UPPER SCHOOL ACADEMICS

Annie Wright Upper School prepares girls extraordinarily well for college, offering small classes, independent-minded peers, and an exceptional faculty. Our challenging curriculum appeals to motivated students with a variety of learning styles, and our learning support department is available to address individual needs. Most importantly, we prepare girls for a lifetime of learning, instilling in our students genuine curiosity and the courage to ask questions, seek creative answers and meet the challenges of a rapidly-changing, complex and culturally-diverse world.

An International Baccalaureate World School, Annie Wright has offered the rigorous Diploma Programme, considered the gold standard in international education, since 2009.

View Our Curriculum

English

Annie Wright students complete four years of English. All levels include literature, writing, analysis, discussion, and presentation skills, each year at a deeper and more involved level. The courses prepare students not only for the IB assessments in junior and senior years, but also for college and beyond.
  • English 1: Language & Literature (Honors)

    In this course, students explore their own contexts in order to see how any given culture understands its own moment in time and space. We begin this work by looking at some classic literary archetypes, and we use them to springboard into understanding and developing our own perspectives and voices. To do this, we will work on clarity and construction in both critical and creative writing, and we will build confidence and poise through both individual and group presentations. We will also work on reading comprehension by exploring the conventions of a variety of literary genres. Through this work, students will learn how their specific places and perspectives shape their understandings of the world, and how they can use their voices, both individually and collaboratively, to make an impact on their own communities.
  • English 2: Language & Literature (Honors)

    This course helps students to become skilled, lifelong, critical readers and writers. Students will write both analytical and creative pieces throughout the year. They will revise the pieces they write, as that is how they will really learn and grow as writers. The class will discuss literature, develop grammar skills, perform poems for the Poetry Out Loud competition, and analyze media. The writing assignments, presentations, and activities are designed to prepare students for the IB English curriculum that they'll encounter junior and senior year.
  • IB English 3: Language & Literature (HL)

    In this course, students will read and interpret texts across a range of genres. At the start of the year, students will review techniques for literary analysis. In later units, they will explore how these techniques can apply to traditional literary texts as well as mass media (including advertisements, works of journalism, and Internet sources). Students will also be asked to consider how context can shape the meaning of a text. The units will cover topics such as satire and dystopian fiction, and students will be evaluated on their analytical writing, creative writing, and speaking and presentation skills.
  • IB English 4: Language & Literature (HL)

    In twelfth grade IB Language and Literature students will learn to interpret a variety of texts within the context of their production: We will look at published “literature” alongside song lyrics, news articles, cartoons, TV and YouTube clips, podcasts, advertisements, blogs, and much more in order to consider how language produces meaning in isolation and in in its culture. Our IB assessments and class assignments will require analytical response to and creative engagement with the texts we encounter, relying on formal analytical writing and speaking skills as well as creative activities and projects.  The course prepares students for IB’s final examinations.
     
    Graduates of IB Language & Literature will see that language is the way that we express ourselves to others, learn to empathize with others, and translate our experiences as individuals and as representatives of our communities. They will recognize that language is a way that individuals reflect their cultural or historical moment, but also that language is the vehicle through which individuals critique or protest cultural norms and expectations.  They will value their own voices and work to express themselves authentically and uniquely. They will appreciate their privilege to speak publicly and strive to speak out on their own and others’ behalves.

Our Faculty

  • Photo of Laura Barber
    Laura Barber
    Upper School for Girls English Teacher
    253-284-8613
    2008
    Bio
  • Photo of Jeff Freshwater
    Jeff Freshwater
    Upper School for Girls Social Studies Teacher & Associate Director of College Counseling
    253-284-4348
    2011
    Bio
  • Photo of Jake Guadnola
    Jake Guadnola
    Director of Upper School for Girls
    253.284.5422
    2000
    1994
    Bio
  • Photo of Ambalila Hemsell
    Ambalila Hemsell
    Upper School Girls English Teacher
    253-284-5432
    Reed College - BA
    University of Michigan - MFA
    2019
    Bio
  • Photo of Amy Lynn
    Amy Lynn
    Library & Media Specialist
    253-284-8661
    Scripps College - B.A.
    University of Oregon - M.A.
    University of Oregon - M.A.
    2014
    Bio
  • Photo of Emily Lynn
    Emily Lynn
    Upper School for Girls English Teacher/IB Coordinator
    253-284-8632
    2013
    Bio
  • Susanne Seales
    2019

Introducing… Read | Watch | Listen

The Upper School proudly presents Read|Watch|Listen (RWL). RWL replaces traditional summer reading with a more engaging, relevant, community-building experience that helps students gain greater cultural awareness. Students, faculty, parents, and alums are encouraged to engage the program to whatever degree they’d like. It is entirely optional, non-assessed, and loads of fun.

Contact

Annie Wright Schools
827 North Tacoma Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98403
253.272.2216

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Founded in Tacoma, Washington, in 1884, Annie Wright Schools serve students from age three through high school. Annie Wright Lower  and Middle Schools offer coed programs in Preschool through Grade 8, while separate Upper Schools for girls  and boys offer day and boarding options in Grades 9 through 12. Annie Wright is proud to be an International Baccalaureate World School.