In a rapidly changing world, words are constant.

The Penn Charter English curriculum nurtures and celebrates verbal and written expression in order to empower students to express themselves clearly and powerfully, read perceptively and critically, speak articulately and listen actively.

“For over three hundred years, Penn Charter students have read Shakespeare and Sophocles, and this traditional grounding, augmented by new voices and perspectives in literature, equips our graduates to be informed and critical citizens of our world.” Nora Landon, English Department Chair


Key Characteristics

  • English IX applies a rigorous analytical lens to myriad perspectives as a part of its year-long examination of the relationship between identity and voice. Students work with single-voice and multi-perspective fiction, narrative nonfiction, contemporary theater, short stories, and poetry, all in an effort to interrogate the contemporary literary canon. 
  • For students who wish to pursue more rigorous, college-level English studies, AP English Literature and Composition is offered in 11th grade and Advance English XII in 12th grade.
  • A rigorous and traditional analytical writing curriculum challenges students to engage deeply with texts representing many eras, cultural traditions and perspectives.

Curricular Highlights

The Writing Center. Our faculty-staffed writing center sees students all periods of the day, as well as before and after school, in more than 500 unique visits a year.

American Studies. A team-taught, interdisciplinary Social Studies and English course with a student-centered curriculum and emphasis on reflection.

Spring Senior courses. Special topic offerings, such as Caribbean Literature and Finding Truth, allow students to select a course for in-depth study in their last semester at Penn Charter.

"By the time I graduated from PC, I no longer simply read literature; I conversed with it." Tom Noonan OPC '10

Graduation Requirements

All students are required to take a full year of English each year. The requirements are to be met in the following manner:

  1. Two semester units (E100 or E110) are required in 9th grade.
  2. Two semester units (E300 or E310) are required in 10th grade.
  3. Two semester units (E500, E510 or E520) are required in 11th grade.
  4. One semester unit (E701 or E701A) is required in Semester 1 of 12th grade.
  5. One semester unit is required in Semester 2 of 12th grade. Seniors have their choice of special topics courses.

Click Here to View the Course List