Our school's Christian mission is never far from our study of literature. The core values of our Catholic traditions and of our founders, the Sisters of Mercy, are reflected in our curricula and in our pedagogy: unafraid to celebrate the spirituality of literature, a merciful approach to our fellow man, an understanding and appreciation of our stewardship as transitory caretakers of God's earth as reflected in literary study, an insistence on integrity in academic pursuit, a striving for excellence, and an overarching respect for others and for ourselves.
English teachers always take the opportunity to examine the religious themes inherent in so many of the literary works our students read. They trust and respect their students and attempt to develop a partnership with families as a means of providing the best possible conditions for students to achieve academic success in English.
Academic preparation for college in the field of English is offered on five levels: two levels of college preparatory study; two levels of honors study; and, in the senior year, both the Language and the Literature Advanced Placement programs.
The freshman course is a survey in the language arts, including units of study in the short story, poetry, the novel, drama, nonfiction, vocabulary development, grammar, composition, and speech.
Sophomores and juniors study topics in American and British literature respectively; these courses also include vocabulary study, grammar, composition, and speech. Seniors not enrolled in our AP courses follow a program patterned after that employed in many college English programs for freshmen, one semester a study in composition and the other a study of literature.
In addition, the department offers one semester courses in creative writing, oral communication, and SAT preparation. A variety of opportunities are offered for students to showcase their writing abilities through participation in several writing competitions throughout the year. In the past year Feehan students have received national recognition in the Scholastic Writing Awards, one student receiving a Silver Key in New York City, while two Feehan students were among only thirteen NCTE Achievement in Writing Award winners in the entire state of Massachusetts.
Our students are challenged to continuous intellectual growth. Recognizing that each person is endowed by God with unique qualities, we celebrate these individual differences and encourage our students to discover and develop their gifts and talents by providing a variety of activities in each course in order to appeal to the many learning styles that our students present to us each day.
English teachers pride themselves on regular use of a variety of pedagogical approaches, including whole group discussion; small group discussion; teacher lecture; black/green/white board presentations; overhead or PowerPoint presentations; cooperative learning groups in which each student has a specific role and responsibility in completing the task[s] assigned to the group; small group activities; activities in pairs; group projects for presentation and/or display; memorization and recitation; dramatization; speech activities; field trip opportunities; guest speakers and presenters; and student presentation of research.