English and Modern Languages

The English program in Grades 9 to 12 includes compulsory courses and optional courses. The compulsory courses emphasize strong core competencies in listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing, and representing. Students choose between course types on the basis of their interests, achievement, and post-secondary goals.

Please visit English as a Second Language (ESL) and French as a Second Language (FSL/Core French) for more information on these programs. 

Please see the St. Mary COURSE CALENDAR on myBlueprint for course descriptions and pre-requisite requirements. 

Course Spotlight "Grade 11 English: Understanding Contemporary Métis, First Nations and Inuit Voices" NBE3U/C/E

St. Mary Catholic Secondary school community is pleased to be offering a new Grade 11 English curriculum, inspired by Indigenous voices and focused on contemporary literature. These mandatory Grade 11 English courses will explore the themes, forms, and stylistic elements of a variety of literary, informational, graphic, oral, cultural and media text forms emerging from First Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultures in Canada and reflects our Catholic Graduate Expectations and Catholic Social Teachings. "English: Understanding Contemporary Métis, First Nations and Inuit Voices" NBE3U/C/E is offered at all levels (university, college and workplace preparation) to fulfill the mandatory requirement for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) and are recognized by all post-secondary institutions. Please see the parent/guardian letter for more information and answers to FAQs. 

Accelerated Reader program

Accelerated Reader is a sustained silent reading program that allows students to select reading material based on their preferences and monitors student progress towards a reading goal. The purpose of the program is to give students an opportunity to practice skills learned in class, to prepare 9s and 10s for the literacy test and to foster habits which promote lifelong reading.

The program is administered through the Learning Commons. An orientation session is provided to Grade 9 students, outlining how the Accelerated Reader program works and offering strategies for making wise book choices. A STAR reading assessment is also completed by students in order to determine their reading level which is used as a guide for book selection. For a list of available novels and their quizzes, please go online to www.arbookfind.com

In order to earn the full 5% allotted to AR, students must pass a minimum of three (3) quizzes based on books they have read. In addition, students must accumulate a minimum number of points as outlined below:

Grade LevelCourse LevelPoints

Grade 9 and 10


25 points

Grade 10


10 points

For a list of available novels and their quizzes, please go online to www.arbookfind.com

If students do not accumulate the minimum number of points outlined above they will receive a portion of the 5% based on the number of books read and points accumulated. 

All quizzes are completed in the Learning Commons (Library) Centre and signed by the teacher-librarian (or designate). Taking quizzes is an individual activity, not for pairs or groups.

All protocols for computer use in the library must be followed:

  • Students must sign up for a computer at the circulation desk in the Learning Commons and present identification prior to taking a quiz
  • Students may only take quizzes with the teacher-librarian’s knowledge and permission.
  • Students may not have books, pens, pencils, paper, cell phones, etc. at the computers during an AR quiz. 
  • Students may not take an AR quiz until the STAR reading assessment has been completed. English Teachers will keep signed Accelerated Reader protocol on file and a new one will be signed at the beginning of every semester in which the student takes English.

English teachers will keep signed Accelerated Reader protocol on file and a new one will be signed at the beginning of every semester in which the student takes English.


Advanced Placement Program

Curriculum Documents

The English program focuses on four strands: Oral Communication, Reading and Literature Studies, Writing and Media Studies. 

Department Policies and Procedures

Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)

All students must meet a literacy requirement in order to graduate high school. In Grade 10, students will write the Ontario Secondary School Literary Test. Students who do not pass the OSSLT on the first attempt can meet the literacy requirement either by rewriting and passing the test, or by successfully completing the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OLC4O). The credit earned for this course may be used to meet the Grade 11 or Grade 12 compulsory credit requirement in English.


Academic Supports


Contact us

For more information, contact Ms. S. Walton, Curriculum Chair, (ext. 41956).