We’ve had an explosion of activities in the English department this half term, it’s been incredibly busy and the department has been buzzing.
Our Poetry Now group has met each Monday, a chance for intrepid poets to explore reopened spaces around them and pledged new commitments to personal goals. Students have been inspired particularly by Theresa Lola’s 70th anniversary poem for the Royal Festival Hall, William Carlos Williams and Glyn Maxwell’s ‘Sorrynotsorry’ work, and Lauren Zuniga’s personal manifesto.
Twilight sessions have brought students together to discuss thoughts and feelings about Paradise Lost, with our ambitious sixth form students wanting to explore the ultra-curriculum alongside their A Level studies. The students are also making their way through Milton’s astonishing epic poem, considering themes that speak to us more, or less, readily in the 21st Century; acknowledging our current distance from the religious knowledge so familiar to so many other readers.
Our Finding Your Voice sessions have proven to be both entertaining and thought-provoking, with students experimenting with techniques to build confidence in speaking in public. By analysing their own body language, speech behaviour in conversation and explored techniques, students have learnt how to keep discussions moving forwards. Topics discussed have ranged from gender to the needs of individuals in society – landing on a passionate debate on whether footballers are paid too much! Finding Your Voice meets regularly each week on Wednesdays at 1.15pm.
The School has been buzzing on Thursday lunchtimes with the excited exchange of ideas about favourite books and recommendations in our Book Share, all led by students from Year 7, 8 and 9. Mr Lawley, Ms Gardner and Mr Maxton could barely be heard above the brouhaha each week – which is just how it should be! Students are welcome to join the Book Share each week on Thursdays, all that’s needed is a book to swap, recommend or read from. As Lemony Snicket said, ‘Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.’
The Essay competition has launched! Copies of the titles have been available for students to pick up; those that have wished to participate have been encouraged to practise some of the skills they’ve been developing in School, and encouraged to write about something they feel passionate about. The competition is open to all students in Year 10 or 11, and closes on Monday 22nd November 2021.
And finally, students applying for University and taking the ELAT exam have been supported with both group and individual teaching which has taken place in School since August.
With a variety of co-curricular activities and opportunities for all students, we always encourage students to look out for upcoming activities and events they can get involved with.