We believe that advanced 21st-century literacy is the key to lifelong success. We endeavour to help students read analytically, write effectively, speak confidently, listen actively, and think critically.
We believe the study of literature will help students learn the communication tools they need to be engaged citizens, develop empathy toward perspectives other than their own, and form a critical understanding of the world.
Text selection is something we take seriously, and we put a lot of thought and care in the choices we make in your son’s current year of study and how that relates to what he studies throughout his time here.
As a university preparatory school, we believe in canonical works of fiction because their form and content has stood the test of time and these texts challenge our boys to decode meaning and understand the power of language. What’s more, well-written characters enable students to glean insight into the complexity of human motivations and conflicts, and through this examination they can understand themselves better.
But we also believe in blending the classic with the contemporary. Our students read texts that speak to the multitude of voices in our classes and the complexity of what we call literacy today. Some of this content also challenges our students because it invites them to view the world in a different light.
We believe in exposing boys to a variety of writing genres, fictional and non-fictional, to explore all facets of the human condition and foster the creativity of expression. We also believe in the essay as an opportunity to state an argument with conviction, clarity, and rigorous evidence. We believe in studying and applying a strong understanding of grammar as it relates to a specific text we are reading or that boys are writing.
We believe that writing is hard work. The only way to improve a piece of writing is to re-read, revise, and confer with classmates and teachers for formative feedback and to clarify criteria and expectations. Our process-based approach allows students to learn from their shortcomings on earlier assignments to strengthen their work on future ones.
There’s a natural relationship between reading and writing. The literacy skills students develop are just like the skills and muscle memory they learn on the sports field, or playing an instrument, or building a house. The more they read and re-read (and write and re-write) the stronger they will become. Our work in the classroom is complemented by the additional support of the Writing Centre.
We are continually examining ways that our writing assignments could transcend the everyday classroom by making audiences genuine and tasks rich. We believe all boys have something to say and a story to tell.
We believe in teaching boys the power of listening before they speak, and when they speak it is with respect and confidence. Collaboration in class is an essential learning skill, and teachers will often prompt boys to share their insights with their classmates. This is a vulnerable task for some because boys have been socialized to be right and do not want to be embarrassed by their peers, but developing eloquence is one of the key components of our strategic plan and a key skill in any workplace. Boys have a multitude of ways to practice this skill, informally and formally, with discussion, debate, dramatic monologues and scenes, recitation, and presentations.
In all the texts we study, we believe in rigorous critical thinking and evidence-backed analysis. As students navigate social media and the digital world, there is no more important time for students to evaluate and interpret bias, authoritative sources, stereotypes, tone, and the relationship between implicit and explicit messages. Using a variety of digital media texts such as websites, social media sites, podcasts, narrated photo stories, and short films offer an interesting way to analyze and produce content.
- St. Andrew’s College English Department
• English, Grade 9, Academic
This course is designed to develop the oral communication, reading, writing, and media literacy skills that students need for success in their secondary school academic programs and in their daily lives. Students will analyze literary texts from contemporary and historical periods, interpret informational and graphic texts, and create oral, written, and media texts in a variety of forms. An important focus will be on the use of strategies that contribute to effective communication. The course is intended to prepare students for the grade 10 academic English course, which leads to university or college preparation courses in grades 11 and 12.
• English, Grade 10, Academic
Prerequisite: English Grade 9, Academic or Applied
This course is designed to extend the range of oral communication, reading, writing, and media literacy skills that students need for success in their secondary school academic programs and in their daily lives. Students will analyze literary texts from contemporary and historical periods, interpret and evaluate informational and graphic texts, and create oral, written, and media texts in a variety of forms. An important focus will be on the selective use of strategies that contribute to effective communication. This course is intended to prepare students for the compulsory grade 11 university or college preparation course.
• English, Grade 11, University Preparation
Prerequisite: English, Grade 10, Academic
This course emphasizes the development of literacy, communication, and critical and creative thinking skills necessary for success in academic and daily life. Students will analyze challenging literary texts from various periods, countries, and cultures, as well as a range of informational and graphic texts, and create oral, written, and media texts in a variety of forms. An important focus will be on using language with precision and clarity and incorporating stylistic devices appropriately and effectively. The course is intended to prepare students for the compulsory grade 12 university or college preparation course.
• AP English, Grade 11, University Preparation
Prerequisite: English, Grade 10, Academic
The AP English Language and Composition course focuses on the development and revision of evidence-based analytic and argumentative writing, the rhetorical analysis of nonfiction texts, and the decisions writers make as they compose and revise. Students evaluate, synthesize, and cite research to support their arguments. Additionally, they read and analyze rhetorical elements and their effects in nonfiction texts—including images as forms of text— from a range of disciplines and historical periods.
Note: This course is open for students accepted to the AP Capstone program.
• Presentation and Speaking Skills, Grade 11, Open
Prerequisite: English, Grade 10, Academic
This course emphasizes the knowledge and skills required to plan and make effective presentations and to speak effectively in both formal and informal contexts, using such forms as reports, speeches, debates, panel discussions, storytelling, recitations, interviews, and multimedia presentations. Students will research and analyze the content and characteristics of convincing speeches and the techniques of effective speakers; design and rehearse presentations for a variety of purposes and audiences; select and use visual and technological aids to enhance their message; and assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ presentations.
Note: This course is designed for students who have completed ESLDO and ESLEO and who are relatively new to the English language.
• English, Grade 12, University Preparation
Prerequisite: English, Grade 11, University Preparation
This course emphasizes the consolidation of literacy, communication, and critical and creative thinking skills necessary for success in academic and daily life. Students will analyze a range of challenging literary texts from various periods, countries, and cultures; interpret and evaluate informational and graphic texts; and create oral, written, and media texts in a variety of forms. An important focus will be on using academic language coherently and confidently, selecting the reading strategies best suited to particular texts and particular purposes for reading, and developing greater control in writing. The course is intended to prepare students for university, college, or the workplace.
• AP English, Grade 12, University Preparation
Prerequisite: English, Grade 11 AP, University Preparation or permission of the Department Head
The AP English Literature and Composition course focuses on reading, analyzing, and writing about imaginative literature (fiction, poetry, drama) from various periods. Students engage in close reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature to deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure. As they read, students consider a work’s structure, style, and themes, as well as its use of figurative language, imagery, and symbolism. Writing assignments include expository, analytical, and argumentative essays that require students to analyze and interpret literary works.
• The Writer’s Craft, Grade 12, University Preparation
Prerequisite: English, Grade 11, University Preparation
This course emphasizes knowledge and skills related to the craft of writing. Students will analyze models of effective writing; use a workshop approach to produce a range of works; identify and use techniques required for specialized forms of writing; and identify effective ways to improve the quality of their writing. They will also complete a major paper as part of a creative or analytical independent study project and investigate opportunities for publication and for writing careers.
One of the primary goals of this course is to expose students to a wide range of writing opportunities and to equip them for situations they will encounter in the years to follow. In addition to technical writing skills and academic writing, there will be many chances for students to explore the world of creative writing. During the year we will experiment by writing short fiction, poetry, drama, journalism, and a variety of different personal essays. This course is both challenging and fun.
ESL PROGRAM AT ST. ANDREW’S COLLEGE
The ESL program at St. Andrew’s consists of three courses, ESL 1, ESL 2, and EPS3OF, as well as extra help after school hours. All ESL students are required to take the English course for their grade level; in addition, students in grade 9 that the faculty determines need extra ESL support will be enrolled in ESL 1 and those in grade 10 in ESL 2. They will continue with the Presentation and Speaking Skills course in grade 11. While in the ESL program, students will be placed in one of the following five levels of study, ranging from beginner (ESLAO) to advanced (ESLEO), and given the tools and encouragement to hone their language skills for success in high school. The units in each course contain a grammar component designed to enable students to work at their own pace to improve their grasp of English, and consist of an online set of lessons and practice materials, in-class lessons using writing and reading resources, and unit tests for all levels.
Note: Each course affords students the ability to earn one OSSD credit, but to earn the OSSD and graduate, all students must complete ENG4U (grade 12 English). If further assistance is required, Upper School students may choose to attend The Writing Center. Teachers may also assign individuals to attend either on a temporary or permanent basis. Students desiring tutoring can make appropriate arrangements through the Learning Resource Specialist.
This course builds on students' previous education and language knowledge to introduce them to the English language and help them adjust to the diversity in their new environment. Students will use beginning English language skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing for everyday and essential academic purposes. They will engage in short conversations using basic English language structures and simple sentence patterns; read short adapted texts, and write phrases and short sentences. The course also provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to begin to adapt to their new lives in Canada.
This course extends students' listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in English for everyday and academic purposes. Students will participate in conversations in structured situations on a variety of familiar and new topics; read a variety of texts designed or adapted for English language learners; expand their knowledge of English grammatical structures and sentence patterns; and link English sentences to compose paragraphs. The course also supports students' continuing adaptation to the Ontario school system by expanding their knowledge of diversity in their new province and country.
This course further extends students' skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English for a variety of everyday and academic purposes. Students will make short classroom oral presentations; read a variety of adapted and original texts in English; and write using a variety of text forms. As well, students will expand their academic vocabulary and their study skills to facilitate their transition to the mainstream school program. This course also introduces students to the rights and responsibilities inherent in Canadian citizenship, and to a variety of current Canadian issues.
Prerequisite: ESL Level 3 or equivalent
This course prepares students to use English with increasing fluency and accuracy in classroom and social situations and to participate in Canadian society as informed citizens. Students will develop the oral-presentation, reading, and writing skills required for success in all school subjects. They will extend listening and speaking skills through participation in discussions and seminars; study and interpret a variety of grade-level texts; write narratives, articles, and summaries in English; and respond critically to a variety of print and media texts.
Prerequisite: ESL Level 4 or equivalent
This course provides students with the skills and strategies they need to make the transition to college and university preparation courses in English and other secondary school disciplines. Students will be encouraged to develop independence in a range of academic tasks. They will participate in debates and lead classroom workshops; read and interpret literary works and academic texts; write essays, narratives, and reports; and apply a range of learning strategies and research skills effectively. Students will further develop their ability to respond critically to print and media texts.