Using language in all its forms is a vital and sustaining human activity. Inspired by this belief, the English department faculty aims to empower and prepare young adults for a life of learning as readers and writers.

Students at The Hill School begin their English studies with a two-year sequence of Foundations courses. These courses introduce third and fourth formers to the writing process, to literary and textual analysis, and to conventions of writing. Students learn to collaborate productively, to problem solve, and to apply their skills and knowledge instructively and creatively. In the fifth and sixth forms students enhance and refine the recursive skills of reading and writing through a wide selection of challenging courses. At each level, discussion—around the Harkness table or in mobile Nodes Chairs - is at the heart of what we do.

The English Department identifies six core principles as facilitators of our philosophy: critical thinking, creative purpose, reading, processes, critical action, and knowledge of conventions. By taking classes guided by these principles, Hill students develop the knowledge and skills that will help them become engaged, critical, and creative citizens of the world.

For more information about the English Department, please contact Mrs. Courtney Neese '00, Edward Tuck Hall Distinguished Chair in English, at cneese@thehill.org.

English Department Courses:

  • English 1
  • English 2
  • Multimedia Journalism
  • Multimedia Journalism 2 (Honors)
  • English 3 (Honors option)
  • English 3
  • English 3 AP Language (College Level)
  • English 4 (Honors option)
  • English 4 (Honors option): Creative Writing*
  • English 4 (Honors): Literature and Religion
  • English 4 AP Literature (College Level)

*Course not offered 2021-22

View course descriptions, and the required prerequisites, in the Course Catalog.

Placed-Based Education in English:

Students play "volleyball" with their new friends at Manatawny Manor.

Mrs. Courtney Neese's English 4 AP Literature class includes a service learning component in which students are paired with residents at a local retirement home and build empathy and understanding as they learn about their partners are write memoirs of their lives. During the spring term, the class works with children at the Wyndcroft School. 
The more digging I did into service learning, the more I began to realize that we could use the entire community as our classroom. The deepest learning happens when students are able to connect their classroom learning with the real world, so that’s what we set out to do.Courtney Neese '00, Athey Family Master of English