Online English Lessons
We dropped in on an A level English lesson with Mr Hinds.
The group have been studying Alan Bennett’s ‘The History Boys’ and the lesson was spent discussing particular characters. Mr Hinds had emailed the class the topic in advance and the specific scenes to focus on, so the students were well prepared to air their views. A lively discussion ensued exploring how Mrs Lintott, and women as a whole, are presented in the play.
Even Mr Hinds learnt a thing or two from the articulate young ladies in the group!
Creative Writing Club
Mr Hinds has also been running a Creative Writing Club on Friday afternoons.
Initially launched as the Authorpaedics, creative writing has been reborn during lockdown. Every Friday we a meet up and try our hand at writing creatively using a variety of stimuli. Recently we have been working on particular forms of poetry: haiku and limericks. After this we are going to look at creating extended imagery based on a colour, emotion or other phenomenon inspired by Walter de la Mare’s ‘Silver’.
Although not constrained by the meter and rhyme some students (and staff) are trying to replicate this. Challenging!
Silver – Walter de la Mare
Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep
Of doves in a silver-feathered sleep;
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws and a silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.
Examples of Haiku, written by club members
There was a young man called Max
Who was made entirely of wax
He went out in the sun
Which wasn’t much fun
And now he’s covered in cracks
Paige – Clouds
They block the sun’s light,
Break the blue and slink closer,
But lined in silver.
Martha – Fire
Flickering flames fly.
Softly dancing waltzing light.
Create warmth at night.
To offer a more informal way of engaging with reading and writing, during the first half of the summer term, librarian and Head of Key Stage 3, Mrs Wright, has been running a Reading Club.
You are never too old to be read to. A small group of students is meeting weekly to listen to the next instalment of Girl. Boy. Sea.
Bill is alone in the ocean, adrift in a tiny boat when he sees a tiny speck on the horizon. The speck floats closer and he sees it is a barrel, with a person lying inside. At first he thinks the person is dead but then there is movement – and he realises he must rescue the girl.
They have no language in common. They have very little water. How will they survive the scorching sun? How did they come to be here, and what will happen next?
Usually each year we have a Carnegie Shadowing Group, where along with many other schools across the UK we have copies of the eight or so books on the Carnegie Medal shortlist. These are provided in alternative formats – braille, large print or audio – so that we can read all the books along with the judges and decide which one we think should be the winner.
This year, things are a bit different. The books are available electronically instead of hard copy and the Shadowing period has been extended. We are really looking forward to our usual discussion and chatter about the books. In the meantime, a serial story time is happening every week so that we can experience one of the books, one part at a time. So pull up a beanbag, put the outside world away, and off we go…
The first NCW Podcast!
As our school community is so widely dispersed across the UK, Mr Randall, HLTA with the IT department had a wonderful idea to create the first NCW podcast. Working with the English Department a new project was launched – to create our own audio book which could be downloaded from the website as a podcast.
The book chosen is ‘Framed’ by Frank Cottrell Boyce, a young person’s novel published in 2005. It was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year, and longlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.
The novel takes its setting from a true-life event, when the Manod quarry at Blaenau Ffestiniog in North Wales was used to store art treasures from the National Gallery and the Tate Gallery during World War II.
Dylan is the only boy living in the tiny Welsh town of Manod. His parents run the Snowdonia Oasis Auto Marvel garage—and when he’s not trying to persuade his sisters to play football, Dylan is in charge of the petrol log. And, that means he gets to keep track of everyone coming in and out of Manod- what car they drive, what they’re called, weather and even their favourite flavour of crisps. But when a mysterious convoy of lorries trundles up the misty mountainside towards an old, disused mine, even Dylan is confounded. Who are these people and what have they got to hide?
The podcast is due to launch on 1st June!