The goal of the Middle School English program is to give students the tools and inspire them to be lifelong readers and writers. Students enter Providence Country Day with varying facility in these areas and teachers work with students where they are to increase their abilities to comprehend what they read, to gather the basic facts of a text, and to go beneath the surface to discover layers of inferential meaning. Similarly, teachers help students develop competence in the simple mechanics of writing: punctuation, sentence structure, paragraph development and essay organization.
Through reading and English classes, students are exposed to a variety of authors and probing questions which move them beyond literal facts to higher levels of thinking. Sixth graders are expected to know a story's content and to think about the author’s intent; eighth graders are expected to identify techniques used to create suspense and to determine how a story relates to them and the society in which they live. A natural outgrowth of reading is written response—whether creative or expository in nature. Writing is developed across the curriculum, but the foundations are secured in English class, where the tools are acquired and practiced for application in other disciplines.