploring the great ideas that have shaped humankind, we encourage our students to develop fundamental intellectual skills—thoughtful questioning, analyzing concepts, interpreting and synthesizing data, listening to opposing viewpoints, and constructing logical arguments. As a result of this focus on the history of ideas and the development of critical thinking skills, students learn to express their own thoughts with lucidity and acumen both in class discussions and in their writing.


Core History Courses

Subject Level Grade(s)
World History*
Regular9
World HistoryHonors9
European History*Regular10
European History*Honors10
United States History*College Prep11
United States History*Regular11
United States History*Honors11
AP United States History*AP11

Additional Offerings

Subject Level Grade(s)
American Government & Politics*
ECE11–12
AP American Government & Politics*AP11–12
AP World HistoryAP12
AP European HistoryAP12
History of the Holocaust*Regular10–12
History of American Judaism*Regular9–12

* Courses offered during the current school year