• What is a declamation?

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    The declamation is one of the key components of the Deerfield English curriculum. In the spring every year students present a declamation to their classmates. Freshmen read from a work of literary merit, sophomores memorize and recite a short selection from a piece of literature, juniors write and recite a short piece pertaining to some aspect of American culture, and seniors write and read a long meditation that reflects on their time at Deerfield. From each section of freshman, sophomore and junior English classes, an exceptional declamation is chosen to compete in declamation finals. Seniors may submit their meditations to the English Department, who will choose several to be read at school meetings, as well as in smaller settings after dinner during the spring.

  • What is a senior meditation?

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    A senior meditation is the culminating experience of the Deerfield English curriculum. Meditations are long, reflective pieces written by seniors, and presented to their classmates. The best meditations are read at school meeting and in some smaller settings. Content of meditations ranges from challenges conquered to friendships formed at Deerfield, but nearly all focus on individual growth over a student’s time at Deerfield.

  • What opportunities are available for student writing outside the classroom?

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    Deerfield has numerous student-run publications, such as the school newspaper, The Scroll, and Albany Road, a collection of student writing and art. The Scroll has many editorial positions, as well as positions for staff and contributing writers. Anyone may submit content to Albany Road, which has a student editorial board that reviews student work and determines what content should be included in each issue.

  • What are English electives?

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    Many senior English classes terminate after two terms, leaving an open space in students’ schedules. In January, the English and history departments release a list of one-term spring electives available to juniors and seniors. These classes are on a more unusual topic than other classes, and are often composed of fewer students, facilitating greater depth of discussion.

  • Are students required to take an English class each year?

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    Every student must take at least one English class during each of their years at Deerfield. Students interested in playing NCAA Division I or Division II athletics, particularly those who have repeated a grade, should be aware that they must complete four NCAA-approved English classes during their first four years of high school. In some cases it may be necessary for students to double up on English. Even if students take two English classes in one year, they still must take an English class every year. For more detailed information, please refer to Deerfield’s full graduation requirements.