A Catholic Girls School in the Benedictine Tradition


The courses offered through the English department focus on reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar, and usage. The curriculum integrates all aspects of language arts through the study of various literary pieces. As such, the students read literary selections appropriate to each course, including supplemental novels. Students learn to evaluate literature critically by comparing and contrasting elements of good writing and by making and defending their judgments about literature. They also form value judgments as they analyze the merit of literary works as well as corresponding literary elements.

Vocabulary acquisition occurs in context through the study of literature as well as by directly studying vocabulary units. Students incorporate new vocabulary into their writing. The vocabulary workbooks also provide ACT and SAT preparation with exercises focusing on reading critically, improving paragraphs, identifying sentence errors, and writing in response to prompts.

Writing is an integral part of every level of instruction. Students learn to write in all of the rhetorical modes. Creative writing is also encouraged through daily journals, quick writes, and performance assessments. The curriculum, however, emphasizes formal writing, particularly literary analysis. The students learn and apply their knowledge of proper grammar and usage through their writing.

Beginning at the English I level, the English courses are offered as College Prep, Honors or AP (Junior/ Senior level only) and dual enrollment.


INTERMEDIATE COMPOSITION & SPEECH- Eighth Graders - ½ credit each
Intermediate Composition and Speech I serve as a foundation to help students excel in future courses and improve self-expression through the mediums of writing and public speaking. Intermediate Composition seeks to strengthen writing skills through intensive grammar lessons, frequent writing assignments, and a close study of what constitutes “good writing.” Students are expected to consistently self-assess their own writing styles, give constructive feedback to classmates, and adapt to various modes of writing. Speech I studies both rhetorical strategies and figures of speech in order to imitate successful techniques in public speaking. Students are expected to be active participants in class debates, dramatic monologues, and impromptu activities that improve the articulation of one’s ideas.

ENGLISH I: LITERARY GENRES - Eighth Grade - 1 credit
English I introduces the students to the study of literature through a genre approach. The literary selections are chosen as representative of the major literary genres, and through them the students come to understand the essential elements of each genre. Formal grammar is covered as needed in writing instruction, as well as through ACT preparatory exercises in the vocabulary workbook. Students acquire new vocabulary from the literature and from vocabulary units built into the course.

ENGLISH II: WORLD LITERATURE - Freshmen - 1 credit
English II provides a survey of world literature by exposing students to cultural diversity through a critical study of English translations of selected world masterpieces from both ancient civilizations and the modern world.  Formal grammar is covered as needed in writing instruction, as well as through ACT preparatory exercises in the vocabulary workbook.  Students acquire new vocabulary from the literature and from vocabulary units built into the course. Practice in formal writing, including a documented essay, occurs throughout the course.

English III covers European literature from its origins to the twentieth century and includes British history and the history of the English language. In doing so, students will gain an understanding and appreciation of the major literary movements and popular literary themes, especially in relation to current social, political and personal events/concerns. Finally, the course requires a significant amount of writing, in which students learn to write formal essays of literary analysis. A documented essay allows students to incorporate scholarly writings and literary criticism into their essays, thus creating a formal research paper of literary analysis.

English IV provides a survey of American literature from its origins to modern times. The course emphasizes a cultural and historical perspective that stresses the interaction of literature and history. For this reason, the literary selections are presented in chronological order, with corresponding novels chosen as representatives of the major themes and/or movements of each literary period. Composition in English IV stresses literary analysis, including incorporating scholarly research as secondary support for the thesis. Formal grammar is covered as needed in writing instruction, as well as through ACT preparatory exercises in the vocabulary workbook. Students acquire new vocabulary from the literature and from vocabulary units built into the course.

The Dual Enrollment course serves as an introduction to analytical writing and research-based inquiry. Both English 1001 and 2000 are General Education courses attached to Louisiana State University’s English department. English 1001 seeks to help students conduct research, articulate complex disciplinary problems, evaluate and analyze primary and secondary sources, and integrate relevant information into original discourse. English 2000 seeks to further students’ abilities in what they learned during English 1001, but also applies that knowledge to disciplinary and interdisciplinary writing. Students will select a discipline to work within at the beginning of the semester and research and participate within the discipline’s discourse. Both courses stress the importance of the writing process and require students to produce at least three drafts of four college level papers per semester.

The English V AP Literature & Composition class is designed to allow students to demonstrate that they can read complex fiction and nonfiction texts with insight. Readings, writing assignments, and activities provide intellectual challenges and a workload consistent with a typical undergraduate university literature/Humanities course. Students learn to discover meaning in literature by being attentive to language, imagery, characterization, subtle shifts in tone or attitude, and the various techniques authors use to evoke emotional responses from their readers. Students must justify their interpretations with supportive references to details and patterns found in the text. Students also study rhetoric and composition with attention to particular forms: analytical, expository, and argumentative. The best student writers tend to be the best critical readers, thus students are involved in the writing process as it relates to literary analysis: planning, prewriting, composing, revising, and more revising. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to read complex texts with understanding and to write prose of sufficient richness and complexity to communicate effectively with mature readers.

CONTEMPORARY FICTION - Freshmen / Sophomores - Elective - 1 credit
This course will investigate a variety of contemporary YA literature from romance to thrillers. In response to the readings, classmates will engage in discussions about contemporary, realistic, and controversial issues.

DYSTOPIAN FICTION (RG or H) - Sophomores / Juniors / Seniors - Elective - 1 credit
This elective course focuses on contemporary and classic dystopian literature, including multiple short stories and novels like Lowry’s The Giver and Orwell’s 1984. Students  will explore controversial issues of morality, governmental control, technology, the sanctity of human life, freedom, and scientific discovery. This course will allow students to consider both the despair and the hope that writers feel about humanity, while also offering a chance to discuss important and sometimes controversial issues. As a class, students will discuss, research, write, debate and actively explore the cultural issues addressed in each literary work. Sophomores need teacher and parent permission prior to registering due to the sensitive nature of some of the topics discussed.

The AP English Language and Composition course serves as a prerequisite to AP English Literature & Composition and is highly recommended for those taking AP Literature in their senior year. As prescribed by THE COLLEGE BOARD, an AP course in English Language and Composition will train the students to become skilled readers of prose written in a variety of historical periods, academic disciplines, and rhetorical contexts. The course will also give the students the practice and helpful criticism necessary to become flexible writers who can compose in a variety of modes for a variety of purposes. Through reading and writing, the student will become aware of the interactions among the author, the audience, the subject itself, generic conventions, and the resources of language, including syntax, word choice, and tone. Students who do not take this course prior to AP English Literature & Composition are at a disadvantage in preparing for the AP test because they will lack the rhetorical skills needed to read & write about complex pieces of literature.

INTRO TO CREATIVE WRITING - Sophomores / Juniors / Seniors - 1 credit
In this course students will explore multiple genres of writing, from poetry to short fiction and creative non-fiction. We will focus on the craft of writing, which will involve reading the works of published writers and demystifying their craft. We will also delve deeply into the writing process. Students will be expected to publish their work in class during writing workshops, where they critique each other's writing. The ultimate goal is to create a portfolio of work for possible publication outside of class (The Osirian).

JOURNALISM - Sophomores / Juniors / Seniors - Elective - 1 credit
Journalism investigates nonfiction writing and publication experience. Journalism students learn about journalistic integrity and research, as well as reinforcing the proofreading skills of core English classes. Students will work throughout the year on the student newspaper, The Saddle Oxford.
St. Scholastica Academy is a Catholic, all-girls, college-preparatory high school located in Covington, Louisiana. Founded in 1903, SSA perpetuates the Benedictine tradition of balancing prayer, work, study, and community in developing adolescent girls into Christian women grounded in the Gospel values of the Catholic faith.
St. Scholastica Academy is a Catholic girls high school of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. As such it admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities available to students at its schools. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, or athletic and other school-administered programs.